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Dining

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Meal times in France


The three daily meals are very important for French people who generally like to take their time while eating  (15 minutes on average for breakfast and 1 hour for lunch and dinner).

Breakfast (when getting out of bed)
Breakfast is taken just after waking up, some people say it is the most important meal of the day. It is a light and sweet meal accompanied by a hot drink (tea/coffee/hot chocolate). Contrary to popular belief, croissants are rather a weekend delight. During the week, the French prefer buttered bread or a bowl of cereals.

Lunch (12-13:30)
The French take their lunch between 12 and 2 pm. A classic lunch consists of a cold starter (optional), a hot dish (meat or fish with vegetables and cereals), and a light dessert (a yoghurt or fruit). But nowadays, more and more people prefer to eat a quick and light meal - a mixed salad or a sandwich.

Dinner (7-9 pm)
Taken between 7pm and 9pm, dinner is a full meal composed of the same type of dishes as lunch, but is often lighter.

Some gourmets also take a break around 4-5pm with a small sweet snack.


Dining on Campus

UNIVERSITY RESTAURANTS (RU) and CAFETERIAS

Several Crous University restaurants and cafeterias can be found on the different UNICAEN campuses. They offer complete, varied and balanced meals, quick meals (sandwiches, pasta boxes, etc.), drinks, pastries and much more to ease your hunger.

Special diets

  • Vegetarian diet: every day, each CROUS restaurant offers you at least one vegetarian meal.
  • Pork-free diet: there is a wide choice of pork-free dishes.
  • Food allergies / intolerances: If you suffer from food allergies or intolerances, you can consult the specific information panel about nutritional values and allergenic products hung in the entrance to the RU. If in doubt, ask the cooks.
Rates and payments The price for a full meal at the RU  is €3.30 (price list 2019/2020). This "meal-platter" price is common to all Crous in France where you can also eat by presenting your leocarte.

Please note : it is not possible to pay cash at the RU or at the Crous cafeterias.

To pay for your meal or snacks, you can use :
  • your IZLY account (leocarte or smartphone application).
  • your credit card (French or international)
Locations and opening hours

UNIVERSITY HALLS OF RESIDENCE

The Crous University residences have collective kitchens that are fully equipped for preparing your meals. Some types of accommodation also have a kitchenette.
 

THE AGORAÉ, A SOCIAL & SOLIDARITY GROCERY STORE

Located on Campus 1 in Caen, the Agoraé is a social grocery store for students experiencing financial difficulties.
Students wishing to apply for this scheme can fill in a food aid eligibility application form. The files will then be examined by a commission that will treat the applications. They will then get a discount of 10% on the prices of the products sold in supermarkets. 
For more information, check the Facebook page


Shopping: Where to buy food and everyday products?


Good to know: most shops in France, including grocery stores, are closed on Sundays (especially Sunday afternoons). Make sure to check the opening hours of your local shops.

Supermarkets
Supermarkets offer a wide range of food products.
In France, there are several big chains with shops everywhere, such as Carrefour, E.Leclerc, Monoprix or Lidl. They are often far from the city centre but are easily accessible by public transportation. These stores offer a variety of food prducts from all over the world which are adapted to specific diets (Hallal, kosher, vegan, etc.), as well as home equipment, clothing, cleaning products, etc.

Grocery stores
Large supermarkets also have small neighbourhood grocery stores that are often open later in the evening and on Sundays. They offer a reduced choice with higher prices, but can be useful as a convenience store.

Markets
There are several markets in Caen where one can buy fresh products coming from local producers/merchants. The largest market, the Saint-Pierre market, brings together around 400 producers and takes place every Sunday morning (8am/ 2pm) at the marina. Remember to withdraw cash before you go shopping as most of the merchants present on the market place do not accept credit cards.
For more information on the Saint-Pierre market and other markets in the region, you can consult the following web pages:
 

How much does it cost?


The prices below are informative and may vary from one store to another and from one city to another.

1.5 litre of water: €0.20
1 litre of milk: €0.80€
1 baguette: €1
1 kg of pasta: €0.80
1 kg of rice: €1.24
1 kg of apples: €2.80
1 kg of carrots: €1.50
1 espresso coffee: €0.40 at the university's vending machines, €1.50 in a café
1 ham and butter sandwich: 
 
More information: www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/in/Caen


Going out and eating local


So you want to go out for a special occasion or share a meal with friends? Chinese restaurants, pizzerias, pancake shops, Indian restaurants, large fast-food chains, or typical brasseries...the options are sure to please every palate and every budget!
In most big cities in France, you can find lively areas with many restaurants. In Caen, you can find them in the historic district called « Vaugueux » located in an unspoilt setting with its cobblestone streets and timber-frames  houses dating back to the Middle Ages. 

But why not take the opportunity of your stay in Normandy to enjoy the local gastronomy?  Oysters from Isigny, assortments of Norman cow's milk cheeses (Camembert, Pont Lévêque, Livarot...), teurgoule (rice, milk and cinnamon dessert), crêpes cooked with Calvados, caramel from Isigny... The most courageous will taste the famous tripes à la Mode de Caen or the Vire’s chittrelings sausages. All this accompanied by a small glass of cider or perry (to drink in moderation, of course).

Good to know: tipping waiters
In France, service and taxes are included in the prices displayed by restaurants and cafés, but if you particularly liked the service, you can tip the waiter to show your satisfaction. 


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Last update : April 28, 2020



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