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The French take their food very seriously and eating out is a popular pastime. There are many types of eateries to choose from, including restaurants, brasseries, creperies, bistros, cafes and wine bars. A basic menu will consist of entrées (starters), plats (main courses), cheeses and desserts; cheese is often served as a separate course either before or instead of a sweet dessert.
Most places will offer a ‘plat du jour’ (dish of the day) or prix fixe / formule (set price menu), which can often be a good choice both for value and for experiencing the local cuisine. Bread and tap water are normally included free of charge with any meal. Lunch is normally served between noon and 2pm and dinner between 7.30pm and 10.30pm.