5 ISSUES FOR £5 Subscribe to France Magazines today click here

What to eat at a French Christmas market

PUBLISHED: 17:07 11 December 2017 | UPDATED: 11:00 14 December 2017

French Christmas market food stall © istockphoto

French Christmas market food stall © istockphoto


There are so many different food and drink stalls at French Christmas markets it can be difficult to decide, so here is our pick of traditional French treats to try at your local marché de Noël

Gaufres (preferably covered in chocolate!)

Waffles are one of France’s favourite treats, whether sweet or savoury. You’ll find Flemish waffles on stalls at the market in Arras (capital of Pas-de-Calais) and at most Christmas markets.


You might not get to observe the ‘roasting on an open fire’ bit, but once you munch these hot from a paper cone as you wander, you won’t mind. Southern France is the greatest purveyor of this much-loved nut, especially the department of Ardèche.


Related articles

Christmas markets in France

How do the French celebrate Christmas?



A post shared by Made in Alsace (@madeinalsace) on


Bitesize biscuits made in Alsace during the festive season. Varieties include almond, honey or lemon, anisbredele (with egg white and aniseed) and schwowebredele (with orange and cinnamon). They can be plain, glazed or decorated. Ask the stallholder to make up an assortment in a pretty tin.

A post shared by CLAUDIA. (@claudia.dfce) on


Crunchy on the outside and fluffy within, these deep-fried choux pastry doughnuts rolled in sugar are the ultimate rib-sticking fodder for chilly evenings at a market. They’re equally popular for Mardi Gras and really superior in Paris. Head to the capital’s largest Christmas market in the business district of La Défense.

A post shared by Aurélie (@aureliermodele) on

Maroilles Cheese

A pungent cow’s-milk cheese made in Hauts-de-France and sold at Lille’s Christmas market. There are over 80 stalls to browse here – you’ll smell this one before you see it.


Related articles

12 reasons to spend Christmas in France

16 festive French words



A post shared by Isa Chérie (@isa.cherie) on


A bretzel is basically a French version of a German pretzel which you will find in the Alsace Christmas markets. It is made from a brioche dough and there are many different sweet and savoury versions.

Macarons d’Amiens

Unlike the macarons you will see in Parisian patisseries which are made from meringue, macarons d’Amiens are made from a paste of almonds and honey and you will find them at the Amiens Christmas market.

Gâteau battu

This traditional cake comes from the Picardy region and can be found at the Amiens Christmas market. It is a brioche-like cake in the shape of a chef’s hat made with a lot of eggs and butter!

A post shared by Beatrice P (@bealanicoise) on


Found at the Nice Christmas market socca are pancakes made from chickpea flour and are a speciality of Nice.

Vin chaud (to wash it all down)

Nothing warms icy fingers and chapped cheeks like a steaming glass of mulled wine. No market would be complete without it, often ladled from vast copper vats or poured from painted ceramic jugs. You’ll encounter different recipes in different parts of the country: some with more cinnamon, some more cloves, some adding a dash of something stronger. The red wine used is usually cheap and unremarkable – the magic happens when it’s heated and infused. Santé!

Like this? You might enjoy:

The ultimate guide to Christmas in France

5 French Christmas traditions

The 13 traditional desserts eaten at Christmas in Provence

Christmas markets in France


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Complete France visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Complete France staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Complete France account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Article by France Magazine France Magazine

More from Language and Culture

Friday, April 27, 2018

Known in France as la marinière, the Breton striped top is a wardrobe staple favoured by everyone from Coco Chanel to Pablo Picasso. Find out how the Breton shirt went from being a sailor’s uniform to a cult classic

Read more
Thursday, February 22, 2018

Famous as the author of Gigi, French writer Colette attracted much controversy during her long life

Read more

You’ve heard the term and probably have already eaten in a French bistro, but what makes a bistro in France so special?

Read more
French culture
Wednesday, April 4, 2018

You don’t need to break the bank to eat at a French Michelin-starred restaurant, as these 11 restaurants prove

Read more
Friday, November 24, 2017

Director and actress Fiona Gordon takes us behind the scenes of her latest comedy film Lost in Paris which is released in UK cinemas on 24 November

Read more
Monday, June 26, 2017

Helen Skelton recently moved to Canet-Plage near Perpignan after her husband, rugby league player Richie Myler, signed with the Catalan Dragons. She reveals why it the perfect place for her and her young family to live

Read more
Expats in France
Thursday, May 17, 2018

Get to grips with the French language: learn when to use accents and find out how French accents change the pronunciation of French words and how to type them on a keyboard

Read more
Learning French
Wednesday, May 9, 2018

With exclusive interviews from Cannes and showings of specially selected films, TV5MONDE are bringing Cannes Film Festival to you this May

Read more
Friday, April 20, 2018

Indulge your sweet tooth with our little guide to some of France’s traditional sweets

Read more
Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Whether its spread with salted butter or served with a dollop of jam, you really can’t beat the French baguette. Here’s how to make your own

Read more
Subscribe today

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

France Forum

Questions about France? Visit our free France forum to get help and advice from thousands of other Francophiles and expats. Topics include: property, tax, law, travelling, pets, education, healthcare and much more.

Join the forum

Most Read

Join us on social media

France magazine
Living France magazine
French Property News magazine

Enter our competitions

Win books, DVDs, travel and even holidays in France in our great competitions! Take a look at our latest competitions…

Enter now