Are you interested in learning how to say food in French? Whether you’re planning a trip to France or simply want to expand your language skills, knowing the French words for different types of food can be incredibly useful. In this article, we will guide you through the basics of food vocabulary in French, helping you enhance your language proficiency and make the most out of your culinary experiences.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: food in French is ‘nourriture’. Now let’s delve deeper into the fascinating world of French food language and explore the essential words and phrases you need to know.

Here’s what we will include in this article:

– Common French food vocabulary

– How to pronounce food words in French

– Useful phrases for ordering food in a restaurant

– Traditional French dishes and their names

– Tips for expanding your French food vocabulary

Now, let’s begin our journey into the delectable world of French cuisine.

Common French Food Vocabulary

Fruits and vegetables

When it comes to fruits and vegetables in French, there are many delicious options to explore. Some common fruits include les pommes (apples), les bananes (bananas), and les fraises (strawberries). For vegetables, you can try les carottes (carrots), les tomates (tomatoes), or les courgettes (zucchini). If you’re feeling adventurous, you might want to try les escargots (snails), a popular French delicacy.

Meat and seafood

In French cuisine, meat and seafood play a significant role. Popular meat options include le poulet (chicken), le boeuf (beef), and le porc (pork). Seafood lovers can indulge in les crevettes (shrimp), les moules (mussels), or les huîtres (oysters). If you’re a fan of snacking, you can also try les saucissons (sausages) or les pâtés (pâtés).

Dairy products

The French take great pride in their dairy products, and for a good reason. Some common dairy items you’ll encounter include le fromage (cheese), le beurre (butter), and le yaourt (yogurt). France is famous for its variety of cheeses, such as le camembert and le brie. Don’t forget to try la crème fraîche (sour cream) and la crème brûlée (crème brûlée) for a truly indulgent experience.

Bread and pastries

No visit to France is complete without trying their delicious bread and pastries. Some popular choices include la baguette (baguette), les croissants (croissants), and les éclairs (éclairs). For a sweeter treat, you can enjoy les macarons (macarons), les tartes aux fruits (fruit tarts), or les crêpes (crêpes). French pastries are known for their delicate flavors and flaky textures.


To accompany your French meal, there are various beverages to choose from. Le vin (wine) is an integral part of French culture, and you can find a wide selection of red, white, and rosé wines. If you prefer non-alcoholic options, try le café (coffee), le thé (tea), or le jus d’orange (orange juice). And of course, don’t forget to indulge in some le champagne for special celebrations.

How to Pronounce Food Words in French

French pronunciation basics

Pronouncing food words in French can be a bit challenging for non-native speakers, but with a little practice, you’ll be able to navigate the French culinary world with ease. Here are some basic pronunciation rules to get you started:

  • Vowels: Pay attention to the vowels in French as they are often pronounced differently than in English. For example, the letter “e” can have different sounds depending on its position in a word. Practice pronouncing words like “fromage” (cheese) or “croissant” (croissant) to get a feel for the French vowel sounds.
  • Consonants: French consonants can also present some challenges. For instance, the letter “r” is often pronounced with a guttural sound at the back of the throat. Try pronouncing words like “restaurant” or “ratatouille” to practice this sound.
  • Accents: French is known for its accents, which can significantly change the pronunciation of a word. Pay attention to accents like the acute accent (é), which adds emphasis to the vowel sound. For example, “café” (coffee) is pronounced “ka-fey” in French.

Tips for pronouncing food words correctly

Now that you have a basic understanding of French pronunciation, here are some tips to help you pronounce food words correctly:

  • Listen to native speakers: One of the best ways to improve your pronunciation is to listen to native French speakers. You can find online resources, such as podcasts or videos, that focus on French food culture. By listening to these, you’ll get a better sense of how to pronounce various food words.
  • Practice speaking out loud: Pronunciation is a skill that you develop through practice. Take the time to speak out loud and practice pronouncing food words in French. You can even record yourself and compare your pronunciation to that of native speakers.
  • Use online resources: There are many online resources available that provide audio pronunciations of French words. Websites like or offer pronunciation guides for various languages, including French.
  • Seek help from a language tutor: If you’re serious about improving your pronunciation, consider working with a language tutor who can provide personalized guidance and feedback. They can help you identify specific areas for improvement and practice pronunciation with you.

Remember, learning a new language takes time and practice. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get it right away. Keep practicing and soon enough, you’ll be able to confidently pronounce food words in French like a native!

Useful Phrases for Ordering Food in a Restaurant

How to ask for a table

When you arrive at a restaurant, the first thing you’ll need to do is ask for a table. In French, you can use the phrase “Je voudrais une table, s’il vous plaît” (I would like a table, please). If you prefer a specific type of table, such as one near the window or in a quieter area, you can say “Est-ce que je peux avoir une table près de la fenêtre/s’il vous plaît?” (Can I have a table near the window, please?). Remember to always be polite and use “s’il vous plaît” (please) when making your request.

