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36

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 ...


30

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 ...


26

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 ...


26

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, ...


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

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 ...


18

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 ...


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

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

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 - ...


14

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 ...


14

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 ...


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 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 ...


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

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 ...


11

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 ...


11

Judging a book by its cover is always fraught with missed opportunities and wasted time, but if you are interested in good food at a good price— not necessarily the best food, or the most authentic, in the best setting, or with the best company, or delivered with the best service— there are some rules I think you can follow. Some of these will be a departure ...


11

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.


11

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 ...


10

It is common practice in Italy to charge for the dish on top of the dinner. It is common practice in Portugal to charge for water, bread, olives on top of the dinner. It is common practice in the USA to charge for service and taxes on top of the dinner.


10

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 ;-)


9

foodguide.ch looks fairly reasonable to me (ratings seem to agree with my impression). Comments by owners and patrons are in German for Basel, though.


9

As mentioned here before, it depends on the country. From my point of view (and I am talking only from my own experience): in Poland - it is not expected. But if you want to, the gesture will definitely be appreciated. It's OK to leave about 2-5 PLN. Usually no need to leave more, but leaving too little can be found insulting by some. in Germany it depends ...


9

In Western countries, it's usually best to be discreet about it. When in doubt, always look around and see what the others are doing, in a normal-sized restaurant there would be always people around ordering and clamoring for attention, so get some clues from there as well. Generally, I'd usually try to make eye contact the waiter and communicate my desires ...


9

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 ...


9

Don't even try it, it may send an already obnoxious Parisien waiter over the edge. He'll likely pretend to not understand what you're saying. European portion sizes tend to be manageable for most normal people unless you go to an American themed 'restaurant' that engages in the likes of rib eating competitions.


9

I can't speak for France, but here in Italy it is normal to have a small amount / fee added to your bill when you eat in restaurants. As Mouviciel says correctly, it is something you pay to have a seat at the table, with all the necessary things. Although it is true that normally it is just 1.50 / 2 euros, it is also true that the amount of the "fee" ...


9

happycow is a good resource for vegan and vegetarian food options when traveling. here's a link to hawaii... http://www.happycow.net/north_america/usa/hawaii/



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