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30 of the Best Lyon Restaurants, Bouchons, Markets and Bars (2022 Update)

Are you wondering where to eat in Lyon? We spent a month eating in the French city so that we could assemble this Lyon food guide for hungry visitors and tourists. Check out our favorite Lyon restaurants, bouchons, markets and bars.

River View in Lyon France
With both the Saone and Rhone rivers running through Lyon, the city offers stunning views throughout the city.

After Lyon captivated us during our first visit in 2012, we pledged to return to the charming French city that stole our hearts. We’ve revisited three times since then.

And guess what? We can’t wait to plan our next trip.

Lyon is an ideal destination for food travelers. Not only does the city offer some of the best food in France if not the world, but it’s also a charming and relatively easy to manage.

Sashimi at Sapna in Lyon France
Can you blame us for being excited by the food in Lyon?

Ironically, not everybody shares our adoration for France’s third largest city. We’ve had British friends question our love for Lyon though we do our best to explain why France’s food capital continues to excite us.

Maybe our Philly roots makes us root for second tier megacities like Lyon. We can’t help but love a talented underdog and, compared to Paris, that’s what Lyon is. We love Paris too but for different reasons.

What’s So Special about Lyon?

Dessert at Les Apothecaires in Lyon France
Far from boring, Lyon’s dining scene is filled with surprises like this herbaceous dessert featuring black cardamom ganache, sorrel and various greens

Anyone who knows about food understands Lyon’s long and deep culinary heritage. The city has been a launching pad for numerous great chefs including American chefs Daniel Boulud and George Perrier. It’s also the home of the late culinary legend Paul Bocuse.

Since our first visit in 2012, the food in Lyon has risen to a new level of culinary excellence. But, to be clear, Lyon’s deep base of food culture is nothing new. Lyon’s chefs always had incredible cooking skills – they just needed time to catch up to current trends in the world dining scene.

Chef Florent Poulard at Monsieur P in Lyon
Chef Florent Poulard is one of Lyon’s young chefs leading the city’s culinary evolution.

Much of the credit for Lyon’s culinary transformation goes to the city’s young cadre of chefs. After developing their culinary chops under the tutelage of the late Paul Bocuse and other Michelin starred chefs like Christian Têtedoie, these accomplished upstarts have embraced modern cuisine and casual, independent dining with a vengeance.

Sure, food travelers won’t want to miss Paris pastries and restaurants when visiting France. But don’t rule out Lyon as an equally worthy destination in the hexagonal European country.

Pro Tip
Many Lyon restaurants, shops and cafes close on Sunday and/or Monday. Check websites for opening days and hours to avoid potential disappointment.

Lyon Food Guide

Bouchon Thomas Pate Compagne
Lyon restaurants serve excellent food at all price points. We ate this value priced Pâté de Campagne at one of the city’s best bouchons.

Food travelers will find much of France’s top food in Lyon. After our initial 2012 visit, we spent a month eating some of the best Lyonnaise food in 2016 and have returned two more times.

During these four visits, we dined at some of the best Lyon restaurants and at casual eateries. We also frequented traiteurs (French take away stores), specialty coffee shops and bars.

These are our favorite places to eat and drink in Lyon.

Top Lyon Restaurants

Fine Dining at Prairial in Lyo
Restaurants like PRaRial shine in dishes like this one that gave roasted cauliflower a starring role.

Yes, you can eat at 15 Michelin starred restaurants in Lyon, and those are surely all special. But, for us, dining at smaller restaurants where young chefs are serving outstanding food at reasonable prices in an ultra-casual atmosphere is equally exciting.

Lyon is a city with a variety of restaurants that run the gamut from casual eateries to fine dining. These are our favorites:

Monsieur P

Ravioli Starter at Monsieur P in Lyon
Our culinary journey at Monsieur P started with lovely foie gras ravioli prepared with hyssop.

A chef we know once imparted that to become great in the kitchen, you have to work with and learn from the best chefs in the industry. Chef Florent Poularde is a rising star who’s done that. He’s worked for Alain Passard at Paris’ Arpege and Daniel Boulud in New York. He now brings those experiences to his own restaurant, Monsieur P, in Lyon.

We’d been wanting to dine at Monsieur P after hearing the buzz about the restaurant after it opened on Rue Royale Croix-Paquet in 2017. But then the pandemic halted the world and Poularde moved his restaurant to a new space in the more convenient heart of the Presqu’ile next to the Celestins Theater, just a four minute walk from Place Bellecour.

Finally, the stars aligned and we snagged a reservation at Monsieur P, albeit in its second location.

Sweet Breads at Monsieur P in Lyon
Chef Florent Poularde’s dish of sweetbreads over a bed of vegetables is influenced by his wealth of experiences cooking for chefs like Daniel Boulud and Alain Passard.

In a modern food world where chefs continue to push toward the outer limits of gastronomy, Poularde’s food emanates classicism. We like that. His combination of prix-fixe and a la carte menus are an expression of the great food available in Lyon and the great cooking techniques he learned along the way.

Feeling fatigued after a busy travel day, we went the à la carte route. It was a good move. Wonderful ravioli stuffed with foie gras and hyssop, easily large enough for two weary TGV travelers to share, provided a good introduction to Poularde’s food.

Salmon at Monsieur P in Lyon
We enjoyed Scottish salmon with carrot puree at Monsieur P in Lyon.

For a French restaurant with lofty, formal (dare we stay Michelin star?) ambitions, it should be noted that Poularde’s cooking is earthy and soulful. During our meal, dishes like Lewis Island Scottish Salmon served over an earthy simple carrot puree warmed us from the chill of Lyon’s December air. 

Poularde understands how to cook and serve sweetbreads. His offals were impeccably done and served over a bed of morels along with whole wedges and slices of root vegetables.

After eating in restaurants with missions to transform food, we found it refreshing to enjoy plates that celebrated the beauty of well cooked carrots, parsnips and turnips.

Flan at Monsieur P in Lyon
We didn’t have room for dessert but somehow managed to enjoy the restaurant’s silky flan anyway.

