zagat guide ?

Feb 27th, 2006, 12:34 PM
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zagat guide ?

Has anyone used the Zagat Guide for Paris or France?..I notice that they have an online subscription too..this might be handy if you have computer access at your hotel..just curious. How does it compare with the Red Guide?..
loisco is offline  
Feb 27th, 2006, 12:37 PM
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It is far less reliable than the red guide for me. Lots of people like Zagat, though, but I think you would be getting reviews based on the visits of foreign (American) visitors to Paris rather than Parisians.
ekscrunchy is offline  
Feb 27th, 2006, 12:53 PM
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Yes, I have an online subscription to Zagat's, primarily because I use it frequently at home and domestically. It is convenient to have it for international use, but I agree with ekscrunchy that it is probably not as reliable as the Red Guide.

For example, I'm dying to know why the restaurant Le P'Tit Troquet was highly rated in Zagat's last edition, but does not appear at all in the current addition. Ideas?
Iregeo is offline  
Feb 27th, 2006, 12:59 PM
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I use the Zagat guide in Paris. It has lots of useful listings and is great to look up phone numbers to make reservations on the run. I also use the Time Out Eating and Drinking guide, which has good reviews.
Nikki is online now  
Feb 27th, 2006, 01:08 PM
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I have reviewed a few restaurants in Paris for Zagat. Anybody can do so and contribute to the overall ratings. In evaluating a review look at the number and consistency of the reviews. With those caveats, the ratings seem to me quite reliable. Of course my ratings are right on the money.
RJD is offline  
Feb 27th, 2006, 01:12 PM
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I bought a Zagat for Paris on my last trip; any Zagat's will be imperfect but generally helpful in its ratings, and I liked this resource as it is much broader in its sweep than a guidebook. I did wonder about whether it was based on the reviews submitted by French-speakers or English-speakers though--that is, is this a translation of a French Zagat guide, or is there no such thing?
emnyc is offline  
Feb 27th, 2006, 01:47 PM
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I really don't like the Zagat guides and never use them anywhere. But that may be because I'm a really quirky tourist who would rather not encounter many other American's when I travel.

I have found Michelin recommendations to be outstanding, and my favorite guide for modest but truly delicious meals in Paris is Jack's Inimitiable Travel Guide for Paris, which you can find with a google search.

However, I've also discovered that when I travel -- and this is especially true of Paris -- I very often don't really know where I'm going to be at mealtime, because I like to wander around -- and at some point I just want to sit down and eat, not walk anymore looking for a recommended restaurant. I've rarely been disappointed in Paris just picking a place to eat based on looking at the menu and at the other customers and deciding if they look like they're happy eating their food.
nessundorma is offline  
Feb 27th, 2006, 02:18 PM
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That's interesting. I feel Zagat's allows a somewhat conservative traveler like myself to be more spontaneous--it is light, it can fit in your purse, and when you see a cute place as you are wandering along but are torn about whether you should stop by or wander further, you can look it up and get a little more info. I have never used a Michelin guide, so can't compare it with that, but because Zagat has so many more listings than the average guidebook, I imagine it is likely to help you wander a little further away from where all the other Americans are. (Maybe not, though, since I am still confused about the European Zagat methodology and about whether it relies exclusively on English speakers.)
emnyc is offline  
Feb 27th, 2006, 02:25 PM
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Nessundorma..(oh my I love that name...and the music)..I just copied Jack's to my list of retaurants but they are not recent reviews. Someone told me that it doesn't matter that they are not new......I am just making sure I have every resource available..
loisco is offline  
Feb 27th, 2006, 02:31 PM
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The Zagat guide is what it is - another good resource.

Le P'Tit Troquet is a tiny place where reservations are absolutely essential. It has been consistently excellent over the years (everyone on the AOL Paris board has continued to rave), so may have asked not to be included or perhaps it has closed?
djkbooks is offline  
Feb 27th, 2006, 02:32 PM
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I don't mind dining with my countrymen, do find Zagat useful, and actualy don't find many of those "pesky Americans" in the double-digit arrondissement Paris restaurants it reviews. But I would not rely on Zagat solely. The Time Out Paris restaurant guide is useful. So are the Gault Millau and the Routard.
Dave_in_Paris is offline  
Feb 27th, 2006, 02:35 PM
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I think Zagat's caters to English speakers. I don't think it's a translation of any French guide, if anything, it would be the other way around as it isn't a French company. I've reviewed some restaurants for them, also, but I'm one who doesn't really like their guide very much. I would never buy one, I just got one free for reviewing for them. I have used it a very little bit for some restaurants in Paris, but find the comments often silly and not very useful (and wonder how they edit them -- they certainly never included any of my comments).

Also, having worked in market research, I don't think much of their methodology, which isn't scientific at all. I find Michelin's (or Gault) inspectors more understandable than Zagat's system because you could review anything for Zagat, even if you'd never been there. I don't know if they even have French people reviewing their restaurants.
Christina is offline  
Feb 27th, 2006, 02:39 PM
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I used my Zagat paris a little but MOSTLY used the reviews I printed out from this forum. The great thing about Zagat was the listing by Arrondisment, that helped me when we were wandering around hungry.
suezanna is offline  
Feb 27th, 2006, 02:54 PM
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I used Zagats Paris for the first time this past year, mostly to double check on places and to find new places..we decided to not go anywhere we had been before
You can go to and check on places too..the 2006 Time Out.
Scarlett is offline  
Feb 27th, 2006, 03:38 PM
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Zagat is not translated from the French; it is a company based in NYC so most of the reviews that make up their ranking are by Americans, I would think. I guess it is like a message board in the sense that you get a score based on a consensus of reports from other travlelers and have to make up your own mind. I do use them here in NYC as a kind of phone book.
ekscrunchy is offline  
Feb 27th, 2006, 04:14 PM
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True, it is based in NYC, but they sell a French version of the Paris Zagat's as well as an English (and a Japanese version of the Tokyo Zagat's, etc.), so it's not obvious to me that they are only translating English surveys into French, rather than vice versa.
emnyc is offline  
Feb 27th, 2006, 07:04 PM
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Well one way to see if the French guide is a translation of the English one would be to compare the two, non? Shouldn't be too hard to do.
ekscrunchy is offline  
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