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Chocolate Dessert in 2foodtrippers Lyon France Food Guide

Lyon Food Guide – The Best Lyon Restaurants, Cafes and Markets

In Food Guides, France by Daryl & Mindi Hirsch22 Comments

We spent a month eating at some of the best restaurants in Lyon France so that we could assemble this Lyon food guide for hungry visitors and tourists. Check out our favorite Lyon restaurants, cafes and coffee shops.

Sashimi at Sapna in Lyon France

After a three-day visit to Lyon in 2012, we made a pledge that we would return to the charming French city that stole our hearts. We’ve now visited Lyon three times including a one-month stay at an AirBnB apartment.

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 city that’s relatively easy to manage.

River View in Lyon France

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

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.

Even Ruth Reichl, former editor of the now-defunct Gourmet Magazine, was less than enthusiastic about Lyon when we met her at the New York Times Travel Show. “The food in Lyon is not very good,” Reichl said.

Thankfully, we didn’t let Reichl’s flippant words derail our plan or dash our excitement for Lyon. Our own Lyon dining experiences prove Reichl wrong every time.

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 must surely understand Lyon’s long and deep culinary heritage. The city has been a launching pad for many 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. Lyon’s deep base of food culture is nothing new. Lyon’s chefs always had incredible cooking skills but needed time to catch up to current trends in the world dining scene to create vibrant, innovative and exciting food.

Chef Arnaud Laverdin at La Bijouterie in Lyon France

Chef Arnaud Laverdin 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 the Le Fooding movement with a vengeance.

Le Fooding dates back to the early 2000’s and encourages highly trained chefs to eliminate French restaurant pretense while still serving excellent food. The progressive movement, which began in Paris, has had a positive effect on many of the best restaurants in Lyon, only improving on the city’s reputation for culinary excellence.

Wine at Chez Leon in Lyon France

The availability of inexpensive, excellent wine is yet another reason why we adore Lyon.

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.

Check Lyon Hotel Rates ➜

Lyon Food Guide

Salmon Pancakes at Diploid in Lyon France

Lyon restaurants serve excellent food at all price points. This plate of salmon pancakes costs less than €12 at Diploid.

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 while we lived like locals in 2016 and recently returned to do it again.

We dined at some of the best Lyon restaurants and at casual eateries during our visits. We also frequented traiteurs (take away shops) and specialty coffee shops.

Follow this guide so that you can avoid tourist traps and eat well in Lyon just like us.

Lyon Restaurants

Hamburger at A La Piscine in Lyon France

Lyon’s hamburger game is strong. The chef at A La Piscine created this à point beauty with a hidden base layer of hazelnuts underneath a grass-fed Charolais beef patty.

Yes, you can eat at twenty Michelin restaurants in Lyon, and those are surely special. But, for us, the real excitement in Lyon is at smaller restaurants where young chefs are serving outstanding food at reasonable prices in an ultra-casual atmosphere.

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

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 soared beyond what we’ve previously eaten in Asian cities like Hanoi, Saigon and Delhi.

Duck Tartare at Sapna in Lyon France

We were mesmerized by the crunchiness of Sapna’s duck tartare. We later learned that puffed quinoa adds 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.

Though Sapnà’s bar offers an eclectic menu of reasonably priced wines and beers, we opted to share a large bottle of cider from Brittany. The tart, effervescent beverage paired well with Sapnà’s Asian flavors.

We shared several plates during our dinner starting with a complimentary bowl of kimchi that woke our senses and left us hungry for more. Before long, we were attacking the first round of plates including a bowl filled with oysters, shrimp and yuzu kosho.

Culinary Team at Sapna in Lyon France

A talented culinary crew surrounds Chef Havetz Remy (third from left in red shirt) in Sapna’s open kitchen.

Confusion struck as we tried to eat the luscious concoction with chopsticks. Once we found spoons, we happily slurped plump oysters swimming in a light broth bursting with acidity. The chopsticks came in handy later, though, when we scooped up tasty teriyaki cuttlefish served atop a heaping bowl of white rice.

