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Your Gourmet Guide to French Regional Specialties

Partake in a culinary journey throughout the regions of France, where each region boasts distinctive flavors and gastronomic delicacies. With 13 administrative regions nestled within metropolitan France, this country is your playground for epicurean delights.

We’re taking you from the snow-capped Alps to the sun-kissed shores of the Mediterranean, displaying each corner of France that offers a tantalizing array of specialty dishes and foods to ignite your senses. Join us as we explore these French regional specialties, inviting you on this luxurious gastronomic adventure.


Many know this region in eastern France for its stunning Alpine landscapes, including the majestic Mont Blanc, and for its ski resorts. However, there are many fine wines and culinary delights such as the city of Lyon’s gastronomic scene for you to explore as well.

Indulge in an unforgettable week experiencing the best of Lyon’s unique gastronomy: Luxury Gourmet Week in Lyon

Fondue Savoyarde, French Alps
Credit: Yann Allegre

Regional Specialty: Fondue Savoyarde 

The locals serve this decadent melted cheese dish with bread and cured meats. It is perfect for an après-ski in mountain dining experience in this region. 

Fondue has both Swiss and French backgrounds, dating back to the 17th century. It uses a mixture of cheeses from both countries. Today, a typical recipe requires equal parts of Comté and Beaufort, two of France’s top mountain cheeses, along with an equal portion of Swiss Gruyère.

Ready to hit the slopes? Check out: Ski Vacation in Chamonix


This region in eastern France boasts picturesque vineyards and charming medieval towns. It’s famous for its prestigious Burgundy wines, exquisite cuisine, and scenic countryside. Check out: Wine Tours in Lyon, Dijon & Champagne

Coq au vin, Burgundy

Regional Specialty: Coq au Vin

This classic French dish embodies the rich flavors of Burgundian cuisine. Coq au vin contains chicken braised in red wine, lardons, and mushrooms. The key ingredient is local Burgundy red wine that chefs use to marinate and cook the chicken and to create the flavorful sauce that completes this artisanal dish. 


Located in northwest France, Brittany is famed for its rugged coast, ancient Celtic heritage, and delicious seafood. Picturesque villages, historic sites, and vibrant cultural festivals draw visitors to the region.

Regional Specialty: Breton Crêpes

You cannot visit France without having tasted an artisanal classic, crêpes. This specialty, which originated in 13th-century Brittany, is described as thin pancakes, which can be sweet or savory. Crêpes, not to be confused with galettes, are typically made with wheat flour. Top your crêpes with sweet flavors such as Nutella, caramel, fruits, or the French favorite, crème de marron. While galettes, made with buckwheat flour, are typically accompanied by more savory flavors such as ham, cheese, and eggs.

Hungry for more? Check out: Beginner’s Guide to French Crêpes

Centre-Val de Loire

Locals and visitors alike celebrate this region in central France for its majestic châteaux, picturesque countryside, and the iconic Loire Valley, often referred to as the “Garden of France.” It’s a paradise for wine enthusiasts and history buffs alike.

Tart Tatin, Loire Valley

Specialty Dish: Tarte Tatin

Those who have a sweet tooth will want to indulge in this classic French dessert created back in the 1880s by the Tatin sisters. Described as an upside-down caramelized apple tart, this delectable dessert embodies the elegance and refinement of the Loire Valley. It includes all the elements in a perfect treat with a crunchy base, a fruity interior (typically apples, and some sweet caramel glaze. 

Entice your taste buds and discover the true flavor of the Loire Valley: Flavors of the Loire Valley


Known for its pristine beaches, rugged mountains, and vibrant Mediterranean culture, Corsica offers opportunities for luxury seaside retreats, outdoor adventures, and indulgent cuisine featuring fresh seafood and local specialties.

Corsica, Fiadone

Specialty Foods: Fiadone & Brocciu cheese

Fiadone, a traditional Corsican cheesecake made with brocciu cheese, showcases the island’s unique culinary heritage and local ingredients. Eggs, lemon zest and sugar are also included in this dish. This regional delight is creamy on the inside and golden brown on the outside.