Monsieur P’s great food is served in a space that’s simple and somewhat anticlimactic. But the restaurant’s service is top notch and its food is excellent.

We expect big things for Poularde, a Lyon chef worth watching.

Pro Tip
Plan ahead and book a weekday reservation. Monsieur P is closed on both Saturdays and Sundays as well as three weeks in August and the last week of the year.

Monsieur P is located at 8 Pl. des Célestins, 69002 Lyon, France.

Takao Takano

Whitefish Starter at Takao Takano in Lyon France
Each dish at Takao Takano is a revelation of culinary genius. Part of our tasting menu, this dish included whitefish from Lake Geneva, crayfish, mushrooms and salmon eggs swimming in a foamy broth.

We don’t know exactly why, but the French have a love affair with the Japanese and that mutual admiration manifests itself in both countries’ cuisines. Nowhere is that more evident in Lyon than at Takao Takano.

At this tiny oasis nestled in a residential neighborhood, Japanese-born chef Takano transports local, seasonal ingredients to a higher level by cooking dishes that excite with every bite. Michelin Guide France agrees with our assessment, awarding Takao Tokano two stars in 2018.

Dessert at Takao Takano in Lyon France
This fanciful dessert topped a poached pineapple with vanilla, ginger, cream and caramelized popcorn. C’est manifique!

Our multi-course Takao Tokano lunch started with a shocking amuse bouche of mackerel that, on first glance, appeared to be soup but soon revealed itself to be an umami-filled pannacotta. And that was just the beginning of a meal packed with generously sized yet exquisitely composed dishes.

Pro Tip
Order two different tasting menus so that you can taste a wider selection of dishes at Takao Tokano, one of the top restaurants in Lyon France.

Takao Takano is located at 33 Rue Malesherbes, 69006 Lyon, France.

Les Apothicaires

Les Apothicaires in Lyon France
Shelves of jarred preserves and other kitchen essential line the wall at Les Apothicaires, a charming Lyon restaurant.

We chose to eat lunch at Les Apothicaires for multiple reasons, the main one being that it was open on Monday – not a common practice among the best restaurants in Lyon. We were also attracted to the restaurant’s excellent reputation, global menu and affordable lunch menu.

Within moments of settling into the restaurant’s large bookshelf lined dining room, we were pleased with our decision. After eating the food, we knew that a return visit was inevitable.

Fish at Les Apothicaires in Lyon France
Enhanced by cream pistachio, lemon and basil, this place fillet packed struck a balance between acidity and the fish’s essence.

The chefs at Les Apothicaires use bold ingredients including leeks topped with Choron sauce (similar to Béarnaise sauce but with tomatoes) and shredded chicken smothered in mole sauce. However, no dish surprised us more than our dessert in which the chefs daringly combined sweet ice cream with sorrel and ultra-green lovage.

We initially eyed the gorgeous, forest green plate with skepticism, not sure about the dish which appeared to place ice cream atop a bed of greens. We had our doubts about the abundant placement of leafy herbs in a creamy dessert, but a layer of herb-tinged sugar underneath the verdant green and lily-white quenelles brought the entire dish together.

Coffee at Les Apothicaires in Lyon France
Les Apothicaires served us Mokxa coffee and sables, a sweet ending to a delightful meal.

Not surprisingly, the married culinary team of Tabata and Ludovic Mey traveled the world before opening Les Apothicaires. The talented chefs met in Lyon while cooking at Restaurant Marguerite, a Paul Bocuse brasserie, and can now add a Michelin star to their resumes. Yes, Les Apothicaires is now a Michelin-starred restaurant.

Pro Tip
Make a Monday reservation for Les Apothicaires. Since many Lyon restaurants are closed on Mondays, you’ll be thrilled to dine well on this day of the week.

Les Apothicaires is located at 23 Rue de Sèze, 69006 Lyon, France.

PRaiRial

Roast Chicken at Prairial in Lyon France
Dishes at PRaiRial embrace fresh ingredients. Pictured here is Roast Chicken over Garlic Herb Foam.

PRaiRial’s logo is uninhibited gastronomy. That may seem like a lofty statement even for a Michelin starred restaurant, but Chef Gaétan Gentil delivers on this promise with food that combines the freshest seasonal ingredients with modern cooking techniques. The result is magical.

We enjoyed a three-course lunch at PRaRial. Standout dishes were Roasted Cauliflower with Cherimoya Sauce, Roast Chicken over Garlic Herb Foam and Chocolate with Sweet Clover Ice Cream, Meringue, Yuzu and Aired White Chocolate.

Be prepared to relax in PRaRial’s soothing environment. With only 28 seats and walls covered with greenery, the atmosphere is worthy of a leisurely meal of modern French gastronomy paired with wine.

Pro Tip
Lunch is a bargain considering that PRaiRial has a Michelin star. The restaurant offers multi-course options with and without wine pairings.

PRaiRial is located at 11 Rue Chavanne, 69001 Lyon, France.

Sapnà

Marinated Chicken XO at Sapna in Lyon France
Not to be confused with fast food, Sapna’s ‘KFC’ marinated chicken is a must eat during any visit to Lyon.

After striking gold at La Bijouterie (see below), Chef Arnaud Laverdin and Pastry Chef Remy Havetz have done it again at Sapnà. For their second venture, named after the Hindi word for dream, the talented chefs have created a haven for Asian street food lovers with food inspired megacities from Bangkok all the way to Osaka.

During our dynamic dinner, the chefs tickled our taste buds with a melange of street food dishes that evoked memories of Asian food we’ve eaten in cities like Hanoi, Saigon and Delhi. Highlights KFC’ fried chicken served with an addictive mayonnaise sauce and duck tartare flavored with galanga, coriander and tamarind.

Duck Tartare at Sapna in Lyon France
We were mesmerized by the crunchiness of Sapna’s duck tartare. We later learned that puffed quinoa added the crunch to the flavorful dish.

In many ways, dining at Sapnà is like joining a dinner party. The bar is long and flowing with a stream of wine, beer and spirits. Dozens of piercing blue eyes on the walls, painted by street artist Wenc, gaze back at festive convivial diners sharing plates topped with food literally bursting with interesting flavors and unique textures.

