Ordering and pronouncing Typical French Food

While talking to a pal about all the traditional french food we love and can easily find in the bistros in our Paris neighborhood, I was cracking up at the pronunciations and he was cracking up with my accent (mind you I’m fluent! – but the French think I have a “cute” americanized French accent, they call it “New York-eh”).

So then I thought, if you’re coming to Paris you probably want to know how to order at least the most basic of menu items right? Surprise the waiters!

Also, Thank goodness I found this video on YouTube!


I also did a reading of the?Bouillon Chartier menu on Periscope! It was one of my first attempt – the sound quality is ok, but I hope to improve with more practice!


Bouillon Chartier ?an iconic brasserie where you cannot make reservations – and the waiters are notorious for their “nonchalance” (I don’t want to say rude, oh no!), but the food is good. ?It’s also super cheap for Paris standards. On any given day you can find tourists, local businessmen and neighbourhood mamies eating a Poulet Roti (roasted chicken) with Frites (fries – my lord they have fries as a side dish for everything here!).

My favorite thing to order while out is a Confit Canard (Fried Duck) – oh-lord-have-mercy- and-spare-my-arteries! But this is seriously my vice. It’s super simple, moist on the inside with a crunchy skin, sided with some Pommes sautee ?(saut?ed potatoes with herbs in the duck fat!). Perfection on a plate guys!

Nowadays I even buy it at the local frozen food shop here; Picard. When you’re in Paris you have to go to Picard (sure, it’s frozen food – but on a higher level!) and french people love it, and you know you can trust them when it comes to quality and food right?


Anyways, here’s my list of the top typical French Food you’ll find in most of the Brasseries, Cafes here in Paris:

Magret Canard – Seared Duck breast with honey

pronounced – Ma-gray-de-kanaar


Magret Canard

Magret Canard

Blanquette Veau – Veal in cream sauce

pronounced Blanket-de-vow


Tartare de boeuf – Beef Tartare

pronounced taar-taar-d-buff

Beef Tartare


Coq au Vin – Duck in wine sauce

pronounced Cock-oh-vahn

Coq au Vin


Ratatouille -?French Ratatouille

pronounced – Come on you know how to pronounce this?! ra-ta-tooey

  1. Ratatouille



Bavette L’echalotte?– Steak with shallots

pronounced – bavet-a-le-sha-lot

Bavette l'echalotBavette l’echalot


Poulet Roti et Frites – Roasted Chicken and Fries

pronounced – Poo-leh-row-tee

Poulet Roti

Poulet Roti


Escargot – Snails in shell with herb?butter

pronounced – es-car-go




Salad Nicoise – Tuna Salad

pronounced – salad niss-swahz


Salad Nicoise


Salad Nicoise



Pav? de rumsteack grill? avec sauce B?arnaise

pronounced – rum-steak ah-vek sauce ber-nayze


Rumsteck sauce Bearnaise

Rumsteck sauce Bearnaise


What’s your favorite french food to order in a Brasserie here?


  • Reply January 20, 2016


    Hey! I thought that I was the only one with a New York French Accent? At least that’s what Bonaparte and his family tell me. And whenever I get a bit “Ummmm” about my words, they laugh at how “cute” it sounds. My favorite food to order is “Tartare de Boeuf”! Fun post!

    • Reply January 22, 2016


      Hahaha – those “ummmmms”! Thanks for stopping by the blog Catherine, cute new york accenters unite ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply January 27, 2016


    I will be in Paris in April for the first time. What is the general acceptable “rule” when going to a casual restaurant? Wait till you get seated? Do you have to ask for the bill? Or does it just get dropped on the table toward the end of the meal? Can one ask for a to go box for leftovers? Thank you!

    • Reply January 28, 2016


      Hi Anastasia, Thanks for stopping by the blog! April in Paris is a lovely time ๐Ÿ™‚ So yes you should wait to be seated – or at least ask if you can sit where you’d like, never just walk in and sit. You do have to ask for the bill. You’d say “L’addition, s’il vous plait” – pronounced “Lawdi-ci-on-sil-voo-play”
      It depends on the restaurant – but some now do service to go ( the really casual ones!). hope that was helpful!

  • Reply April 9, 2017


    I love your blog because it always takes me to Paris for a couple minutes no matter where I am. However, the pronunciation help in this post is not the best . Magret is not “mah-gray” it’s rather ” magreh ” just to name one. Someone using your descriptions would have a strong English/american accent when trying to order these dishes ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Reply April 18, 2017


      Thanks Cathi, really appreciate your love of the blog and feedback. ๐Ÿ™‚ Your comment adds to the richness of the blog and of course I’m no linguistic expert, just trying to help fellow travelers – even with a strong american accent, they can still order in french.

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