Brocciu is prepared with goat’s or sheep’s milk and is described as soft, creamy, and sometimes foamy. Nineteenth-century Emile Bergerat French poet once said, “Those who haven’t tasted it don’t know the island”. This cheese has its seasons for the best time to taste it, which is in the winter between December and April. 

Check out: Luxury Stay in Southern Corsica

Grand Est

Rich history, diverse landscapes, and charming towns characterize this region in northeastern France. Grand Est is home to picturesque vineyards, scenic countryside, and the historic city of Strasbourg, home to the European Parliament.

Alsace, Choucroute Garnie

Specialty Dish: Choucroute Garnie

Choucroute Garnie, French for dressed sauerkraut, is a hearty dish symbolizing the France-German culinary influences of this region. The name also hints at its lavishness. This dish consists of sauerkraut expertly cooked with the subtle essence of Alsatian wine, enriched with decadent goose fat, and infused with aromatic juniper. Delight in a lavish array of charcuterie, featuring succulent slabs of pork and a variety of exquisite sausages, all served atop a bed of tender potatoes, ensuring a truly unforgettable culinary experience of this region.

Discover: Gourmet Delights in the Heart of Alsace


Located in northern France, this region is famous for its iconic landmarks such as the white cliffs of the Opal Coast and the historic city of Lille. It offers a blend of cultural heritage, culinary delights, and opportunities for luxury shopping and leisure.

Carbonnade Flamande, Northern France, hauts-de-France

Specialty Dish: Carbonnade Flamande 

Also known as Flemish beef stew, it represents the comforting and robust flavors of northern French cuisine. Carbonnade flamande champions hearty beef cooked with beer and caramelized onions. The sumptuous, glossy gravy and melt-in-your-mouth beef offer a comforting embrace, making it an ideal dish to savor during the chillier months.

Most “Estaminet” restaurants, a traditional type of eatery found in this region of northern France, have this specialty on the menu. They serve hearty, traditional French cuisine with an emphasis on using local ingredients and having an old-world ambiance.


We love Normandy for its picturesque coastline, historic sites, and rich culinary traditions. Here you can explore charming seaside towns, sample gourmet cheeses, and ciders, and discover the region’s pivotal role in world history.

Moules Marinères, Mussels, Moules Frites, Normandy

Specialty Dish: Moules Marinières 

An ideal choice for seafood lovers and an essential culinary experience if you wish to immerse yourself in traditional French cuisine. This beloved classical dish involves fresh mussels cooked within a savory broth of white wine, garlic, and herbs. It brings together this coastal region’s delicate flavors of seafood and dairy products. The origin of the Moules Marinières recipe stems from an efficient approach to preparing mussels, highlighting the innate flavors of the seafood to shine through.

Ready to embark on a culinary journey? A Road Trip Through Normandy for Foodies

Nouvelle Aquitaine

Situated in southwestern France, this region is famed for its diverse landscapes, from the sandy beaches of the Atlantic coast to the lush vineyards of Bordeaux. It offers opportunities for luxury wine tours, gourmet dining experiences, and outdoor adventures in the Pyrenees mountains.

Foie Gras, Nouvelle Aquitaine, Bordeaux,

Specialty Food: Foie Gras

Not only is this region famed for wine and amazing landscapes, but also its world-renowned cuisine. There are a few specialties from this region to include the most famous foie gras. This culinary specialty is a popular holiday delicacy in France renowned for its exquisite flavor and velvety texture. Foie gras comes from the specially fattened liver of ducks or geese. According to French law, “foie gras is part of the cultural and gastronomic heritage protected in France.” 

Unique Experience: Gourmet Walking Tour of Bordeaux

You can have the opportunity to embark on a gourmet journey through Bordeaux with our private walking tour. Led by a knowledgeable foodie guide, you can explore the city’s culinary treasures, from artisanal coffee and chocolate to local pastries and iconic specialties. Indulge in 10 tastings, including cheese and wine at the historic Covered Market, culminating in a delightful meal at a renowned bistronomic restaurant, accompanied by Bordeaux’s finest wines:


Occitanie known for its Mediterranean climate, picturesque countryside, and historic cities such as Toulouse and Montpellier is a paradise for wine enthusiasts, offering access to renowned vineyards in regions like Languedoc and Roussillon.

