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Eating in France

Eating at a CROUS university restaurant

University restaurants, commonly called “Restos U” or “RU”, offer balanced and nutritious meals at lower prices (€3,25). These restaurants and cafeterias are open to students from Monday to Friday afternoon, and some are open in the evening.

Find the opening hours of the nearest CROUS restaurant in the Yvelines and Essone here.

Find the opening hours of the nearest CROUS restaurant in Paris here

Payments must be made using the IZLY card or account, an electronic rechargeable wallet (information available in French).

For more information on CROUS restaurants and cafeterias, click here.


The French eat generally three times a day: breakfast in the morning, lunch between 12 p.m. and 1:30 p.m., and dinner between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. Outside these set meals, you can have a snack in most restaurants and brasseries. “Service continu” indicates that the restaurant has a continuous all-day service for lunch and dinner. 

Most bars and cafés are open between 6:30 a.m. and 10 p.m., some stay open until 2 a.m. if they have been granted a permission.

If you want to eat out, you will find a whole range of restaurants serving high quality cuisine, and cafés, sandwich bars, fast food restaurants, brasseries, etc.

Prices range from around €4 for a sandwich to around €20 for a full meal. In gourmet restaurants, menus can be more expensive.

Many Parisian restaurants provide opportunities to discover and experience diverse culinary cuisine, which is a combination of cultures from around the world.

There are many specialised websites that allow you to search a restaurant, and some of them enable you to book a table online and benefit from a reduction occasionally: LaFourchette, Guide Michelin, Gault&Millau, Tripadvisor, etc.

Food shopping

Most stores are continuously open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. from Monday to Saturday. However, some smaller shops might be closed at lunchtime between 12 p.m. and 14 p.m. or all day Monday. Most shops tend to be closed on public holidays and Sundays. Grocery stores’ opening hours may differ in different neighbourhoods, but they are usually open every day (except Sundays) until 8 p.m. 

Many outdoor markets take place every week generally from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. selling fresh produce, fruits, vegetables, cheese, meat, etc. Search for the different markets by visiting Paris City Hall website (in French).

Outdoor markets take place in different communes at least once a week.