The famed French style of food preparation may be credited with a particular je ne sais quoi.
Many expats agree that there are a few concrete guidelines—assume of them as unofficial laws for eating and drinking the same as the French—that must be followed.
French Eating and Drinking Etiquette
The following is a nice summary of French etiquette that will make you smile no matter where you go.
1. Always complete your meal on a high note.
The French have a habit of closing their meals on a high note, with dessert, digestif, and/or plain coffee, whether cold brew or hot. A tiny cookie and maybe piece of chocolate besides an espresso would suffice for lighter meals, but for supper, we recommend going a little heavy on the dessert.
2. Cheese is served following the main course, not before it.
After the main course, the French tend to favor to have a simple portion of dessert. And, a small bite of cheese will do.
3. Meals are mandatory.
During weekday afternoon hours, don’t be delighted of seeing bistros, diners, and cafés absolutely crowded with in-person eaters. Mealtimes have always been considered sacrosanct in France. There’s always a reason to cease for a meal, no matter how busy the day is.
4. Adopt a full-fat lifestyle.
The French like partaking in life’s simple pleasures, such as meats, cheeses, and all kinds of sweets—but only in moderation.
5. Drink coffee for most time of the day.
The French are big coffee drinkers, notably after a big dinner. Rather than milky lattes and cappuccinos, have small pulls of espresso (known simply as café in France) throughout the day.