We then ate the best plate of the night – duck tartare flavored with galanga, coriander and tamarind. We loved the addition of puffed quinoa which added a crunchy contrast to the fleshy duck.

Our meal continued with marinated ‘KFC’ fried chicken served with an addictive mayonnaise sauce flavored with fermented scallions. We’re still not sure that the chicken tasted like KFC, but it was still crunchy, juicy and nicely seasoned.

We also enjoyed a huge plate of sashimi dotted with popping, squishy, salty trout eggs. This is modern izakaya food done with classic Lyon panache.

1000 F Dessert at Sapna in Lyon France

Chef Havetz Remy creates a rotating menu of unique desserts at Sapna. Pictured here is the restaurant’s 1000 F with caramel and miso.

The chefs have installed a pastry bar serving unique desserts designed by Havetz whose experiences have taken him as far as Japan, London and New York. Diners with a sweet tooth or two can enjoy these desserts to end a meal or for an afternoon treat.

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.

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 transport local, seasonal ingredients to a higher level by cooking dishes that excite with every bite. Michelin Guide France agrees with our assessment, having awarded 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 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 during the same meal at one of the top restaurants in Lyon France.

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

La Bijouterie

Culinary Team at La Bijouterie in Lyon France

A trio of chefs cooked our lunch at La Bijouterie. The talented trio included Arnaud Laverdin, Noe Saillard and Ryan Dolan.

A shining jewel in the exciting Lyon France food scene, La Bijouterie lives up to its name which literally translates to “jewelry”. We ate what might be the best lunch in Lyon at the ultra-casual restaurant just under the wire – it was literally our last restaurant meal in the city before we departed for Marseille. And what a meal it was.

For our lunch, we enjoyed the restaurant’s take on dim sum including melt in your mouth mushroom dumplings with a deep black bean and mushroom broth and Shrimp Har Gow served in a pool of curry foam.

Small Plates at La Bijouterie in Lyon France

Our lunch at Le Bijouterie was a veritable dim sum feast.

The restaurant’s affordable lunch menu features three ‘jewels’, one soup and one rice. Dessert can be added for an additional charge.

Dinner at La Bijouterie is a much grander affair with dishes like barbecue pork shoulder with skate wings, spelt and chanterelle mushrooms. The set menu features enough ‘jewels’ to create a gem of a feast to be shared with a group of friends or one special companion.

Pro Tip: Be sure to make a reservation. Dinner tends to book up well in advance, though it’s easier to score a lunch reservation with just a few day’s notice.

Le Bijouterie is located at 16 Rue Hippolyte Flandrin, 69001 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) to shredded chicken smothered in mole. 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.

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.

A La Piscine

Dining Room at at A La Piscine in Lyon France

There were no empty seats in À la Piscine’s spacious dining room during our Sunday brunch.

Although swimming was not on our rainy Sunday afternoon agenda, we happily headed to Lyon’s largest swimming pool. You see, our plan was to eat brunch rather than swim.

À la Piscine translates to ‘at the pool’ and that’s exactly where the Lyon restaurant is located. The pool is just part of the story since À la Piscine also overlooks the Rhone River. It goes without saying the views are extraordinary.

Sunday brunch at À la Piscine is a multi-course experience that starts with a sweets buffet filled with pastries, fruit and yogurt. Non-alcoholic drinks including coffee, tea, juice and hot chocolate flow freely, allowing diners to be both fully hydrated and caffeinated throughout the meal. Alcoholic beverages are available for an additional fee.

Fish and Panisse at A La Piscine in Lyon France

The Brits may be famous for fish and chips, but the version at À la Piscine did not disappoint us with its precise combination of local ingredients.

We started the formal portion of our brunch with fried eggs, celery purée and pancakes. We then had the difficult task of choosing between hamburgers, fish and tabouleh. After a spirited discussion, we decided to share a hamburger and fish for our final brunch course.

Ironically, we chose the fish since we wanted to try its accompanying panisse (i.e. chickpea fries) though we later realized that the hamburger came with panisse as well. No worries – both dishes were great though the burger stole the show.