Skipping Remy’s dessert creations is simply not an option. Though we were tempted to order all four desserts du jour, we settled on sharing the ‘1000 F’ with caramel and miso. Topped with a dollop of milky ice cream and white chocolate shavings, the dessert was an ideal ending to a fantastic meal.

Pro Tip
Call ahead to book a table at Sapnà. Though the restaurant serves lunch and dinner five days a week, don’t expect to walk in without a reservation.

Sapna is located at 7 Rue de la Martiniere, 69001 Lyon, France.

La Bijouterie

Quenelle at La Bijouterie in Lyon
La Bijouterie’s heavenly version of Quenelle de Brochet arrived topped with fermented porcini powder.

Things have changed at La Bijouterie since we first published this guide.

The bargain dim sum lunch is gone. The nouveau Sino-French menu is history but Chef Arnaud Levardin, while in still command of the Terreaux bistro, can be found slinging plates and mingling with patrons while a busy group of ambitious young chefs man the stoves. 

Chef Arnaud Levardin in the light at La Bijouterie in Lyon
Chef Arnaud Levardin seems to be a man at a crossroads.

After braving the brutal pandemic years, Levardin has refocused La Bijouterie’s direction toward modern cooking concepts that place the restaurant’s food closer to Nordic gastronomy than anything Bocuse had in mind. Levardin talks about leaving hospitality but we don’t believe it.

The prolific chef possesses a passion for exploring the places where food can go that can’t be ignored.

Mushrooms at La Bijouterie in Lyon
Tiny porcini mushrooms were served with miso paste and soy broth during our meal at La Bijouterie.

Our eclectic December 2021 dinner at the current iteration of La Bijouterie had mixed results.

Some dishes, like Levardin’s modern version of a Quenelle en Brochet – a petit smokey, rich marvel adorned with porcini powder, were utterly brilliant. Other dishes, like tiny pickled porcini with miso paste and soy broth, seemed to be works in progress that missed their marks.

Pig Ear at La Bijouterie in Lyon
We were split on this early pig ears course. However an enraptured table of ten Asian guests enjoyed the dish with gusto.

It would be easy, considering our meal’s considerable cost and the mixed successes, for us to dump on Levardin’s reconceptualized La Bijouterie. However, our take is that it may need time to develop.

We can’t imagine another chef in Lyon daring to serve a menu this far on the vanguard. Plus, despite all the tricks, ferments and sorcery, La Bijouterie remains faithful to this great gastronomic city.

Pro Tip
Consider ordering a wine pairing if you want to experience the chef’s complete vision.

La Bijouterie is located at 16 Rue Hippolyte Flandrin, 69001 Lyon, France.

Les Frangins

Captain Jack Hamburger at Les Frangins in Lyon France
This big and juicy Captain Jack burger was made with beefsteak marinated in Jack Daniels, grilled bacon, roasted onions, house barbecue sauce and aged cheddar.

When we were doing our Lyon food planning and deciding what to eat in Lyon France, we never expected to eat hamburgers, much less multiple times. However, we couldn’t help but notice a proliferation of hamburger shops in the city.

After doing some research, we went to Les Frangins and ate some of the best hamburgers of our lives. The top-quality ingredients were all locally sourced and cooked to perfection, and the burgers were served with unlimited frites (i.e. French Fries).

On our second visit, Daryl tried the double burger that was almost as big as his head. In other words, it was perfection on a bun.

Pro Tip
Although Lyonnaise locals eat their burgers with a knife and fork, feel free to pick up the burger and chow down. That’s what we did.

Les Frangins is located at 9 Rue des Marronniers, 69002 Lyon, France.

Carnet Gourmand

Sautéed Eggplant Salad at Carnet Gourmand in Lyon France
The Chinese food at Carnet Gourmand is as varied as it is colorful. Pictured here is the Sautéed Eggplant Salad.

With all of the great French food in Lyon, it would be easy to skip the global options. But that would be a mistake. Lyon has a variety of interesting restaurants serving cuisines like Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Thai, Lebanese and more.

For us, it’s always fun to see how different cities put their own twist on international food. Our meal at Carnet Gourmet gave us traditional Chinese food but with local twists like excellent knife work and pretty plating

Pro Tip
Check out the photos when you view the menu. With a menu featuring foods from various Chinese provinces, the photos are quite helpful especially if French isn’t your first language.

Carnet Gourmand is located at 15 Rue Neuve, 69001 Lyon, France.

Paul Bocuse

Paul Bocuse in Lyon France
The building that houses Paul Bocuse is a shrine to the iconic restaurant’s famed chef and namesake. It’s worth a visit even if you don’t have the budget or appetite for an epic meal here.

True confession: we haven’t actually eaten at Paul Bocuse, at least not yet. Our budget was maxed out after our dinner at Maison Bras in Laguiole. However, we visited the palace of fine Lyon cuisine and took a peek inside.

Awarded the coveted Michelin star trifecta in 1965, the famous Lyon restaurant is a site to be seen in all of its opulent glory. One day we’ll taste the famous chef’s signature dishes of black truffle soup and Bresse chicken cooked in a bladder à la Mère Filliou. Until then, we got a preview of good things yet to come.

Pro Tip
Even if you don’t dine at the famous Paul Bocuse restaurant, it’s still worth a visit to the best restaurant in Lyon France to check out the colorfully decorated building and wall murals. When you’re there, see how many chefs you recognize in the murals and Julia Child doesn’t count.

Paul Bocuse is located at 40 Rue de la Plage, 69660 Collonges-au-Mont-d’Or, France.

Additional Lyon Restaurants

1000 F Dessert at Sapna in Lyon France
Dessert is a highlight at most Lyon restaurants and this one at Sapna was no exception.

