TDH Menu vs Cycle Menu vs Du jour vs À La Carte: A guide to restaurant menus

When you are traveling, you might come across various types of food menus at restaurants. Here’s a quick guide to the most popular types of restaurant menus.

Table d’hôte or TDH Menu

Table d’hôte is the French for ‘table of the host’. And a table d’hôte or a TDH menu is a multi-course meal menu available at an all inclusive fixed price. There are a few options available at times to choose from. It’s generally cheaper than ordering individual items and a few side dishes are also thrown-in for free. The terms Prix fixe (“fixed price”), set meal and set menu are also used for TDH menu.

Thali in India, menú del día in Spain, teishoku in Japan, osterie in Italy are some variants of TDH Menu.

À La Carte

À La Carte is the exact opposite of Table d’hôte. Here you order individual items from the menu. From a smallest side dish to main course, you are charged for everything you order. It’s generall much more expensive than TDH but gives you many more choices. For a group, À La Carte might turn out cheaper.

Cycle Menu

As the name suggests, cycle menus are the menus in rotation. Cycle could be 1 week, 2 week, 1 month or more. Each day of the cycle has a specific menu. And it repeats when the cycle restarts. So in a weekly cycle Mondays will have a different menu than Tuesdays or Wednesdays. Next Monday though will have the same menu as the cycle restarts.

Du Jour Menu

Du jour simply means for a day. Hence the Du jour menu is a menu valid for only one day. It could be a special occasion, holiday or even on Sundays. Also known as ‘Today’s Special’ in some restaurants. There’s also plat du jour, which means dish of the day.

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