You don’t need to be a Francophile to be familiar with the decadent pleasures of French cuisine. As the undisputed masters of fine dining, the French have crafted a culture with a central pillar of painstaking, meticulous preparation — and equally passionate enjoyment — of food. No matter where you are in France, from Paris to Provance to Lyon, visitors will encounter creamy cheeses, hunks of steaming freshly baked bread, full-bodied red wines, and flaky, buttery pastries.
While visitors to France should walk into cafes and restaurants open-minded and hungry, they shouldn’t walk in unprepared. Each region of France has its own specialties — peasants who have lived on the land the longest invented most of these meals out of necessity; other times industrious chefs are behind these now-legendary culinary creations. Either way, most of these dishes, from crepes to fish stew, rose from humble beginnings to take their place in the pantheon of classic French cuisine.
There are of course must-try wines in each of these regions, but that’s a whole other story. Instead, we focus on the food (and sometimes beverages outside of wine) that exemplify and celebrate each region’s storied production traditions, farming practices, and gastronomic