As France's gourmet capital, Lyon has an astonishing number of excellent restaurants—from intimate bouchons (the city's traditional, family-owned tables) to old-world bistros, Michelin-starred addresses, and casual brasseries. Keep reading for our picks of some of the best restaurants in Lyon, with a focus on more traditional, classic tables and a couple of innovative newcomers.
Opened in 1921 by Eugénie Brazier, this fine dining establishment is the stuff of local legend. Brazier was one of the famous Mères Lyonnaises—female restaurant owners who started their careers as household cooks for aristocratic families—and the first woman in France to earn three Michelin stars.
Today the acclaimed table is helmed by star chef Mathieu Vianny, who's managed to usher it into a contemporary new age while preserving strong elements from Madame Brazier's signature recipes. Menus at this two-star Michelin restaurant, while not inexpensive, are reasonable for the caliber. Start with wild mushroom fricassee or marinated sea bream with black garlic and plums, then enjoy a main course of glazed pigeon with multicolored beets and kumquats with pepper. The cheese plates include fresh selections from local producers, and the wine list is excellent; ask your server to suggest pairings for different courses.
Pro tip: Lunch menus offer the best value and are an option every day except Saturday.
Joseph Viola—a top chef who snagged the prestigious meilleur ouvrier de France prize for his creative yet tradition-infused cuisine—runs Daniel et Denise, widely considered one of the city's finest bouchons. The intimate dining room is traditional and unpretentious, with red-and-white gingham tablecloths and tiled floors. Start with pumpkin velouté (a smooth soup), followed by pike quenelles (fish dumplings with a crayfish-flavored sauce) or whole Bresse chicken with morel mushrooms. Viola's meat pies (pâté en croute) are also famous. If you're traveling on a budget but here to splurge, the fixed-price menus offer great value, especially at lunch.
In addition to the main location near the Halles de Lyon market, Daniel et Denise also operates restaurants in Old Lyon, the hilly Croix-Rousse district, and in the nearby suburb of Villeurbanne.
Marble floors, old-fashioned globe lamps, a long copper bar, and tables draped with white tablecloths: You'll find all this and more at Le Nord, one of four geographically-named brasseries in Lyon founded by the legendary chef Paul Bocuse.
This centrally located table is situated just south of the Hôtel de Ville (City Hall). Market-fresh ingredients are the name of the game here, with three- and four-course Lyonnais menus offering excellent value for money. Try the house version of French onion soup, pike quenelle with homardine sauce, classic beef Bourguignon, traditional Lyonnais salad, roasted chicken, or saucisson in a pistachio-encrusted casing. Cheeses and desserts are copious and delicious, and the wine menu is selective but full of excellent choices. Make sure to try the cervelle de canut, a fresh, spreadable Lyonnais cheese that's made with fromage blanc, herbs, and spices. The praline tart is also reputed to be excellent.
This enormous, always-bustling brasserie opened in 1836, and remains coveted today among food lovers in Lyon. Centrally located near the Gare de Perrache train station and just south of Place Carnot, Brasserie Georges features red leather booths, ornate frescoes, and large mirrors—all of which serve to create an old-world ambience that makes even a casual lunch here feel like a special occasion. While it's well-known for its sauerkraut, all the main staples of typical French brasserie cooking (fish and chips, sausages cooked in wine, and crispy chocolate and praline cake) are on offer. A few decent options for vegetarians can be found here as well. The beer menu is also worth noting, and includes a good selection of craft beers from the onsite brewery. Fixed-price lunch menus and daily specials are ideal for tighter budgets.
This relative newcomer to the Lyonnais bouchon landscape lies in close reach of Parc de la Tête d'Or, on the east bank of the Rhône, and recently landed in the Michelin Guide for its simple yet refined cuisine. Headed by Julien Gautier, who also owns nearby M Restaurant, Le Bouchon Sully offers a thoughtfully curated menu of traditional classics with hints of contemporary flair. Start by ordering the beet salad with pine nuts, soft-boiled egg, and horseradish emulsion before tucking into a generous main course of vol au vent with sweetbreads, poultry quenelles, shrimp, mushrooms, and "supreme" sauce. Or, opt for the veal liver sautéed with fresh parsley and accompanied by potatoes. Try a cheese platter heaped with creamy local specialities, or the soufflé with chartreuse liqueur and red wine-poached pear for dessert. The restaurant boasts an extensive wine list with an excellent selection of French bottles, mostly from the surrounding regions.
