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French Food: Top 12 French Dishes You Should Try on Your Trip to France

By Two Monkeys Travel - Contributor May 19th, 2021 Posted in Europe Travel Blog, Restaurant and Recipes, Travel Blog No comments

It is undeniable that France is very popular for its tourist destinations. Not only iconic places, but France is also famous for its fashion and culinary industry. French dishes even often regarded as the most delicious food in the world.

European Cuisine 12 French Dishes to Spoil Your Taste Buds
Photo by Paul Rysz

French dishes are not only able to satisfy your tongue, but also your eyes. Its beautiful and artistic presentation made us to not want to eat it. The delicious taste makes us want to go back to France over and over again. However, you should know that culinary tours in France are not cheap, especially if you go to fancy restaurants. But these prices are worth the quality of the dishes served. Here we have a list consisting of 12 types of French dishes that you have to try when you’re visiting this country.

1. Soupe À L’oignon

European Cuisine 12 French Dishes to Spoil Your Taste Buds
Photo by Hotel du Vin & Bistro CC BY-ND 2.0

Soupe A L’Oignon means French Onion Soup in English, and it’s a French staple appetizer. This soup is not only using onions but also meat stock or sometimes just plain water. Eggs or flour uses to thicken the soup. The dish usually served along with cheese and croutons.

Even though this dish is French cuisine, but American made it more commercial. In the 1960s period, Americans adored French food, and the popularity of Soupe A L’Oignon skyrocketed. Many restaurants in France serve this cuisine. If you are in Paris, try coming to Le Marché. This restaurant is not too big but serves Soupe A L’Oignon with a taste you will never forget.

Le Marché is in 2, place du Marché-Sainte-Catherine – 4e.

2. Coq Au Vin

European Cuisine 12 French Dishes to Spoil Your Taste Buds
Photo by jules CC BY 2.0

This is probably one of the best French dishes. Meat stews, who can refuse it? Coq Au Vin is a French-style stew that uses rooster or chicken cooked with red wine, lardons, mushrooms, and garlic. There are several types of Coq Au Vin, and it varies in each region in France. The difference is the type of wine used to cook meat.

The meat will be marinated in wine until the meat becomes tender. Then it will be seasoned with salt, pepper, thyme, parsley, and bay leaf. Almost all restaurants in France, especially Paris, provide this menu. Visit the La Jacobine for the best taste of Coq Au Vin.

La Jacobine is in 59-61 Rue Saint-André des Arts, 75006 Paris.

3. Beef Bourguignon

European Cuisine 12 French Dishes to Spoil Your Taste Buds
Photo by Isabelle Hurbain-Palatin CC BY-SA 2.0

The meat processing techniques are similar to Coq Au Vin, and it has a taste that can satisfy your tongue. Bourguignon means burgundy since the meat is reddish after absorbing the red wine during the marinating process. Onions, garlic, and Garni bouquet use to seasoning the dish. To make it more complete, carrots or potatoes, bacon, and mushrooms added to the stew.

This dish began to spread and widely consumed since the 19th century. Until now, Beef Bourguignon remains the belle of French cuisine. One of the places that serve the best Beef Bourguignon in Paris is Le Café des Musées at 49 rue de Turenne, 75003 Paris. In addition to dishes that can spoil your tongue and eyes, the service from the restaurant staff is also satisfying. You can have a portion of Beef Bourguignon with €22.5.

4. Cassoulet

European Cuisine 12 French Dishes to Spoil Your Taste Buds
Photo by Isabelle Hurbain-Palatin CC BY-SA 2.0

The name of this dish refers to the bean as the main ingredient of this stew. Cassoulet has a fragrant aroma and savory taste rich in spices. This food is easy to find in winter because it can warm your body. Cassoulet uses slow cooking techniques to get a soft texture and perfect seasoning that permeates beans and meat.

There are various types of meat to make a Cassoulet, such as pork sausage, duck, or mutton. In Southern France, locals usually add pork rinds and white beans to the stew. This dish comes from the Languedoc region in southeastern France. When in Paris, visit the Auberge Pyrénées Cévennes, which is a famous Cassoulet restaurant. You can get one portion of Cassoulet for $21 (if the price hasn’t changed).

