Guide to International Food in Lyon (by arrondissement)

When I moved to Lyon from Paris, I complained that there wasn’t enough international food. Since then, two things have happened. 1) I realized I was wrong and 2) a ton of new cool restaurants have opened up! About half of the places on this list opened after I moved to Lyon (which was in 2013).

By the way, I’m using “international food” fairly loosely here – in most cases, I don’t mean “100% authentic food the way it is served in its country of origin” (because how the hell do I know what “real” Ethiopian food is like) I mean “not French.”

Because I love baguettes and quiche and all, but I don’t want to each French food all the time.

I have been to the majority of these places many times. I also polled my friends Shannon and Jill about their favorites (we’ve eaten at most of these places together!) so you’ll see their top picks marked. If you’re on a budget, good news – these are mostly cheap eats.

This is by no means an exhaustive list – there are so many restaurants in Lyon that I never got a chance to try. If you have a recommendation to add, please share in the comments!

1st Arrondissement

Athina €

Athina was right around the corner from my last apartment (right near Hotel de Ville). It’s a stylish Greek-fusion place, and they even sell some Greek products in the restaurant. They’ve raised the prices a little but it’s still very affordable (6€ for a pita) and it is YUM. Good pitas, good fries, good soup, good people, good good good. And it’s pretty! This place is popular so come early on weekends.

3 rue Romarin Lyon. Closed Monday.

Jill’s Pick: Mumbai Café €€

This place is half cocktail bar, half Asian fusion restaurant. One of the chefs lived in the UK for years and speaks perfect English. We always ordered the tasting menu to share; 12€ per person, and very generous portions. (This is one of the few places where they encourage you to take your leftovers home.) The cocktails are very good and reasonably priced, and they also have a few sakes available if you are a fan (I am not). Also right around from chez moi, near Hotel de Ville. (My ‘hood was the coolest. Why did I move.)

6 rue Sainte Catherine. Closed Sunday.

Mumbai Café

Yaafa

Everyone loves this little falafel place next to Hotel de Ville. It’s completely different from what you find on Rue des Rosiers in Paris; they have lots of interesting flavor combinations (I like the one with barbecue sauce!) 5€ for a falafel sandwich. I also just love that their awning says “Falafel dealer.”

17 rue d’Algérie. Open every day.

Shannon’s Pick: Les Filaos €€

This is a festive sit-down restaurant right off of Place Sathonay. They have terrace seating when the weather is nice. They serve Réunion Island cuisine (around 16€ for a main course) and my favorite part is the spiced rum they offer as a digestif. Rum yum yum.

1 place Fernand Rey. Closed Sunday and Monday.

Tu Esquina

Tu Esquina is halfway up the hill between Hotel de Ville and Croix Rousse. It’s a small, free-for-all Hispanic fusion place. I’m not a fan of their tacos or tapas (except the croquetas) but their burritos and quesadillas aren’t half bad (7€). The secret here is the cocktails – they’re not fancy, but they are 6€ and strong. (I would stay away from the sangria, though.) Usually there are only one or two people serving, so at times it can be slow.

5 Rue Burdeau. Closed Sunday.

Les Delices du Liban  €

Keep going up the Montée de la Croix Rousse and you’ll come to Les Delices du Liban, a Lebanese restaurant. This little place is three things: cheap, good, and slow. On Sundays, it takes forever to get your food! But I still go.

86 montée de la Grande Côte. Their Facebook page says they are “always open.” Hmm.

Ramen Djizan €€

Okay, I have not actually been to Ramen Djizan, but I have wanted to try it for ages, so I’m hoping that you will go and tell me how it is. It’s a crime, really, because it opened up when I lived just down the street. My Little Lyon likes it, and they have chic taste.

60 ter quai Saint-Vincent. Closed Sunday and Monday.

