Three Rules of French Restaurants

Three Rules of French Restaurants

Three Rules of French Restaurants
French laws protect patrons

We've all heard—over and over again—how snobby French restaurants can be. So what's a traveler to do?Know the rules.

  • It's against French law to refuse a table to a solo diner or a family with young children.
  • Minimums are also illegal. If all you want is an appetizer, the restaurant has to serve it.
  • A restaurant can charge for carafes of tap water only if there is a notice to this effect on the menu (the same goes for glasses of water in cafés). And restaurants may not refuse to serve a free carafe of water and make you buy a bottle of mineral water instead.
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