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Pocket dictionary: 200+ types of French shop names in France, businesses & services too

French business sign: yes we are open
French business sign: yes we are open

If you’re planning to spend time in France, you’ll need to learn your way around essential French stores, shops, services, businesses & places. From a bakery and wine store to the laundromat or police department, let’s walk through what each is called in French and English. 

Shop names, business names, places and services in French

Some businesses and shop names in French don’t translate well word for word into other languages.

For instance, how do you ask about the electric company in France? Although “compagnie d’électricité” is the literal translation of “electric company,” that’s not how you would say it in French.

And if you were to ask someone about garage sales in France, you’ll get a blank look because they have attic emptiers (vide grenier) in France, not garage sales. 

That’s why it’s important for tourists and newly arrived residents in France to know what different businesses and shops are called in French.

I’ve put together a massive list of over 200 French shop names in France, businesses, services, and places you might come across while shopping in France.

I’ve listed their names in English and French and organized everything into convenient categories. 

Let’s start with everyone’s favourite; les marchés (traditional French markets.)

11 types of indoor & outdoor French markets in France

Metz Christmas market: French names for outdoor markets and businesses
Photo/ Philippe Gisselbrecht/Ville de Metz

France has many different kinds of markets.

From small weekend farmers’ markets and flea markets to huge annual street fair-style flea markets and Christmas markets, these are the places where different sellers set up stalls to sell various types of products. From fruits, vegetables, meat and cheese to plants, household items, clothing and gifts.

Here are 11 more well-known and popular markets you’ll want to become familiar with.

Traditional outdoor markets + one indoor market

  1. Outdoor market/farmers market:
    • Marché (A market where people set up stalls to sell meat, cheese, fruits, vegetables, and even clothes, plants, household items, gifts and so on)
  2. Flower market:
  3. Book market:
    • Marché aux livres
  4. Christmas Market:
  5. The Halls:
    • Les Halles: (Indoor open market where vendors sell meat, cheese, fancy deli goods, food, flowers, etc.)

Names of French flea market-style markets and fairs in France

France is famous for its antique markets, but those are just the tip of the iceberg.

Here are some popular types of markets and street fairs where people sell previously-owned, second-hand goods and antiques. 

Flea Market in Bordeaux at place Saint Michel;
Flea Market in Bordeaux at place Saint Michel; ©gabe123/123RF.COM
  1. Flea market:
    • Marché aux puces
  2. Antique Dealer:
    • Brocante
  3. Wardrobe emptier:
    • Vide-armoire
  4. Attic emptier:
    • Vide-grenier (like a garage sale without the garage)
  5. Annual street market/ Street fair:
  6. Antique Salon:
    • Salon d’antiquaire

Shops and places that sell food & Alcohol

cheese section at a food store in France called Carrefour: French Shop names and places that sell food & Alcohol

One of the funniest things to do when you arrive in a new country is to visit the food markets and supermarkets.

Food stores in France come in all shapes and sizes, from the small corner greengrocer and huge big box stores to specialty shops like bakeries and chocolate shops.

Here are the ones you’ll need to know.

Different types of food/grocery stores

outside a French épicerie in France

  1. A hypermarket (like Walmart):
    • Hypermarché (Big box stores that sell everything under the sun like Walmart without the weird Walmartians. Here’s a list of stores similar to Walmart in France). 
  2. Supermarket:
    • Supermarché /Grande surface: (literally big surface)
  3. Small grocery store/corner market:
    • épicerie 
  4. Small convinenece store:
    • Supérette (French Canadian : dépanneur like couche-tard)
  5. Organic food store:
    • Magasin bio
  6. Greengrocer:
    • Magasin de fruits et légumes (literally fruit and vegetable store)
  7. Frozen food store:
    • Magasin surgelés (Picard is a popular frozen food store in France that sells fancy premade food. Popular for apero parties.)

Specialty Meat Markets In France:

Charcuterie et Boucherie

Are you looking for a shopping experience beyond the supermarket? France has loads of specialty meat and fish shops. 

