When we think about salads, the first things that come to mind are usually not related to the dish’s taste, but more to a healthy lunch choice. Of course, there are a few famous salads, like the iconic Caesar salad and the popular Waldorf salad, but in general, the idea of having a plate full of green leaves doesn’t excite the foodies among us. 

A close up photo of a French Salad
Top Left: pamelaloutfi / Right: into.trends
Above: Jasmin Schreiber

However, as they do with everything that involves cooking, the French managed to make salads a mouth-watering gourmet dish. If you have ever been to a French bistro before, you have certainly noticed that there are always a couple of salads on the menu, no matter the restaurant’s style of cooking. That’s because French salads are not only made of green leaves, tomatoes, olives, and random vegetable additions, but can involve deliciously cooked meat, fresh fish, cheese, eggs cooked in different ways, and even luxurious ingredients like foie gras. The French definitely know how to enjoy every single meal, even when it comes to a quick salad. Here are a few of the best French salads to easily recreate at home.

Left: The outside of a café in Paris. A woman is walking and around the corner there are two women sitting down and eating. Right: A nicoise salad.
Left: pamelaloutfi / Right: into.trends

Salade Niçoise

A classic that always delivers, the salade Niçoise is one of the most popular in France, easily found on menus all over the country. The salad includes tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs, Niçoise olives, and anchovies, topped with a simple olive oil dressing and herbs. Perfect for a terrace lunch.

Left: A Niçoise salad. Right: An empty terrace in Paris.
Left: forkinthekitchen / Right: melyssametissemodeuse

Find the classic recipe here.

Salade au chèvre chaud

The salade au chèvre chaud is a favorite of cheese lovers. A classic green salad topped with crispy bacon bits and crunchy bread covered with warm and creamy goat cheese, usually topped with honey and walnuts. Can you think of a better option?

Left: A chèvre chaud salad. Right: An empty terrace in Paris.
Left: alix___urban / Right: hifromalix

Find the classic recipe here.

Salade Parisienne

The perfect lunch salad, filled with simple yet tasty ingredients. Ham, Emmental cheese, hard-boiled eggs, mushrooms, and, of course, green salad. It gets finished off with a mustard-based vinaigrette. 

Left: A Parisienne salad. Right: An empty terrace in Paris.
Left: harvestpermaculture / Right: eugenieand

Find the classic recipe here.

Salade Auvergnate

French people don’t all agree on what goes into a salade Auvergnate, but, in general, this dish includes Cantal cheese, ham or crispy bacon, sometimes potatoes, shallots, and walnuts. Some even use bleu d’Auvergne instead of Cantal and add tomatoes to the mix—the more (ingredients), the merrier!

Left: A Lyonnaise Salad. Right: An empty table at a restaurant in Paris.
Left: youcookcuisine / Right: deareverest

Find the classic recipe here.

Salade Lyonnaise

Another delicious warm salad, coming from the heart of French cooking. The salade Lyonnaise features dandelion leaves, crispy bacon, croutons, and a delicate poached egg, all topped with a classic vinaigrette and parsley. Simple and delicious. 

Left: A Lyonnaise salad. Right: The indoors of a restaurant in Paris.
Left: cooksillustrated / Right: deareverest

Find the classic recipe here.

Related Links

Left: An empty terrance in Montmartre in Paris. Right: A chèvre chaud salad.
Left: deareverest / Right: welowcook

Written by Alessia Armenise for HiP Paris. Looking to travel? Check out Haven In for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, France or Italy. Looking to rent long-term or buy in France or Italy? Ask us! We can connect you to our trusted providers for amazing service and rates or click here. Looking to bring France home to you or to learn online or in person (when possible)? Check out new marketplace shop and experiences.


Alessia Armenise

Alessia is a writer and creative based in Paris. After a few years working in London, she moved back to Paris and now writes freelance for media and brands, specialising in eco-luxury, slow travel and sustainability. Her work has been featured in Stylist, Milk Magazine and Grazia France among others. She also runs a sustainability and slow living focused website called Pretty Slow and hosts a podcast called Pretty Good Business.

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