How to Celebrate Mardi Gras in Lyon

Published: 2019/03/04

Mardi Gras, Shrove Tuesday, Pancake Tuesday… Celebrate them All in Lyon!

Mardi Gras takes place on Tuesday 5th March 2019. Literally translating into English as ‘Fat Tuesday’, it’s the perfect time to eat beignets, pancakes, and have fun. We show you how to do it in Lyon.

Celebrate Mardi Gras in British Style in Lyon

In Britain, Mardi Gras is more frequently known as ‘Shrove Tuesday’, or colloquially, ‘Pancake Day’.

Pancake Day marks the last day you can indulge yourself before the beginning of the Christian festival of Lent. Children, and adults, all over the U.K. treat themselves to pancakes, or as the Lyonnaise would know them, crêpes.

It’s hardly difficult to find crêpes in Lyon, so if you’re not in the mood for making them yourself, head over to a crêperie.

Top of the list of recommendations is Le Banana, found in Vieux Lyon, at 1 Place Gouvernement.

Try the homemade chocolate crêpe, or if you fancy something savoury, why not make your Pancake Tuesday Lyonnaise and go for the raclette crêpe?

Also in Vieux Lyon is Le Krépiôt at 2 Quai Romain Rolland, where you have to try the Tatin crêpe! Alternatively, for those who live closer to Bellecour, head over to la Crêperie des Gones, at 17 Rue Auguste Comte.

Or for residents of the Croix-Rousse, why not try Mère Suzette on 17 Rue d’Austerlitz?

…Or Go Full-On Lyonnaise

Eat some Lyonnaise beignets this Mardi Gras. ©Janet Hudson. Taken from

In Lyon, the real crème de la crème for Mardi Gras is the beignet, or bugne: a donut-type fritter.

Like with pancakes, beignets originate in the need to use up the eggs and butter that can’t be used during Lent.

Beignets have a particular regional importance in Lyon. France used to be split into duchies, and the beignet was a speciality of the Savoie duchy.

Most Lyonnaise bakeries, and even supermarkets, will be selling beignets, so get some in for the perfect dessert on Mardi Gras.

Go Out and Party!

Ninkasi bar in Gerland is hosting live music on 5th February 2019. ©Brice Robert.

As Mardi Gras is traditionally the last day of indulgence before Lent, why not go out for dancing and drinks with friends?

Even if you’re not planning on giving up partying any time soon… Mardi Gras is a perfect excuse to get your dancing shoes on.

Head over to Ninkasi in Gerland, Lyon 7, from 8pm-10:30pm – great even for those who have work on Wednesdays- for a night of music.

On the programme is the voice of Claire Days, the rock and metal music of the Lyonnaise group Wandering Stream, and the hip-hop, jazz and electro mix of Blade. To top it off, the event is completely free of charge!