Cassoulet, Occitanie, French Regional Specialties

Specialty Dish: Cassoulet

Cassoulet is named for the dish it is traditionally baked in – a cassole. This hearty stew contains white beans, duck, sausage, and pork, representing the rustic and flavorsome cuisine of the Languedoc region. The cassoulet from Toulouse uses duck confit and French garlic sauces, a delicacy of that area. 

Pays de la Loire

Positioned in western France, this region is renowned for its fairy-tale châteaux, scenic rivers, and charming towns. It’s an ideal destination for luxury river cruises, cultural excursions, and gourmet dining experiences along the Loire River.

French Regional Specialties, Rillettes de Porc
Courtesy of Sarthe Tourism

Specialty Food: Rillettes de Porc

This dish showcases the region’s dedication to artisanal craftsmanship and gastronomic tradition. Pork rillettes, a beloved French lunch or snack, pairs beautifully with crusty bread and creamy French butter, garnished with tender pork and served alongside cornichons. Additionally, rillettes consist of slow-cooked pork or poultry in its own fat, resulting in a flavorful and indulgent dish, much like duck confit, but it is served shredded.

Provence-Alpes-Côtes d’Azur

Situated in southeastern France, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur is famed for its stunning Mediterranean coastline, picturesque villages, and vibrant cultural scene. It offers opportunities for luxury villa rentals, wine tasting in Provence, and indulgent seaside escapes on the French Riviera.

Bouillabaisse, Provence, South of France, Gourmet Guide, French Regional Specialties

Specialty Dish: Bouillabaisse

Bouillabaisse stands as a quintessential culinary treasure traditionally from the Mediterranean region of Provence. Originating in Marseille, where it holds a very symbolic status, this dish comprises a rich fish soup served with garlic-infused bread croutons slathered with rouille, accompanied by fish pieces and potatoes.

Contemporary Provençal bouillabaisse showcases locally sourced rockfish simmered in a flavorful court-bouillon made with water or white wine, infused with garlic, olive oil, and sometimes saffron. The preparation of today’s bouillabaisse soup follows a specific charter, which mandates that they must cut the fish in front of you. At the Miramar, one of the founding members of the charter, bouillabaisse must be crafted with at least six varieties of rockfish. 

Ready to tantalize your taste buds and embark on a culinary adventure through France? Speak with our experts today to dive deeper into these regional specialties!

A Weekend Getaway to Lyon

Known as the “culinary capital of France,” Lyon is famous for its gastronomy and is one of the best places to sample French culinary delicacies. As a bonus, Lyon is located between two of the best wine-producing regions in France: Cotes du Rhône and Beaujolais. A weekend getaway to Lyon is perfect for food and wine fanatics, as well as an ideal stopping point between Paris and the South of France.

A Weekend Getaway to Lyon

How to Get to Lyon

a weekend getaway to lyon

Getting to Lyon from either Paris or Provence is quick and easy – from Paris the train takes under three hours and from Provence just around 90 minutes. Because of the simplicity, we recommend taking a train to Lyon. For those who prefer to drive, a stop in Lyon is a great way to break up a trip between Paris and either Provence, the Côte d’Azur, or the Alps.

Day One: Gourmet Tour and Private River Cruise

a weekend getaway to lyon

The best way to get to know Lyon is through a gourmet tour. Your passionate guide and culinary history specialist will take you to sample fabulous foods while also teaching you about Lyon’s medieval heritage. Taste Lyon’s famous pralines: pink sugar-coated almond pastries. You’ll visit the Presqu’île district with its seemingly countless bouchons, traditional bistros found only in Lyon. Next, try the unique Coussin de Lyon: a chocolate and marzipan dessert that is shaped like the cushions used by Lyon’s silk weavers. It’s been a symbol of Lyon since the 1960s. Finish with a visit to the indoor Paul Bocuse Market. This center of gastronomy brings all of the region’s best products together under one roof. Think charcuterie, cheese, quenelles, chocolate, wines, and much more.

Cap off a wonderful day with a private cruise along the Saône river. You’ll see the fabulous views of the city from the water while enjoying Champagne. The cruise is led by a captain and a hostess to make sure the experience is a relaxing one. After the cruise, enjoy dinner in one of the many fabulous restaurants in Lyon.

