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No reservations for dinners

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Sussex, WI
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104 posts
32 reviews
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No reservations for dinners

How much of an issue is it that we do not have reservations for our dinners for a family of 4? My DH is I. Paris now & I have given him a list of restaurants to make reservations at and he has not been able to get to it because of his schedule. I don't want to rack up international charges on my phone so I have not. Nothing I'm looking at is high end or big $$ places. Will it be a big problem?

Le Bugue, France
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5 reviews
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1. Re: No reservations for dinners

No. I can't even remember the last time I made a reservation for dinner in Paris. BTW, you can email restaurants for reservations - no need to rack up international charges, which are actually pretty minimal. But unless you're headed for famous fancy places, you can either just go or stop earlier in the day on the spot and reserve.

New York City, New...
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333 reviews
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2. Re: No reservations for dinners

If you have your heart set on very specific restaurants, especially Michelin-starred or high end, you would be better with reservations, some even weeks or months in advance.

But if you are more flexible you will find tons of restaurants available without reservations at all, or with just a few days' notice once you're in Paris

State College...
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35 reviews
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3. Re: No reservations for dinners

If you are willing to eat at or around 7pm, I don't think that you will need it. After 8pm, you may be taking your chances.

My experiences in early June:

Monday at the Petit Prince de Paris at 9pm, they managed to fit us in without a reservation, but barely;

Thursday at the Petit Zinc at 7pm, we reserved, but it did not appear to be necessary unless you wanted a patio table;

Friday at the Petit Prince de Paris at 7:30pm, we reserved, but it did not appear to be necessary, even at 9pm; and

Saturday at the Petit Chatelet at 7pm, we did not reserve and did not need it at that time, but the restaurant filled up by 8pm.

Good luck and bon apetit.

San Diego...
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4. Re: No reservations for dinners

I agree the majority of my trips I have not had dinner reservations. There has been a handful of times that I wanted to eat at a certain restaurant, and since I like to eat late I would make a reservation in advance rather than taking a chance. The rest of the times during my daytime excursions if I saw a place that I decided I wanted to eat at I'd stop in and make a reservation for that night or the next. However, the majority of the time I would just pick a spot when I got hungry.

As said by StCirq - you can email a restaurant if you have your heart set. I realize that getting a table for 1 or 2 is different than for 4.

New York City, New...
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2,605 posts
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5. Re: No reservations for dinners

It really depends on which restaurants. IME, new & popular places often require reserving at least a few days ahead especially for 4 on a weekend and if they've been written up on blogs or other English language media. Emailing can be a good option but many restaurants that I like do not have websites or advertise an email address so another possibility if you are staying in a hotel is to email the reception desk a short list with the dates you would like to reserve and ask them to take care of it for you.

You certainly will not go hungry but if you have specific restaurants in mind, better safe than sorry.

Vancouver, Canada
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68 reviews
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6. Re: No reservations for dinners

As you made a list of restaurants, I take it that you have done your research and know what you want to eat. As suggested: email sometimes works. My best mode so far has been to ask the hotel to make the reservations and they usually manage to get restaurants that are elusive to phone calls. For a party of four, it is always safer to have a table than to walk around looking for a place. I have traveled with hungry kids and that always ends up in trouble.

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2,595 posts
44 reviews
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7. Re: No reservations for dinners

Or you can use the Le Fourchette (the Fork); a restaurant booking and review site . Here is the link to the English version. http://www.thefork.com/city/paris/415144 . You often can get discounts by booking online.

New Hampshire
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for Paris
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21,045 posts
25 reviews
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8. Re: No reservations for dinners

Simply ask your husband to give the list to the Concierge or front desk where he is staying. It is helpful if the list is complete - Restaurant, phone number, date, time, number in party, whether earlier or later is okay if necessary or the day before or after.

Chicago, Illinois
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23,787 posts
77 reviews
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9. Re: No reservations for dinners

we usually eat at small local places and reserve a day ahead. we have more than once been turned away from small places that were 'complete' in the 17th. this last May in the 14th we had no trouble finding small bistros to walk in.

I wouldn't worry unless there are particular 'must eat in' places on the list

Paris, France
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25,245 posts
32 reviews
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10. Re: No reservations for dinners

People without reservations can generally eat in all but the smallest places if they go before 19:30. Not famous foodie places of course.