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Lyon – Light, Color and Flavor

Lyon France is a city alive with light, color and flavor.

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It’s no coincidence that great advancements in motion pictures were made in Lyon by the Lumiere Brothers and surely no degree of happenstance that the city surrounds you with light and color today.

No less can be said for the city’s food traditions – Lyon is in France after all. Brightly colored treats abound in the patisseries and markets, and the flavors are as vivid as the colors.

Les Halles de Paul Bocuse

Lyon is a city devoted to food at all levels and there is so much variety of delicious food throughout the city. Renowned chef and restaurateur Paul Bocuse is based in Lyon. The main city market, Les Halles de Lyon – Paul Bocuse, carries his name in tribute to his culinary contributions.

In addition to fancy restaurants and markets, there are restaurants of every level including bouchons such as Café des Fédérations, which we loved and will write about later. Desserts are everywhere, and we became partial to Voisin as well as the fantastic Sève.

Colorful Treats at Voisin Lyon France
Colorful Treats at Voisin
Brioche with Praline Lyon France
Brioche with Praline
Macarons at Sève Lyon France
Macarons at Sève
Sève Cakes Lyon France
Sève Cakes
Rum Baba soaked in Confited Fruit Syrup and Zéphyr à la Violet Lyon France
Rum Baba soaked in Confited Fruit Syrup and Zéphyr à la Violet
Mini Colorful Desserts Lyon France
Mini Colorful Desserts
Even More Colorful Desserts Lyon France
Even More Colorful Desserts
Praline Tarts Lyon France
Praline Tarts
Goat Cheese with Dried Currants and Apricots Lyon France
Goat Cheese with Dried Currants and Apricots

Lyon at Night

The Rhone and Saone rivers sparkle at night. It’s hard to take a bad photo in this city.

Rhone River - Pont Lafayette Bridge Lyon France
Rhone River – Pont Lafayette Bridge
Full Moon over the Sparkling Saône Lyon France
Full Moon over the Sparkling Saône
Saône Lights through a Spider Web Lyon France
Saône Lights through a Spider Web

Lumiere Museum

We arrived in Lyon, ready for a city experience and happy to be in one place for several nights. Our first stop was the Lumiere Museum, situated in the former Lumiere home and studio, a grand nouveau art building. Seeing the old film equipment and grainy old movies was a blast to the cinema past.

Art Nouveaux Ceiling Lyon France
Art Nouveaux Ceiling
Lumiere Artifiact Lyon France
Lumiere Artifiact
Promotional Lumiere Poster Lyon France
Promotional Lumiere Poster
Reflection in the Old Film Lyon France
Reflection in the Old Film

Lyon B&B

We then headed to our hotel, the colorful Loft Vintage, where our hosts warmly greeted us with local wine, savory olives and city maps.

Living Room at the Loft Vintage Hotel Lyon France
Living Room at the Loft Vintage Hotel

Walk to Dinner in Lyon

There was no rest for the travel weary, so we put on our walking shoes and headed to dinner via a long walk along the Rhone and up to the Croix-Rousse neighborhood.

Mindi next to the Rhone Lyon France
Mindi next to the Rhone
Colorful Sky at Dusk Lyon France
Colorful Sky at Dusk

Dinner at Le Canut et Les Gones

We had good food and a nice bottle of wine at a non-touristy restaurant with kitschy decor – Le Canut et Les Gones. We were happy for the long walk home after indulging in three courses plus the amuse-bouche. We mosied back to the hotel after dinner, happy for the comfortable bed and ready to explore the city further.

Amuse Bouche - Salmon Mousse Over Lentils Lyon France
Amuse Bouche – Salmon Mousse Over Lentils
Dining Room at Le Canut & Les Gones Lyon France
Dining Room at Le Canut & Les Gones
Pork Shoulder with Quenelle and Cauliflower Lyon France
Pork Shoulder with Quenelle and Cauliflower
Braised Crusted Venison over Celery Hearts and One Long Noodle Lyon France
Braised Crusted Venison over Celery Hearts and One Long Noodle
Floating Island Lyon France
Floating Island
Praline Tart with Praline Glacée Lyon France
Praline Tart with Praline Glacée
Restaurant Lights Lyon France
Restaurant Lights

After less than a day, we already knew that Lyon was our kind of city. In an odd way, it quite reminded us of our home city, Philadelphia. Both cities live under the shadow of other cities (Paris and New York).

Both are underrated cities, with much to offer culturally, culinarily and historically. Definitely our kind of city.

Research Lyon Hotels

Click here to research the best rates for hotels in Lyon France. Or, click here to find an Airbnb apartment with a kitchen.

Hungry for More?
Check out our Lyon Food Guide for great food and drink options in Lyon.

About the Authors
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.

Article Updates
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.

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Trish Sebastian

Friday 18th of December 2015

Lyon is LOVE. Dying to go back!

Dannielle Lily

Thursday 9th of July 2015

My mouth is watering at all those treat!

Debra Kolkka

Sunday 25th of November 2012

We had one of the best meals we have ever eaten in Lyon, in an unassuming restaurant. The food markets in the square were fabulous too.

dhu78

Wednesday 21st of November 2012

I'm so so glad you liked Lyon! I'm in the city now, until December, and it's starting to feel like home!

flaneriefeminine

Tuesday 30th of October 2012

Very nice post! And I love the colors of the desserts :-)

Daryl and Mindi Hirsch

Tuesday 30th of October 2012

Thank you! We brought a small cake home to a pastry chef friend, and she was impressed by both the colors and the flavors. They really know how to bake in Lyon.