In France, the world capital of gourmet dining, people avoid snacking to fully enjoy the tradition of three meals a day: breakfast in the morning, light lunch at around 1:00 p.m., and dinner at around 8:00 p.m. Dinner is generally a multi-course meal and is often preceded by an apéritif (drinks).
For weekly daily meals you can’t do better than the 450 university restaurants. Prices at the “Resto-U” (abbreviation for Restaurant Universitaire) are unbeatable (€3 per meal), and complete meals are affordable on just about any budget. Anyone holding a student card has free access to the entire network of restaurants around the country. Click here to find a Resto-U near you. Some are open at night and on weekends.
It’s also possible to get a sandwich or a more substantial meal in the many boulangeries, cafés and restaurants you’ll find everywhere in France. Prices range from about €15 for a full meal in a café, to €35 in a neighborhood restaurant, up to hundreds of euros at the "temples of French gastronomy" run by internationally famous star chefs, such as Paul Bocuse, Alain Ducasse, Joël Robuchon and Pierre Gagnaire.
If you plan to prepare your meals at home you will find no shortage of specialized food shops, large supermarkets and open-air markets.
Wine is an institution in France. In addition to the justly famous great wines of Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne and the Rhône Valley you will find many other interesting wine-producing regions, including the Loire Valley, Alsace and the south of France. You must be at least 18 years old to purchase alcohol in France. Like all alcoholic beverages, wine should be consumed in moderation.