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I’ll never forget the first time I realized I had to forget my American sense of what was correct when it comes to restaurants, and dogs allowed in restaurants. I was living in Nice, France and I was ordering a sandwich from a local vendor. It was a hot day and there was no air conditioning in his place. He was sweating profusely which was apparent by the sweat dripping from his head and staining his hat. The line for his sandwiches and salads was really long and no one seemed to notice or care that the same gloveless hand he wiped his head with was the same hand he used to make the food. He did wipe his hand on his towel in front of him but that didn’t matter to me. My stomach started churning and I thought I was going to be sick. But then I looked at everyone else and not one person was reacting and then it hit me, “This would never happen in Los Angeles but I’m not in Los Angeles anymore. People think differently here and you better get it together or you will starve.”

Then a few weeks later my wonderful host mom who made the most scrumptious meals had her dog in the kitchen while she was cooking. She didn’t see anything wrong with it and my French wasn’t good enough to ask her anything about it. I quickly had to realize that I was in her house and I had to deal with what she considered normal. I can’t say that I ever got comfortable with the dog in the kitchen but I couldn’t do anything to change it so I had to deal with it or not eat and if you knew how great her meals were, you would know why that wasn’t going to happen.

 After I lived in Nice I moved to Paris and I was sitting eating breakfast with a girlfriend when all of a sudden I heard a dog bark and I didn’t even flinch. Then after a few minutes I stopped and thought to myself, “Wow how things have changed. I don’t even care about that big dog behind the bar in this restaurant. Cool!”

Fast forward ten years to these pictures below. I was in Paris and I didn’t even react when I saw this dog while we were eating. The dog was in the kitchen and the two American friends I was with were completely shocked to see that dogs are allowed in restaurants. So I’m sharing these pics with you so that if you visit Paris and you happen to see a dog in the kitchen, I don’t want you to be alarmed. It is more normal than you realize.

Have you ever seen anything in a restaurant that completely shocked you?

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Some people travel. Roni IS travel. For over 20 years she has been traveling the world and now shares her unique insight with her worldwide audience on her blog, Whether you have never gotten on a plane or are a seasoned traveler, the expertise and insider knowledge she shares on her blog will help you make your travels an adventure. No where else can you find the uniquely helpful ins and out given to you by someone who has lived overseas for 4 years, speaks fluent English, French and Spanish, and works for a major airline. And guess what? She’s also a licensed elementary teacher and has an MBA.


  1. Okay wow! I would never have thought that dogs would be allowed in a restaurant. Like you, I would be completely disgusted! Its crazy how different things are in different areas.

  2. I remember the first time I saw this in Paris. But for me it was more of amazement, particularly because I noticed immediately that the dogs were A LOT better trained and behaved than children are in restaurants here in the US! So guess what? Now 10 years later, I am traveling with my little pooch to France and Italy and she comes in restaurants and cafés with me all the time!

  3. Thanks for the post, and thanks for adapting, rather than doing what some folks might have done and making yourself look like a stereotypical American.

    Dogs in restaurants–yet another reason I can’t wait to move to France.

    • It was an adjustment but I knew that if I wanted to really immerse myself in French culture I would have to adapt to the way they do things. And you’ll love living in France. It’s an awesome country.


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