50 Must-know French Phrases for Hungry Visitors, Episode 161

50 Must-know French Phrases for Hungry Visitors

50 Must-know French Phrases for Hungry Visitors


There are two things you need to do before coming to France:

  1. Get familiar with these sentences that are so often used by French waiters.
  2. Go on a diet before the trip because the food is going to be so good, you’ll want to eat a lot of it!

Listen to this episode a few times and get comfortable with French restaurant lingo. Once it’s de-mystified, you’ll start understanding a lot of what they’re saying to you, and you’ll get amazing food in France. Bon appétit !

Would you like to tour France with Annie and Elyse? Visit Addicted to France to choose an upcoming tour.

What You Will Learn About in this Episode with Timestamps

[00:00] This is join us in France episode 161

[00:37] Bonjour, I’m Annie and join us in France is the only travel show exclusively dedicated to helping you prepare your big trip to France. I was born and raised in France but I went to the UK and the US for college and then I lived in the US for 20 years of my life I have been back living in France for over a decade now. I didn’t work in the travel industry this podcast is something I created because I’m a bit of a geek and having lived far away from France for so long I was eager to rediscover my own country and it turns out that I also love to talk about France with other people!

[01:19] My occasional co-host and good friend Elyse has had the opposite life experience: she was born and raised in the US moved to France to complete colleg–she is an art historian–and she has been living in France and working in the travel industry for a long time.

Because Elyse is a professional tour guide we decided to organize a small group tours a few times a year I created a small business called Addicted to France, and you can read reviews about Addicted to France on Trip Advisor. To see what tours are available on what dates go to Addicted to France.

[02:00] On show you will also hear from different listeners who visited France and want to share how it went what they learned. They want to give you specific recommendations. They want people who are going after them to learn from their experience. I call those trip reports, but I could also have called them Travel Tips or Listener Insider Tips or Listener Trip Reviews. The point is you will get to hear candid reviews of other people’s vacation. You know they are not fake reviews because you can hear it straight from their mouth and we all help one another have a better vacation experience in France.

At the end of the show you will hear how you can contact me if that’s something you’d like to do. I’m not just looking for glowing reviews. I do ask people to bring up things that didn’t go as well as they had hoped.

[02:50] I’m adding a bonus episode this month because I messed up and released episode 160 early. I thought I was being so efficient by getting the episode ready early, and then it went out three days too soon because the scheduling on Libsyn, which I never use normally, is not as straightforward as I thought it would be. So I decided to add this short and fun episode so I don’t leave 10 days go by without a new show.

This one is like an extended French tip of the week episode where I’ll share with you 50 sentences that I think you’ll need at a French restaurants. You don’t need to memorize them, but at least if you can understand when people tell you these things, I think you’ll do much better. A lot of this is going to be in French and I’ll put some of these in the show notes, but the full printable list is going to be sent out as an extra to the email subscribers.

And, unless I messed up the schedule for that as well, this extra should go out next Wednesday.

If you’re interested in this episode you should also check out my list of best value restaurants in Paris on Join Us in France you will find it under http://joinusinfrance.com/ resource/restaurants

[04:13] Stay tuned after the interview to hear my thanks to listeners who support the show on https://Patrion.com/joinus, my personal updates, what’s happening around me, how to connect with me, and any news concerning the show. And now here’s the interview!

[04:30] So, now, here’s my 50 French restaurant phrases for a hungry visitors! Let’s face it one of the biggest reasons why people come to France is for the food, right? We will serve up some delicious canard. You have the most beautiful menus and prix fixe you’ve ever dreamed of. The pâtisserie will make your mouth water, and even at the end of that full meal you want the desert because it’s so delicious and so beautiful. And, well, the wine, you know if you’re not tipsy at some point in France that would be a little bit surprising. Anyway, I’m not saying you should memorize all the sentences to eat wonderfully well at French restaurants, but just the fact that you are willing to try some French will charm your waiter and will make them want to help you and also it will help you understand better. So, here you go:

