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Aug 22, 2010 05:17 PM

Eating in Lyon

I have been reading a lot of posts on places to eat in Lyon, and I have found many useful recommendations. Thanks to all those who have posted and added to the food dialogue here at Chowhound -- especially those familiar with Lyon.

I used to visit Lyon semi-frequently about 6 years ago, and I will finally return again in two weeks with my wife. I will have six nights and six days to eat some good food. From previous posts, I have come up with this tentative list of places to try:


My second line of eating that I may or may not include or substitute with are:

Le Comptoir du Boeuf
Les Retrouvailles
Le Gourmet des Sezes
Au Bouchon du Vin
L'Ourson Qui Boit
Au Jardin des Saveurs

I may switch some restaurants depending upon feedback, so if any of you feel there are better places then please send your recommendations. Nothing is set in stone. But I would also be very interested if people had recommendations for lunch versus dinner at any of these places or if any of the eateries absolutely require reservations.

I'll be arriving on Sunday, so I'll have to look into which restaurants are open on Sunday and Monday, but I can worry about that later.

Lastly, I remember eating at those Bocuse Brasseries back in 2004. I ate at three of them, and I was wondering if they are still good or not, and if so, which ones are best. I have seen mixed reviews on this board and I noticed there is another one called Argenson which I hadn't heard of before.

Thanks in advance.


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  1. No replies so far, so I've been doing my own research and maybe people can help with some specific questions.

    (1) I am arriving into Saint-Ex before noon, and I am looking for a place to have lunch on a Sunday afternoon. It looks as if the Bocuse brasseries are open, but I really hope I can make it to Rue le Bec for brunch, but it might be a rush to get there as it closes at 15:00. Does anyone have suggestions for eating on Sundays in Lyon?

    (2) I read in Saveur magazine an article on Lyon Bouchons, and it says that Paul Bocuse and a lot of the Michelin-starred chefs like to hang out at a place called Val d'Isère across the Rhône by the back door of the city's central market. It says they often gather there for coffee in the morning. Does anyone know if this place is good? I know it is a food touristy thing to do, but it sounds like and interesting scene if the food is good.

    Btw, here is the article:

    1. Just for future reference I mapped a lot of restaurants recommended by Chowhounds on a Google map and added some minimal comments. I think about 2/3 of the have websites included, and all have addresses and telephone numbers.

      I have also included a lot of boutique places to stay.

      Here is the map for those interested.

      10 Replies
      1. re: smkit

        Thank you, smkit for all your work.

        We're going to Lyon for a week in late October. Please post your experiences when you return and I will try and do the same. That way we can get more information about Lyon on this board.

        We also plan to try many of the chocolate and confection shops including, of course, Bernachon, as well as Voisin, Seve, Palomas, Richart, Violette et Berlingot, and Tourtiller.

        1. re: r.vacapinta

          I will definitely post my experiences when I get back, and I will look into the confection shops too. My wife is pregnant and boy does she crave the chocolate these days.

          1. re: r.vacapinta

            Voisin also has excellent macarons, if you can't get all the way over to Bernachon. (Or, if you'd simply like to "compare!")

            1. re: r.vacapinta

              By the way, I updated all of the confection shops you mentioned on the google map and browsed their websites. They look soooo good.

              I lived in Annecy for a bit, and loved the sweets there -- but not as much as the cheese ; )

              I really thought the retro tins of candy at Violette et Berlingot looked cool, and I think I am going to bring a bunch of these back for gifts.

              1. re: smkit

                Wow. Thanks again. We also were planning to go to Bernard Dufoux and Philippe Bel. It depends on how much chocolate we can fit into the 4-5 days we are there.
                Heck, we were even considering a trip down to Tain L'Hermitage to see if we could get into Valhrona, but we just don't have time.
                The Bernachon chocolate bars also make great gifts and I plan to bring back a stash to give out to friends.

            2. re: smkit

              Wow, you are a true wonder! Thanks for putting all those together. ;) I didn't post in this thread because I sent you an email. I can see from the map you got it.

              Just one little thing: the space that was Le Petit Leon is now part of Brasserie Leon de Lyon. And I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the unbelievably fantastic Mushroom Soup I had at the Brasserie. Mushroom season is coming up, and that soup is a "don't miss."

