French food is great, tasty, awesome, intricate and simple at the same time. Whatever traditional French dishes you choose when you’re on a trip to France, you know there’ll be taste. French people cannot promise you that you will love our famous escargots, but our traditional French potato dishes have stolen the heart of more than one foreigner.
So what do you eat in France? Well, our traditional dishes are usually made up of thick, juicy sauces. In those sauces, we cook potatoes, carrots, and meats like beef, rabbit, or chicken for hours on end. But we have so much more to offer than just that. And that’s why I’ve decided to write this article for you today.
10 Most Famous French Dishes
The best French food can be found in all the authentic restaurants in the country. You can usually recognize a good restaurant from how the decor is set, how the menu is put together too. It doesn’t matter whether you go to a fancy restaurant to get the best French food in Paris, for instance.
Traditional French food dishes are there, waiting for you, at every corner of even the most affordable places. So let’s dive into this delicious list, and let us know your own favorite dishes from the country of escargots and tartiflette! If you’re visiting Paris, you might want to know which are the best restaurants, Michelin-starred restaurants, rooftop bars in Paris, and street food.
As a French person, I could not possibly make a list of famous French dishes without including in it our escargots. I know that although they’re one of the most traditional French food dishes, lots of foreigners cannot even stand the fact of eating them.
Still, if you’re looking for restaurants for the best French food in Paris, I promise you’ll find escargots on their highest-end menus. And that’s because, with their melting sauce of butter, garlic, and parsley, they are indeed some of the best French food.
2. French Food: Crêpes
I don’t know one person who talks about French food without mentioning the famous crêpes. They’re one of the most traditional French dishes, made with butter, flour, milk, and eggs. The crêpe is originally from the Brittany region, a beautiful, traditional Western region where it rains most of the time but the landscapes are furiously stunning.
So what do you eat in France when it comes to crêpes? That’s the best part – this amazingly thin pancake can be eaten sweet or savory. Although there are different types of dough for savory crêpes, you can also use the same, elastic and chewy dough with eggs and cheese. Far from the traditional French potato dishes, but equally tasty – if not more.
3. Amazing French Dishes: Soupe à l’oignon
So when someone asks you about the most famous French dishes and what food they eat in France, it’s easy. All you need to say is the best French food in Paris and any other region is the simplest. And that’s why the soupe à l’oignon, so the French Onion Soup is one of the best French food dishes.
This translucent soup is made of beef stock, onions, and melted cheese. When I was a young girl, I remember emptying the bag of cheese to eat the chewy Emmental again and again. It really takes on a wonderful texture in the broth. If you’re looking for what to eat in France on a budget, that’s one of the most traditional French food dishes you can get. And one of the most delicious.
4. Best French Food: Coq au Vin
Without the coq au vin, this list of famous French dishes would be incomplete. This is one of the really, really traditional French dishes that our grandmothers used to do. Little by little, this French food style got a bit lost in the fast-food track. What do you eat in France now? We usually eat dishes that take way less time to prepare.
Still, on a Saturday or a Sunday, it’s not uncommon to eat coq au vin with your family for lunch. It’s one of our traditional French potato dishes that are embellished with chicken, butter, mushrooms, and beef stock among other exquisite ingredients. A chicken casserole, if you will – only a thousand times better.
5. Best French Food: Tartiflette
What do you eat in France, whether it’s hot or cold? Cheese. We love our cheese. That’s why one of the most traditional French dishes is tartiflette. If you’re wondering what to eat in France on a budget, this dish made with melted cheese, lardons, and onions is a dream.
Traditional French potato dishes really can’t go as tasty as the tartiflette. It’s creamy, sweet and savory, and simply fulfilling. It’s easy to answer a question about what food they eat in France when people want to feel satisfied. You just need to slip in some potatoes and some cheese. Although tartiflette is much more of a mountain type of food, like in the Savoie region, it’s still one of the traditional French dishes all around. Because it’s just amazing.
6. Boeuf Bourguignon
One of the most famous French dishes has got to be the boeuf bourguignon. What to eat in France on a budget? There’s nothing better than a beef stew, slowly cooked, well-appreciated by all. What food they eat in France depends on the moment in the month, too. In other words, on the budget.
Boeuf bourguignon initially became a French food favorite because of the cost. The pieces of beef used in the dish are usually some of the cheapest, which is why it’s slowly cooked. It’s traditionally served with potatoes and a side of fresh salad from the market.
Boeuf bourguignon had to make it on this list of famous French dishes because it’s tastier than anything else you’ll ever try. And even if you try something else, it’ll still be the best.
7. Moules Marinières (Mussels)
Ah, the moules – one of the most traditional French food dishes, and one of my very favorites. This is a popular bistrot and brasserie offer along with this list of famous French dishes. On a budget, you can still get a great bit pan of mussels. I place them among the best French food in Paris and everywhere in France because of how natural they are.
Usually, in restaurants, I pay attention to how fresh and natural the ingredients are. Of course – who likes paying for expired food? The great thing about mussels is you cannot lie – they’re cooked in water and white wine, with parsley, shallots, and sometimes even cream. But the final taste is all mussels – the quality of the ingredient does everything on its own.
8. Great French Dishes: Cassoulet
Have you noticed how the best French food, and the most traditional French food dishes altogether are almost always slow-cooked in a pan? Well, cassoulet, one of the most famous French dishes, is one of them. The dish really is an answer to what to eat in France on a budget.
Filled with sausage of beef, and complemented with rich beans, it’s some of the most basic and best French food in Paris, but also from the North to the South. What food they eat in France is always delicious, anyway, rich, and everything. If you like that feel of tradition, then that’s definitely something for you to try.
9. Best French Food: Fondue Savoyarde
What do you eat in France when it’s cold? Cheese. French food is a lot about cheese, which is why one of the most traditional French dishes is the fondue savoyarde. It gets its name from Savoie, the region in which it’s very much eaten because it’s close to the Alps.
It very much belongs to the list of famous French dishes because of its richness, and how happy you feel once you’re full. Have you noticed how our traditional French potato dishes also revolve a lot around ham, cheese, and bread? Well there, you have it all. All you need to do is melt cheese in a large pot and dip in bread and meat. Delish.
10. Southern French Dishes: Bouillabaisse
Another one of the most famous French dishes – and one of the very best French food options – is the bouillabaisse. This one is originally from Marseille, in the very South of France. You can try all the best French food in Paris, but nothing comes close to a bowl of bouillabaisse.
It’s a dish made with different kinds of fish and shellfish, ornate with pieces of the fish cooked in the stew. What food they eat in France also depends on the region – obviously. Since Marseille is a port city located in the South, it only makes sense that the bouillabaisse should contain only good freshness.
It very much belongs on this list of famous French dishes, and it’s perfect if you’re wondering what to eat in France on a budget.
10 most famous French dishes
There you have them, all the best traditional French dishes, from traditional French potato dishes to sweet crêpes. What food they eat in France is just a matter of time and money. Our culinary tradition is lengthy and extensive, and what to eat in France on a budget just depends on your tastes. And on how far you’re ready to go out of your comfort zone.
Indeed, even if some traditional French dishes are easy to try, some of our most famous French dishes are a bit more “unique!” like the escargots. What do you eat in France, when all is said and done? Only pure richness, and fulfilling goodness. You can also check out some recipes like Cordon Bleu, or Cream of Blue Cheese soup. And how about discovering the best Asian restaurants in Rome, if you find yourself in the city? I’ve put together a list of the best restaurants I have been to, and I’m sure you’ll love them!