Lyon is one of France’s greatest cities and an excellent break from the big-city life in Paris. The restaurant scene has also boomed, so you have many to choose from—but which restaurants are the best? Written by a local, discover the best places to eat in Lyon at every price point.
The Top Places To Eat in Lyon
Lyon is largely considered the gastronomic capital of France and has even been called the gastronomic capital of the world, so food is taken seriously here. In 2021, Lyon had 21 Michelin-starred restaurants—a remarkable feat for the city’s size.
But besides fine dining, a trip to Lyon must include at least one meal in a bouchon lyonnais. What exactly is a bouchon? It’s essentially a traditional restaurant found in the Lyon area, which serves Lyonnaise cuisine. Most of these restaurants have a rustic feel to them, so don’t expect anything fancy. When dining in a bouchon, you’ll often find food that’s on the heavier side and more meat-based.
The quenelle is by far the most famous dish in Lyon. Quenelles are dumplings made of breadcrumbs and usually minced poultry or fish (it’s better than it sounds). Sausage and andouillette are also big here, as well as cervelle de canut, a delicious cheese spread.
And of course, all traditional bouchons serve a carafe of Beaujolais or Côtes du Rhône, the regional wines of Lyon. What more can we say? This city was made for eating! Here are the best restaurants in Lyon.
Le Poivron Bleu
€€ | Classic French | Some Outdoor Dining
Le Poivron Bleu prides itself on fresh, seasonal dishes. Instead of having a set menu, they use a chalkboard menu list, which changes on a daily basis. The awesome presentation of the dishes will make you feel like you’re somewhere upscale but without all the fuss and high prices.
Those who love supporting local businesses will appreciate Le Poivron Bleu’s emphasis on using local products. Their cheese, eggs, and fruit juices all come from the Rhône region where Lyon is located, and all of their beef comes from France. This is the perfect restaurant to savor French cuisine in Lyon if you’re looking for something casual but with stellar food.
Address: 12 Rue Professeur Weill
Le Bouchon des Cordeliers
€€ | Bouchon | Some Outdoor Dining
Ah, one of Lyon’s infamous bouchons! This restaurant is recognized as an official bouchon lyonnais by the city (yes, sadly there are some impostors sprinkled throughout Lyon).
You can expect traditional Lyonnaise food here, including quenelles and andouillette sausage. The interior blends a homey feel mixed with a modern touch. If you’re looking to try something typical from Lyon, add this stop to your list.
Address: 15 Rue Claudia
Restaurant Paul Bocuse
€€€€ | Fine Dining | Two Michelin Stars
Paul Bocuse was a renowned French chef who pioneered his nouvelle cuisine approach, which favors light and fresh foods. Although he passed away in 2018 at the age of 91, his legacy lives on at the Restaurant Paul Bocuse, which boasts two Michelin stars.
The restaurant is located about 15 minutes outside of Lyon in the small town where Bocuse was born and raised. Some of the signature dishes include black truffle and chicken soup, crayfish tail gratin, and fricassée of Bresse chicken. While dining here certainly won’t be cheap, it is well worth it for an iconic French dining experience. Reservations should be made in advance.
Le Bœuf d’Argent
€€€ | French Food | No Outdoor Seating
We love this place because it has the quality of a one-Michelin-star restaurant without the crazy prices. At Le Bœuf d’Argent, the most expensive fixed-price menu is €70 and consists of four courses plus dessert, all hand-picked and personalized by the chef. What a deal!
The restaurant is run by a fantastic husband and wife team who have put their heart and soul into this place. When you step inside, a cozy and charming ambiance welcomes you and you’ll feel right at home. This is a great place for a date night or for those who want to try more polished cuisine without a big price tag.
Address: 29 Rue du Bœuf
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Le Neuvième Art
€€€€ | Fine Dining | Two Michelin Stars
Chef Christophe Roure consistently wows customers at his two-Michelin-star restaurant. The plating of dishes is simply exquisite, with each course looking like a work of art. There are also nearly four hundred wines on the menu to tempt you. Eating here is without a doubt a memorable experience.
The interior of Le Neuvième Art isn’t quite as elegant as some other Michelin-starred restaurants, but it maintains a chic appearance in a more modern way. Diners who enjoy going a bit outside the box or who shy away from more traditional options will enjoy the style here.
Address: 173 Rue Cuvier
La Tête De Lard
€€ | Bouchon | Limited Outdoor Seating
This bouchon is about as traditional as it gets, complete with checkered tablecloths and a rustic country feel. Remember that a bouchon is built to showcase typical Lyon food, some of which might be a bit different than what you’re used to trying.
La Tête De Lard is very authentic, with its menu including quenelle, andouillette sausage, cow tongue, boiled calf’s head, and even pig’s feet salad. While it might be a bit too much for some, for those feeling more adventurous, this is the perfect spot to immerse yourself in local cuisine.
Address: 15 Rue Désirée
€€ | Italian | No Outdoor Seating
Need a break from French food? Head to Carmelo, a trendy Italian restaurant that is the place to be in Lyon. There are multiple rooms inside, each with intricate and unique decorations.
The pasta is all made fresh by hand and it’s pretty affordable, as you’ll rarely find a menu item over €15. One of our favorites is the carbonara, which is served in a pecorino cheese wheel. Try to make reservations in advance online, otherwise, you’ll likely end up having to wait in line.
Address: 7 Rue Neuve
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€€€ | Meat Dishes | No Outdoor Seating
Meat lovers, rejoice! This place actually serves both as a butcher shop where clients can come to purchase meat and as a restaurant at the same time. There’s a variety of meat available, including beef, pork, lamb, and duck.
Everything is melt-in-your-mouth good and cooked to perfection. Don’t forget to save room for their surprisingly good desserts, especially the chocolate lava cake.
Address: 132 Rue Bugeaud
Les Flacconeurs Bistro
€€ | French Bistro | No Outdoor Seating
A modern yet cozy French bistro that stands as one of our favorite spots in Lyon. The waiters are friendly, the ambiance is relaxed and the food is phenomenal. Two lifelong friends, Mathieu and Roman, opened Les Flacconeurs together a few years ago.
In France, typically bistros are a bit more modest than other types of restaurants. This place does an awesome job of combining high-quality food with a laid-back ambiance that makes you feel like you’re at home.
Address: 38 Rue de l’Arbre Sec
€€€€ | French Food | One Michelin Star
The Japanese chef running the kitchen at La Sommelière spent years specializing in French cuisine and it shows. The dishes are original, refined, and beautifully plated. The cuisine is more on the modern side, as is the restaurant’s interior.
Their seven-course menu is impressive and a great bargain for the price. This is our vote for the best one-Michelin-star restaurant in Lyon, so be sure to make reservations in advance!
Address: 6 Rue Mourguet
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