Lyon: les bouchons

Most large European cities have

pedestrian zones for browsing and shopping. This one, in Lyon, is dedicated to pleasures of the table, and even though the sign is tongue in cheek (oops, sorry), the little street is one of many areas in Lyon that burst into bloom at mealtime.

The bouchon is found only in Lyon. It's a tiny restaurant, often no bigger than a cork (hence the name), serving mainly Lyonnaise specialties. Some have a fixed menu and dish out the same meal, or the same appetizers, to everyone. Others have a variety of choices as well as daily specials. Most support - to some extent or other - one of the local teams, so you're likely to see rugby or football regalia festooning at least one wall. The food is hearty, the atmosphere convivial. Here are some favorite entrées (appetizers):

Rillettes of goose (served for one person, but enough for everyone to taste);

Saucisson lyonnais, served with butter (never mustard in Lyon) and boiled potatoes - again, this was an appetizer for one. You can also start with a salade lyonnaise, which comes in a washtub with fresh bacon and poached egg.

And some main courses:

roast rib of beef (this was for 2, but I didn't move fast enough)

roast pigeon

enormous local cheese left on table with dangerous-looking knife for everyone to take their own slice

restaurant still going strong when we left...


  1. Loved Lyon! I was there last year, and unfortunately too cold to sit outside, but I recall having a very nice lunch in a small restaurant... and the first thing I see when we got out of the parkade was... Starbucks!

  2. hi, Rose, yes, Starbucks is (are?) everywhere, and in France they don't always have free wi-fi either... but we love Lyon and the surrounding area, and I'm only sorry that this time I could only stay 2 nights.


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