The Best Coffee Shops & Bistro in Lyon

overview of Lyon - France

So my friend Jul was in Lyon last semester for her Erasmus exchange program. After six months of living the city, I knew that I had to drop THE question; "Which are the best coffee shops and bistros in Lyon?"

Enjoy her extensive list.

Old buildings, paved roads, bicycles, polite and pleasant people and lots of artistic activity in the city that gave birth to the 7th Art .

  • Le little (6 Rue Bellecordière, 69002)

Only 5 minutes from Perrache, this "petit" gives you the opportunity to enjoy a bunch of cupcakes and a quick coffee before you take the bus, metro or tram right from the largest station in Lyon. Come here for framboise, spéculoos and carrot cupcakes or order a custom cake for the Saturday's birthday party .

  • Le Sucre (50 Quai Rambaud)

Next to the La Sucrière art gallery, from where you can go to the city's center by boat too, the "hype" term coincides with a place and this is Sucre. If you are a fan of that term and want to see the treasures that people can dig up out of the (many) secondhand shops or see live the most important releases of the electronic music scene, come here. You can drink a beer on the benches on its roof and if you happen to be here in spring check its flea market too. There you will be able to buy many handmade shirts and shave your mustache in vintage barber chair reminiscent. Oh! Don't forget to see Todd Terje, who plays on April 12th !

Inside L'epicérie

Inside L'epicérie

  • L'epicérie (2 Rue de la Monnaie, 69002)

If France is famous for something, that is its tarts.Do not leave Lyon without tasting the tarts of this sweet, taken from a movie, but not at all touristy bistrot. Accompany your coffee with its, always, fresh Speculoos cheesecake or with a praline tart, which is the area's specialité. However, if you've come for lunch try the chicken and vegetables tart or the salmon one that will surely reward you. Sit preferably in the large wooden table if you want to feel your company's vibe.

  • Boulangerie du Palais (8 Rue du Palais de Justice)

The less touristy brioche of your life in the most touristy are of the city. Here your patience after waiting in its endless rush hour queues will be rewarded. Just taste its traditional praline brioche, made by the genre's masters. If you happen to be in winter here, drink the corresponding pink drink and be convinced that French know about gastronomy.

Inside La poule au pot

Inside La poule au pot

  • La poule au pot (5 Rue de l'Arbre Sec)

Great cocktails and barmen plucked from another era, dressed in plaid shirts and suspenders. In this small, but special café/bar you never get enough of complimenting the incredible decor or its patrons' eccentric style or the, always there, film projection. If you want to see "Reservoir Dogs", eat appetizers made by the most high quality materials, dance non-stop at parties and to get ideas of how a tree can be beautifully decorate a wall, you are in the ideal place.


  • Le terrier du lapin blanc (37 Rue Imbert Colomes)

Delicious mulled wine, melted candles into bottles and delicious appetizers with stunning soundtrack on the background. Dark atmosphere and aesthetic, while the WC upstairs is a notes museum, from the customers that leave little notes here and there. Sit for hours here  and gaze confessions and dedications .

Inside   La Bicycletterie

Inside La Bicycletterie

  • La Bicycletterie (16 Rue Romarin, 69001)

If you have a bike ( a between us, if you are in Lyon you definitely have a bike) and you have just finished seeing the Musée des Beaux Arts come and check the place that defines itself as a cafe -boutique-atelier for bikes. The staff will fix your brakes and saddle, while you enjoy a coffee and think that life here in Lyon passes on bicycle wheels for sure. Like those hung from its walls. When leaving, make a stop right next to La Bicycletterie for an authentic , freshly baked American donut, in Hello Brooklyn.

Inside Crock 'n roll

Inside Crock 'n roll

Best coffee shops and bistro in Lyon - Crock 'n roll
  • Crock 'n roll (1 Rue Désirée)

Only two minutes away from Lyon's Opera House, you can taste the most delicious Crock Monsieur/Madame in all its variations, both savory and sweet, accompanied by salads and cool milkshakes. The shop organizes photography exhibitions and live music concerts and
painting almost permanently so it is, and it is considered as one of the most meticulous places of the city.

Inside Cafe Cousu

Inside Cafe Cousu

Best coffee shops and bistro in Lyon - Cafe Cousu
  • Cafe Cousu (Passage Thiaffait)

If you want to drink your coffee with distinctive tiles in the background and special tables, you're in the right place. Here you can read your book for hours and be certain that within two days the staff will know your preference in coffee, but also taste delicious brunches every Sunday. Go for your cigarette while holding your drink outside with a bunch of people, who will probably discuss the unique artworks on the walls and decide with them in which bar to go next. Vintage aesthetic in, perhaps, the most beautiful part of Lyon, in the Croix Rousse, just 5 minutes from Place des Terreaux.