Auberge Pyrénées Cévennes is in 106 Rue de la Folie Méricourt, 75011 Paris.

5. Escargot

European Cuisine 12 French Dishes to Spoil Your Taste Buds
Photo by Richard Lewis CC BY 2.0

Escargot is probably a typical French dish that has many fans. But for those who haven’t tried it, you might be a little hesitant to eat it because not everyone likes the appearance of escargot. Escargot is a land snail that is not only a familiar food in France but also in Portugal, Spain, and the northern coast of Africa, such as Morocco and Algeria.

Escargot can be a variety of dishes but generally served as hors d’oeuvre or appetizers. The most commonly used snail species are Helix pomatia, Cornu aspersa, Helix lucorum, and Elona quimperiana. If you want to try an escargot with an authentic taste, try going to Le Comptoir de la Gastronomie in Paris. Although many other restaurants serve a similar menu, this restaurant provides a cozy place and is open until late at night.

Le Comptoir de la Gastronomie is in 34 Rue Montmartre, 75001 Paris.

6. Foie Gras

European Cuisine 12 French Dishes to Spoil Your Taste Buds
Photo by djjewelz CC BY-ND 2.0

Besides escargot, French dish that you have to try is Foie Gras. This dish is using goose liver or duck as the main ingredient and cook together with other French spices. This dish has a rich, buttery, and soft taste.

Foie gras using the goose or ducks that forced to eat exceeds its portion. The aim is to make their hearts bigger and ready to be processed into this classic yet fancy dish. French law states that Foie Gras is a protected cultural and gastronomic dish.

There are several ways to serve Foie Gras:

  • Foie Gras Entier or whole foie gras using one or two duck or goose hearts;
  • Foie Gras using chopped liver;
  • Bloc de Foie Gras is consist of 98% perfectly cooked liver;
  • Avec morceaux consists of at least 50% goose liver or 30% duck liver;
  • Pâté de foie gras and Mousse de foie gras which contain a minimum of 50% liver; and
  • Parfait de foie gras contains at least 75% liver.

When you’re in Paris, visit L’Avant Comptoir in 3 Carrefour de l’Odeon, 75006 or Le Comptoir de la Gastronomie in 34 Rue Montmartre, 75001 Paris to the best foie gras in the city.

7. Confit de Canard

European Cuisine 12 French Dishes to Spoil Your Taste Buds
Photo by McPig CC BY 2.0

One of the most famous duck-based dishes in France is Confit de Canard. This dish is an old recipe that existed since the King Henry IV era, around the 16th century. It has a divine taste and soft texture duck. It can also be served separately or mixed with other foods, such as salads or stew.

The lack of confit de canard is that the cooking process is very long. It takes two days to get the perfect taste and texture. Duck meat marinated in oil for some time before preserving it in goose fat. You should never miss this one of the most delicious French dishes.

Make time to visit Les Philosophes at 28 rue Vieille du Temple, 75004 Paris for an unforgettable experience of enjoying Confit de Canard.

8. Tarte Tatin

European Cuisine 12 French Dishes to Spoil Your Taste Buds
Photo by Kent Wang CC BY-SA 2.0

Tarte Tatin is the name of the hotel that serves this dish as their signature dish. This dish is using caramelized fruit on top of the dough. Initially, the most commonly used fruit was the Queen of the Pippins and Calville apples, but now various types of apples are widely used to make Tarte Tatin.

This dish can also be made using pears, peaches, pineapple, tomatoes, even onions. Tarte Tatin uses a base dough made from a shortcrust pastry. Besides the Tartin Hotel where this dish invented, you can also get Tarte Tatin at Ble Sucre. This place has a special Tarte Tatin recipe.

Ble Sucre is in 7 Rue Antoine Vollon 75012 Paris.

9. Bouillabaisse

European Cuisine 12 French Dishes to Spoil Your Taste Buds
Photo by NwongPR CC BY-ND 2.0

Bouillabaisse is the most famous processed seafood in France, especially in its native area in the city of Marseille. It comes from two different words, bohlir means to boil, and abaissar means to reduce heat. Priorly, this dish is just a stew that used fish that were not sold by fishermen. There were three types of fish that are usually used to make this dish, such as red rascasse, sea robin, and European conger.

