French cuisine is a true cultural heritage, rich in flavors and tradition. Renowned for its diversity and creativity, French gastronomy has conquered the taste buds of the whole world. From north to south, each region has its own specialties, so why not discover 10 French dishes that will delight your senses? Get ready for a culinary journey in France.
This savory pie, originating from the Lorraine region, is a real institution known throughout the world. The shortcrust pastry is filled with a mixture of eggs, fresh cream, bacon and grated cheese. Golden in the oven, the quiche lorraine can be eaten hot or cold, as a starter or as a main course, accompanied by a green salad. A delicious way to rediscover the childhood flavors we all love.
It’s a staple of French stews : the pot-au-feu ! This dish consists of a tasty broth of vegetables and beef, which cooks slowly for several hours. Carrots, turnips, leeks, celery and potatoes generously accompany the meat, which delicately falls off the bone. Each French grandmother also adds this or that vegetable according to her taste or the season. It is served hot, usually with gherkins and mustard, to warm bodies in winter.
Head to the ancient region of Dauphiné, near Lyon, with its famous French dish : the gratin dauphinois, a creamy and tasty potato dish. The potatoes are cut into thin slices and cooked with cream, milk, garlic and butter. The whole thing is then baked in the oven to obtain a golden and crispy crust. A delight to enjoy with meat or fish. This recipe is usually eaten in winter and you may have trouble finding it in summer.
Take a trip to South of France with ratatouille ! No, we’re not talking about the famous Pixar studio’s cooking mouse, but rather a dish based on Mediterranean vegetables. Tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, peppers, onions and garlic are simmered over low heat with herbs from Provence. The result is a delicious dish of vegetables that melt in your mouth as their flavors blend together. Ratatouille can be served hot or cold, as a side dish or as a main course with a fried egg, for example. An explosion of sunny flavors !
A must try of France South-West cuisine, cassoulet is a traditional dish that combines white beans, Toulouse sausages, duck confit and sometimes lamb. Long simmered, this copious and convivial dish is ideal for large tables. If it is rather easy to find cassoulet in the big bistros of Paris, it is often more difficult to find a good one. Don’t hesitate to ask us for advice !
Choucroute (Sauerkraut in german) is an Alsatian specialty that features fermented cabbage. There are many German-inspired dishes in Alsace and sauerkraut is no exception ! This dish is accompanied by different kinds of meat and sausages, such as ham, bacon, frankfurter and blood sausage. It is usually served with steamed potatoes and a good Alsatian beer to wash it all down. A hearty dish that will take you on a journey to Eastern France.
If there is one emblematic dish of French cuisine, it is without any doubt boeuf bourguignon ! Originating in the Burgundy region, it is a beef stew simmered in red wine with onions, mushrooms, bacon, carrots and other secrets of its own. This tasty and delicately flavoured dish is even better when reheated, as the flavours develop even more. Serve it with potatoes or pasta, and you have an unforgettable meal. Welcome to France !
Coq au vin
Here is another traditional dish that involves meat and wine : coq au vin. Rooster, or sometimes chicken, is simmered slowly in red wine with vegetables, bacon and mushrooms. The result is a tender and delicious meat, which marries perfectly with the flavors of the wine and the vegetables. A timeless classic that delights young and old alike, and yet is not found on every French table.
Bouillabaisse is a speciality of Marseille region, which focuses on sea products. This dish consists of a soup of rock fish, sometimes accompanied by shellfish and mollusks, cooked in a broth flavored with saffron, garlic, fennel and olive oil. Bouillabaisse is traditionally served with slices of toasted bread and a rouille sauce, a kind of spicy mayonnaise. A real delight for lovers of fish and Mediterranean flavors. This dish is mainly found in the south of France, in the PACA region.
To finish this top 10, we propose you a dessert among the hundreds of delicious French sweet references : the tarte Tatin. This upside-down apple pie is a classic French pastry. Caramelized apples are placed in the bottom of a mold, then covered with shortcrust or puff pastry. Once baked, the tart is turned over to reveal the golden, melting apples. The tarte Tatin is served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, you will love it for sure !
Here we are ! With our selection of 10 must-try French dishes, you’ve got plenty to enjoy ! From the traditional quiche Lorraine to the delicious bouillabaisse, these dishes will take you on a journey through the different regions of France and show you the richness of this gastronomy. If you want to discover more good things during your stay, consider booking a food tour in Paris !
So now, grab your forks and bon appétit !