Longer visits to Lyon will give you more time to explore the city’s restaurant scene. After you eat at our favorite restaurants and round out your trip with bouchon meals, consider one or more of the following additional Michelin-starred restaurants in Lyon:

Lyon Bouchons

Quenelle at Cafe Comptoir Abel in Lyon France
Eating Quenelles de Brochet is a requisite part of eating at bouchons in Lyon. We ate this version at Cafe Comptoir Abel.

Food travelers could easily dine at a different Lyon bouchon every day for a fortnight and not run out of options. Unique to Lyon, bouchons are casual restaurants that serve Lyonnaise food favorites, with the star being Quenelles de Brochet, i.e. pike dumpling.

Locals tend to frequent a favorite bouchon or two, often with an allegiance that dates back to childhood. As for us, these are our favorite bouchons in Lyon:

Le Garet

Le Garet exterior in Lyon
Le Garet has been holding court in Lyon since 1920. The bouchon attracts a local, loyal clientele but also welcomes food travelers.

Lyon treasure Le Garet is the ideal spot for a traditional bouchon lunch in Lyon thanks to its Lyonaisse comfort food menu and walls haphazardly decorated with colorful caricatures. The crowd is mostly local, skewing a bit older (a good thing), though all are welcome in the restaurant’s friendly space.

Le Garet doesn’t disappoint with its selection of traditional Lyon food options, proving that some of the best Lyon restaurants are bouchons. Its food may not be cutting edge but it’s completely satisfying and true to the city’s culinary history.

Saucisson at le Garet in Lyon
This saucisson plate arrived with a huge hunk of butter, not that we’re complaining.

We first ate at Let Garet in 2016 and fell in love with the bouchon’s cozy atmosphere and hearty food. Then, over the years, we wondered if the classic Lyon bouchon had changed with the times.

Our return more than five years later proved otherwise. Le Garet was just as we remembered with its hodgepodge art and curt, yet friendly, service.

Beef bourguignon at La Garet in Lyon
We loved Le Garet’s rustic daily off-menu special of Beef Bourguignon.

Most important, the food tasted great – maybe even better than we remembered. Our saucisson came with both potatoes and butter while our quenelle was fluffier than a pillow. We also loved the bouchon’s rustic off menu take on a nonlocal specialty – Boeuf Bourguignon. Le Garet’s version of the braised classic was done simply with just wine stewed beef and potatoes. And, of course, French wine from nearby Beaujolais washed it all down like a dream.

Baba Rum at Le Garet in Lyon France
A generous shot of rum added an extra kick to our Baba Rum dessert at Le Garet.

Pro Tip
Don’t skip Le Garet’s desserts, many of which are served with a shot of liquor. However, you may want to share one after such a big meal. Portions sizes are generous at this bouchon.

Le Garet is located at 7 Rue du Garet, 69001 Lyon, France.

Bouchon Thomas

Bouchon Thomas Exterior
Bouchon Thomas is one of several Rue Laurencin eateries operated by Chef Thomas Ponson.

Bouchon Thomas wasn’t on our radar and now it’s one of our favorite Lyon bouchons.

Like many outside of Lyon, we were previously unfamiliar with Chef Thomas Ponson and his small collection of restaurants located on the same block near Gare De Lyon Perrache. After eating at Bouchon Thomas, we’re now fans of Ponson’s cute bi-level bouchon.

Salade Lyonnaise at Bouchon Thomas in Lyon
We enjoyed this wonderful Salade Lyonnaise at Bouchon Thomas. Since we enjoyed it in Lyon, it was actually just a salad.

All of the classic bouchon elements are present at Bouchon Thomas including checkerboard tablecloths and a menu featuring traditional Lyon favorites.

Food highlights include Pâte Campagne, salad with poached egg and lardons (i.e. Lyonnaise Salad outside of Lyon), Onglet Steak and Cervelle Pistache, the special, boudin blanc style sausage available throughout the city.

Saucisson Chaud at Bouchon Thomas in Lyon
Cervelle Pistache, a special version of boudin-blanc available throughout the city, is served at Bouchon Thomas with a quenelle of herbed butter and boiled potatoes.

Thomas also offers a menu from Chef Ponson’s native region of Ardèche. While this alternate menu may be a great option for our second visit to Bouchon Thomas, our first visit was all about the classics. We weren’t disappointed.

We also weren’t disappointed by two classic bouchon desserts – Chocolate Fondant (dark molten chocolate cake) and a thick hunk of Pain Perdu (think bread pudding, not french toast).

Pain Perdu at Bouchon Thomas in Lyon
Pain Perdu with a side of vanilla ice cream is one of two desserts we enjoyed at Bouchon Thomas in Lyon.

Good food aside, we loved this bouchon’s friendly service and cozy atmosphere that somehow felt simultaneously unstuffy and contemporary. It’s fair to say that our first visit to Bouchon Thomas won’t be our last.

Pro Tip
Take advantage of Bouchon Thomas’ location that’s just a 10 minute walk from Lyon’s Perrache train station. You can enjoy lunch at the bouchon, take a short walk and be in Paris in a little over two hours. Winning!

Bouchon Thomas is located at 3 Rue Laurencin, 69002 Lyon, France.

Daniel et Denise

Pate with Foie Gras and Sweetbreads at Daniel et Denise in Lyon France
Daniel et Denise serves elevated bouchon fare like this Pâté with Foie Gras and Sweetbreads.

Daniel et Denise is a fancier bouchon that serves the kind of Lyonnaise cuisine that made the city famous. We’re talking about classic Lyon dishes like Andouillette Lyonnaise and Tarte Tatin with Pralines. Friendly and a bit formal, the atmosphere is perfect for a romantic meal or business lunch.

Chef Joseph Viola now has multiple locations, but his food quality is still top-notch. Like other popular Lyon bouchons, reservations are typically necessary.

Pro Tip
Meals are served with two generous sides: pan-fried potatoes and macaroni gratin. Be careful not to load up on these carbs so that you save room for the cheese and dessert courses.

Daniel et Denise has multiple locations. We ate at the restaurant located at 156 Rue de Créqui, 69003 Lyon, France.

Café des Fédérations

Cafe des Federations in Lyon France
We felt right at home at Cafe de Federations in Lyon. The bouchon’s ambiance is both comfortable and unpretentious.

