The bistro is one of those inventions we like the French for, although they are apparently not actually French inspired. They first appeared in Paris after the Napoleonic Wars when Russian soldiers occupied the city.
Those brave guys used to hang out quite often in restaurants and shouted “bistro, bistro” to the waiters to demand quicker service. Bistro is the Russian word for fast or quick. Since the fast food tradition has long passed to well-known American chains and local snack bars (Imbiss), there is no need to feel hassled. Bistros are now, of course, great places to take a sip, have a bite and to relax.