Cooked à point and pictured above, the rare burger excelled with accompaniments that included bacon parmesan cream, turnips and a hazelnut spread. Though hazelnuts are not a typical hamburger topping, the nutty, earthy spread added a sweet counterbalance that took the burger to an otherworldly level with textures ranging from charred on the outside to tartare-esque rare on the inside.

Pro Tip: Though we don’t advise swimming after a meal, you can enjoy Lyon’s public pool during the summer. See the pool’s website for details.

À La Piscine is located at 8 Quai Claude Bernard, 69007 Lyon, France.

Les Frangins

Captain Jack Hamburger at Les Frangins in Lyon France

This big and juicy Captain Jack burger is 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 on the first day of our Lyon visit.

After doing some research, we went to Les Frangins and ended up eating some of the best hamburgers of our lives. The top-quality ingredients are all locally sourced and cooked to perfection, and the burgers are 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. 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 three-star Michelin 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 could only afford one three-star Michelin meal, and we chose to do that at Maison Bras in Laguiole. However, we did visit 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, at least 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. See how many chefs you recognize in the murals beyond Julia Child.

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

Bouchons

Quenelle at Cafe Comptoir Abel in Lyon France

Eating Quenelles de Brochet is a requisite part of eating at bouchon 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

Fish of the Day at Le Garet in Lyon France

The chefs at Le Garet serve traditional Lyonnaise food in a friendly atmosphere. Pictured here is the fish of the day in an iron skillet.

Le Garet is the perfect spot for a traditional bouchon lunch in Lyon with its Lyonaisse comfort food and walls haphazardly filled with colorful caricatures. The crowd is mostly local and skews a bit older though all are welcome in the restaurant’s friendly space.

Baba Rum at Le Garet in Lyon France

A generous shot of rum adds an extra kick to the Baba Rum at Le Garet.

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

Pro Tip: Don’t skip the 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 Le Garet.

Le Garet is located at 7 Rue du Garet, 69001 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 a business lunch.

Chef Joseph Viola now has three locations, but the 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 three 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 authentic 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 arrrive 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.

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

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

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.

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.

Take Away Shops

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 Airbnb apartment, these are the shops where you should start your exploration of the local foods you must eat in Lyon:

Fromagerie Tête d’Or

Cheese at Fromagerie Tête d'Or in Lyon France

Visiting Fromagerie Tête d’Or is like taking a cheese tour France but in a well-curated shop.

Lyon is a city swimming in cheese shops, but 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, the cheeses are lined up in neat little rows featuring the finest chèvres in many varieties as well as others like stinky Alsatian Munster and a sweet Beaufort that lingers on your tongue for a good half hour. Each cheese is perfectly ripened and ready to be enjoyed, preferably with a bottle of wine.

Pro Tip: While you’re at the shop buying cheese, be sure to pick up some other gourmet goodies. We especially liked their 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 Pistachee at Reynon in Lyon France

We first heard about Reynon while watching Anthony Bourdain on CNN. It was a solid recommendation and one that we are happy to pass on to our readers.

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 Comptoir du Poulet

Comptoir du Poulet in Lyon France

When you need a break from baguettes and cheese (yes, that can happen!) and you want a quick meal at home, the roasted chicken at Comptoir du Poulet is a perfect choice.

Le Comptoir du Poulet is proof of two things – (1) fast food doesn’t have to be unhealthy and (2) eating in Lyon France doesn’t have to be expensive. This shop sells roasted artisan chickens with meat that literally falls off of the bone.

Served with a side of roasted potatoes, Le Comptoir du Poulet’s farm-raised chicken from Ardèche is an easy yet satisfying meal after a day of work or touring. The shop sells sandwiches and other sides as well.

Pro Tip: With a day’s notice, Le Comptoir du Polet can roast a Bresse chicken for you.

Le Comptoir du Poulet is located at 14 rue Constantine 69001 Lyon, France.

Le Pain d’Hippolyte

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 are 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 some are even excellent. We tasted baguettes at several boulangeries, and the bread at Hippolyte is our favorite.

