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French Food Names With 450 Audio Recordings

Camille Chevalier-Karfis By Camille Chevalier-Karfis - updated on Mar 12, 2021
many food drawings

Complete French food vocabulary list with audio. French names for 60 fruits + 50 vegetables + 30 meats + 30 fish etc… Audio recordings & English translations.

More than a necessity, in France food is an artform. Speaking about food in French is essential to communicate in French restaurants and markets, but food and French cuisine are also favorite topics of discussions among French people.

In this free French lesson, I’ll list essential food vocabulary such as French names of vegetables, fruits, meats etc…. As with any list, make sure that you learn the gender with the word: the two pieces of information should make one in your head.

This free French lesson – like many on French Today’s blog – features audio recordings.

First, let’s see how you say food in French.

How do you say food in French?

The most common way to say food is French is “la nourriture“. You may also find “l’alimentation” for food in French, especially on stores to indicate they are food stores.

In older French, so in French literature for example, you may run into “les victuailles (f)” for food, but that’s really old-fashioned.

A common French slang word to say food in French is “la bouffe“. Note that you may also hear it used as a verb : “bouffer” instead of the regular way of saying ‘to eat’ in French: “manger“.

This lesson took 4 full workdays to write, record, edit and publish.

Please consider supporting my free French lesson creation: we’re a tiny husband-and-wife company in France.
Support us on Patreon or by purchasing our unique audiobooks to learn French. Instant download. Learn French offline, at home or on the go on any device!

Now, let’s learn the fruit names in French.

60 Fruits Names in French 🍎

How do you say fruits in French?

The French word for fruit is “le fruit“. It’s spelled the same but the French pronunciation is very different!

Un fruit” is a masculine word in French. In the plural, the final s is silent “des fruits“.

⚠️ In French, we wouldn’t say ‘a piece of fruit’. Just “un fruit“.

Now let’s look at how we say fruits names in French.

Fruit names in French

Here is a list of fruit names in French and English.

French fruit names

Un fruit a piece of fruit
Une pomme  apple
Le raisin  grapes
Les raisins secs raisins
Un melon cantaloupe melon
Une pastèquewatermelon
Une pêche peach
Un brugnonhalloween peach
Une nectarinefreestone peach
Une pêche de vignedoughnut peach
Un abricotapricot
Une poire pear
Une figuefig
Une pruneplum
Une mirabellemirabelle plum
Une quetschesweet purple plum
Une reine-claudegreengage plum
Un pruneauprune
Un coingquince

Citrus fruit names in French

Un agrumecitrus
Un citronlemon
Un citron vertlime
Un citron combavakaffir lime
Un citron meyermeyer lime
Un citron caviarFinger lime
Une orangeorange
Une orange sanguineblood orange
Un pamplemoussegrapefruit
Un pamplemousse rosepink grapefruit
Une clémentineclementine
Une mandarinetangerine /
mandarin orange
Une main de BouddhaBuddha’s hand fruit
Un kumquatkumquat

Berry fruit names in French

Un fruit rougeberry
Une framboiseraspberry
Une mûreblackberry
Une fraisestawberry
Une airellecranberry
Une groseille(red) currant
Une groseille à maquereau gooseberry
Un cassisblackcurrant
Une myrtilleblueberry
Une baie de gojigoji berry
Une cerisecherry

Exotic fruit names in French

Les fruits tropicaux (m)exotic fruits
Un ananaspineapple
Un kiwikiwi
Une manguemango
Une bananebanana
Un litchilitchi
Une papaye papaya
Une goyaveguava
Un fruit de la passionpassion fruit
Un corossolsoursop
Un fruit du dragondragonfruit
Une carambolecarambolo
Un duriandurian
Un kakipersimmon
Une grenadepomegranate
Une nèfleloquat
Une dattedate

And now let’s talk about vegetables in French.

vegetables with French names

50 Vegetables Names in French 🥕

How do you say vegetables in French?

The French word for vegetables is “les légumes“. We usually talk about vegetables in the plural, but the word is masculine: “un légume“.

