10 Classic Lyonnais Dishes Foodies Must Try

Hello food lover! Ready to embark on a gastronomic adventure like no other?

Get ready to delight in the rich and authentic flavors of Lyon, France.

We've selected the 10 best classic Lyon recipes that will transport you to a food lover's paradise.

From the creamy Quenelle De Brochet to the hearty Coq Au Vin, these dishes are a celebration of Lyon's culinary heritage.

So loosen your belt and prepare to be dazzled by these mouth-watering delights.


Key points

  • Quenelle de Brochet is a traditional Lyon fish dish made with pike fish, but modern variations may use alternative fish such as trout or salmon. It's a light, fluffy meatball made with fish, breadcrumbs, eggs and cream, steamed in a flavorful broth and served with a rich, creamy sauce.
  • Coq Au Vin is a classic Lyon chicken dish that involves braising the chicken in red wine. It has endless variations, with each region and chef adding their own unique touch. Traditional cooking techniques include marinating the chicken in wine, searing it to a golden crust, sautéing onions, carrots and mushrooms, deglazing the pan with more wine, and simmering it in chicken broth until tender. The sauce is thickened with a mixture of butter and flour for a delicious, velvety texture.
  • Salad Lyonnaise is a classic Lyonnaise salad featuring perfectly cooked poached eggs and crispy bacon. The combination of these two ingredients creates a truly special flavor and texture. The traditional version includes both egg and bacon, but modern variations can experiment with different ingredients such as pancetta or additional toppings.
  • Salade Lyonnaise is a satisfying and flavorful lunch option. Provides a balance of protein and fiber thanks to fresh lettuce, crispy bacon, and poached eggs. The dressing, which includes Dijon mustard, adds a spicy touch and essential vitamins and minerals. It can be washed down with a refreshing glass of Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay, and adding a baguette or crusty bread on the side makes for a more substantial dining experience.

Brochet Quenelle

If you are a food lover, you must try the classic lioness dish known as Quenelle De Brochet. This delicious dish is a must for any adventurous palate.

Traditionally, Quenelle De Brochet is made with pike, giving it a unique and delicate flavor. However, in modern preparations, alternative fish options such as trout or salmon can be used, providing a variation on the traditional recipe.

The quenelle itself is a light, fluffy bun, made from a mixture of fish, breadcrumbs, eggs and cream. It is then poached in a flavorful broth, creating a tender, melt-in-your-mouth texture.

Served with a rich, creamy sauce, this dish is the epitome of French culinary excellence. Delight yourself with this delicious Lyonnais delicacy and experience the perfect harmony of flavors.

Coq with wine

If you are a fan of traditional cooking techniques, then Coq Au Vin is a dish you must try.

This classic Lyon dish involves stewing chicken in red wine, resulting in tender and flavorful meat.

The variations of Coq Au Vin are endless, with each region and chef adding their own unique touch to the recipe.

Traditional cooking techniques

To master the traditional cooking technique of Coq Au Vin, follow these step-by-step instructions:

  • Start by marinating the chicken in red wine, herbs and spices overnight. This is a crucial step that imbues the meat with rich flavors.
  • Next, brown the chicken in butter and oil to develop a golden crust. This adds depth and richness to the dish.
  • Sauté onions, carrots and mushrooms until tender and aromatic. These vegetables provide a flavorful base for the stew.
  • Deglaze the pan with more red wine, scraping up any browned bits. This step adds complexity and depth to the sauce.
  • Add the marinated chicken back to the pot along with chicken broth and simmer until the meat is tender and full of flavor.
  • Finally, thicken the sauce with a mixture of butter and flour, creating a delicious, velvety texture.

Traditional cooking techniques like these are important because they preserve the heritage and authenticity of a dish. They allow us to experience the flavors and techniques that have been passed down from generation to generation. While modern cooking techniques may offer convenience, nothing compares to the depth of flavor and connection to history that traditional methods provide.

Coq Au Vin variations?

Continue your exploration of traditional culinary techniques by discovering the different versions of Coq Au Vin.

This classic French dish, which translates to 'rooster in wine', has been enjoyed for centuries and has evolved to include a variety of delicious variations. From the traditional recipe that calls for red wine, bacon, mushrooms and onions, to creative twists that incorporate white wine, herbs or even a touch of cognac, there is no shortage of options to satisfy your palate.

Whether you prefer a rich, hearty version or a lighter, more delicate interpretation, Coq Au Vin variations showcase the versatility of this timeless dish.

Lyonnaise salad

When it comes to Salade Lyonnaise, the egg or bacon question becomes critical.

The key ingredients in this classic dish are the perfectly poached egg and crispy pieces of bacon, both bringing their own unique flavors and textures to the salad.

Whether you prefer the rich creaminess of egg yolk or the salty, smoky flavor of bacon, the combination of these two elements is what makes Salade Lyonnaise truly special.

