FoodGourmet Guide to the Best Food in Lyon, France
Gourmet Guide to the Best Food in Lyon, France

Gourmet Guide to the Best Food in Lyon, France

Thanks to the “Mothers of Lyon” and famed chef, Paul Bocuse, the city’s dishes are a mouth-watering blend of bourgeois traditions and folk culture. And the best way to experience all of this culinary history is by indulging in the many savory and sweet traditional dishes at local bouchons and gastronomic restaurants.

Join Lyon’s culinary legacy and indulge in the best of Paul Bocuse

Welcome to the gastronomic capital of France – Lyon! The city boasts a wide variety of options when it comes to French cuisine.From affordable bouchons to Michelin-starred restaurants. But there is one name that stands out above the rest – Paul Bocuse. This legendary chef became a symbol of a new era in French cuisine with his culinary innovations that focused on natural flavors of ingredients, simplified recipes, and lighter dishes. He was truly a culinary ambassador of Lyon and a pioneer in the international competition of culinary arts which he named after himself – the “Golden Bocuse”.

Taste tradition at Les Halles de Lyon and l’Auberge du Pont de Collonges

If you’re a foodie visiting Lyon, you simply can’t miss out on two amazing spots – Les Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse and l’Auberge du Pont de Collonges. Both places come with a rich history and are very closely associated with the legendary chef, Paul Bocuse. The market, named after him, is packed with stalls selling everything from crusty bread and artisanal cheese, to juicy cuts of meat and fresh seafood. Meanwhile, Bocuse’s restaurant has consistently held on to its three Michelin stars since 1965, making it an institution of sorts!

What is Bouchon?

It’s a type of restaurant unique to the Lyon region in France. But where does the name come from? There are three different versions of the origin story, each with its own charm.

  • One version suggests that bouchons were originally meant for travelers to rest and feed their horses hay.
  • Another version claims that bouchons got their name from the practice of using an open bottle of wine to plug up another before it went bad.
  • Finally, a fanciful version ties the name “bouchon” to Bacchus, the Roman god of wine.

These small, cozy restaurants offer a unique culinary experience that’s quintessentially Lyonnaise.

Discover the true taste of Lyon with Les Bouchons Lyonnais

But how do you know if you’re eating in a true bouchon or not? Well, that’s where Les Bouchons Lyonnais come in. This association is in charge of certifying authentic bouchons and making sure they meet certain conditions. So, the next time you visit Lyon, make sure to keep an eye out for the warm-colored interiors, checkered tablecloths, and wooden furniture. And don’t forget to order the pork dishes, quenelles, and praline tart. But most importantly, make sure the owner and chef are around to chat with you.

Authentic Lyon cuisine with a touch of bourgeois charm

These quaint taverns, born from the humble origins of Lyon Mothers, serve up local products in their simplest and most delicious forms. You’ll be transported back in time to the 18th century, when these cooks opened their own establishments after working for bourgeois families. It’s this unique combination of simple and homely cuisine, infused with a touch of bourgeois influence, that continues to make Lyon gastronomy so special.

Taste the pride of France at The Bocuse Market

The Bocuse Market, which brings together carefully selected products from the most accomplished professionals in their respective fields. However, the title of “The Best” isn’t just a simple advertising phrase – it’s a real and prestigious title awarded to individuals who have earned the MOF, or Meilleur Ouvrier de France, title.

Discover the Best of French Artisanal Products

This title can be awarded to anyone who works with their hands, whether it’s a cheese maker, sommelier, watchmaker, or even a shoemaker. The MOF title is the pinnacle of success for any artisan, and it takes years of hard work, preparation, and love from the public to achieve. To add to the pride, MOFs have the right to wear collars with the French tricolor, which truly exemplifies the honor and prestige that comes along with it.


If you’re exploring the cuisine of Lyon and want to sample one of the city’s iconic dishes, make sure to try some quenelles. These delicious elongated cutlets are made from flour dough, bread crumb or another type of dough, and come in many different variations. A particular favorite is the refined classic made with pike and served with the famous Nantua crayfish cream sauce, but there are also options made from poultry, veal, mushrooms, or simply served with a creamy bechamel sauce.

From 1830 to now: How one baker revolutionized traditional French cuisine

This dish has an interesting history too – it was invented in the 1830s by a clever baker named Charles Morateur, who added chopped pike meat to his dough mixes to save on costs.

