All white bread variants keep for only a short time and must be eaten the same day. Hence bakers bake at least twice a day.


The famous baguette: a long, thin loaf


Variants of the baguette : la ficelle even thinner, la flûte

Pain de campagne or Pain complet: made from whole grain which keeps relatively well.

Unusual foods

unusual foods
Beef bowels

tripes is served either "a la mode de caen" with a white wine sauce, named after the town in normandy or "a la catalane" with a slightly spiced tomato sauce

unusual foods

Contrary to stereotype, snails and frog legs are quite infrequent foods in France, with many French people enjoying neither, or sometimes having never even tasted them. Quality restaurants sometimes have them on their menu: if you're curious about trying new foods, go ahead.

unusual foods
Bourgogne snails

Most of the taste of Bourgogne snails escargots de bourgogne comes from the generous amount of butter, garlic and parsley in which they are cooked. They have a very particular spongy-leathery texture that is what is liked by people who like snails. Catalan style snails "cargols" are made a completely different way, and taste much weirder.

unusual foods

Let us also cite:

unusual foods
Rillettes sarthoises

Also known as rillettes du mans. a sort of potted meat, made from finely shredded and spiced pork. a delicious speciality of the sarthe area in the north of the pays de la loire and not to be confused with rillettes from other areas, which are more like a rough pate.

unusual foods
Beef bone marrow

os ã  moelle. generally served in small quantities, with a large side. so go ahead: if you don't like it, you'll have something else to eat in your plate.

unusual foods
Veal sweetbread

ris de veau, is a very fine and generally expensive delicacy, often served with morels, or in more elaborates dishes like "bouchees a la reine".

unusual foods
Frogs' legs

Have a very fine and delicate taste with flesh that is not unlike chicken. they are often served in a garlic dressing and are no weirder to eat than, say, crab.

unusual foods

Are sausages made from tripe, a specialty of lyon

unusual foods

Are seasoned and grilled pork tripe from the bordeaux region

unusual foods
Beef tongue

langue de bå“uf and beef nosemuseau and veal head tãªte de veau are generally eaten cold but thoroughly cooked! as an appetizer.

unusual foods

huã®tres are most commonly served raw in a half shell. they are often graded by size, no1 being the largest and most expensive.

unusual foods

sea urchins for those who like concentrated iodine.

unusual foods

pronounced ser-vell, lamb brain.

Regional dishes

regional dishes
Boeuf Bourguignon

burgundy : slow cooked beef with gravy

regional dishes

Every French region has dishes all its own. These dishes follow the resources game, fish, agriculture, etc of the region, the vegetables cabbage, turnip, endives, etc which they grow there. Here is a small list of regional dishes which you can find easily in France. Generally each region has a unique and widespread dish usually because it was poor people's food:

regional dishes

Or sauerkraut in alsace : stripped fermented cabbage + pork

regional dishes
Fondue Savoyarde

central alps : melted/hot cheese with alcohol

regional dishes
Fondue Bourguignonne

in burgundy : pieces of beef in boiled oil, usually served with a selection of various sauces.

regional dishes

central alps : melted cheese & potatoes/meat

regional dishes

Boiled beef with vegetables

regional dishes

in south west : beans, duck, pork & sausages

regional dishes
Gratin dauphinois

rhone-alpes : oven roasted slices of potatoes

regional dishes

auvergne : melted cheese mixed with a puree of potatoes

regional dishes

fish + saffron marseille and french riviera. don't be fooled. a real bouillabaisse is a really expensive dish due to the amount of fresh fish it requires. be prepared to pay at least €30/persons. if you find restaurants claiming serving bouillabaisse for something like €15/persons, you'll get a very poor quality.

regional dishes

savoie reblochon cheese, potatoes and pork or bacon.

regional dishes
Confit de Canard

landes : duck confit, consists of legs and wings bathing in grease. that grease is actually very healthy and, with red wine, is one of the identified sources of the so-called "french paradox" eat richly, live long.

regional dishes
Foie Gras

landes : the liver of a duck or goose. although usually quite expensive, foie gras can be found in supermarkets for a lower price because of their purchasing power around the holiday season. it is the time of year when most of foie gras is consumed in france. it goes very well with champagne.

regional dishes

Cooking and drinking is a notable part of the French culture, take time to eat and discover new dishes...

With its international reputation for fine dining, few people would be surprised to hear that French cuisine can certainly be very good. Unfortunately, it can also be quite disappointing; many restaurants serve very ordinary fare, and some in touristy areas are rip-offs. Finding the right restaurant is therefore very important - try asking locals, hotel staff or even browsing restaurant guides for recommendations as simply walking in off the street can be a hit and miss affair.

