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Apr 7, 2010 08:55 AM

Best Bouchon in Lyon?

Looking at reviews, there are about as many choices for the best bouchon as there are bouchons... or maybe as there are reviewers. Can anyone recommend a particular location based on recent experience? (Quenelles de Brochet should be good, offal should be even better)


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  1. As long as you are prepared for offal, there are many. Try the "tablier de sapeur" (Fireman's apron) for a real delve into offal...

    Some of the best:
    Chez Paul
    Cafe Abel
    Chez Hugon.
    Chez Georges

    These are very lively places filled with locals. The wine is served in a heavy bottle called a "pot" And be prepared for lots and lots of offal.

    6 Replies
    1. re: menton1

      The decor is wonderful yet recently I had a disappointing experience Chez Abel. I really wanted to like it, but everything - the haughty service, the rubbery kidneys swimming in a ocean of under seasoned cream, the leaden quenelles, the price - meant I didn't.

      1. re: menton1

        Thanks, much appreciated. I've been to a bouchon once before, but that was on my first trip to France, when the proprietor (who I only remember as having a huge mustache, not that this helps narrow the field much) had to draw a Skate on the paper placemat to explain what aile de raie was. Haven't been to Lyon since... I'll be sure to report back.

        1. re: QdeBro

          Not sure if this is the one, but the man in the large mustache could have been the proprietor of La Meunieure. It is still there and still great. The link is here: Highly recommended.

        2. re: menton1

          I would add Le Garet to your list, had a fantastic meal there.

          1. re: menton1

            Look for a formal designation as member of Les Authentiques Bouchons Lyonnais.

            1. re: menton1

              Menton1, it being 4 years later, would you still give the same list?

              We will have one lunch and one dinner in Lyon at the end of October, and want to get in at least typical Lyonnaise Bouchon.

              Definitely prepared for offal.

            2. I'm not sure what you are calling a "bouchon" and how you consider that different from a bistro or a brasserie?

              5 Replies
              1. re: ChefJune

                "Bouchon" refers to a particular type of restaurant found ONLY in Lyon. These were small inns frequented by the Lyon silk workers of 200-300 years ago. They are meant to be informal, lively places that serve simple food, with a big emphasis on offal.

                "Bistro" and "Brasserie" are much more of a generic type of restaurant.

                1. re: menton1

                  I don't need a definition. I was was asking the OP how he/she defined "bouchon." I KNOW what a bouchon is, Menton.....

                  and the fact remains that there are very few true bouchons left in Lyon.

                  1. re: ChefJune

                    What's your recommendation for a "true" bouchon, CJ?

                    1. re: ChefJune

                      There are certainly places that would call themselves bistros or brasseries that are probably similar (and that'll serve you quenelles and other lyonnaise specialties), but more or less family run smallish restaurants with cheap wine from the region, offal, quenelles, maybe that tripe schnitzel thing ;) .... I think those are enough to distinguish most bouchons from most brasseries and bistros.

                      In any case, I wasn't looking for an ontological debate on the existence of the genre (as enjoyable as that might be), but rather for a specific recommendation.


                      1. re: QdeBro

                        The 4 I recommended above are to my thinking Bouchons. Please let us know where you went and how the meal went. Thanks!

                2. I know this is a bit late for you but it might be useful information of you are going back, or for other people reading this and looking to visit Lyon shortly. Firstly, it is a wonderful city and definitely worth the visit. Regarding using superlatives, I don't think it is possible to say this or that place is the 'best'. Everything is relative, including the performance of the kitchen and waiting staff on any given day. We just came back from a wonderful weekend in Lyon where we experienced some great food and some ok-ish food. I think though that you need to remember that if you are visiting any Bouchon that you are not visiting Gordon Ramsay's kitchen. Bouchons are simple affairs, serving up great local food, with an emphasis also on varying degrees of flair of entertainment from the owner. I did write a blog post about our weekend, which lists a Bouchon which we found very good and this might help readers:
                  Bon appetit!

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: ITTPrague

                    Raymond Blanc did a great programme from Lyon recently. This is one bit:


                  2. Just want to say thanks for the great discussion here - we've been planning a trip to Lyon and this thread has been very helpful.

                    1. We had a wonderful lunch at Chez Hugon not too long ago. The food was good, the ambiance even better.

                      Daniel et Denise is excellent if you go to the original and stay away from the one in Vieux Lyon.