Brioche Sausage

These local dishes are particularly popular for weekend family feasts and New Year’s holidays, and they’re often even topped with luxurious ingredients like pistachios or black truffles. The sausages themselves are placed in soft brioche dough and baked until perfectly crispy. Once cut into pieces, they make a delicious and satisfying appetizer or main course, especially when paired with a refreshing salad. Whether you prefer them hot or cold, Lyon sausages are sure to please the palate and leave you feeling satisfied.

Sapper’s Apron

Sapper’s Apron. This traditional dish is made from liver that has been soaked twice in white wine, boiled in broth, and then breaded with breadcrumbs. The name pays homage to Marshal De Castellane, the military governor of Lyon under Napoleon III who previously served as a sapper in the city of Geny. Sappers from Zhenya wore leather aprons to protect themselves during dangerous work, and it’s easy to see how the name of this dish eventually became “sapper’s apron.”

Weaver’s Brains

Weaver’s Brains (also known as clacrete)! This delicious quark snack is perfect for both an aperitif and a mid-day treat. With a base of whipped cottage cheese, sour cream, and white wine or grape vinegar, it’s then kicked up a notch with the addition of finely chopped garlic, chives, parsley, and shallots. And for the full experience, locals love pairing it with some potatoes, salad, and toasted bread. Fun fact: the snack gets its name from the talented weavers who produced the famous Lyon silk.

Saint-Marcellin cheese

If you’re ever in Lyon and love cheese, then you simply must try the Saint-Marcellin cheese. This soft cow’s milk cheese is the pearl of Lyon gastronomy and is known for its delicate taste and creamy consistency. But the best part about Saint-Marcellin is that you can try it at all stages of ripening. Whether it’s freshly made or fully matured, this cheese will never disappoint. You’ll usually find Saint-Marcellin on a cheese plate, but it’s also commonly used in making sauces because of its unique flavor.

Lyon Bugnes

Among the many yummy desserts, Lyon Bugnes stand out for their crispy and delicate texture. These small yellow donuts, traditionally made for Mardi Gras, are the perfect treat any time of the year. Made with a dough that contains flour, eggs, butter, sugar, and orange blossom, these sweets have a unique and delightful flavor. And did you know that they got their name from the Lyon word “Bugnes,” which means “doughnut”?

Pink Pralines

Lyon is not only famous for its Lyon bunnies but also for pink pralines, which are a feast for the eyes and the taste buds! These almond or hazelnut-based confections in a caramel coating made from sugar and pink coloring are incredibly delicious! Try them in the classic form or go for the brioche with pink praline from Saint-Genis, and you won’t be disappointed!

Breakfast in Lyon – Le mâchon

If you’re ever in the city of Lyon and craving a breakfast that packs a punch, then you’re in luck! Unlike the rest of France, where breakfast is generally light, Lyon is known for its hearty morning meals, offering a much-needed boost of sustenance after a long night of work. This tradition was born from the hard work of Lyon’s weavers, and is lovingly referred to as “Le mâchon” – which literally means “to chew.”

The menu is typically packed with tasty treats that will keep you chewing happily, such as tripe dishes or offal sausages poached in wine. So, if you’re not afraid to take on a hearty breakfast, then be sure to indulge in Lyon’s famous “mâchon” and experience a breakfast like no other!

Appetizer “weaver’s brains” made from cottage cheese (la cervelle de canut)
Sausages with truffles (le cervelas truffé)
Dried sausage (la rosette de Lyon)
Lyonnaise salad (la salade lyonnaise)
Sausages with giblets – Andouillette
Lyonnaise donuts (les bugnes lyonnaise)
Tarte with praline (la tarte à la praline)
local wines like Morgon and Côte-Rôtie

Eating your way through Lyon – the gastronomic capital of France

You can truly experience Lyon’s rich history by trying out their authentic dishes – whether that’s in rustic-style bouchons or fine-dining gastronomic restaurants. The city is dotted with these vibrant and colorful eating spots, where locals and visitors gather over plates of deliciously cooked food to enjoy the city’s rich culinary heritage. So why wait? Head to Lyon today and indulge in their world-famous gastronomy!

I believe that you can travel the world without quitting your job. I believe that you can experience all the magic, the foodies and the cultures of the world while having a normal life. And, perhaps, two dogs. This is exactly what I’ve been doing for 15 years. This is exactly what my blog is about. Love, Lilia

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