The Café des Fédérations is not just a cork but a gastronomic symphony!

A Lyon institution, Café des Féderations lives up to its esteemed reputation and the above quote by serving classic Lyonnais food in an unpretentious dining room. Meals start with a family-style spread of foods like smoked fish spread, lentil salad, pickled pig’s feet salad, charcuterie and crusty bread before ordered dishes arrive at the table.

Molten Chocolate Cake at Cafe des Federations in Lyon France
Save room for dessert when you dine at Cafe des Federations. The decadent molten chocolate cake is not to be missed.

Main course options at Café des Fédérations include local favorites like Tête de Veau (calf’s head), Andouillette (a local sausage specialty) and Boudin Noir (black pudding). We chose to eat Quenelle de Brochet and Braised Pig Cheeks during our lunch and then finished our meal with molten chocolate cake and a praline tart.

But wait there’s more! Our epic lunch wasn’t truly over until we indulged in espresso and Valrhona chocolate. As we sipped the end of our bottle of house Beaujolais Morgon wine, we realized that Lyon would always be a home away from home for us.

Pro Tip
Check out the artwork in the restaurant’s bathroom. We’ll leave the details as a surprise.

Café des Fédérations is located at 9 Rue Major Martin, 69001 Lyon, France.

Café Comptoir Abel

Cafe Comptoir Abel in Lyon France
Centuries-old Cafe Comptoir Abel is a popular tourist destination in Lyon.

We didn’t eat at Café Comptoir Abel until our third Lyon visit though not for lack of trying. Open since 1726 and helmed by Chef Alain Vigneron since 1976, the traditional bouchon reached legendary status after the late Anthony Bourdain ate there while filming Parts Unknown in 2014.

Lyonnais Salad at Cafe Comptoir Abel in Lyon France
Don’t miss the Lyonnais Salad when you dine at Cafe Comptoir Abel. It’s a winner.

So what did we think? Though we wish we could say that the meal was worth the wait, that would be untrue.

We enjoyed the restaurant’s hearty take on Salad Lyonnaise with local lettuce, lardons, crispy croutons and a soft boiled egg. However, the Quenelle de Brochet, though texturally on-point and as big as an arm, was flavorfully disappointing with an unremarkable sauce that lacked an adequate infusion of salt or other seasonings.

Pro Tip
Order the prix-fixe menu if you’re ambitious enough to handle three hefty courses. This approach will allow you to sample multiple local favorites at one meal.

Café Comptoir Abel is located at 25 Rue Guynemer, 69002 Lyon, France.

Additional Lyon Bouchons

Bouchon Thomas Room
You’ll know it when you find your favorite bouchon in Lyon. Bouchon Thomas is a top contender for us.

Eating at bouchons is one of the best things to do in Lyon. With that in mind, here are more bouchons to try in case you can’t get reservations at our favorites:

Lyon Desserts

Macaron at Seve in Lyon France
Macarons are better in France. We ate this salted caramel macaron at Sève.

Fabulous desserts are easy to find in Lyon since pastries are sold everywhere and usually for a reasonable price. The most convenient place to buy them is the neighborhood boulangerie or market. However, it’s hard to say “no” to French desserts at the end of a restaurant meal too.

That being said, the following Lyon dessert spots warrant a special visit:

Les Eclaireurs

Eclairs at Les Eclaireurs Patissiers in Lyon
Éclairs at Les Eclaireurs are notable for their bright flavors and fanciful designs.

Its seems like every great French city has a great éclair shop. In Paris, that shop is L’Éclair de Génie. In Strasbourg, it’s Donatien Maitre Eclair.

Lyon has Les Eclaireurs.

Eclairs from Les Eclaireurs Patissiers over Lyon street
We couldn’t resist photographing our chosen éclairs before we cut them open.

Guillaume and Romain Luyat started their single-product business in 2018 and opened their first shop a year later. The passionate brothers have a stable of 50+ sweet and savory éclair flavors that vary throughout the year depending on their whim and the season.

During our visit, sweet options included classic vanilla and chocolate as well as more creative flavors like Black Forest and Matcha Bergamote. Savory flavors included Truffle Mortadella, Salmon Dill and Black Garlic Hummus.

Cross section of Eclairs from Les Eclaireurs Patissiers in Lyon
Our éclairs looked just as pretty once we cut them open.

We chose the two sweet flavors we couldn’t resist – a Salted Butter Caramel éclair which was chock full of salted butter caramel cream and caramelized peanut and the Clementine Corsica – an éclair with vanilla whipped ganache, cream, clementine gel and cocoa shortbread.

Pro Tip
Don’t save your stop at Les Eclaireurs Patissiers until the last day of your visit. This eclair shop is worth two visits if not more.

Les Eclaireurs Patissiers has multiple locations. We visited the shop located at 32 Rue de Brest, 69002 Lyon, France.

Piece of Cake

Pastry Chef Anne Chambouleyron at Piece of Cake in Lyon France
Pastry Chef Anne Chambouleyron learned about American style cheesecake from her American relatives. She now bakes this cheesecake plus other desserts for coffee shops and restaurants throughout Lyon.

In Lyon, desserts must be prepared by a trained pastry chef, not just by some Tom, Dick or Harriet with a mixing bowl and sugar. That’s where Piece of Cake comes in to play.

Helmed by Pastry Chef Anne Chambouleyron, Piece of Cake provides desserts to many of the city’s third wave coffee shops and other restaurants. These desserts include American cheesecake (yes – made with Philadelphia brand cream cheese), carrot cake, blondies and more.

Pro Tip
Go to Piece of Cake for a full selection of Chambouleyron’s decadent desserts.

Piece of Cake is located at 8 Rue Aguesseau, 69007 Lyon, France.

Sève

Cake at Sève in Lyon France
The desserts at Sève are true works of art.

When you walk into the north entrance to Les Halles de Lyon – Paul Bocuse, you can’t miss the colorful pastries at Sève. A closer look reveals macarons, both sweet and savory. And chocolate. Lots of chocolate.

