How To Eat Like The French

In this article, I will present how to eat like the French with 10 diet guidelines and French culinary traditions. French people like to eat quality food but in small quantities. This is why French women have a reputation for eating well but not gaining weight! Amazing, isn’t it?

The French are also very attached to their culinary traditions during the year, where family and friends meet to celebrate French values such as the love of gastronomy and family!

eat like the french

Quality over quantity

It’s important when eating in France to eat everything but in reasonable quantities. For example, we start with the “entrée”, then the main course and we always end with the cheese and then the dessert. It may seem like a big meal, but the trick is to eat a small portion each time. Like that, we vary the pleasures and we do not abuse each food.

The “goûter”

The “goûter” is the equivalent of afternoon tea in England. It’s taken between 4 pm-4:30 pm. Most often these are cookies, homemade cakes and hot chocolate or fruit juice. It is very common among children, who have “goûter” after school. But adults love it too, it’s an opportunity to buy a pastry and a good coffee!



I think there is no need to even explain the famous French aperitif! French people like to meet up after work at a terrace, or at home with friends and family to taste wine and charcuterie (deli meat), /cheese boards. To me, this is one of the best and most typical French culinary practices. Wine is very common, however, you can also drink kir royal, whiskey or champagne for example!

Traditional meals according to the season

France has a lot of typical dishes that come back every year depending on the season. For example in winter, the French eat raclette, fondue or gratin dauphinois … While in summer it will be more salads, quiches and light sandwiches. During the year, it is also the tradition to eat crepes, sweet or savoury, especially on mardi gras day.


Lots of bread, lots of wine and… lots of cheese

We could sum up French food by wine, bread and cheese! Of course, it’s much more than that but this “cliché” is not totally one. Wine, cheese and bread have almost statues of gods in France! We have some at every meal. It must be said that it is our pride and we produce so much, of quality, that they are envied all over the world! If you’re coming to France soon, don’t forget to taste the famous French baguette, French cheese (yes, any) and red wine, from Bordeaux for example!

Pastries and desserts

Pastries and desserts are also very famous in France. We have wonderful baking know-how and who has never heard of our “croissants” and “pains au chocolat”! In French families, there are also many homemade desserts such as chocolate fondant, tarte tatin or chocolate éclairs. I remember being small and still today, it’s the tradition to make desserts in family for the meal or the “goûter.”

pains au chocolat

Lunchtime at work

Meals are very sacred moments in France and you can spend an entire afternoon around the table, snacking and chatting. This is why during lunchtime at work, French people generally take an hour to eat, sometimes more. It may seem like a lot for some countries who eat in 30 minutes, or worse, eat at their desk. But for us, it’s important to enjoy the meal and not to eat in a hurry, which is also bad for our health and is one of the reasons for weight gain. Of course, on some working days, we will just eat a sandwich or a salad, but we always take a minimum 45-minute break.

Dark Chocolate is better

Yes, chocolate is sacred in France! It’s in a lot of our pastries so we love it. However, dark chocolate is better and very popular in France. Dark chocolate has been shown to protect the heart and improve artery health. It also helps to fight stress, fatigue and anxiety. So, if you want to keep the figure while eating and indulging yourself like the French, consider dark chocolate!

eat like the french dark chocolate

Dinner is the most important meal of the day

All meals of the day are important in France, but dinner is definitely the most popular! It’s an opportunity to meet and talk about your day while enjoying an aperitif then dinner in peace. It is the tradition to set the table, the bread and the wine and then start with the “entrée”. We don’t watch TV but on the contrary, we enjoy this moment of sharing with family or friends.

Sunday is for lunch with the family

Sunday in France is often spent going to see the family (grandparents, cousins, etc.) and eat with them. We usually also spend the afternoon at the table because the meal gets longer: we talk a lot and the aperitif goes on forever! What I love is that everyone brings homemade food, wine and cheese from the regions of France.

eat like the french wine

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  1. Laura says:

    This sounds so glorious… I want to eat like a French person now.

    1. Stephanie says:

      Haha 🙈

  2. Savvy says:

    What a nice article! Hopefully I won’t gain weight after enjoying all that French food 😉

    1. Stephanie says:

      Haha, not if you eat reasonable quantity 😉

  3. Dawn says:

    YES! PASTRIES! I looooove pastries!

    1. Stephanie says:

      Haha who doesn’t?! 😍

  4. Have always wondered how the French are so skinny while eating things like pastries. This is interesting information!

    1. Stephanie says:

      Thank you 🙂

  5. Jillian says:

    I love this article! I think it’s so important to point out quality over quantity, and time spent with family.

    1. Stephanie says:

      Thank you! Yes, definitely! 😍

  6. Yuki Reads says:

    Omg I am hungry now lol! These all look great.

    1. Stephanie says:

      Haha yes it will have this effect on you 😇

  7. Paige says:

    Delicious! I’ve tried crepes and baguettes, but I’ll definitely have to expand my horizons next time I visit France!

    1. Sara says:

      Everything looks amazing! Especially the desserts 🙂

      1. Stephanie says:

        Desserts are always great 😋

    2. Stephanie says:

      You’ve already tried some really good French food 🤤

  8. Vicky Beaney says:

    Pastries and spending Sundays with family… perhaps I have living a french lifestyle already? However, I cant get on board with dark chocolate!

    1. Stephanie says:

      Haha, maybe! 🙈

  9. Kari says:

    Raclette is an all time favorite of mine! That broiled just a bit on some chunky bread and a fall soup is amazing!

    1. Stephanie says:

      I know right! It’s so cheesy but so good 😋

  10. Cathy says:

    I miss eating in France! Thank you for this amazing reminder! 🙂

    1. Stephanie says:

      You’re welcome 😊

  11. Kimberley says:

    This was very informative. In Jamaica we too have traditional meals that are mainly eaten during specific times in the year. I’m here for all the pastries and desserts. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Stephanie says:

      I love traditional country meals!
      No problem 🙂

  12. Tracy says:

    If it calls for dark chocolate and wine I am here for it!
    Find Your Dazzle

    1. Stephanie says:

      Haha, it is! 🙌🏼

  13. Rachel says:

    I can still remember the taste of the bread and cheese I had when I was in Paris 10 years ago, it’s so good it just sticks with you! I am often inspired by French desserts in my own baking! Thank you for a wonderful trip down memory lane!

    1. Stephanie says:

      It’s something that you just can’t forget 😍
      You’re welcome! 🙂

  14. Deb says:

    This all sounds delicious! I remember reading a book many years ago that was titled something like “Why French Women Don’t Get Fat” and was intrigued. The picture of the croissant in your post made me want to run to the bakery!

    1. Stephanie says:

      Oh yeah, I know this book! Haha, so true.
      I’m glad the croissant made that effect on you 😋

  15. MissMillMag says:

    This all Looks so delicious!
    I am often inspired by French desserts in my own baking!
    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Stephanie says:

      You’re welcome 😋

  16. MissMillMag says:

    This all Looks so delicious!
    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Stephanie says:

      No problem 😊

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