France Culinary


Regional specialities

  • Tournedos(small steaks in strips of bacon)
  • Châteaubriand, entrecôte (rib steak) with béarnaise (delicate egg sauce)
  • Gigot de pré-salé(roasted or grilled leg of lamb) and flageolets (green beans) or French fries dauphines (potato croquettes)
  • Brochettes(meat or seafood skewers with mushrooms, onions and tomatoes)
  • Ratatouille Niçoise(zucchinis, eggplants, tomatoes and garlic in olive oil)
  • Pot-au-feu(Dutch oven)
  • Blanquette de Veau(veal and mushrooms in white wine and cream sauce)

In the north of France (Nord / Pas-de-Calais and Picardy), seafood is on the menu: oysters, moules (mussels), coques (cockles) and crevettes (shrimp) are very popular. In Picardy, duck pies, ficelle picardie (egg pancakes with ham and mushrooms) and Flemish aux poireaux are also served.

The Champagne-Ardennes region has ham from Reims and Sanglier (wild boar), fish specialties are ecrevisses (crayfish) and brochets (pike). Alsace-Lorraine is the land of the choucroute (sauerkraut) and the tarte flambée (onion cake). Savory and distinctive sauces characterize Breton cuisine, and shellfish are their specialty; Particularly noteworthy is the Homard à l’Américaine (lobster with cream sauce).

Lyon, the main city in the Rhône Valley, is the center of French gastronomy. A local specialty is quenelles de brochet (pike pie with crayfish sauce). Bordeaux and Lyon are fighting for the title of “French culinary capital”. Aquitaine cuisine uses a lot of goose fat. The nickname »Perigord« stands for the addition of truffles. In the Pyrenees, especially in and around Toulouse, you can find salmon and cassoulet (bean stew).

According to topb2bwebsites, France is famous for its 365 types of cheese. The best known are Camembert, Brie, Roquefort, Reblochon and the blue cheeses from Auvergne and Bresse.

Soufflé Grand Marnier, Oeufs à la Neige (meringue and vanilla sauce), Mille Feuilles (puff pastries filled with vanilla cream), Ganache (chocolate pastries), Paris-Brest (cream puffs with hazelnut cream filling), fruit cakes and pies are just some of the delicious desserts.

Useful information

The innkeeper determines the opening times; in large cities and holiday resorts, the bars are usually open all day, some until 2 a.m. There are also bars and cafes that are open at night. In smaller communities, the bars close a little earlier.

Alcohol may not be served to young people under the age of 18 Children and adolescents are only allowed to enter bars if they are accompanied by an adult and do not receive any alcoholic drinks.

Only one person pays the bill in the restaurant. It is not customary to pay separately.


10-15% is given in a restaurant or café. The tip is simply left on the table with the payment. 10-15% service charge is included in hotel bills, but it is also common here to leave a few coins on the table. Ushers, porters, bellboys, cloakroom and toilet staff, hairdressers and beauticians receive tips. Taxi drivers expect 10% of the travel expenses as a tip.

Regional drinks

Wine is by far the most popular drink among the French, the offer varies from region to region. Inexpensive wine (Vin Ordinaire) is of very different quality. There are the following categories: AC (Appellation contrôlée), VDQS (Vin delimité de qualité supérieure), Vin de Pays (country wine) and Vin de Table (table wine). France has several wine regions, the best known are Bordeaux, Burgundy, Loire, Rhône and Champagne.

The waiters help with the selection, in the expensive restaurants the sommelier or cellar master is responsible for this. If in doubt, you should try the house wine, which is usually the pride of the innkeeper and relatively inexpensive.

Coffee is always served after dinner (not with dessert), black and in small cups, unless you order café au lait (or crème).

Liqueurs such as Chartreuse, Framboise and Genepi (a special liqueur made from local herbs) are offered. Some drinks such as calvados (apple brandy) and eau-de-vie are quite strong and should be consumed with caution, especially after a few glasses of wine.

Spirits are served as “doubles”, smaller quantities should be ordered as babies. The choice of aperitifs is enormous. The pastis is typically French (e.g. Ricard and Pernod).

The Nord, Pas-de-Calais and Picardy regions do not have their own wines; beer is brewed and cider is made here. Alsace is said to brew the best beer in France, but there are also good white wines such as Riesling, Gewürztraminer and Sylvaner, as well as fruit schnapps such as Kirsch and Framboise. The wines of the Champagne region from the Montagne de Reims area are dry and sweet (Vevenay Verzy) or full-bodied and floral (Bouzy and Ambonnay).

France Culinary

Minimum age for consuming alcoholic beverages

In France you can drink alcohol from the age of 18.

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