Lyon + The Rhone Valley

Restaurants in Lyon + The Rhone Valley

The Rhone Valley is considered the birthplace of traditional, bistro-style French cooking—with an emphasis on meaty comfort foods that often include offal, such as a chicken liver salad, boudin noir (blood sausage) and tripe. Foodies can build a whole trip here— at some of the best restaurants in the Rhone Valley. If you’re on a budget, you can ease the sticker shock by ordering the prix-fixe, which usually offers the most value. The city of Lyon is the nerve center, with seemingly more restaurants per square mile than anywhere else on earth. Super-chef Paul Bocuse, considered the father of nouvelle cuisine, opened l'Ouest Express. The Lyon Restaurant has become a regular stop for Parisians trying something new. Try the legendary black-truffle soup or the frogs’ leg soup.

A lot of people would say that Saisons is the best place to get a fantastic meal outside. An elegant set of rooms on the ground floor of a 19th-century chateau, outside of the city that is now home to L’institut Paul Bocuse. The restaurant is not run by students, though, but by Alain le Cossec. Brasserie Georges is one of the busier Lyon restaurants; it makes a great spot for a late night meal. This French beer hall dates back to 1836—Emile Zola, Edith Poaf and Jules Verene all ate here at various points—with excellent comfort food. La Mere Brazie is a cutting-edge Rhone Valley restaurant in Lyon that offers a modern take on traditional French food. Its chef, Mathieu Viannay, was awarded the Meilleur Ouvrier de France (top chef) prize. Try the poularde de Bresse demi-deuill, or chicken with black truffles.

The Chef: Paul Bocuse, who basically invented nouvelle cuisine, is arguably one of the 20th century’s greatest chefs and best known for his famous Mont d’Or restaurant, L’Auberge du Pont de Collonges.

"In the heart of Lyon is a classic of its genre—a bustling French beer hall with great food. It's near the Gare Perrache, with makes it a particularly good late-night destination if you're arriving after hours by train.