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Lyon food considered to be the best in France has helped the city earn the title of the capital of French food. Situated halfway between Paris and Marseilles, the city of Lyon has its own specialty food items. Dining is a serious affair in Lyon while the fresh produces from the nearby Rhone valley, game from the Dombes region and seafood from the Savoy Lakes enhance the quality of food prepared in the city.

There are over a 1000 restaurants in Lyon with almost an equal number of high- end eateries operated by celebrity chefs and the tiny inexpensive bouchons where it is possible to eat a hearty meal at inexpensive rates. The food in the city is meat-based with offal being a traditional ingredient of the local dishes. A bottle of the world famous wine, Beaujolais or Cotes du Rhone is considered to be an important accompaniment to food.

Lyonnaise salad along with a variety of pork dishes and soft cheeses make up the traditional dishes served in the city. Smoked caviar, aperitifs and foie gras cups mixed with currants and pistachios are served in the haute cuisine restaurants across the city. Sausages form a prominent part of the Lyonnaise cuisine as well.

History of Lyon Cuisine

The city of Lyon became famous for its food in the 19th century as the silk weavers ate their fill at tiny bistros known as bouchons. The eateries were simple places with no décor and served hearty Lyon food cooked by the women. The dominance of the male chefs began in the later half of the 20th century.

The celebrated chef Paul Bocuse re-invented the French cooking style with his Nouvelle Cuisine in 1970. He popularized the use of fresh ingredients as opposed to heavy cream and butter.

Popular Food Items of Lyon Cuisine

  • Andouille- a dish prepared by grilling chitterlings sausages.
  • Quenelles- flour dumplings containing eggs and cream.
  • Lyonnaise salad- a platter full of hardboiled eggs, croutons, bacons and frisee lettuce.
  • Petit Sale- ham coked with lentils.
  • Paillasson- a dish made with fried potatoes.

Places Famous For Food in Lyon

  • Restaurant Mathieu Viannay- a Michelin star restaurant serving specialty Lyon food like foie gras, lobster ad monkfish as part of the degustation menu.
  • Café de Federations- the most famous bouchon of Lyon known as the soul of Lyon serves all the traditional dishes.

Popular Chefs of Lyonnaise Cuisine

Paul Bocuse is considered to be the most famous chef of Lyon.

Lyon Dishes: Trivia

The traditional Lyon food known as Cervelle de canut literally means the brains of silk weaver.