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40

As a French native, I discovered this practice in North America. I never asked for a doggy bag in France, nor have I seen someone do it. So it is likely restaurants don't even have boxes. You can obviously take out food from fast-food restaurants but for regular restaurants I don't think it is correct behaviour. I usually finish my dishes, I only order what ...


33

There's a bit of per-country variation, but the rule of thumb across Western Europe is that service charges are already included in the bill (sometimes as a separate line item, sometimes not) and it's not necessary to tip in addition to this. If you must, and you usually wouldn't unless the service is really good, rounding up a euro or two to the nearest ...


32

No. You don't tip unless it's a delivery charge. For example, if you order takeout food and have them deliver (especially common in hotels), then you'd want to tip the driver. From Wikipedia: Tips are also generally given for services provided in golf courses, casino, hotels, concierge, food delivery, taxis, spa and salons. If you're going to the ...


27

Scandinavia (where I'm from): matches the UK as described by Rory here. If the service is really good, you can tip upwards of 5-10% if you want. But please note that most entry-level jobs like cashiers, waiters, cabdriver etc. pays a lot better in Scandinavia than in the US (or frankly, most other countries), so you're not stealing anyone's lunch by not ...


27

There are some strategies that you can use: Prepare: Check websites like Tripadvisor or Yelp before you go there. If you really want to plan, write down the restaurants you want to visit. Based on the ratings and comments there, you should be able to judge if it is an authentic restaurant with a good service. Don't stick to the main street: Very often, ...


25

It's not legal to sell cat meat in Switzerland, neither raw nor cooked. The Swiss Regulation of the Confederate Department of Interior on food of animal origin, article 2 has a list of animals of which the meat can be sold or distributed as food. It is therefore unlikely that you will find a restaurant catering with cat meat. If there are any, they are at ...


23

I can reassure you that eating anywhere in London is not perceived as out of the ordinary. Any place you want to have lunch/dinner of just a coffee they will serve you with out any hesitation. London is a very busy city, individuals eating alone is common especially in the city centre where most businesses are placed.


22

I always consult Happycow. This is a website for vegetarian, vegan, and vegetarian-friendly restaurants. A good side-effect is that I end up at some very unusual and non-touristic places, and that the number of options reduced from hundreds to a handful or a few dozen at most. Perhaps you don't always want to eat vegetarian, but even as a non-vegetarian you ...


22

I'm French and I didn't know about this law, nor can I find any mention of it in a casual search. This site with teaching material for the restaurant business claims the contrary: Can we make a customer pay a supplement if he wishes to bring his own bottles? Yes, it is possible to charge a “corkage fee” if the customer wants to be served his own ...


20

London has a constant flow of business travellers who are on their own and likely to be seen dining single. Also, there are several neighbourhoods that cater to the singles crowd. As a consequence, there is no stigma attached to eating alone like there might be in other cosmopolitan cities. But more to the point, London restaurants will happily ...


19

It's common practice in Italy. It's called "coperto" (cover charge). Even though it's sometimes phrased as "pane e coperto" (bread and cover charge) but even if you don't touch the bread you are still required to pay for it. It is usually stated somewhere on the menu, although in some cases not very prominently. So this does not only happen to tourists. To ...


18

In continental Europe, use cash, nothing else. That's a simple rule you should follow, all other discussions are a distraction. There are some differences between countries but generally speaking tipping on the credit card is highly unusual, in most countries you won't find any routine way to add a tip on the bill and many people will not know what to do if ...


17

For hot food I eat way too many kebabs (a.k.a. döners) in most countries. Styles and quality varies as much by country as by shop/stand. Germany is best, Scandinavia is worst. Kebabs were not common last time I was in Spain so I took up a different diet. I would go to the supermarket and buy bread and cheap packaged chorizo. (Not the same as Mexican or ...


17

For the US in general, 15% is the commonly expected bottom line, not 10, unless you're trying to send a mean spirited message to your server. 20% is far from unheard of. In NYC in particular, 17% is probably the most common number - this is because NY Sales Tax on your restaurant bill is 8.5%, and most people just double the tax to calculate their tip - ...


16

Success! Five hours proved to be plenty of time to escape Schipol for an enjoyable Saturday evening in the city before returning to the airport to catch our flight to the UK. We stashed our carry-on luggage in the lockers located at the airport near the airport train station. A "medium" (actually quite large) locker is € 6 for 24 hours. The freedom to ...


