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Aug 30, 2010 05:18 PM

Reservations really needed?

I'm going to Paris for 3 days in mid-Sept (yay - leaving in under 2 weeks!). I'm staying in the 7th district. My plan is to walk around and do our best to find local gems - this will be the plan for breakfast and lunch. For dinner- is it necessary to make reservations? Or could we just stop into a restaurant and try to get seats.

Also - I find this board so helpful! I have been pouring thru all of the information, and it's just fantastic!!!

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  1. Yes you really should reserve. True you can walk around and I am sure find a place that will take a walk in but beware, there are lots of restaurant land mines in Paris, for such a short visit you do not want to piss away one of your dining slots and there is a good chance that would happen if you just randomly walk around and drop in some random place. It is not necessary to reserve weeks in advance, same day usually often works. Also, Saturday, Sunday and Mondays are tough days to find good restaurants open, if you visit encompasses those days definitely plan ahead and reserve in advance.

    1 Reply
    1. re: f2dat06

      May I add at this late date that there are numerous reasons for reserving at all meals and no reasons not to. It's courteous, you get a primo table, they will address you by name and they know how much to order (here as opposed to elsewhere the daily specials aren't what they're tryig to get rid of but what's in the market). I've written about this elsewhere and heard back from chefs and owners thanking me - it's that important to them.

      And as we've discussed elsewhere, if you have to cancel or expand or reduce, they're delighted.

    2. There is a lively discussion on cancelling reservations, but for what it's worth, here are my quick thoughts.

      Have a plan. Make the best reservations you can get from home. When you arrive, visit the restaurants you really wanted and couldn't reach and beg for a reservation. Bag any reservation that doesn't work with what you really want to do. You only have 3 days in Paris, so do what's best for you. Who knows when you'll return, if ever?! Good luck and have fun!!!!

      1 Reply
      1. re: hychka

        thanks for the replies! We are going to be in Paris from Fri to Monday - looks like i'll make a few reservations before I go. this just confirmed it.

        Thanks again!

      2. Today's Figaroscope’s Dossier was terribly clever. It was called “What do do when the place you call is fully booked" and listed where to go (on the left) if the place on the right was filled:
        Claude Colliot KGB
        Repaire de Cartouche Bistrot Paul Bert
        Regalade XIV Comptoir du Relais
        Toyo Guilo Guilo
        Maison Blanche Jules Verne
        British sandwich Rose Bakery
        L’Entredgeu l’Ami Jean
        Le Rouquet Flore
        At the end of the article they give several tips:
        1. Call the day of your desired meal
        2. Book for the 3rd service after 10:30 PM
        3. Go Tuesday or Wednesday not at the end of the week
        4. If all else fails call up saying you represent a Minister or head of state or disgraced soccer player.