Where to Wine: Lyon, France
Located at the confluence of the Rhône and Saône rivers, Lyon has been an idyllic destination for travelers in the know. In addition to being the logical jumping-off point for the wine regions of Beaujolais and the Rhône Valley, Lyon is a sophisticated city and easily one of the greatest food destinations in all of France.
With its rich history as one of the most important cities of the Roman Empire; world-class museums; a UNESCO World Heritage site; and an exceptional meal on every corner with its classic bouchons, Lyon will capture your heart and soul. It is a modern city that has kept its old-world charm alive with its walk and bike-friendly streets, gracious locals, and a way of life that satisfies both the spirit and the palate.
There is much to explore in Lyon, from the grand Parc de la Tête d'Or, the famed Les Halles de Paul Bocuse, and the emblematic hill of Fourvière. Let my petite list of places to eat, drink and sleep be your base, but plan to flaneur and eat/drink your way through the traboules and over the bridges of Lyon. Take it all in. It is the gastronomic capital of France!
La Buvette Bonaparte (11 Quai des Célestins)
Overlooking the tranquility of the Saône River and St. Jean's cathedral, this is the place for two things: oysters and white wine.
Restaurant Marguerite (57 Av. des Frères Lumière)
A little off the beaten path but still in the city, this Paul Bocuse gem is housed in a historic residential building. It is walking distance from the aptly named Monplaisir Lumière Metro station (the Lumière brothers cinema was born here). Sit on the patio and enjoy watching power lunches happening here. Pro tip: Make a day of it and visit the Lumière Museum; stop by the square for an afternoon of watching petanque.
Le Bouchon des Filles (20 Rue Sergent Blandan)
With its homey dark red and gilded wallpaper, you'll feel like you stepped into someone's grandmother's home, and she's been expecting you. The menu includes a parade of chef's choice appetizers and continues with traditional Lyonnaise dishes. Pro tip: Make a reservation and order the sausage Lyonnaise and lentils.
La Famille—Le Comptoir des Amis (18 Rue Duviard)
In the heart of the iconic Croix-Rousse neighborhood, this is truly a local favorite. Gathering many of their ingredients from their local market and 90% of their ingredients from France, La Famille is seasonality at its best. This restaurant may be the warmest, most inviting space in Lyon.
L’Arbre Sec (23 Rue de l’Arbre Sec)
“Good meat, good wine!” is the motto here. Aged meats from Charolaise, Salers, Limousine and Aubrac are matured in the aging room every week. The attention to detail of procuring local products to highlight the region is outstanding. The wine list is an oenophile’s dream. Pro Tip: Take a taxi, arrive hungry.
La Cave des Voyageurs (7 Place Saint-Paul)
Tuck into Lyon's oldest wine bar and enjoy a curated selection of wines from all over France. Always a list of gems and local cheeses, this place is full of residents who adore this charming little spot.
l'Antiquaire (20 Rue Hippolyte Flandrin)
You can easily find a good glass of wine anywhere in the city of Lyon, but a good classic cocktail, is not so easy. Enter l'Antiquaire. This dark, jazzy space will make you feel like you've stepped into a 1920s speakeasy. The booths are equipped with buttons to light up your table to alert the bartender you are ready for another round. Pro tip: If the Milk Punch is on the menu, get it.
High-quality coffee happens here. With a commitment to high-altitude coffee bean sources this multi-location coffee roaster serves up more than a cup of coffee. It is an experience. The staff is incredibly friendly and knowledgeable. This is my favorite spot to start the day.
InterContinental Grand Hotel Dieu (1 Place de l’Hôpital)
“A jewel in Lyon's architectural wealth,” the Grand Hôtel-Dieu has continuously been a place of life and modern thinking. At one time a hospice, this space has once again been reinvented itself to give to its city. Today, the building provides hospitable reception for Lyon's residents and tourists. Designed around four domes, courtyards, and historic gardens, this space contains a hotel, restaurants, and, of course, a halles.
Villa Florentine (25 Mnt Saint-Barthélémy)
A convent-turned-5-star hotel, this is the height of luxury. You may not want to leave with its panoramic views of the city, lush terrace gardens, and world-class spa. Don't worry; the views will make you want to explore the city below.
A Certified Sommelier, French Wine Scholar, and one of Wine Enthusiast’s “Top 40 under 40,” Chevonne Ball is the owner and operator of Dirty Radish Travel and Hospitality Consulting and the winemaker of her own label, Dirty Radish Wines.