Etiquette – French Dining

Etiquette – French Dining

A first etiquette post! For those of you who have never dined in a restaurant in France and are planning on it in the future, please take a look at these phrases to use while dining in France.

If you didn’t know, dining in France is an experience and is quite different than dining in any other country. Just like anywhere, always always always remember your manners!

Je voudrais une table pour ____ personne(s).

  • I would like a table for ____ person/people.
  • May I have a table for ____ person/people.

La carte, s’il vous plaît.*

  • A menu, please.
  • May I have a menu, please?

*Never have I ever been to a restaurant in France that didn’t give me the menu straight away. But it’s always good to know the right way to ask, just in case.

Pourrais-j’avoir la carte boissons, s’il vous plaît ?

  • May I have the drink menu, please?
  • Could I have the drink menu, please?

Avez-vous des plats végétariens ?

  • Do you have vegetarian meals?

Un autre, s’il vous plaît.

  • One more, please.

Je voudrais une carafe d’eau.

  • I would like tap water.*

*You can also as for tap water the same way and use “tap water”. Most waiters know the phrase “tap water”. (You may also say plate (flat) as well, or even gaseuse (bubbly).)

Acceptez-vous les cartes de crédit ?

  • Do you accept credit cards?

C’était très bon !

  • It was very good!

L’addition, s’il vous plaît !*

  • Check, please!

*Restaurants in France, you always request your bill at the end of the mean when you are ready for it. The wait staff does not push the bill on you, it’s considered rude.

Enjoy your meals in France! Remember to always say s’il vous plaît and merci. And always, always remember to tip your waiter/waitress.

If you are curious about any other types of French etiquette, please don’t hesitate to request something!

Have a great week, everyone!

Merci à vous !


For further reading, please head over to my fellow blogger’s posts on how to interact with a Parisian waiter, and what not to do in a French restaurant.

Happy reading!


8 thoughts on “Etiquette – French Dining

  1. Cool Courtney.
    Incidentally I asked for une carafe d’eau when we first came to the Languedoc, but I was politely corrected and told I should ask for un pichet d’eau instead!
    I once sent my daughter to the bar in the village to ask for un pichet d’eau and she made everyone laugh when she came out with “un pichet d’oeufs”!

  2. The whole “pitcher” thing is even more complicated–in addition to carafe and pichet, it can also be la cruche. I’m told that it’s regional, but I don’t have any actual data on that.

  3. Courtney, a suggestion: I think that you might mean “carte,” rather than “menu.” It’s possible for “menu” to mean “menu,” but usually the “menu” in a French restaurant is a set meal, and if you want the menu, you should ask for “la carte.”

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