2nd Arrondissement

Everyone’s PickTwo Amigos €€

When I polled Shannon and Jill for this post, they both immediately thought of Two Amigos. That is because Two Amigos serves kick-ass “Californian-Mexican” food and so we ate there all the time. Their margaritas are not as strong as they once were, but we’ll forgive them as long as they keep up their taco game.

1 rue Henry IV. Open every day. 

Two Amigos

Les Pates Vivantes €€

Just after I ate at Les Pates Vivantes in Paris, I came back to Lyon and realized they had just opened a restaurant here. Exciting, since Chinese food isn’t exactly a staple in most parts of France. They have an overwhelming menu, so I always get the same thing: hand-pulled noodles with vegetables.

9 rue Mercière. Open every day. 

Don Taco €€

Don Taco is a cute little place (practically next door to Les Pates Vivantes) that serves “traditional Mexican food,” not, as Yelp reviewers have repeatedly pointed out, Tex-Mex. Their guacamole appetizer is grossly overpriced, but it’s a fun place to try.

13 Rue Mercière. Closed Sunday and Monday. 

3rd Arrondissement

Thai Suois

I discovered Thai Suois thanks to a wonderful friend – it was the only reason I ever wandered to this part of the 3rd. Their menu is extensive, their soup is spicy, and I came back for their Pad Thai every single time. (Quite vegetarian friendly too!) It’s family-owned, and their two small adorable children are always playing quietly somewhere.

59 place Voltaire. Open every day. 

Piquín  €€

One time, Hugo and I walked across town to eat here because I love trendy taquerias. It was tasty, but we were still hungry afterwards, so order a lot of tacos if you come!

16 rue d’Essling. Closed Sunday and Monday. 

Piquín

Aklé

I sampled some of Aklé’s tasty Lebanese dishes at a Yelp Street Food event. They became a local favorite soon after they opened. (Look for their food truck too.)

108 rue Chaponnay. Closed Sunday and Monday. 

4th Arrondissement (Croix-Rousse)

I’m surprised I don’t have more places to list for Croix-Rousse, since we used to live here. (I can think of several amazing boulangeries, though.)  The best I can come up with is Les Bobos. Pizzeria Les Bobos is not like what you’ll find in Italy, but it was our go-to neighborhood pizza place. I always get the Prezzemolo pizza.

10 rue d’Austerlitz. Closed Monday.

(Got a suggestion to add for Croix-Rousse? Tell me in the comments.)

5th Arrondissement (Vieux Lyon)

Le Royal Indien €€

Quite a nice place for Indian and Pakistani food in Vieux Lyon. (I admit that I don’t really know the difference, but that’s what it says on their website.)

14 rue Lainerie. Open every day. 

Bintje & Zoet

Bintje & Zoet should probably not be on this list, but it’s Belgian so let’s say it counts. I just have to say that the fries here are really good. (But do not order a burger under any circumstances.)

20 rue Saint-Jean. Open every day.

6th Arrondissement

Messob  €€

I tried Ethiopian food for the first time at Messob and it was so good that I kept asking for more of that spongy flat floppy bread (what is it called?) to scoop up everything left on the platter. I was there with a large group, and we had enormous sampler plates (15€ per person) to be shared between four people each (they were able to make one vegetarian).

However, the service was exceedingly slow and I didn’t care for their apéritif cocktail.

There are actually quite a lot of good restaurants on this street: Kuma Izakaya is nearby.

85 rue Masséna. Closed Monday. 

Kuma Izakaya  €€

When I came to this little Japanese restaurant with Shannon and Jill, I think we all got the chicken teriyaki and the matcha tiramisu (good call, us). The little restaurant was almost empty (I think it was a Monday) and we had a wonderful evening. They have a large selection of saké if you enjoy that (I don’t).

93 rue Masséna. Open every day. 

Kuma Izakaya

Jill’s Pick: Tomo €€

I haven’t been to Tomo, but Jill recommends it, and she knows good food. Tomo is French-Japanese fusion; Jill says it’s “like a French brasserie, except with Japanese food and decor.” (Go at lunch if you’re on a budget.)

