Lyon good eats: Non-Bouchon Restaurants

Continuing with our Lyon good eats series….


Walk into La Limonade de Marinette and you might just feel like you’ve been transported back in time. Back to the 1950s/1960s, in fact.

This cozy restaurant, nestled behind the Cathédral de Saint-Georges in Vieux Lyon, is decorated with the goods of the decades past. Once you’re there, you might forget that you’re in a restaurant.

But eventually you’ll remember what you’ve come for – the food. The colorful lunch menu just adds to the charm of the restaurant. It’s all handwritten.

They make delicious omelettes, quiches, tartines, etc, and have a grand variety of desserts. I recommend the tarte aux pralines, a typical Lyonnais dessert. Don’t be turned off by the pinkness of it all – I assure you that your sweet tooth will be highly indulged by this sugary, crunchy tart. All in all, a perfect lunch on a day of touring Vieux Lyon.

La Limonade de Marinette is located at 46 Rue St Georges, 5ème arrondissement. Metro: Vieux Lyon.


Le Layon is possibly one of the only truly good restaurants on Rue Mercière. This is a street packed with tourist traps.

It was actually one of the first restaurants I discovered in Lyon when I arrived last September. I enjoyed my dinner that day, and was thrilled to learn that my Lyonnais friends approve of this restaurant.

If you’re feeling like ordering a prix fixe menu, I suggest the 23.50€ Menu Lyonnais. You can get a saladier Lyonnais (different from the salade Lyonnais as this one has lentils, saucisson brioché au vin (saucisson in bread, cooked in wine), and your choice of cheese or dessert.

If you want to order à la carte, they have a great selection of meats and fish as well. You pretty much cannot go wrong with the quality of food here. All you have to do is order something, and let them do the rest.

This is a quality restaurant because of its flexibility. It would work for lunch on a workday, or as a place to relax after a day of touring the the center of Lyon.

Le Layon is can be found at 52 Rue Mercière, 2ème arrondissement. Metro: Cordeliers.


Should you find yourself in eastern part of Lyon, near the Parc de la Tête d’Or, head to the Brasserie des Brotteaux. Located just across from the old Gare de Brotteaux, this brasserie serves wholesome, delicious French food. Fun non sequitor- the old train station of Brotteaux is where the trains would stop in Lyon between Paris and the Mediterranean. This was the P-L-M route: Paris-Lyon-Méditerranée.

But we were talking about the Brasserie des Brotteaux. Founded in 1913, this restaurant is decorated in the art nouveau tradition. The ceramics, art, and architecture of the restaurant has been carefully preserved through many centuries. The cuisine does not disappoint such a beautiful restaurant. If you’re visiting during the summertime, I suggest the salmon or the melon-mint gaspacho for an appetizer. The gaspacho was extremely fresh, and decorated with jambon cru and tomatos – the perfect summer soup.

For the main course, I stuck with fish. I’m a big fan of eating fish at restaurants. The special of the night was a “blanc de raie” – white of a skatefish, served with rice and green beans. It was interesting – the raie was a lot chewier than I’m used to with fish, but the flavor was quite nice. Another dish worth trying is the “dos de cabillaud avec sauce aioli ” – cod served with aioli and fennel.

The Brasserie des Brotteaux is the perfect place to take guests from out of town, whether they’re visiting Lyon on business or for pleasure.

The Brasserie des Brotteaux is located at 1 Place Jules Ferry in the 6ème arrondissement. Metro: Brotteaux.


My final restaurant recommendation should be reserved only for nights where you want to splurge. Le Passage

For dinner, they have fixed priced menus of 30€, 40€, and 50€.  Unfortunately I do not have any photos of the food to share with you, but I remember that my 50€ dinner was delectable. I started with the “noix de Saint Jacques au sauce de soya” which were sautéed scallops drizzled with soy sauce and served with salad greens. My main was a delicious steak filet cooked to perfection. Dessert was a pistachio cake with sorbet. Don’t forget to order an apératif of kir or champagne to toast off.

Le Passage would be perfect for celebrations, special occasions, or when you need to wine and dine a business client.

Le Passage is situated at 8 Rue du Plâtre, 1ère arrondissement. Metro: Hôtel de Ville.

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