Sidewalk Cafes in Paris

Aug 14th, 2013, 03:44 PM
  #1  
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Sidewalk Cafes in Paris

At a sidewalk cafe in Paris, do you seat yourself and wait for the waiter to come to you, or wait outside for the waiter to show you to a seat, or do you enter the cafe and ask for a seat outside? I hope someone can give me a clue so we will avoid a faux pas!
raclou99 is offline  
Aug 14th, 2013, 03:47 PM
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You just sit down and a waiter will come to you. You can ask for a menu or order right away.
adrienne is offline  
Aug 14th, 2013, 03:48 PM
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What you don't do is order something to drink at the bar and then take it to a table, either inside or outside, as beverages cost more at tables inside and more yet at tables outside.
adrienne is offline  
Aug 14th, 2013, 03:48 PM
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Shut up and sit down! Seriously, you just take any seat you wish. If you wait for a "waiter" you'll be standing there until Christmas.
spaarne is offline  
Aug 14th, 2013, 03:49 PM
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LOL, spaarne!
adrienne is offline  
Aug 14th, 2013, 03:50 PM
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You can linger for a while too, no need to rush off as soon as you finish your coffee etc. The waiter usually won't bring the bill until you ask for it.
cathies is online now  
Aug 14th, 2013, 03:58 PM
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Thanks everyone. Faux pas avoided! I appreciate the help.
raclou99 is offline  
Aug 14th, 2013, 04:40 PM
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Enjoy! It's nice to read about somebody who is planning on sitting and soaking up the atmosphere. So many people spend their time in Paris racing from one place to the next.
cathies is online now  
Aug 14th, 2013, 05:30 PM
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Less often at true cafes, but certainly at brasseries, etc., especially anywhere near a mealtime, tables with tablecloths--even if paper--are for people who will order food, and generally you can sit at one without a tablecloth if you want only beverage(s).
d_claude_bear is offline  
Aug 14th, 2013, 05:37 PM
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There are cafés and bistros and such in Paris that have separate sections for diners. They will be easily recognizable, as the tables in that (those) section(s) will be set with tablecloths (maybe), silverware, glasses, napkins, etc. If you just want a drink, don't sit there. And if you just want a drink, ordering inside the café at the bar is cheaper than grabbing a table outside.

And yes, don't wait around or you'll be there all year. Sit down when you can!
StCirq is online now  
Aug 14th, 2013, 09:02 PM
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In most cases you want to avoid the side walk cafes as much as possible. There is the 3 tire system in Paris, at the bar, inside the cafe, outside of the cafe, You pay according to where you end up. We always stand at the bar for our café and croissant, saving at least 1€/each.
Robert2533 is offline  
Aug 14th, 2013, 09:32 PM
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Robert what you say is true, however sitting at a table and watching the world go by is worth the extra expense sometimes. If you've been walking for hours and are dog tired then hang the extra couple of euros, which are nothing in the scheme of things when considering the cost of a trip to Europe.
cathies is online now  
Aug 14th, 2013, 09:54 PM
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Sorry, but being both experienced and stupid, I was sitting at a side walk cafe a few years ago when my Nikon was liberated. It was replaced, but knowing what goes on today, I advise against it.
Robert2533 is offline  
Aug 14th, 2013, 09:55 PM
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Shame about your camera, but we'll have to agree to disagree.
cathies is online now  
Aug 14th, 2013, 10:59 PM
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Completely disagree! Sitting at the outside cafes is one of the reasons we love Paris and go so often! I would never give that up!
jamikins is offline  
Aug 15th, 2013, 02:06 AM
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Sitting on the terrace is one of the reasons I GO to France.
Museums are nice...of course the history is a wonder...but for me, the experience of thinking I'm here! The café terrace sets it off so beautifully. I wouldn't have had the chance to ease drop on a couple of GREAT conversations had I not. Then up and walk and walk and walk...
sueciv is offline  
Aug 15th, 2013, 02:17 AM
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Yes, sitting outside is worth that extra euro, but be prepared to share your fresh air with all the smokers!! Helas!
klondike is offline  
Aug 15th, 2013, 05:58 AM
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Most cafés no longer apply a terrace price in order to prevent a revolt by smokers.
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