Where to Stay in Lyon
cour des loges lyon

Cour des Loges

In the heart of Vieux-Lyon, this 5-star hotel resembles a castle. The decor could truly take you back to the Italian Renaissance. There is a seamless blend between historic charm and modern comforts.

In the lounge, the walls are painted with aquatic scenes peacefully guide the guests towards the bar. Murano chandeliers brush against tall Renaissance cabinets for a serene and historic atmosphere.

In a stunningly beautiful setting, topped by a magnificent contemporary steel glass roof, Chef Anthony Bonnet welcomes you to your Michelin-starred table full of flavors in the Restaurant Les Loges. There is also a friendly and authentic upscale bistro, Café-Epicerie, which serves dishes in the purest Lyon tradition.

Enjoy this small corner of paradise hidden from the sight of the bustling metropolis: a unique intimate spot where serenity and relaxation reign.

When booking at this hotel through French Side Travel, will enjoy a special welcome treat by the Michelin-starred chef.

Day Two: Lyon Highlights Walking Tour and Private Wine Tasting

lyon walking tour

Spend the morning discovering the best of Lyon including its 2,000 years of history, architecture, silk factories and gastronomy. You’ll take the legendary ficelle, a famous cable-car, to reach the top of the hill. There, discover the unusual architecture of the basilica and appreciate the fantastic views the city. Return to Vieux-Lyon and enter the historic neighborhood to discover the charm of its Renaissance architecture. Your guide will point out courtyards and traboules: typical covered passageways through the medieval structures that hide beautiful courtyards. To finish the walk, visit a silk workshop to see the traditional weaving methods that perpetuate centuries-old traditions. By the end of the tour you’ll have an incredible overview of what makes Lyon so special.

In the evening, head to the Institut Paul Bocuse for a private wine tasting. Set in the gourmet cooking school, your oenological expert will lead you through a fascinating wine discovery workshop. You’ll taste four fabulous wines that are accompanied by local cheeses and charcuterie. The evening ends on a sweet note with a special dessert from the pastry chef of the Institut Paul Bocuse.

Where to Stay in Lyon
grand hotel des terreaux lyon

Grand Hôtel des Terreaux

In the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, this 4-star hotel is one of the oldest in Lyon. It combines the atmosphere of an old-fashioned 19th century town house with a daringly modern, innovative design. Every detail shows the personality of the space, which is brought to life by the passion of its staff and the soul of its guests.

This lovely property has a prime location on the peninsula, not far from the Lyon Opera House and the Théatre des Célestins. It is just on the edge of the historic center of Lyon with its many bistro-style restaurants, and a stone’s throw from the Place des Terreaux and the Musée des Beaux-Arts.

An exceptional lounge, topped by a metal architecture style “Eiffel Tower,” welcomes you for a buffet breakfast. The indoor pool and whirlpool, surrounded by vaulted walls and stone from an old church, are open daily exclusively to hotel guests.

Bonus Excursion: Full-Day Trip to Beaujolais, Bresse and Dombes

a weekend getaway to lyon beaujolais

If you can extend your weekend getaway to Lyon, consider adding an exceptional day to discover the wonders of Beaujolais, Bresse and Dombes. This special itinerary will give you an excellent overview of the Lyonnaise region.

Begin the day with a tour of a winery where you will be able to test your knowledge of the Beaujolais wines. Continue your trip and head to Chatillon-sur-Chalaronne in the heart of the Bresse region. With its remarkable architecture, and its famous Bresse poultry, this small town is the perfect place for a gourmet lunch stop. Saturdays are market days, and you can wander through the stalls that date back from the 11th century. It is truly an authentic and festive atmosphere.

Next, drive to Pérouges and take in the unique Dombes region with its thousand lakes. The medieval village, listed as one of Plus Beaux Villages de France, is the pefect place to stop for an afternoon snack. Taste the famous galette: the recipe is a closely guarded secret! Enjoy free time to wander the small cobblestone streets before heading back to Lyon.

A weekend getaway to Lyon is a perfect link to a trip that includes Paris and the South of France. French Side Travel would love to help you plan a dream trip to France with a custom, completely tailor-made itinerary. Some of our favorite destinations in France include Paris, the South of France, Normandy, and Paris. Get in touch with a travel designer today to start the planning process.

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