100 French Food/Drink Words And Phrases

Whether you are eating your way through the culinary pleasures of France, or just dining at one of your local French restaurants, knowing some choice words and phrases is always a good idea. And "oui oui" of course we're here to help. 

If only your 10th-grade French teacher had taught you what you really need to know: impressing that special someone at the restaurant. France is a haven for food and wine enthusiasts of all levels, and French cuisine is a palate-expanding experience. But just in case you want to avoid snails, raw beef, and frogs' legs — or you're looking to hone the basics for ordering specific meat and, say, asking for the wine list — try out these words and phrases. Bon appétit.

Avec des glaçons: On the rocks

La bière: Beer

Une bouteille: A bottle

Le café: Coffee (typically espresso)

Une carafe: A glass bottle (usually of wine)

La carte de vins: The wine list

Le cidre: Cider

Le jus: Juice

Le Kir: White wine with cassis or blackberry syrup

Un pichet: A small pitcher (usually of wine)

Les cuisses de grenouille: Frogs' legs

Les escargots: Snails served in-shell with garlic-parsley butter

Le foie: Liver

Le pâté: Liver mousse

Le steak tartare: Seasoned, finely chopped raw beef

Les rognons de veaux: Veal kidneys

La tête de veau: Veal head

À point: Medium rare

Bien cuit: Well done

Bleu, saignant: Rare ("blue" or "bleeding")

Le bifteck: Steak

À la broche: Cooked on a skewer

Carbonnisée: Burned to a crisp

La charcuterie: An assortment of cured and dried meats

Le porc: Pork

Une saucisse/Saucisson: Sausage

Une tranche: A slice

Le veau: Veal

La viande: Meat

Les ailes de poulet: Chicken wings

Le blanc de poulet: Chicken breast

Le consommé du volaille: Chicken broth

Le coquelet: Young male chicken

La cuisse: Dark meat

La poulard: Young female chicken

Le poulet/poule: Chicken

Le poulet rôti: Roast chicken

La volaille: White meat

Aïoli: Garlic mayonnaise *try it on fries

Aligot: Fondue-like mix of mashed potatoes and sharp cheese

Le cassoulet: Rich meat and bean casserole

La choucroute: Sauerkraut (expect various kinds of pork)

Le coq au vin: Chicken in red wine sauce

La crêpe: A very thin pancake, sweet or savory

La galette: A savory crepe

Les huitres: Oysters

Le parmentier: Like shephard's pie, ground meat covered with mashed potatoes

Les moules: Mussels

Le vol-au-vent: A small, light, savory pastry

L'amuse-bouche: A bite-sized hors d'oeuvre, compliments of the chef

Le beurre: Butter

Les coquilles Saint-Jacques: Scallops

Les oeufs: Eggs

Le pain: Bread

Les pâtes: Pasta

Au gratin: Baked with cheese and breadcrumbs

À votre goût: To your liking

En cocotte: Cooked in a covered baking dish

Confit: Cooked in fat (either its own or the fat of something else)

En croute: Wrapped in pastry

Farci: Stuffed

Frit(e): Fried

Fumé: Smoked

Haché: Ground (meat)

Un méli-mélo: An assortment

Un morceau: A piece

Piquant: Spicy

Au pistou: With basil

Provençal: Cooked with tomatoes, anchovies and olives

Rôti: Roasted

À la vapeur: Steamed

L'addition: The check (must be requested)

Allérgique à: Allergic to

And for the Mrs./Miss: Et pour la madame/mademoiselle...

L'assiette: Plate

La carte/le ménu: The menu

Les champignons: Mushrooms

Compris/Inclus: Included

Le cornichon: The tiniest pickle you've ever seen, accompanies charcuterie

La cuisine: The kitchen

La dégustation: Tasting menu

Le déjeuner: Lunch

Délicieux: Delicious

Le dîner: Dinner

Du jour: Of the day

Le fromage: Cheese

Garçon: What NOT to call the waiter, no matter how many times you've seen it in movies. Instead, signal the waiter with "Monsieur/Madame/Mademoiselle, s'il vous plait."

Je voudrais: I would like ...

Le petit déjeuner: Breakfast

Le poisson: Fish

Les pommes de terre: Potatoes

Le pourboire: Tip (basic gratuity is almost always included in French restaurants, listed as servis compris)

Le serveur/la serveuse: Waiter/waitress

Végétarien: Vegetarian

Végétalien: Vegan