  1. Butcher:
    • Une Boucherie (where you buy unprepared meats, lamb, steak, chicken, veal etc.)
  2. Pork Butcher:
  3. Horse Butcher:
    • Boucherie chevaline 
  4. Fishmonger or fish seller:
  5. Organ and tripe seller:
    • Une Triperie

Specialty cheese and dairy shop names

A bunch of French cheese in a cheese shop in France: fromagerie

Most food stores have a good selection of cheeses but nothing beats an actual cheese shop or dairy shop. If you’re interested in learning about France’s stinky cheeses, here are 17 Famous French stinky cheeses adored in France but feared by others.

  1. Cheese shop:
    • (la) fromagerie
  2. Dairy shop:
    • (la) crémerie or une Laiterie (Laiterie is closely related to a fromagerie but less common. You’ll find butter, cheese, yogurt, eggs, and other dairy products.)
  3. Ice cream shop / Parlour:
    • (la) Glacier

Specialty bread and dessert shops

photo of a bunch of bread in a French boulangerie 'bakery"

Specialty bread and dessert shops are a must when you’re in France. Shops will sometimes combine different specialties. For instance, our local pastry shop in Montpellier is also a pie and cake shop. Or a chocolate shop will also have confiserie (candy). 

  1. Bakery:
    • (la) boulangerie (bread and croissants)
  2. Pastry shop:
    • (la) patisserie (sells cakes and other sweet treats)
  3. Pie and dessert shop:
    • (la)tarterie (sells a wide variety of pies, cakes, viennoiseries and desserts)
  4. Chocolate shop:
    • (la) chocolaterie
  5. Candy store:
    • (la) confiserie (sometimes a chocolate store and candy store are one and the same)

Alcohol and liquor stores 

Interior of a Nicolas wine store in France

You can buy alcohol from just about every grocery store and some corner markets in France, where most locals buy beer, wine, and spirits.

US and Canadian-style liquor stores are not very common in France; however, there are plenty of wine merchants and local breweries.

Here are a few to remember. 

  1. Wine shop:
    • Un marchand de vins, cave à vin,  le caviste
  2. Winery:
    • Vignoble
  3. Brewery:
    • Brasserie

You  might be interested in reading: Ultimate Guide to 77 French Apéritifs & Predinner Drinks:

Names of different types of restaurants and places to eat in France

cafe des 2 moulins in the Montmartre district of Paris: where Amélie worked as a waitress

There are so many different types of dining establishments in France to try. Here are the main ones that you’ll see over and over again. 

You might be interested in reading: 

Cafe vs Bistro vs Brasserie: What’s the Difference? A guide to dining in France

Tipping in France for every situation: It’s not as much as you think!

  1. Restaurant:
    • Un restaurant
  2. Bistro:
    • Un Bistro
  3. Brasserie:
    • Une brasserie
  4. Cafe: 
    • Un Café
  5. Bar
    • Un bar
  6. Wine barWinstub
    • Barà vin
    • Winstub: A type of wine bar/restaurant specific to Alsace but also German-speaking Switzerland. 
  7. Rotisserie:
    • Une Rôtisserie (restaurant specializing in broiled and barbecued meats:)
  8. Bouchon or Bouchon Lyonnais
    • A small bistro that serves mainly local dishes from Lyon
  9. Bouillon
    • A restaurant that usually serves traditional French cuisine, in particular, hochepot au boeuf, boiled beef in its bouillon stock.
  10. French fry/chips shop:
    • Friterie
  11. Sandwich shop:
    • Une sandwicherie
  12. Fast food restaurant:
    • Restauration rapide
    • Magasin Snacking
  13. Crepe shop / crepe restaurant:
    • Une crepereie
  14. Pizzeria:
    • Une Pizzeria
  15. Tea shop/tea room:
    • Un Salon de thé
  16. Kabob shop (very popular in France) 
    • un kebab
    • un tacos
  17. Vegetarian restaurant
    • Restaurant Végétarien
  18. Vegan restaurant
    • Restaurant végétaliens 
    • Restaurant végan
  19. Meal kit delivery box: (like Hello Fresh, which is also in France)
    • Les Box à cuisiner
    • les Kits repas 

Names of useful shops in French

Shakespeare and company English bookstore paris

Books & Paper shop businesses in France:

