Best Cocktail Bars in Lyon

Running in parallel to Lyon’s coffee renaissance is a robust cocktail movement. France is traditionally a land of wine and Belgian beers (there’s nothing quite like a platter of meat and cheese with some sliced bread and French red to start an evening off right), but the last few years have seen an apparent uptick of interest in the art…

french cafes

Best Coffee Shops in Lyon

There’s a big difference between what we think of as a “coffee shop” in the United States and the traditional French café, which is more of a multi-purpose refreshment center. The French café has sidewalk tables and a dim interior, serves meals at certain hours and beer, wine, and absolutely terrible coffee the rest of the time,…

cafe des federations lyon

Mix-and-Match Lyon

As I said in my last post, Lyon is my favorite French city by far, and seriously underrated. A few years ago, an important world leader was visiting the city, and I remember hearing people express their delight and surprise at the honor. I wasn’t surprised at all, but I was impressed by the Lyonnais pride without arrogance. If you get…

sagrada familia

Four-Day Wander: Barcelona

Barcelona is a covergirl with a troubled past, a high-maintenance celebrity who stumbles into her town car after a night of dancing and heavy drinking several times a week, but still somehow manages to arrive fresh-faced on set every morning. She’s gorgeous, reliable, and expensive to cast. Make-up hides her scars– when uncovered, some add to her beauty while others mar it. Her…

cheese

My gift is my song, and this one’s for cheese.

Homage to Fromage Chers fromages, I love you, And there’s so many of you Here in the land of the frogs! Cantal and roquefort and tomme de Savoie, Saint-Félicien, Saint-Nectaire, and gouda… I don’t discriminate; I love you all– My palate is wide, my appetite tall. But lately our love affair’s gone a bit cold. With age you…

markets in lyon

Sunday at the Saône Markets

On a clear blue-and-yellow morning, there are few things more satisfying than a stroll through the art, book, and food markets along the Saône. The art market, on the west side of the river, displays everything from jewelry to sculpture and paintings, some of it a bit scary but most of it impressive. Though the art…

voisin lyon

Candy Cushions

A sweet Lyonnais specialty: the Cuisson de Lyon, from Voisin chocolatier. The Cuisson de Lyon is a little candy that looks like a cushion (“cuisson” = “cushion,” en français) and consists of Curaçao-flavored chocolate ganache coated in marzipan. It’s very soft and very rich. Originated at Voisin in 1960, the shape meant to echo the…

tiles lisbon portugal

Six-Day Wander: Lisbon

Before arriving, I knew embarrassingly little about Lisbon. I could tell you where to find it on a map, and I made sure I knew a handful of phrases (“Do you speak English?” being one of them), but in my mind Lisbon was a vaguely sunny blank I decided to visit mainly because it was…