⚠️ The word “le légume” is confusing in English because it looks like another English word ‘legume’. ‘ A Legume’ is a kind of vegetable, and in French it’s called “une légumineuse“.

So make sure that when you learn the French word for veggies “les légumes” you bring out mental images of veggies 🥦🥕🥒, not the English word which could lead to confusion…

How do you say vegetarian in French?

Vegetarian in French is “un végétarien” in the masculine, “une végétarienne” in the feminine.

Vegetarian food would be “la nourriture végétarienne” and ‘a vegetarian diet” is “un régime végétarien“.

Watch out that many French people think someone who is vegetarian eats fish, poultry, eggs, seafood… Anything but red meat. So you might want to explain precisely what you do eat, and research names of common French dishes that you could eat. 

What about vegan in French, or flexitarian? I wrote a specific article about being vegan in France with more vocabulary and tips. Follow the link to read more!

And now let’s study the vegetable names in French.

List of vegetables names in French

Green Leaf vegetable names in French

Un chou rouge, vert, blancred, green, white cabbage
Un chou-fleurcauliflower
Un brocolibrocoli
Un chou kalekale
Un chou romanescoromanesco cabbage
Un chou chinoisJaroma cabbage
Un chou de BruxellesBrussels sprouts
Une blettechard
Un épinardspinach
La mâchelamb’s lettuce
La roquetterocket, arugula
La laituelettuce
La bataviabatavia lettuce
La salade romaineromaine lettuce
La salade friséefrisee lettuce
Une endiveBelgian endive
La chicoréeradicchio
Le cressonwatercress

Squash vegetable names in French

Une courgesquash
Une courgettezucchini squash
Une courgette ronderound zucchini squash
Une courgette jaunecrookneck squash
Une courge d’hiverbutternut squash
Une courge musquéebuttercup squash
Une courge patidoudumpling squash
Une courge spaghettispaghetti squash
Un potimarronhubbard squash
Un potironsmall pumpkin squash
Une citrouillelarge pumpkin squash
Un pâtissonpatty pan squash

Root vegetable names in French

Une carottecarrot
Un panaisparsnip
Une pomme de terre
Une patate
potato
Une patate doucesweet potato, yam
Un navetturnip
Un celericeleri
Un topinambourJerusalem artichoke
Un poireauleek
Un radisradish

Other Vegetables names in French

Des haricots verts (m)  green beans
Des petits pois (m)  peas
Un artichaut  artichoke
Une aspergeasparagus
Un avocat  avocado
Un fenouilfennel
Un champignon  mushroom
Un concombre  cucumber
Un poivron  pepper 
Une aubergine  eggplant
L’ail (m)  garlic
Un oignon  onion
Une échalote  shallot
Une tomatetomato

French food vocabulary is covered thoroughly in my French learning method: because food is such an important and common conversation topic in France, many chapters of the novel’s story illustrating my method take place in restaurants, markets, supermarkets. or in the kitchen.. Learning French within the context of a level-appropriate story is the best way to learn French!

Please consider supporting my free French lesson creation: we’re a tiny husband-and-wife company in France.
Support us on Patreon or by purchasing our unique audiobooks to learn French. Instant download. Learn French offline, at home or on the go on any device!

L1 + L2 À Moi Paris Method – Beginner
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Now let’s see the names of nuts in French.

10 Nuts Names in French 🥜

How do you say nuts in French?

The French word for nuts as a family is “les noix”. We also call them “les fuits à coque” (fruits with a shell) but it’s much less common. The French word “une noix” is spelled with a silent x in the singular and the plural.

⚠️ “Une noix” is also the way we say a precise type of nut, a walnut.

How do you say “I’m allergic to nuts” in French?

To say ‘I’m allergic to nuts’ in French, we say: “Je suis allergique aux noix”, or “je suis allergique aux fruits à coque”.

If like me, you only have a problem with walnut, you’ll have to be a bit creative : “je suis allergique aux noix… Enfin, seulement aux noix “noix”… les noix du noyer (walnut tree)… pas les pistaches ou autres noix…

Please be aware that nut allergy is much less common in France than it is in the US for example, so people are much less aware of this problem, and therefore much less cautious.

