So you’re going to France. Mazel Tov! But what exactly should you eat while you’re there? From Michelin-starred restaurants to casual bistros, the options are endless – and overwhelming. Fear not traveller, expat or digital nomad! This guide will steer you in the right direction so that you can enjoy some of the best French food available. Bon appétit! (And if French isn’t your thing, fear not – we’ve also got a few country-specific guides waiting for you!)
1- Boeuf Bourgignon
French cuisine is world-renowned for its mouthwatering dishes and intricate flavor profiles. Popular French foods like coq au vin and ratatouille are enjoyed by foodies all over the globe. However, there is one French dish that stands out above the rest: boeuf bourguignon.
This succulent dish is made with beef that has been braised in red wine, garlic, and herbs. The result is a rich, flavorful stew that is perfect for a cold winter’s night. So next time you’re in the mood for a French feast, be sure to give boeuf bourguignon a try.
Cassoulet is a dish that originates from the south of France. It is a rich, hearty stew made with beans, meat (usually pork or duck), and sometimes sausage. The dish gets its name from the cassole, or earthenware pot, that it is traditionally cooked in.
Cassoulet is usually served with a crusty baguette on the side, making it the perfect meal for a cold winter day. While the exact recipe for cassoulet varies from region to region, one thing is certain: this dish is sure to leave you feeling full and satisfied. Bon appetit!
3- Quiche Lorraine
Quiche Lorraine is a classic French dish that consists of eggs, bacon, and cheese baked in a pastry crust. The dish is named after the region of Lorraine in northeastern France, where it is said to have originated.
Quiche is usually served for breakfast or brunch, but it can also be enjoyed as a light lunch or dinner. The dish is relatively easy to prepare, and it can be made ahead of time and reheated when needed. It is a delicious and versatile dish that is sure to please any crowd.
4- Soupe à l’oignon
When it comes to soup, there are a few tried and true favorites. Tomato soup. Chicken noodle soup. But for those looking for something a little bit different, there’s French onion soup.
This savory dish is made with onions that are slowly caramelized in butter, resulting in a deep, rich flavor. The onions are then simmered in broth and topped with a cheesy crouton. French onion soup is the perfect meal for a cold winter day, or any day when you’re craving something warm and comforting.
So next time you’re in the mood for soup, don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and give French onion soup a try. You might just find that it’s your new favorite.
5- Coq au vin
Coq au vin is a French dish made with chicken, wine, and mushrooms. The chicken is usually braised in red wine, and the dish is often served with potatoes or rice.
While the exact origins of coq au vin are unknown, it is thought to date back to the Roman Empire. In the centuries since, it has become a popular dish in France and around the world.
While there are many different ways to make coq au vin, the dish typically uses chicken thighs or legs, as they are more flavorful and less likely to dry out. Red wine is key to the dish, as it helps to tenderize the chicken and add depth of flavor.
Coq au vin is typically made with a cheaper bottle of wine, as the cooking process will mellow out any harsh flavors. When made properly, coq au vin is a rich and flavorful dish that is sure to please any crowd.
6- Salade Nicoise
If you’re looking for a salad that is sure to impress, look no further than the Salade Niçoise. This French classic is traditionally made with tomatoes, green beans, olives, tuna, and eggs, all nestled atop a bed of crisp lettuce.
But don’t let its simple ingredients fool you – the Salade Niçoise is a complex dish with a myriad of flavors and textures. The juicy tomatoes provide a sweet counterpoint to the briny olives, while the green beans add a delightful crunch.
The tuna and eggs add protein and heartiness, making the salad a meal in itself. Whether you’re serving it for lunch or dinner, the Salade Niçoise is sure to please.
7- Confit de Canard
Ah, confit de canard. The dish of champions, the nectar of the gods. What is it about this humble dish that has been known to make even the stoniest of hearts melt? Is it the succulent duck meat, cooked slowly until it falls off the bone?
Is it the rich, savory gravy, infused with herbs and spices? Or is it the simple fact that it’s just so darn good?Whatever the reason, there’s no denying that confit de canard is one of the most beloved dishes in all of France.
So next time you’re feeling down in the dumps, do yourself a favor and cozy up with a plate of this heavenly meal. Trust me, your taste buds will thank you.
If you’re looking for a tasty and healthy way to use up all those summer vegetables, look no further than ratatouille. This classic French dish is made by cooking a variety of vegetables – such as tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, and peppers – in olive oil.
The result is a flavorful and filling stew that can be served on its own or as a side dish. And best of all, ratatouille is incredibly easy to make. So if you’re looking for a delicious and healthy way to use up those summer vegetables, give ratatouille a try. Bon appetit!
9- Tarte tatin
Tarte Tatin is a French upside-down apple tart that is both simple to make and delicious to eat. The dish gets its name from the two sisters who invented it, Stephanie and Caroline Tatin.
Legend has it that the sisters were trying to make a traditional apple tart one day, but things went horribly wrong. Stephanie accidentally put the apples in the pan before the sugar and butter, and Caroline put the pastry on top of the apples instead of underneath.
Fearing that their tart would be a complete disaster, the sisters decided to bake it anyway. Surprisingly, the tart turned out to be a hit, and it soon became a signature dish at their Parisian restaurant.
Today, Tarte Tatin is enjoyed all over the world, and it continues to be a favourite among both home cooks and professional chefs.
Bouillabaisse is a Marseille specialty that typically includes a variety of seafood cooked in a flavorful broth. The dish is said to have originated in the city’s fishing district, where fishermen would cook up whatever they had caught that day.