Sliced Buche de Noel in Lyon
We purchased this pastry size Buche de Noel at Sève. It was coated with milk chocolate ganache and filled with candied chestnut, clementine confit and candied chestnut chips.

During the Christmas season, bakers at Sève create unique Buche de Noel logs that easily become the star of any holiday party. Some of these yule logs are made of ice cream and they all taste divine.

Pro Tip
Don’t waste time shopping for gifts and souvenirs when you’re visiting Lyon. Sève has an assortment of boxed chocolates that won’t disappoint the pickiest of candy connoisseurs.

Sève has seven locations in Lyon including one at Les Halles de Lyon – Paul Bocuse.

Voisin

Colorful Desserts at Voisin in Lyon France
Voisin captures the spirt of Lyon with its colorful desserts sold throughout the city.

Founded in 1897, Voisin is a respected chocolatier in this food-focused city. It’s also easy to find.

In fact, it’s almost impossible to walk around Lyon without bumping into a Voisin shop. This is a good thing since Voisin sells a variety of colorful candies and chocolates that easily satisfy a hungry traveler in need of a quick jolt of sweet energy.

Pro Tip
Be sure to try a Coussin de Lyon, the local treat invented by Voisin. What is a Coussin de Lyon? It’s a piece of pale green marzipan filled with chocolate ganache.

Voisin has 13 locations in Lyon including one at Les Halles de Lyon – Paul Bocuse.

Lyon Coffee Shops

Flat White at Placid in Lyon
Lyon has jumped into coffee’s third wave movement.

Traditional French cafés are wonderful. However, there’s nothing like a third wave coffee shop when it comes to great coffee. These shops also provide spaces to work and mingle.

Read our Lyon cafe guide with the best spots to drink specialty coffee in Lyon.

Lyon Bars

Wine at Chez Leon in Lyon France
The availability of inexpensive, excellent wine is yet another reason why we adore Lyon.

Lyon’s bars are great spots to visit before dinner unless you’d rather visit them after dinner. Either way, these are our favorite bars in Lyon:

Odessa Comptoire

Bar at Odessa in Lyon
Odessa Comptoir is warm and cozy despite the natural wine bar’s modern approach to oenology.

Odessa Comptoir is wine bar with contrasts.

Open since 2017, Lyon’s first all-natural wine bar occupies a historic space which has operated as a restaurant since 1859. The bar’s owners are French and American, not Ukrainian as the bar’s name suggests, though one owner has a Ukrainian grandmother.

While natural wine (called vin biologique in French) has become common at Paris wine bars, Lyon is catching up to the larger city to the north in this regard. Odessa Comptoir is part of Lyon’s wine wave.

Glasses of Wine at at Odessa in Lyon
Our glasses of wine looked at home on Odessa Comptoir’s bar until we drank them.

After targeting Odessa Comptoir based on its convenient Pentes de la Croix-Rousse location, we were immediately besotted with the natural wine bar’s friendly, casual atmosphere. The same goes for its concise wine glass list that included a dozen red, white, orange and sparkling wines ranging in price from 5€ to 6€ on the night of our visit.

Pro Tip
Beyond wine, Odessa Comptoir has a kitchen that prepares charcuterie boards as well as hot bistro dishes and Sunday brunch. It also has craft beer for those who rather chug than sip.

Odessa Comptoire is located at 14 Rue René Leynaud, 69001 Lyon, France.

Les Fleurs du Malt le Bar

Beer at Les Fleurs du Malt le Bar
This glass of Chimay Blue was an ideal nightcap after a full day of food tripping in Lyon.

Wine may rule the roost in Lyon but craft beer has a place in the traditional French city too. And there’s no better Lyon bar for beer fans than Les Fleurs du Malt Le Bar located steps away from the River Saône.

Literally translating to Flowers of the Malt, Les Fleurs du Malt is a veritable Garden of Eden for hopheads who appreciate a full spectrum of beers sourced from breweries around the world. After a decade, this beer garden is in full bloom.

Initially overwhelmed by the bar’s beer bounty, we ordered a Chimay Blue. It was a good choice. The strong Belgian beer made us happy as we sipped it in the bar’s back room. We didn’t miss sipping wine for a moment.

Pro Tip
If you can’t find a beer here then you can’t find a beer anywhere. Les Fleurs du Malt Le Bar has more than 100 bottled beers in addition to 20 beers on draft. During our visit, draft prices ranged from 2€ for a Belgian pils to 9€ for a seasonal American imperial milk stout.

Les Fleurs du Malt le Bar is located at 15 Quai Romain Rolland, 69005 Lyon, France.

Additional Lyon Bars

Bar at La Crafterie in Lyon France
Lyon bars are fun whether you’re in the mood for drink beer, cocktails or wine.

Our two favorite Lyon bars are just the tip of the ice cube. If you’re feeling thirsty, check out the following Lyon watering holes which range from intimate to raucous:

Lyon Specialty Shops

Saucisson at Reynon in Lyon
Shops like C. Reynon Traiteur are treasure troves for food travelers.

As great as the restaurants are in Lyon, sometimes the best meal is the one you eat at home with your shoes off and a glass of wine in hand. Assuming you’re staying in an apartment, these are the shops where you should start your exploration of the must-eat foods in Lyon:

Fromagerie Tête d’Or

Fromage at Fromagerie Tete dOr in Lyon
Visiting Fromagerie Tête d’Or is like taking a cheese tour of France.

Although Lyon is a city swimming in cheese shops, Didier Lassagne’s shop in the Tête d’Or neighborhood is special enough to warrant a walk across town. We first discovered the shop when we were dining at PRaiRial and saw it listed on the menu as the restaurant’s cheese provider.

At Tête d’Or, cheeses are lined up in neat little rows which feature fine chèvres in many varieties as well as others like stinky Alsatian Munster and a sweet Beaufort that lingers on the tongue for a good half hour. Each cheese is perfectly ripened and ready to be enjoyed with a bottle of wine.

Pro Tip
Pick up some other gourmet goodies while you’re at the shop buying cheese. We recommend the shop’s yogurts flavored with peach, apricot, strawberry, raspberry and cassis.

