Home French Language Learn how to Order Meals in French: Every thing You Have to Know

Learn how to Order Meals in French: Every thing You Have to Know

Learn how to Order Meals in French: Every thing You Have to Know



The French know delicacies.

Simply consuming is usually a fabulous technique to begin introducing French tradition into your life. That goes double (or triple) should you’re staying in a French-speaking space.

And armed with this whole information to ordering meals in French, coming into a restaurant in France may be one of the crucial thrilling (and engaging) methods to follow your French!


Deciding on the Restaurant

The world of French meals is huge and throughout the French talking world, there are numerous sorts of locations the place you possibly can eat.

Relying on the type of meal and expertise that you just need to have, you possibly can select from any variety of consuming locations, from the flamboyant to the very informal:

  •  Auberge / auberge de campagne : When you’re in rural France, you would possibly discover one among these, that are often small in dimension and connected to an area resort or mattress and breakfast. Auberges serve rustic, rural meals at comparatively low prices, and customarily put together their meals from native components.
  • Brasserie : Whenever you conjure up a picture of consuming in France, you would possibly first consider a conventional brasserie, with tables spilling out onto the town streets.

    The most effective identified sorts of French consuming institutions, the brasserie may be visited from late morning proper up till late at night time, and can probably serve each kind of meal.

  • Restaurant : Sometimes specializing in a single kind of meals (though that’s not at all times the case), the restaurant tends to have separate providers for lunch and dinner. It often closes in between the 2 sorts of meals so employees can clear and put together for the following inflow of company.

    Though worth ranges do range quite a bit, you possibly can anticipate a barely extra formal expertise right here than at different sorts of consuming locations.

After all, the place you determine to eat additionally relies on which meal you’re having:

Making a Reservation in French

After you’ve chosen the correct eatery for the event, you would possibly have to make a reservation. In bigger cities, eating places are usually extra prone to replenish, particularly if it’s a weekend. Reserving forward can prevent a prolonged ready time or disappointment.

Right here’s a pattern dialogue to arrange you for reserving a reservation:

Bonjour, je voudrais réserver une desk, s’il vous plaît.”  (Whats up, I want to guide a desk, please.)
“Pour combien ?”  (For what number of?)
“Pour quatre personnes.”  (For 4 folks.)
“Pour quand ?”  (For when?)
“Pour ce soir à 20h.”  (For this night at 8 p.m.).
“A quel nom, s’il vous plaît ?”  (What’s the title, please?)
“[Your name].”

Discovering Your Desk

Whenever you get to the restaurant and you’ve got a reservation, strategy the maître d’ and allow them to know that you’ve got a desk ready:

J’ai réservé une desk au nom de…  (I’ve reserved a desk within the title of…)

Alternatively, they could ask you:

“Vous avez une réservation?”  (Do you’ve got a reservation?)

And you may reply:

“Oui, au nom de [your name]” (Sure, within the title of [your name].)

When you don’t make a reservation forward of time, it’s very doable to eat out in France and end up a desk on the spot. On this case, you’d have to announce what number of are in your occasion, and wait to be seated:

“On est deux.”  (There are two of us.)

When you’re coming into right into a brasserie which serves each meals and drinks, you possibly can let the waiters know the place to seat you by specifying both of the next:

On va juste boire quelque selected.  (We are going to simply have a drink.)

On va manger quelque selected.  (We are going to eat one thing.)

Ordering Takeout

The world of French takeout is huge, and there are dozens of sorts to select from should you don’t need to dine out. 

When you’re trying to find locations that do takeout, search for these phrases on the door:

Vente à emporter  (purchase to take out)

Alternatively, you possibly can decide up a menu from the restaurant and order supply from dwelling.

When you don’t really feel like speaking to anybody on the telephone however nonetheless want to order meals, there are numerous takeout web sites via which you’ll order your meals. 

From the dropdown menu, you possibly can choose votre ville (your city) and make your choice from there.

Subsequent to this, you possibly can choose if you want to obtain your meals. J’ai faim (I’m hungry) signifies that you just want to eat now, whereas aujourd’hui (at this time) will let you choose a time-frame later within the day.

After this, simply choose what you need to eat, fill in your deal with and fee particulars and your order must be there shortly!

Navigating a French Menu

French eating places work in a lot the identical means as eating places around the globe. Sometimes, you’re seated by the maître d’, who will then direct a waiter or waitress to take your order. All you need to do is keep a well mannered tone of voice and at all times thank your waiter.

Appeal to your waiter’s consideration by saying “Excusez-moi ?”  (Excuse me?), and keep in mind to say “S’il vous plaît”  (please) after you’ve made your order.

Listed here are some useful phrases for navigating the menu:

Quenching Your Thirst

Earlier than you make your meal order, you may want one thing to drink first. When you’ve perused les boissons  (drinks), this phrase will come in useful:

Je voudrais boire quelque selected pour commencer.  (I want to drink one thing to begin with.)

