May 17, 2024

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List of the most common French words for dinner

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Understanding common French words related to dinner can greatly enhance your dining experience, whether you're dining out in France or hosting a French-themed dinner at home. These words will help you navigate a French dinner setting, understand menus, and communicate more effectively with servers and hosts. Whether you're a language learner or a traveler, mastering this vocabulary will make your…
French dinner

As explained in this articledinner in France can be completely different depending on where we have it, when we have it and with whom we have it. Thus, the vocabulary and the list of French words for dinner would be almost the same as the French words for lunch. So below you will find the list of the French words for dinner and the lexical field around it (meal in general).

Dinner : French words list

Le dîner Dinner
Le repas Meal
L’entrée (f.) First course
Le plat principal (m.) Main course
Le dessert Dessert
Le digestif Digestive alcohol
Le repas léger Light meal
Le repas lourd Heavy meal
Le goûter Snack time
La cuisine Kitchen
La recette Recipe
La nourriture Food
Le restaurant Restaurant
La café Coffee place
Le bistrot Pub
Le menu Menu
La cuisson Cooking
Bleu Rare
Saignant Underdone
A point Medium rare
Bien cuit Well-done
La faim Hunger
La soif Thirst
Commander To order
Cuisiner To cook
Faire la cuisine To cook
Boire To drink
Manger To eat
Dîner To have dinner
Prendre le goûter To have a snack
Bon appétit ! Enjoy your meal!

Dinner at my place

Usually, at home for dinner, I usually cook a vegetable soup (my favorite one is sweet potatoes, carrots and coconut milk – Yummy!) and a quiche or an omelette, which is quite light. However, I have to confess that in the evening, as a dessert, I love eating an ice cream while watching a movie! Also, when I do not have any time to cook, or when I am craving for sweet food, I prepare breakfast for dinner : I love it, and my kids as well 🙂

⇑ That’s not me ! ⇑


French Medieval restaurants

If you like entertaining, historical and unexpected places, note that there are some medieval restaurants in France. I already had dinner in one of them and it was so much fun ! Costumes lent by the restaurant, no cutlery (only your fingers) and typical menu from the Middle-Age. You clearly do not go there for the food, but mostly for the atmosphere. Try it and you won’t regret it : An unforgettable experience (you might have to eat a burger afterwards though!).


Have you ever heard of the sandwiches’ couple ? The Croque-Monsieur is like a French fancy grilled cheese : Cheese (obviously) and ham in between toasted bread, and on top of it, some sauce béchamel (white sauce). It is a typical dish from the Parisian brasserie, and it literally means “Crunching Mister“.

As a courtesy, there is also a female version to it : The Croque-Madame => Same recipe as the Croque-Monsieur, but you add a sunny side egg on top of the toast. For your information, the egg stands for the hat of French ladies. Yes, French sense of fashion is all over, even in your plate! 🙂

Trou Normand

The trou normand (which literally means Hole from Normandy, where this tradition comes from) is a French tradition when the meals are -way- too long, during weddings for instance. In order to help your body digest what you are eating -or shall I say devouring, we have a break in the middle of the meal (between two courses) and we eat a sorbet soaked into strong alcohol. It is supposed to stimulate appetite. Bon appétit!

What about culinary traditions in your country? I would be glad to know more in the comments below 🙂 If you liked this article, feel free to share it!