If you’re planning a trip to France, you’re in for a treat because the country is home to some of the most delicious local delicacies in the world. From hearty stews and sumptuous desserts to cheese-laden dishes and mouth-watering pastries, french food will satisfy everyone’s taste buds.
So why not try out some of the best French local delicacies there? Not only will you enjoy the fantastic flavors France has to offer, but you’ll also get a real taste of French culture.
Don’t worry if you’re not packing your travel essentials and heading to France anytime soon; you can always prepare these dishes at home. This list features the ingredients you need to make these iconic French dishes in your kitchen.
A French cuisine staple, fondue is melted cheese and a white wine dish traditionally served in a pot over a small burner. The pot is shared among diners, who dip bread or vegetables into the cheese using long forks.
Fondue originated in the Swiss Alps but has become a popular dish in France, especially in the winter. There are many regional fondue variations, but Gruyere and Emmental cheese, garlic, and white wine are the most common for this fantastic french food.
Fondue is a high-fat dish, with a typical serving containing over 200 calories. So, if you’re on a weight loss regimen, you may want to enjoy this dish in moderation. However, fondue does offer some nutritional benefits, as it is a good source of protein and calcium.
A seafood stew from Marseille, bouillabaisse is typically made with various fish, shellfish, and vegetables. The most common ingredients include rascasse (a type of redfish), sea robin, mullet, monkfish, and John Dory.
Bouillabaisse is usually served with garlic mayonnaise, rouille, and a piece of toasted bread. It’s a hearty dish that’s perfect for a winter’s day – and its unique flavor will leave you wanting more.
The benefits of bouillabaisse are many and is an iconic french food dish. Fish is an excellent source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins A and D. As bouillabaisse usually contains various seafood, you’ll get a good range of nutrients.
Cassoulet traditional dish is from southwest France; it is a rich casserole made with white beans, pork, sausage, and duck. The ingredients are slowly cooked together in a clay pot, allowing the flavors to meld and create a truly unique dish.
Cassoulet is usually served with a side of green vegetables, and it’s the perfect meal to share with family and friends. The nutritional benefits of cassoulet are also impressive – the dish is high in protein and fiber, and it’s a good source of vitamins and minerals.
In France, consider trying the three types of Cassoulet – Toulouse, the Carcassonne, and the Castelnaudary. These are regional variations of the dish, each with its unique flavor.
4. Tarte Tatin
This upside-down apple tart is a French classic, and it’s sure to tantalize your taste buds. The dish is made by covering a baking dish with sliced apples, then topping them with dough and sugar before baking. Once the tart is cooked, it’s inverted onto a plate, so the apples are on top.
You can dish Tarte Tatin with crème Fraiche or ice cream, and it’s the perfect dessert to enjoy after a meal. The dish is also relatively easy to make, so try your hand at it whether in France or at home.
This delicious dessert is named after the creators, Stéphanie and Caroline Tatin.
5. Poulet Basquaise
Poulet Basquaise is a French food dish with chicken, peppers, tomatoes, and onions. The chicken is cooked in a Basque-style tomato sauce (Piperade), which gives it a distinct flavor. Also, the recipe contains rare breeds of chicken grown in the Basque region of France.
You can have Poulet Basquaise with rice, potatoes, or bread; it goes well with all of them. The dish is also healthy, as chicken is a lean source of protein, and the vegetables provide vitamins and minerals.
The dish is perfect for a family meal or dinner party, so try it out the next time you entertain guests.
6. Quiche Lorraine
This savory egg and bacon tart is a French specialty, and it’s perfect for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The dish is made with eggs, bacon, cream, and cheese, and it’s usually baked in a pastry crust.
You can add other ingredients to the quiche Lorraine, such as mushrooms, onions, or spinach. This dish comes from the region of Lorraine in northeastern France, a popular menu item in French cafes and restaurants.
There’s also a good chance they will serve you quiche at a party during your stay in France.
7. Chocolate Mousse
A chocolate mousse is a light, airy dessert made with whipped cream and chocolate. It’s a popular dish in France, made with either dark or milk chocolate.
