If you’re planning a trip to France, there’s certainly plenty of incredible things to see and do.

From the famous Eiffel Tower to impressive museums and deeply rich culture, your France travel excursion will provide you with memories to last a lifetime.

When you’re ready to explore this gorgeous country, make sure you check out these five essential dishes to try. Food is an amazing way to really experience the culture and richness of your destination.

Read on for a list of five unforgettable French cuisine options every traveler should experience.

1. Foie Gras

This is a classic, quintessential French dish. Although steeped in controversy, it’s certainly something that every visitor should try at least once. Of course, you should always know where and what to eat wherever you travel. 

Often served during the holidays, foie gras is a traditional dish that involves the process of fattening geese for a delectable liver-based dish. This meal can be traced back almost as far as French culture can go.

When eating foie gras, be sure to include something savory like a piece of brioche bread. You can also dress it up with some onion spread or a dab of fig jam for a true culinary adventure. 

Foie gras is prepared in a number of ways including sauteed, steamed, and even fried. You might also find it served cold, so it really is a matter of personal preference. Be aware that this dish is notoriously expensive at most restaurants. 

2. The Classic Baguette

In terms of iconic food, nothing says French quite like a fresh, delicious baguette. This staple can be dressed up any way you like or eat it plain to really get a taste of its freshness.

When choosing a baguette, look for pointed ends. This indicates that your baguette was made by hand, which is the best way to get a true taste of real French food and culture.

A good baguette will have a golden-brown crust and should sound hollow inside when you lightly tap it. Inside you’ll find lovely holes, which gives the baguette its chewy, soft center. 

Bread and pastries are a staple of French culture, so explore as many bakeries as you can. You’ll be in awe of the incredible selection there including croissants, sweet pastries, and a variety of bread (including the baguette, of course).

3. Ratatouille 

When you hear the name ratatouille, your first thought probably goes to the charming animated film. The truth is, this dish has been widely recognized as a French staple since the region of Provence was established.

The dish consists of stewed vegetables that are served as a side dish or a main meal. It might also be used as a stuffing inside other dishes like crepes or omelets.

An assortment of vegetables is cut and cooked in a shallow pan with a bit of fat, then baked in the oven in a dish. Typically, ratatouille consists of several layers of different vegetables.

The most common veggies you’ll find in this dish include garlic, onions, tomatoes, zucchini, carrots, eggplant, and an assortment of savory herbs. Pair it with a piece of fresh bread and some meat, and you’ll be satisfied for the entire day.

4. Souffle

When you think of French travel, you likely think of the word souffle. This is a classic French dish, and it was originally made exclusively in a savory format.

The term souffle comes from the French verb “to blow out” which makes sense since it features a lightweight texture that literally rises when cooked. This airy dish is egg-based and can be dated back as far as the 18th century.

The savory version of souffle can be created using a wide array of ingredients, and it’s usually eaten as a breakfast staple. You can also find it in dessert form, and the chocolate version is the most popular.

A true French chocolate souffle has a crispy chocolate crust filled with gooey creamy chocolate in the center. Top it with powdered sugar, and you’ve got a match made in dessert heaven.

5. Coq au Vin

This classic French dish became an instant hit thanks to the famous chef Juia Child. In fact, it quickly became one of her signature dishes, capturing the imagination of chefs all over the world.

When in France, you need to try this incredible meal, especially if you love layers of rich flavor. The dish starts with a braised chicken covered in wine, mushroom, and super-salty bacon or pork called lardons.

Other layers of flavor include chopped onions and garlic with a hint of brandy or red wine for the more adventurous. Be sure to find a restaurant that prides itself in braising this tender dish with local wines for a truly authentic French experience.

The key to a delicious coq au vin is its slow, simmering process. After the cooking is complete, you have an extremely tender dish combined with layers of bold flavor for a memorable dining experience. 

France Travel: Exploring with Your Tastebuds

From traditional baguettes to multi-layered ratatouille, the French certainly have plenty to offer fans of culinary delights. When you experience France travel, be sure to include some or all of these dishes on your list.

Trying new foods is a wonderful way to immerse yourself in the culture. Besides, you might just discover a new favorite along the way or get inspired to make something yourself when you return home.

Why wait? Book your trip to France today and enjoy some of the amazing cuisine the country has to offer.