France is one of these destinations where you could travel just to eat. There are so many mouthwatering flavors to discover it would make your head spin. Here's a list of 10 things to eat in France, 10 delights to add on your travel plans.
It's a fact: French people are obsessed with food. We can't help it! Every time we travel, regardless if we're going to a faraway exotic place or the next village, we simply must try the local cuisine. And home is no exception -every time we're back in France, there are two things we are looking forward to: spending time with those we love, and... EATING. Luckily, we can do both in the same time, so we don't have to choose between friends and food. That would be a tough one.
I won't have the presumption to write a list of the best things to eat in France. To be honest, I tried, but I quickly arrived at more than 70 dishes, and I figured I'd rather keep it short. I've put together 10 delicious dishes and gourmandises you shouldn't miss when traveling in France...
What to eat in France : 10 things you can't miss
#1. le petit déjeuner à la française: croissants & hot chocolate
Breakfast has a special place in the heart of French people. Start your day like a local, with a croissant and hot chocolate. For the ultimate experience, enjoy it from a café-brasserie while people-watching.
Pastries are an art form in France. They must be light, flaky, crispy on the outside and smooth on the inside. Besides the traditional croissant, there are a few others options to try: the pain au chocolat, a piece of dough with a filling of pieces of chocolate, the pain au raison, a pastry rolled in a spiral with a sweet custard-like filling and dried raisins, and the chausson aux pommes, a pastry folded in half and baked with an apple sauce filling. That goes without saying, there's also the classic french baguette to spread with salted butter and homemade jam.
Don't ask me to choose between all of these, the best is to try them all -a different one every morning.
>> One of the best place in Paris for croissants: Des Gâteaux et du Pain, 63 bd Pasteur, Paris 15e - open Mon, Wed-Sat 8am-8pm, Sun 9am-6pm, closed on Tuesday
>> To find the best bakeries wherever you are in France, look for the mention "Meilleur ouvrier de France". It's pretty rare, if you see one on a shop, it's a sign of excellence.
#2. The happiest of the happy hours: cheese & charcuterie board with wine
The fresh baguette is possibly the most iconic French food. If the bread is just as delicious by itself, there's nothing better than a cheese and charcuterie board, some bread and a good bottle of wine. It's the perfect way to finish your day. Saucisson, jambon sec, chorizo, fromage de chèvre, bleu, comté... The simple thought of it makes me salivate!
>> You can order a cheese & charcuterie board in any traditional French brasserie or shop everything you need in a supermarket and eat it outside in a parc -or, one of my favorite spots in Paris, on Canal St Martin's banks in summer.
#3. A favorite French dessert: a homemade Crème brûlée
If you can find some delicious French food everywhere in the world, finding a GOOD crème brûlée is a real challenge. It's the king of all custards! It must be smooth and rich, with a crunchy caramel topping. Once you crack the hard caramel shell, your spoon dive into an incrediiibly creamy custard -exactly like Amelie does.
>> Crème Brûlée is a classic, you won't have much trouble finding one in any French restaurant menu. Where to find the best one? Unfortunately I don't have any specific address to share, but please don't hesitate to share yours in the comments!
#4. LA GOURMANDISE TROP CHOU: Chocolate Profiteroles
Oh, la crème de la crème! Profiteroles are little puff pastries filled with vanilla ice cream and topped with a hot velvety chocolate sauce. Insanely delicious.
>> Got an address to share somewhere in France? I'm all ears!
#5. Le très très bon Steack tartare
An adventurous way to eat French food is by ordering a steak tartare, which is very finely chopped raw beef that's been marinated and seasoned, often served with fries. A classic in Paris!
>> When you eat raw meat, you want to make sure it's prepared correctly. Go for the places with lots of people -a renowned address in Paris is Le Petit Fer à Cheval.
#6. paris' perfect emblem: the multicolored Macarons
Nothing says indulgence like the delicately crafted macarons, these sweet pastries filles with ganache, butter cream or jam sandwiched between two cookies. They are light, crispy and mellow inside. Sophisticated but whimsical, these treasures are irresiiistibles.
>> There's an ongoing debate over who between Pierre Hermé or La Durée makes the best macarons. You can't go wrong with either. But with its wonderful range of creative flavors, Pierre Hermé seems to be the winner.
Eating a macaron is a must-do in Paris !
#7. UN GRAND CLASSIQUE: la Quiche lorraine
If you love the classics, Quiche Lorraine is the starting point. This crisp buttery pastry filled with eggs, cream, cheese and bacon is delicious eaten with a side salad. You can eat a quiche in a restaurant, or get it to take away from a bakery. Even better: bake it! It's ridiculously easy to make.
>> The best are homemade with love. Find a nice familial restaurant or bakery, or even better, stay with the locals and ask them to make you one.
#8. Un délice: salted butter caramel crêpe with cider
Crêpe stands line the streets of Paris, and you'd really be missing out if you didn't stop at least once to try one. But which one should you taste? If the beurre-sucre (butter and sugar) is a classic, I'd advise to go FULL IN and try the crêpe with salted butter caramel, along with a glass of cider. Obviously the caramel sauce has to be homemade -and the best places for that are probably in Brittany.
>> Anywhere in Britanny! Read all about our road trip from Brittany to Normandy here.
>> In Paris, Breizh Café is known as the best crêperie in the city. I haven't tried it yet, but it's on my plans for the next trip!
#9. L'incontournable french lemon meringue tart
One of the French's favorite desserts! There are three secrets to a perfect lemon meringue tart: the crust, the curd and the meringue. Be careful though, you could easily get addicted.
>> Pâtisserie Michalak seems to be THE place to go for Lemon Meringue Tart in Paris. There's also Des Gâteaux et du Pain (again!), KL Pâtisserie and many, many pâtisseries all over the country of course...
#10. marvelous Merveilleux
The pretty-looking treat is composed of meringue filled with whipped cream and rolled with generous crumbles of chocolate or nuts. Flavors include the Incroyable, with Speculoos biscuit and white chocolate, and the Magnifique, with praline whipped cream, almond chips, and caramelized hazelnuts. Some of the Merveilleux even come in larger, ultra-decadent cake sizes. Simply HEAVENLY!
Did you say a meringue shop? As in a shop selling only meringues? Ohhh YES!
The (only) place to go >> Aux Merveilleux de Fred. Boutiques in Lille, St-Omer, Paris, Lyon, Metz, Nancy and Nantes.