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

Cheap Eats Lyon Alert: In addition to solid baguettes and pastries, the shop also sells excellent sandwiches at reasonable prices, making Le Pain d’Hippolyte the perfect spot for a lunch that cost under €5 at the time of our visits.

Pain d’Hippolyte is located at 15 Rue Hippolyte Flandrin, 69001 Lyon, France.

Giraudet

Soup Bottles at Giraudet in Lyon France

Why kill yourself cooking quenelles when you can buy the fresh 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 get 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 also has locations in Lyon, including one adjacent to the city’s opera house.

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

Pro Tip: Prices are lower at the Lyon locations compared to New York, so feel free to buy extra baguettes and treats to enjoy later or in the morning.

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

La Crafterie

Beer at La Crafterie in Lyon France

A visitor could easily visit Lyon and exclusively drink wine at spots like Ô Vins D’Anges and Le Ballon, but we often needed a wine break after drinking France’s liquid gold with many of our meals. That’s where La Crafterie comes into play.

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 short-term apartment.

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

Markets

Tomatoes at Lyon Market

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

Every French city has a market, if not several. Lyon is no exception to this rule.

The Lyon food markets are excellent spots to purchase some of the best food in Lyon France for the day or week. They’re also perfect 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 the necessary items for 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. The 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 dinners 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 repurposed to 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: Although the food court stays open until midnight six days a week, the market closes two hours earlier at 10 pm.

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

Outdoor Markets

Outdoor Markets in Lyon France

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.

Specialty Coffee Shops

Cappuccino at Puzzle Cafe in Lyon France

Lyon has jumped into coffee’s third wave movement with cafes like Puzzle Cafe.

Traditional French cafés are wonderful, but there’s nothing like a third wave coffee shop to satisfy our thirst for great coffee while providing us with a space to work and mingle. These modern coffee shops are sprouting up all over Lyon, making visits to Starbucks unnecessary.

In our opinion, these cafés are Lyon’s cream of the crop:

Puzzle Cafe

Barista at Puzzle Cafe in Lyon France

Thomas Audebert sources the best available beans for Puzzle Cafe. He runs his Lyon coffee establishment with a ready smile and high level of customer service.

Centrally located Puzzle Cafe quickly became our spot of choice to enjoy an excellently crafted cappuccino while working on our computers. We loved the atmosphere at the compact cafe as much as we enjoyed the crafted coffee drinks.

Puzzle sources beans from the best roasters in Europe, changing roasters every two weeks. During our multiple visits at Puzzle, we enjoyed beans from cities like Dublin and Berlin as well as cheesecake sourced from Lyon’s own Piece of Cake (see below).

Pro Tip: Lift your coffee love to new levels by taking a workshop at Puzzle Cafe. Options include latte art, coffee preparation and tasting techniques.

Puzzle Cafe has two locations. We frequented the original location at 4 Rue de la Poulaillerie, 69002 Lyon, France.

Slake

Slake Coffee Shop in Lyon France

Don’t forget your computer when you drink coffee at Slake Coffee House. All the cool kids will likely have theirs in tow.

One of Lyon’s original specialty coffee shops dating back to 2014, Slake Coffee Shop continues its reign as a happy place for lovers of good coffee and tasty treats. The stylish cafe attracts a young crowd of digitally connected customers, many of whom convene in the back of the cafe with their laptops.

Crack baristas brew coffee sourced from local roasters Mokxa and Placid, ensuring freshness of the beans. Beyond coffee, Slake serves homemade pastries and savory cafe fare.

Pro Tip: Serious coffee drinkers can purchase beans to prepare later in their personal V60, Aeropress, Chemex or French Press coffee makers.

Slake Coffee House is located at 9 Rue de l’Ancienne Préfecture, 69002 Lyon, France.

Diploid

Charcoal Latte at Diploid in Lyon France

Black is back at Diploid when it comes to the cafe’s detoxifying charcoal latte.

Not willing to rest on their coffee laurels, the team behind Slake Coffee House opened Diploid in 2017. Though its coffee program is similar to the concept at big brother Slake, the newer cafe attracts an eclectic clientele thanks to an airy atmosphere and funky design elements.

