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Living in France: eating and shopping

As in most countries, the French usually eat three meals a day: breakfast between 7am and 8am, lunch at around 1pm (midday in regional France) and dinner at around 8pm.

Eating out

For students, the cheapest option is the "restaurant universitaire (fr.)" (resto-u), which offers a full meal for around 3 euros. These restaurants are open to all holders of a student card. Some open at night and on weekends.

Another possibility is the lunchtime menu offered by most cafés and restaurants.

In France the ham and cheese or ham and butter sandwich from the local bakery is a great lunch-time favourite. And don’t forget the sandwiches from the Sciences Po "cafet" (basement of 27 rue St Guillaume and other locations)!

In France, it’s very unusual to find restaurants open 24/7. Most restaurants open between midday and 3pm and then again from 7pm-11pm. Only in Paris are certain restaurants open all night.

Food and grocery shopping

Small shops and supermarkets

There are numerous small shops and supermarkets in town (Carrefour Market, Carrefour City, Monoprix, Franprix, Super-U, Intermarché, etc.) where you can do your food shopping. Carrefour City only sells food products, but the others sell everything.

The big supermarkets and other major stores are usually located in the commercial zones on the outskirts of cities.

The cheapest are the “hard discount” stores such as Leader Price, Ed, Aldi and Lidl.

The farmers’ market tradition

Many French people buy their fresh produce and foodstuffs (vegetables, meat, cheese, etc.) at farmers’ markets. There are markets in every city once or twice a week. In Paris, each arrondissement has a market.

"Bienvenue en France" Label

Label Bienvenue en France

The "Bienvenue en France" award, created by Campus France in 2019, aims to certify the quality of international students’ reception in higher education establishments, universities and graduate schools. Sciences Po has been awarded 3 stars, the maximum grade.

Find out more about the "Bienvenue en France" label (PDF,  226 Ko)

Find out more