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What is the most popular lunch in France?

France has long been known as a gastronomic capital boasting an array of flavors that enchant the taste buds. Food is one of the delights of French life and excites both locals and visitors alike. Lunch is a sacred time of the day, giving people time to come together and enjoy the mouth-watering delicacies. The French are famous for their culinary prowess, and no matter where you find yourself in France, there will always be a unique dish that will leave you wanting for more. Although the traditional four-course lunch is becoming increasingly rare in France, there are still some tasty dishes that remain popular across the country. So, what is the most popular lunch in France?

1. Le Plat du Jour: A Traditional Meal

Le Plat du Jour is a traditional French meal that consists of a starter, main dish, and dessert, all for an affordable price. This meal is popular among locals who want to grab a quick bite, as well as tourists who are looking to try a variety of French dishes. Each restaurant has its own daily specials, but popular options include chicken with mushrooms and cream sauce, beef Bourguignon, and fish with lemon butter sauce.

Le Plat du Jour

2. Croque Monsieur: A French Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Croque Monsieur is a popular French sandwich that’s commonly known as a French grilled cheese sandwich. This sandwich consists of ham and cheese in between two slices of bread, which are then toasted until the cheese is melted and gooey. Often served as a quick lunch or snack, Croque Monsieur is often accompanied by a side salad or French fries.

Croque Monsieur

3. Quiche: A Savory Egg Pie

Quiche is a classic French dish that’s popular for lunchtime. This savory egg pie is typically made with a pastry crust and filled with a mixture of eggs, cream, cheese, and various vegetables or meats. The most popular versions include quiche Lorraine (made with bacon and cheese) and quiche au fromage (made with various types of cheese).


4. Salad Niçoise: A Colorful Salad

Salad Niçoise is a colorful and refreshing salad that’s typically made with lettuce, boiled potatoes, green beans, hard-boiled eggs, and tuna. The salad is dressed with a vinaigrette and topped with olives, tomatoes, and anchovies. It’s a great option for those who are looking for a healthier lunch option.

Salad Niçoise

5. Ratatouille: A Vegetarian Delight

Ratatouille is a vegetable stew that’s a popular lunchtime option for vegetarians. This dish is typically made with eggplant, bell peppers, zucchini, onions, tomatoes, and various herbs. The vegetables are slowly cooked in a saucepan until they’re soft and flavorful. Ratatouille can be served as a main dish on its own or as a side dish with a protein.


6. Croissant Sandwiches: A French Twist on a Classic

Croissant sandwiches are a great lunchtime option for those who are looking for a French twist on a classic sandwich. These sandwiches usually consist of buttery croissants that are filled with ham and cheese or turkey and avocado. They’re a delicious and easy lunch option that can be enjoyed on the go.

Croissant Sandwiches

7. Baguette Sandwiches: A French Staple

Baguette sandwiches are a staple in French cuisine and are a popular lunch option throughout the country. These sandwiches consist of a crusty baguette that’s filled with a variety of meats, cheeses, and vegetables. The most popular versions include ham and cheese, salmon and cream cheese, and roasted vegetable.

Baguette Sandwiches

8. Coq au Vin: A Hearty Main Dish

Coq au Vin is a hearty and delicious main dish that’s popular among meat lovers. This dish consists of chicken that’s slowly cooked in red wine with bacon, mushrooms, onions, and garlic. It’s a warm and comforting lunch that’s perfect on a cold winter day.

Coq au Vin

9. Crêpes: A Sweet or Savory Treat

Crêpes are a popular French dish that can be enjoyed sweet or savory. These thin pancakes are usually filled with Nutella and bananas or ham and cheese. They’re a delicious and portable lunch option that can be enjoyed on the go.


10. Steak Frites: A French Take on a Classic

Steak frites is a classic French dish that’s a popular lunch option among meat lovers. This dish consists of a juicy steak that’s usually served with a side of French fries and a salad. It’s a hearty and satisfying meal that’s perfect for a midday break.

Steak Frites

10 Most Popular Lunches in France

France is famous for its delicious cuisine, and the country’s lunchtime menu reflects this with a variety of tasty dishes that are both savory and satisfying. Here are ten of the most popular lunches in France:

1. Salad Niçoise

Salad Niçoise Salad Niçoise is a fresh and healthy salad that is native to the city of Nice. The salad consists of tuna, tomatoes, eggs, olives, green beans, and lettuce, topped with a simple dressing of olive oil and lemon juice. The dish is popular in France and around the world for its rich, refreshing taste, and nutritional value.

2. Croque Monsieur

Croque Monsieur A Croque Monsieur is a grilled ham and cheese sandwich, traditionally made with Gruyere cheese and thinly sliced ham. The sandwich is then grilled to perfection until the cheese is melted and bubbly. This dish is a favorite for lunch in France, either on-the-go or in a sit-down restaurant.

