A three-day gourmet getaway in Lyon


LyonFood and WineCultural HeritageCities

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Food Traboule in Lyon
© Nicolas Villion - Food Traboule in Lyon

Reading time: 0 minPublished on 27 May 2024

From the traditional “bouchons” to the sweet and savoury specialities, French tradition and current innovations, Lyon’s culinary scene is varied, diverse, fascinating, surprising and always coming up with something new. Both the long-standing and more recent establishments are all loyal followers of simple, quality cuisine and strive to use local and seasonal produce wherever possible. Here is our three-day programme to explore the taste sensations of this city, across its sloped districts between two rivers.

Day 1: A blend of gourmet specialities and new discoveries

Halles Paul Bocuse, Lyon, France
Lyon MBA - Photo : Corentin Mossière
© Lyon MBA - Photo : Corentin Mossière

Begin your day as you mean to go on with a guided tour of the Halles Bocuse, the “palace” of Lyon, that also comes in a vegan option. 

To recover from all that excitement, a mere stone’s throw from the Museum of Fine Arts in the city centre, the garden of the Palais Saint-Pierre is a miraculous little gem, a peaceful and harmonious place.

Take a stroll around the trendy streets of the antiques district (Rue Auguste Comte and Rue de la Charité), admire the countless little boutiques run by Lyon’s creators, the concept stores and some famous names in the world of decoration and design.

Drop off your bags at the Hôtel de l’Abbaye, which, as well as being a historic, upmarket hotel with luxury rooms, is also home to the Café Basilic inside the former vicarage of the Basilica Saint-Martin d’Ainay. 

For dinner, head to the restaurant Le Garet Lyon, a real institution where local products are showcased in a traditional atmosphere. 

Day 2: Whet your appetite with the culinary delights of Lyon

Musée des Confluences, Quai Perrache, Lyon, France
the Tour Rose in the heart of Lyon Old Town.
© Nicolas Villion / Agence Camille Carlier / Food Traboule - the Tour Rose in the heart of Lyon Old Town.

After a quick coffee at the hotel’s Café Basilic , kick off the day (and your appetite) with the walk up the Montée Nicolas de Lange, up secret steps and through beautiful gardens, with a stunning view of the city from the foot of Lyon’s very own Eiffel Tower.

Head to the Rue d’Algérie, and unleash your hidden talent at a baking class with Minnà Pâtisserie, a café with a menu that is always changing according to the seasonal products available directly from the producers. Julia, Marcella, Renata and Tiago use the knowledge they acquired at the Institut Paul Bocuse to create a natural, fun and sustainable gourmet experience. 

For lunch, browse the fantastic selection of establishments on The List. The list of the 1,000 best restaurants in the world features three restaurants that are right here in Lyon: La Mère Brazier (that was rated 97.5/100), Le Neuvième Art (91) and Takao Takano (90.50/100). The choice is yours, depending on what you fancy!

In the afternoon, get your culture fix by visiting the Musée des Confluences in a new district that is currently being developed.

 It’s time for dinner. Opt for the very well-known Food Traboules at the centre  of the fabulous Tour Rose in Old Lyon. This stunning place is a real institution, and it was given a second lease of life when it was purchased by chefs Tabata and Ludovic Mey who now offer visitors a cosy and gourmet experience under a beautiful skylight that was designed to blend in with the original Renaissance-style architecture. 

Day 3 : A day of delicious flavours awaits you

Croix-Rousse, Lyon, France
Botani Café, in Lyon.
© Tasos-syriopoulos - Botani Café, in Lyon.

Ease into the day with a savoury breakfast or brunch at the quirky Desjeuneur

Then explore the Croix-Rousse district, a former hotspot for the silk industry. This area of the City of Lights has a certain authentic charm and you will enjoy the historic and cultural scene here.

Continue with the street food gourmet tour a 3-hour walking tour of Lyon. From the bottom of the Croix-Rousse slopes all the way to the heart of Old Lyon, make sure your stomach is prepared, toss any idea of a diet out of the window and come and discover Lyon’s 5 best street food establishments. 

For your evening meal, yet again you have so much choice here. Here are three recommendations:

A traditional dinner: At the Bistrot Sénior, enjoy refreshing, completely homemade cuisine in a local, friendly atmosphere. LYL, the trendiest webradio in Lyon broadcasts live every Thursday from Bistrot Senior, creating a great musical atmosphere.

- Plant-based meal: On the terrace of Botani full of greenery, you’ll enjoy the extremely sustainable and delicate cuisine as you admire the breathtaking view of the Rhône, and then leave with your own plant. 

Dance while you eat: head to La Madone, a small bar at the iconic Place des Capucins at the foot of the Croix-Rousse slopes. Local nibbles and a DJ set.

Tips and suggestions :

As a bonus a little further afield, head to Pérouges on a TER regional train, to visit this superb fortified medieval town around thirty kilometres away from Lyon. 24 buildings there are listed as Historic Monuments, one of which houses Le Relais De La Tour, a family-run establishment serving traditional cuisine made using local and seasonal products.

By Marie Arquié

Be it on her doorstep or in far-off places, our journalist covers art, fashion, literature, motorcycles, design, surfing and society at large. She lives in the French department of Landes and works between cities and dunes for both printed press and radio, reporting on local topics when she isn’t away on a long-haul trip or training for her boating licence.