There is something really nice about sitting down for a snack or a cup of tea in a beautiful setting. I’m not one to prefer the fancy schmancy over something simple, but I can’t deny that I like drinking out of a pretty cup. Here are a few places in Lyon where you can enjoy the asthetic as much as your goûter.
Jeannine & Suzanne
Jeannine & Suzanne is a new café in the 2nd arrondissement. Everything is beautiful. The tables, the chairs, the walls, the floors, the ceiling, even the ashtrays outside (pretty metal tea boxes). Oh, and the food is beautiful too. Their little tarts are works of art, and they have a long list of tea and other beverages. The kitchen is visible through a glass wall. The vibe here is modern-beautiful-quirky. Aka, totally Instagrammable.
There’s a terrace outside, and a big cozy room in the back with plush chairs and fuzzy throws. Perfect for all seasons!
34 Rue Sainte Hélène, 69002 Lyon. Closed Monday.
Le Comptoir des Fées
I love Le Comptoir des Fées for its whimsy. The menus are glued inside antique biology books featuring birds and insects, and the china is charmingly mismatched. A pot of tea is so enormous that only the most elastic of bladders could contain it all; no need to order one per person! This is a tiny, cozy salon de thé – good for a cup of tea or brunch with a friend, not somewhere to set up shop with your laptop.
31 Rue de la Charité, 69002 Lyon. Closed Monday and Tuesday.
Little is famous for one thing: American-style cupcakes with real cream cheese frosting. It’s also a cute little space where you can chill out with your laptop or meet a friend for a snack. If you check in on Yelp! you get your cupcake half off. I don’t come here often, but it’s fun once in awhile.
30 Rue des Remparts d’Ainay, 69002 Lyon. Closed Sunday and Monday.
Le Comptoir du GentleCat
The inside of Le GentleCat is very nice, as is the little outside patio, but the thing to admire here is the beautiful cats! Yes, a cat café in Lyon. It goes without saying that if you do not like cats, you should not come here. (…but I said it anyway.)
There are six resident cats of different breeds, all very sweet. I like that there is a little book with lots of details about the cats and how the café came to be. (We were on a first-name basis with all six cats in no time.) It’s a small independent business that has been open for less than a year. Before we left, a fluffball named Nicole let me pet her belly and gave my arm a hug. Little purr machine!
16 Rue du Gal Plessier, 69002 Lyon. Closed Monday.
Thé Où: This popular tea room in the 1st comes highly recommended by my friend Shannon, who always knows the cool places to go in Lyon. (She’s basically a local guru.) It also gets points for a punny name (if you don’t speak French, “Thé Où” literally means “tea where” but also sounds like “t’es où” or “where are you”.)
9 Rue Chavanne, 69001 Lyon. Closed Monday and Tuesday.
Update: Thé Où has unexpectedly shut it doors! Thanks for the update, Kaitlin.
Aux Thé des Merveilles: This place used to be called Buttercup, but it’s recently changed owners. I believe they’ve changed some things (like the pink lacey interior), but they’ve left the pretty pastel tables on the terrace and kept the charm. Let me know how it is if you try it out!
59 Montee de la Grande Côte, 69001 Lyon. Closed Tuesday.
(Note: Always doublecheck opening days in summer – a lot of places in France close for most of the month of August. This always takes me by surprise, somehow! So don’t be like me.)
If you know any pretty cafés or salons de thé in Lyon to add, let me know in the comments!