Looking for French regional foods to try? You’ve come to the right spot!
One of the many (many!) wonderful things about France is how varied all of the different regions are! While everyone wants to visit Paris (and you should), there are so many beautiful, interesting, and unique cities and departments around France! And of course, with that variety comes a wide array of delicious and unique foods to try.
As you try these different foods, you are also getting a taste of the culture and traditions of the area and immersing yourself a little bit more in the French joie de vivre.
14 Amazing French Regional Foods
I asked a bunch of other Francophile bloggers to find out their favorite French regional foods. All of these regional delicacies deserve a spot on your “French food bucket list.” So let’s dive right into the list!
Choucroute from Alsace
Choucroute is one of the beloved French foods in the Alsace region of France. An amalgamate of German and French foods, this dish has been a staple in the region for thousands of years.
And while its name sounds fancy or even complicated, making it is not necessarily hard as long as you have the right kinds of meat and sauerkraut/cabbage.
To bring this dish to life, cabbage or sauerkraut is first fermented with Alsacian wine and braised in goose fat. Then a hearty selection of pork and sausages are added.
This usually includes smoked ham hock, pork belly, pork shoulder, and various types of sausages from Strasbourg sausages, Montbeliard sausages, to Frankfurt sausages.
However, there is no one specific way of making this dish as long as the basics are added (think cabbage, pork, sausages). Anyone can add their own flair to it by adding any charcuterie products they see fit, potatoes, and some spices.
Today, you can easily find it in many restaurants in Paris, or other parts of the country, and most supermarkets in France carry it in a can, but the best version is the homemade one directly in the Alsace region, especially at the Christmas markets during the festive season to warm up with a hearty meal.
By Esther of Dreams in Paris
Flàmmeküeche from Alsace
One of my favorite French regional foods is Flàmmeküeche from the Alsace. Alsace is the Northeast region of France, bordering Germany and Switzerland. The region is generally thought of for its wine route, Christmas markets, and castles. But it is also where Flàmmeküeche, my favorite foods from Alsace, came to be.
This Alsatian-style pizza has a thin, crisp dough, and is served in a more oval shape. The most traditional form is topped with crème fraiche, lardons, & onions. However, many creative versions are made. It is even served as dessert with toppings such as apples, cinnamon, and sugar!
Flàmmeküeche literally means “pie baked in the flames” which describes exactly how it is made. As the story goes, bakers from the Alsace area would judge the heat of their wood-fire oven by how fast a small piece of dough would cook.
Some brilliant – and likely hungry – baker decided to throw a topping or two on top of his piece of dough one day, and a delicious meal was born. Give it a try, you’ll be glad you did!
By Megan of Wandertoes Travel Blog
Biscuits Roses from Reims
If you’re visiting Reims and Champagne country, be sure to get your hands on a ʻle biscuit rose de Reimsʻ, or a pink Reims biscuit. These pink biscuits were created around 1690 and are also said to be the first biscuits in the world!
The most famous place in Reims to buy them are at Maison Fossier, a biscuit shop that is home to the original ones that were invented in 1690. They are also the ones that created the term ʻbiscuitʻ, meaning the dough needed to be baked twice in between batches of bread.
Once the biscuits are cooked, they are dipped in a liquid in order to enhance the flavor. Most often, this means they are dipped in Champagne or red wine, which seems appropriate as Reims is the unofficial capital of Champagne country!
Maison Fossier is located at 25 Cours Jean-Baptiste Langlet in Reims and can be visited year-round. They also offer plenty of souvenirs and boxed goods to take home with you!
By Megan of MeganStarr.com
Tarte a l’Onion from Picardie
The onion tart, also known as tarte a l’onion, is a regional food specialty in northern France. Variations of this dish exist in Picardie, Normandy, Île-de-France, Lorraine, and Alsace.
The one in Picardie is a simple savory tart prepared with sliced onions, an egg-based filling and a short crust pastry. It resembles a Quiché Lorraine or a pie in many ways. Local homes like to prepare this as a dinner meal in the harvest summer months when onions are done growing in the fields. It’s a light, not all too heavy meal, suitable for a hot summer day.
The onion tart can be served with a little green side salad and a glass of white wine. A Riesling or Pinot Gris white wine makes for an excellent meal addition. This dish is mostly prepared at home and isn’t commonly found on a restaurant menu, but you can easily make it from scratch with this onion tart recipe.
The Picardie region is also known for a dish known as Ficelle Picard, a savory stuffed crêpe, and the leek tart.
By Helene of Masala Herb
Chicken Normandy is a traditional French dish originating from the Normandy region in the north west of France.
Normandy is well known for its D-Day beaches and picture perfect cities such as Honfleur. Also, of the 26 cemeteries across Normandy representing the nations involved in the war, the most famous and most visited overseas military cemetery in the world is The American Cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer, a solemn and poignant reminder of things past.
Normandy is also known for its cheeses, butter, cream, apples, and, of course, calvados and cider.