Ordering food and drinks

Once you’re seated at your table, it’s time to order your food and drinks. To ask for the menu, simply say “La carte, s’il vous plaît” (The menu, please). When you’re ready to order, you can use phrases like “Je vais prendre…” (I’ll have…) or “Je voudrais…” (I would like…). For example, if you want to order a steak, you can say “Je vais prendre un steak, s’il vous plaît” (I’ll have a steak, please). If you have any specific requests or preferences, don’t hesitate to let the waiter know. They will be happy to accommodate your needs.

Special dietary requests

If you have any special dietary requests or restrictions, it’s important to communicate them to the waiter. For example, if you’re a vegetarian, you can say “Je suis végétarien(ne)” (I am a vegetarian) or “Est-ce que vous avez des options végétariennes?” (Do you have any vegetarian options?). If you have any food allergies, it’s crucial to mention them to ensure your safety. You can say “Je suis allergique aux fruits de mer” (I am allergic to seafood) or “Est-ce que ce plat contient des fruits à coque?” (Does this dish contain nuts?). The waiter will then be able to guide you and suggest suitable options from the menu.

Remember, learning a few basic phrases in French can go a long way when it comes to ordering food in a restaurant. The locals will appreciate your effort, and you’ll have a more enjoyable dining experience. Bon appétit!

Traditional French Dishes and Their Names

– Popular French dishes

French cuisine is renowned worldwide for its exquisite flavors and rich culinary traditions. Here are some popular French dishes that you must try:

  • Escargots de Bourgogne: These are snails cooked with garlic, parsley, and butter. Don’t be put off by the thought of eating snails – they are actually quite delicious!
  • Coq au Vin: This is a classic French dish made with chicken, red wine, mushrooms, and onions. It is slow-cooked to perfection, resulting in tender and flavorful meat.
  • Bouillabaisse: Originating from the coastal city of Marseille, bouillabaisse is a hearty fish stew made with various types of fish, shellfish, tomatoes, and aromatic herbs.
  • Ratatouille: This vegetable medley consists of eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers, onions, and tomatoes. It is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed as a side or as a main course.
  • Tarte Tatin: This is a caramelized upside-down apple tart that is a true delight for dessert lovers. It is typically served with a dollop of crème fraîche.

– Translations of French dishes

When ordering in a French restaurant or trying to navigate a French menu, it can be helpful to know the translations of some popular French dishes. Here are a few translations to make your dining experience in France a breeze:

English French
French Onion Soup Soupe à l’oignon
Beef Bourguignon Boeuf Bourguignon
Croissant Croissant
Crème Brûlée Crème Brûlée
Quiche Lorraine Quiche Lorraine

Learning the translations of these dishes will not only help you navigate menus but will also impress the locals with your knowledge of the French language and cuisine!

Tips for Expanding Your French Food Vocabulary

Watching French cooking shows and reading food magazines

If you want to immerse yourself in the world of French cuisine, watching French cooking shows and reading food magazines can be a great way to expand your vocabulary. Not only will you learn new words for different types of food, but you’ll also get a glimpse into the culture and traditions surrounding French cuisine. Shows like “MasterChef France” or “Top Chef” can provide you with a wealth of culinary knowledge, while magazines like “Gourmand” or “Saveurs” can introduce you to new ingredients and recipes.

Trying out new recipes in French

Another fun and delicious way to learn food-related vocabulary in French is by trying out new recipes. You can find a wide variety of recipes in French online or in cookbooks. Start with simple dishes like “ratatouille” or “quiche lorraine” and gradually work your way up to more complex recipes. As you follow the instructions and read the ingredients in French, you’ll not only expand your vocabulary but also gain valuable insights into the techniques and flavors that define French cuisine.

Visiting local markets and food festivals

One of the best ways to learn about food in any culture is by experiencing it firsthand. In France, this means visiting local markets and food festivals. Take a stroll through the bustling stalls of a French market and interact with the vendors. Ask them about their products, learn about regional specialties, and try out different foods. You’ll not only come across new and exciting ingredients but also have the opportunity to practice your French language skills. Food festivals, such as the Fête de la Gastronomie or the Salon du Chocolat, are also great places to explore French cuisine and discover new flavors.

Remember, expanding your French food vocabulary is not just about learning words, but also about immersing yourself in the culture and traditions of French cuisine. So, don’t be afraid to get hands-on and try new recipes, watch cooking shows, and explore local markets and food festivals. Bon appétit!


Congratulations! You’ve now gained valuable insight into how to say food in French and expanded your knowledge of French food vocabulary. By practicing pronunciation, using useful phrases, and exploring traditional French dishes, you’ll be well-prepared to enjoy the culinary delights of France.Remember, learning a new language takes time and practice, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t become fluent overnight. Keep immersing yourself in the French language and culture, and soon you’ll be confidently ordering delicious meals and conversing with locals in their native tongue.

Bon appétit and happy language learning!

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