What to eat in Lyon?
Updated: Apr 7
Lyon is a gastronomic wonderland. You can eat your way around the world in Lyon with over 4000 restaurants and two of the best chefs in the world (Paul Bocuse & Georges Blanc) both based here. Many culinary events are happening in the city that represents the tasty of Lyonnaise cuisine.
This article will introduce you to the foodie scene and show you where to go and what to eat!
Le saucisson brioche
It's so simple — it's basically sausage in bread — but so delicious that you'll wonder why you've never heard of it before. This classic Lyonnais dish is made from pork sausage wrapped and baked in brioche.
La cervelle de canuts
Cervelle de Canuts is a cheese spread, also known as “silk workers' brains. The name comes from the fact that silk workers were known for living on this dish because it was so cheap and plentiful. Le Caravelle de canuts is made of fresh cow’s cheese, fromage frais, mixed with herbs, shallots, olive oil, salt, and pepper. You can find it being sold at street markets.
A special dish in the Rhone-Alpes region, a quenelle is a dumpling made with pike fish or zander and either cream or breadcrumbs. It’s then poached in water or stock and finished off with a buttery sauce called ‘mousseline’.This dish is usually served with cheese sauce or seafood sauce which makes it very tasty.
The beloved French salad gets a twist here in Lyon with its addition of lardons, a type of bacon. It also comes with croutons, frisée lettuce, and a poached egg. You can find salade Lyonnaise at many restaurants around town.
Les œufs en Meurette
Another classic Lyonnaise dish is les oeufs en meurette, which is translated as eggs in red wine sauce enriched with many ingredients such as shallots, lard, mushrooms, bread croutons, scented with thyme and laurel.
A Lyonnais taco is a fast-food dish that usually consists of a flour tortilla grilled and folded around a filling of French fries, cheese, and meat, among other deli ingredients. More similar to a burrito than to a taco, and claiming inspiration from Mexican cuisine, it originated from the region of Rhône-Alpes in France in the early 2000s.
If you have a sweet tooth then bugnes are definitely worth checking out! These are sweet strips of dough flavored with vanilla, lemon zest, orange water, or rum are twisted into different shapes, fried, and dusted with icing sugar. This is then served alongside chocolate sauce for dipping or filling with salted caramel spread.
La tarte aux pralines
The city is famous for its desserts. The most famous is the "praline". It's made with almonds, sugar, and a dose of pink food coloring. The dessert is very recognizable because of the pink color, but no one knows the origin. The cake become famous during the Industrial Revolution in Lyon in the 19th century.
The best time for an aperitif is when you are sitting at a café in one of Lyon's many squares, enjoying a glass of pastis. If you want something a little stronger, try some fine liqueurs made from local fruits. Cherry (griotte) or pear (poire) are recommended.
The vineyards all around Lyon provide something for every taste; from the dry white Chablis wines of Burgundy to the dark red and full-bodied Syrah wines, and the light and fruity Beaujolais. There are also sparkling white wines from nearby Sancerre, as well as Rieslings from Alsace.
Now you are prepared and ready to try the best dishes that Lyon can offer. To be ready for your overall visit, check out our tips on visiting Lyon. Don't forget to check out our other articles on the specialties of different regions in France, such as food in Nord-Pas-De-Calais, or food in Île-de-France, and stay informed of the release of our next articles by subscribing to our Instagram account @thewalkingparrot.