French food is globally renowned for its rich flavor and unique combination of recipes. In fact, it was listed in the 2010 UNESCO list of intangible cultural heritages.
Most French cuisines are served with cheese or even wine, but there are several other options to choose from. The non-alcoholics may go for traditional foods served with sausages or vegetables.
Among the most popular French dishes include Baguette, Duck Confit, Flamiche, Croque Monsieur, Bouillabaisse and more. Most of these are available across the country, there are some that are only available in specific cities.
Though France has an endless list of some of the world’s most delicious foods, we have listed only the 15 French foods that are worth taking a bite of.
Top 15 French Foods To Try
The most popular food to eat in France, baguettes are consumed every 320 seconds across the country. Baguettes are the traditional French bread that is consumed by almost every French local.
The French bakers are making this bread since the 18th century. However, it became the iconic symbol of French culture in the 20th century.
The Frech locals started to eat beat in the early 19th century. The modern thin bread “baguette” got its name in 1920.
Being the traditional French bread, the locals can be seen carrying Baguettes either in purses, bags, or tucked under arms.
Every year in Paris, a Grand Prix is held “de la Baguette de Tradition Francaise”. Whoever wins the competition, supplies Baquattes to the presidential palace for a year.
Variation of Baguettes:
- Classique Baguette
- Traditional Baguette
- Half Baguette
- The Sarmentine
- Stringy Bread
Best Places To Eat Baguettes in Paris:
- Bagel Baget Cafe
- The Smiths Bakery
- Baguette Cafe
- Boulangerie 2M
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2. Croque Monsieur
Croque Monsieur is a must-try French food. It is basically a sandwich that contains a thin ham slice and melted cheese in between.
Though it generally consists of pork meat, non-pork eaters may pick from options like mutton or duck meat.
The meat is first grilled and later added to a cheese sandwich with an egg topping. Croque Monsieur is among the best French food especially when you are on a Budget.
Variation of Croque Monsieur:
- Croque Madame
- Croque Saumon
- Croque Vegetarian
- Croque Bolognese
- Croque Gagnet
- Croque Tertiflette
Best Places To Eat Croque Monsieur:
- L’Atelier Du Croque, Chasseneuil-du-Poitou
- Le Petit Cler, Paris
- L’Atelier Du Croque, Poitiers
- Cocorico, Paris
- Cafe Le Nemours, Paris
3. Bugnes Lyonnaises
Bugnes Lyonnaises is a deep-fried pastry that is generally made for carnival celebrations. It is also referred to as New Orleans-style beignets.
The word Beignet is derived from a French word that can be translated as a donut in English. It is mostly available throughout Lyon city of France
The thin pastry is covered under baking powder, then scented with lemon, and later deep fried. At last, the beignets are covered with powdered sugar for sweetness.
Best Places To Eat Bugnes Lyonnaises:
- Restaurant Bergamote, Lyon
- La Mere Bazier, Lyon
- Grum & Grum, Lyon
- Auz Lyonnism, Paris
- Boulangerie Maison Panatier, Veyrier-du-lac
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4. Beef Bourguignon
Beef Bourguignon is a traditional French stew that is prepared with beef grilled in Burgundy red wine. It is flavored with garlic with added carrot, onions and later garnished with mushroom slices.
The wine is used to easily tenderize the beef cuts, which sometimes becomes too difficult to cook with other methods. The recipe has been changed several times depending on the modern-day equipment and availability of supplies.
Best Places To Eat Beef Bourguignon in Paris:
- Le Cabanon de la Butte
- Chez Toinette
- Le Vieux Bistrot
- Le Volant Basque
- Aux Anysetiers Du Roy
Cassoulet is a bean stew cooked with duck or goose confit. It originated from the cassoulet of Toulouse, which was made with either mutton or pork meat.
The current recipe is similar but the only difference is the amount of mutton which is doubled. The mutton can sometimes be replaced with partridge or duck meat.
In France, it is available in different varieties ranging from low prices to higher prices. The most expensive one is cooked with goose fat and includes lamb meat, duck confit, or goose meat. On the other hand, the cheapest variety does not contain anything other than beans.
Best Places To Eat Cassoulet:
- L’Assiette, Paris
- Restaurant Cassoulet, Castelnaudary
- Le Trivalou, Carcassonne
- Restaurant – La Maison du Cassoulet, Castelnaudary
- Au Gascon, Toulouse
6. Duck a L’Orange
Duck a L’Orange is one of the most popular French food that contains roasted duck. It can be cooked with only duck breast but it is unmatchable compared to the centerpiece.
Though roasting a duck is necessary but what makes it unique is the orange sauce. Besides, the sauce can not be found easily even in the countries like the United States.
Best Places To Eat Duck a L’Orange:
- Les Saveurs du Marche, Orange
- Le Parvis Orange, Orange
- Le Forum, Orange
- L’Etage, Annecy
- Bighorn Bistro, Chamonix
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7. Cream Puffs
The origin of Cream Puffs goes to middle age when German and French cooks used to make puff pastries with filled cheese.
