Where to eat the best quenelles in Lyon? The top 3 restaurants

Quenelles are one of Lyon’s most famous delicacies and form an essential part of any visit to the city. Often served with white rice, their spongey texture and delicate flavour will keep you warm throughout the cold winter. MiHotel has handpicked three Lyon restaurants for you to try the city’s speciality exactly how tradition intended.

If you’re new to Lyon, the quenelle is a type of elongated dumpling made using dough (flour or semolina), water, milk, butter and eggs, which is combined with meat or fish. The dumpling is then covered with a sauce : the traditional choice in Lyon is sauce Nantua, a mixture of béchamel and crayfish butter.

The superstar of the capital of gastronomy’s cuisine, the best quenelles are usually served in the city’s traditional bouchon restaurants. They also come au gratin and offer a hearty main meal especially loved by the Lyonnais during the festive period. Here is our selection of three must-try restaurants.



Café du Soleil: the pike and chicken quenelle specialists

Old Lyon
is so well known as a tourist attraction not only because of its famous monuments and traditional architecture, but also its gastronomic treasures… with the Café du Soleil being a prime example. Nestled along the legendary rue Saint-Georges, the restaurant serves the very best of Lyon’s delicacies in a cosy setting. Less than 10 metres from the famous Théâtre Guignol, its terrace is great for when the sun comes out. Experts of the traditional quenelle, the restaurant has something for everyone with its pike and chicken varieties. And what’s more : they do them to take away ! Now your friends and family will be able to enjoy a taste of Lyon for themselves.

Le Café du Soleil, 2 rue Saint-Georges 69005 Lyon. Open every day from midday to 2.30 pm and 7 pm to 10.30 pm. Tel.: +33 (0) 4 78 37 60 02

See also: Lyon’s delicacies: the city’s best confectionary


Au Petit Vatel : custodian of the traditional quenelle 

Au Petit Vatel
is a family restaurant that lies just a stone’s throw from the city hall. It has been regaling Lyon’s residents for over 70 years and is quite simply THE temple of the quenelle ! The pike, sourced from the ponds of the Dombes, is prepared following an age-old recipe that never ceases to delight. Be sure to visit the restaurant’s shop where you’ll find a large variety of other local specialities, including delicious home-made terrines and charcuterie… all of which you can take home. 

Au Petit Vatel ,1 Rue Pierre Corneille, 69006 Lyon. Open Monday to Sunday, from 9 am to 1.15 pm and from 4 pm to 7.30 pm. Tel.: +33 (0) 4 78 52 11 45


Poêlon d’Or : 2017 winner of the Food and Wine Awards

This Lyon bouchon has earned its place in our list for all number of reasons. Awarded bouchon of the year 2017 at the Food and Wine awards, holder of the official “Lyon Bouchon” label and member of the French Association of Master Restaurateurs, the Poêlon d’Or stands out for its delicious cuisine that honours the city’s culinary heritage. It is the worthy heir to the bouchon of Lyon’s famous mother Marie Daniel. Located in the Ainay neighbourhood, just around the corner from our MiHotel Suites, this restaurant serves traditional pike quenelle au gratin, hearty and full of flavour, with a choice of a mushroom and bechamel or crayfish sauce. The wait may be a little long (allow 40 minutes for cooking) but it is certainly worth it.

Le Poêlon d’Or, 29 Rue des Remparts d’Ainay, 69002 Lyon. Open from Monday to Friday, from midday to 2 pm and from 7.30 pm to 10 pm. Tel.: +33 (0) 4 78 37 65 60. Website  

Did you like this article ? Check out Rue du Boeuf : France’s most decorated Michelin-starred restaurants and (Re)discover 5 of Lyon’s Michelin-starred chefs.

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