7 rue Pierre Corneille. Closed Sunday and Monday. 

7th Arrondissement

Macanudo

If I lived in the 7th, I would be chilling at Macanudo all the time. It’s part bookstore part restaurant part bar part performance space, all with a Latin-American theme. Empanadas and mojitos? Yes please.

8 quai Claude Bernard. Closed Sunday and Monday. 

Bistro Zakka

Part of the fun of eating at Bistro Zakka is Instagramming it. It’s a tiny place with pretty decor, and their speciality is pastel-colored baos, little steamed buns filled with meat, shrimp, or vegetables (pork is my favorite. The others – meh.) I was terrible at tearing apart the baos with chopsticks, but the neighboring tables didn’t fare much better.

5 rue d’Aguesseau. Closed Sunday. 

Indo Café  €€

Indo Café is half Vietnamese restaurant, half cocktail bar, all trendy. Their speciality is the Bobun (15€) which I quite enjoyed (and the only reason they made it on this list). In general I think their food is a little overpriced, and they weren’t so cooperative with my lovely vegetarian friends. I’m sure there are better Vietnamese restaurants in Lyon (albeit less hip) that I just haven’t tried, so if you have a recommendation, please share in the comments!

14 rue de la Thibaudière. Closed Sunday. 

8th Arrondissement & 9th Arrondissement

I have not spent a great deal of time dining in these two neighborhoods, although I see that Yaafa now has a location near Monplaisir (see their site). Recommendations welcome!

Food Trucks

Pitakia is great little Greek food truck that you can find at the Marche Saint Antoine and other places around town. You can also find the aforementioned Aklé driving around town, sometimes on the quais du Rhône. More Lyon food trucks here (and in French, here and here.)

Please verify opening hours and days (they may vary) and keep in mind that many restaurants close in August and on national holidays. Prices are subject to change. 

There are many more restaurants in Lyon that serve food from around the world. You are truly spoiled for choice in Lyon when it comes to cuisine, French or otherwise. Be sure to tell me what you ate in Lyon in the comments!

Bon appétit!

I’ve also written guides to the Best Boulangeries in Lyon, the Prettiest Tearooms in Lyon, and My Favorite Wine Bars in Lyon. You might also like my short guide for International Cheap Eats in Paris.

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19 thoughts on “Guide to International Food in Lyon (by arrondissement)

  1. We have yet to eat out much in Lyon. We’ve been to a bouchon, Two Amigos (thanks to your blog!), and Yaafa (yum! – I actually ate at Yaafa my first night in Lyon and have had it a few times since). This post comes at such a great time as we have friends coming to visit, and we want to go out to eat but don’t know where. We know the one would love a bouchon, but the other is basically vegetarian, and I’m not a big fan of meat either (Happen to have any ideas on places that would have both types of food?).

    I came across Messob while researching yesterday. I’ve never tried Ethiopian food. It sounds so delicious! And we’ll definitely have to check out some of these other suggestions!

    1. Ooh you tried Two Amigos!! I hope they’ve fixed their margaritas. How was the bouchon you tried? My first bouchon experience was seriously mediocre. There is one restaurant in Vieux Lyon that I really like – Aux Trois Maries. I can’t remember if they had a lot of vegetarian options on the menu, but I do remember that they were really accommodating to my mother and made her a big green salad with tons of veggies, even though it wasn’t on the menu. Six months ago I would have recommended Le Kitchen Cafe – it was all the rage, the food was amazing, and they can make special vegetarian meals upon request – but apparently they are not as good as they once were (I still think their desserts are heavenly though.)

      You might find some ideas on this guide: http://www.2foodtrippers.com/lyon-food-guide/ I just found it and they are spot on with everything. It made me want to go back to Lyon and EAT.

