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Short History of French Restaurants

For the first real restaurant, we must naturally turn to France. In 1765, a soup vendor named Boulanger opened a shop offering diners a choice of dishes rather than the then standard "ordinary" or "table d'hôte" dinner.

The sign above Boulanger's door read "Restaurants," meaning "restoratives," referring to the hot soups and broths available inside.

The term restaurant or a derivative, was eventually adopted by many other nations and languages, although the word was not generally used in England until the late nineteenth century.

Hungry Parisians so enjoyed the new eating place that hundreds of similar establishments began springing up around the city, one offering close to 200 different meat dishes daily.

The oldest restaurant that still operate today in Paris is Le Procope (photo on the top Voltaire, Rousseau and Diderot were faithful regulars and the "Encyclopédie" was created under the coffee's crystal Chandeliers. In this place, Benjamin Franklin completed the American Constitution.

Today, you’ll find more than 3000 places to eat in Paris, from the most expensive establishments to the budget oriented places.

The Historic Restaurants Of Paris

A Guide to Century-Old Cafes' Bistros and Gourmet Food Shops (City Secrets)

What a great little book this is. If you want to learn something really interesting about one of the food capitals of the world, there's no better way than to visit its historic restaurants. "The Historic Restaurants of Paris" provides a district by district inventory of the city's eateries that have figured, one way or the other, in its social, political and cultural history.

Each listing includes establishments that are open on Sunday, those that sell items suitable for gifts, those with garden dining, and the author’s personal favorites.

Charming anecdotes relating to each shop and restaurant’s history and celebrated former patrons are an extra bonus.

Dinning in Paris