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Apr 13, 2008 05:04 AM

Mr. Higgins restaurant-Lyon

I read a book about this restaurant a while back.

I thought it would be interesting to go when I am there in May. But I don't know if this place is still open. Not sure even what part of town it is in.

Anyone have any info on the place?

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  1. I'm no authority, but I have been to Lyon 6 times in the past 12 years and have never heard of it.

    A google search produced this info: <The restaurant is Mr. Higgins in the Croix Rousse district in Lyon. I've never been there. ...> I don't know how old that comment is, but at least it gives an idea of where it was, if it's no longer there. I imagine the locals could help you. I've traveled round the Croux Rousse, and no one's ever mentioned it, nor did I see it.

    I can suggest a lot of great bistros I think you'd enjoy in Lyon, tho...

    11 Replies
    1. re: ChefJune

      You searches have produced better results that mine. I haven't been to the Croix Rouge part of town.

      Any suggestions are welcomed either here or on the other thread about Lyon I started.


      1. re: Withnail42

        I don't see any other thread on Lyon that you started. Where is it?

        1. re: ChefJune

          Had to scroll down a bit to find it but it's still there...

          Lyon's an interesting place I am looking forward to exploring it more.

          1. re: Withnail42

            Okay. I DID see it and make some comments. Have you been there before? Don't forget Bernachon. Maybe the very best chocolate in all of Europe. It's on the Blvd Franklin Roosevelt. off the beaten tourist path, for sure, but more than worth the trip there.

            and the cheese stall of Renée Richard at the covered Les Halles market behind the Part-Dieu train station. Her cheeses are among the best in Europe, and definitely the best in the region.

            1. re: ChefJune

              I have been to Lyon briefly a few years ago. Bernachon was one of the places I went to; and have to agree by far some of the finest chocolates I have ever had.

              The cheese shop sounds interesting.

              1. re: Withnail42

                All the best restaurants in the area serve her cheeses, but you can beat the price of the cheese board, plus, I always buy some to munch on, and, depending upon my travel schedule, to squirrel into my suitcase to bring home.

                1. re: ChefJune

                  The market will certainly be on my list. As will Bernachon. But I doubt my second visit will live up to the first. I walked into the store behind a shortish gentleman. Once in the store I realized it was none other than Paul Bocuse!

                  1. re: Withnail42

                    hehehe no one ever said he didn't have good taste!

                    I met him the first time I was in Lyon. He is really impressed with himself. (and before someone tells me he has good reason, let me suggest it is better for his admirers to be impressed than for him to project that image.) {;>o

      2. re: ChefJune

        I will be visiting Lyon in October for the first time. Would love to hear your recommendations for restaurants there. Also any rec's on where to stay. Feel free to email me offline: if you prefer.
        Thank you,

        1. re: mdietrich

          will do, Michael. look for an email this evening!

          1. re: mdietrich


            Offline contact for sharing hotel tips is fine, but we do ask that posters share any chow tips on the boards, so that others may benefit as well.


        2. Tom Higgins, from the U.K., owned a restaurant in Lyon specializing in British food, and he wrote a book about it, in the 1990s I think. In England the title of the book was Plat du Jour, and when it was published in the US, it was called Spotted Dick S.V.P. (it is a wonderful fish-out-of-water story). I Googled him today and could not find any mention of his restaurant, alas. I would love to know if he is still in the region.

          3 Replies
          1. re: henri cat

            I'm heading to Lyon in two weeks and plan to look this place up (having read the book and been quite amused by it).

            The address is:

            16 Rue Dumenge

            ...and as of a couple of years ago, it was still in business because I got the address from a college student who used to work there. We'll see if it is still there!

            1. re: mfair

              please be sure to post when you get back. I'll be there in October, and might like to check it out. Where is 16 rue Dumenge? is it in Old Town? Centre Ville?

              1. re: ChefJune

                Nothing on either for the missing Mr.Higgins

          2. Tom Higgins shut down Mister Higgins and Monsieur Machin a few years back. He, his wife and children still live in Lyons, although no longer above the restaurant. He is now head of Public Relations for the International Labour Organisation and commutes between Lyons and Geneva.
            In his heart he is still a chef. Regrettably for his patrons, his pocket won this particular debate.
            I frequently bump into people in and around Toulouse who recall sitting down for brunch at Mister Higgins on a regular basis. They universally speak whistfully of the experience.
            hope this helps
            (Tom Higgins's nephew)

            4 Replies
            1. re: jpadie

              Hi Justin,

              Thanks so much for the up date. I am hoping to be in Lyon in the fall and was looking forward to dining there. Sorry to hear it has closed. I am not familiar with Mr. Machin. Was that in Lyon as well?

              Please give my best to your uncle and tell him I enjoyed his. book.


              1. re: Withnail42

                He wrote it while Tom Selleck was driving his Ferrari.

                1. re: souphie

                  ha ha love your references to obscure cultural icons...very funny

                  that would be John Hillerman ...the real mr higgins

                  tintin out

                2. re: Withnail42

                  Dear Withnail42,
                  today (12-15-09) we read the message from Justin (Tom Higgins's nephew). Now our quest is complete — and we're quite pleased to learn that the Higgins family is doing well. All the best, Esaitch

              2. Hi Withnail42,
                — about a year ago we sent a greeting card to Mister Higgins restaurant in Lyon. The French postal authority returned the card with a notation "unknown". We then did some searching on the Internet to find a business located on the same street as Mister Higgins and nearby the restaurant address. We found such a business and sent an email asking if Mister Higgins were still in business. We got no reply. Our message was in French (translated on the Internet) — and guessing that our first message was uninteligible, we tried again with a similar message, in French. We got a reply that Mister Higgins was no longer in business, but nothing more. We tried to find some explanation and/or the whereabouts of Tom Higgins and wife Sue, but no cigar. We wish we knew where to turn next. All the best, Esaitch