France has a great cooking tradition, rich of various regional products: climate, geology and history all nurture this diversity.
The Touraine is well known for its wines (red, white or rosé, sparkling or still), its “rillettes and rillons” (made with cooked pork meat), its goat’s milk cheese (Sainte-Maure-de-Touraine), its “poires tapées” (pears candied in wine), its fine chocolates, and so on.
As every town in France, Tours hosts numerous outdoor markets: you can have a look at the website of the City of Tours to discover them (section "Economie-Emploi / Commerce-Artisanat / Marchés").
The French usually have three meals a day.
Breakfast in the morning is usually based on sugary food and is taken at home before going to work.
Lunch from approximately 12 to 1 p.m. is eaten at home, at work, in canteens, restaurants or cafeterias. This is usually a full sit-down meal, but people on a busy working schedule only have a sandwich.
Dinner from 7 to 8 p.m. is also a full sit-down meal, but sometimes lighter than lunch. A typical meal includes a starter, a main dish, cheese and a dessert, which can be standard (fruit, yogurt, or stewed fruit) or more sophisticated (piece of pie or tart, ice cream and so on). A cup of coffee or a hot beverage (tea, herbal tea) ends the meal.
Where to eat next to the university? - University staff and students can eat for a low price (student rate: 3.15 € a meal in 2013/2014) in all the university restaurants (RU) that are open during the academic year from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. (opening hours may change during vacation periods). Click here to view the RU and cafeteria list. - In the town center, you will find bakeries or small shops selling sandwiches, beverages, and pastries.
There are different types of shops: - Small supermarkets or small grocery stores remain open until late in the evening. Products usually cost more in those shops than in larger supermarkets. - Mid-sized stores: they usually belong to a big chain store (Géant, Carrefour, Auchan). Opening hours are 9-10:00 in the morning to 7-8:00 in the evening. - Hypermarkets, supermarkets : they are usually located in malls (Petite Arche, La Riche Soleil, Les Atlantes, Chambray) where you’ll find shops of all kinds (shoe stores, sportswear stores, cafeterias, costume jewelry, gadgets) that sell any item you may need (food, clothes, shoes, stationery, small furniture, decoration, household goods, computer/hi-fi, personal hygiene products, and so on). These malls are located in the suburbs of the town, but buses can take you to them. They keep longer hours and some stay open until 9:00 – 10:00 p.m.
To shop in those stores, don’t forget to take a shopping bag or basket, as shops do not provide plastic bags to take away your groceries.
You can pay by check, bank card or in cash, and most shops now have free regular customer’s cards, which entitle you to discounts on your purchases or to get points that you can exchange for discounts or gifts later on.