Egg or bacon? (Related to the main ingredients of Lyonnaise Salad)

For an authentic taste of Lyonnaise Salad, you can't go wrong with the classic combination of egg and bacon. These two key ingredients are what make this salad truly special and give it a distinctive flavor.

When it comes to the debate between egg and bacon in Lyonnaise Salad, there is no right or wrong answer. It all comes down to personal preference and desired balance of flavors. However, it is important to note that the traditional version of this salad has both egg and bacon. The egg provides a creamy, velvety texture, while the bacon adds a smoky, savory element.

That said, modern variations of Salad Lyonnaise have begun to experiment with different ingredients, such as substituting pancetta for bacon or adding additional ingredients like roasted mushrooms or grilled chicken.

Ultimately, the choice between egg and bacon in Salad Lyonnaise is up to you, but for a truly classic experience, it's hard to beat the timeless combination of these two ingredients.

Traditional or modern? (Related to the variants of the Lyonnaise salad)

To explore the variations of Salade Lyonnaise, let's delve into the question of whether you prefer the traditional or modern approach.

The traditional version of Salade Lyonnaise is a classic French dish that showcases the rich flavors of Lyon. It typically consists of lettuce frisée, lardons (bacon), croutons, a poached egg, and a Dijon mustard vinaigrette. The combination of crispy bacon, creamy egg yolk and the acidity of the dressing creates a harmonious balance of flavors.

On the other hand, modern variations of Salade Lyonnaise often experiment with different ingredients, such as adding grilled chicken, roasted vegetables, or even substituting pancetta for bacon. While these variations can be delicious on their own, there's something comforting and satisfying about staying true to the traditional recipe. It is a reminder of centuries-old culinary traditions and flavors that have stood the test of time.

Perfect Lunch Option (Highlighting the Suitability of Lyonnaise Salad as a Meal)

If you're looking for a satisfying and tasty lunch option, consider trying the classic French dish of Salade Lyonnaise. This delicious salad, originally from the city of Lyon, is not only delicious but also offers several nutritional benefits. Here are some reasons why Salade Lyonnaise is a perfect choice for a midday meal:

  • Nutritional benefits of Salade Lyonnaise:
  • The combination of fresh lettuce, crispy bacon, and poached eggs provides a good balance of protein and fiber, keeping you full and satisfied.
  • The inclusion of Dijon mustard in the dressing adds a spicy kick while providing essential vitamins and minerals.
  • Pairing options for Salade Lyonnaise:
  • The rich, creamy flavor of Salade Lyonnaise pairs perfectly with a glass of crisp white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay.
  • For a heartier meal, you can add a side of baguette or crusty bread to soak up the delicious dressing.

Enjoy the flavors of Salade Lyonnaise and enjoy a nutritious and delicious lunch option.

Saucisson Brioche

Enjoy the delicious deliciousness of Saucisson Brioché, a traditional Lyon dish that combines a tasty sausage wrapped in a light, buttery brioche dough. This classic dish is a perfect brunch option, satisfying both your savory and pastry cravings.

Saucisson Brioché has been enjoyed in Lyon for generations, and its timeless appeal continues to captivate food lovers around the world.

Whether you prefer traditional or modern interpretations, Saucisson Brioché never fails to impress. The sausage, typically made with a combination of pork and spices, is juicy and bursting with flavor. The brioche dough, with its golden, flaky exterior, provides the perfect contrast in texture. Each bite is a symphony of flavors and textures that will transport you to the charming streets of Lyon.

Gratin Dauphinois

You will definitely enjoy the creamy indulgence of Gratin Dauphinois, a typical Lyon dish that features thinly sliced potatoes and baked in a rich, velvety cheese sauce. This dish is a true classic, rooted in the culinary traditions of Lyon.

Whether you prefer a traditional or modern version, Gratin Dauphinois will always satisfy your comfort food cravings. It's the perfect lunch option, providing a hearty, satisfying meal that will keep you going all day long.

The layers of tender potatoes, delicious cheese sauce and a touch of garlic create a harmonious blend of flavors that is simply irresistible. Each bite is a creamy, cheesy delight that will transport you to the heart of Lyon gastronomy.

Tarte Tatin

Baked until golden and caramelized, Tarte Tatin is a delicious French dessert that will leave you craving more. This classic dish, originating in the heart of Lyon, has seen several modern interpretations.

Some chefs add a special touch by incorporating different fruits like pears or peaches, while others experiment with unique flavors like lavender or cardamom. However, for purists, nothing beats the traditional apple Tarte Tatin. The combination of caramelized apples in butter and a flaky pastry is simply divine.

To elevate this dessert even more, try pairing it with different types of ice cream. The creamy sweetness of vanilla ice cream perfectly complements the rich flavors of Tarte Tatin, while a scoop of cinnamon or salted caramel ice cream adds an extra level of indulgence.


