The best local restaurant restaurants in Lyon are places you can sample the specialities of the area in a laid-back atmosphere, especially in Lyonnaise restaurants called a bouchon. These local bistros are typical of both the city and its cuisine. You'll soon become familiar with quenelles (a poached dish of creamed fish or meat), tabliers de sapeur (made from beef tripe) or grattons (scratchings made from pork, duck or other meats). 

    In no time at all, you'll know how to spot the more authentic restaurants, where the good nature of the chef and restaurant staff will contribute as much towards your enjoyment as the dishes themselves. Here in Lyon, you can also eat in restaurants worthy of Michelin stars for a fraction of the cost of most other cities in Europe. Renowned for its meats and charcuterie, with a deep attachment to the land and its friendly atmosphere, Lyon's cuisine has more than one way of winning you over.

    1

    La Cocagne

    A local restaurant serving seasonal recipes for lunch and dinner

    • Couples
    • Food

    La Cocagne welcomes you in a wood-decorated setting, where you'll discover generous cuisine that's full of fun. The dishes are inspired by cuisine from Lyons, the Mediterranean and France and they are crafted with care, often enhanced with a light touch of fantasy. For example, the chef has a secret recipe for tartare aux épices du Sichaun (thinly chopped steak with a thick, spicy and sweet sauce). 

    The menu changes every 3 months, which is a sure sign of creativity and freshness. Some classics show up regularly, like the pain perdu au caramel beurre salé (French toast with salted-butter caramel sauce). La Cocagne is a friendly place, whether you're taking a long lunch or going for a romantic dinner in an intimate setting. It proudly falls within the quartionomie spirit — neighbourhood cooking — and makes a point to use local produce.

    Location: 7 Rue Aimé Collomb, 69003 Lyon, France

    Open: Monday–Tuesday from 12 pm to 3 pm, Wednesday–Saturday from 12 pm to 3 pm and 7 pm to 11 pm

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    photo by Benoît Prieur (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    2

    Les Fines Gueules

    When gastronomy couples with tradition

    • Food

    Les Fines Gueules is a bouchon – a traditional Lyonnaise restaurant – but not just any bouchon. This restaurant, with a Renaissance façade, is on a pretty, cobbled street in the historic old Lyon neighbourhood, and was taken over by in 2009 by Joël Salzi, who was a director at Paul Bocuse for several years. The bistro's decor is sophisticated and provides a great backdrop for cuisine that balances tradition and modernity. 

    Specialities from Lyon are on offer, such as œufs pochés en meurette (poached eggs in red wine) or crépinette de pieds de cochons panés (breaded pork-foot sausage wrapped in caul fat), alongside seasonal, garnished fresh fish. If you have a little room for dessert, order the vacherin maison (homemade layered cake with meringue, vanilla ice cream, fruit and topped with whipped cream). In the summer, you can enjoy the terrace in the charming pedestrian area.

    Location: 16 Rue Lainerie, 69005 Lyon, France

    Open: Tuesday—Saturday from 12 pm to 2 pm and 7 pm to 10 pm

    Map

    photo by Arnaud 25 (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    3

    La Tête de Lard

    Immerse yourself in Lyonnaise traditions with fantastic homemade cooking

    • Food

    La Tëte de Larde prides itself on serving cuisine "from the country in the city", and does it so well that people keep coming back for more. In the centre of Presqu'Île, you'll walk into a room that is so comfy it could be your own living room. Sit down and enjoy the assortment of iconic dishes and local cuisine. Try langue de veau en ravigote (veal tongue in creamy sauce with herbs and vinegar), tablier du sapeur nappé d’une sauce gribiche (beef tripe in a mayonnaise and cold egg sauce), quenelles de brochet (pike cakes) or andouillette en croûte (pork sausage in pastry crust). 

