France is known for many things — its beautiful language, charming towns, and gorgeous beaches.
While these are all true, the country's cuisine is not to be forgotten.
Whether it's a simple croissant or a classic dish like escargot, French food always has a gourmet feel to it.
We've pulled together 32 foods that everyone should try throughout France.A fresh baguette is possibly the most iconic French food. The bread is just as delicious by itself as it is with a traditional French cheese such as gruyère or brie. If you're in Paris, try Le Grenier à Pain; the bakery won this year's Grand Prix de la Baguette (Paris's best baguette competition).
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Crème brûlée is a favorite French dessert. Once you crack the thin hard caramel shell and dip your spoon into the creamy custard below, there's no going back.
For classic steak frites (steak and fries), try Le Relais de l'Entrecote, which has perfected the only entree it serves: steak frites. It's a Paris institution — attracting both locals and tourists — so lines can be long.
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While moules frites (mussels and french fries) is considered a Belgian dish, Moules Marinières is a French dish from Normandy and translates to sailor-style mussels. It's considered fast food in France, but chances are you won't think the mussels doused in cider taste anything but gourmet.
The French version of a grilled cheese sandwich, the croque-monsieur features jambon (ham) and melted gruyère cheese on the inside, with rich béchamel sauce oozing out all over the sandwich.
The chicken you find in coq au vin won't be dry. It's braised in red wine — usually from the French region of Burgundy — with vegetables, garlic, and red wine.
Escargot (snails) may seem like a strange dish to foreigners, but in France they're a delicacy served hot in their shells with heaps of garlic and butter. If you're looking for a quality place to sample the snails try L'Escargot Montorgueil in Paris.
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Profiteroles are little puff pastries filled with vanilla ice cream and topped with velvety chocolate sauce.
Potatoes are a common side dish in France, and in the south east region of Dauphiné they are baked with milk or cream and known as Gratin Dauphinois. They're quite creamy and filling, so make sure you leave enough room for your actual meal.
The name soufflé comes from the French verb "to blow;" the dessert is made with beaten egg whites and served directly from the oven while the puffy crust is still spilling over the dish. Prepared with an orange flavored cognac liqueur, the Grand Marnier soufflé is common in France.
Some of the best oysters in France come from towns along the country's coasts. The north western region of Brittany is the best place to go, and the small town of Riec-sur-Belon is where the oysters get their name in French (Belon).
Although blood sausage — or boudin noir in French — doesn't exactly sound appetizing, it's a traditional staple in French cuisine. The sausage actually contains pig blood, hence its name, and can either be eaten alone or with a side such as potatoes.
Like the baguette, the croissant is another French bread classic. Light, buttery, and flaky, this staple can be found in pretty much any of the country's numerous boulangerie (bakeries).
Rillettes are much like pâté. Spreadable and usually eaten with bread or crackers, rillettes are made of pork, heavily salted, and cooked in fat.
Quenelles de brochet are somewhat similar to dumplings. It's a specialty from Lyon — the capital of France's Rhône-Alpes region — and is made with creamed fish (pike), butter, breadcrumbs, and lobster sauce. It's rich but light at the same time.
There's an ongoing debate over whether Pierre Hermé macarons or Maison Ladurée macarons are Paris's best. Basically, you can't go wrong with either.
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When you're eating raw meat, you want to make sure that it's prepared correctly. One of the best places in Paris for steak tartare (raw minced or finely chopped beef served with onions and capers) is Le Petit Fer a Cheval.
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Ratatouille is one of the only French stews that's made without meat. The dish is full of delicious Mediterranean vegetables such as zucchini, mushrooms, and eggplant, and comes from Nice.
A pie that's savory and not sweet, quiche can be found all over France. One of the most common French quiches is quiche lorraine which features lardons (smoked bacon pieces), eggs, and sometimes cheese.
Pain au chocolat translates literally to chocolate bread, a genius combination that French bakers have mastered. Biting into one of these pastries provides the perfect combination of flaky crust and rich chocolate.
Originally from Nice, the salade nicoise is a combination of lettuce, tomatoes, hard boiled eggs, tuna, anchovies, olives, and green beans.
Bœuf Bourguignon is a traditional hearty French stew from the Burgundy region that mixes together beef, vegetables, garlic, and of course, red wine.
Tarte Tatin is not your average fruit pie: It's an upside down dessert featuring fruit (commonly apples) that have been caramelized in butter and sugar before being baked in the tarte.
Both a classic and a favorite among the French, blanquette de veau consists of delicate veal, butter, and carrots cooked in a cream sauce. Neither the meat or its fat is browned in the cooking process, giving this dish a unique taste.
Duck is a meat often featured in French cuisine. Duck confit — duck legs cooked in their own fat — comes from Gascogne, a region in the south of France.
Crêpe stands line the streets of Paris, and you'd really be missing out if you didn't stop at least once to try one. Crêpes in France can be savory, but they're often sweet. A classic is beurre et sucre (butter and sugar).
A combination between stew and casserole, cassoulet is comfort food at its finest. The dish originates from the south of France and is made with beans, duck meat, and pork skin.
Bouillabaisse originally comes from the southern port city of Marseille, and one of the best places to try it there is Le Miramar. It's a fish stew featuring shellfish, vegetables, and potatoes.
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Foie gras is from France's southwestern region — mainly the towns of Alsace and Perigord. It's considered a luxury food, made from the liver of a duck or goose that has been fed in a specific (and controversial) way.
A cross between cookie and cake, madeleines are a typical French treat that are delightfully buttery and spongey.
Tarte flambee is a type of crispy, thin-crust pizza that comes from Alsace and is usually topped with crème fraîche, thinly sliced onions, and lardons.
Socca is a type of pancake made with chickpea flour and olive oil that's found in Nice. It's usually seasoned with black pepper and eaten hot with your fingers.
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