There are many places to try French food in France, from three-star Michelin restaurants to French "brasseries" or "bistros" that you can find at almost every corner, especially in big cities. These usually offer a relatively consistent and virtually standardised menu of relatively inexpensive cuisine. To obtain a greater variety of dishes, a larger outlay of money is often necessary. In general, one should try to eat where the locals do for the best chance of a memorable meal. Most small cities or even villages have local restaurants which are sometimes listed in the most reliable guides. There are also specific local restaurants, like "bouchons lyonnais" in Lyons, "crêperies" in Brittany or in the Montparnasse area of Paris, etc.

Chinese, Vietnamese, even Thai eateries are readily available in Paris, either as regular restaurants or "traiteurs" fast-food. They are not so common, and are more expensive, in smaller French cities. Many places have "Italian" restaurants though these are often little more than unimaginative pizza and pasta parlors. You will also find North African Moroccan, Algerian, Tunisian as well as Greek and Lebanese food. The ubiquitous hamburger eateries US original or their French copies are also available; note that McDonalds is more upmarket in France than in the US.

In France, taxes 7 per cent of the total in restaurants and service usually 15 per cent are always included in the bill, so anything patrons add to the bill amount is an "extra-tip". French people usually leave one or two coins if they were happy with the service.

Fixed price menus seldom include beverages. If you want water, waiters will often try to sell you mineral water Évian, Thonon or fizzy water Badoit, Perrier, at a premium; ask for a carafe d'eau for tap water, which is free and safe to drink. Water never comes with ice in it unless so requested and water with ice may not be available.

As in other countries, restaurants tend to make a large profit off beverages. Expect wine to cost much more than it would in a supermarket.

Ordering is made either from fixed price menus prix fixe or à la carte.

A typical fixed price menu will comprise:

appetizer, called entrées or hors d'œuvres

main dish, called plat

dessert dessert or cheese fromage

Sometimes, restaurants offer the option to take only two of three steps, at a reduced price.

Coffee is always served as a final step though it may be followed by liquors. A request for coffee during the meal will be considered strange.

Not all restaurants are open for lunch and dinner, nor are they open all year around. It is therefore advisable to check carefully the opening times and days. A restaurant open for lunch will usually start service at noon and accept patrons until 13:30. Dinner begins at around 19:30 and patrons are accepted until 21:30. Restaurants with longer service hours are usually found only in the larger cities and in the downtown area. Finding a restaurant open on Saturday and especially Sunday can be a challenge unless you stay close to the tourist areas.

In a reasonable number of restaurants, especially outside tourist areas, a booking is compulsory and people may be turned away without one, even if the restaurant is clearly not filled to capacity. For this reason, it can be worthwhile to research potential eateries in advance and make the necessary reservations to avoid disappointment, especially if the restaurant you're considering is specially advised in guide books.

A lunch or dinner for two on the "menu" including wine and coffee will cost you as of 2004 €70 to €100 in a listed restaurant in Paris. The same with beer in a local "bistro" or a "crêperie" around €50. A lunch or dinner for one person in a decent Chinese restaurant in Paris can cost as little as €8 if one looks carefully.

Outside of Paris and the main cities, prices are not always lower but the menu will include a fourth course, usually cheese. As everywhere beware of the tourist traps which are numerous around the heavy travelled spots and may offer a nice view but not much to remember in your plate.

dietary restrictions

Vegetarianism is not as uncommon as it used to be, especially in larger cities. Still, very few restaurants offer vegetarian menus, thus if you ask for something vegetarian the only things they may have available are salad and vegetable side dishes.

There may still be confusions between vegetarianism and pesce/pollotarianism. Vegetarian/organic food restaurants are starting to appear. However, "traditional" French restaurants may not have anything vegetarian on the menu, so you may have to pick something "à la carte", which is usually more expensive.Veganism is still very uncommon and it may be difficult to find vegan eateries.


Pastries are a large part of French cooking. Hotel breakfasts tend to be light, consisting of tartines pieces of bread with butter or jam or the famous croissants and pains au chocolat, not dissimilar to a chocolate filled croissant but square rather than crescent shaped.

Pastries can be found in a pâtisserie but also in most boulangeries.


France is certainly THE country of cheese, with nearly 400 different kinds. Indeed, former president General Charles De Gaulle was quoted as saying "How can you govern a country which has 365 varieties of cheese?".

Here is a far from exhaustive list of what one can find:


Breakfast in France isn't the most important meal of the day and is usually very light. The most typical breakfast consists of a coffee and a croissant or some other "viennoiserie", but since it implies going to the baker's store early in the morning to buy fresh croissant, it's typically reserved for somewhat special occasions. On normal days most people have a beverage coffee, tea, hot chocolate, orange juice and either toasts "tartines" made of baguette or toast bread with butter and jam/honey/Nutella that can be dipped in the hot beverage, or cereals with milk. People who eat healthy may go for fruits and yoghurt. As a general rule, the french breakfast is mostly sweet, but everything changes and you can have salty breakfasts everywhere today.