The great restaurants in Lyon highlight the city’s reputation as a gourmand's dream. You can enjoy outstanding French cuisines at both Michelin-starred restaurants and classic family bistros. Bouchons are the city's traditional restaurants, serving Lyon specialties and local wines in a cozy, low-key setting. Lyon is also home to the Mères Lyonnaises, former household cooks who built the city's gastronomic reputation between the 18th and 20th centuries.

    Lyon serves as a center of the development of nouvelle cuisine in France. Chefs from around the world come to the city to learn their craft, bringing international influences and giving Lyon's food a cosmopolitan flourish. Fusion restaurants complement classic French cooking with fresh touches from Asia and South America. Eat at the best tables in the city with our guide to the greatest restaurants in Lyon.

    1

    La Mère Léa

    Authentic French eatery with a traditional style

    La Mère Léa is one of the most charming traditional Bouchons in Lyon. The kitchen serves up classics like salmon tartare, duck pâté, herring salad and quenelle Lyonnaise (poached fish). The dessert menu includes fresh seasonal fruits, ice cream, and several types of French cheese.

    La Mère Léa’s small but carefully curated menu has a set price for starter and main, main and dessert or all 3. Sit downstairs for an intimate bistro feel or upstairs for a more formal dining room. The restaurant's beautiful riverside location includes outdoor seating with a charming view of Cathédrale Saint-Jean-Baptiste across the water.

    Location: 11 Quai des Célestins, 69002 Lyon, France

    Open: Tuesday–Saturday from noon to 2 pm and from 6 pm to 8.30 pm (closed on Sundays and Mondays)

    Phone: +33 (0)4 78 42 01 33

    Map
    2

    L'Acteur

    Unpretentious restaurant serving exemplary local dishes

    L'Acteur is a traditional Bouchon that sticks close to the classics that made Lyon famous. The menu, written in chalk on a blackboard behind the bar, changes often, but expect simple and honest dishes. The sole meunière comes highly recommended, as does the clafoutis (baked custard with fruit), made with fresh fruit from the local market.

    The wines here are all from the local Beaujolais region, carefully chosen to complement the food. The old-fashioned atmosphere is enhanced by wooden beams, checked tablecloths, and paintings of local landmarks hanging on the walls. Located on Rue Charles Dullin, L'Acteur is small and easy to miss – look out for a striped green awning and tables spilling out onto the sidewalk.

    Location: 5 Rue Charles Dullin, 69002 Lyon, France

    Open: Tuesday–Saturday from noon to 1.30 pm and from 6.30 pm to 8.30 pm (closed on Sundays and Mondays)

    Phone: +33 (0)4 78 92 88 53

    Map
    3

    La Mère Brazier

    A Michelin-starred icon of Lyon cuisine

    La Mère Brazier was opened in 1921 by Eugénie Brazier, the first person ever to receive 6 Michelin stars. Brazier's mission was to offer food that was simple and top-quality, but without unnecessary embellishment. La Mère Brazier's food is simple, elegant and classic, making excellent use of local produce and adding a creative spin to the original recipes.

    You can try blue lobster in ice cider, roast venison with wild apples, and truffle-braised chicken. One of the house specialties is Paris-Brest, a ring of choux pastry filled with praline-flavoured cream. Elegant décor complements the beautiful Art Deco building – take a moment to admire the exquisite ironwork on the windows as you enter.

    Location: 12 Rue Royale, 69001 Lyon, France

    Open: Tuesday–Saturday from 12 pm to 1.15 pm and from 7.30 pm to 9 pm (closed on Sundays and Mondays)

    Phone: +33 (0)4 78 23 17 20

    Map

    photo by Benoît Prieur (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    4

    Bouchon Tupin

    An elegant dining room serving beautifully presented dishes

    Bouchon Lupin offers quality local food made with fresh seasonal produce. Appetizers include veal tartare, tomato gazpacho and poached eggs in red wine. Meanwhile, the mains cover Lyon delicacies like quenelle Lyonnaise (poached fish), veal confit, and pork pluma. Try the rice pudding for dessert, served with salted butter caramel sauce.

    The wine list leans toward the Rhône Valley, accompanied by a modest selection of Burgundy wines and an acclaimed rosé from Provence. The main dining room is papered in a modern wallpaper designed by Jean-Paul Gaultier. You can see many charming vintage touches, like fringed lights hanging from the ceiling and enormous mirrors lining a wall.

    Location: 30 Rue Tupin, 69002 Lyon, France

    Open: Tuesday–Saturday from 12 pm to 2.30 pm and 7.30 pm to 9.30 pm (closed on Sundays and Mondays)

    Phone: +33 (0)4 78 37 45 93

    Map
    5

    L'Auberge du Pont de Collonges

    A legendary restaurant from one of Lyon's great chefs

    Locals simply refer to L'Auberge du Pont de Collonges as 'Paul Bocuse', in honor of its former owner and Lyon's most celebrated chef. Bocuse died in 2018, but fans still flock to this iconic restaurant. The current chef continues Bocuse's extraordinary legacy, serving his signature dish of black truffle soup.