Get the printable version of this list  by signing up for the Extras

  1. [05:28] Voulez-vous manger en terrasse ou à l’intérieur ? Do you want to eat on the terrace or inside?
  2. [05:41] Est-ce que vous voulez quelque chose à boire pour commencer ? Would you like to order some drinks to start with?
  3. [05:53] Est-ce que vous avez choisi ? Have you chosen already?
  4. [06 :02] Que souhaitez-vous commander ? What would you like to order?
  5. [06’11] Voulez-vous un apéritif ? Would you like an aperitif?
  6. [06 :18] Est-ce-que vous prendrez un apéritif ? Would you like an aperitif?
  7. [06 :47] Est-ce que vous voulez commander ? Would you like to order?
  8. [06 :54] Est-ce que vous voulez voir la carte ? Do you want to see the menu?
  9. [07 :08] Voici la formule du jour. Here are the daily specials.
  10. [07 :27] Le menu d’aujourd’hui est écrit ici. The daily specials are written here.
  11. [07 :41] Souhaitez-vous un dessert ? Would you like some dessert?
  12. [04 :49] Voulez-vous un café ? Would you like some coffee?
  13. [07 :57] Est-ce-que vous prendrez un café ? Would you like some coffee?
  14. [08 :10] Est-ce-que vous prendrez un dessert ? Would you like some dessert?
  15. [08 :15] Un moment, s’il vous plaît. One moment, please.
  16. [08 :24] Je ne sais pas encore. I don’t know yet.
  17. [08 :33] Une grande carafe d’eau s’il vous plaît. A big pitcher of water please (this implies tap water).
  18. [09:00] Une grande bouteille d’eau minérale s’il vous plaît. A large bottle of mineral water please.
  19. [09 :19] Pouvons-nous commander s’il vous plaît ? Can we order please?
  20. [09:20] L’addition s’il vous plaît ! The bill please.
  21. [09 :28] Payez à la caisse s’il vous plaît. Pay at the cash register please.
  22. [10:00] Qu’est ce que vous me recommandez ? What can you recommend?
  23. [10:08] C’est quoi ça ? What is this?
  24. [10:33] Je ne comprends pas ceci, pouvez-vous expliquer s’il vous plait ? I don’t understand this, can you explain please ?
  25. [10:49] Avez-vous un menu enfant ? Do you have a children’s menu?
  26. [11:16] Je ne prendrai que le plat principal. I only want the main course.
  27. [12:44] Je suis végétarien, je ne mange ni viande ni poisson. I am a vegetarian, I don’t eat meat or fish.
  28. [13:11] Nous voulons payer séparément s’il vous plaît. We want to split the bill please.
  29. [13:38] Je voudrais réserver une table pour deux personnes pour demain soir s’il vous plaît. I’d like to reserve a table for two people tomorrow night please.
  30. [14:13] Vous commencez le service du soir à quelle heure ? What time do you start to serve in the evening?
  31. [14:23] Vous arrêtez de servir à quelle heure ? What time do you stop service?
  32. [14:47] Vous ouvrez à quelle heure s’il vous plaît ? What time do you open please?
  33. [14:54] Je vais prendre le menu à 18 euros. I will have the 18 euro menu special.
  34. [15:05] Comme entrée, je choisis For my starter I would like
  35. [15:14] Comme plat principal, je voudrais For the main course I would like
  36. [15:19] Comme dessert je voudrais For dessert I would like
  37. [15:27] Pour votre viande, vous souhaitez quelle cuisson ? How would you like your meat done?
  38. [15:42] Bleue s’il vous plaît. Very rare please.
  39. [15:53] Saignante s’il vous plaît. Rare please.
  40. [16:00] À point s’il vous plaît. Medium please.
  41. [16:11] Bien cuite s’il vous plaît. Well done please.
  42. [16:24] J’aime la viande bien cuite s’il vous plaît, je n’aime pas qu’il reste du rouge. I like my meat well done. I don’t like to see any pink.
  43. [17:06] Où sont les toilettes s’il vous plaît ? Where are the bathrooms please?
  44. [17:13]Pouvez-vous répéter plus lentement s’il vous plaît ? Could you repeat more slowly please?
  45. [17:24] Pouvez-vous expliquer en anglais s’il vous plaît ? Could you explain in English please?
  46. [17:36] Avez-vous un vin de la maison ? Do you have a house wine?
  47. [17:45] Vous avez des pichets de vin s’il vous plaît ? Do you serve wine pitchers please?
  48. [18:26] J’ai des allergies alimentaires. I have food allergies.
  49. [18:56]Un peu plus de pain s’il vous plaît ! Some more bread please.
  50. [19:17] S’il vous plaaaaaaaaaaît !!! Come-on, get over here!


Be your nice friendly selves and try a little French, those are the secrets to a great time of eating in France.

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Prehistoric Art and Lascaux 4 in the Dordogne, Episode 160

Prehistoric Art and Lascaux 4 in the Dordogne

Prehistoric Art and Lascaux 4 in the Dordogne

Do you know the best attractions in the Dordogne? Elyse and Annie share their favorites with this great list that will get you started in your own discovery of Prehistoric Art and Lascaux 4 in the Dordogne; as well as early human shelters and amazing chateaux.

