Dine al fresco or dive into a welcoming bistro; spend hours wandering around markets or discover local secrets on a food tour. If you fancy eating in Michelin starred restaurants or snack on street food, Kimberly shares her top tips. With pleasant temperatures and fewer crowds, Autumn is the perfect time for a city break foodie adventure. In a four part series Kimberly Button explores Europe’s freshest culinary destinations which make for a perfect gourmet Autumn break. You can get Kimberly’s top tips for Barcelona here, Lisbon here and Budapest here. This week we explore Lyon.
It’s said that if Paris is the heart of France, then Lyon is its stomach. Those in search of gastronomic delights will soon discover why this sophisticated riverside city has held such a strong reputation in a country famous for its cuisine. From the vineyards of Beaujolais, Macon and Burgundy to the slopes of the river Rhone and the foothills of the Alps, Lyon is surrounded by some of the finest regions for produce in France, and thrives as a centre for top quality ingredients.
Lyon is all about rustic, rich French food and has one of the highest concentrations of restaurants per capita in France. Tucked away in side streets you’ll find tiny Bouchons – a type of Lyonnaise restaurant that stems from the city’s 19th century version of a tavern, and preserves the foundation of the city’s authentic, home-made cuisine. The city is famous for several unique dishes, but the truth is just about everything in Lyon is good: the pastries, the chocolate, the meats and the many cheese varieties.
Les Halles de Lyon was created in 1971. This prestigious indoor market was renamed in honour of local hero and three Michelin-star chef Paul Bocuse in 2006. Here you can find the best regional products, order a cheese tasting plate or fine dine at one of the markets petite restaurants. It’s busiest on Sunday mornings. You can also join locals at Boulevard de la Croix-Rousse – a market situated on a steep hill, offering more reasonably prices, but a high standard of regional products, along with amazing views.
The young and innovative kitchen at La Bijouterie offer one of Lyon’s freshest and most sought-after dining experiences. Try the seven course discovery menu, but be sure to book well in advance.
Lyon is a great place to join a wine tour. Jump aboard a half-day bus tour of the Beaujolais vineyards with a stop in the medieval Oingt, a village classified as one of the most beautiful in France, before following the Wine Route through beautiful countryside.
For a grand introduction to Lyon gastronomy, Le Royal is the training hotel of the Institut Paul Bocuse. It has a restaurant, where you’ll be served traditional and contemporary dishes by students, and offers lunchtime training courses for visitors. For a view of the river Rhone, OKKO Hotel’s Lyon Pont Lafayette, is a stone’s throw from the lively Presqu’ile district in the 6th arrondissement.
About the writer:
As a writer and digital consultant to travel brands, Kimberly shares her passion for off the beaten track adventures. Currently she lives and writes from her home in the French Alps.