What is a Bistro Table?

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

A bistro table is a small table that usually has a round top and seats two to four people. It is the kind of table that is commonly found in cafes and, of course, bistros. This kind of table is commonly made out of metal but is sometimes made out of wood. The top may be made out of the same kind of material as the base. In some cases the top of a bistro table is made of glass or is decorated with a mosaic.

Bistro tables are commonly seen in coffee shops and sidewalk cafes.
Bistro tables are commonly seen in coffee shops and sidewalk cafes.

These kinds of tables are most commonly used in restaurants that offer casual dining experiences. They are also sometimes used as patio furniture or as part of an outdoor dining area of a restaurant. Metal bistro tables are most commonly used in outdoor settings because they stand up to the elements better than wooden bistro tables. In most cases, a bistro table comes in a set that includes two matching chairs. Some outdoor furniture sets come with four folding chairs.

Some furniture companies sell bistro tables of varying heights. A bistro table may be similar in height to other kinds of dining tables. Alternatively, it may be about the same height as a bar. These taller tables come in sets with bar stools or chairs that are as tall as bar stools. This kind of tall bistro table is also used in restaurants and cafes that offer casual dining.

These kinds of tables are sometimes used to offer seating for people who are attending musical events or theatrical performances. Jazz clubs, for example, sometimes use bistro tables as seating. In these cases, guests may order dinner or just drinks to enjoy as they watch the show.

One of the benefits of a bistro table is its size. Many restaurants and performance venues use them because they take up very little space. This allows the restaurant or club to serve more people and, in turn, make more profit. Also, most bistro tables are rather light and can be easily rearranged.

In domestic settings, a bistro table can be used to create seating in an area where there is limited space. A small balcony might be the perfect place for a bistro table and two small matching chairs. Some people use slightly larger bistro tables as kitchen tables, especially if the kitchen is too small for a dining table that seats four or more.

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

In addition to her work as a freelance writer for wiseGEEK, Diane is the executive editor of Black Lawrence Press, an independent publishing company based in upstate New York. She has also edited several anthologies, the e-newsletter Sapling, and The Adirondack Review. Diane has a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.A. from Brooklyn College.

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Our basement has a pool table and bar area where I have the perfect spot for a bistro table and chairs. It is a great way to add some extra seating without taking up a lot of space. When there are several people down there playing pool or visiting, it gives you more room to have places for people to sit.

The table and chairs are both light weight so they are portable and easy to move around. It seems like the bistro table is the first spot people will go when they are looking for a place to sit downstairs.


There is something so inviting about a bistro table and chairs. We don't have much space in our apartment, but have a small balcony where I have a small bistro table with two chairs. I love the ones with the floral, mosaic designs and because the balcony is covered, I don't have to worry about it being exposed to much weather.

We enjoy spending time sitting at the table and relaxing with a cold drink in the summer, and a hot drink when it is cooler outside. It also makes a great spot to play a game of cards or just sit and visit.

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