In this French recipe, the chicken pieces are slowly braised to perfection in a creamy apple cider sauce made from locally grown apples. The dish is then finished off with caramelized apple wedges.
It can be made and eaten all year round, but it is a firm favorite in both autumn (fall) and winter anywhere in the world. While it does help to make it that much more authentic, you do not absolutely have to use Normandy cider, just as long as it is a hard, dry apple cider.
By Sabine of The Tasty Chilli
Galettes and Crepes
Brittany is famous for its food culture with the freshest and finest seafood including oysters from Cancale, apple and pear ciders from its orchards, and its Saint-Paulin a lovely soft cheese. In Brittany the National Dish is the galette, which has been a staple of Breton cuisine for centuries.
The galette is a very thin crepe made with Sarrasin Flour (buckwheat) which came to France during the Crusades.
These buckwheat galettes are found everywhere here in Brittany and are eaten as a savoury course. The sweet crepes are made of wheat flour and are used for sweet desserts.
Galettes are gluten free and are usually found stuffed with ingredients like saucisse, eggs, bacon, mushrooms, smoked salmon and cheese. They should be served with a traditional Breton cidre.
Made on a flat galettiere which is a cast iron flat griddle and spread with a rozell which is the t-shaped rake they spread the batter with. The chef will then use a wooden spanell or spatula to turn the galette over the stuffing.
Brittany is a beautiful area to road trip, full of fairytale castles, rugged coastlines and rural views that stretch to infinity and of course phenomenal food.
By Faith of XYUandBEYOND
Sel de Guérande
French people love their salt, but not just any salt: the finest is believed to be the Sel de Guérande, the Guérande being a coastal region in northwestern France.
Salt in the Guérande is gathered by hand, in a painstaking set of tasks that haven’t changed much since the region’s salt marshes were carved out back in the 9th century.
Salt water from the Atlantic Ocean makes it through a series of ever-narrowing waterways until it reaches the marshes. Here, the water evaporates and what is left is a fine crust: the top layer is known as Fleur de Sel, or flower of salt, and below it is the gros sel, or thick salt, its greyish colour coming from the mud below.
What makes this salt superior, according to harvesters, is that unlike much of the other salt harvested in France, Guérande salt is gathered by hand rather than by machine.
A trip to the Terre de Sel cooperative for a visit to the marshes or a taste of salt (perhaps as part of their scrumptious salted caramel) should help satisfy even the most serious doubters.
By Leyla of Offbeat France
Canelés from Bordeaux
When looking for information about French regional foods to try in Bordeaux, you’ll likely hear of canelés almost immediately. This small, sweet pastry is a regional specialty and can be found on every corner! They can be found in a variety of sizes and – to be frank – qualities, but overall it’s a good treat and it’s a must in Bordeaux!
The oldest version of the history of their creation tells about the 15th century, but the more likely stories originate around 300 years later and connect the canelés with nuns from the Annonciades monastery.
It wasn’t until the 20th century that an unknown confectioner added vanilla and rum to them and popularized canelés again. They probably got their name from their undulating form. The name was popularized in the 1980s, when these pastries began to start their renaissance.
You can buy canelés anywhere – in shops, cafes, and restaurants. They are available everywhere in Bordeaux, but you can buy them in other cities as well.
Besides their canelés, Bordeaux is first and foremost a city of wine! The best wines in the world come from this region, and the vineyards are waiting for visitors! Spending a weekend in Bordeaux is a great way to enjoy the savors of the region!
By Jakob of Tymrazem
Basque Macaron from Saint-Jean-de-Luz
The Basque macaron is a variation on the classic, famous French dessert. It was invented by Maison Adam in Saint-Jean-de-Luz. These macarons Basques are a bit chewier than regular macarons.
They also don’t come in fancy colors and are plain, without (cream) filling. The exact recipe is a secret, but ground almonds, sugar and egg whites are among the ingredients.
In the local Basque dialect people call them mouchous or muxu. Muxu means a kiss, and these cookies deserve to be called a kiss! This regional French food goes back three centuries, and are also nicknamed the original macarons. This crunchier macaron is delicious.
Pick up some of these unique macarons at one of the two Maison Adam locations in town. Try out more of the Basque cuisine while in town, such as the Gateaux Basques, a delicious savory pie.
Saint-Jean-de-Luz is a seaside town on the Basque Atlantic coast in southern France, not that far from the Spanish border. It’s a popular seaside resort with a beautiful old town. It has a history of piracy and is also where King Louis XIV got married to Spanish princess Maria Theresa, an important marriage in French history.
By Cosette of KarsTravels
Calisson from Aix-en-Provence
Similar in taste and texture to the Greek kalitsounia, the sweets known today as Calisson were brought to France by the Venetians in the 13th century.
Made from ground almonds, candied melon, orange peel, and topped with a sweet white icing, they have a delicate flavour that will have you coming back for seconds and thirds! These candied treats are synonymous with the southern French city of Aix-en-Provence, and you can tour the factory of the most famous producer, Roy René, just outside of the city.
