The Disappointing Reason Tourists May Want To Avoid The Paris Restaurant TikTok Made Famous

Nowadays, popular social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok can be a great source of inspiration for all things travel. From showcasing picture-perfect landscapes across the globe to uncovering hidden gems for future travelers and teaching wanderlust-seekers how to pack for a trip in order to save space, social media can offer a firsthand glimpse that's equal parts useful and entertaining. Nonetheless, there are times when even the most carefully-curated feed gets it wrong — and Paris' trendy, Italian-inspired Bambini is the latest spot to get caught up in an "Instagram vs. reality" faux pas.

What's the issue? Well, several TikTok videos (some dating back to 2022) highlight the restaurant's impressive views of one of Paris' most iconic landmarks — the Eiffel Tower. However, other disappointed diners have taken it upon themselves to put a stop to the misconception and reveal that these views aren't always the case.

In fact, according to a recent clip uploaded by creator @carielizabethh, only one of the restaurant's two dining areas has views of the tower. Oh, and to make matters worse, it's not even the main section where most patrons are seated.

The Bambini myth, debunked

Per her video — which currently has over 410,000 views on TikTok at the time of writing — Bambini went viral in summer 2023 with creators raving about the restaurant's views. With that in mind, Cari booked a table — only to be severely disappointed. When they sat her party down, Cari noted that, unlike the videos she'd seen, the Eiffel Tower was completely obstructed (well, except for the top). Her tip? Make sure you book the correct section of the restaurant — specifically, on the street side.

People in the comments section weren't kind to Bambini, either. While some locals admitted they'd never even heard of the place — meaning it probably wasn't that popular or good — others went on to call it the Olive Garden of Paris and a plain ole' tourist trap.

Nonetheless, Cari wasn't the only traveler that visited Bambini expecting it to live up to the hype and left feeling let down. The restaurant currently has a 2.5-star rating on TripAdvisor, racking up several 1-star reviews with complaints about the food, the service, and the waitstaff.

Tips for dining with views of the Eiffel Tower

Even though Bambini's TikTok hype might have led to disappointment, there are other establishments in Paris with views of the Eiffel Tower that deliver on the experience. Some of these spots include: Monsieur Bleu, a Michelin Star restaurant that specializes in French cuisine and has a 4-star rating on TripAdvisor; Astrance, another Michelin-rated spot with a 4.5-star rating and European plates; and Ducasse sur Seine, a cruise & dine experience on the Seine with a 4-star rating. Just make sure you're ready for the price tag — great views (and food) don't come cheap!

In addition to choosing the right restaurant, there are also a few additional things to keep in mind when dining in Paris. For starters, always greet the staff — a simple bonjour or bonsoir will be well-received — before diving into any requests. Along with that, make sure you don't speak too loudly. Parisians definitely don't enjoy their meal interrupted by a bout of laughter or loud conversations coming from the table beside them.

Lastly, once you're ready to go, call your server over and ask for the bill (l'addition s'il vous plaît). If you don't, you'll be left waiting a while since servers traditionally won't bring the check automatically once you're finished eating. Oh, and remember: Tipping isn't required in Paris. Unless you've had exceptional service — in which case, a gratuity will be greatly welcomed — you're generally not expected to tip as generously like in the United States.