Best Restaurants in Lyon

Le Cafe-Epicerie in Lyon
Le Cafe-Epicerie

Lyon is the foodie capital of France, and the city has a restaurant for everyone. Whether you want a Michelin-starred dinner, a casual lunch, or a great view from a rooftop restaurant, you can find it there. To help you decide where to eat while you are in town, below is my list of the best restaurants in Lyon.

Le Cafe des Federations
Address: 8-9-10, rue Major Martin, 69001 Lyon, France

Le Cafe des Federations is one of the best traditional restaurants in Lyon. It is a bouchon that serves great local Lyonnais cuisine, including quenelle, a fish puff pastry that the city is famous for. The series of small dining rooms has a rustic atmosphere, and the service is friendly and expedient. Le Cafe des Federations offers a multi-course set dinner menu with several choices along the way.

Les Trois Domes
Address: 20, quai Gailleton, 69002 Lyon, France

Located on the top floor of the riverfront Sofitel Bellecour hotel in Lyon, the Les Trois Domes restaurant offers spectacular views of the city. The award-winning Michelin-starred restaurant serves classic French food a la carte at both lunch and dinner. Make sure to book a table by the window for the best views.

Le Cafe-Epicerie
Address: 2-4-6-8, rue du Boeuf, 69005 Lyon, France

Le Cafe-Epicerie at the Cour des Loges hotel offers a good balance between great food and casual dining. The quality of the ingredients and skill of the chef are excellent, and the dining room and outdoor terrace offer a more casual alternative to hotel’s fine dining restaurant, Les Loges. Even better, Le Cafe-Epicerie is open 7 days a week.

La Mere Brazier
Address: 12, rue Royale, 69001 Lyon, France

The famous La Mere Brazier restaurant in Lyon has two Michelin stars and is a great choice for a special dinner while you are visiting France. The restaurant has a series of dining rooms, each of which has an intimate ambiance and features a pleasant balance of historic and contemporary decor. The menu offers everything from abalone to foie gras, and the service is excellent.

Top 10 Things to Do in Lyon

Building in Lyon

Lyon is the gastronomic capital of France, but there is a lot going on in the city beyond its foodie attractions. Whether you are looking for great cultural and historic sites, beautiful architecture, or just a place to relax, Lyon has it all. Below is my list of the top 10 things to do in Lyon:

1. Eat at a bouchon – Lyon’s traditional restaurants are called bouchons, and they are the best places in the city to soak up the atmosphere and try great local dishes like quenelle (a fish puff pastry).

2. Visit the Tete d’Or park – This immense green space in the northern part of the city center boasts of everything from a small steam train to a free zoo. The beautiful lakes and gardens are great places to unwind, and the conservatories and deer enclosures provide entertainment for all ages.

3. Walk through the Cite Internationale – Lyon’s most famous work of contemporary architecture is Renzo Piano’s Cite Internationale. The multi-use space on the Rhone River is home to everything from shops and restaurants to hotels and the Museum of Contemporary Art.

4. Go shopping – The areas around the Place Bellecour in the heart of Lyon are packed with shops of all kinds. From classic high street names to boutiques, antique shops, and department stores, you can find anything you need in the area.

5. Browse the food markets in Lyon – Lyon is famous for food, and no trip to the city would be complete without a stop at one of its legendary markets. The best known is Les Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse, a beautiful covered market named after the city’s most famous chef. There you can find everything from cheese to chocolate, as well as small restaurants that are open throughout the day.

6. Walk through the medieval city – The historic medieval city is one of Lyon’s most beautiful areas. Walk down bustling Rue Saint-Jean to soak up the pretty architecture and small shops and cafes. Don’t miss the tiny alleyways, or traboules, that lead to historic courtyards.

7. Hike up to the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourviere – Beautiful gardens ease the steepness of the climb up the hill to Fourviere, and visitors are rewarded with stunning views of Lyon and a very pretty church interior.

8. Eat at a Michelin-starred restaurant – Lyon has no shortage of great gastronomic delights, and eating at one of the city’s Michelin-starred restaurants is a great way to experience them. La Mere Brazier is a great choice if you are looking for a classic French meal with great service.

9. Explore the Croix-Rousse – Situated on one of Lyon’s main hills, the picturesque Croix-Rousse area is home to great shops, restaurants, cafes, and markets.

10. Have a picnic by the river – Whichever food markets you visit in Lyon, don’t miss a chance to pick up some food and have a picnic on the banks of one of the city’s two main rivers, the Saone and the Rhone.

Trains from Lyon to Montpellier

Lyon Part Dieu Train Station
Lyon Part Dieu

Trains from Lyon to Montpellier are a great way to travel from the food capital to the southern coast when you are visiting France. Trains between these two cities are run by SNCF, which is the national rail company. They offer fast, modern TGV trains with two classes of service on this route.

Departures take place from Lyon Part Dieu train station, which is located in the modern city center. All services arrive at the main station in Montpellier, which is also centrally located.

Daily trains from Lyon to Montpellier depart up to two times an hour throughout the day, making it easy to travel whenever you need to. While most services are direct, some require a connection on the way. Try to avoid these if you can, as they can add over an hour to your journey time.

The travel time on this route ranges from 1 hour and 43 minutes on direct services to 2 hours and 58 minutes on those with connections en route. Delays are rare, but can happen, so make sure to leave yourself some spare time if you are connecting when you arrive in the south of France.

Tickets for trains from Lyon to Montpellier cost from 35.00 euros in first class and 24.00 euros in second class if you book online well in advance and travel at off-peak times. Otherwise ticket prices can be higher.