    You’ll dine in grand style, thanks to the restaurant’s ornate gold mirrors and impeccable white tablecloths. Everything on the menu is a showstopper, from sea bass served in a fish-shaped pastry shell to lobster quenelle in champagne sauce. Desserts, which use the finest Dominican Samana chocolate and wildflower honey caramel, are delivered to your table on a little trolley. Grab a recipe book or some kitchenware at the gift shop to commemorate an outstanding meal.

    Location: 40 Rue de la Plage, 69660 Collonges-au-Mont-d'Or, France

    Open: Wednesday–Sunday from noon to 1.30 pm and from 8 pm to 9.30 pm (closed on Mondays and Tuesdays)

    Phone: +33 (0)4 72 42 90 90

    Map

    photo by Éric Messel (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    6

    La Cuisinerie

    World food served in tapas-sized portions

    La Cuisinerie is a traditional restaurant during the day, but transforms into a tapas bar with a distinctly French spin after sunset. Journey around France by sampling smaller versions of regional French dishes like salmon tartare and orange cucumber gazpacho. International dishes are also served, featuring innovative combinations like Japanese tuna tataki and smoked salmon cheesecake.

    For dessert, you can choose from a dozen different ice cream flavors, including Peruvian dark chocolate and pear sorbet. There's a good range of wine from regional producers to complement the local dishes. The interior is a mix of scrubbed wooden chairs and comfy leather couches, with enormous industrial windows overlooking the winding cobbled streets of Vieux Lyon.

    Location: 16 Rue Saint-Georges, 69005 Lyon, France

    Open: Monday–Friday from noon to 2 pm and from 6.30 pm to 9 pm, Saturday from noon to 2.30 pm and from 6.30 pm to 9 pm, Sunday from 11.30 am to 2.30 pm

    Phone: +33 (0)4 78 60 91 86

    Map
    7

    Les Apothicaires

    Fine seasonal food with international influences

    Les Apothicaires is a cool, modern restaurant that won its first Michelin star in 2020. Menus are inspired by the chefs' international travels, so you’ll find dishes with strong Scandinavian and South American influences. Standouts like barbequed langoustines with farmhouse cream, pigeon with plum-blueberry sauce, and candied grapefruit with white chocolate are a feast for the eyes as well as the mouth.

    The interior has a homey, bohemian vibe with wooden bookcases filled with cookbooks and spice jars, comfortable padded benches scattered with cushions, and copper lights hanging from the ceiling. Lunch menus come in 3-course and 5-course versions, while the evening tasting menu has 8 courses, so you'll need a big appetite.

    Location: 23 Rue de Sèze, 69006 Lyon, France

    Phone: +33 (0)4 26 02 25 09

    Map
    8

    La Table Wei

    A delicious fusion of French and Chinese cooking

    Unique flavors are combined with immense creativity at La Table Wei, which serves modern cooking presented with flair. The simple menu offers 4 appetizers, 4 mains, and 4 desserts, plus a fixed lunch menu and an evening taster menu. Expect an interesting mix of east and west in its ravioli wontons, filet mignon with oriental radish, and chocolate matcha cake.

    The interior is simple and comfortable, decorated with colorful artwork. Located in the 1st arrondissement, La Table Wei is a popular lunch stop for visitors to the Museum of Fine Arts or the Palais de la Bourse. If you don't have time for a meal, stop by the patisserie for fresh bread, brioche, or red bean pancakes.

    Location: 13 Rue Neuve, 69001 Lyon, France

    Open: Tuesday–Saturday from 12 pm to 2 pm and 6.30 pm to 8.30 pm (closed on Sundays and Mondays)

    Phone: +33 (0)4 78 28 58 79

    Map
    9

    Chez Hugon

    One of Lyon's oldest Bouchons

    Chez Hugo transports you back to the Lyon of yesteryear, where time-honoured local food is served in a venerable wood-panelled dining room. The menu is filled with solid Lyon dishes like veal blanquette, andouille pork sausage, and praline tart. Several of them are made from old family recipes, including the restaurant's specialty: poultry liver cake.

    The building is part of a former coaching inn in the historic center of Lyon, and its walls are decorated with photographs of old Lyon and various awards the restaurant has received. Like many traditional Bouchons in Lyon, Chez Hugon’s dining room is small and packed with locals in the evenings.

    Location: 12 Rue Pizay, 69001 Lyon, France

    Open: Monday–Friday from noon to 2 pm and 7.30 pm to 10 pm (closed on weekends)

    Phone: +33 (0)4 78 28 10 94

    Map
    10

    L'Instant

    Fuel up for sightseeing with an indulgent breakfast

    Part patisserie and part chocolatier, L'Instant is the place to go in Lyon for artisan pastries and handmade chocolates. The breakfast menu covers French classics like croissants and pain au chocolat, while savory pie, crepes or quiche are served with a fresh salad for lunch. You might not be able to resist its mango Breton shortbread and white chocolate mousse with lemon cream.

    Finish your meal with a cup of L'Instant's tasty hazelnut coffee, or choose from an ample list of black, green, red, and herbal teas. Inside, exposed brick walls and cozy sofas create a chilled-out atmosphere that seems worlds away from the bustling street outside.

    Location: 3 Pl. Bertone, 69004 Lyon, France

    Open: Monday–Friday from 10 am to 6.30 pm, Saturday from 9 am to 6.30 pm (closed on Sundays)

    Phone: +33 (0)4 78 29 85 08

    Map
    Victoria Hughes | Contributing Writer

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