This weekend, a brand-new, deluxe patisserie opened up right next door to my neighborhood cafe (Cafe Pouchkine, for anyone who's interested and into pricey Russian pastries).
Since this place has no available seating, and only sells "to go", guess what happened next?
Yep, a large group of tourists plopped down on the cafe terrace right next door, boxes of pastry in hand, and proceeded to munch away, ordering one coffee and many glasses of water.
My favorite waiter was having a very hard time dealing with this, and spent most of the weekend shooing people away.
Folks, this is not OK.
(I know Rick says it is, and maybe it works on rue Cler, but no place else I know of)
You should ask, first - before you sit down. Some places will permit it, but most will not. Everyone should order something to drink (besides a free glass of water), and don't ask for forks, plates, napkins.
Think about it - would you bring your own lunch to a restaurant?