As the long-reigning gastronomic capital of France, Lyon provides a must-do dining experience. Whether you’re a self-professed foodie or a notoriously fussy eater, you’ll be unlikely to leave the city without gaining a few pounds. Celebrated for its abundance of fresh, regional produce and time-honored recipes, Lyon is famous for its world-renowned chefs like the Méres Lyonnaises (the “Mothers of Lyon”) and local hero (and three Michelin-star chef) Paul Bocuse, while the city’s restaurants boast an impressive 24 Michelin stars between them.
Discovering Lyon’s culinary prowess starts at the city’s legendary food markets, most notably the Paul Bocuse Food Hall, where a series of covered market halls offer reputedly the best regional produce in France. Among the heaps of artisan cheeses, honeys, homemade chocolates, pastries and breads, you’ll find wines from nearby Beaujolais and Burgundy, fresh fish and seafood from the Rhône & Saône rivers, Charolais beef, Bresse chicken and local truffles.
When it comes to eating out, there’s certainly no shortage of top restaurants in Lyon, but the most authentic place to sample Lyonnais cuisine is at one of the city’s 22 certified bouchons. Traditional pubs or bistros dating back to the 19th century, bouchons serve up tasty local dishes (mostly meat) in humble surroundings, accompanied of course, by a steady flow of wine.
The sheer number of restaurants and eateries in Lyon can be overwhelming to first-time visitors so a popular choice is to take an expert-led gourmet food tour of Lyon, where you’ll visit the city’s top specialty shops and markets, sample an array of local delicacies and get the inside scoop on the best spots to eat.