Food Tour in Lyon (Self Guided), Lyon

In addition to its architectural beauty, Lyon is also known as the food capital of France. An ideal place to discover French cuisine and to fall in love with it, there is no shortage of addresses in Lyon to stock up on quality and delicious products, be it the Halles de Lyon market or the Georges Reynon charcuterie, to mention but a few. If you want to treat your taste buds to something truly unique and to find out why Lyon has been dubbed as the ‘world capital of gastronomy’, take this self-guided walking tour.
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Food Tour in Lyon Map

Guide Name: Food Tour in Lyon
Guide Location: France » Lyon (See other walking tours in Lyon)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 7
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.4 Km or 2.1 Miles
Author: jenny
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Halles de Lyon-Paul Bocuse (Paul Bocuse Market Halls)
  • Daniel et Denise Créqui - Bouchon Lyonnais
  • Victor Augagneur Market
  • Chocolats Voisin
  • Reynon Georges Charcuterie
  • Sève Saint-Antoine Chocolaterie Patisserie
  • La Tour Rose (The Pink Tower)
1
Halles de Lyon-Paul Bocuse (Paul Bocuse Market Halls)

1) Halles de Lyon-Paul Bocuse (Paul Bocuse Market Halls) (must see)

The Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse or simply La Halle (The Halls) is a covered market spread over three floors, with nearly 60 shops and restaurants. Oftentimes jokingly referred to as “the belly of Lyon”, this venue covers 13,500 m² of space in which butchers, poultry shops, bakeries and delicatessens rub shoulders with cheese-, pastry- and chocolate stalls, fishmongers, and more.

The Halls were established in February 1971, replacing an old market on this site, existed since 1859. In 2005-2006, the building underwent renovation, during which a large glass façade was added overlooking Cours Lafayette.

Remarkably, this historic gastronomic hotspot is said to be dedicated to the local mothers. But most importantly, it is famed for its association with the most iconic of Lyon's chefs, holder of three Michelin stars, Paul Bocuse. The name “Halles de Lyon-Paul Bocuse” pays tribute to the chef who used to come here regularly to obtain supplies for his gourmet restaurants. Among his favorite suppliers were Mère Richard – makers of Maréchal cheeses, fishmonger Pupier, butchers Colette Sibilia, the Gast house, and many others.

If you love eating adventurously, The Halls is for you! Quality-wise, the local products are top of the range, so expect to pay an extra bit for everything. There are plenty of places to sit with a table service. Otherwise, you can just fill your hands with some delicacies, like pâté en croûte, and savour it whilst walking around. Having explored all the seafood, cheeses and meats, make sure to leave some room for pastry and chocolate dessert.
2
Daniel et Denise Créqui - Bouchon Lyonnais

2) Daniel et Denise Créqui - Bouchon Lyonnais

The casual restaurants, known as bouchons, are unique to Lyon. Serving traditional Lyonnaise cuisine in a rather unpretentious, homey setting, they are an inseparable part of the local food scene. The variety of bouchons in Lyon makes it possible to dine at a different one every day for two weeks and not run out of options. The locals tend to frequent their favorite bouchons with an allegiance dating back to childhood.

One such place, called Daniel et Denise, was established by Daniel and Denise Créqui in 1968. Perhaps on a somewhat fancier side of bouchons, this restaurant is the former butcher’s shop. In 2004 it was acquired by the famed local chef Joseph Viola and his wife Françoise.

The place specializes on “mâchons” – traditional meals consisting of pork and beef products and red or white wine – the kind of which silk-weavers of Lyon used to have in the old days. Among many other local favourites, they also serve Lyonnaise cuisine classics such as Andouillette Lyonnaise (pork/veal sausages) and Tarte Tatin (fruit pastry) with Pralines, foie gras and sweetbread pastry, curate’s omelet and baba au rhum. These kind of dishes have made the city famous and are quite simply to die for.

Adding to the top-notch food quality is a friendly, warm atmosphere, with copper pans, wood panelling and red-and-white checked tablecloths. The service, under the watchful eye of Françoise, is a bit formal, which makes it perfect for a romantic meal or a business lunch. Like any other popular bouchon, reservations here are typically necessary.
3
Victor Augagneur Market

3) Victor Augagneur Market

Marché des Quais du Rhône Victor Augagneur (Victor Augagneur Market) is a narrow and densely packed marketplace stretched along the river Rhône between Pont de la Guillotière to Pont Wilson in Lyon.

In this riverside market you can find pretty much everything, from fresh fruit and veggies to cheese, wine and vast selections of olives. There are several stands specialized in regional and organic products. Meat lovers are not likely to leave this place empty-handed either.

The fans of Levantine cuisine, in particular, will find themselves in for a great treat amid the stalls laden with Lebanese couscous salads, tabbouleh, börek and other Middle Eastern delicacies. Adding to these delectable riches is the picturesque view of the Rhône dominated by the Grand Hôtel Dieu.

A leisurely stroll to this major food address will appeal to those who appreciate the sights, smells and tastes all the same. Early in a week, the market is just a few stands, but starting from Thursday afternoon and even more so during weekend, the stalls become numerous, reaching between 50 and 100+ on a Sunday morning.