The taste of chocolate mousse is heavenly, and it’s the perfect dessert to enjoy after a meal. Whether you’re visiting France or not, this french food dessert is worth trying. And you don’t have to be a skilled chef to make it – the chocolate mousse is relatively easy to prepare.
You can make your chocolate mousse by following a recipe or using a chocolate mousse mix.
Brioche is a French bread made with eggs, butter, and milk. It’s a rich and fluffy bread that’s perfect for breakfast and served with jam, honey, or Nutella.
Brioche is also used in various sweet and savory dishes, such as brioche à tête (a type of meatloaf) and pain perdu (French toast). You can find brioche at most bakeries in France, and it’s worth trying.
This bread might not look special, but it tastes richer than your average loaf, giving you a more intense flavor experience. It is a staple french food item. Give it a try!
9. Croque Monsieur
Croque monsieur is a French sandwich made with ham, cheese, and bread. The sandwich is then grilled or fried, and it’s often served with a side of salad.
Croque monsieur is a popular dish in France, and you will find it in most cafes and restaurants. It’s also a great option if you’re looking for a quick and easy meal to grab on the go. This sandwich is filling and satisfying, and it will give you the energy you need to power through.
Visit any restaurant during your stay in France, and you will find Croque monsieur waiting to satisfy your sandwich craving.
When you think of french food, macarons immediately come to mind. Macarons are French cookies made with almond flour, egg whites, and sugar. The cookies are then filled with buttercream, ganache, or jam, and they’re often decorated with food coloring.
Macarons are a popular dessert in France, and they come in a variety of flavors. The most popular flavors include chocolate, strawberry, raspberry, and pistachio.
If you’re visiting France, you must try a macaron (or two). These cookies are light and airy, and they melt in your mouth. If you’re traveling with kids, they’ll love them too.
Crêpes is a French pancake with wheat flour, milk, eggs, and butter. The batter is then cooked in a frying pan, and the crêpes are usually served with sugar and lemon.
However, you can also fill your crêpes with savory ingredients, such as ham, cheese, and vegetables. Crêpes are popular street food in France, and they’re often eaten for breakfast or as a snack.
These pancakes are thin and delicate, and they have a delicious flavor. So, if you’re visiting from the US, don’t expect your regular pancakes – these are an entirely different french food item.
Pâté is a French food made with ground meat, fat, and spices; the dish may contain pork, chicken, or duck.
Pâté is often served as an appetizer and accompanied by bread and pickles. This dish is perfect for special occasions, and it’s sure to impress your taste buds. If you’re looking for a unique and flavorful dish to try, then pâté is it. It might not look like much, but it tastes incredible.
You can always buy a jar of pâté to take home with you when it’s time to leave France. You can find pâté in most supermarkets and delis in France.
13. Potatoes Dauphinoise
Potatoes dauphinoise is a French gratin made with potatoes, cream, and cheese. The potatoes are thinly sliced and cooked in cream until they’re tender and golden brown. It’s a rich and decadent dish perfect for a winter meal.
This dish can accompany almost any main course, but it is most commonly served with roast chicken and seasonal vegetables, baked salmon or halibut, and hearty meats such as steak or beef short ribs.
14. Boeuf Bourguignon
Boeuf bourguignon is a French stew that’s made with beef, red wine, vegetables, and flavored with onions, garlic, carrots, and garnished with mushrooms.
The beef and other garnishings are slowly cooked in the red wine until it’s tender, and the juices create a thick, brown sauce. It is usually served with potatoes, white rice, or other hearty sides. You will surely enjoy this French classic, so give it a try the next time you’re in France!
This dish originates from the Burgundy region of France, and it gets its name from the French words “boeuf” (beef) and “Bourgogne” (Burgundy). The main ingredients of this dish are native to Burgundy, which is why it’s often referred to as “Boeuf à la Bourguignonne.”
The Best French Food
These are just some of the best French foods to try during your stay in France. There are many other delicious dishes to choose from, but these 14 should be at the top of your list. From crêpes and macarons to boeuf bourguignon and potatoes dauphinoise, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. So, bon appétit!
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock /Anna_Pustynnikova.