General Discussion

Brasseries v. bistros...what's the difference?


Live your best food life.

Sign up to discover your next favorite restaurant, recipe, or cookbook in the largest community of knowledgeable food enthusiasts.
Sign Up For Free
General Discussion 3

Brasseries v. bistros...what's the difference?

bostonman | Feb 8, 2007 01:30 PM

So, this thought came to me after reading the post on polidor/balzar, etc, and reading rjkaneda's well written response.

I suppose after being in paris pushing 10x, i'm not quite clear what defines a 'brasserie'. I had thought something like Le Select would be considered a traditional brasserie, but I can see how the response makes sense.

So, how would you guys differentiate between the two types of places? I think i thought it had to do with the size of the space....hours open, outdoor capacities, etc (as in le select!) and generally a higher quality of food than an average corner cafe... Or, are the words brasserie and cafe sort of interchangeable? Is Le Dome a brasserie? Closiers des lilas a large cafe?

I guess I understand a traditional 'bistro' (polidor)....not really any outdoor space in general? smaller space? more defined/smaller menu?

Here in the states, the words brasserie/bistro/cafe are thrown around very loosely...all claiming to have authenticity....i'd love to get on my high horse and tell them otherwise.....


Want to stay up to date with this post?

Recommended From Chowhound