Lyon's best traditional dishes to warm you up

​​​​​​Lyon is known across the world as the best example of French gastronomy. What's more, it is the birthplace of most traditional French dishes. It has been known for this for many years. Therefore, it is a place to discover and savour its traditional dishes by the hand of Renfe with its AVE (high-speed) International trains and on the Barcelona-Lyon route. Hop on our AVE (high-speed) France trains and travel in the most comfortable, quick and sustainable way.

An amusing anecdote is that Lyon became famous for this by the dawn of the eighteenth century, when some of the richest families quit their day jobs and opened home cooking businesses. These enterprising people were known as the Mères Lyonnaises (mothers of Lyon), who opened up restaurants and cooked meals for the working class. However, it was not long until they would begin to serve their exquisite dishes to celebrities, businessmen, politicians and the upper class.  

What's more, one of these cooks was Mère Brazier, mentor of the world-class chef Paul Bocuse. Paul introduced Lyon to nouvelle cuisine and has driven the city to become a true icon of French gastronomy.  

Gastronomy is one of the things that defines this great city and this is why we bring you some of Lyon's most traditional dishes. Renfe will take you to Lyon, where you can enjoy these dishes. 

1. Grattons Lyonnais  

Grattons is a traditional dish of the Lyon region. It is prepared with salted pieces of meat and animal fat (pork, goose or turkey), which are then fried and let to cool down before they can be enjoyed. They are served as an appetizer, as a main course with salad, as a side dish or as an ingredient in cakes. 

2. Cardón à la moelle 

This is one of Lyon's most traditional dishes. It is not only one of the most traditional, but it was also created by the local bourgeois restaurants mentioned above. This dish is made with cardoons and marrow and is packed with flavour.  

Moreover, marrow is a star product in Lyonnaise cuisine. This ingredient is used in many recipes (soups, stews or salads) and it stands out for its peculiar and intense taste and aroma. 

3. Tablier de sapeur 

Tablier de sapeur is a culinary speciality of Lyon. Keep in mind that this city is characterised by a series of dishes that are closely related to sausages and offal. And, in this case, we are talking about a dish with battered tripe as the main ingredient. It is one of the best known and is usually accompanied by potatoes and special sauce.  

It should also be noted that, although at first glance it seems to be a very simple dish, it is one of the tastiest you will find in Lyon. 

4. Petit salé 

Petit salé is one of Lyon's most traditional dishes. This dish is made with lentils cooked with vegetables and sausages. Lentils are served dry without broth and are combined with large pieces of bacon and sausages.  

If you want to taste specific dishes, we recommend you read the post about the 6 dishes you cannot miss if you visit Lyon.​ 

5. Bugnes Lyonnaisses 

There is also something for those with a sweet tooth. Bugnes are the same as traditional Spanish sweet fritters. They are perfect for dessert or to share with someone while enjoying a nice cup of coffee. 

6. Le poulet Célestine 

Chicken sautéed with mushrooms and tomatoes. When cooked, it is flambéed with cognac and white wine and sprinkled with garlic and parsley. 

A bit of history... In 1860, Rousselot, chef at Restaurant du Cercle, rue de Bourbon in Lyon, fell in love with the restaurant's owner, a young widow named Célestine Blanchard. The chef created the recipe that bears her name in honour of her. It is said that Célestine was finally seduced …​ 

These six dishes are some of the highlights of Lyon's gastronomy, but there are many more. Among others: quenelle (fish croquette), fromage blanc (cheese spread with herbs, salt, oil and vinegar), andouillette (spiced pork sausage and wine), onion soup, Lyonnaise salad, etc. Without forgetting the huge variety of cheeses that are usually enjoyed as an appetiser. The most famous is Saint-Marcellin cheese. Similarly, if you want to have a nice wine with your meal, we recommend a glass of Beaujolais.  

We recommend visiting some of the city's well-known bouchons to taste some of the gastronomic specialties that have made Lyon famous for its food. In addition, one of the best plans during winter is visiting Lyon: snow, amazing scenery and great traditional French food. What more could you ask for?  

Travel to Lyon by train

In addition to Lyon, you can visit many other French cities with our AVE (high-speed) France trains, AVE (high-speed) International travelling between Spain and France, thanks to the wide variety of combinations, always from city centre to city centre. Aren't you already feeling that you want to hop on one of our trains? Remember that this is the fastest, most comfortable and sustainable way of travelling! In addition, you can benefit from our discounts and get the best price.

What do you think of these options? Wait, there's more! Discover Lyonnaise gastronomy by the hand of Renfe.