Diploid is a popular Lyon brunch spot due to popular dishes like brioche French Toast and Salmon Pancakes. However, we were most intrigued by Diploid’s Charcoal Latte made with organic vegetable charcoal, black sesame and foamy milk. We found the starkly black brew unique for both its black color and savory taste.

Pro Tip: Feel free to wander into Diploid during the week. However, you’ll want to make a reservation for the cafe’s all-inclusive Sunday brunch.

Diploid is located at 18 Rue de la Platière, 69001 Lyon, France.

La Boîte à Café

Flat Whites at La Boite a Cafe in Lyon France

Two flat whites are better than one at La Boite a Cafe in Lyon.

Tiny La Boîte a Café proves that good things often come in small packages, or in this case coffee boxes. With a name that literally translates to coffee box, La Boîte à Café exclusively serves locally roasted Mokxa Coffee along with breakfast, brunch, lunch and cakes.

Pro Tip: Don’t be misled by La Boîte a Café’s size. The small but mighty cafe serves a full range of specialty coffee drinks as well thoughtfully prepared brunch items.

La Boîte a Café is located at 3 Rue de l’Abbé Rozier, 69001 Lyon, France.

Additional Specialty Coffee Shops

Daryl at A La Piscine in Lyon FranceDaryl at A La Piscine in Lyon France

Four specialty coffee shops may be enough to satisfy your coffee cravings. If not, you can continue your Lyon coffee tour at the following worthy destinations:

Dessert

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 a dessert at the end of a restaurant meal too.

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

Le Kitchen Cafe

Banofee Pie Our Way at Le Kitchen Cafe in Lyon France

This flavor bomb is called Banofee Pie Our Way and is made with banana milk jam ice cream, milk mousse and muscovado cookies.

Despite the plethora of dessert options in Lyon, Le Kitchen Cafe is the first dessert bar in the city, with options ranging from cookies to fancy creations. Pastry Chef Laurent Ozan prepares the sweet creations, complementing the savory dishes prepared by his partner, Chef Connie Zagora.

This cozy neighborhood cafe is the perfect spot for breakfast or lunch in addition to dessert. Le Kitchen Cafe serves innovative menus for both meals, attracting serious diners as well as those in search of an afternoon pick-me-up.

Tasting Tip: Satisfy your thirst with a variety of beverage options like& homemade iced tea, juice, beer, wine and coffee.

Le Kitchen Cafe is located at 34 Rue Chevreul, 69007 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 on Saturday for a full selection of Chambouleyron’s decadent desserts. This is the only day that the shop is open to the public.

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.

Pro Tip: Don’t waste time shopping for gifts and souvenirs when you’re visiting Lyon. Sève has an assortment of boxed chocolates that will not 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.

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. Founded in 1897, Voisin is a respected chocolatier in this food-focused city.

Tasting 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.

Things To Do in Lyon

Basilica Clock in Lyon France

Basilica Clock in Lyon France

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:


Hungry for more French food? Check out our Strasbourg Food Guide.


Research Lyon Hotels

Have we convinced you to visit Lyon and eat all the food? Click here to research the best rates for hotels in Lyon France unless you rather stay in an Airbnb apartment with a kitchen like we did.

If you prefer to stay at a hotel, we recommend the Ibis Lyon Part Dieu Les Halles. We stayed at this affordable hotel during our third visit. It’s literally a two-minute walk from the city’s best market and has excellent internet speed.

Book a Tour

There’s more to do in Lyon beyond eating great food. Click here to find an awesome Lyon tour or try one of these tours:

Buy a Travel Guide

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About the Author

Saveur Magazine's BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences on the 2foodtrippers website and YouTube. The married Food and Travel influencers are based in Lisbon, Portugal.

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Comments

  1. Amazing post! I loved Lyon so much but our eating was somewhat restricted as we had our kids in tow. Next time it will need to be a date trip with these tips on hand. Love the sound of PRaiRial and Takao Takano. Thank you

  2. J’adore Lyon and I can’t wait to come back! So awesome that you spent an entire month there! We dined at La Mere Brazier and it was just phenomenal.

