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Jun 15, 2011 11:07 AM

Budapest and Prague Fine Dining

We will be visiting these cities in September. Do gentlemen need to wear jackets at fine dining establishments? We are trying to pack lightly!

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  1. No - we ate at Costes and La Degustation and no jacket was required.

    1 Reply
    1. re: debbieann

      ... although I would bring a jacket anyway! Why not? I like getting gussied up and making an event of it.

    2. Usually, no jackets are required. However, people tend to dress smart when going out to fine dining places. Smart does not mean suit and tie, but usually a well cut jacket with dress shirt without a tie and maybe expensive jeans or black pants. I think this way of dressing is called "smart casual"... Women more often than not wear dresses and jewellery or dress very elegantly.

      They would not evict you for wearing clean jeans and long-sleeved shirt but you would look really out of place in anything like T-shirt, sneakers/trainers, jumper, worn or torn jeans, baseball cap or backpack. Just dress up, it'll help you to savour the experience even more :-)

      3 Replies
      1. re: sasicka

        Thanks to all! What about tipping above the service charge? Is that expected in a fine restaurant in these cities?

        1. re: gblcsw

          Fine dining, I would imagine, follows a similar tipping standard around the world.

          1. re: kukubura

            There should be no service charge here. There might be something called "couvert", but it should not be high and should be clearly written in the menu (between 20-50 Czech Krowns per person). If I see a service charge on my bill, I don't tip. Otherwise 5-10% depending on how good your service was. It is usual to tip only depending on the quality of service, not on the quality of food. For lunch or casual pub food, round up to the nearest ten and add ten or twenty, depending on your experience. If there are more of you paying, it is usual that everybody just rounds up to the nearest ten. We are not big tippers here :-) It is very unusual to tip much above 10%.

      2. Gundel does require a jacket. That is the only establishment in Budapest I checked.

        I am finding that in Budpest's heavily touristed restaurants, the service charge is included about 50% of the time -- It's itemized on the check.

        1. Did not wear a jacket at Degustation, sat at kitchen table. Was dressed nicely but no jacket, no problem. Restaurant, as posted before, had the most wonderful local wine pairing ever.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Delucacheesemonger

            Gundel is the only place I'm aware of in Budapest where a jacket is required; a tie is not, even there; you may feel uncomfortable some places without a jacket, but I can't really think of any offhand if your comfort level is defined by the other guests rather than the formality of the room. Maybe the Gresham.

            Service charge is included in some places that tourists populate, in others not, worth asking if it's unclear or if there are inscrutable per-cent-based charges on the bill (the VAT is often broken out in hard to follow ways). If it is on the bill it is likely not enough to reflect good service. That is, I tend to use a standard of 20% (more if it has several levels of staff above the waiter) for attentive service that added to the meal; 15% for solid service. The service charge is often 10-12%, so when I like what I am getting I add on accordingly. If not, i leave it where it lies, and if none is included just tip 10%.