This area is called the Périgord Noir and we find it is one of the best areas to visit for a family vacation. The question is, there are so many attractions to see, how do you choose? As you drive around the countryside (and this is definitely driving country!) you will constantly see signs for museums, prehistoric shelters, historical farms,  plus castles that you can visit. In this episode we talk about the ones we think are definitely worth a visit and why.
We’ve talked about this area before. For a more historical discussion on Sarlat and the Perigord Noir, also listen to  Episode 46 about Sarlat, Lascaux and the Dordogne

Hotels Recommended in this Episode:  Château La Fleunie  in Condat-sur-Vézère, Hostellerie La Roseraie in Montignac.

Would you like to tour France with Annie and Elyse? Visit Addicted to France to choose an upcoming tour.

 What You Will Learn About in this Episode

  • 6’50 Some people find it hard to say the word “Dordogne”, here’s how you say it. Dordogne is the name of both a river and of the Department.
  • 7’56 The Dordogne is very popular with British people, due to in part historical factors, but it is growing in popularity for everyone. Elyse says “it’s civilized”. Annie says there’s a castle at the top of every hill.
  • 8’47 The Dordogne, like the Loire Valley, is an area of France where there are a lot of castles. It is also the capital of pre-history in France.
  • 9’47 Why this area is also called the Périgord and the various areas of the Périgord. You will also run into sub-sections of the Périgord: the Périgord Noir, the Périgord Blanc, the Périgord Pourpre, the Périgord Vert, and the Quercy.
  • 14′ Annie and Brenda visited the Vallée de l’Homme aka Vallée de la Vézère. The Vallèe de la Vézère, the whole valley, is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
  •  15’46 There are tours you can take in English in July and August, not so much the rest of the year.
  • Some of the names you need to know to understand this area: Les Eyzies (Musée National de la Préhistoire), Font-de-Gaume (painted cave, really hard to get into, book a year in advance via their website, do not call their information number!), Combarelles (painted cave), Cap-Blanc (shelter with sculpted magdalenian animals), Laugerie Haute (where they found a lot of prehistoric tools) et Laugerie Basse (prehistoric shelter), and, the most famous of all, Lascaux (painted prehistoric art) in the town of Montignac.
  • 16’34 The word “abri” means shelter. Description of prehistoric shelters.
  • 18′ Many of these prehistoric shelters were inhabited up until the Middle Ages, so when you go, you mostly see troglodytes from the Middle Ages. Cap-Blanc is the exception to that, it wasn’t inhabited by many waves of peoples, so you can see prehistoric items better, even though many of them were taken to various museums.
  • 19′ Prehistoric peoples lived in shallow grottoes, they did not live deep in caves. “Caveman” is a misnomer. They used deep caves for ritualistic art.
  • 21′ France, and particularly the South-West of France, is fortunate that we have so much prehistoric art left, but it is possible this sort of art was done in many areas of Europe.
  • 21’43 The Valley of the Vézère is also very beautiful because there are also a lot of beautiful old villages with old churches and castle. Some are big fortified castles, some are not. The Château de Losse is not fortified, but it’s lovely.
  • 23′ Elyse loves the village of Saint-Léon-sur-Vézère with its gorgeous Romanesque chapel with frescoes in it and a couple of lovely little restaurants.
  • 24’38 This area has long had a policy to make life easy for visitors, so the infrastructure is ready for you.
  • 25’40 Annie was not impressed with the village of Les Eyzies, but it’s an important stop because the Musée National de la Préhistoire is there, Font-de-Gaume is there, Cap-Blanc is there.
  • 26′ There are two major prehistory museums in France. The one in Les Eyzies and the other in Saint-Germain-en-Laye.
  • 27’30 The Musée National de la Préhistoire is a lovely museum, but it’s the type of museum where you have a lot of objects on display. There are some amazing objects there, but it’s probably not a place that children will love.
  • 29’28 The Font-de-Gaume cave problem: You either have to buy your tickets months in advance, or queue up on the morning you want to visit and take whatever time slot they have left that day. Do not call their phone number or you will be redirected to 118-018 which is a pay number. I called twice, never talked to a human, and it cost me 50€ on my cell phone bill.
  • 32’30 Each cave and site you visit specializes in something different, one aspect of prehistoric art or culture.
  • 33’30 The history of the Lascaux cave. Lascaux 1 is the original, nobody goes into that. Lascaux 2 is the first reproduction, situated close to where the original site was. Lascaux 3 is a traveling exhibition stationed in Asia right now. Lascaux 4 is the latest reproduction + museum complex that opened in December 2016. It is amazing, a must-see!
  • 38’25 Kids love the tablets at Lascaux 4 because it is interactive and the children were really engaged.
  • 39′ Virtual reality at Lascaux 4 was a great experience.
  • 41’50 If you only see one thing in the Dordogne, make it Lascaux 4!
  • 43’30 The smart way to plan your days in the Dordogne.
  • 44’20 You will also see a lot of opportunities to go canoeing and going up in a hot air baloon.
  • 44’50 There are also chateaux in the Dordogne, let’s talk about the château of Beynac-et-Cazenac and the château de Castelnaud in the village of Castelnaud-la-Chapelle.
  • 47′ Why there are so many castles along the Dordogne river: a recap of the history.
  • 50’49 The château of Beynac-et-Cazenac description: this is one of the best preserved fortified castles in France, definitely a must-see.
  • 57′ La-Roque-Gageac (nice place for a boat ride on a flat-bottom boat there)
  • 58′ The château at Castelnaud is great, it is a museum of lots of  medieval weapons, another must-see!
  • 61′ You need at least 3 nights. Sarlat and Montignac are great places to stay, we discuss several options.
  • 63′ Plus beaux villages de France disagreement. Understand that some of them have zero to offer other than the charm of the streets. The one that was underwhelming to Annie was Saint-Amand-de-Coly.
  • 68′ Jardins de Marqueyssac, lots of topiary.
  • 72′ The name Annie couldn’t remember was La-Roque-Saint-Christophe, a great “abri” you can visit and Le Thot is nearby.
  • 75’15 Don’t fret about getting into the city center of Paris: use a taxi, an Uber, look up Le Bus Direct, or take the RER. Your options are detailed here.
  • 78′ Release schedule: Saturday for new episodes, Wednesday for the newsletter with photos and extras.
  • 80′ July 30th 2017 La Traversée de Paris à l’ancienne. La Tour Saint Jacques is open to the public.
  • 84′ French Tip of the Week: J’ai le temps, je suis en vacances !
  • 85′ Feedback about renting an apartment in France from Dave Walsh.
  • 86′ Copyright information.