  • Antiq' y thé (20 Rue Longue, 69001)

For the fans of tea and chocolate, the solution is this Salon de Thé. Two floors, the lower allows you the annotation of the passersby and the upper one offers you more privacy and quiet to enjoy beverages found only here. Find here the cutest teddies chocolate marshmallows, which are never enough. Maybe this place will be a favorite one of yours, consider it next time being here.

Inside Pola Cafe

Inside Pola Cafe

  • Pola Café (19 Rue René Leynaud)

Just opposite of the Cafe Cousu, for the fans of photography revives the beloved fιlm camera, which films compose the shop's price list with the extremely cheap coffee and the tables on the walkway. Too often interesting events are held here by the fully-informed owner, who is  always available to answer questions supply you with the impossible film, sold as many other accessories on the huge rainbow wall.

Inside Mokxa cafe

Inside Mokxa cafe

  • Mokxa café (3 Rue de l'Abbé Rozie)

Paved roads and a bunch of ateliers prepare your enter in the Croix Rousse. If you want to drink a delicious latte, served in special glass cups, to read, to do your assignment on your laptop and to eat the best carrot cake in town, come here. The huge glass windows allow you to look outside and when the weather allows it, there tables on the paved road outside as a good excuse for coffee in the sun. Do not forget that here you will find a table for many once in a blue moon, as this place is mainly for mainly for confiding secrets .


  • Bec de jazz (19 Rue Burdeau)

The stairs leading to rue Burdeau and the piano door, don't not prepare you not a million for the magical space indoors. The smokehouse that due to the absence of  loud music allows long conversations, accompanied by gallons of beer and the its stairs make it on the best places in the city. Every detail is meticulously edited and the music is always different keeping jazz, rock 'n roll rolling. At your first time there, it will be hard to resist not looking around all the time with the fear of losing a key detail, or stay motionless when everyone around you dances like there is no tomorrow. Sure, sooner or later someone unknown will pull and drag you with his dance moves. Often the owner goes to the piano and closed the evening with live tracks .


  • Absinthe (22 Rue de Flesselles)

Especially near the Bec de Jazz, and sometimes even stylistically, the Absinthe is a place that never stops to amaze you. See live concerts on weekdays and enjoy dj sets on weekends by people who play music with sunglasses, cowboy hats, wigs and theatricality confirming that here you can feel like home. Almost permanently, a football table is on site, making it easier to meet people, in a place that you will find yourself singing and hugging with people that you will never see in your life.

Best coffee shops and bistro in Lyon - Sonic
Best coffee shops and bistro in Lyon - Sonic
  • Sonic (4 Quai des Étroits)

Last but not least, Sonic. The floating paradise of live concerts, outward trans parties and especially extrovert people. With the dark 80s parties every Saturday to be a reason for a huge queue outside the bar.
Sonic will prove to you that every patron that respects himself and wants to have fun will dance like crazy in a boat that it's amazing how it does sink by the crazy dancing regulars on it, dressed in red by the melodies of New Order, Trisomie 21, Das Kabinette and KVB, will go up on stage and will make friends one night (or a life) and wait like crazy the Banana Split which almost always the soundtrack of the evening. And when the party is over, with open shirt and no shoes he will go up on deck to wonder how this place can ensure him that will give him the most special evening of his life.

So that's it guys! I hope you liked our list, If you are from Lyon or have been there before don't forget to share your favorite places too :)

If you want more voyage-dust, check here!


Déspina Kortesidou

Déspina Kortesidou was born with the April flowers sometime in the '90s in the sunny peninsula of Greece. She is a graduating master student of neuroscience & metabolism, and a born adventurer.

(3rd person statements sound so official, love it)

She founded In Whirl of Inspiration, back in 2011 when she was (just) a biology student, in the island of Crete. In Whirl of Inspiration started as a creative and writing outlet for when studying molecules, became too monotonous. Recently, she started writing a children book and a not-so-children's book about the civil war in Greece. She has a soft spot for cheese, elder people, and (her own) jokes, but can't tell any as she ruins them by laughing too early. She enjoys sharing advice for eating healthier, or inspiring people to cover themshelves with plants, color and confetti.

Feel free to email her at, or find her on Instagram and Twitter. (breaking the 3rd person narration to thank you properly)

Thank you so much for reading!