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Best Bouchon in Lyon?

QdeBro Apr 7, 2010 08:55 AM

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)


  1. menton1 Apr 8, 2010 11:14 AM

    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.

    5 Replies
    1. re: menton1
      vielleanglaise Apr 8, 2010 11:41 AM

      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
        QdeBro Apr 11, 2010 06:29 PM

        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
          bill1jan Jul 14, 2012 06:37 AM

          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: http://la.meuniere.free.fr/. Highly recommended.

        2. re: menton1
          jfprieur Apr 14, 2010 07:46 PM

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

          1. re: menton1
            mangeur Apr 15, 2010 07:15 PM

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

          2. ChefJune Apr 13, 2010 08:11 AM

            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
              menton1 Apr 13, 2010 09:43 AM

              "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
                ChefJune Apr 13, 2010 12:27 PM

                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
                  menton1 Apr 13, 2010 12:43 PM

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

                  1. re: ChefJune
                    QdeBro Apr 15, 2010 08:38 AM

                    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
                      menton1 Apr 15, 2010 08:40 AM

                      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
                ITTPrague Jul 12, 2012 03:10 AM

                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
                  Robin Joy Jul 12, 2012 03:31 AM

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


                  1. re: Robin Joy
                    ITTPrague Jul 12, 2012 04:04 AM

                    Great link Robin! Thanks!

                2. s
                  Scott O Jul 15, 2012 10:04 AM

                  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.

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