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Places to eat/food tips

Meals - The French tend to eat only at meal times so most restaurants/cafes will only be open these times:

  • breakfast (petit dejeuner) normally consists of a croissant and/or pastries/pain au chocolate and bagette with butter/jam served with coffee, tea or hot chocolate
  • lunch (dejeuner) is served between 12 and 2pm
  • dinner (diner) is usually served from 7/7.30pm with restaurants not opening until this time.

Eating establishments

  • restaurants: full meals served by wait staff
  • bistros/brasseries: in between a restaurant and cafe/bar
  • cafes/bars: serve basic food (during meal times only usually) but mostly drinks (either coffees or alcoholic drinks) and are meeting/be seen places (usually with outdoor seat area)
  • salons de the: trendy tearooms (with some food) generally not serving alcoholic drinks
  • pizzeria or creperie: specialising in either pizza or crepes.

Restaurant meal tips

  • in most places meals will be service compris meaning that tips are not required
  • there is often a fixed priced menu which works out much cheaper than ordering a la carte
  • bread (pain) is normally almost always served compris with your meal
  • to ask for the bill 'l'addition svp'. 

Food shopping

  • Supermarche: supermarkets with a vide variety of food
  • Specialty shops: boulangerie/patisserie (bakery/pastry shop), charcuterie (deli), boucherie (butcher), fromagerie (cheese shop), confiserie (lollie shop), chocolatier (chocolate shop)
  • Outdoor food markets: most villages have these 1-2 days a week selling local produce.

Useful to know foods include: 

  • meats: agneau (lamb), boeuf (beef), foie (liver), jambon (ham), lapin (rabbit), veau (veal)poisson (fish), canard (duck), saumon fume (smoked salmon), chevre (goat), coq (chicken)
  • fruit: ananas (pineapple), banane (banana), pomme (apple), fraise (strawberry),framboise (raspberry), cerise (cherry), citron (lemon),  pamplemousse (grapefruit), orange (orange)
  • vegetables: avocat (avocado), aubergine (eggplant), courgette (zucchini), haricots (beans), tomate (tomato), champignon (mushroom), carotte (carrot), ail (garlic), riz (rice) 
  • grocery items: beurre (butter), confiture (jam), miel (honey), lait (milk), sucre (sugar), oeufs (eggs), huile (oil), sel (salt), poivre (pepper), fromage (cheese), glace (icecream).

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