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Lunch In France: What Do The French Eat For Lunch?

Lunch In France: What Do The French Eat For Lunch?

French lunch foods are enjoyed by people around the world, who appreciate the hearty and filling dishes eaten by the French in the middle of the day. If you have been wondering what do the French eat for lunch, keep reading to discover some of the top dishes eaten in this country.

Lunch in France

How to say lunch in French

Before we go any further, let’s learn how to say lunch in French. The French word for lunch is déjeuner [pronunciation: deʒœne]. The following page from Forvo offers several audio samples of déjeuner. The following video also offers a useful audio sample:

Top-10 most common French lunch foods

1. Croque Monsieur

One of the most famous dishes eaten for lunch in France is the croque monsieur. It offers a French twist on a ham and cheese sandwich, with plenty of French butter and cream to add to the taste of this dish.

Croque Monsieur

2. Croque Madame

The croque madame is an adaptation of the croque monsieur, which adds a fried egg on the top. The French typically eat this sandwich with a knife and fork, and it’s one of the top French lunch foods.

Croque Madame

3. Entrecôte

When discussing entrecôte in terms of French lunches, this is a premium cut of beef which can be used for both roasts and steaks. It’s traditionally cut from the rib and is a popular lunch in many cities in France.

demi, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

4. Steak-Frites

For a hearty lunch, one of our favorite lunches in France is steak-frites. It’s still lighter than your typical steak dinner, but will certainly see you through the rest of the day.

Missvain, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

5. Salade Niçoise

If you are looking for one of the lighter French lunch foods, we highly recommend trying the salade niçoise. However, you’ll find that many French chefs can’t agree on the recipe for this dish, which often includes potatoes, green beans, and tuna.

cyclonebill, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

6. Quiche Lorraine

This quiche originated from Lorraine, which sits on the French-German border. It’s a popular dish throughout the Alsace region and can be enjoyed with a side of fries or salad.

Arnaud 25, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

7. Moules Frites

Many regions of France are well known for their fresh seafood. Moules frites are enjoyed throughout the country, but they are one of the top lunch foods in Brittany and Normandy.

Moules Frites
Luistxo, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

8. Crêpes

Everywhere you go in France, you’ll find endless stalls offering fresh crêpes. The French enjoy both savory and sweet versions of this dish, which makes the perfect midday snack.

Calgary Reviews, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

9. Jambon Beurre Sandwich

This sandwich is made with ham and butter, and it’s what the French would eat for lunch instead of a typical hamburger. It’s quick and easy to make, and in its simplest form is just a baguette with ham inside.

Jambon Beurre Sandwich
Boulanger: Nat / Photographer: Nat, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

10. Ham and Cheese Omelette

Omelettes aren’t just eaten for breakfast here, as one of the best French lunch foods is a ham and cheese omelette. This rich dish could still be eaten at the start of the day, but the French typically enjoy something lighter for breakfast.

Ham and Cheese Omelette

These are some of the most popular dishes that the French eat for lunch, all of which will leave you feeling satisfied for many hours after.

If you are looking to mix up your lunches this year, we recommend trying some of these dishes for yourself.

Many of them are quick and easy to make at home and will transport you to France for a brief time during your lunch break.

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David Issokson

David Issokson is a lifelong language enthusiast. His head is swimming with words and sounds as he speaks over six languages. Of all the languages he speaks, he's the most passionate about French! David has helped hundreds of students to improve their French in his private online lessons. When procrastinating working on his site,, David enjoys his time skiing and hiking in Teton Valley, Idaho.

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