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PDF What is that on the Menu? A Simple Guide to French Food Words

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You may have to ask, and you will be given bottled water unless you specify tap.

French Eateries: Difference Between Cafe and Restaurant (and Bistro vs Brasserie)

L'Aperitif: In America, appetizers are the start of the meal; in France, it's l'aperitif , which are small bites typically served with an alcoholic drink. These light snacks might include olives, peanuts, or some sort of canape, or a small piece of toast with a flavorful topping. The beverage portion might be a few fingers of whiskey or bourbon, a martini, or a glass of Champagne.

If this formal French meal is being served at home, typically l'aperitif will be served away from the dining room, like in the formal living room. The French word " Entrer ," or to enter, explains its place in a formal meal. Seasonality in food is important to classic French cooking, so you might be served anything from beef carpaccio to salmon mousse to French onion soup.


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Fish: In a formal restaurant, a fish course garnished with vegetables comes between l'entree and the main course, though it might be considered the main course at home. Main Course: An elaborate meat or poultry dish, accompanied by a vegetable garnish, will be served next as the main course, or le plat principal.

The vegetables will usually be served on the side, not on the same plate, and will likely be simple, seasonal vegetables. Salad: Traditionally, simple greens tossed with vinaigrette are served as a means of cleansing the palate and aiding digestion.

French Vocabulary List: Food, Cooking, and Meals – TakeLessons Blog

Cheese: The French reputably eat more cheese than anyone else in the world. After the salad, and before may also replace the dessert they appreciate a selection of it served on a wooden board and only if you are a foreigner would you be offered bread. See sections below for information on how to ask. Note that many restaurant kitchens in Paris close after 2pm and 10pm and restaurants often close their doors entirely between 3 and 7 pm.

Service continu: Continuous service indicates a restaurant that serves food between "normal" meal times, generally between 2pm-7pm.

French Food Vocabulary: 'La Nourriture'

Note that in Paris, smoking has been entirely banned in all public spaces since early Use these basic expressions when you first arrive at a restaurant, to help ask for a table, see the menu or inquire about daily specials. Do you have a table near the window, please? Ah-vay voo oohn tahbl-uh vehr lah fuhn-ehtr-uh, seel voo pleh?

Can we have the menu, please? Luh kart, seel voo pleh? Where's the restroom, please? Oo sohn lay twah-leht, seel voo pleh?

Words and Phrases You'll Need to Eat Out

What are today's specials? Kell sohn lay plah doo jour, seel voo pleh?


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  4. Do you have fixed-price menus? Ah-vay voo day meh-noo ah pree feex? Do you have a menu in English? Ah-vay voo unh meh-noo ahn ahn-glay? Is it possible to order take out?


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    Ess poh-see-bluh duh prawn-druh day plaugh ah ahm-pohr-teh? These expressions can be helpful for decrypting some of the more culturally particular aspects of dining in France. I didn't order this.

    French A-Z Name Food Dictionary / Glossary

    J'ai pris x Zhuh n'ay pah koh-mahn-day sah. Zhay pree x Can we have salt and pepper please? Doo sehl eh doo pwahv-ruh, seel voo pleh? Use these expressions at the end of your meal. Be aware that servers will almost never bring you the check without your asking for it, as it is considered rude to do so in France.