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What to eat in Lyon?

We take you on a tour of the dishes that can be eaten in Lyon and its surroundings. Food, drinks, desserts.

This time we are going to travel with the palate! We will show you what to eat in Lyon giving a tour of its typical dishes. Warning: you will be hungry.

Where can you find typical food in Lyon?

Before getting into the matter, that is, the food, we are going to talk about the typical restaurants where we can eat these delicious Lyonnaise dishes. They are called bouchon and are characterized by being small, quite small and cozy.

The name bouchon comes from the ancient custom of putting a straw figure in the shape of a mouth (called bouche in French) on the door of the places where wine was served.

There are many restaurants of this type in the Vieux Lyon (old Lyon), but if you are looking for the most “authentic” possible, you have to look for those that have the Authentique bouchon lyonnais label, this distinguishes the oldest establishments and also best represents the culinary tradition of the city. Although I have to say that the ones we ate into did not have the label and we were quite satisfied, but it is better to know that this option exists when choosing where and what to eat in Lyon 🙂

As a curious fact, in the Vieux Lyon there is also a street which turns out to be the street with the most restaurants that have Michelin stars in all of France. We could even see one in front of the other. Although it must be clarified that these do not necessarily sell traditional food, it is a different culinary experience, but better to know.

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Typical dishes in Lyon

Now that we know where to go, let’s see what delicacies we can eat in Lyon?

Main dishes and entrees

Salade lyonnaise (Lyonnaise salad)

This salad can be eaten as a starter or as a main course, it is served with a poached egg and a very tasty vinaigrette, as well as bacon, lettuce and croutons. At the end of the day it is a fairly simple salad, but very tasty.


Typical dish from Lyon, very popular in France. Oval in shape, the quenelles are made with a wheat semolina paste and inside they can contain shredded meat, fish, veal, poultry, etc.

In many places the quenelle is going to be served with a sauce called “Nantua”, this sauce is named after the name of the Nantua lake which is located in the Ain department. This sauce is made with crayfish and other ingredients. It is delicious.


In the bouchon, you can try tripe-based dishes. This one that we see here is one of them, which only had tripe, tomato and potatoes. The truth is that for me it was a mistake, and that I tasted it, but I couldn’t finish the dish, of course it depends on each one XD but better to know.

Another dish, based on tripe, but which is breaded, is the tablier de sapeur. So if you are curious to try the tripe in Lyon, but it puts you off seeing the guts as it is, this could be a good option.

Oeuf en meurette (egg meurette)

This dish features an egg, just like the Lyonnaise salad, but here it is swimming in a red wine-based sauce. It must be said that eggs meurette originate from the Burgundy region, but can be found in bouchons.

In fact, as a curious fact, in Burgundy there is a “world championship of the egg en meurette” and of course Lyon was present at the competition.


It must be remembered that in French gastronomy, cheese is a separate dish, which happens after the main course and before dessert.

Cervelle de canuts

A specialty originally from Lyon, it is a fresh cheese that contains various herbs, salt, pepper, olive oil and vinegar. Quite simple but rich, with a mild flavor.

Its name literally means “silk worker’s brains”.

Remember that silk workers, a very popular profession in Lyon during the 19th century, were known as canuts.

Saint Marcellin cheese

This delicious cheese is made from cow’s milk and has a soft paste and fermented rind. Its origin, as its name indicates, comes from the city of Saint-Marcellin which is in the Isère department, although today it is produced in many other neighboring places.

This cheese, compared to the cervelle des canuts, has a more pronounced flavor. It is really delicious.



For those of us who know fritters, this dessert will be familiar to us. They are quite similar, the difference is that the sugar here is not caramelized.

The origin of the bugnes dates back to the Duchy of Savoy, and spread throughout the region.

Tarte praliné

This cake is originally from Lyon, although it is more of a pie type, the idea is that the base is bread made with wheat flour, eggs, almonds, etc. And it is covered with the sweet called pralin, which is a candy of toasted almonds covered in caramelized pink sugar.

The truth is that I was afraid that it would be very cloying, but to my great surprise it was not. I liked it.


Côtes du Rhône

As for wines, don’t miss the Côtes du Rhône, here I had a glass of red wine. It is one of the most traditional wines of France, its name comes from the area that borders the Rhone river.

I’m not a professional wine taster or anything like that, but it’s very good 🙂 and if you’re in a bouchon well… cheers!

Lyon, a city where the palate is happy

Lyon is definitely one of those gastronomic events that you should not miss, there are many delicious things to eat. If you visit this city, this city, don’t leave without trying some of its typical dishes… if not all of them (if you want to get into the tripe ^^).

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Olga Grijalva Alvarez

Olga is a traveler and travel content creator with 17 years of experience. Her goal is to share useful information to help you plan your adventures. She has visited more than 40 countries and is excited to share her experience with you.

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