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Provence

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I will be traveling from Lyon to Avignon to Aix-en-Provence to Marseilles in late April. I will do Michelin stars and GM toques half my meals but need the names of those great finds that the locals (and Chowhounds) swear by - great food and wine at fair prices in charming but not fancy digs. Thanks for any help!

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  1. Lyon and Avignon are two of my favorite places in the world... in fact, I've never been to Aix, because I have spent so much time in and around Avignon! Best dining, imho in Avignon is at the legendary Hiély on the Blvd de la Republique. I don't think it has any stars any more (at least it didn't last time we were there) but the food, service and welcome were every bit as stellar as on my first visit, when they had 2 stars. go figure.

    Also really love L'Isle Sonnante and La Fourchette. little places behind the Place de l'Horloge.

    I'm sure other hounds will be around with more suggestions.

    4 Replies
    1. re: ChefJune

      If the food at Hiely is as good as when I was there in 1985, I wholeheartedly agree that this is the place to go in Avignon. Thanks for the memory. OP may also want to consider Auberge de Noves outside of Avignon. The last time I was there was in 1989 so I can't say whether it might have changed (apparently it still has a Michelin star), but the dinners there were spectacular 3-hour affairs with excellent food. May be worth looking into.

      1. re: ChefJune

        Thank you, ChefJune. All three are nicely written up in Michelin (no stars). GM gives both Fourchette and Hiely toques (13). Any suggestions for Lyon other than to stay a month? The choices are overwhelming. Is $200-250 for two with wine a price that will wow us if the fanciness of the decor and formality of the service are not important?

        1. re: Frogrock

          You should be able to eat very well in Lyon for that much. Unfortunately, the poor US Dollar makes everything so costly! but at least some of the bistros, you should be able to do better than $200 for two...

          My favorite bistros in Lyon are La Voute (Chez Lea) and Le Petit Leon, and then in no particular order, Comptoir du Boeuf, Bistro de Lyon, Cafe Federation, Le Splendid, and Bistro du Vins. I think all are visible on the city web site. I have some hard info on a couple of them I could probably scan in and email you if you can't find info on line. Where are you staying in Lyon?

          1. re: ChefJune

            Thanks for all the advice. I'll probably do a couple M stars and a couple of your bistros and then walk at least part of the way to Avignon to shed the extra weight. We're staying at the Sofitel Royal. I think it's the one that's affiliated with Bocuse.