Ordering steak in France

Ordering steak in France

How to order your steak preference in France

Bleu – Done on a very hot grill for one minute on each side.

Saignant – Meaning bloody. Very rare, but cooked slightly longer on the second side than a bleu steak.

À point – rare for British or American standards. This implies that a steak is cooked a little longer than a saignant one.

Bien cuit – ‘well cooked’. This level will still often have some pinkness in the middle of the meat. A ‘steak bien cuit’ is cooked until the juices run brown on the surface of the steak.

Très bien cuit (!) – should get you a steak that is totally cooked through!


Steak in all of its guises is a very popular restaurant choice throughout France. Now you have all the French vocab you need to order your steak in France exactly as you like it best! Whether you like your beef barely grilled or steak cooked all the way through, you can order a classic French restaurant dinner you’re sure to remember.

Speaking French can be a bit daunting, but your waiter will appreciate the effort. If you’re nervous, you can always explain that you would like your steak more or less bloody/pink/cooked, or even your preferred length of cooking time for steak. Be confident and talk your options through with your server. The stereotype of the snooty French waiter is a thing of the past in most establishments and most will be more than happy to help you order your steak the way you want.

Bon appétit, French food fans!

If you like French food you will love Taste of France: a celebration of French cuisine from steak to wine and everything in between. With stunning glossy magazines and a website full of foodie inspiration, take a look to find your next French food obsession!

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  •  isla john
    2021-07-16 11:21:38
    isla john
    I have read your blog its awesome


  • dave@davesimpson3223.plus.com
    2017-10-28 19:38:12
    I'm afraid I've given up on trying to find an edible steak in France. After years of trying, over a wide range of regions, restaurants and prices, I've concluded that the French have no idea how to butcher and hang steaks. I also have a suspicion that the cost of ageing beef, normally for a week or more, under controlled conditions, is an expense which the French generally wish to avoid. We are right next door to Limousin where you might expect reasonable quality, but it's just not so. Tough, tasteless and riddled with gristle is the norm. At the risk of being labelled awkward, I've even asked the chef or waiter how long the beef has been aged. Invairably the reply is that it comes from a very good local butcher, but that they don't know. I once took a steak in Rouen after an assurance from the chef that I would be able to cut it with my fork . Indeed, when it came, I almost could, but the only reason was that it was mechanically pierced with tiny slits in an effort to tenderise it! However, I do love a good steak. So if anyone out there knows of a restaurant in France where one can be found, please let us all know.