Foodies will tell you that it is Lyon, not Paris, which holds the title of culinary capital in France. We’re not talking sheer number of restaurants, here, nor the pretentiousness of opulent dining (though there are approximately 1,500 places to eat, a number of them Michelin starred); rather, the city prides itself on serving up traditional, hearty Lyonnais meals at prices that allow just about everyone to partake in the joy of eating done right (provided, of course, you’re a fan of pig intestines, blood pudding and the like).
Bouchons, or the local take on bistros, are at the heart of Lyonnais dining. Quaint with typically humble interiors, these small eateries are what put Lyon on Europe’s culinary map. They specialize in fare like sausage, cow/pig stomach, etc., which may not be everyone’s cup of tea but definitely add an air of cultural authenticity to the meal. You’ll also want to remember the name of Paul Bocuse, who is considered the mastermind behind modern Lyonnais cooking. His restaurants and cooking style emphasize the delicious, fresh ingredients that are native to the areas of France immediately surrounding Lyon. Luckily for you, his influence has seeped into many restaurants throughout the city, giving a fresh alternative to pig fat fried in pig fat (no exaggeration).
So where do you begin your search? Well, start at lunch time, where you’re almost guaranteed to find incredible deals at restaurants throughout the city. Pedestrian friendly areas like Vieux Lyon and rue Merciere are an easy go to, as well as the renowned Les Halles de Paul Bocuse Market (the modern glass building located close to the Part Dieu Station) for those looking to indulge in the city’s sumptuous selection of produce and baked goods. With such a voluminous dispersion of eateries scattered throughout the city, however, we could hardly do Lyon dining justice in such a brief summary. That’s why we’ve assembled a list of the best websites available for eating right wherever you are around town. Take a look, then enjoy the flavors of France’s gastronomic heavyweight.