I am so excited to tell you about all the delicious French foods that we tasted in when we were in Paris and Provence!
Everything tasted better in France. Even the lettuce was delicious! The food is fresh and organic and it turns each and every meal into a special event. Kelly and I love food, and we embraced the opportunity to try French food when we were in Paris and Provence. Here are 23 French foods to try when you travel to France.
It seemed like everyone around us was eating this classic seafood dish. Mussels are cooked in a rich creamy sauce and served with toasted bread for dipping.
Provence has the best rosé. My favorite is the Chateau Beaulieu, and it definitely tastes best sipped poolside at the castle in the middle of the vineyard. Rosé isn’t made by blending white wine and red wine, it gets its distinctive color from a limited amount of contact with the grape skin. Rosé is light and refreshing and one of my go-to summer drinks.
Kelly and I might have spent 50 Euros on cheese at the farmers market in Lourmarin, but we don’t regret it. We didn’t have time to taste all the cheeses in France, but we did identify some favorites: brie, comté, fresh goat cheese, and brebis.
Charles said that roast chicken isn’t French and that it didn’t belong on this list. I felt compelled to add it and let you know that the rotisserie chickens sold at the little farmers markets in France are fantastic and just 10 Euros. We picked one up in Lourmarin to serve at the welcome picnic we threw for Charles, and the skin was perfectly crisp and the meat was so juicy and tender. The French have this ability to make the most simple foods into something extra special.
While waiting for Kelly to arrive in Paris, I chatted with some incredibly friendly Parisans, and one of them taught me that the best way to watch the World Cup (which was taking place during our trip) was with an ice cold glass of rosé and French Fries. We happily partook in this tradition. French Fries come in different shapes and sizes, and I recommend searching out thicker cut fries.
Fried Goat Cheese Salad
Kelly is obsessed with this salad, and I ate it twice during our trip. This salad is comprised of mixed greens and chopped vegetables topped with breaded and lightly fried goat cheese and often drizzled with a honey vinaigrette.
Crepes are a popular French street food. You can find stands in parks, food halls, and at farmer’s markets. There are also restaurants that specialize in crepes. Crepes can be sweet or savory – and my favorite is a crepe filled with nutella.
This classic French pastry is even better in France because French butter is the best. We had croissants at breakfast nearly everyday.
You will find lots of olives at the farmers market. I know that olives tend to be associated with Italy, but there are plenty of olive trees in France too.
We found these at the farmers markets and there are many different types of dried sausage to try. When you are purchasing the sausage it is probably best to find a place that will slice the sausage for you – unless you are staying in a home with a cutting board and knife.
Berries and Produce
Sure, you can get berries and produce anywhere, but it just tastes better in France. I swear the lettuce is far more delicious. If you find yourself at a market, pick up some berries to snack on, and if you are able to cook, grab some more produce to cook a meal. We regretted not having access to a kitchen.
Charles said that his goals in France were to eat baguettes and cheese, and we made sure his dream came true. A freshly baked baguette is just so wonderful. At one point I was making baguette sandwiches while Kelly was driving and managed to get baguette crumbs all over the car… but Kelly and I figured that most French rental cars are probably returned with a fair amount of baguette crumbs.
Kelly insisted on slathering bread with as much butter as possible. I don’t know what the French do to their butter, but it is the best butter in the world.
Charles and I debated about omelettes place on the list, but isn’t France the ideal place to have a French omelette?
Oysters are available in many parts of the world, but France is the best place to enjoy the classic pairing of oysters and champagne.
In order for a sparkling wine to be called a Champagne, it must be produced in the Champagne region of France. Champagne tends to be more affordable and more easily accessible in France – so it is the perfect time to enjoy the glass. Plus, Champagne is the ideal way to say “cheers” and celebrate the fact that you are in France.
Is there a meal more satisfying than steak and French fries? Steak Frites is available at most restaurants and generally you get to pick a sauce to go with your steak.
Sandwiches at Chez Alain Miam Miam at Les Marche des Enfants Rouges in Paris
These are seriously the best sandwiches in the world. Don’t go right at lunchtime because the line can be 2 hours long – try to go in the afternoon but still be prepared to wait 30 minutes.
Not all mashed potatoes are created the same. The French make their mashed potatoes with the ideal amount of cream, butter, and cheese.
This is the ultimate French dessert. You can find it in many flavors – my favorite is caramel.
A canelé is a pastry flavored with run and vanilla and filled with a custard. Kelly absolutely loves them.
Châteauneuf-du-Pape is a wine produced in Provence that shares its name with the town where it is produced. Châteauneuf-du-Pape translates to “The Pope’s New Castle” which refers to the when the Pope moved to the area in 1309. The Papacy remained in Châteauneuf-du-Pape until 1378, with 8 Popes serving during that time. It was Pope John XII who took and interest in wine in the region and worked to improve viticultural practices.
Both red and white wines are produced, but the vast majority of the wines are red, and the white wines are not allowed to be exported. The white wines are rich and fruity without being sweet, and Charles and I celebrated out 6th anniversary with a bottle.
The red wines are made in a variety of styles and most of the wines are blends of Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre grapes. The wines do have a barnyard aroma which can turn some people off. I appreciate the wine’s complex taste that balances fruit flavors with earthiness. Châteauneuf-du-Pape can be pricey, but you can try it for free at some of the tasting rooms in the village of Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
This pastry is made by filling chop pastry with praline cream, it is one of Kelly’s favorites. When we were in Lourmarin we found a little bakery that made these and stayed open late, so we would go get one after dinner and then eat them in our pajamas while watching rom-coms in bed.
Save this list for later:
Let me know if I missed anything in the comments!