  1. Stationery store:
    • Une Papeterie
  2. Book Store:
    • Librairie
  3. Library:
    • Une Biblioteque:
  4. Newsstand:
    • Kiosque
  5. Office supply store: (like Office max)
    • Magasin de Fourniture de bureau
  6. Printer shop:
    • imprimerie 

Names of flower and plant-related shops and businesses in France

bunch of flowers at a french flower shop in France

  1. Florist:
    • Une Fleuriste
  2. Nursery (for plants):
    • Pépiniériste
  3. Seed merchant shop:
    • Graineterie

You might be interested in reading: Popular flowers in France + their French flower names & meanings

Clothes Shopping and other types of shops in France

Interior of Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussmann department store in Paris

  1. Department Store:
    • Grand magasin
  2. Clothing store:
    • Magasin de vetements
  3. Shoe store:
    • Magasin de chaussures
  4. Second hand store:
    • Magasin d’occasion
    • Une Fripperie
  5. Leather shop:
    • Maroquinerie
  6. Stocking and Hoisery shop:
    • Bonnèterie
  7. Hat shop:
    • Une Chapellerie 
  8. Jewelry shop:
    • Bijouterie
  9. Sporting goods store:
    • Magasin de sport
  10. Toy store:
    • Magasin de jouets
  11. Record shop:
    • Disquaire
  12. Music store:
    • Magasin de musique

Houseware & Furniture stores in France

Chic and classic living room

  1. Furniture store:
    • Magasin d’ameublement
    • Magasin de meubles
  2. Electronics store:
    • magasin d’électronique
  3. Home appliance store:
    • Electroménager
  4. Bedding store:
    • Magasin literie 
  5. Window shop:
    • Vitrerie
  6. Mirror shop:
    • Miroiterie
  7. Light store:
    • Lustrerie

Miscellaneous types of Businesses in FranVariousous specialty shops in France

Random shops that you might come across in France. 

  1. Souvenir shop:
    • Boutique de souvenirs / Magasin De Souvenirs
  2. Pawn shop:
    • prêteur sur gages
  3. Tobacco shop:
    • Un Tabac
  4. Drugstore:
    • Une droguerie

Useful service businesses in France

Woman at laundromat in France : la laverie

  1. Post office:
    • La poste / Bureau de poste
  2. Post office box (public)
    • Boîte Postale or Boîte aux letters
  3. Dry cleaner:
    • Pressing (nettoyeur French Canadian literally means “cleaner”)
  4. Laundromat:
    • Laverie (buanderie French Canadian)
  5. Small hardware store:
    • Quincaillerie
  6. Large hardware store:
    • Magasin de bricolage
  7. Junkyard (usually illegal dumping place)
    • Dépotoir 
  8. The dump (waste reception place):
    • Décheterie
  9. Real estate agent/ office:
    • Agences immobilières
    • Immobilier
  10. Notary:
    • Notaire 
  11. Sworn or certified translator
    • Traducteur assermenté (you’ll need to contact one if you ever need your documents translated for visa purposes)
  12. Shoe repair store / Cobbler
    • La cordonnerie
  13. Locksmith:
    • Serrurer

Work-related place names in France

Lawomatic-coworking-space-P

  1. Office:
    • Bureau
  2. Workshop / Studio:
    • Atelier
  3. Factory / Plant:
    • Usine
  4. Coworking space:
    • Espace de coworking
  5. Staffing and recruitment agency:
    • Cabinet de recruitment

Types of Personal and self-care businesses 

woman getting her done at a hair salon: salon de coiffeur

  1. Nail bar:
    • onglerie
  2. Hair cut place:
    • Salon de coiffure (Je vais au salon de coiffure – I’m going to the hair salon)
    • Coiffeur  (Je vais chez le coiffeur -I’m going to the haircutter)
  3. Tatoo parlor/ Tatoo shop:
    • Salon de tatouage
  4. Body piercing salon:
    • Salon de piercing
  5. Gym (place to workout):
    •  Salle de sport 

Places in France relating to animals

3 dogs at Pull & Bear department store in Montpellier France possibly greyhounds

  1. Pet store:
    • Animalerie
  2. Veterinary:
    • Vétérinaire
  3. Dog park
    • éspace chien
  4. Animal shelter/pound:
    • Refuge d’animaux, refuge animalier, refuge SPA (Société Protectrice des Animaux)
  5. Taxidermist:
    • La taxidermiste 
  6. Zoo:
    • Un Zoo