Opening Hours:
Tuesday and Wednesday from 6am to 12.30pm;
Thursday from 6am to 12.30pm, and from 2pm to 8pm;
Friday to Sunday from 6am to 1.30pm
4
Chocolats Voisin

4) Chocolats Voisin

A brainchild of Léon Voisin, this family-run chocolaterie has been in business for more than a century. It was established in 1897 as a specialty boutique selling tropical products (coffees, teas and more) from the French colonies in Africa and Asia.

Nowadays recognized as the largest independent artisanal chocolate maker in France, Voisin is particularly famous for its Coussin de Lyon (“Lyon Cushion”). This traditional local sweet, composed of a creamy chocolate ganache delicately set with a thin layer of marzipan, is classified as the National Confectionery Heritage. Its shape was inspired by a historic event that took place during the plague epidemic in 1643. In a bid to save the city, Lyon's council members offered prayer to Virgin Mary along with a seven-pound candle and a golden shield placed on a silk cushion. The city was spared and today the emerald "cushion of Lyon" marks remembrance of that event.

Other than this, the Voisin range includes over 60 fine chocolates in a mouth-watering array of flavors, not to mention a variety coffees and teas. They also produce candied fruits and sugared almond candies, known as dragées, in a rainbow of colors that are traditionally offered to guests at weddings and other important ceremonies.

Present in practically all the major cities of France, Voisin has a main boutique on the northern side of the largest pedestrian square in Europe, Place Bellecour in Lyon.
5
Reynon Georges Charcuterie

5) Reynon Georges Charcuterie

A player in French gastronomy since 1937, this delicatessen-caterer is a renowned institution in Lyon, established by Claudius Reynon. Currently run by his son Georges and grandson Laurent, the shop on Rue des Archers is one of those addresses where the loyal clientele have been coming to for generations.

It is here that one of the most popular dishes of French gastronomy, a game pie named l'Oreiller de la Belle Aurore (“The Pillow of Beautiful Aurora”), has been made for Christmas and New Year feasts since the 1950s. The recipe dates back to the Roman times. There are "only" fifteen to sixteen pieces of this delicacy made each year. Each shaped as a pillow represents a 32-kilo cold square pâté with fifteen different meats, including ten game, plus sweetbreads, truffles, foie gras, Bresse chicken, stuffings, and other ingredients.

Apart from this annual specialty, the charcuterie also offers a magnificent selection of other products like foie gras terrines, various patés en croute (e.g. Saint Hubert and Richelieu), tasty pate de tete, smoked duck breasts, hams, plus cooked dishes such as chicken breasts, pike quenelles, truffled cervelas, and andouillettes. In this paradise for cold meats you will also find a wealth of smoked and dry sausages, cheese and dairy products, and other exceptional items.

Everything is perfectly fresh and the choice is truly gargantuan!
6
Sève Saint-Antoine Chocolaterie Patisserie

6) Sève Saint-Antoine Chocolaterie Patisserie

Sève is a home to master chocolate maker and artisan pastry chef from Lyon, Richard Sève. Awarded best patissier of the Rhône-Alpes region in 1999 and ranked among the top 10 chocolatiers in France, Sève is a trendsetter who is faithful to traditional recipes.

Pursuant to his dedication, he selects the ingredients in the region of origin and with the utmost care. In 2017, Sève joined a small group of French chocolatiers who travel the world in search of the best cocoa beans to produce their own chocolate, from bean to bar.

If you walk into his shop from the sun, your eyes may need a moment to adjust to the elegantly dark interior: a smart, modern touch that highlights the gems gleaming from under the glass counter tops.

Here, you will certainly find something to satisfy your inner sweet tooth – from delicate, sweet crisps and mouthwatering panettone to rich chocolates and home-made fruit jellies. Make sure to try their authentic praline tarts or the specialty sweet called Les Pierres des Monts d’Or (The Stones of the Golden Mount). The first ever savoury macaroons of France, created by Sève, are also available in a variety of flavors – peach, apricot, caramel, rose petal, etc., – each stamped with the Sève insignia.

Member of the prestigious Relais Desserts association, as of January 2020 Richard Sève has been appointed Academician of Chocolate by the Académie Française du Chocolat et de la Confiserie.
7
La Tour Rose (The Pink Tower)

7) La Tour Rose (The Pink Tower)

Maison du Crible (“The House of the Sieve”), more commonly known as La Tour Rose ("The Pink Tower") – for the attached staircase tower of ocher color, is one of the most remarkable buildings of Lyon's Saint-Jean neighborhood.

It was built in the 16th century, reportedly by the Italian architect Sebastiano Serlio of Bologna. The entire building – except for the courtyard which is restored in the 17th-century – features Renaissance style. The origin of the name "House the Sieve" is questionable. Certain sources associate it with Martin de Troyes, the tax collector who used to live here in the 16th century and whose coat of arms, displayed on the facade at that time, might have carried a sieve.

Among other former prominent residents of the Pink Tower was King Henri IV of France, who stayed here for a few days in 1600 during his wedding to Marie de Medici. In 1937, the property was declared a historic monument.

After many years of being vacant, the building got a “shot of life” when the upscale MiHotel moved in. This incurred drastic renovations resulting in the creation of the Food Traboule – a unique covered food hall spread across three floors and featuring seven areas with a variety of open-kitchen counters. Anyone interested in tasting the wide-ranging facets of Lyon’s creative and dynamic gastronomy, must visit this place – renowned for being delicious, simple, and what's also important – affordable!

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