top cx logo
cx logo
Explorearrow down
search icon

Good food, good company with these French 'canteens'

If you have ever felt nostalgic for school dinners but yearn for something better than turkey twizzlers, Les Petites Cantines could be for you.

Billed as a “neighbourhood canteen”, this organisation aims to forge links in local communities via the quintessentially French means of shared meals.

Everyone is invited: residents, those working in the area, young and old, all gather to prepare, serve, and clear away the meal.

Everyone pays what they can, so nobody is priced out.

It is the brainchild of Diane Dupré la Tour and Etienne Thouvenot.

The first canteen opened in the Vaise district of Lyon in July 2015.

The idea of getting to know one’s neighbours over a healthy and sustainable meal soon took hold in the city, and two more canteens opened.

Today, Les Petites Cantines ( also operates in Lille, and work is under way to set up branches in Annecy, Strasbourg and Nantes.

The initiative has cooked up plenty of heartwarming tales.

It is “a second family: there people can find friends and, for example, people to go to the cinema with”, said Capucine Sornin, the organisation’s head of communications. “It creates links - some who met at the Petites Cantines have gone on also to create a shared garden.”

Resident or second-home owner in France?
Benefit from our daily digest of headlines and how-to's to help you make the most of life in France
By joining the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
See more popular articles
The Connexion Help Guides
featured helpguide
Income Tax in France 2023 (for 2022 income)*
Featured Help Guide
- Primarily aimed at Britons, covers pensions, rent, ISAs, shares, savings and interest - but also contains significant general information pertinent to readers of other nationalities - Overview of online declarations + step-by-step guide to the French printed forms - Includes updates given automatically after this year's site opened
Get news, views and information from France