A Foodie’s Dream: French Explorations in Lyon

Sponsored by AmaWaterways

Lyon – this historic city is the gastronomic capital of France – and the French would argue the entire world. The best known chefs all encourage gourmands-in-the-making to make the pilgrimage to beautiful Lyon, nestled in between the Burgundy and Provence regions of France.

This is where the top chefs train, attending culinary schools or gaining prestigious work under any of the city’s renowned rock-star chefs. Choosing from nearly 2,000 restaurants here, including 11 with Michelin stars, will be tough, but oh so much fun.

On your first visit to Lyon, you’ll undoubtedly be drawn to one of its many bouchons.

A bouchon is a very Lyonnaise type of restaurant: fun, convivial and homey, with a menu covered in meat. Think of a boisterous family gathering with pork and organ meats – andouille sausages, blood sausages, and even intestines. To fully embrace all of Lyon’s magic, you’ll need to pack your most adventurous palate.

This is a city that enjoys artful cuisine with a twist and plenty of surprises. Forget chain restaurants.

Perhaps even forget haute cuisine, which Lyon offers in spades, because traditional Lyon food fare is a hearty and bold experience. This is the place where specialties are deliciously old school, where you can feast on brains, old-fashioned pig-snout salad, beef muzzle, calf ’s foot and breaded fish dumplings bathed in a creamy sauce called quenelles.

To reward your palate for trying new things, you can always fall back on cheese plates and French bread. You’ll love the local favorite, St. Marcellin, a soft unpasteurized, mold-ripened cheese made with cow’s milk. Rumored to be King Louis XI’s favorite, it’s known as a king among cheeses, with a texture varying from firm to very runny, with an intensely rustic, nutty, fruity flavor.

Of course, there’s never a lack of choices for cheese in France – be it delicate, creamy, soft, hard, pungent, gooey, cow, goat, sheep – a cheesemonger will happily guide you through.

Along with cheese, you’re sure to get your fill of sweets in Lyon. Macarons of all inventive varieties are readily available – skip the chocolate and mint, though, since you’ll also find everything from foie gras to mushroom to tarragon flavors.

Your time in Lyon, just like your time on board your AmaWaterways ship, will leave long-lasting memories on your palate. AmaWaterways’ was inducted into La Confrérie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, a prestigious international gastronomic society dedicated to fine cuisine.

As a result, the onboard cuisine is visually stunning, locally inspired, and decadently unforgettable. Plus, your journey takes you to some of the world’s most renowned culinary capitals in the world, like Lyon.

Are you ready to go deep? Find a Travel Specialist who understands your food love to help you plan your vacation.