Fromagerie Tête d’Or is located at 51 Rue Tete d’Or 69006 Lyon, France.

C. Reynon Traiteur

Tete Roulee Rolled Tongue at C Reynon in Lyon
We first heard about Reynon while watching Anthony Bourdain on CNN. The famous traiteur is a Lyon gem.

Serving specialty foods since 1937, Reynon is a haven for Lyon food lovers, be they locals or visitors. Famously visited by TV personality Anthony Bourdain, Reynon is decorated with sausages hanging from the ceiling and along the walls.

The shop sells a lot more than sausage – prepared salads, fresh meat, Bresse chickens, gourmet foods and more. If you’re brave enough, the shop has large slabs of tongue which they will slice to order.

Pro Tip
Do not miss Reynon’s fresh sausage with pistachios and morels. The preparation is quite simple – just cook in simmering water for 40 minutes. Trust us, this sausage is divine.

C. Reynon Traiteur is located at 13 Rue des Archers, 69002 Lyon, France.

Le Pain d’Hippolyte / Antoinette Pain & Brioche

Le Pain d'Hippolyte Boulangerie in Lyon France
The baguettes at boulangerie Le Pain d’Hippolyte won the unofficial 2foodtrippers taste test. Crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, these baguettes were the perfect vehicles for cheese, meat and more.

Wherever you are in Lyon, you’re never far away from a boulangerie. This makes sense since most Lyonaisse natives buy fresh baguettes on a daily basis. And for a euro (give or take), why not?!

While the city’s baguettes are all good, some are great, and a few are even excellent. We tasted baguettes at several boulangeries. The bread at Hippolyte (now called Antoinette Pain & Brioche) was our favorite.

Their pastries, especially the eclairs, are quite tasty, making the shop a convenient stop for both bread and dessert needs. Plus, this boulangerie is centrally located and has pleasant service throughout the day.

Lyon Cheap Eats Lyon Alert
In addition to solid baguettes and pastries, the shop also sells excellent sandwiches at reasonable prices.

Antoinette Pain & Brioche has multiple location including the shop located 15 Rue Hippolyte Flandrin, 69001 Lyon, France.

Giraudet

Soup Bottles at Giraudet in Lyon France
Why kill yourself cooking quenelles when you can buy fresh fish dumplings at Giraudet? Bottles of soup and sauces are also available for purchase.

Quenelles are normally associated with the best bouchons in Lyon, but you can also buy them at Giraudet, a local institution since 1910. In addition to quenelles, the shop sells a variety of fresh soups and sauces that can be heated up at home for a quick, satisfying meal.

Pro Tip
If you don’t feel like eating at home, the shop is coupled with a restaurant serving the same items plus a bit more.

Giraudet has several locations including a stall at Les Halles de Lyon – Paul Bocuse.

Maison Kayser

Tuna Sandwich at Maison Kayser in Lyon France
In addition to selling baguettes and baked goods, Maison Kayser also sells sandwiches (like this tuna sandwich) and salads.

We originally discovered Maison Kayser in New York. As it turns out, the Parisian boulangerie has locations in Lyon, including one adjacent to the city’s opera house.

The shop has a wide selection of many of our favorite foods of Lyon including bread, pastries, sandwiches and salads. Open later than most neighborhood boulangeries, Maison Kayser is a good last stop of the day.l

Pro Tip
Since prices are lower at the Lyon locations compared to what we previously paid in New York, feel free to buy extra baguettes and treats to enjoy later or in the morning.

Maison Kayser has multiple locations in Lyon. We frequented the one at 15 Place Louis Pradel, 69001 Lyon, France.

La Crafterie

Beer at La Crafterie in Lyon France
The beer selection at La Crafterie is overwhelming but in a good way.

La Crafterie is a fresh concept in Lyon where shoppers choose among 500 bottles of beers, many from France but others from top brewers around the world. Even better, the shop features a bar that serves a varied selection of craft beer on tap.

Pro Tip
Bring your growler and purchase draft beer to enjoy later in your hotel room or apartment.

La Crafterie is located at 4 Place Tobie Robatel, 69001 Lyon, France.

Lyon Markets

Tomatoes at Lyon Market
Lyon markets sell seasonal local products from white asparagus to colorful tomatoes.

Lyon food markets are excellent spots to purchase some of the best food in Lyon France for the day or week. They’re also great spots to eat Lyon food specialties, people watch and take photos.

You won’t want to miss these markets when you visit Lyon:

Les Halles de Lyon – Paul Bocuse

Pate Croute at Puzzle Cafe in Lyon France
The food selection is nothing short of world-class at Lyon’s Les Halles market. Shoppers can buy all of the necessary items to prepare a casual picnic or gourmet dinner.

Sometimes called the belly of Lyon but usually just called Les Halles, this indoor Lyon market is a gem smack dab in the middle of the city. Its 60 quality vendors sell a variety of items like fish, meat, cheese, desserts and so much more.

Dozen Oysters at Chez Leon in Lyon France
We enjoyed this dozen oysters with wine while shopping at Les Halles de Lyon.

This is a market where shoppers and diners co-exist in harmony with many buying food items before or after dining at one of the market’s eateries. Many linger over a glass or two of reasonably priced wine as well.

You want fresh oysters? Check. A Bresse chicken? Check. A shiny red praline tart? Check, check, check.

Pro Tip
Take a shopping break and eat oysters. The market’s briny mollusks are among the best in the world.

Les Halles de Lyon – Paul Bocuse is located at 102 Cours Lafayette, 69003 Lyon, France.

Les Halles de la Martiniere

Les Halles de la Martiniere in Lyon France
Historic Les Halles de la Martiniere has been repurposed into a modern day food hall.

Les Halles de la Martiniere could easily be located in a global city like London, Brooklyn or Sydney. Instead, the hipster hangout is located in an 1836 building that originally housed Lyon’s first indoor market.

Inside Les Halles de la Martiniere in Lyon France
Locals flock to Les Halles de la Martiniere to enjoy crepes and cocktails with friends.

