Lyon - Food
Many restaurants in Lyon move its tables outside at a warm part of year, onto the pavements and squares, so guests can enjoy the food, sun and fresh air.
Eateries range from famous restaurants managed by some of France's top chefs, including the likes of Paul Bocuse, to tiny family-run bistros that are unique to Lyon.
Cafes in Lyon open from as early as 08:00 to serve a range of food and drink, including croissant breakfasts, mid-morning pastries and coffee, as well as light lunches. It's worth noting that many brasseries and other dining venues close their doors for at least one day a week, usually Sunday.
In particular, some of Lyon's traditional bouchons are only open on weekdays and close for the whole of August, so that both the owners and workers can take their annual summer holidays. If you're planning to eat out at the weekend, then it's wise to reserve a table.
Lyon has plenty of local delicacies, including fish or meat dumplings, known as quenelles, a sort of black pudding, boudin noir, and pigs' trotters. Bowls of fromage blanc were originally eaten by Lyon's silk weavers in the Croix Rousse district. Flavoured with herbs and garlic, this yoghurt-and-cheese dish still makes an interesting addition to cheese boards today.
Of course, no meal would be complete in a Lyon restaurant without trying one of its local wines, including those made in and around Beaujolais and the classic Côtes du Rhône wines from nearby Vienne. An interesting Lyonnais variation on the Beaujolais theme is a communard, an unconventional blend of red wine and blackcurrant liqueur served as an aperitif.
Visitors can't help but be impressed by Lyon's selection of premier restaurants. Paul Bocuse, Pierre Orsi, Jean-Paul Lacombe, Georges Blanc, Alain Chapel and Philippe Chavent, are all names to savour in Lyon's world of gourmet cuisine. Restaurants range from Michelin-starred establishments serving 'haute cuisine', to the latest neo-brasseries offering international dishes in stylish lounge settings.
Those in search of good, reasonably priced French food should head to one of Lyon's traditional bouchons, mainly clustered around the cobbled streets of Vieux Lyon or the Croix Rousse. These traditional neighbourhood bistro-style restaurants are unique to Lyon and offer down-to-earth cooking in simple surroundings. Expect chequered paper tablecloths and curtains, and plenty of atmosphere.
Good-value dining in atmospheric surroundings can also be found in Lyon's many small brasseries. These are mainly concentrated in the Presquile area of the city, particularly in Rue Mercière. Lyon's pavement cafés are in bountiful supply and can mainly be found around Place des Terreaux and in most streets in the Vieux Lyon and Croix Rousse districts of the city.
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