France Travel Planner by Tom Brosnahan & Jane Fisher   Restaurants in Lyon, France
Lyon is known as a center of good eating, and it has plenty of restaurants




Traditional Lyonnais restaurants are known as bouchons and their menus tend to include a lot of meat dishes, particularly pork, and other rich offerings. They are usually modest restaurants, often family run.

You'll find many restaurants that call themselves bouchons, though not all meet the criteria of the Association for the Preservation of Lyonnais Bouchons. Whether they're authentic or not, the many small bouchons/bistros of Lyon offer a lot of dining choice.

Menus often include salade lyonnaise, a salad made with frisée or other greens, topped with a poached egg and lardons, or bacon; quenelles, poached fish dumplings served with a sauce; boudin, or blood sausage; and most originally, cervelle de canut, which translates as "silk worker's brains," but is actually a cheese dish made with fromage blanc and herbs. Many desserts include Lyon praline rose, almonds coated in red sugar.

You'll find many restaurants clustered around the narrow streets of Vieux Lyon, particularly the streets leading away from the Cathédral de St-Jean (map); simply stroll along and read the menus until you find one that appeals. In season, you can sit outside and enjoy the passing scene.

Another good restaurant cluster is around the Place du Change, facing the Église Réformée (or Temple du Change, a historic Protestant church).

There are many restaurants in the general area of the Place Bellecour, on the Presqu'île. In particular, look for the Rue des Marronniers (map), a small street that seems to be nothing but restaurants, both traditional bouchons and other types.

The shopping street Rue de la République also offers many eating options.

  Brasserie Georges, Lyon

A bit out of the center, near the Gare de Lyon-Perrache, is the famous Brasserie Georges, founded in 1836 (map). Lyon's oldest and largest brasserie, it is a bustling restaurant with a traditional menu and a hurdy-gurdy that helps celebrates birthdays.

If you want fine dining and an unforgettable experience, you may want to consider going to Paul Bocuse's L'Auberge du Pont du Collanges. This Michelin three-star restaurant run by one of France's most famous chefs is known around the world for its exquisite dining. Be prepared: menus run from 150 to 240 euros (plus wine). L'Auberge is located in Collonges au Mont d'Or, about 8 kilometers (5 miles) north of Lyon (map).

Fortunately, the Paul Bocuse Group also operates several less expensive bistros in Lyon and the area. Le Nord features traditional cuisine, while Le Sud offers the "cuisine of the sun," or Provence and the Mediterranean.

L'Est is the "cuisine des voyages," with some Asian inspiration, and L'Ouest offers the "cuisine des iles." These bistros—and a few others operated by the Bocuse Group—all offer excellent food at reasonable prices.

Lyon has established its reputation for fine food in part due to its location, with the wine area of Burgundy to the north, along with Charolais cattle, said to produce the best beef; the Rhône Valley also produces wines and fruits and other crops, so Lyon is well supplied.

About Lyon

What to See & Do in Lyon

Lyon Tourist Information

Vieux Lyon


Lyon Hotels



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Salad, Lyon, France

Above, Delicious salad wrapped in ham at Le Nord, in Lyon.

Below, Le Fresque des Lyonnais features Chef Paul Bocuse in its trompe l'oeil mural.

  Paul Bocuse, Lyon, France      
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