Food A la carte

A taste of the sea in Lyon

Published on 30/05/2024

With a dozen fishmongers in the whole city, Lyon is clearly lacking in the seafood department. Where to go for some tasty sea bass, mortadella di mare or even catfish? We tracked down some adresses for you. Happy fishing!

Open any book on Lyonnaise cuisine and it’s immediately obvious that seafood is not a central feature of the city’s gastronomic tradition, to say the least. It is heavily focussed on offal and charcuterie. Unsurprisingly, given the Capital of the Gauls’ geographical location, other than meat and game, at best you’ll find a few freshwater fish from the region’s lakes and rivers*. “In Lyon, we are far from the sea. We have always had to go through a number of intermediaries to buy fish: the wholesaler buys fish at auction and then sells it to a distributor, which sells it in turn to restaurants. It can easily take three days and the end result is fish of average quality, sold at exorbitant prices,” explained Floriant Rémont, chef at Le Bistrot du Potager, in Lyon’s 7th district. Originally from the Landes, he is no stranger to fish. To get around the problem, he chose very early on to work directly with artisanal fisheries, such as Côté Fish, in Le Grau-du-Roi, using the Chronofresh refrigerated transport service to get produce that’s as fresh as possible. In recent weeks, he has also started receiving twice-weekly deliveries from his friend Etienne Fossey, skipper of the fishing boat Le Petit Prince, in Cherbourg, who uses the pot fishing method. “It takes some effort, but it’s the price to pay to get high-quality ingredients for the kitchen,” emphasized the forty-something chef. The same work ethic can be seen just across the river Rhône, with Maxime Laurenson, Michelin-starred chef of the restaurant Rustique

Catfish, sushi and company 

Committed to protecting the tradition of his local region, Auvergne Rhône-Alpes, he ruled out seafood like lobster right from the outset, in favour of local species. Even if this has meant a few missteps (quickly rectified) along the way: “Ultra locavorism can also lead down wrong paths; it’s great to choose produce from around the corner, but if the quality isn’t there and/or if they’re using intensive production methods, then I prefer widening my sourcing net to find alternatives,” explained the chef, who has set up a supply chain dedicated to catfish! “It suffers from its reputation as an ugly fish, but it’s very interesting on the palate. It’s also a fish that’s a burden on the ecosystem; reducing its numbers helps relieve species that are threatened by this predator and human consumption. There are only benefits.” To ensure a steady income stream for his supplier, located in Saône-et-Loire, Maxime has made this fish one of the mainstays of his menu. This bet has paid off. After tasting his creations, most diners change their minds about the culinary potential of this aquatic beast. Turning our attention elsewhere, this is a cultural issue that the entrepreneur Steve Sagbo may be mulling over in the coming weeks. In Gorge-de-Loup, in Lyon’s 9th district, he has just opened Poissonchat (French for ‘catfish’), a restaurant serving Asian fusion cuisine and offering evening entertainment. Designed by architect Régis Botta, the restaurant’s interior is curvy and spacious. The style is sophisticated and the colour palette is energising. With a central platform, ambient lighting and a wide selection of cocktails, it is clearly designed for nightlife. The same goes for the menu, with many tapas dishes, including ceviche, tempura shrimp and sushi freshly made by sushi chef Bounphanh Soukkasene. More inspired by Saint-Tropez than Brittany, this is a refreshing addition to Lyon’s food scene. 

* Please remember that it’s not advisable to eat fish caught in the Rhône or Saône.

Where to buy fish in Lyon ? 

Founded in 1868, and a permanent tenant of the indoor food market Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse, Joanny Durand may well be the oldest fishmonger’s in France. That’s something to be proud of!

102 Cours Lafayette, Lyon 3

Created in 1967, this family business is currently in the capable hands of fishmonger and oyster-seller Jean-Luc Vianey, holder of the prestigious title ‘Meilleur Ouvrier de France’.

112 BD de la Croix-Rousse, Lyon 4

Based in Thurins, where it has its shop, the Sertel family has been in the fishmongering business for four generations! You can find them at the markets of Croix-Rousse, Tête d’Or and Saint-Martin-en-Haut.

Za la Thulière, Thurins

Address book

Le Gabion

A local institution. Moored in the Part-Dieu district for two decades, it serves lovingly prepared dishes, featuring tuna tartare prepared with a knife, gravlax salmon, and whole sea bass à la Colbert (or in parcels), served with sauce vierge.

13 Boulevard Eugène-Deruelle, Lyon 3


Highly instagrammable with its pop colours and ceiling mirrors, Poissonchat is less about sustainable fishing and more about culinary voyages to Asia, offering exotic options like sushi, ceviche and black cod with miso, a tip of the hat to the signature dish of the master of Asian fusion: Nobu Matsuhisa. You’ll also find some excellent cocktails and wagyu beef burgers. 

55 Ter Rue René-Cassin, Lyon 9

Le Bistrot du Potager

This restaurant’s specialities include razor clams au gratin and Navarre-style hake, a souvenir of the chef’s childhood in the Landes.

83 rue de Gerland, Lyon 7

Noé - Atelier de la Mer

We love this fishmonger’s, workshop, cannery, smokehouse and restaurant all in one. Here, the bounties of the sea are celebrated in all their forms, with inventive charcuterie-inspired seafood, such as scallop white sausage, Thai-style monkfish sausage, red mullet figatellu sausage, and seafood mortadella. Based on sustainable fishing and natural aquaculture, its dishes will take you on a journey into the blue.

22 quai Victor-Augagneur, Lyon 3

Le Boissonnier

Located on the floor above the fishmonger’s Comptoir de l’Océan, the restaurant Le Boissonnier dips into the treasures downstairs (sea bass fillet with black garlic sauce, tuna tataki, seafood platters, oysters, linguine alle vongole and even bouillabaisse) to delight its customers.

33 rue Jean-Moulin, Caluire-et-Cuire


A Michelin-starred ambassador of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, offering plenty of surprises, Rustique has done much for the reputation of a maligned fish: the catfish. You can taste this freshwater predator as a fillet, taramasalata or smoked like haddock.

14 rue d'Enghien, Lyon 2