    1. Author

      We’re hoping to be back in Lyon later this year, and La Mere Brazier is on our list of restaurants to check out. Glad to hear you loved it there.

  3. Great guide! I’m happy to see a lot of my Lyon favorites and a few I haven’t heard of before. Le Pain d’Hippolyte was my neighborhood boulangerie, I love their boules of bread. (Can’t say I’m a big fan of the Eric Kayser in Lyon, although it is certainly conveniently located. I did love going there in Paris, though!) I’ve heard nothing but raves about La Bijouterie ever since it opened (is it true that it’s the most Instagrammable restaurant in Lyon?) I’m delighted to see La Bicycletterie and Puzzle on here! If you go back you must also try Nuage Cafe and Le Tigre. I ate at Paul Bocuse once, and it was certainly an experience. I wanted to take pictures of everything and I could just feel people judging me.

    Anyway, I am glad you enjoyed your time in Lyon – thank you for writing this awesome guide!

    1. Author

      Nuage and Le Tigre sound like places that we’ll definitely have to check out next time we visit Lyon. Living long term in France I bet you become spoiled by the excellent day to day quality of French loaves. In the U.S. baguettes from Kayser would be the best available and in Paris they’re still venerated by many people but once we settled into the Lyon we learned to appreciate the fine and unique distinctions of local artisan bread and Hippolyte fit the bill. We still bought baguettes from Kayser on Mondays since they’re the only bakery that’s open. It makes sense that La Bijouterie is the most instagrammed – the light in the room is great and the chef over there, unlike many of the French people, loves the attention and loves to be photographed. Having a limited Michelin *** splurge budget, we decided to drive to the country and dine at Maison Bras instead of Paul Bocuse. We don’t regret our decision one bit – traveling to Aveyron was a singular dining experience and Bocuse’s food looked super heavy (though we do appreciate his classic approach.) Thank you so much and we’re glad you enjoyed it. We loved Lyon and hope to be back some day.

  4. we are going on a River cruise at the beginning of Sept / Going a day early and staying in Lyon and at the end staying in Marseille. Can you recommend restaurants where locals eat ?

  5. Great article. Lyon’s such a great place to eat. Curious if anyone’s familiar with a 1 Michelin-starred restaurant located at the top of a hotel in Lyon? I stayed/ ate there years ago and didn’t have the sense to keep the name.

    1. Author

      We believe you’re talking about Les Terrasses de Lyon. That’s the one star restaurant overlooking the River Saone. In fact, that may be the only restaurant in Lyon that overlooks the river. Sound familiar?

  6. Thanks for your great article! We plan to visit Lyon in September and your feedbacks are very handful. We’ll bookmark it and hope to get the opportunities to visit all the suggested places.

    By the way, we add on our list some additional Lyon’s must-to-taste restaurants: l’Ourson qui boit, le Bistrot du potager, Café Sillon, Café terroir, l’Argot, Mamasan (seems to be famous for its bobun). Did you get the opportunities to pass by those restaurants?

    Anyway, we can’t wait to visit this yummy city!

    Cheers!

    1. Author

      We’re aware of all the above places you’ve mentioned and hope to visit them when we update the guide. (We’ve especially heard great things, through our sources, about L’Ourson Qui Boit and Mamasan). Enjoy your visit to Lyon. It’s a great city!!

  7. Merci for this, Daryl & Mindi! We are ex-Philadelphians also in the restaurant ‘biz’ years ago there, but now live in Aix-en-Provence. We are going to Lyon in a bit over a week…haven’t been there for many years but did have the chance to eat at Paul Bocuse, which was, indeed, very heavy.
    Anyway, thank you so much for this list, we’ll definitely use it for restaurants and markets and all things food related!
    I also see you updated it recently, yay!
    Susan & Sam

    1. Author

      You’re very welcome. We’re always glad to help and hope to update the guide again in 2019.

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

    1. Author

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

  9. 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!

    1. Author

      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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

    1. Author

      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.

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