Lyon’s Fancy Food Court
Our local wine expert Caroline Conner takes you through the hotly anticipated Food Traboule
After a long time in the works and some very dramatic restoration of one of the Old Town’s most famous traboules, the Food Traboule opened in January 2020. Sure to be one of Lyon’s must visit spots, this project shows off what the Lyon restaurant scene is all about.
Whatever your expectations are, this place blew them out of the water.
An Upscale Food Court in Lyon
The Food Traboule (Lyon 5) is a food court that covers three stories and features an array of different concepts.
In total, there are 15 different counters. They have everything from lobster rolls and pizza to fine dining and pastries. There’s a full service bar on each floor.
Unlike La Commune, another favorite food court in Lyon, which features temporary concepts as a restaurant incubator, the Food Traboule is a place where established Lyon chefs can share a snapshot of their vision with the greater public.
The players here are serious, and they have already proven themselves as successes with their own restaurants. There is a vibe of everyone knowing each other, because they do. This group is running the show in town now. The old school is boring, and this is where Lyon is at today.
Lyon’s Most Exciting Chefs Under One Roof
I’m not exaggerating when I say that these are some of the most exciting chefs in town, particularly young couple Ludovic and Tabata Mey of Les Apothicaires, who spearheaded the project. (Side note: you should go to their restaurant Les Apothicaires, it’s fantastic.)
Not only are these folks serving up super fresh, seasonal cuisine, but they’re being creative about it.
There’s salad and fritto misto and coffee and tiramisu and bouchon food and fancy savory waffles and so much wonderful stuff it’s hard to fit it in one article!
Design Worth Salivating Over
Not only was the array of different foods on display mightily impressive, but wow, the venue itself is just insane.
La Tour Rose, or The Pink Tower, was formerly a luxury hotel and restaurant which closed a number of years ago.
Turning such a weird building as any traboule into a functional space is a big challenge, but to do so with such grace and sense of adventure is another. The project was designed and built by heritage architect Cécile Rémond and the Collectif Saône.
Whatever they were going for, they succeeded.
Like all super old buildings, in this case Renaissance, there are no right angles, there are no easy ways to structure the space. Ultimately what they have crafted is a delightful maze of different spaces with totally different feelings. You can sit in one room and have a completely different experience than you would if you were sitting in the courtyard or one of the other rooms.
Each zone is lovingly detailed and finely wrought, I felt such giddy pleasure at turning the corner to see what was in store as I explored the building.
Better photographers than me will be able to capture the feeling in here, but to really understand it, you must go yourself!
All Day Service at Food Traboule
Best of all, they’re open from 11am till 11pm and will serve continuously! Go here now, before it gets too crowded. My only concern is that I’ll never be able to go back again, because it will be so busy. I hope that’s not the case, because it was truly a pleasure to enjoy lunch with a friend in this spectacular and unique place.