3. Quiche Lorraine

Quiche Lorraine Quiche Lorraine is a classic French dish made with a savory pastry crust filled with eggs, cream, cheese, and bacon. This tart and satisfying dish has become popular and can be found in most bakeries and cafes across the country.

4. Ratatouille

Ratatouille Ratatouille is a slow-cooked vegetable stew, made with eggplant, tomatoes, peppers, onions, and zucchini. This savory dish is typically served as a side dish, but it can also be eaten on its own as a vegetarian lunch option.

5. French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup French Onion Soup is a warm and comforting soup made from caramelized onions, beef broth, and toasted baguette slices topped with melted cheese. It is often seen as a quintessential French dish, and commonly found in French bistros and restaurants.

6. Gratin Dauphinois

Gratin Dauphinois The Gratin Dauphinois is a creamy and cheesy potato gratin, made with layers of thinly sliced potatoes, cream, and cheese. The dish is typically cooked in a small, round ovenproof dish and served hot.

7. Steak Frites

Steak Frites Steak Frites is a classic French dish made up of a tender steak and a side of crispy fries. The dish is simple, yet delicious, and can be found in most French restaurants and bistros.

8. Crêpes

Crêpes Crêpes are thin pancakes made from wheat flour, eggs, and milk. They can be sweet or savory, and are typically made with fillings like Nutella, ham and cheese, and fruit. Crêpes are sold from food trucks, street vendors, and at most cafes and restaurants across France.

9. Coq Au Vin

Coq Au Vin Coq Au Vin is a hearty and rich dish made with chicken, red wine, bacon, and mushrooms. The dish is typically served with boiled or mashed potatoes and can be found in most French restaurants and cafes.

10. Tartine

Tartine A tartine is an open-faced sandwich made with a slice of sourdough bread topped with various ingredients like cheese, cured meats, and vegetables. This dish can be found in most cafes across France and is a quick and easy lunch option.

These dishes reflect the French tradition of enjoying fresh, delicious, and satisfying food at lunchtime. Whether you are in a small cafe or a five-star restaurant, you can find these popular dishes throughout the country.

3. Traditional French Lunch Dishes

While France is famed for its gastronomy, some traditional dishes have remained popular over the years for their simple flavors and cultural significance. Here are some of the most well-loved dishes for lunch:

3.1 Quiche

Quiche, a savory pie consisting of a pastry crust filled with eggs, cheese, and various ingredients such as vegetables, meats, and seafood, is a classic lunch dish in France. Originating from the region of Lorraine in northeastern France, it is a popular dish all over the country. The dish is usually served warm, cut into wedges, and accompanied by a green salad.


3.2 Salade Niçoise

Salade Niçoise is a refreshing salad from the city of Nice in the south of France. It is typically made with lettuce, tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs, tuna, green beans, olives, and anchovies, dressed with a vinaigrette made with olive oil, lemon juice, and mustard. The salad is a perfect lunch option on a hot summer day and is often accompanied by a glass of rosé wine.

Salade Niçoise

3.3 Croque-Monsieur

Croque-Monsieur is a popular French sandwich made with ham and cheese, usually Gruyère or Emmental, between two slices of bread. The sandwich is then fried in butter or baked in the oven until the cheese is melted and bubbly. It is often served with a green salad and can be found in most cafes and bistros in France.


3.4 Steak Frites

Steak Frites, or steak and fries, is a classic French dish consisting of a steak served with french fries. The steak is usually cooked rare to medium-rare and seasoned with salt and pepper. The fries are thin, crispy, and golden-brown, making them the perfect accompaniment to the juicy steak. This dish is a popular choice for lunch and dinner in French brasseries and bistros.

Steak Frites

3.5 Ratatouille

Ratatouille is a vegetable stew originating from the region of Provence in southeastern France. It is made with eggplants, zucchinis, bell peppers, onions, and tomatoes, flavored with garlic, thyme, and olive oil. The dish is usually served as a side dish or a vegetarian main dish, accompanied by bread or rice.


Dish Region of Origin Main Ingredients
Quiche Lorraine Eggs, cheese, meat or vegetables
Salade Niçoise Nice Lettuce, tomatoes, tuna, green beans, olives, anchovies
Croque-Monsieur Paris Ham, cheese, bread
Steak Frites Brasseries and bistros Steak, french fries
Ratatouille Provence Eggplants, zucchinis, bell peppers, onions, tomatoes

There are countless French lunch dishes to choose from, whether you’re looking for something sweet or savory. From croissants to quiches, and from salads to stews, French cuisine is an endless source of inspiration for food lovers around the world.

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Thank You for Dropping By!

I hope you enjoyed learning about the most popular lunch in France as much as I did. Don’t hesitate to try making your own croque-monsieur and see if it becomes your go-to lunch too. And if you’re ever in France, don’t miss out on the chance to try all the other mouth-watering French dishes. Thanks for reading, and be sure to come back for more exciting articles! À bientôt (see you soon)!

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