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Restaurants and Tourists

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Restaurants and Tourists

This is a request for advice and a question. How "dumbed down" is the cuisine in the tourist trap restaurants ? I've seen posts from people looking for restaurants in the "X" arrondisement and many replies state, "Just look at the menu board and that will give you an idea .....". This leads to a very good chance however that you will get an overpriced, mediocre meal. Or is it a good chance ? Basically, what would you guess are the chances that I would get a good meal if I just walked into (or reserved something that looked interesting) a restaurant. Am I right in thinking that if I'm lazy (stay in center), I'll get a so-so meal and if I get on the metro (basically in any direction), I'll get a much better dining experience and better value for my money? If that's the case, I'll do it. Also, this may sound ironic, but I really don't want to go "where the locals go". I think they should have a place where they don't have to worry about tourists, this comes from now living in a tourist area. I think what I would like is someplace that is only 20% tourists, as opposed to 90%. Finally, am I also correct in thinking that maybe Paris bad is delicious, compared to Niagara Falls, Ontario ?

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1. Re: Restaurants and Tourists

You're probably overthinking it a bit.

You can use the forum search for some consistent recommendations on the forum.

You can use Yelp, chowhound, cityvox Paris, La Fourchette, and so on for reviews (often by locals).

If you're walking around, move off a main blvd by a block or so. Don't eat on Champs Elysees, move back a street or two. Avoid the cafe with the view of the Eiffel.

We choose 99% of our dinner restaurants according to (a) walking distance from hotel (b) low-mid price range and (c) dishes that I would like to eat or try.

Oslo, Norway
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2. Re: Restaurants and Tourists

You may get good meals in the tourist areas. You may get good meals for a lower price in areas away from "tourist central". Just keep in mind that part of the expense a restaurant has to cover is the price of the real estate. Price of real estate is generally higher in the tourist areas, and an attractive location with a view is more expensive than a side street. Listen to travelnutty, don't eat on the Champs Élysées.

BTW, the food I had in Niagara Falls, New York, was good, but Paris is really much better, both in the lower and the top-end price ranges.

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3. Re: Restaurants and Tourists

Ooh, I've had a couple of really bad meals in Paris, iverh. Both were in places I should have known better than to even go into. My common sense had apparently fled, and I got dragged in against my better judgement. The worst was the Dome, behind the Eiffel Tower. Tout was beckoning and my companion had blisters on her feet and just wanted to sit. Positively dreadful food. In fact, calling it food at all is being generous.

To me, the best guidance on food in Paris is to get off the main roads and eat as far from a tourist attraction as you can get.

Great Barrington...
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4. Re: Restaurants and Tourists

Let's face it - just about all restaurants get a good portion of their business from tourists. I recommend picking up a copy of Zagat's or another good book, Eating and Drinking in Paris: amazon.com/Eating-Drinking-Paris-5th-Edition…

London, United...
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5. Re: Restaurants and Tourists

It is fairly easy to find bad meals in Paris, there are many substandard restaurants. Paris bad would be bad anywhere, even in Ontario only a lot more expensive.

Generally avoid anywhere that has someone at the door shouting at you to come in.

I will usually avoid a place with the menu posted in 8 languages, particularly if the French menu is not more prominent.

Avoid steak, it is rarely as good as in north america. A well done steak will probably be as bloody as a rare North American steak.

In a cheaper less formal place the Plat du Jour is often the best pick as it will likely be cooked fresh rather than a frozen or packaged reheat.

North African restaurants are usually good, its very rare to have a bad meal in one of these.

Chicago, Illinois
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6. Re: Restaurants and Tourists

it helps to do home work -- once in Montmartre the restaurant we wanted to eat in -- a tiny family place - was booked full and so we ate at a restaurant on the same block that had room -- it was the worst meal we ever had traveling with the exception of the salad composee that gave my husband food poisoning at a local cafe in the 7th a bit off the beaten track and the airport Paris Hilton.

so yeah -- reading the menu let's you know what is on offer and for what price -- but for quality it does help to look at reviews

generally if you pick a place with lots of people, off the beaten track a bit and with a small menu, you will get a decent enough meal

7. Re: Restaurants and Tourists

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