Restaurants in Lyon

The city is known as the gastronomic capital of the world for good reason and visitors will be overwhelmed by the variety and quality of restaurants in Lyon. There are more than 1,800 places to eat out in Lyon and the city boasts about 16 Michelin-starred restaurants.

This foodie paradise's culinary tradition was crystalised in the first half of the 20th century, when many bourgeois families fired their in-house cooks. These women went on to revolutionise Lyon's cuisine by setting up their own restaurants and cooking for some of the finest French dignitaries of their time. Traditionally, restaurants serving Lyonnaise cuisine are called bouchons but the term has come to describe a certain kind of restaurant in Lyon: small, family-run eateries which are delightfully informal and which must be investigated by visitors to gain an idea of the authentic Lyon culinary tradition.

Lyon's cuisine owes its fame at least in part to the quality of its local produce. There are several great markets where food stalls of every kind can be found: Quai Saint-Antoine has a glorious Sunday morning market; and Les Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse is a permanent market and tribute to the culinary king of Lyon, Paul Bocuse, whose eponymous three-star restaurant is just to the north of the city.

Lyon is full to bursting with great places to eat but some of the best areas to seek out restaurants include La Rue Merciere and La Rue des Marronniers, which are streets dedicated exclusively to food and have a wonderful, festive atmosphere. The Lyon Old Town is also full of lovely places to dine out.

Meal specialties in Lyon often involve offal and pork of all kinds and is a favourite on Lyonnaise menus. The food is rich and creative. The cheese produced in the region is fantastic: 'Saint-Marcelin' and 'Saint-Felicien' are two of the best varieties.

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Chez Mounier

This restaurant seems tiny from the street, but there is plenty of room inside. Chez Mounier has the traditional atmosphere of a Lyonnais bouchon, with regional dishes like quenelle de brochet (dumpling in crayfish sauce) and herring salad. Locals and tourists alike love Chez Mounier for its unpretentious atmosphere and cheap food. Open Tuesday to Saturday.

Address: 3 rue des Marronniers
Telephone: (04) 7837 7926

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Brasserie Georges

The oldest brasserie in Lyon, La Georges has been serving Lyonnais delicacies since 1836. Since then it has hosted notable celebrities like Edith Piaf, Jean-Paul Sartre, Ernest Hemingway, and the Dalai Lama. The restaurant also brews its own beer. Its location can appear a bit seedy, but the large dining area means you can usually get a table without reservation unless dining at peak hours on the weekend. The restaurant is entirely no smoking. Open weekdays 11:30am-11:15pm, and Fridays and Saturdays 11:30am-12:15am.

Address: 30 cours de Verdun
Telephone: (0)4 7256 54 54
Website: http://www.brasseriegeorges.com

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L'Auberge de l'Ile

This Michelin-starred restaurant is near to the heart of Lyon, located in a charming 17th-century inn on the tiny island of Île Barbe. It has a pretty ivy-covered courtyard and more intimate indoor dining area where you can sample dishes like meat stew mille feuille or red tuna tartare with quail and salmon eggs.

Address: Place Notre Dame, Île Barbe
Telephone: +33 (0)4 7883 99 49
Website: http://www.aubergedelile.com

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