About two and a half miles north of Lyon’s center sits L’Auberge du Pont de Collonges, though it is just as well known by another name: Paul Bocuse Restaurant. The restaurant’s namesake chef, Paul Bocuse, has constructed a culinary empire based on regional flavors and a philosophy that simple, straightforward cooking is best. His accolades confirm that such an approach is the right one to take, for Bocuse has been bestowed with Michelin stars for more than 50 years. The Culinary Institute of America also named him “Chef of the Century” in 2011.
As for L’Auberge du Pont de Collonges, the restaurant is stationed in a family home on the banks of the Saône River and boasts three Michelin stars. Standout dishes include a black truffle soup, a sea bass stuffed in puff pastry, and a roasted rack of lamb with thyme.
Travelers seeking other Michelin-star dining experiences in Lyon can find them at Auberge de l’Ile Barbe and La Mère Brazier, two establishments that have each received two Michelin stars but rely on different styles of cooking to deliver unique and memorable meals. Auberge de l’Ile Barbe is set on an island in the Saône River and spotlights local ingredients with seasonal relevance. Standout offerings include a morel mushroom velouté that is served like a cappuccino and an emphasis on foie gras and truffles during the winter; however, each night brings new flavors and dishes. As executive chef Jean-Christophe Ansanay-Alex says, “there is only one thing that never changes: that everything is always changing.”
If Auberge de l’Ile Barbe is mostly traditional in its approach, La Mere Brazier is artistic and creative, serving polished—though inventive and unusual—dishes, as well as traditional and classic favorites that are reinterpreted or presented in unique ways. The restaurant was first established in 1921 by Eugénie Brazier, a woman who was the first chef to hold the most Michelin stars (six) simultaneously. As the current owner and executive chef, Mathiew Viannay explains, “I try not to turn my back on the heritage of this wonderful, celebrated restaurant, but strive to continually put fresh twists on it.”