When it comes to Prehistoric Art in the Dordogne, we think that the one place you cannot skip is Lascaux 4. Beyond that, you will need to make a lot of choices and hopefully today’s detailed descriptions of what you can expect to find in the Dordogne will make that easier for you. And if you’d like to get Annie’s list of Dordogne attractions when it’s ready, sign-up for the extras!

Support the show on Patreon.

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France with Teenagers, Episode 159

France with Teenagers, Episode 159

France with Teenagers, Henry in his sister in front of Napoleon's tomb

Visiting France with your teenagers? On this episode Annie talks to Henry Calkins, a 13 year-old from Arizona who shares what he liked and didn’t like about his vacation in France. He’s got recommendations for your teens and what they can do to have a great time. His mother, Nancy Calkins also  talks about her favorite ice-cream place in Paris, just in time for the summer!

Places Mentioned in this Episode: Bayeux, Mont-Saint-Michel, Montrichard, Chenonceau, Cheverny, Paris, Senoble Ice Cream.

If you enjoyed this episode, also check out: Paris with Children, South-West of France with Children, Two Dads and a Child in Paris,  Visiting France with Children.

Would you like to tour France with Annie and Elyse? Visit Addicted to France to choose an upcoming tour.
What You Will Learn About in this Episode with Time-Stamps

4’20 What surprised you about France? It’s really clean and the architecture is amazing.

5’08 What all did you do on your trip to France? Landed in Paris and headed to Normandy first, then the Loire Valley, then Paris.

7’40 Of all of those things, what was your least favorite? Did you even like the museums? The Louvre wasn’t a favorite because it’s too big and takes too long. Loved the Orsay Museum.

9’22 Did you eat any strange foods in France? He loved the croissants, not a fan of osso-bucco. Didn’t get to try Orangina.

10’52 Did you see any strange-looking French people?  No, a few homeless people, but not too many. French kids are lucky because they have so many cool things to visit. Quality of life seems really good in France.

13’17 What is it like in Normandy for the D-Day celebrations?

14’32 Are there other parts of France you’d like to see? I’d like to see more of Paris and the South-West

15’20 Most people don’t think of Normandy as a place that’s cool for young people? How come you liked it so much?

16’38 What did you think of the Loire Valley?

18′ What advice would you give to kids and teens who come to France?  What are some good things to do before they come?

  • Read some history
  • Try some French food

20’15 Nancy’s favorite ice cream place in Paris: Senoble.


France is fun for people at every age. It was wonderful to talk to a young man who enjoys WWII history and made the most of his family vacation to broaden his horizons and quench his curiosity. Thanks for coming on the show Henry!


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