Open in its current incarnation since 2017, Les Halles de la Martiniere serves two purposes. One half of the market is a shop for healthy food items as well as locally procured produce and meats. The other half is a modern food court where crowds convene to eat, drink and be merry.

Pro Tip
This market is open every day of the week. Check the schedule for current hours.

Les Halles de la Martiniere is located at 23 Rue de la Martiniere, 69001 Lyon, France.

Outdoor Markets

Radishes at Lyon Market
The outdoor markets in Lyon are perfect for everyday purchases like fruit, vegetables and eggs.

Sometimes a shopper just wants to visit a neighborhood market to buy a few items for the day. This is where Lyon’s outdoor markets come into play.

Instead of having set stalls, these markets are serviced by a roster of rotating vendors who sell the best things to eat in Lyon – fruits, vegetables, eggs, saucisson, cheese, wine and more. Our favorites outdoor markets are Marché Saint-Antoine and Marché Croix Rousse.

Pro Tip
Shop early in the morning for the best selection of the day.

Marché Saint-Antoine is located at Quai Saint-Antoine, 69002 Lyon, France.
Marché Croix Rousse is located at Boulevard de la Croix-Rousse 69001 Lyon, France.

Marché de Noel

Marche de Noel in Lyon
Lyon’s Marche de Noel retains a rustic vibe compared to Christmas markets in other European cities.

Lyon’s annual Marché de Noel isn’t famous like the city’s Fête des Lumières, a three-day festival of lights, and that’s a shame. Or is it? While Lyon’s light festival is famous around the world, its Christmas market retains a local vibe that we dig.

In our opinion, Lyon’s sparkly Christmas market rivals Christmas markets in cities like Strasbourg and Dijon and, at least for us, it’s even better due to its local spirit and the quality of its vendors. Shhh – Don’t tell those other French cities.

Aligot Vendor at Marche de Noel in Lyon
Skipping Aligot at the Marché de Noel simply isn’t an option.

Vendors set up temporary homes in more than 100 wooden ‘chalets’ from November 24th to December 24th where they sell regional foods to be eaten on the spot or given as gifts. We’re talking about items like local Brioche aux Pralines (i.e. buttery pastries studded with praline roses) as well as stretchy Aligot (i.e. cheesy mashed potatoes) more typically eaten in southwest France.

Vin Chaud Vendor at Marche de Noel in Lyon
Drinking Vin Chaud is also mandatory, or at least it should be mandatory, at Lyon’s most festive market.

Not surprisingly, several vendors sell Vin Chaud, France’s version of hot mulled wine, at Lyon’s Marché de Noel. But, for some reason, the holiday beverage seems to taste better at this under-the-radar Christmas market. And to that we say Santé (i.e. cheers)!

Pro Tip
Buy a bottle of Vin Chaud to give as a holiday gift or to enjoy later.

Lyon’s seasonal Marché de Noel is located at Place Carnot.

Things To Do in Lyon

Basilica Clock in Lyon France
This Basilica Clock is just one site to visit in Lyon.

Lyon may be one of the world’s greatest culinary cities, but there’s more to do in Lyon than eat great food and drink great wine. We recommend that you consider the following activities between meals:

Plan Your Lyon Trip

Mercor Mercor Hotel Room in LyonHotel Room in Lyon
Lyon is more fun when you book a room in advance.

If you’re interested in staying at a centrally located hotel, we recommend the Mercure Lyon Centre Beaux Arts. We stayed at this affordable hotel during our most recent visit and found it to be both comfortable and convenient..

Planning Checklist

Heymondo Offer with City View

Get a discounted quote for travel insurance to protect your trip from things like injuries, theft and cancelations. We never travel without protection!

Hungry for More in France?

Check out our food guides for the French cities of Paris and Strasbourg.

About the Authors

About the Authors

Daryl & Mindi Hirsch

Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website and YouTube. The married Food and Travel content creators live in Lisbon, Portugal.

Disclosure

We update our articles regularly. Some updates are major while others are minor link changes and spelling corrections. Let us know if you see anything that needs to be updated in this article.

Vivi

Monday 20th of January 2020

You Guys ! Always creating great content. This guide will be invaluable for our September trip. I originally booked dates for the Lyon food festival...but now the dates have shifted or rather been confirmed for October, initially thinking I should rebook, however your timely reviews and feedback from others have cemented my plans.

Dayne

Saturday 22nd of June 2019

I did wander into one of the cafés on your list this week, on a weekday, and was appalled by the attitude. No greeting, no one to seat me, no one to take my order. Just sad. Paris is truly making an effort these days to be hospitable and accommodating. Lyon, not so much.

Daryl and Mindi Hirsch

Sunday 23rd of June 2019

While the French, especially in cities like Lyon can be occasionally curt to patrons, we've always experienced excellent service while there. We dine out all over the world and try not to let one or even a few bad customer service experiences cloud our opinions about a city's or country's dining culture. Ironically, we recently experienced bad service in Paris during an amazing meal in the city of lights. Hopefully you won't let a few bad moments cloud your opinion of Lyon.

Elena

Tuesday 7th of May 2019

Thank you for the guide. Exactly what I was looking for! We are going to stay in Grenoble the entire summer, so I am planning to spend more than a few days in Lyon.

Heather Coller

Friday 3rd of May 2019

Thank you for this wonderful guide of Lyon. For the restaurants, would you tell me what the price range is for each of the symbols: € €€ €€€

Thank you!

Daryl and Mindi Hirsch

Tuesday 7th of May 2019

We recently updated this guide to add several new establishments based on our latest visit to Lyon. We also removed the euro symbols under each restaurant since we had originally added them subjectively. Feel free to contact us with any specific pricing questions, though you'll probably get the best information from each restaurant's website. Links are included within the article.

Natalie

Thursday 25th of October 2018

Thanks for this guide! Your article made me super excited about my coming trip to Lyon.

Daryl and Mindi Hirsch

Saturday 3rd of November 2018

You're most welcome. It's such a great food city. Have a great trip and don't hesitate if you have any questions.