10 traditional French foods you must try in Paris

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walking tour in Paris can be a tiring experience, if approached with an empty stomach. Obviously, there are a lot of good dining places in Paris, depending on what you would like to eat. You are spoilt for choice, but do not make the mistake of thinking that because it is a notorious destination, Paris lacks in good restaurants serving French traditional foods.

French cuisine is very popular all over the world, and some dishes became part of other cultures outside of France (e.g.: omelette, croissant, baguette), while others remained an exclusive treasure of France, and you’ll have to actively search them.

Before we give you our top ten, just one thing: we know someone may have particular dietary needs, but we tried to include something for everyone.


Originally a German recipe, France made it one of its traditional dishes. A quiche is basically a puff pastry filled with a mixture of various cheeses, vegetables, or meats.

You can find this dish everywhere, and there are a lot of vegetarian and vegan alternatives.

The pastry is light and oven baked, but the filling can be very nutritious.

Onion soup

Delicious! If you are in Paris, you should try the onion soup at Le Procope. This soup is very popular all over the world. Its origins are still unknown, but king Louis XV is known to be the first one to make it.

Simple ingredients make a unique explosion of flavours: onion, beef broth, melted cheese (Gruyère or Emmental, it is still a subject of many disputes).


Everybody knows what escargot is. If you ask someone to name a classic French meal, they will probably mention it.

Escargot is made of snails stuffed with garlic, herbs, and butter, and then cooked in the oven for a few minutes.


The queen of all vegan French dishes. A colourful dish made of vegetables, taken by the traditional French kitchen of the poor. In fact, it was made by peasants who had to rely on their harvest to feed their families.

Ratatouille is usually made by aubergines, tomatoes, garlic, onion, courgettes, and peppers, but there is a wide variety of different recipes according to seasonal availability and regional traditions.


This is a fish stew from southern France. Its origins, in fact, can be traced back to fishermen in Marseille, who made this poor dish using the scrap fish they could not sell during the day to serve a seafood supper to their families.

Bouillabaisse main ingredients are fish broth, spices, vegetables, various fish (but scorpionfish is a must), and Pastis, an anise liqueour.

Pain au Chocolat

The first dessert on our traditional French foods list. You may have tried pain au chocolat in your own country, but the original French recipe is unique.

If you have breakfast in Paris, there is plenty of good places where you can eat a good pain au chocolat. Getting some sugar at the beginning of the day will help you make it through the long walks.

Foie gras

It is one of the most famous French delicacies. It has a rich taste with buttery, delicate notes. It can be cooked as a main or as a side dish prepared as a mousse or paté.

Foie gras is basically a goose or duck liver that has been fattened to make its strong taste gentle and suitable for fine palates.

Although some people do not like it for different reasons, it is still part of the gastronomical heritage of France.

Coq au vin

The origins of this dish, basically chicken in wine, can be traced back to ancient Gaul and Romans, but there is no certainty of that, because the recipe appeared in French cuisine books in the 20th century for the first time.

The meal consists of chicken braised in red wine with lardons, mushrooms, garlic, and herbs on the side, but some of the finest restaurants usually add a touch of brandy.


So many people tried to make one at home, just to see it miserably pop in the oven. If you are in France, you have the chance to try the original recipe of this dessert made for the first time in the 18th century.

Actually, if you do not want it as a dessert, there are a lot of savoury variations you will love.

It is an egg-based recipe that can be completed either with chocolate, custard cream, and fruits, or with herbs, cheese, and butter. When served, a soufflé is puffed and soft (the name comes from the French verb souffler, i.e.: inflate), but it falls after ten minutes.

French cheeses

We could not miss cheese in our traditional French foods list. France is the country with the highest cheese consumption per capita in the world. With such a variety of awesome cheeses is not hard to understand why.

There are a lot of places in Paris where you can taste and buy some cheeses you won’t find anywhere else.

Camembert, Gruyère, Brie, Comté, Beaufort, Chevrotin, Roquefort… there are over 400 varieties of cheese in France!

Will you stay here long enough to taste them all?

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