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Sep 1, 2011 06:53 AM

Paris this weekend - no reservations

I am meeting my husband in Paris tomorrow for the weekend. Last minute trip. Never been to Paris before. I have been looking on the board for restaurant recommendations. However, seeing as it is last minute, we do not have any reservations. I realize that there are many people who go to Paris and plan well in advance. A few posts I saw were for restaurant itineraries 1-2 months in advance of the trip and reservations were already being booked. What are my options like in Paris without reservations? Should we try with 1-2 days notice? Or just look to go to casual places? Do more popular or higher end restaurants have tables set aside for walk-ins? I am from NYC and have a general understanding of what my options are here regarding advance reservations, which places accomodate walk-ins. I was just looking for an idea of what my dining experience can be in Paris at this point.

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  1. "Should we try with 1-2 days notice?"


    "Or just look to go to casual places?"


    "Do more popular or higher end restaurants have tables set aside for walk-ins?"

    No but you can always ask if they have last-minute cancellations.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Parigi

      thank you. I also continued searching on this board and see that there are recommendations to even stop in places 'day of' to secure a spot for the evening. I just got a little worried because the first few searches I did came up with mention of reservations far in advance.

    2. There are regulars on this board that know far more than I do - but I will say that on a previous trip my husband and I had no troubles getting into several restaurants without reservations as we were just 2 people. Easier to squeeze in 2 that a party of 6. We also went out to eat at "normal American" times (say 7-7:30pm) which is considered early in Paris. All those things helped us I think.

      I hope you have a wonderful weekend! It is a wonderful city with LOTS of great food options around.

      1. LaFourchette is an online reservations site similar to OpenTable. There is a lot to sort through, but you can search for a table for a specific day, sort the results by customer rating, see which places are also listed in the Michelin guide, etc.

        I thought there was a thread about restaurants that don't take reservations, like Cafe Constant, but I'm not finding it.

        1. A lot depends on the day of the week, where you are staying and if you are willing to focus on a fine lunch (see Dr. Talbott's extensive list), as opposed to an early American dinner. Remember that many high-end restaurants will have last minute cancelations, and you can always walk in to the brasseries and high-end cafes like Cafe Constant. Being from NYC, you know how to be opportunistic.