Cafe des Federations Bouchon Lyon

Cafe des Federations

Over the years, I’ve read many wonderful things about the bouchons in Lyon, it’s always been my dream to dine in one – which is my main reason for visiting Lyon.

The bouchon, for the uninitiated, is the Lyonnaise version of the classic French bistro. It serves traditional Lyonnaise cuisine; the food is rich, humble, generous, and flavourful.

We managed to get a table at Café des Fédérations – one of the few Les Authentiques Bouchons Lyonnais (certified authentic bouchons in Lyon). It was one of the best meals in my life.

Stepping inside Café des Fédérations, it felt as though we were transported back in time. It’s true when they say that the decor of bouchons has essentially remained unchanged over the years.

Most bouchons have a limited menu, and Café des Fédérations is no exception. You eat what you are served, and you only get to choose the main course. I have no problem with that. I am more than happy to eat what the locals eat.

Poached eggs

The first course was a beautiful poached egg served in a soulful red wine broth. It was very good.

Lentil Salad

Next, we were served a simple salad, cured meat, and lentil salad.

Pork cheeks stew

For the main course, we had a selection dilemma. There are seven items to choose from: black pudding with apple; small chitterling sausage with mustard sauce; stew of pork cheeks; quenelle with nantua sauce and crayfish; calf head with ravigote sauce; chicken with vinegar; and cake of chicken livers – we were tempted by everything.

We wanted the classic Lyonnaise quenelle (fish dumpling), so that was easy. Then, we had to choose between the stew of pork cheeks and calf head. We eventually settled for the former after asking the owner for his recommendation.


Both the main courses were brilliant. In fact, I think brilliant is an understatement, but I cannot find a better word to describe them. The food is simple, but earnest and delicious.


For desserts, you get to choose between a chocolate cake, tart, fruit, and cake with alcohol.

Café des Fédérations

By the end of the meal, I was already breathing heavily, hoping that time would pause at that moment. I was very happy just by sitting there, and soaking in the atmosphere. Eating in a bouchon was a dream come true. We paid less than 30 euros/pax for the amazing meal.

If you are going to Lyon, make sure you make an advance reservation for a table. Most of the best bouchons are located near Lyon’s City Hall; you shouldn’t have any problem finding them.

Writing this post really makes me miss Lyon, I can’t wait to visit it again.

Cafe Des Federations
8 Rue Du Major Martin
Tel: + 33 472 73 04 27
Nearest Metro: Hotel de Ville