Later, it became profiteroles with chocolate or vanilla filling in the 19th century. They were generally eaten with coffee, tea, or even wine.
Today, cream puffs are easily available in most French bakeries and can also be found in supermarkets in frozen form.
Best Places To Eat Cream Puffs:
- Popelini, Paris
- Le Caramelia, Paris
- Au Chant Du Moulin, Saint-Douchard
- Carrefour City, Brive-la-Gaillarde
- E.Leclerc, Clermont Ferrand
Bouillabaisse is a classic sea fish soup and popular food in Marseille France. It is only served near the port in southern France i.e Marseille.
It requires different fish varieties that are not available easily. As there are many variations for cooking Bouillabaisse, it is still unknown which is the correct recipe.
Bouillabaisse uses multiple fishes at once and is flavored with saffron.
Best Places To Eat Bouillabaisse:
- Restaurant Michel, Marseille
- l’Epuisette, Marseille
- Restaurant Les Arcenaulx, Marseille
- Chez Camille, Ramatuelle
- La Bouillabaisse
Charcuterie was invented in France and originally consisted of every part of pork meat. Now, it has introduced other variations where it can be made with mutton, chicken, beef, or duck meat.
It is one of the most common food to eat in France, thus easily available across major French cities.
Best Places To Eat Charcuterie:
- La Cave du Fromager, Nice
- Les Fromagivores, Lyon
- Jano, Toulouse
- Les Delicatesses, Grasse
- Fromagerie Chez Delphine, Bordeaux
Not just in Northern France, Flamiche is a traditional dish in locations like Picardy and Belgium. The dish is mostly served during the winter season in some of the top French restaurants, cafes, and bistros.
Talking about the recipe, the cooks in Northern France prefer unsalted butter instead of olive oil.
It has numerous variations including bacon, cheese, pumpkin, and others.
Best Places To Eat Flamiche:
- Restaurant La Flamiche, Roye
- La Flamiche, Essarts-en-Bocage
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Louisiana Beignets are rectangle shape doughnuts that are first deep fried and served just like Bugnes Lyonnaises i.e with powdered sugar.
They are generally prepared just before consumption and are supposed to be eaten hot and fresh.
Best Places To Eat Louisiana Beignets:
- La Bossus, Paris
- Iseo, La Rochelle
- Le Pot de Lapin, Saumur
- Creperie – Restaurant – Les Tuplipes, Sarlat-la-Caneda
- Le Comptoir de Seze, Bordeaux
12. Duck Confit
Duck Confit is prepared by cooking a whole duck and each part is used for a different purpose in traditional cooking. For instance, The neck is used to prepare invigorating soup “garbure”.
The meat is first preserved in salt for 24 to 36 hours and later cooked in its own fat. Before refrigerating, other ingredients like garlic and thyme herbs are added.
At last, the meat is placed deep into the cooking dish containing rendered fat. It generally takes four to 10 hours for melting.
Duck Confit is one of the most delicious French cuisines, especially for those seeking traditional French food.
Best Places To Eat Duck Confit:
- Le Dandy, Lyon
- Bouillon Racine, Paris
- Cafe de l’Empire, Paris
- Le Pailleron, Lyon
13. Foie Gras
Foie Gras is made with duck or goose liver which is forcefully fattened for this purpose. Its taste is rich in flavor, unlike regular duck cuisine.
In France, this delicate dish is available in a range of varieties. While some of these varieties are expensive, others are available at low cost.
Some popular varieties of Foie Gras:
- Foie Gras Entier
- Block de Foie Gras
Best Places To Eat Foie Gras:
- La Ferme Au Foie Gras, Antibes
- Au Coeur du Panier, Marseille
- Le Bistrot Du Perigold, Paris
- Chez la Vieille, Paris
- Au Petit Sud-Ouest, Levallois-Perret
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14. Fondue Savoyarde
Fondue Savoyard is a regional French food prepared with melted cheese and bread. Since the 1950s, this recipe has become quite common in winter sports and alpine tourism.
The recipe dates back to Antiquity when melted goat cheese was consumed with wine. It can also be referred to as wine fondue.
Varieties of Fondue Savoyard:
- Fondue Jurassienne
- Fondue Vigneronne
- Tomato Fondue
- Fondue Bourguignonne
- Chocolate Fondue
Best Places To Eat Fondue Savoyard:
- Restaurant le Savoyard, Chambery
- Les Marmottes, Paris
- Le Freti, Annecy,
- La Petite Savoie, Bordeaux
- Le Monchu, Chamonix
The French Eclair is a famous dessert that originated in the mid-1800s. It is a cream-filled pastry with flavored ice topping.
It is first shaped into oblong just like profiterole and baked till it turns crispy. After cooling, the eclairs are filled then with whipped cream, fondant icing, and chiboust cream.
Varieties of Eclair:
- Vanilla Eclair
- Sprinkled and Frosted
- Pastry Cream Filled
- Vanilla Stuffed
- Salted Caramel
Best Places To Eat Eclair in Paris:
- Carl Marletti
- Maison Jean-Paul Hevin
- Maison Pradier
- Jacques Genin