Over time, the dish evolved to include more specific ingredients, such as rascasse, sea robin, and Conger eel. Today, bouillabaisse is often served with rouille, a mayonnaise-like sauce made with garlic, chili peppers, and breadcrumbs.
While the exact recipe for bouillabaisse varies from chef to chef, one thing is certain – this Marseille staple is sure to leave you feeling satisfied.
11- Tarte Flambée
Tarte flambée is a classic French dish that can be traced back to the 16th century. Also known as a flamiche or an Alsace pizza, it is a thin crust pizza-like dish that is traditionally topped with crème fraîche, onions, and bacon.
While the exact origins of tarte flambée are unclear, it is thought to have originated in the Alsace region of France. Today, tarte flambée is enjoyed all over France and can be found on the menus of many restaurants.
For the best results, be sure to use fresh ingredients and cook the tarte flambée on a hot stone or in a wood-fired oven. Bon appétit!
12- Gratin dauphinois
Gratin Dauphinois is a classic French dish that is perfect for a winter meal. It is made with potatoes, cream, and cheese, and it can be garnished with herbs or bacon.
The dish gets its name from the Dauphiné region of France, where it is said to have originated. The potatoes are usually sliced very thin, so that they cook evenly and absorb the flavors of the cream and cheese.
Gratin Dauphinois can be served as a side dish or as a main course. It is usually accompanied by a green salad and a glass of white wine.
If you’re looking for a dish that’s guaranteed to get your taste buds tingling, then look no further than tartiflette. This French specialty is made with potatoes, bacon, and onion, all smothered in a delicious cheese sauce. The cheese used for the dish is Reblochon
The result is a dish that’s both rich and hearty, making it the perfect comfort food for a cold winter’s night. However, don’t let its simplicity fool you – tartiflette is surprisingly tricky to make.
Getting the balance of flavours right is essential, and there’s a fine line between the onions being perfectly cooked and turning into mush. But if you can master this dish, then you’ll be sure to impress your dinner guests. So what are you waiting for? Grab your apron and get cooking!
14- Fondue Bourguignonne
Fondue Bourguignonne is a French dish that is perfect for fancy dinner parties – or any meal where you want to impress your guests. The dish gets its name from the Burgundy region of France, where it is said to have originated.
The classic version of the dish features beef that is cooked in hot oil, but modern versions may also use chicken or pork. Fondue Bourguignonne is typically served with a variety of dipping sauces, such as horseradish or mustard.
While the dish may seem complex, it is actually quite simple to prepare. With a little planning and some help from your guests, you can enjoy a delicious Fondue Bourguignonne that is sure to impress.
15- Fondue Savoyarde
Fondue Savoyarde originates from the Savoie region of the French Alps. It is traditionally made with Gruyere and Emmental cheeses, garlic, white wine, and a little bit of cornstarch to thicken it up. While the dish may sound simple, it actually takes quite a bit of skill to make a good Fondue Savoyarde.
The key is to slowly melt the cheeses over low heat, stirring constantly so that they don’t burn or stick to the pot. Once the cheese is melted, add the garlic and white wine and continue to stir until the mixture is smooth.
Then, add the cornstarch and continue to cook until the fondue is thick and creamy. Serve with chunks of crusty bread for dipping.
If you’ve ever been to a Fondue party, then you know that raclette is the best part. This dish consists of melted cheese that is poured over boiled potatoes, pickled vegetables, and cured meats.
It’s rich, indulgent, and best enjoyed with friends. And while it may sound complicated to make, raclette is actually quite simple. All you need is a good quality cheese, some potatoes, and a little bit of time.
So next time you’re looking for a unique dish to serve at your next dinner party, give raclette a try. Your guests will thank you for it.
Alsace is a region in France that is well-known for its delicious food and wines. One of the most iconic dishes from Alsace is choucroute, a dish made with sauerkraut.
Choucroute is usually served with pork, sausage, and potatoes, and it is often accompanied by a glass of Alsace white wine. While choucroute may not be the most glamorous dish, it is certainly one of the most delicious.
Any fan of sauerkraut will love choucroute, and even those who are not fans of sauerkraut will be won over by the flavor of this dish. If you find yourself in Alsace, be sure to try choucroute – you won’t be disappointed!
A Croque-Monsieur is a French sandwich that typically consists of ham and cheese between two slices of bread, with a béchamel sauce served on top. However, there are many regional variations of this dish, including the Alsatian version, which substitutes sauerkraut for the béchamel sauce.
The Alsatian Croque-Monsieur is a popular choice for those looking for a hearty and filling meal. It is also a great way to use up leftover sauerkraut, making it a thrifty option as well. Whether you enjoy your Croque-Monsieur with béchamel or sauerkraut, this dish is sure to satisfy your hunger.
19- Blanquette de veau
Blanquette de Veau is a delicious French dish that is often overlooked in favor of more famous dishes like coq au vin or boeuf Bourguignon. Nevertheless, this veal stew is a deliciously creamy and flavorful meal that is well worth seeking out.
The dish gets its name from the white veal that is traditionally used as the main ingredient. However, nowadays, many chefs also include mushrooms and onions in the stew to add extra flavor.
The veal is cooked until it is meltingly tender, and the finished dish is usually served with rice or potatoes. So if you’re ever in the mood for a truly comforting and satisfying meal, be sure to give Blanquette de Veau a try. Bon appétit!
If you’re looking for a unique French culinary experience, look no further than the escargot. These snail Gangsters are a delicacy in many parts of the world, and their popularity is only rising. If you’re brave enough to try them, you’ll be rewarded with a rich, meaty flavor that is unlike anything else.
Just be careful not to get too attached to your escargot friends – they may be delicious, but they’re not going to be around for long!