Listed here are some phrases you would possibly see within the “drinks” part of the menu:

French eating places are inclined to have wines both from round their area or from elsewhere inside France, so eating out is an effective way to pattern what the nation has to supply by means of a tipple.

Your waiter will usually be nicely educated on the sorts of wine out there, so don’t hesitate to ask for suggestions.

When you’re simply ordering water together with your meal, there are just a few choices to learn about. Merely asking for a carafe d’eau (jug of water) will get you a pitcher of water taken from the faucet at no further value. It’s very uncommon for a restaurant to not serve faucet water, so it’s at all times value ordering some if you’d like a palate cleanser with one other drink.

If you’d like a bottled water, you possibly can choose both plate  (nonetheless) or gazeuse  (glowing).

After dinner, it’s quite common for French diners to let their meals go down with a café. Ordering a café in France will deliver you an espresso, so if you’d like one thing with a bit milk or one thing further, you’ll have to specify it:

Understanding the Menu Choices

So you’ve got a menu, and your waiter has simply taken your drink orders. Now it’s time to get studying and choose what you’ll feast on. Whereas selecting between French dishes might sound impossibly onerous, you possibly can at all times ask your waiter for a advice: 

“Qu’est-ce que vous recommandez ?”  (What do you suggest?)

Listed here are some meals choices you would possibly see on the menu:

Like most different international locations, a French menu will usually include a dish with every kind of meat choice and one or two fish plates. Understanding how these dishes are cooked can generally require a bit additional investigation.

When you learn that one thing has been cooked au 4 , then it has been ready with an oven, and can usually be offered as a roasted dish.

Meals which have been fumé , nonetheless, are smoked, which may lend the principle dish a a lot totally different taste.

If you’d like a steak, you would possibly discover that some locations serve their meat haché . This merely implies that the meat has been minced or floor, and that it’ll have a barely totally different texture (and probably a less expensive worth) from conventional beef steaks.

Consuming in France through the fall or winter is an effective way to pattern a dish cooked à l’étouffée . Introduced as a stew, this can be a nice technique to pattern native delicacies, as many cities use totally different recipes for his or her stews, relying on the area.

When you’re anxious about remembering meals, you possibly can at all times deliver alongside a French phrasebook, such because the “Lonely Planet French Phrasebook and Dictionary.”

Lonely Planet at massive is stuffed with phrasebooks and regional journey guides that can assist you realize what to anticipate when ordering meals and consuming overseas.

Meals allergic reactions and dietary restrictions

When you have any meals allergic reactions or dietary necessities, listed below are some phrases so you possibly can let your waiter know:

Whereas French meals is a few of the greatest beloved on the planet, it might be harder to seek out vegetarian or vegan choices at sure locations. When you can’t see any dishes on the principle menu that don’t include any meat, then it’s probably you would have a few of the starters tailored to satisfy your wants.

Many locations will both assist you to choose quite a few smaller dishes to be introduced out together with your occasion’s predominant meals, or will serve you a starter in a much bigger dimension, charging a bit extra so to eat it as a predominant dish.

Ordering Your Meal in French

Now that you just’ve efficiently ordered drinks and chosen from the menu, it’s time to order that meals. Listed here are some phrases that can assist all through the remainder of your meal:

It’s value noting that numerous French cooking will current meat which is rather less nicely achieved than you could be used to elsewhere.

Ordering your steak bleu will get you steak that’s been fried within the pan for the briefest of moments. Steak cooked like that is very bloody and in style among the many locals.

Ending Your Meal

On the finish of a meal, the method in French eating places is a bit totally different from elsewhere on the planet.

It’s very uncommon for a French restaurant to supply a doggy bag service, so should you don’t end your meal, you most likely received’t be capable to take it dwelling with you. Whereas some locations would possibly oblige you, many French locations assume that should you don’t end every thing in your place, you then didn’t need to eat it.

Tipping on the finish of a meal in France is not the identical as tipping within the USA. Most eating places in France will embody the service cost on the examine, that means that your whole invoice is all it’s essential to pay.

If you want to go away one thing as a gesture of goodwill, nonetheless, it’s usually accepted to go away €1 for each €20 that you just spend. This isn’t compulsory, however may be achieved should you actually appreciated your service and waiter.

Watching genuine French movies will help you perceive a bit bit extra in regards to the correct etiquette. If that’s one thing you’re desirous about, contemplate attempting FluentU, which makes use of native-level movies together with interactive captions that will help you be taught probably the most vocabulary and tradition from every video. 


When you’re fortunate sufficient to go to France or a French-speaking nation, then sampling the native meals is a incredible technique to follow your français whereas retaining your style buds blissful.

Use this information to eat out in France with confidence—it would possibly simply be top-of-the-line stuff you do if you’re overseas. There’s an entire different world of meals on the market to be tasted, so get on the market and begin ordering!