    Here, the emphasis is on respect for tradition, regional and seasonal products, all qualities that you can even taste. Beaujolais Nouveau lovers - don't miss the special annual event, organised each year to celebrate its release. There is a musical group accompanying your meal and showing you how to party, Lyon style.

    Location: 13 Rue Désirée, 69001 Lyon, France

    Open: Tuesday–Saturday from 12 pm to 1.30 pm and 7.30 pm to 9 pm

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    4

    L’Étage

    It's been serving food for over a century

    • Couples
    • Food

    Located in a former apartment that housed a silk factory, L’Étage is brimming with history, with gourmet and refined cuisine served in a muted setting. Take the stairs to the second floor and be immersed in a warm, intimate bubble with wood panelling and a pleasant view of the Place des Terreaux below. 

    You can choose between 3 menus which include the lunch menu, with a starter, main course and dessert, the tasting menu, with several small-portion dishes, or the lobster and caviar menu. The other 2 consist of 4 dishes and 2 desserts and they're a real tasting experience full of finesse and excitement. The dishes are delicious and meticulously prepared from high quality, impeccably fresh ingredients, and often have an exotic touch. It's a good restaurant to celebrate a romantic moment, share a business meal or simply enjoy good quality, authentic cuisine.

    Location: 4 Place des Terreaux, 69001 Lyon, France

    Open: Tuesday—Saturday from 12 pm to 1.30 pm and 7 pm to 9 pm

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    5

    La Limonade de Marinette

    Travel back in time in a one-off resto-bistro

    • Families
    • Food
    • Unusual

    La Limonade de Marinette is the bistro for nostalgic types. Immerse yourself in a corner-shop with a 60s vibe, from the vintage till to formica tables and chairs, including authentic Duralex glasses and music of the era to accompany your meal. The fixed menu is simple, tasty and is features traditional French childhood cuisine: such as ham and cheese omelette, chips or homemade quiche, accompanied by a nice glass of lemonade. 

    If it's not a mealtime, come in to sip a glass of rouge limé (red wine and lemonade spritzer) or a petit crème (a small coffee with cream) in this unusual setting, the product of an avid collector's imagination. If you wish you could take a souvenir box or enamelled plaque with you, not to worry the nearby boutique will satisfy all your needs.

    Location: 46 Rue Saint-Georges, 69005 Lyon, France

    Open: Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays from 11 pm to 6 pm; Fridays and Saturdays from 11 am to 11 pm

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    6

    Le Bouchon des Cordeliers

    Gourmet food paired with Lyonnaise hospitality

    • Food

    At Bouchon des Cordeliers, high-quality standards are united to introduce you to the pleasures of this landmark in Lyons. Exposed brick walls, red and white checked tablecloths, generous dishes and, above all, a menu that highlights feasts adorned with sauce lyonnaise (a meat-stock-based sauce with onions, white wine and vinegar). This is what awaits you once open the door to this restaurant located in a quiet street in a lively, central neighbourhood, close to Presqu'Île. 

    Bouchon des Cordeliers is a paradise for lovers of locally sourced food. Its ingredients are provided by the best artisan growers of the area to create traditional dishes, such as its famous quenelle Lyonnaise sauce Nantua (beef tripe dumplings in a white sauce with crayfish) or tatin de pieds de cochon et escargots (pig's feet with snails). Good bottles of wine accompany the meal from starter to dessert, which is always balanced by friendly and attentive service that makes sure you have an enjoyable time with characteristic southern friendliness.

    Location: 15 Rue Claudia, 69002 Lyon, France

    Open: Tuesday—Saturday from 12 pm to 2 pm and 7,30 pm to 10 pm

    Map
    7

    Les Culottes Longues

    Share the passion of an acclaimed local chef

    • Food

    Culottes Longues is a restaurant that has been serving up feasts to all of Lyons and its visitors since 1995. The arrival of the market and timely inspiration are combined on the menu and in the dishes prepared to introduce you to the best cooking in the area. Terrines (meatloafs), rognons (kidneys), ris de veau (veal sweetbreads) and pieces of beef garnished with the Saint Marcelin house speciality, a soft cow's milk cheese, are prepared and then come together to delight the ecstatic food lovers sitting in the wood decorated decor.