If staying in Aix, head to the pâtisserie-confiserie Maison Béchard instead, or pick some up from the wonderfully colourful markets that take place in the city throughout the year.
While in Provence, be sure to take in the vineyards that produce the region’s favorite tipple – rosé wine, tour the hilltop villages of the Luberon, and tour the scintillating coastline that’s so popular for its glistening shorelines and glitzy seaside towns.
So entrenched are these iconic sweets in the culture, that they even have their own day dedicated to them, named the Bénédiction des Calissons. And they usually feature in Christmas celebrations around the region too!
By Nadine of Le Long Weekend
Bouillabaisse from Marseille
Bouillabaisse is a regional French food originating in Marseille, but you can find it all the Provence region of southern France. Bouillabaisse is a fish stew made from several types of fish (the exact combination of fish varies from restaurant to restaurant), and often a type of shellfish. Vegetables such as potatoes, onions, leeks and tomatoes add flavor and heartiness, rounding out the meal.
This fish stew is unique due to the way it is cooked (the recipe specifies the exact order in which the different fish are added to the pot to create the perfect flavor), the Provencal herbs added, and the fact that the soup is often served in two bowls: one with the broth, and one with the fish.
It’s no surprise that Marseille has one of the best known fish soups in Europe, as it is a major port city on the Mediterranean and one of the busiest ports in Europe!
Raclette from Auvergne
A favorite French regional food to try has to be raclette. Raclette can be found in the mountainous Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. It is a cow’s milk cheese that is served at many restaurants in the region, especially during the chilly months of the year.
What makes it so special is how it is served. If you order raclette at a restaurant, be sure to have some friends to split it with, as you will likely get a half wheel of cheese placed under a heat lamp served to your table.
Once the cheese is nice and gooey, you scrape it off onto meats and veggies. You’ll also hear of people having “raclette parties” where locals will have a raclette grill to put slices of raclette into in order to melt it while they grill meats and veggies on the top.
It makes for a perfect winter treat or apres-ski meal. One of France’s best cheeses can easily be found in towns like Annecy at restaurants like L’Etage. It is also a popular Christmas market snack!
This region of France is also well-known for its skiing in winter, hiking in summer, gorgeous lakes, and even wines like Jacquère and Roussanne.
By Katherine of France Voyager
Tartiflette from Haute Savoie
Tartiflette is one of the most iconic dishes of the Savoy region, located in the French Alps on the border with Italy and Switzerland. The main ingredient of Tartiflette – meaning “potato” in Savoyard – is Reblochon, a raw milk cheese from Savoy, potatoes, bacon, onions and a dash of white wine.
Contrary to what you would expect, Tartiflette has not always been part of the French customs. In fact, this dish is a variation of a traditional dish, the Péla, and was created in the 1980s to sell off stocks of declassified Reblochon cheese.
What makes them different? The cooking process (in a fireplace or a bread oven for the Péla, while the Tartiflette is made in a traditional oven), and the addition of white wine!
Although this dish is quite recent, it has quickly become a popular convivial meal in the winter in France and it is traditional to enjoy a good Tartiflette after a day of skiing on the slopes of the Alps. You can taste Tartiflette almost everywhere in Savoie.
But where you should definitely taste Tartiflette is in the city of Annecy, famous of course for its lake, but also for its typical Haute Savoie gastronomy. Enjoying a Tartiflette at the restaurant Le Freti is one of the best things to do when in Annecy.
By Nesrine of Kevmrc
Escargots from Bourgogne
Escargots is probably one of the most unique and surprising food that France offers in the eyes of foreigners (and sometimes in French people’s eyes, too). This dish, whose name literally translates to “snails”, is one of the French Christmas traditions and is usually served on Christmas dinner.
The dish consists of six or twelve snails cooked in parsley butter in the oven. The French have special plates made of twelve holes specifically tailored to this dish. The snails are cooked in their shells with the butter and served on these plates. Toasted bread to dip in the butter usually accompanies the dish.
Escargots is a dish that originates from the Burgundy region of the country. This is most likely the best place in France to try it as the snails will be fresh from the farm. Burgundy (or Bourgogne, in French) is located in the east-central part of the France and is a famous wine region as well. It is also home to a picturesque town named Dijon, where Dijon Mustard is from.
By Mary of Be Right Back by Mary
Final Thoughts on Best French Regional Foods to Try
These delicious French regional foods come from all over France and showcase a lot of the specialties of different regions. One thing is for sure, you will not go hungry as you travel all over this culinarily rich country and try these different regional foods in France!
Check Out Some of My Other France Articles:
- The Perfect 3 Day, 5 Day, or 7 Day Paris Itinerary
- How to Have the Perfect Picnic in Paris
- 7 Best Arrondissements to Stay in Paris
- 17 Amazing Things to Do in Nice, France
- How to Hike to Calanque d’En Vau
Or browse all my articles about France here!