Traditional Lyon’s Restaurant: Bouchon Lyonnais

Like all the world knows, France is one of the greatest country for food. Thanks to Paul Bocuse who promoted the french cuisine during more than 50 years, foreigners know where they have to put the city of Lyon on a map and their famous traditional restaurant called “bouchon lyonnais“.

With 1 restaurant for 294 people, Lyon is the world capital of gastronomy !

Paul Bocuse – AKA Pope of French Cuisine – AFP/Jeff Pachoud

Diversity of Food from Lyon

Lyon has her own cuisine. It’s calling “La cuisine lyonnaise”. It’s a regional traditional cuisine of French cuisine.

French Cuisine from Lyon is defending an image of Simplicity and Quality !

Almost 5 000 restaurants are implemented in Lyon. You can find any type of cuisine for different budget. Indeed, you will find more than 20 restaurants who are rated on the famous Restaurants starred by Michelin Guide. But, on the other hand, you will find some cheap restaurants like fast-food (Mc Donald, Burger King, KFC…), homemade fast-food (Les burgers de Papa, King Marcel, Ninkasi…) and bouchons lyonnais (Lyonnaise Cuisine) and more…

What is a “Bouchon Lyonnais”?

A bouchon is a typical restaurant in Lyon where you can eat all the specialities of the Lyonnaise cuisine like “les quenelles”, “la salade lyonnaise, or “la cervelle de canut” with a glass of a typical red wine of “Beaujolais” or “Côtes-du-Rhône”.

What does a “Bouchon Lyonnais” looks like ?

France 3 Région

Here is the Bouchon Lyonnais “Chez Paul”. Thanks to his “Macaron” this Bouchon is one of the oldest and authentic restaurant in Lyon, France.

Where the “Bouchon Lyonnais” found his name?

Source : Wikipedia

The legend said, a long time ago, when the clients went by their horses to the restaurant, there was some dudes who “bouchonnait” all the client’s horses (it means : rub with a straw cap). So, they kept the name “Bouchon” to talk about those typical restaurants in Lyon.

What are the typical plates to eat in an authentic Bouchon Lyonnais ?

Inside those French typical restaurants you will find all the specialities from Lyon and its surroundings.

Aperitif (Apetizer)

Before the meal, you can get a regional drink on apetizer :

  •  If you want something fruity, you can choose a “kir”. It’s compound with some cassis cream from burgundy with some withe wine. 
  •  If you like more the red wine, you can have a “communard”. It’s a drink with some cassis cream with some red wine. 
  • To have some food with your drink, you can taste the “grattons”, it’s grilled residues of fat and pork, served hot or cold. (Be careful with it, the taste is very particular!)

Entrées (Entrees)

Usually, lyonnaise entrees are based with pork, like in the main courses :

  •  You can taste the “Lyon’s Rosette” it’s a pork sausage from Lyon
  • “Jésus from Lyon” it’s like the cousin of the “Lyon’s Rosette” but it has a total different taste
  • The “Lyon’s sausage”, more dry between the others. it’s usually compound with some pepper on it.
  • “Saucisson à cuire” or “Saucisson brioché” : The brioche sausage is a baking sausage placed in a brioche dough and baked

If you want something more healthy or light you can eat :

  • The “Lyonnaise Salad”. You will have inside some salad, french croutons (small cube of hard bread with garlic), small lardons (sort of pork), with a poached egg. 
  • “Le tablier de sapeur” is compound with breaded and marinated beef
  • “Les Gougères” : Cheese bite from burgundy
  • “Oeufs en meurette” : Egg inside of a red wine sauce
  • Gratin Oignons soup
  • “Gâteau de foies de volaille” (Chicken liver cake) is representing the popular cook with offals

Plats Principaux (Main courses)

The Lyonnaise cuisine has a lot of different traditional main courses.
Here are some exemples :

  • Brochet’s quenelle with Nantua sauce : It’s a mix of creamed fish a cream sauce from a little town near Lyon
  • Andouillette (offals sausage)
  • Coq au vin : Coq in red wine sauce with some mushrooms and lardons (french bacon)
  • Gras double (Pork’s guts with onions)
  • Cardoon gratin (french plants)
  • Tablier de sapeur : based of “Gras double” marinated in white wine then fried. It’s usually served with steamed potatoes

Fromages (Cheeses)

In the French gastronomy, in one meal, we will have entree, main course, cheese then a dessert. Here are some regional cheeses from Lyon and around:

  • Cervelle de canut : It’s a cottage cheese with onions and herbs
  • Saint-Marcellin: one of the lightest cheese we have. It’s not a strong one and it’s really creamy. You have to try it once!
  • Saint-Félicien: It’s like a Saint-Marcellin’s cousin, it’s light and sweet
  • La rigotte: Goat’s cheese from Condrieu or Pélussin
  • La tomme du Beaujolais : Milk cheese really tasty!

Desserts et friandises (Desserts and sweets)

  • Tarte praline: Pralin pie with rose pralin (really sweet with approximatively 99% of sugar inside)
  • Tarte au sucre: Sugar pie
  • Marrons glacés
  • Coussins lyonnais: Almond paste with chocolate inside
  • Les papillotes: chocolate bite
  • La pogne: Bun with orange flavor
  • Flan: It’s a dessert with caramel/vanilla flavor

Vins et boissons (Wines and drinks)

Here in France, you have to eat with a good wine. Especially when you are eating traditional and regional cuisine.

Wine tip: If you don’t know which wine you have to choose to drink with your meal, select a wine who is from where the meal is from. (Here in Lyon, you can drink a wine from Beaujolais region or Rhône Valley)

To conclude, Lyonnaise cuisine is one of the oldest and traditional cuisine in France. Have a meal in France or especially here in Lyon, it’s first of all : Have a lot of pleasure then, take your time to eat and appreciate what you have in your plate.

So, if you have to eat for the 1st time in one of those typical restaurant, try to respect the traditions and enjoy your food! That’s the most important!

You can find the Bouchon lyonnais “Chez Paul” at this address :
11, rue Major Martin,
69001 Lyon
Or Contact them by phone : +33 478 283 583

Sources: Lyon Capitale , Grand Lyon,