Image

France Food Travel Guide


France is a dream destination for all lovers of gastronomy. It would take a lifetime to taste it all in France but even that wouldn't be enough time.

 

Image
Image

Top France Food Experiences

  • Eat all the macarons, eclaires, baguettes and cheese in Paris.
  • Experience Lyon from humble bouchons to temples of gastronomy.
  • Taste the best of Alsace including pain d'epice, riesling and choucroute.
  • Slurp down briney oysters in Brittany.
  • Take a wine tour in one of France's many wine regions. Start with the rolling hills in Burgundy or Bordeax.
  • Splurge on a three star Michelin meal in Paris or the French contryside.
  • Get cheesey with locals at a festival.
  • Pair real cambembert cheese with apple cider in Normandy.
  • Explore the Mediterrean flavors of Provence.
  • Indulge in raclette and tartiflette in the French Alps.

France Pro Tips

  • When to Visit:  The spring and autumn seasons typically have the most favorable weather in France. Summer can be hot in regions like Provence, while winter varies depending on the region and elevation. Expect hot weather in July and August as well as the possiblity of snow in January and February. If you don't mind a bit of rain, there's nothing more romantic than April in Paris - plus this part of the shoulder season tends to be less crowded.
  • Visa Requirements:  Schengen rules apply in France. Click here for more information and be sure to check with your home country's embassy for a stress-free entry.
  • Currency:  Euro (€)  - Check the current exchange rate here.
  • Tipping:  Not Necessary but "a little something extra" is appreciated. We recommend rounding up when you get your change.
  • How to Say Cheers:  Santé or Cin Cin
  • Dressing for Dinner: In France, it never hurts to dress for success. You can go "smart casual" for most informal dinners, but we recommend a jacket and your nicest finery for a Michelin starred dinner. If you've been saving a chic outfit for a special occasion, France is the country to wear it! 
  • Connectivity:  If your phone is unlocked, you can buy a SIM card at Orange, Bouygues, Télécom or Free Mobile.
  • Don't Forget:  Bring an international plug adaptor so you can charge your phones, computers and other technology.
     

Read These First

Lyon Food Guide

Lyon Food Travel Guide

Strasbourg Food Guide

Strasbourg Food Travel Guide

Image

Paris Food Tour

Image

Three Star Michelin Meal

More About Food Travel in France

France may not have invented Haute Cuisine but French chefs certainly refined the concept and made it their own.

From legends like Carême and Escoffier to modern masters like Bras and Ducasse, France is a land of culinary giants. Temples of gastronomy abound from the high reaches of the Alps and Pyrenees to classic cities like Paris and Lyon.

But to mention only fine gastronomy does the republique a major injustice. France is also the home of classic bistros with hearty homestyle fare like blanquette de veau, soup l’onion, coq au vin and steak frites.

Here's what you can expect when you visit France:

Eating

The French people take their food seriously, and a food trip through France can be be one the most exciting and rewarding experiences on earth if you love to eat. 

Start in Paris, France’s major metropolis and one of the world’s greatest food cities. The City of Light’s daunting gastronomic choices go beyond French standards and flow from all corners of the nation and beyond.

Enjoy pastries that taste more beautiful than they look along with some of the best bread, chocolates and gourmet specialties. Travel to Lyon and enjoy a meal filled with century old classics at one of the city’s many Bouchons. 

Love cheese? France produces some of the world’s greatest cheeses from creamy camembert in Normandy, rich fragrant brie near Paris, pungent epoisses in Burgundy and flavor-lingering Beaufort in the Alps. 

On a budget? Stop by a specialty store, boucherie, fromagerie or traiteur in a French countryside town like Laguiole. You can create the French picnic of your dreams without dropping a pile of euros.

France, like Spain, touches both the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. From the mighty shellfish towers of Brittany to Bouillabaisse in Marseille, the country is blessed with an abundant seafood bounty from its surrounding waters. 

Shop at local markets and buy artisan products from Aveyron in the South Central countryside and the Rhone Valley between Lyon and Provence. Even if you shop at chain supermarkets, you’ll find superior products to what you would buy in gourmet shops in other countries.

In other words, even though France may have some of the best chefs and restaurants in the world, cooking and eating at home in France is a joy. Living like a local can be just as satisfying as a eating at a three star Michelin restaurant and a lot less expensive.

Drinking

France, the third largest producer of wine after Spain and Italy, produces some of the finest vintages in the world. Wines from regions like Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne and the Rhone Valley are prized by oenophiles everywhere, with some famous bottles fetching thousands of dollars.

However, it’s possible to drink delightful, high-quality, everyday wines for a fraction of the cost of bottles produced and sold in the USA and Australia. In France, drinking wine with food is a way of life.

France is also known for potent potables like Cognac in Western France to Calvados in Normandy and Pastis in the south. And if you like Cassis, you can even visit the Cassisium in Burgundy.

Craft beer is a relatively new thing in this primarily wine-focused nation, but there are emerging breweries from North to South. France’s proximity to Belgium insures a diversity of beer to satisfy the pickiest of beer drinkers.

Sleeping

Most French cities offer a wide variety of accommodations ranging from hostels to five-star luxury hotels. Regardless of your budget, you should be able to find a good hotel in France if you plan ahead and use a tool like TripAdvisor or Booking.com.

If you enjoy cooking, we recommend staying at an Airbnb apartment so that you can cook some of the wonderful French bounty for yourself. Click here if you're new to Airbnb and would like a discount for your first stay.

Getting Around

France’s SNCF system featuring high speed TGV trains makes travel easy between all of France’s major cities. By car, it’s possible to drive anywhere from point to point in the country in less than a day. 

There are also extensive bus networks and airports in all of France’s major cities. Be aware that you will drive on the right side of the road if you rent a car in France.