One of the only vegetarian restaurants in Lyon to earn gastronomic high marks, this table was opened in 2016 by Thomas Bouanich and Maxime Rémond, right across the street from their restaurant Victoire & Thomas. Under the direction of chef Adrien Zedda, Culina Hortus focuses on using vegetables and plants in culinary creation, and it certainly doesn't disappoint: You'll find no bland lentil casseroles or mushy imitation meat dishes here. Instead, you can expect beautifully presented, thoughtful plates composed of seasonal produce; fresh flavors and surprising associations keep things interesting. There's a strong emphasis on top-quality, exclusively sourced ingredients, from Bordier butter to local wild herbs. The tasting menus are centered around different themes, textures, and products, yielding a genuinely gastronomic experience. Finally, a painstakingly chosen list of natural and biodynamic wines are ideal for pairing with the dishes on the tasting menus.
If you're looking for fine Lyonnais cuisine in a more contemporary setting, Brasserie de l’Ouest is just the ticket. This thoroughly modern, open-plan restaurant is part of the Bocuse Brasserie group, and boasts a large dining room with a glass wall that shows off an extensive collection of local, French, and international wines. Brasserie de l’Ouest is known by locals for both excellent cooking and good value, with a fixed-price Sunday menu including a starter, main, and dessert. Chef Charlie Dumas serves up seasonal fusion-inspired twists on French classics, such as sea bream with wild mushrooms, Bigorre pork with vegetables and autumnal fruits, and French veal with potatoes and white onions. For dessert, try the house Paris Brest (chou pastry with hazelnut biscuit, coffee cream, and custard) or Valhrona chocolate tart. Ask the server to recommend wines for one or more of your courses. In warm weather, grab a seat out on the large terrace overlooking the Saône river.
Head over to this delightful, deservedly popular Lyon bouchon with a full appetite. Situated in close reach of the Place des Terreaux on the city's central "island," Le Café de la Fédération is a cheerful and crowded spot, with tiled flooring, rustic wooden tables, and red gingham tablecloths. The food is just as traditional as its décor, and excellent. The classic menu offers a choice between four daily starters such as local charcuterie, Lyonnais salad, and herring rillette. Hot main courses include boudin noir (black pork sausage), veal with morel mushrooms, and chicken in vinegar, while the more-than-generous cheese plates make an excellent dessert or third course. For dessert, try the pink praline tart, a strong Lyon tradition. Wash it all down with a glass of local Beaujolais or Morgan red wine.
Yet another prized table in the Brasserie Bocuse group of restaurants, Le Sud is focused on the gastronomic traditions of the Mediterranean and Provençe. Just a hop, skip, and a jump from central Place Bellecour, it has all the charm and joie de vivre of the region it takes its inspiration from. Sunny ingredients are the star of the show, with olive oil, fresh seasonal vegetables, and Provençal herbs featuring in many of the dishes here. The two-course set menus offer excellent value and include classics such as Moroccan-style tajines, pissaladière (a Provençal-style dish similar to pizza with anchovies and olives), poultry pastilla (paella) with Moroccan spices, fresh fish with vegetables, and risottos. The three-course Sunday menu is also recommended, and includes dessert. On sunny days, eat on the terrace for the full Mediterranean effect.
Known for both its friendly, laid-back service and excellent cuisine, local favorite Le Bouchon des Cordeliers is situated in the city center near the banks of the Rhône river. Chef Cédric Garin helms the kitchen here, offering a simple yet impressive menu of Lyonnais specialties centered around locally-sourced, seasonal produce and meats. Main dishes include roasted chicken thigh and risotto with St-Marcellin cheese; fresh fish of the day with root vegetables and morel mushroom emulsion; and pâté en croûte (meat pie) with three types of poultry, Colonnata bacon, and pickled red onions. Desserts are traditional and delicious, with current listed offerings including lemon tart with Italian meringue. For the best value, try the three-course Menu des Canuts, available every day. The wine list is well-curated and focuses on fermented grapes from the Côtes du Rhone, Beaujolais, and Burgundy areas.
This final pillar in the Bocuse stable of Lyonnais brasseries emphasizes culinary traditions from the far East. Located in the historic area around the former Brotteaux station, the dining room boasts a miniature railway running around the ceiling to remind you of the district’s roots, while clocks on the wall show the time in four corners of the world. The vibe here is nevertheless elegant, with white cloths donning the simple tables and vintage posters gracing the walls. The lunch and dinner menus (à la carte or fixed-price) bring together Asian-inspired dishes with French brasserie staples. Try the Cantonese rice with prawns and squid; king prawns with basil, lemon, and sweet chili sauce; or filet of beef with shallots, red cabbage, wild mushrooms, and red wine sauce. Desserts include a traditional rum baba, "Vacherin" meringue dish with red fruits, and a selection of cheeses. As with the other Bocuse brasseries, the Sunday fixed-price menu offers excellent value.