Relating to religion and death

Pere-Lachaise-Graveyard- an unusual off the beaten path to visit in Paris
Père Lachaise Graveyard

Funeral and death-related places

  1. Graveyard:
    • Cimetière
  2. Morgue:
    • Morgue
  3. Funeral home:
    • Pompes Funèbres

Places of worship in French ( Lieu de culte)

Strasbourg church

  1. Church:
    • Eglise
  2. Synagogue
    • Une Synagogue
  3. Monastary:
    • Un Monastère
  4. Chapel
    • Une Chapelle
  5. Basilica:
    • Une Basilique
  6. Cathedral:
    • Une Cathédrale
  7. Hell:
    • L’Enfer
  8. Heaven:
    • Le Paradis
  9. Limbo:
    • limbes

Medical Businesses and services in France

Doctor visits are very affordable. About 23 euros a visit

Medical Offices & Businesses

  1. Pharmacie:
    • Une Pharmacie
  2. Hospital:
    • Hôpital
  3. Emergency room:
    • Urgences 
  4. Doctor’s office:
    • Cabinet médical
    • Cabinet du médicin
  5. Dentist office:
    • Cabinet dentaire
    • Clinique dentaire
  6. Chiropractors office:
    • Cabinet chiropratique
  7. Dermatologists office:
    • Cabinet du dermatologue
  8. Mental hospital:
    • CMP –  Centre Médico-Psychologique

Names of professions in France relating to the medical field

This is useful to know if you want to explain that you are going to see a medical professional such as the doctor vs going to the doctor’s office.

Also, because medical professionals refer to a person, you should always use “chez” for the word” to,” as in I’m going to,” the doctors. 

For example: “je vais chez le dentiste,” not “ja vais au dentist.” And “je vais au cabinet dentaire”, not “je vais chez le cabinet dentaire.”

Dentist examining a patient's teeth

  1. Doctor (anyone who has a Ph.D./doctorate):
    • (le/la) Docteur
  2. Medical doctor:
    • (le/la) Médecin
  3. General practicioner:
    • (le/la) Médecin généraliste 
  4. Surgeon: chirurgien:
    • (le) chirurgien
    • (la) chirurgienne 
  5. Dentist:
    •  (le/la) Dentiste
  6. Orthodontist:
    1. (le:la) Orthodontiste
  7. Gynochologist:
    • (le/la)  Gynécologue 
  8. Nurse:
    • (un l’) infirmier
    • (une/l’) infirmière 
  9. Eye Doctor / Ophtymologist:
    • (un/ l’) Ophtalmologiste 
  10. Pysical therapist:
    • (le/la) Kiné short for kinésithérapeute 
  11. Dermatologist:
    • (le/la) DermatologuDermatologistste (less common usage)
  12. Dentist:
    • (le/la) Dentiste
  13. Chiropracter:
    • (le) Chiropracteur
    • (la) Chiropractrice
  14. Osteopath
    • (une/l’) Ostéopathe
  15. Psychologist:
    • (le) Psychologue
  16. Psychiatrist:
    • (le) Psychiatre

Names of activities and places for entertainment

Best French amusement parks, theme parks and funfairs in France that are not Disneyland

Places of entertainment and amusement

  1. Movie theatre:
    • Cinéma
  2. Theatre:
    • Théatre
  3. Concert hall:
    • Salle de concert
  4. Cabaret:
    • cabaret (live entertainment held in a restaurant or nightclub)
  5. Amusement park/Theme park:
  6. Water park 
  7. Nightclub:
    • boîte de nuit or discothèque 
  8. Equestrian facility:
    • Centre équestre
  9. Arcade (place to play video games):
    • Salles de jeux vidéo
    • les clubs vidéo
  10. Museum:
    •  Musée

Names of public spaces in France

Tivoli Gardens Amusement Park in Copenhagen: grassy area

  1. Park:
    • Parc
  2. Garden:
    • Jardin
  3. Public toilet:
    • Toillette publique
  4. Pool (public):

Gambling places in France (Les établissements de jeux d’argent)

