How to Transform Your Restaurant Into a French Bistro

How to Bring the Parisian Vibes Into Your Restaurant

Traveling has been limited since the pandemic started. But that does not stop establishments within localities from transporting you to other places. They do this by setting up an ambiance that reminds one of the streets of Asia and Europe.

One of the most popular destinations in Europe is France. Only the privileged get to travel to this beautiful, romantic country, but restaurants in the states can achieve that French bistro-style that can make people feel like they’re in France.

Defining French Bistro


French immigrants who came to the US have definitely influenced American culture. From fashion to food, the French have influenced how Americans view stylish clothes and delectable, sophisticated dishes. French restaurants now abound in the US, and even Insider makes a list of 14 of the top French restaurants in the US.

The restaurants on this list present fantastic French cooking that is both traditional and French-inspired. However, not all restaurants on this list can be classified as French bistros.

So what are French restaurants, and what are their characteristics?

In France, bistros, also calledbistrotin French, are small restaurants that feel more like a café. French bistros usually have few tables and chairs within and outside the restaurant. Mostly, coffee and other drinks are served, as well as traditional dishes. In the beginning, bistros served as modest places where workers could socialize after a day at work.

During the 19th century, French bistros were a great contrast to luxurious restaurants dotting the city of Paris. Serving traditional French food, most of the dishes offered in these bistros are products of simple, homestyle cooking and baking. Naturally, other restaurants would add their own flavor to classic French dishes.

Bistros are generally more casual compared to fine dining restaurants and have a more relaxed atmosphere. Most of them are family-owned, explaining why homestyle cooking is served in these Parisian cafes. Simple is always reliable and good; for this reason, some of the present-day French bistros have received Michelin stars.

Transforming a Restaurant Into a French Bistro


French bistros have a distinct style. If you are a budding restaurant owner planning to adopt the French bistro-style, here are some distinct elements that you should place in your restaurant.

Canopy Tents


If you’re lucky enough to walk the streets of Paris, you will immediately notice the canopy tents lining the outdoor façade of Parisian restaurants. Usually red, these tents attract customers and lure them into having a nice cup of coffee al fresco style.

Buying canopy tents is important to a French bistro owner because these tents are distinct and functional. Aside from giving that authentic French vibe, a canopy tent also protects your customers who wish to dine outdoors from the heat of the sun.

Paris Café Chairs


Aside from classic canopies found outside French bistros, Paris café chairs are distinctly French, too. These stylish chairs will immediately give that French vibe-whether you put it in a restaurant or a dining area in a home-as it has a simple, classic style that easily blends with other elements in a room.

Usually, Paris café chairs are made from a natural material, rattan. Rattan is a natural material that is both elegant and sturdy. At the same time, it is a very flexible material that can be painted with any color you prefer. Because of its flexibility, one can use the chairs and adapt them to one’s preferred overall design for the French bistro.

If you’re looking for authenticity, two French companies custom-build French café chairs: Maison Drucker and Maison Gatti. Custom-made chairs, from the word itself, are customizable. It means one can pick the model, color, and patterns for the café chair.

These two outstanding companies have expert craftsmen who handcraft the chairs and make them for hours. In a trendy French bistro, the chairs most probably have the labels Maison Drucker or Maison Gatti at the back.

French Bistro Tables


Usually small and round, traditional French bistro tables have a distinctive feature: their rolled-up decorative iron bases. The tabletop can be made in various materials, but it usually uses marble or wood. The bottom of the table is generally open so people sitting can comfortably move or stretch their legs underneath.

Completing the French Bistro Ambiance


Aside from the essential French tables and chairs, classic silverware, white table covers, and intimate mood lighting complete the French bistro look. However, all these decorations are useless without the right food and drinks to serve.

Hence, to fully complete the French bistro experience, one must also know the kind of beverages and dishes that are simple, high-quality, enjoyable, and accessible for everyone.

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