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Ordering water.

I am a water drinker.
May be an iced tea and glass of wine now and then but no sodas.

Is there certain way to order an iced glass of water (non carbonated)? I seem to recall months ago some one mentioning this to me.


Posted by
300 posts

'Tap water' in French is l'eau du robinet (low du robinay). Bottled water without bubbles is eau sans gaz (owe sahn gaz).

I wish you luck with the water with ice (eau avec des glaçons).

RS publishes a phrasebook with simple phrases like this. It's a good resource or you could find an offline phrasebook for your smartphone.

Posted by
5697 posts

Un carafe d'eau, s'il vous plait. Should get you water (without bottle) Good luck getting it avec glace.

Posted by
7159 posts

If you are buying bottled water, you can ask for it with ice. Lots of places do cocktails with ice and so might have it or be willing to provide it. But water is free and often cold; no point in paying for water. Some places will have chilled carafes of tap water, others it will be less cold. But it is free and it is the norm to order it. It would not be polite to ask for extra service like ice with free water.

Posted by
784 posts

I agree about asking for ice with free water - I wouldn't do it. However, if you are lucky enough to get ice, you will probably get at most 2 cubes. I remember watching a bartender making me a gin & tonic with ice - this was in London. I was so excited to get real ice, but they disappeared before my eyes as the the warm gin and tonic water were poured over the two wimpy ice cubes. Similarly, this has also happened in Paris with soda. Europeans just aren't into iced drinks as we are in the US.

Posted by
3471 posts

Americans are world-renowned for having tin tonsils, so don't expect ice in Europe and be pleasantly surprised when you get some. You can buy bottled and canned drinks that have been in the fridge however.

I also have a feeling the word "water" is pretty well known.

Posted by
11464 posts

Actually water tap water I mean .. is always free in France.. and if you order a meal you are absolutely entitled to it.. and the correct way is to ask for "un carafe d'eau".. eau de robinette does translate to tap water but it is not the normal way to refer to some drinking water for your table.

Ice. .. as said.. trickier. I have often had cold carafes given. but sometimes not.

Should add this.. if you go to a café and one of you gets a drink but no food, and you get no food either.. and you ask for tap water.. they make think you are being a cheapskate.

Posted by
6441 posts

If I am out and about and in a cafe or slightly less formal place, I order a bottle of water (I like Carbonated water, but flat water would be the same) plus I usually have a bottle of water of my own as well. I also usually have beer or wine, but I doubt in most places they would object to supplementing their water with your own. In most places a bottle of water will only be a couple euro and is a nice compliment to the meal.

Posted by
15 posts

Nearly every restaurant we went to, we just asked for tap water in English (that is apparently a universal phrase in the restaurants) and you get a nice bottle of Paris water, sometimes refrigerated.