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How do you spot a "tourist cafe" in Paris?

How do you spot a "tourist cafe" in Paris?

Dec 20th, 2004, 04:19 AM
  #1  
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How do you spot a "tourist cafe" in Paris?

In preparing for our visit to Paris, I've read in several places to beware of "tourist" cafes in many of the more popular neighborhoods and near many of the more popular sites. How would you define what this means, and how can you spot one of these, as opposed to a more authentic Parisian restaurant, cafe or brasserie?
dhentzi is offline  
Dec 20th, 2004, 04:27 AM
  #2  
ira
 
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Hi dh,

If they have a large sign that says "English Spoken Here"
"Tourist Menu"
That's a clue.

ira is online now  
Dec 20th, 2004, 04:27 AM
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In general, anything within a 200 meter radius of a major tourist attraction (Notre Dame, place du Tertre, Eiffel Tower, etc. ) is by definition suspiscious. But since this only criterion covers hundreds if not thousands of establishments throughout Paris, there is an absolute hint : any café/restaurant offering its menu in any other language than French should be avoided like the plague. Remember : an English/German/Spanish/Italian menu advertised outside just screams "Tourist trap" !
Art_Vandelay is offline  
Dec 20th, 2004, 04:28 AM
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Watch out for baseball caps, tennis shoes and jogging suits on people who look not to have engaged in sports for quite some time. A tour bus parked close by is also a give away along with tables of excited Asians snapping shots of everything within 100 yards.
hansikday is offline  
Dec 20th, 2004, 04:35 AM
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Be very leery of "Greeters" dressed in period costumes.
NorthShore is offline  
Dec 20th, 2004, 05:50 AM
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Patrons respecting the non-smoking signs are tourists.
HyacinthB is offline  
Dec 20th, 2004, 05:54 AM
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Cheeseburger on the menu!
Ralstonlan is offline  
Dec 20th, 2004, 05:56 AM
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On the other hand, you will find lots of tourists at the Deux Magots and Cafe Flore, but they are authentic Parisian cafes with histories because of those who frequented them over the decades. I cannot imagine a trip to Paris w/o a stop at one or the other, "just because"!
grandmere is offline  
Dec 20th, 2004, 06:23 AM
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Muted "Golden Arches" on the store front...
Travelnut is offline  
Dec 20th, 2004, 06:27 AM
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The above suggestions are all good and would be places that I also avoid, BUT,last September on a trip to France, we were on a two day motorcycle tour and one of the places that we stoped for lunch was called...in big letters...TOURIST BAR. I have to say that it was the BEST seafood salad that I had, and the other peoples food also looked wonderful, so much so that I wanted to go back...and it was about 7E for lunch. So, you just never know.
susanna is offline  
Dec 20th, 2004, 06:29 AM
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Does it stand to reason that because a lot of "tourists" popultae a particular establishment that it is automatically a "trap" in some way, or is there a difference?

And in terms of classifying a location by the amount of "Asians snapping shots of everything" I guess the number of other people taking pictures doesn't count, is that right?
Intrepid1 is offline  
Dec 20th, 2004, 06:42 AM
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Places that advertise "American Breakfast" are usually "tourist traps." I define that to mean that the owners are actively trying to bring in tourists as opposed to locals, and often charging more for it. Often, these places are near major attractions, where tourists are likely to gravitate for convenience. Service in such places can be compromised because the owners don't have to work very hard to attract customers. Generally speaking, if you head down a side street or into an arrondissement that doesn't boast a lot of major sites, you'll find what you are calling "authentic" places.
StCirq is online now  
Dec 20th, 2004, 06:51 AM
  #13  
ira
 
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Hi Intrepid1

>.. because a lot of "tourists" popultae a particular establishment that it is automatically a "trap" in some way, or is there a difference?<

There is a difference between places that are popular with tourists (Les Deux Magots, IL Latini) and tourist traps. We are offering the characteristics of the latter.

>... classifying a location by the amount of "Asians snapping shots of everything" I guess the number of other people taking pictures doesn't count, is that right?<

Probably would have been better to say "busloads of tourists".



ira is online now  
Dec 20th, 2004, 06:59 AM
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Intrepid1 wrote: "And in terms of classifying a location by the amount of "Asians snapping shots of everything" I guess the number of other people taking pictures doesn't count, is that right?

Yeah, that is right. It takes a while, but you eventually catch on.


hansikday is offline  
Dec 20th, 2004, 07:16 AM
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Is there any scientific proof about the idea that good restaurants can't have multilingual menus? I think if you are looking for a restaurant on Boulevard St. Germain or anywhere that has a fair number of tourists you won't be able to help the multilingual menus, no matter how good or bad the restaurant is. I suspect the top-rated starred Michelin restaurants have these menus.
WillTravel is offline  
Dec 20th, 2004, 07:21 AM
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"Probably would have been better to say "busloads of tourists"."

I agree.
ezlivin is offline  
Dec 20th, 2004, 07:34 AM
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Generally good hygiene of the patrons is a good clue.
ahhnold is offline  
Dec 20th, 2004, 07:41 AM
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ira, I love your new icon.
Budman is offline  
Dec 20th, 2004, 07:50 AM
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ira
 
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Thanks, B.

You were my role model.

ira is online now  
Dec 20th, 2004, 08:02 AM
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WillTravel, I agree that good restaurants can have multiple menus. In fact, I'm pretty sure that LeCinq gave me one in English. In any case, I'm sure that a top establishment has staffers who speak English.

After all, it's important to make your guests feel at home -- and that includes using English when necessary when your guests are unable to speak French.
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