    There's a framed pair of bloomers and a pretty spiral staircase create this place's charm and accentuate the tasting pleasure — like a bottle from a well-stocked cellar. The cuisine comes from the heart and won't fail to capture yours too.

    Location: 42 Rue Sala, 69002 Lyon, France

    Open: Tuesday—Saturday from 12 pm to 3 pm and 7 .30 pm to 10.30 pm

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    8

    Restaurant École de l’Institut Paul Bocuse

    Enjoy a gourmet meal where tomorrow's stars study

    • Food

    The great Paul Bocuse, who was an integral part of gourmet and the Lyon countryside, created l’Institut as an exuberant laboratory that helps to produce France's next generation of star chefs. The great news is that the public can feast here for prices that are quite reasonable given the quality of the service and dishes on offer. At l'Institut apprentice chefs — well trained, of course — preside in the dining room and in the kitchen, and split up into fours to offer you the best of their savoir-faire

    In the interests of transparency, you can watch the chefs preparing your dishes through large glass windows, which adds even more charm to the experience. Once served, they'll definitely stun you with their finesse, elegance and, especially, their flavours. It's advisable to book a table, especially on weekends.

    Location: 20 Place Bellecour, 69002 Lyon, France

    Open: Tuesday–Saturday from 12 pm to 1 pm and 7.30 pm to 9 pm (closed on Sundays and Mondays)

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    9

    Le Café du Peintre

    Experience honest cuisine and one of Lyon's finest wine cellars

    • Food

    In Café du Peintre, each of the dishes that cross your table is profoundly anchored in Lyons tradition. This is reflected by the super-sized snails from the nearby mountains, Monts du Lyonnais, quenelles de brochet Sibilia (pike dumplings named after the famous cured meat shop). On the menu board, homemade terrine, made according to the chef's preference and what he finds at the market, announces freshness loud and clear, and its other bold dishes are of the same calibre. 

    Fortified with 350 references, Peintre's wine cellar has no reason to be bashful either: excitement, energy, freshness and honesty are words to describe its wines. Many of these are produced using biodynamic methods and served in traditional Lyonnais 46 cl glass jugs. If you like one of the wines, you can purchase it at Au P'tit Peintre nearby.

    Location: 50 Boulevard des Brotteaux, 69006 Lyon, France

    Open: Monday—Friday from 12 pm to 2.30 pm, Thursdays and Fridays from 7.45 pm to 9. 15 pm

    Map
    10

    Le Bouchon des Filles

    This all-female restaurant makes food just like mom used to make

    • Food

    Le Bouchon des Filles is a bouchon (traditional Lyonnaise restaurant) with a modern style that reimagines the classics with a touch of lightness. In gently flowery and feminine decor, you can try a feuilleté de boudin aux fines herbes (puff pastry filled with pork sausage with fine herbs) or a pot-au-feu (beef stew) adorned with baby vegetables. 

    The traditional Lyons bowls are overflowing with salades de lentilles (lentil salads), rillettes de hareng fumé (finely chopped smoked herring paté) or are filled with verrines carotte, gingembre, crème fraîche (small glasses of creamed carrots, ginger or soured cream), and placed on your table as soon as you arrive. But you'll wait quite a while to be served. Besides the health aspect that breathes fresh air into a simple, invigorating cuisine, the all-female team also try to re-establish social connections here – just like the Lyonnaise mothers who at one time gave the neighbourhood bistros their personality. The friendly welcome and service advance the cause and ensure a beautiful moment to share.

    Location: 20 Rue Sergent-Blandan, 69001 Lyon, France

    Open: Friday—Sunday from 12 pm to 1.30 pm, Monday–Sunday from 7 pm to 10 pm

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