Must-try French Food and Drink

Tuesday, 7 May 2024

A classic bowl of French onion soup

France is well-known worldwide for its culinary prowess. With impressive haute cuisine, patisserie and more, elements of French cooking are amongst the most desired and elite in the world. And, French chefs are often thought of as the most meticulous and expert. Avoiding the obvious of snails, frog legs and croissants, in this article, we explore some of the most popular food and drink in France.

Describing French cuisine and why it’s globally renowned, the Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts explore the impact ingredients have: “French dishes often use simple ingredients transformed by artful techniques. Fresh, naturally produced ingredients can always be found in French cuisine. Wine, cheese, olive oil, and seasonal vegetables are just a few staples.

“Herbs and spices are also important to French cuisine and can contribute a depth of flavour to otherwise subtle dishes. A few commonly used in French dishes include herbs de Provence, tarragon, and nutmeg.”

Must-try French Food and Drink

  • Steak Tartare
  • Quiche Lorraine
  • French Onion Soup
  • Ratatouille
  • Tarte Tatin
  • Crepe Suzette
  • Picon Bière

Steak Tartare

Thought to have become popular in Paris, steak tartare is a dish of raw ground beef topped with a raw egg yolk. Alongside this, you’ll be served with a range of toppings and seasonings, commonly including onions, capers and Worcestershire sauce, to season the dish to your tastes.

READ MORE: Must-try Spanish food and drink

Quiche Lorraine

You may well be used to a slice of quiche at a garden party or picnic, but this dish is one that’s well worth sampling in its home country. We’ve picked quiche Lorraine to feature in this article, which is probably the best-known variety, but there are plenty of variations to try. This traditional French food is quiche with the addition of bacon or ham. With rich smoky cheese and smoky meat, it’s flavoursome and hearty.

French Onion Soup

A popular dish globally, French onion soup is a rich and warming meal perfect for colder days. A humble offering, French onion soup might have the most luxurious of ingredients; however, what’s there is made into a dish fit for royalty. A thick and flavoursome soup made primarily from onions and beef broth, French onion soup is easily recognisable for its dark brown colouring and the cheesy crouton it’s often topped with!

A traditional dish of ratatouille


Originating in the south of France, ratatouille is a beloved traditional French dish likely known best worldwide for the eponymous film named after it. However you’ve come to hear about it, ratatouille is a must-try dish for those visiting France and is perfect for vegetarians in the country as this is a naturally meat-free dish. Known for its fresh flavours and vibrant colours, ratatouille consists of a mixture of vegetables cooked with a range of herbs and seasonings until tender and delicious.

Tarte Tatin

If you’re looking for something sweet, then why not try Tarte Tatin? Named after the sisters who invented it, Tarte Tatin is a caramelised fruit-filled pastry. Most often made with apples, this dish is a mixture of warm caramel flavours and sweet fruit alongside a crisp pastry and is a must-order dessert when visiting France.

Crepe Suzette

Crepes are a classic French treat that many love to eat whilst visiting the country. Whether picked up from a street food store and enjoyed as you wander between the sites, or eaten as a dessert after a meal, it’s delicious. One popular spin on the treat is Crepe Suzette. Upgrading the humble crepes, Crepe Suzette is topped with an orange sauce flavoured with a liqueur such as Grand Mariner or Cointreau and lit in an exciting display.

Picon Bière

A popular drink across France, a Picon Bière is well worth a try for those who like a shandy. A mixture of beer, grenadine, and Orangina, this sweet take on a beer is perfect to refresh you in the sunshine. It can easily be made at home as well as a way to reminisce about your trip.

READ MORE: The Best Cruise Ports for Foodies

Boats and buildings in Honfleur, France

Cruise to France with Ambassador

If you want to visit France, have you considered a cruise? With our France cruises, you’ll be able to unlock the beauty of everything over the Channel. Drift down the Seine on one of our ships and take in amazing French ports, including Lorient, Le Verdon, Honfleur, Cherbourg and Le Verdon. You’ll only need to unpack once, and between visits, you’ll be able to make the most of incredible onboard offerings from West End quality entertainment to delicious dining options.

Not sure France is for you? We also have itineraries such as British Isles cruises, Germany cruises, Netherlands cruises and more. Looking for your next holiday spot? Check out all of our cruise destinations for more.

For more travel guides, whether you’re looking for must-try local dishes or must-visit attractions, check out our blog.