      My friend Jill’s go-to bouchon is Café des Fédérations, but I haven’t eaten there so I’m not sure if it’s at all vegetarian friendly (https://transientlocal.com/2016/04/22/mix-and-match-lyon/)

      Oh! and one place I always wanted to try was Deux Filles en Cuisine. I’m not sure if they only do lunch, but it’s fresh market cooking and everyone said nice things about it when it opened.

      Have a great time with your friends in Lyon! Let me know if you discover any delicious restaurants.

      1. We went to Café Comptoir Abel. It was really really good! We were all happy (we took my in laws there to thank them for helping with our move). A few people recommended Café des Fédérations to me, but there isn’t anything that I eat on the menu. I eat meat but very very little of it, so I am quite picky when it comes to eating it. I’ll take a look at the others places you shared!

        Our dogs had a tough time adjusting to the move (lots of barking when we left them alone at first) and then there were the holidays, so we haven’t had much time to really sample different places. Hope to start doing more of that soon!

      2. Ooh, good to know!! I am already compiling a list of where I want to eat when I am back (even though I have NO idea when that will be and I’ll probably spend most of the time in the countryside with the belle-famille, haha). If you’re ever in the Pentes around lunchtime, Café Nuage makes really good big salads and you can sit outside with your dogs (if they like to do that!) They make a mean lasagna too 🙂

      3. Will have to give that a try! The dogs can be big pains (as they’re scared of other dogs), but they love being with us, and we did take them around with us quite a bit in Lille. It’s a little harder to do here in Lyon as walking to the center is much much further (we did do it with them our first weekend here though).

      4. I always forget that some dogs don’t like to walk as far as some people. When were dog sitting, I tried to get little fluffy Tigrou to walk all the way to Parc de la Tête d’Or from Presqu’île and he was NOT having it. Poor lil guy. I hope there’s a nice dog-friendly space closer to home for when the weather gets warmer.

      5. We would take super long walks back in Lille. They love it! We’re about an hour from Presqu’île walking wise, so that’s automatically 2 hours right there. If it’s super nice out and we can take breaks, why not? We’re about 45 min walk from Tête d’Or, so we definitely plan to spend some Sundays walking there and picnicking. We were right next to a huge park and the center of town in Lille, so that’s a big change.

      6. I need to get back into blogging. I do miss it. It’s just been so long now that it almost seems weird to start again.

        P.S. Today we took the dogs for a nice long walk along the Rhône. Crossed Presqu’île by the Pentes. Walked passed the Nuage Cafe which looks cool, so we’ll definitely have to check that out soon! Finished by descending through Vieux Lyon (too many tourists!) with the dogs starting to be a pain. Still a nice long walk to enjoy the city. We drove to town since parking is free on Sunday. This way we could enjoy walking in the city and not just too and from.

      7. Your friend shared a picture of the chicken dish at Café des Fédérations which I would definitely eat actually! No vegetarian options on the menu it seems, so not for my friends, but at some point, definitely!

  2. I don’t live in Lyon, but I ought to make the trip again sometime just for the food. As a Californian at heart, I’ve been dearly missing tacos, so places like Two Amigos are right up my alley! Someday. 🙂

  3. The only place I’ve been to on your list is Thai Suois – I have some catching up to do over my last few months here! There’s a great Chinese place near my flat called Chez Song, which does really tasty food (we picked a few plates and shared so we were able to try more things!) and is reasonably priced. La Broche (located a bit off Place des Terreaux) is good too, though it’s on the pricier side for what is essentially a glorified (but delicious) kebab! Another place I like is L’Eau Salée in Vieux-Lyon, which does traditional Breton fare (with options to customise the topping of your galette).

    1. Oooh thank you for the recommendations!! I haven’t heard to Chez Song or L’Eau Salée, they both sound great! I used to live 30 seconds from La Broche – it opened up a few months before we moved. I never ended up eating there, but it always smelled amazing. So much good food in Lyon!!

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