When exploring the culinary delights of Lyon, a classic dish that food lovers must try is Andouillette.

This traditional Lyon sausage is not for the faint of heart, but if you're a fan of bold flavors and unique culinary experiences, it's an absolute must-try. Made from pig intestines, andouillette is characterized by its strong aroma and distinctive flavor.

The secret lies in the combination of spices, such as onions, garlic and pepper, which give it a robust and tasty flavor. The cooking techniques used to prepare andouillette are as important as the ingredients themselves. Grilling or frying the sausage ensures a crispy outer layer, while keeping the inside juicy and tender.

Cervelle De Canut translates into Spanish as “silk brain.”

Continuing our exploration of classic Lyon dishes, let's now delve into the delicious world of Cervelle De Canut.

This traditional dish, also known as 'silk worker's brain', is a cream cheese that showcases Lyon's rich dairy heritage. Traditionally, it is made by combining fresh cheese such as fromage blanc with chopped herbs such as chives, parsley and shallots, along with a splash of white wine vinegar and a little olive oil.

However, modern variations of this dish have emerged, offering a creative twist on the traditional preparation. Some chefs incorporate additional ingredients like garlic, lemon zest, and even spices like paprika or cayenne pepper to enhance the flavors.

As for serving suggestions, Cervelle De Canut is best enjoyed spread on crusty baguette slices or as a dip for fresh vegetables. Its creamy texture and bittersweet flavor make it an ideal companion for a glass of dry white wine.

Firefighter apron

To fully appreciate the culinary wonders of Lyon, you must try the delicious dish known as Tablier De Sapeur. This traditional Lyon specialty is a true feast for the senses. Here we explain why you should try it:

  • Traditional vs. Modern Preparation:
  • Traditional: Tablier De Sapeur is traditionally prepared with tripe, which is marinated in wine and then coated in breadcrumbs before being fried to perfection.
  • Modern: Some chefs have put a modern spin on this classic dish by using different cuts of meat or adding unique flavors to the marinade or batter.
  • Cultural significance:
  • The Tablier De Sapeur holds a special place in Lyon's culture, representing the city's rich culinary heritage and the inventiveness of its people.
  • The dish is said to have gotten its name, which translates to "firefighter's apron," because it was originally created by the city's firefighters using leftover guts from the market.

Whether you prefer the traditional or modern version, Tablier De Sapeur is a must-try dish as it showcases the culinary talent and cultural significance of Lyon. So go ahead and enjoy this flavor-packed delight!


You can't explore the culinary wonders of Lyon without trying the delicious pastries known as Bugnes. These golden sweets have a rich history and cultural significance in the region.

Bugnes are traditionally made during the Carnival season, which adds to the festive atmosphere that permeates Lyon. These fried cakes are molded into ribbons or twists, with a light, fluffy texture that melts in your mouth. Regional variations of Bugnes include different shapes and sizes, but they all share the same deliciousness.

Some popular toppings include powdered sugar, cinnamon, or even a drizzle of chocolate sauce. Whether enjoyed alone or with a touch of sweetness, Bugnes are a charming delight that captures the essence of Lyon's culinary traditions.

Experience the freedom of savoring every bite of these classic Lyonnais pastries.

Frequent questions

What is the story behind the Quenelle De Brochet dish?

The quenelle de brochet dish has a rich history. It originated in Lyon, France and is made with pike. There are several variations of this dish, each offering a unique and delicious experience for food lovers.

What are the main ingredients used in Coq Au Vin?

Coq au vin is a classic French dish that you must try! The main ingredients are chicken, red wine and bacon. There are variations of this recipe, but the intense flavors and tender meat are always a delight.

How is Lyonnaise salad different from other salads?

When it comes to Lyonnaise cuisine, Lyonnaise salad stands out among other salads. It's a delicious combination of bitter greens, crispy bacon, a perfectly poached egg, and a tangy vinaigrette. You must try it!

Can you provide me with a recipe for Saucisson Brioché?

You will absolutely love the saucisson brioche recipe! It's a delicious dish that combines the savory flavors of sausage with the buttery richness of brioche. There are also several delicious variations of this classic dish to try.

What is the traditional method for making Gratin Dauphinois?

To make a traditional gratin dauphinois, you will need potatoes, cream, garlic, and cheese. Place the thinly sliced potatoes in a baking dish, pour the garlic-infused cream on top, sprinkle with cheese and bake until golden and bubbly. It's pure comfort food!


In conclusion, Lyon is a treasure trove of gastronomic delights that will leave any food lover in awe. From the smooth Quenelle De Brochet to the hearty Coq Au Vin, each dish is a symphony of flavors that will transport you to culinary heaven.

Just like a painting that captures the essence of a moment, these classic Lyonnais dishes paint a vivid picture of the city's rich culinary history.

So go ahead, delight your taste buds and savor the soulful dishes that Lyon has to offer. It's like a culinary journey that will leave you wanting more.

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