Lyon, Capital of Gastronomy
Gastronomy in Lyon
Thanks to Curnonsky, a famous culinary critic, the city has been known as the “world capital of gastronomy” since 1935. Today, it offers a choice between the gourmet charm of its famous “bouchons”, the refined ambience of its large Michelin-starred restaurants, as well as its pleasant markets.
Gastronomy in the city represents:
- 4300 restaurants, including 14 Michelin-starred establishments.
- Top Chefs: Paul Bocuse, Georges Blanc, Christian Têtedoie, Pierre Orsi, Guy Lassausaie, Mathieu Viannay
- World famous vineyards: Beaujolais, Rhone Valley (Saint-joseph, Côte Rôtie, Condrieu …)
- The Grand Hotel Dieu, the future City of Gastronomy in Lyon: a Taste Trail of nearly 15,000 sq. m including 4900 sq. m of restaurants, 2700 sq. m of shops and a regional market covering 900 sq. m
- The SIRHA, the world hospitality and food service event, with 2015 exhibitors and brands, over 190,000 visitors, including 25,000 international visitors from 135 countries, and 19,000 chefs in attendance.
- The International Taste Biennale (BIG) with 1.7 km of the soft transport tunnel transformed into one gigantic long table for the occasion. Saone side: the big table; Rhone side, the BIG market with regional producers.
- 4300 restaurants in the Lyon metropolitan area
- 15 Michelin-starred restaurants
- Lyon, home to one of France’s four Cities of Gastronomy
- Lyon, best destination in France for a gastronomic break, according to The Times (2015)
- Lyon 3e ‘Best food city’ in the world (ucityguides.com)
Les Halles de Lyon-Paul Bocuse
Lyon’s first covered market appeared in 1859 in Cordeliers. In order to facilitate the daily life of customers and merchants, the open air stalls were gathered under a metal structure: The history of the Lyon-Paul Bocuse food was already being written. Today, there are 48 shopkeepers (oyster bars, cheese makers, bakers, confectioners, fresh foods merchants, butchers, fishmongers, caterers, wine merchants and restaurant owners) who wish, above all, to showcase gastronomic excellence of the region.
Origin of “bouchons”
A bouchon, is a restaurant that serves tradition Lyonnais specialties. Originally, the term designates a place where one can “chew” (mâchonner). This term comes from “mâchon”, a sort of snack that the canuts (silk weavers) would eat at around 9 am, having started their day at dawn. The term “bouchon” also refers to the habit of innkeepers (in days of yore) to attach a bunch of twigs or branches to their doors to signal that their establishment served food. Today, “bouchons” are veritable Lyonnais institutions embodying hospitality, generous food and carafes of wines. The menus offer a wide range of dishes, but some of them symbolise the great Lyonnais tradition of preparing tripe, such as: tablier de sapeur (fireman’s apron), mutton’s feet, andouillette (chitterling sauasage), saladiers lyonnais, tripe, pigs’ feet, cervelle de canut (silk weaver’s brains, which is in fact a yoghurty cheese with chives), cardoons cooked with bone marrow, quenelles (fish dumplings), saveloy sausage, and Lyon cured sausage.