Come to table in Lyon, the culinary capital of France. If you’re a self-professed gourmand, you’ll be in heaven here, in southeastern France, an agricultural hub that provides the freshest ingredients for farm-to-table fare like you’ve never tasted before. Chicken from Bresse, Charolais beef, creamy butter, fresh vegetables, wine, olive oil, pork from Monts des Lyonnais, trout, and snails from the Dombes region … hungry yet? Let’s take a look at what specialties you should absolutely not miss when you’re in Lyon.
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Experience France’s culinary excellence
What to Eat in Lyon
Poulet de Bresse
This firm, flavorful chicken is a staple in Lyonnaise brasseries, where it is typically served in a rich and creamy mushroom sauce.
Quenelle de Brochet
This pike dumpling with Nantua sauce is sourced from the crayfish near Nantua Lake.
Escargots à la Bourguignonne
Snails with parsley and garlic butter sauce are a must for slightly more adventurous diners.
Tablier de Sapeur
Pop into one of Lyon’s many cozy bistros (called bouchons) for this beef tripe dish, cooked in a court-bouillon with white wine, then smothered in breadcrumbs and fried. You can expect steamed potatoes on the side and a gribiche sauce made from emulsified hard-boiled eggs, mustard, and chives.
You’ve come to the right place if you love a good charcuterie spread. Look, in particular, for a local cold cut called Jésus, which is dried for a minimum of eight weeks, as well as the Rosette de Lyon. These delightful meats are complemented by creamy Saint-Marcellin and Saint-Felicien cheeses, brandy-soaked Epoisse, semi-hard blue Fourme d’Ambert (one of the oldest cheeses in France), or countless other options.
Satisfy your sweet tooth on a Coussin de Lyon, a cushiony, green marzipan bite bursting with chocolate ganache. Or, try a brioche aux pralines roses, recognizable by its bright-pink sugar crumbs. Then, again, you might want to sample Lyon’s version of the doughnut – the bugne. Or, try them all! They’re sold at most shops and bakeries in the city.
Where to Find the Best Food in Lyon
Although there are more than 4,000 restaurants throughout the city, we love a good outdoor food market. These (typically) morning markets feature the best fresh, local, and seasonal produce. There are always delightful treats available to start your day off right or for picnic provisions later on. Here are some of our favorites:
Find this popular market on the banks of the Saône at Place des Célestins. Browse the stalls of more than 100 producers, gardners and craftspeople for a true taste of Lyon. The most celebrated chefs in the city shop here, so you know you’re in fine company. From fishmongers to florists, bakers to butchers, they’re all here.
3-Hour Food Tour with a Local Guide: Reserve your spot here
Marché de la Croix-Rousse
Sitting high on the slopes of the Croix-Rousse neighborhood, this local, lively favorite offers all the staples, from cheese and wine to charcuterie and pastries. Pro tip: Head to the market near closing time (1 PM), and you might walk away with free produce that the traders would otherwise throw away.
Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse
Known locally as “Les Halles,” this covered market is located near the Part-Dieu train station. While it runs pricier than most street markets, it has more upscale vendors and stays open later. Even if you’re just window shopping, any self-respected gourmand should make the pilgrimage here. Your eyes will grow wide at the cheeses of Fromagerie Mons, your tastebuds will pop as you slurp oysters of Chez Antonin and you’ll feel ever so French as you decide which incarnation of black and white truffles you’d like to experience at Passionnément Truffes – Maison Blanchet.