BistroA bistro or bistrot , is, in its original Parisian incarnation, a small restaurant, serving moderately priced simple meals in a modest setting with alcohol. Bistros are defined mostly by the foods they serve. French home-style cooking, and slow-cooked foods like cassoulet, a bean stew, are typical.
HistoryBistros likely developed out of the basement kitchens of Parisian apartments where tenants paid for both room and board. Landlords could supplement their income by opening their kitchen to the paying public. Menus were built around foods that were simple, could be prepared in quantity and would keep over time. Wine and coffee were also served.
Today, bistros are mostly still part of the hospitality industry. They are often connected with hotels, bars and pubs. They still often serve cheaper, simplified menus or menus that are not tied to a specific cultural cuisine.