  1. Horse racing track:
    • Un hippodrome
  2. Casino:
    • Un casino
  3. Card game clubs / Gaming clubs
    • Clubs de Jeux

You might be interested in reading: Unique French Casinos In Paris and France + What to expect

Educational places in France

Primary school classroom in France

Schools in France

  1. School:
    • école
  2. Elementary school/ Primary school:
  3. Middle school:
    • College
  4. High School/secondary school:
    • Lycée
  5. University/College:
    • Université
    • La Fac (Uni)
  6. Driving school:
    • Auto-école
  7. Culinary arts school:
    • école des arts culinaires
  8. Cooking school:
    • école de cuisine

You might be interested in reading: 

How to enrol your kids in French schools In France: 3-18 years old

French school system grade levels in France explained: 3-18-Year-old

Places to do with money in France

How to write and fill in a French bank check (cheque)

  1. Currency exchange :
    • Un bureau de change
  2. Bank:
    • Une Banque
  3. ATM:  
    • Un distributeur /  distributeur automatique de billet (Guichet French Canadian)

You might be interested in reading: 

What is a French bank RIB number? Why you NEED it in France

How To Write A French Bank Cheque In France The Right Way

Government-related places in France

Paris-French-presidents-house-Rue-du-Faubourg-SaintHonore

  1. President of France residence:
    • Élysée Palace 
  2. Embassy
    • Ambassade
  3. Consulate
    • Consulat
  4. Unemployment office:
    • Pôle Emploi
  5. City hall / Townhall :
    • La mairie
    • Hôtel de Ville
  6. Prefecture
    • La préfecture (also a place where foreigners will have to go to renew their visas)
  7. Court House:
    • Palais de justice
  8. Military base:
    • Base Militaire
  9. Police Station
    • Poste de police
  10. Prison
    • Prison

Travel & Transportation Businesses and services

photo of police lineup in front of Gare Saint Rock main train station in Montpellier France
In front of the Saint Roch train station in Montpellier. Another police barricade.

Public and private transportation businesses in France

  1. Airport:
    • L’aéroport
  2. Train station:
    • La gare
  3. Bus station:
    • La gare routière
  4. Bus stop:
    • L’arrêt de bus
  5. Train stop:
    • L’arrêt de train
  6. Tram stop:
    • L’arrêt de tram
  7. Taxi stop:
    • Station de taxi

Types of businesses & places relating to cars and bikes :

Yellow car in front of a Renault car dealership in France

  1. Car dealership:
    • Concession automobile
    • Concessionnaire automobile
  2. Towing service:
    • Dépannage remorquage
  3. Auto body shop:
    • Carrosserie
  4. Car wash:
    • lavage auto
    • lave-auto
  5. Auto repair shop:
    • Garage auto  
  6. Gas station:
    • Station service
  7. Rest stop:
    • Air de service
  8. Bike Shop:
    • Magasins de vélo
  9. Bike Lane:
    • piste cyclable
  10. Toll Booth (for the autoroute)
    • Péage
  11. Rest stop
    • Aire d’autoroute

You might be interested in reading: Driving in France: a guide for tourists: most important things you must know.

Places to stay for travel & tourism.

Hotel Carlton: Cannes France

  1. Hotel:
    • Hôtel
  2. Youth Hostel:
    • Auberge de jeunesse
  3. Guest room:
    • Chambre d’hôte
  4. Holiday cottage / Holiday home for rent
    • Gite 
  5. Campgrounds:
    • Terrains de camping
  6. Thermal bath / thermal spa
    • Spa Thermal

Utilities in France

  1. Gas & Electric company: 
    • Fournisseur Electricité et Gaz
  2. Water Company
    • Fournisseur d’eau
    • Fourniseur eau
  3. Cable internet and telephone company
    • les opérateurs de réseau internet et mobile
    • les fournisseurs internet et opérateurs mobile

 

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Annie André

Annie André

About the author

I'm Annie André, a bilingual North American with Thai and French Canadian roots. I've lived in France since 2011. When I'm not eating cheese, drinking wine or hanging out with my husband and children, I write articles on my personal blog annieandre.com for intellectually curious people interested in all things France: Life in France, travel to France, French culture, French language, travel and more.

 

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