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If you're used to an American big breakfast, you might want to start retraining yourself before your trip. A big breakfast in Paris is coffee and maybe a croissant. The primary meals in Paris are lunch and dinner, with dinner being a multi course gastronomic adventure. Countless books are available to educate prospective tourists concerning all of the detailed dining etiquette, and it would be advisable to consider buying one if you intend to make dining one of your primary activities in Paris or if you have made reservations at one of Paris's particularly reputable establishments. However, the key rule to remember is that if you go into a restaurant in which you sit down, you should not be in a hurry. The first thing you will notice is that wait staff certainly is not. This is not meant as an insult to tourists. In fact, it's not meant in a derogatory manner at all. An observant diner will notice that everyone, even Parisians, is treated virtually the same. Leisurely dining is simply a Parisian custom. Even at lunchtime, Parisians will sit for hours immersed in conversation over coffee or a glass of wine. Of the two primary meals, lunch is the more casual of the two. The fare is lighter and usually a la carte. Dinner begins late for most Americans--usually between 8:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. and typically lasts about three hours.

For dinner, most restaurants offer a multi course prix fixe menu (see the question "What is a prix fixe menu?" for more information and an explanation). Expect to make new friends at dinner too. Tables in most Parisian restaurants are very close together. A couple of bottles of wine and some really good food tend to make people sitting within a cluster of several adjacent tables very friendly and talkative. It's not at all unusual for a large number of diners to be engaged in deep conversation--language barriers or no--by the end of the meal. When the bill comes, don't worry about figuring out the tip. Gratuities are already included in the prices of the meal. Occasionally, it is acceptable to add an extra 10% for an exceptionally attentive waiter, particularly in regard to the wine and drink service, but it's optional and never expected.

AnswerMany restaurants have daily "prix fixe" (fixed price) specials that offer excellent value for the money. A couple of tips:

(1) Some restaurants make a big deal of catering to tourists, with large "We speak English" or "Wir sprechen deutsch" signs. Many travellers have found that this also translates to "our prices are higher as well", so learn a little bit of French and enjoy the food even more, away from the standard places.

(2) If you order "water" you will almost always be served name-brand bottled water at a couple of euros a pop. Ask for "eau du robinet" (OH due rob-ee-NAY) if you want just a carafe of tap water.

Answer

A popular, fast and inexpensive lunch is "steak, frites" (steak & fries).

If you want an American-style breakfast in Paris, it's perfectly possible as there are quite a few American restaurants serving them - try looking in the FUSAC www.fusac.fr

And another

The equivalent term for "Prix fixe" in English is "set meal" or "fixed price meal". The opposite is

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Q: What are meals like in Paris?
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