Lyon, France - best bouchons?

We are headed to Nice for a conference but flying into Paris first and then taking the train to Lyon for some indulgent eating! I love tete de veau, andouillette, blood sausage, tripe, and other unseemly bits! I want try as many bouchons as I can fit into our 5 days in Lyon (plus one night cooking in the apartment.)

On my list are;

Leon De Lyon (we arrive on train at 1pm and this place is close to apartment and open until 2:30 so hoping that we can arrive around 2 and still be seated)

Brasserie Georges (we are going to the Opera the first night and it will get out very late and this place is open until 12:30 am)

Bouchon Des Cordeliers

Paul Bocuse Restaurant

Cafe des Federations

A Ma Vigne

Le Garet

Au Petit Bouchon Chez Georges

La Meuniere

What do folks thing of the list? Exclude any?

I haven’t but could if people think it worth it, include instead cafe Sillion and/or La Mere Brazier.

Happy for all suggestions/information! Are places really firm on close time? Does close time mean the time they want place empty or last seating?


The closing time usually means the kitchen closing time, so I guess last order should be half an hour or 45 minutes earlier if you want dessert. But better call to make sure.

From the list, it shows you really like bouchons! It seems fine, but their offer will be very similar, if you like to compare the same plate with the different places, why not.

Maybe @PhilD has some ideas, he has been to Lyon last year.

Café Sillon offers a cooking style a bit different, more modern and creative, I’ll like to give it a try.
La Mère Brazier is highly recommended. It is a fine dining place, so if budget permets, go for it!

True! Much of the same, though I hope to sample different things at different places - a pigs foot here, some intestine there, etc. All stuff that is hard to get here in the States.

I also read on the site about Takao Takano, so might have to add that to the list, also. Means losing somewhere, though.

I always try to get a good mix of places in France - traditional, modern, new, and fine diners. Its nice to get a feel for a city by doing that. I note you love of “unseemly bits” and my non-scientific study suggests the newer creative chefs will often use these more traditional cuts than some of the more mainstream places.

I think the danger of sticking to Bouchons is that the style of for could be too similar for 5 days. There isa also a risk the bottom choices on your list may not be as good as other options. For example if you went to Paris to eat in Brasseries you would find only 2 or 3 to be (just) worthwhile out of all of them.

My Bouchon experience in Lyon was the pits - but I chose badly and should have recognised the “tourist trap” warning signs. My observation is there are a lot of tourist trap Bouchon’s in town, but I would dearly love to try a few good ones - so please report back and let us know how you went.


I promise to report back!

And I read your feedback from your trip, which is why I no longer had Daniel and Denise on my list!

Sorry, above was meant to be reply to you.

Hello, I have 5 nights upcoming in Lyon, would greatly appreciate updated suggestions for bouchons and maybe a 1* spot. Will include a Sunday and Monday (unavoidable), staying somewhere near Bellecouer (forgive my spelling).

Great bakeries to start the day? Cheese tasting? Is Les Halles Paul Bocuse worth north than 1 visit if I’m not actually cooking? Any great lunch options at starred places? Hoping to keep most meals under €40/pp if possible, would go higher on a special lunch or two.

Thanks all!

We were in Lyons briefly before a river cruise, and squeezed in lunches at Le Laurencin (my first eggs Meurette – fantastic) and Aux Trois Cochons, where I dearly loved the Saladier Lyonnais comprised of lentilles aux échalotes, museau de bœuf, pied de veau rémoulade according to the menu, which I could not fully translate at the time. I now know it had beef mouth and veal foot. It was absolutely delicious. I did not, however, like the tripe. It definitely was not a Salad Lyonnaise.
We stayed north of town and enjoyed dinner at 33 Cite – not a bouchon.
Oh, I also wrote up the food one the cruise (Viking) in a case anyone’s considering a Rhone cruise.

I declare myself an avid lover of offal. Yet, the bouchons in Lyon give me food fatigue and a sense of déjà-vu very quickly. They are all so similar with almost the same menus (gâteau de foie de volaille, oeufs en meurette, andouillette sauce moutarde, salade lyonnaise, quenelle de brochet, tête de veau sauce ravigote, etc). Having said that, the only bouchon that seems to me a cut way above the average for the quality of the cuisine is Le Gavet near métro Hôtel-de-Ville.


During out brief stay in Lyons we had a good non-bouchon meal at 33 Cite’ up by the Cité Internationale.

Ended up having a very nice lunch today at Bouchon Lyonnaise de Laurencin. Salad was fresh and the egg perfectly cooked; my daughter’s terrine of the market was really tasty too. The quenelle was quite delicious and not what I expected at all. I guess I was thinking along the lines of gefilte fish but this was really like a fish soufflé baked in a very creamy sauce that reminded us of lobster bisque. We couldn’t get the courage to try the sweetbreads (I know, I know) and her flank steak with gratin of potatoes had nice flavor but the meat was too tough. The potatoes rocked. Our chocolate mousse dessert was very good and a very healthy portion. The creme brûlée was a bit bland for me but she liked it.

I’ve never been to a Bouchon before and have no basis for comparison, but we quite enjoyed this place and would happily recommend it. They even brought us 2 glasses of ice for our tap water, which makes me VERY happy.


Beef can be an issue in France. I’ve met many a French person who has expressed preference for American beef, and I myself stop to consider where I’m at and what I’m ordering when it’s before me.

I had the same reaction to the quenelles. Two entirely new-to-me dishes I really liked in Lyons were the oeuf en meurette and an appetizer saladier lyonnaise with lentils – as distinguished from a traditional salade Lyonnaise. Both were revelations – and delicious.

I did not like the also new to me tablier de sapeur.

There are various Quenelle dishes served, as the term is specific to the type of (I believe) poached (usually) fish product that you (and I, before I had any) thought would be like gefilte fish but is quite a bit lighter and airier. At any rate, my favorite is Nantua which is a crayfish based sauce, deep and rich. I’ve had a light cream sauce and a lobster sauce version, each great on its own terms. Just my 2 cents.

SteveR it was really scrumptious. My daughter liked it so much she wanted a second Bouchon meal so she could have her own. We tried La Gache (recommended somewhere around here) and she was quite happy.