              1. re: ChefJune

                Well, I didn't really do that much. All of you Lyon regulars who HAD to go from restaurant to restaurant eating all that food -- you had the tough job...

                Anyhow, I just want to thank again ChefJune, souphie, menton1, mangeur et al who have contributed to chow posts in the past. It's been six years since I've been in Lyon, and it has been fun reading all the old posts. I am so looking forward to this.

                And yes, I will try the mushroom soup. My father used to be a mushroom farmer, so I grew up on mushrooms and love them.

                I also corrected the Le Petit Leon thing.

                1. re: ChefJune

                  Btw, someone wrote me and said that they no longer serve the quenelles with sauce nantua at Brasserie Leon de Lyon.

                  1. re: smkit

                    email Jean-Paul and request them ahead of time. They were on the menu the last time I was there.

              2. Spectacular post for which you should get brocante's thanks not me.

                4 Replies
                1. re: wolfe

                  I'm just glad it is helpful to others, and I am still adding to it.

                  1. re: smkit

                    I thanked wolfe for the post thinking he put it all together. I'm glad I just read his post above, otherwise I would never have had the chance to thank you for all the info you posted. It was a gift for which I can never repay you.
                    My husband I are will be there in late October so I'm looking forward to reading your posts on your return.
                    Have a good trip!

                    1. re: brocante

                      Happy that credit is going to where the credit is due but hey I did find it. ;-)

                      1. re: wolfe

                        Thanks, again. We'll toast you and smkit, during one of the amazing meals we're looking forward to.

                2. Yes, thanks from me husband and I will also be in Lyon in October. My list looks a lot like yours, so I look forward to your report!

                  1. Well, here is the beginning of my restaurant reviews in Lyon.

                    Today, my wife and I got into town and within one hour we were eating. Our room wasn't ready, so we asked where to eat, and she recommended a restaurant not too far away, 1-star Christian Têtedoie was close by and easy to walk to.

                    First of all, the restaurant isn't cheap, but if you book ahead (which I didn't) and know what seats to ask for, the view is extraordinary. Five months ago they moved to an overlook of vieux Lyon on Montée du Chemin Neuf and the restaurant is spanking new and modern with a fabulous overlook. You'll probably have views similar to Villa Florentine.

                    They have set menus starting at 56 Euros per person in addition to a la carte dishes and a great wine list. We tried two different set menus. It isn't always great to do this because dish timing can get off and some menus have more courses which can make it awkward at times, but for the lower two menus it worked pretty well (though not perfectly). Here is a list of the set menus.


                    I must say that my French was completely inadequate for this place. How does one say "cumin infused foam" in French...?

                    Anyhow, as most times when I eat at -- for lack of a better word -- haute cuisine restaurants, I leave with bits and pieces of impressions. I loved the snail ravioli, some sort of fabulous salt foam, what they described simply as 'fruit salad' in a shot glass, the Grand Marnier souffle, and the St. Marcellin cheese. The veal and lamb dishes were also very good. The service (on Sunday) was very good but not exceptional -- but if I spoke better French, I am sure it would have gone smoother.

                    Anyhow, we will see how it stacks up to other places recommended, but it was nice to jump right in and start eating.

                    Has anyone tried this place before?

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: smkit

                      never heard of it, but sounds delightful. The view from Villa Florentine is certainly spectacular, but I found the meal I had there (albeit several years ago) just not up to the prices they charged.

                      BTW, be sure to ask where the St. Marcellin comes from each time you order it in a restaurant. Renée and Renée Richard are the best affineurs of this cheese. And wait until you taste with the mère at their stand at Les Halles. She's a true Lyon legend.

                      1. re: ChefJune

                        What are the best answers when I ask where the cheese came from? Just Rennee or are there others.

                        Today I ate at Les Adrets and La Voûte Chez Léa. Both were excellent meals. The sauce on the vinegar chicken was amazing and the Lyonnaise salad was top notch. The service at Les Adrets was so-so, but the food was excellent.

                        1. re: smkit

                          imho, Richards' St. Marcellin is head and shoulders better than all the rest. Not sure who else is famous for it.

                          Glad you liked Chez Lea. I get hungry just thinking about that salad. If you want the recipe for the chicken, it's in my book!