16

In the UK you would definitely be expected to tip in a restaurant if the service is good, and the tip should be around 10% of the cost of your meal. Most reasonable sized places give you the option on the credit card reader, but cash also works.


16

I'm in Istanbul right now, and when I got here I asked a friend who has been here before. According to her, no, it's not required, but is always welcome. I have not got any noticeable negative reactions over the past week from not tipping, and very gracious thanks when I have done so, but I'm still new to the country and may have trouble 'reading' people ...


16

The classical way to go about this is to leave cash on the table. Your receipt will usually come in either a receipt-wallet (left), or a small plate of some kind (right): After you pay for the meal, drop the tip in there. Usually this means that the waiter who attended you will collect the tip, before clearing the table for the next customers. You can ...


16

The typical restaurant meal in Italy is made up of four courses: Antipasto - the starter Primo - first course (usually pasta or soup) Secondo e contorno - second course (usually meat or fish) with sides (usually vegetables) Dolce - dessert These courses can be further wrapped by serving an aperitivo (aperitif) before the meal, and coffee and ammazzacaffé ...


16

No, I wouldn't. A tip is for good service (someone bringing food drink to your table, keeping on top of your requests etc.) but with takeout you're buying a product. Its similar to going to McDonalds or Wendy's. Generally, its waiters and waitresses that get tips as they make a lower Federal minimum wage than the other staff. While some states have laws ...


14

In Europe there aren't really any rules that govern tipping as a whole. Simply reading the various answers might already have given you a good indication; the rules differ per country, and within the countries they often differ per establishment as well. As the rules differ so widely, it may be more useful to use some common sense, and try to figure it ...


14

Just some days ago, I was on the streets in Spain with a friend, and she decided to ask a policeman for a place to have lunch. The restaurant he recommended was indeed popular with policemen. There were several daily menus on offer, at low price, and food was a plenty - I could not finish the desert. Concerning asking locals: Sometimes I ask several, and it ...


13

In whole Germany (quite similiar in Austria and Suisse / Switzerland) it's quite usual to tip. As waiters are payed (salary or by hour) the tip doesn't have to be high, typically below 2 or 1.50 Euro (example: 16.80 Euro --> 18) - by every person (!). Of course it depends on the price category... Only if you're really disappointed you would let give back ...


13

Is it busy? That's generally a positive sign. Do the customers look like locals? Also a good sign, means they know of others but are still willing to come here. What does the crowd look like? You can use their clothes, manner etc to hazard a guess at their background and what they may be willing to spend on - and use that to compare with what you want. Is ...


12

You could take the Floating Dutchman, but then there is no dinner included. If you would really like to go for a bite, I would recommend going to the Nieuwmarkt/Zeedijk. There are quite some nice restaurants there. The zeedijk start right at the central station, and the nieuwmarkt is at the end of this zeedijk. Given the short time you have, you should ...


12

In your individual case, this could of course have been a ripoff. However, historically, it has been quite common practice, particularly but not only, in south western Europe (Italy, Spain, Portugal), to charge a small fee for sitting down at a restaurant. In essence, you could argue this is to cover, say, the bread and butter you receive but did not ask ...


12

McDonald or Subway are very present in Europe with cheap hamburgers or sandwiches, if you avoid fancy desserts or sodas. You can also find Kebab shops everywhere in Europe. If you want more local food, try jambon-beurre sandwich in France, pizza al taglio in Italy, or various sandwiches in Belgium. Avoid touristic places or locations with captive consumer ...


12

Well, I think it is true :-) Not every time but it depends on the waiter. It happened to me also and I am Polish. So just in case, hold the 'thank you' for a while ;-)


12

I live in Paris in France, and I never saw anyone doing that, so I'll advise you to avoid it, because you'll probably create quite an awkward atmosphere, even in a "not very classy" restaurant.


12

The other answers provide a bunch of handy tips for weeding out the absolute worst excuses for sushi, but little help for distinguishing the mediocre from the sublime. How, exactly, are you going to find out about "freshness" before you try it? No, there's only one rock-solid reliable indicator of excellent sushi: the opinion of the local Japanese expat ...



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