List of Nuts names in French

Les noix (f) nuts in general
Une noixwalnut (also nut generic)
Une noisette  hazelnut
Une pistache  pistachio
Une cacahuète  peanut
Une amandealmond
Une noix de macadémiamacadamia nut
Une noix de pécanpecan nut
Une noix de cocococonut.
Une châtaignechestnut
Un marron(horse) chestnut

We use both the word “une châtaigne” and “un marron” to talk about chestnuts in French. Follow the link for more on this subject and a fun French practice video I shot during my vacation in the Ardèche region.

10 Dry Food in French: Carbs etc… 🍝

Honestly, I’m not sure how to name that section…

In French, the word for carbs is “les glucides (m)”. Maybe I should call them ‘dry French food’… ‘French pantry essentials’… What do you think??

Des pâtes (f) pastas 
Des nouilles (f) noodles
Du maïs  corn
Du riz  rice
Des lentilles (f)  lentils
Des haricots secs (m)  beans
Des pois chiches (m)chickpeas
Des fèves (f)fava beans
Du sojasoybean
Du bléwheat

As a side note, we don’t eat all that many dry beans in France. In some countries, beans are an essential part of the daily diet. It’s not so in France and I really don’t know the names of the different kind of dry beans in French!

If there’s a bilingual dry bean expert out-there who would like to help me complete this list, please leave a comment with the dry bean names in French and English (you’ll have to be sure you do know them because I’ll trust you and just copy and paste! Please don’t make suggestions if you used an online translator since they are not reliable – yet).

Food in French: Bread 🥖

French bread is a super important element of our daily French food. A regular French person who is not on a special diet is pretty much going to eat bread at every meal.

I wrote a very extensive article covering the French bread vocabulary. Follow the link!

There’s also a lot of myths surrounding the French breakfast. That link will take you to another interesting article.

For now, let’s study some essential French food names for bread and breakfast.

Le pain bread
Du pain grillé toast
Du pain de mie sandwich bread
La baguette French loaf
Une tartine a slice (of bread) with topping
La confiture jam
Le beurre butter
Le miel honey
Les céréales (f) cereals
Un croissant croissant

Which brings me to another favorite French food: dairy products – and of course “le fromage” !

Dairy Products in French 🥛

French people like their dairy products… You should see our dairy aisle(s) in supermarkets… It’s just huge.

Here in Brittany, where I live, we prefer “le beurre salé” – salted butter. But you can also have “le beurre doux” – which is not salted.

How do you say dairy products in French?

To say dairy products in French, we say: “les produits laitiers“.

How do you say I’m lactose intolerant in French?

To say ‘I’m lactose intolerant’ in French, we say: “je suis allergique aux produits laitiers“.

Now let’s see the names of French dairies.

Les produits laitiers (m)milk-based products
Le lait milk
Le lait entier whole milk
Le lait demi-écrémé 2% milk, semi-skimmed milk
Le lait écrémé skim milk
Le lait ribotbuttermilk
Le lait cruraw milk
La crème fraîche sort of thick sour cream
La crème chantilly whipped cream
Le beurre salé salted butter
Le beurre doux unsalted butter
La margarinemargarine, butter substitute
Le fromage cheese
Le fromage fraissort of cream cheese
Le fromage au lait de vachecheese made of cow milk
Le fromage de chèvrecheese made of goat milk
Les bleusbluecheese
Le fromage blancsort of yogurt
Le yaourt yogurt
La glaceice-cream

Would you know how to properly cut a single serving of French cheese ? Follow the link!

You may also enjoy this bilingual French / English conversation at a cheese shop in France.

Finally, if you’re looking for the French cheese names, I’ll send you to this other website with names of cheese in French and pictures. Great site indeed! I only wish they included an article before the names to show you weather it’s masculine or feminine

Now let’s talk about eggs in French.

Eggs and Egg Dish Names in French 🍳

How Do You Say Egg In French?

The French word for egg is “un oeuf“. In the plural, it’s “des oeufs“. As you can see, the French pronunciation is quite different from the spelling!

