Betwixmas visit to Les Halles de Lyon

I defy anyone to go to Lyon and have a bad meal. The food in this gastronomic city of France/Europe/The World * (delete according to your levels of enthusiasm and reliability of source) is indeed splendid. From the streetfood style tacos to the tourist restaurant in the old town – there is fantastic fayre at literally every corner.

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On my Betwixmas visit to this French feeder of a town I enjoyed so many delicious feasts. I had very reasonable priced sushi at relative newcomer Chez Fyfy on the food thoroughfare that is Rue Mercer. The enterprising owners of this fab sushi restaurant bravely opened just a couple of years ago literally opposite Planet Sushi – but it works. It has a cosy, authentic feel and a fab sushi special lunch menu for just 10€ – what’s not to like? I also sampled gourmet French fayre at the fabulous Le Pailleron in the Croix Rousse area of the city. A word of advice here – never ever decide to walk to Croix Rousse from a nearby station rather than wait for the train! Always – and I mean always – get the subway. The hill is very steep and quite frankly never ending! Although we shied away from the signature dishes of veal head and the tripe – we did try the traditional dishes of frogs legs and confit duck, and they were splendid. On an outing to Vieux Lyon we sampled food from the Indian subcontinent in the form of a delicious New Year’s Eve luncheon at the Raj Mahal. In fact it seems these gastronomical types in Lyon can successfully cook food from all over the world.

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However what impressed me most of all on this Betwixmas trip to Lyon was a visit to the food paradise that is otherwise known as Les Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse. This food emporium named after the man they claim invented cooking Paul Bocuse – is amazing. With food to buy to take home from specialist stalls – and food to eat in situ at quirky bars and restaurants – this place is like a classier and Frencher version of Brixton Village Market. After wandering up and down the aisles sampling various treats, we opted to while away the rest of the afternoon eating oysters, prawns, Saint Marcellin cheese and bread, all washed down with a lovely carafe of white wine at the Escalier Cellerier.

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The food was so fresh and tasty – not to mention reasonably priced. And the atmosphere of the eaterie – and in fact the entire food hall – was buzzing. Once we’d polished off the last of the cheese we paid up and strolled to the nearby pattiserie and bought a selection of delectable desserts to take away, including some Caneles de Bordeux – a pud I’d become particularly fond off during my summer trip in Bordeaux. Let’s just say they didn’t disappoint!

I cannot wait for my next visit to Les Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse – it was amazing!

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