Besides fish, other leftover seafood such as octopus, sea urchins, crabs, and shrimp are used to enrich the flavor of the stew. Vegetables such as leeks, onions, tomatoes, celery, and potatoes are added to the stew, as well. Starred restaurants also use expensive ingredients such as lobster langoustine in this dish.

Bouillabaisse is different from seafood stew in other places because it’s using the bony rockfish to make its stock. This fish is an endemic Mediterranean sea, so it’s hard to find elsewhere.

Almost all restaurants and stalls in Marseille provide Bouillabaisse on their menu. This dish price is starting at €25 per portion.

10. Croissant

European Cuisine 12 French Dishes to Spoil Your Taste Buds
Photo by Zdenko Zivkovic CC BY 2.0

One of the most popular French dishes. Who doesn’t know this unique and delicious French pastry? Croissants are suitable to be enjoyed at breakfast, along with a glass of coffee. This bread is buttery, flaky, and toasted perfectly. Croissants are made of layered dough and rolled several times to look like a crescent.

The crescent shape of croissants has existed since the days of renaissance and began to be produced by factories since the 1970s. This factory makes semi-finished frozen croissants dough and sells it as fast food that only needs to be warmed up to enjoy it. The most famous instant croissant is La Croissanterie, which supplies about 30-40% of bakeries in France.

One of the best restaurants that provide Croissants in Paris is Des Gâteaux et du Pain, located at 63 Boulevard Pasteur, Paris 15eme or 89 Rue du Bac, Paris 7eme. You can have a piece of croissant for €1.5.

11. Crème Brûlée

European Cuisine 12 French Dishes to Spoil Your Taste Buds
Photo by Clotee Pridgen Allochuku CC BY 2.0

Crème Brûlée is a French dessert that is famous among other dishes throughout the world. This dish consists of rich custard cream and sugar that is burned to form like caramel as the topping. Crème Brûlée best serve while the cream is chill, and the sugar is warm. Once the sugar is cold, the texture was hard. The custard cream usually has a vanilla flavor, but some places also offer a variety of flavors. You can choose it according to your preference.

Almost all the restaurants and cafes in France provide this menu. One of them is Le Coupe Chou at 11 Rue de Lanneau, 7505 Paris. This place is perfect for a date with a partner because it has a homey and comfortable setting. Besides, the menu offered is not too mean in your pockets.

12. Chocolate Mousse

European Cuisine 12 French Dishes to Spoil Your Taste Buds
Photo by Ella Olsson CC BY 2.0

Another dessert that is no less popular than Crème Brûlée is Chocolate Mousse. For those of you fans of chocolate, it is very mandatory to enjoy this menu directly in their home country. Mousse or foam in this dish has a variety of textures, ranging from mild and soft to creamy and thick, and it has a sweet or savory taste.

The sweet mousse uses egg whites, cream, or even both that whipped until it’s fluffy. Flavorings such as chocolate, coffee, caramel, fruit, or other flavors added on the mousse. This dish is usually served cold so that the texture is denser. Savory mousse uses meat, fish, shellfish, foie gras, cheese, or vegetables and is served warm.

Visit the Chez Janou to get a chocolate mouse that is soft, sweet, and delicious. This restaurant is in 2 Rue Roger Verlomme (Rue des Tournelles) 75004 Paris. If you don’t want to queue too long, make sure you make a reservation first or arrive early because this restaurant is quite popular.

Those are some popular French authentic dishes that you have to try. Although French-style restaurants also providing the above menus abroad, trying directly from their homeland would be more enjoyable. And you have to know that most France food portions aren’t too large, just enough to make you satisfied with the taste. So which dish do you want to try the most when you come to France?

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Written by Two Monkeys Travel - Contributor

Two Monkeys Travel Group – Community Travel Blog is a travel blog and website. We quickly grew into a valuable source of inspiring travel stories, advice, itineraries and travel guides, with the aim of demonstrating how to live a sustainable life of travel, whilst living your own definition of success. If you'd like to contribute and write a guest post, contact us at [email protected]