Lyon’s traditional “Bouchon” restaurants pride themselves on making the most out of the least desirable ingredients; and to be fair to them, they do.
You will find tripe sausages (andouillettes) and baked pike mousse (quenelles) on most menus, as well as an array of pigs’ trotters, ears and other animal off-cuts depending on the chef’s fancy.
For those with a taste for the finer end of the culinary spectrum, Lyon is also host to any number of high end restaurants. Lyon masterchef come local god Paul Bocuse’s brasseries are all very good, and not ridiculously expensive either.
And when you’re sick of eating out, the street markets are excellent. With more bread, cheese, paté, fruit and veg than you could possibly imagine and local winemakers making an appearance for good measure, you’d be hard pushed to find better fodder for a picnic.
Though extraordinarily cheap in the supermarkets, alcohol is expensive in bars. But that doesn’t seem to put off the locals, and Lyon is home to a vibrant and diverse nightlife nevertheless, most of which is housed on the “presqu’ile”, the sliver of land between the Rhône and the Saône which converge in the heart of Lyon, and the Old Town.
If the weather is good, the barges are always a good bet too, with Le Sirius the pick of the bunch by night. Ayer’s Rock, the local aussie bar, is an absolute travesty of a venue which somehow manages to stay ram packed well into the early hours.