Definition of bistro in English:



  • A small, inexpensive restaurant.

    • ‘You can stay in a hotel or inn in Old Quebec, enjoy a myriad of restaurants, bistros, sidewalk cafes, and yet you are only 40 minutes away from the great outdoors.’
    • ‘Together they roam Paris, from cafe to cafe, neighborhood to neighborhood, restaurants, bars, bistros, the nightlife and underbelly of Montmartre.’
    • ‘Adjacent to the main pool area will be one of the largest seafood restaurants and bistros on Chaweng Beach, with the opening of a 250 seat, 1,200 sq m Talay Boat Restaurant.’
    • ‘It's got a lot of new bistros - which used to be lacking - and the town itself is looking better than it ever did.’
    • ‘Almost everywhere in the country, from candlelit bistros to high-end restaurants, dining is a celebration of traditional fare dressed in innovative flavors.’
    • ‘But yesterday Scarborough councillors voted to allow drinking outside restaurants and bistros in the Huntriss Row area off the town centre for a six-month trial.’
    • ‘The association contacted 500 restaurants, bistros and food-serving pubs in nine UK cities, posing as customers with a guide dog hoping to make a booking.’
    • ‘For evening meals, there were literally hundreds of bistros and restaurants on our doorstep, although it was a struggle to find anywhere that catered for vegetarians.’
    • ‘The ground floor, first floor and part of the second floor would contain bars, restaurants, bistros, lounges and a dancing area.’
    • ‘Why deny the business to all those chic, downtown restaurants and bistros?’
    • ‘The bars, restaurants, bistros and nightclubs are teeming with them, all spending easily.’
    • ‘Many of them opened bistros or little restaurants with big ideas and some dog-eared paperbacks.’
    • ‘Over the past two decades, windsurfing has made Hood River the fabled adventure hot spot that it is, and the jocks have brought a taste for bistros and brasseries.’
    • ‘Edinburgh boasts more restaurants per capita than anywhere else in Scotland, as well as plenty of pubs, cafes, and bistros.’
    • ‘Every season throws up a new clutch of restaurants, but my advice is to eat where the locals do at the handful of cafes / bistros that never go out of style.’
    • ‘After walking several blocks and passing well over a dozen pavement cafes and bistros, we found a place with the dry sausage he desired on their menu.’
    • ‘Just ahead, we'll find out about efforts to get the cafes and the bistros back in business.’
    • ‘Results were consistent whether the venue was an upscale bistro or a university cafeteria.’
    • ‘On average, so the guide says, a new restaurant, cafe or bistro is opening in one of the cities each week.’
    • ‘Collector's Cafe, a Myrtle Beach gallery and restaurant modeled after the art bistros of 17 th-century Europe, is an oasis of sophistication in a vast playground of lowbrow beach fun.’


1920s French; perhaps related to bistouille, a northern colloquial term meaning ‘bad alcohol’, perhaps from Russian bystro ‘rapidly’.



/ˈbiːstrəʊ/ /ˈbɪstrəʊ/