So let’s talk a bit about the pronunciation of “oeuf” in French.

How do you pronounce egg in French?

The word “oeuf” is a tricky French word because it’s going to change depending on the word which comes before.

So far, it’s not too bad. But wait for the plural form!

  • Des oeufs”, eggs in the plural, some eggs, is pronounced [dé zeu]. The F disappears, and the final S is silent. There is a strong liaison with the S of the des.
  • The same thing is going to carry on for “les oeufs”, or “six oeufs”, “douze oeufs” (I chose some numbers often associated with eggs… big liaison in Z).

We also say “une douzaine d’oeufs” – twelve eggs.

7 Egg Dishes Names in French

Un oeuf à la coque  soft boiled egg
Un oeuf dur  hard-boiled egg 
Un oeuf au plat  sunny-side egg
Un oeuf poché  poached egg
Une omelette  omelet
Une omelette baveuse  a runny omelet
Des oeufs brouillés scrambled eggs

Whether served sunny-side, scrambled or as an omelet, eggs tend to be undercooked in France compared to the US and the UK.

I have never seen an egg ‘over easy’ (sunny-side and then flipped to cook the other side) in France: I wouldn’t know how to call it… You will have to explain the concept to a French person! 

I wrote a really cute article featuring many pictures of my daughter Leyla when she was four, with a French egg prank. Follow the link!

Now let’s study the French vocabulary for fish and seafoods.

pictures of fish with french name tags and prices

30 Fish and Seafood French Names 🐟

How Do You Say Fish In French?

The French translation for fish is : un poisson, des poissons.

As a food, fish is usually used with a French partitive article (some) :
Tu veux manger du poisson ce soir ?
Would you like to eat fish tonight?

⚠️ What out! “un poisson” has a “sss” sound. “Le poison” (poison) has a “z” sound.

Fish names in French

Le saumon (fumé)  (smoked) salmon
Une truite  trout
Un cabillaud fresh cod
Une morue  salted cod
Une sole  sole
Un thon  tuna
Une lotte  monk fish
Un bar  sea bass
Une sardine  sardine
Un maquereaumackerel
Une pieuvreoctopus
Un calamarcalamari

Seafood Names in French

Les fruits de merSeafood
Un crustacécrustacean
Un crabecrab
Un tourteaucommon French crab – a bit like a Dungeness
Une araignée de mersort of snow crab / spiney crab
Un homardlobster
Une langoustespiney lobster
Une langoustineNorway lobster
Une écrevissecrayfish / crawfish
Une crevetteshrimp
Un coquillageshellfish, seashell
Une huîtreoyster
Une moulemussel
Une coquille saint-jacquesscallop
Une pétonclesmall scallop
Une prairesort of clam
Une palourdesort of clam
Une coquesort of clam
Un bulotwhelk
Un bigorneauperiwinkle
Un ormeauabalone

France has a lot of seashore and rivers, so we enjoy a wide variety of fresh fish.

It’s not uncommon for seafood restaurants to serve whole fish, and you have to know how to separate the flesh (la chair) from the skin (la peau) and bones (les arrêtes – f).

Same goes for crustaceans and seashells.

A fancy / gourmet restaurant however would serve all of these ready to eat.

Please consider supporting my free French lesson creation: we’re a tiny husband-and-wife company in France.
Support us on Patreon or by purchasing our unique audiobooks to learn French. Instant download. Learn French offline, at home or on the go on any device!

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30 Meat Names in French 🥩

How do you say meat in French?

The French word for meat is “la viande“. “la viande” will refer to all kind of meat. The French word for poultry is “la volaille“.

