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Reservations required in Paris?

Headed on European holiday in June/July and will be in a Paris for several days. Are reservations required for all restaurants? Do you suggest we make them for special places, or will we be able to walk into good places?

Posted by
16883 posts

If there is any place you've decided upon that takes reservations online, then that's a pretty easy step to do now. A place you really have your heart set on is worth calling. I have walked into several restaurants listed in Rick's books (and others) without a reservation, usually by showing up right when they open for dinner at 7:00, or else much later. But that's no guarantee and I was probably turned away just as many times as I was accommodated. No luck so far at trying to get into the famous Frenchie without a reservation. Friday and Saturday nights are busier.

Posted by
7702 posts

Wendy Lyn, who runs food tours and the blog The Paris Kitchen, has this to say (and I agree with her; this is something I really had to learn when I first moved to Paris):

"> How far in advance should I make reservations?

"Each wine bar, bistro and restaurant have their own rules – some will take reservations months in advance, while others won’t. 2 – 4 weeks minimum are the norm and as soon as possible, especially of popular restaurants. Your French-speaking hotel or apartment concierge will be extremely helpful to help get you the reservations you need in time. A good rule of thumb is to make dinner reservations as soon as your plane ticket and hotel have been booked.

"Is it really necessary to make advance reservations?

"Everyone is vying for a table in Paris’ most popular restaurants – most rarely have more than 24 seats and receive several hundred phone calls a day. Reserve early to be on the safe side. Walking around looking for a decent place to eat when you are a foodie in Paris, is a gamble."

Check out the Restaurant FAQ on her blog, which is the source for the two Q/As I just posted.

Resto FAQ from The Paris Kitchen