You are here
Home > Product Reviews > A day in Lyon: The gastronomical capital of France

A day in Lyon: The gastronomical capital of France

Although Paris is often the top pick for travellers visiting France, it may come as a surprise that the city isn’t actually considered the country’s culinary capital. Indeed, Lyon is widely recognized by the French as the gastronomic capital of France, boasting more restaurants per capita than any other city in France and possibly even Europe. Dining in Lyon is a truly exceptional experience, with food being elevated to an art form. Here, eating well and indulging in delectable dishes is not merely a source of pleasure, but a way of life.

Lyon exudes sophistication with its outstanding museums, vibrant cultural scene, bustling clubbing and drinking districts, thriving universities, and excellent shopping scenes. Food lovers can also satisfy their adventurous palates by indulging in the city’s culinary delights, with the quintessential Lyon experience by sampling some of its Lyonnais specialities in a traditional Bouchon.

Lyon Food capital of France

The Digital Travellers were fortunate enough to spend a day exploring the beautiful city of Lyon. However, with its impressive architecture, rich history, and outstanding food culture, it’s clear that one day is simply not enough time to fully appreciate all that this destination has to offer. Ideally, Lyon deserves at least three days to be thoroughly explored and enjoyed.

Lyon | Location

Lyon, located at the confluence of the Rhône and Saône rivers in France’s Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, boasts a unique advantage for chefs due to its abundance of local produce. The region is renowned for its rich variety of ingredients, including poultry from Bresse, cow’s-milk cheeses from Dauphiné, crayfish from Bugey, and exceptional wines from Beaujolais and the Rhône Valley. In fact, locals humorously refer to Beaujolais as the region’s third river, as it seemingly never runs dry.

Places to eat in Lyon 

As the nation’s gastronomic centre and the birthplace of Paul Bocuse, one of France’s most celebrated chefs, Lyon boasts an incredibly diverse range of cuisines that are sure to delight any food lover.

Breakfast: Les Halles de Lyon – Paul Bocuse

Les Halles de Lyon – Paul Bocuse is a legendary indoor food market in Lyon, renowned for its exceptional selection of gourmet food. With an international reputation for excellence, this market is a must-visit destination for foodies from around the world who seek the very best in culinary delights. In 1859, Lyon inaugurated its very first indoor food market, housed in a large metallic structure situated at Place Cordeliers in the heart of the city’s Presqu’ile district. One hundred years later, Lyon reaffirmed its commitment to gastronomy by building a new indoor market that would serve as a shining example of its passion for food.

Les Halles de Lyon – Paul Bocuse

Within the market’s walls, visitors can find an incredible diversity of produce represented by 48 different vendors. Les Halles is truly a remarkable indoor food market, offering some of the very finest products available anywhere. With several bars and restaurants on-site, it is the perfect location to indulge in Lyon’s gastronomic delights, whether on a family outing or a romantic evening for two.

pink praline pie Lyon

One cannot visit Lyon without trying the famous pink praline pie – a true local delicacy. This delightful dessert is made with a flaky pastry crust filled with praline, which is a heavenly blend of almonds coated in sugar, and generously flavoured with pink food colouring.

Lunch: L’Atelier des Augustins

Our lunch was organised at L’Atelier des Augustins. We were informed to be prepared for a surprise lunch experience. Inventive dishes, wine pairing & a surprise tasting menu in a snug space with modern furnishings is how this place was defined to us. The server provided us with a detailed explanation of each course, including the ingredients and preparation methods. To compliment each dish, the wine pairing changed accordingly, enhancing the overall dining experience.

L'Atelier des Augustins


It was an exceptional culinary experience that blended taste, indulgence, and authentic ingredients. Chef Nicolas Guilloton created a fusion of French and local cuisine, incorporating innovative flavours inspired by his culinary creativity. Every ingredient was skilfully prepared and beautifully presented, resulting in a flavourful masterpiece that was truly a work of art.

Dinner: Les Lyonnais

A visit to Lyon is incomplete without a visit to a Bouchon! A Bouchon is a restaurant where guests can relist Lyon’s culinary specialities while sipping on a pitcher of local wine, all within a cosy and inviting ambience.

Les Lyonnais Lyon

Les Lyonnais is perfectly integrated into its surroundings, situated at the heart of the Vieux Lyon, or old town. The restaurant walls are adorned with photos of celebrities, artists, and loyal customers, all of whom are regulars at this iconic Lyon Bouchon. Downstairs, a spacious vaulted cellar can accommodate groups for a variety of events, including exhibitions, concerts, and café-théâtre evenings. The chef was not only skilled but also endearing. He took the time to personally visit each table at the restaurant, inquiring whether the food was satisfactory and if there were any suggestions to enhance the dining experience.

We urge every traveller to try local cuisine and understand the food culture. It is the best way to get close to a destination and learn more about the people! After all, if you are travelling, don’t expect to get home-cooked Indian meals, go local.