11 June 2022

Daylight in Paris - 7

Here comes a series of photos of people enjoying a beautiful Sunday afternoon in Paris. It's hard to believe that I took these photos on November 1. I was on the right bank of the Seine, on my way to see a play in a theater on the Grands Boulevards.

I read a web page yesterday explaining what the differences are between a café, a brasserie, and a bistrot. It said that many people don't understand the terms. Running a brasserie, the article said, means being open for business from early in the morning, serving breakfast, until late at night. It means serving a full range of foods and dishes, from salads to seafood to sauerkraut. Brasseries originated as "micro-breweries" in Alsace. Brasserie means "brewery."

A bistrot is only open for lunch and dinner. It's menu is much more limited, often featuring daily specials. Bistro(t)s are smaller and have modest kitchens serving modest cuisine. They sell more wine than beer, and they strive to provide rapid service to customers. Bistrot food is more like food you might make at home. (The English-language spell-checker flags bistrot as an error, but in French it can be spelled with or without the final T. Either way the pronunciation is the same.)

A café, the article says, is an establishment where you go to enjoy a hot or cold beverage and spend time in conversation with friends. Cafés serve some food, including sandwiches, salads, and omelets. but it's more like snacks than full-blown meals. The article pointed out that some famous places in Paris that are called cafés are actually brasseries...


  1. So back to square one on understanding the difference!

    1. I think the distinction between brasserie and bistro(t) is pretty clear. The difference in meaning between café and restaurant is harder to describe. In the U.K., are pubs considered to be restaurants? We don't have pubs in the U.S., or at least very few.

    2. Pubs used to be bars then Drink and Driving laws made some /most of them a bit more foody. Permitted hours extended for pub opening added to most being restaurants with beer, wine and spirits. Of course, there are still places that a sandwich and a packet of crisps is about all a pub will provide. There is, I think, more money in food.

    3. In 1995 I spent a week in East Hampshire, in a village called East Meon. I remember having very good meals in two pubs/restaurants there: Ye Old George Inn and The izaak Walton Pub, Café, and Tearoom.

  2. Thanks for the explanation. I've enjoyed food and drink in all of those but never knew their definitions.

  3. And, what about a bouillon? I follow France with Véro, and she recommended Le Petit Bouillon Pharamond, and then I see that Chartier is considered a bouillon. I just found a restaurant called, Le Bouillon... its web address is cafeLeBouillon.fr, though! Ha!...that describes its all-day fare as "classic brasserie favorites", but then it's listed, for Business Type, as "bistrot, restaurant". Ha!


What's on your mind? Qu'avez-vous à me dire ?