List of meat names in French

La viande  meat
La viande rouge red meat.
In France: beef, lamb, horse, sheep
La viande blanche white meat.
In France: pork, rabbit, veal, poultry
Le gibier game meat
Le boeuf  beef
Le porc  pork (note that the “c” is silent)
Le veau  veal
Le chevreuil  venison
Le sanglier boar
Le lapin  rabbit
Un steak  steak
Un steak tartare  raw ground meat + seasonings
La viande hachée  ground meat
Un rôti a roast
Les abats offal / organ meat – more in my article about offal names in French
La charcuterie  cold cuts – more in my article about how to eat cold cuts in France?
Le jambon  ham
La saucisse  sausage
Le saucisson  dry sausage / salami

Poultry names in French

La volaillepoultry
Un pouletchicken
Une poulehen
Un coqrooster
Une dindeturkey
Un chaponcapon
Une caillequail
Un faisanpheasant
Une pintadeguinea fowl
Un pigeonpigeon
Un canardduck
Une oiegoose

Ordering a Steak in France: How to say Rare, Medium… in French

If you are going to order some red meat, the waiter will ask: “quelle cuisson ?” which means ‘how would you like this cooked’? In comparison to the US and England, the French eat their meat much, much less cooked. 

Here is the vocabulary you’ll need to order a steak in French:

  1. Cru : raw.
    You don’t order a steak this way. But our famous “steak tartare” is raw beef with seasoning, and often a raw egg yolk on top…
  2. Bleu : very rare, seared outside but almost cold inside.
  3. Saignant : juicy when you cut, red but warm inside.
    This is what’s usually called “rare” in the US and the traditional way to serve steak in France.
    We use the term “rosé” for duck and veal.
  4. À point : medium rare.
    But you can expect it to still have some red inside.
  5. Bien cuit : medium to well done… depending on the willingness of the French cook!!

On the subject of steaks, would you know the adjectives we use to describe aged meat in French? Click on the link for more.

OK… we’ve already covered quite a number of French food name don’t you think? What else is there?

Food in French: Seasonings 🧂

How do you say seasonings in French?

Well, there is two possible French translations for ‘seasonings’.

  1. Les condiments (m) is the French word for seasoning as in things used to season a dish : salt, pepper etc…
  2. L’assaisonnement (m) is the French word to comment on the seasoning of a dish.

Would you like to know how to comment on food in French? Follow the link!

List of seasoning names in French

L’huile (f) oil
Le vinaigre vinegar
La moutarde mustard
Le poivre pepper
Le sel salt
Le sucre sugar
Les épices (f)spices
Les fines herbes herbs

Now let’s get to my favorite kind of food: desserts!!!

Dessert Names in French 🍨

How do you say desserts in French?

The French word for ‘dessert’ is “le dessert“. It’s exactly the same word as in English, but the pronunciation is quite different!

How do you pronounce dessert in French?

Just as in English, you have to be very careful:

  1. Le dessert – with a “ss” sound : dessert (think of icccccce cream)
  2. Le désert – with a [z] sound ; desert (think of… euh… zebras? Any zebras in the desert??? Why not…)

Note – there’s no tonic accent in French compare to an English tonic accent. More about French vs English pronunciation.

Un dessert desserts – Note the ss sound, un désert is a desert
Une pâtisserie  pastry (also a cake shop)
Une tarte  tart
Un gâteau  cake
Une glace  ice cream
Un sorbet  sherbet

Why do we say “une glace à la fraise” but “une confiture de fraises?” Find out in my article !

What about French pastries…. Here is an article with French pastry names and explanations of what they are.

Names of Drinks in French 🍾

How do you say a drink in French?

The generic name for a drink is “une boisson“. With a b, hein, not a p like “un poisson” 🤣

Let’s go over the French drink vocabulary.

Drinks names in French

L’eau (f)  water
De l’eau plate flat water
De l’eau gazeuse sparkling water
De l’eau du robine tap water
De l’eau minérale bottled water
Le lait  milk
Le thé  tea
Le café  coffee
Un chocolat  hot chocolate, cocoa
Un jus de fruit  fruit juice
Un soda  soda
Le vin (rouge, blanc, rosé)  red, white, rosé wine
Le champagne  champagne
Une bière  beer
Le cidrecider

With their meals, the French typically drink water and wine. Sometimes beer, especially at lunch time or as a before meal drink.

There’s so much to say about French wines and French beers… I have written so many articles about French wines… You’ll find them in the French food and wine section of this blog. You can also use the search option: type “wine” in the search.

Although sodas are popular among kids and young adults, typically French adults don’t drink sodas, especially not during dinner time.

And French kids usually don’t drink milk during meals, except for breakfast and maybe the after school snack for younger kids.

OK, now I’m thinking I need to talk about French meals… this free lesson is never going to end!

Meals Names in French 🍽

How do you say meals in French

The French word for meals “les repas“. It ends on a silent s in the singular as well as in the plural.

How do you say breakfast in French?

Breakfast in French is “le petit-déjeuner“. The verb is “prendre son petit-déjeuner“.

How do you say lunch in French?

Lunch in French is “le déjeuner“. “Déjeuner” is a noun and a regular ER verb.

⚠️ In French, we would not say “avoir le déjeuner” as in ‘to have lunch’ but just “déjeuner“.

How do you say dinner in French?

Dinner in French is close to the English word: it’s “dîner“. Note the difference in spelling and pronunciation!

Some comment: in French, we wouldn’t say “avoir le dîner” as in ‘to have dinner’ in English, just “dîner“.

Meal Names in French

Les repas (m) meals
Le petit déjeunerbreakfast
Le déjeunerlunch
Le goûter after school snack
Un casse-croûte snack
Le dîner dinner
Manger to eat
Prendre son petit déjeuner to have breakfast
Déjeuner to have lunch
Goûter to taste / to have a snack (like kids do after school)
Dîner to have dinner
Prendre un verre to have a drink 
Prendre to have + food

Note, we don’t say “je vais manger mon déjeuner”, nor “je vais avoir le déjeuner” but “je vais déjeuner“. We use a specific verb for each specific meal: déjeuner, dîner…
Les Français déjeunent typiquement vers midi et demi, et ils dînent vers dix-neuf heures trente.
The French typically eat lunch around half past noon, and they eat dinner around seven thirty.

Meal names in other French speaking regions

In other French speaking regions such as French-speaking Switzerland, the names of the meals may change:

  1. breakfast = le petit déjeuner en France, le déjeuner en Suisse
  2. lunch = le déjeuner en France, le dîner  en Suisse
  3. dinner = le dîner en France, le souper en Suisse

Thinking about confusing words made me think about something else: the French word “une entrée” versus the American English word “entrée”…

We’re almost done !!

Food Courses Names in French 🥗

Let’s finish this long list of French food names with the names of the different food courses in French.

Watch out with the word entrée in French and English

Some French words get students of French confused. They are called “false cognates” and ‘entrée’ is part of them.

To make things worse, ‘entrée’ doesn’t mean the same thing in American and British English!!

So, in French, “une entrée” is the very first course of a formal meal. It’s often something light. In American English, this is called appetizer, or first course.

Then, the main course, so in a formal meal often the second course, is called “le plat principal“. In American English, this is sometimes called “an entrée”… So confusing!

So let’s learn how we say the various food course names in French.

Various Food Course Names in French

Le plat the dish
L’entrée appetizer (f) – watch out, not the US English ‘entrée’
Le plat principal the US English ‘entrée’ – the main course
La salade salad
Le fromage cheese
Le plateau de fromages cheese selection
Le dessert dessert
Le plat du jour today’s special
Les hors-d’oeuvres (m) finger food
Un pique-nique picnic

In France, the traditional meal courses order would be:

  1. une entrée,
  2. un plat principal,
  3. une salade verte,
  4. un plateau de fromages
  5. un dessert.

Of course, we don’t always eat this way, and many French people nowadays grab a sandwich for lunch or eat a pizza in front of TV at dinner time… But it is still quite common for families to eat together for dinner, or meet up for a fancy Sunday lunch. 

A lot of French people enjoy cooking, cook everyday and will bend over backwards to cook gourmet meals for their friends and relatives.

How can I memorize all this French food vocabulary?

The best way to memorize French vocabulary is to learn it in within the context of a story: your brain will links the words and verbs that are likely to be used together, you’ll remember whole sentences and the French will flow much more naturally to you.

French Today’s French learning method is illustrated by an ongoing bilingual novel recorded once in enunciated French, then in modern spoken French, and focuses on today’s everyday French language. 
Learn French easily at home and on the go on any device!

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