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  • Writer's pictureEddie & Megan

Les Terasses d'Alex - A garden oasis in Villeurbanne France

Updated: Nov 15, 2019

Our flat in Lyon is located in the 3rd arrondissement (i.e. neighborhood) which is on the far east side. The actual flat is so far east in the city, that if you stand still and think really really hard, you end up in the next city! OK, that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but our flat is just a few minutes walk from Villeurbanne, which is a completely different city than Lyon. You can’t really tell as they’re both large metropolitan areas, but you are technically in a different town.

One thing that we’ve noticed in Lyon is that a majority of places (at least in more residential areas) are all about what’s behind the scenes. Judging a restaurant by it’s cover will absolutely cause you to miss out on some amazing food.

As you walk around, you notice that many of the buildings are quite old and appear a little run down from the exterior. You come across an unassuming restaurant front that’s painted brown and pink and think “Nah, let’s skip this one, looks a little meh…” We would have done the same had our Airbnb host not suggested the place.

Don't judge a book by it's cover... This typical city street hides a Terasses oasis!


As we are escorted through the restaurant to “les terrasses” in the back, our breath catches as we step out into a beautifully shaded courtyard with trees, ivy, and a wide open space. This is absolutely nothing like what the front of the building promises.

Ivy growing on wall with dining tables in front of it.
The ivy growing up the side of the walls in the Terasses area left you feeling like you weren't in the middle of the city.

Don’t let the lack of a crowd fool you...we were just being “les touristes” and arriving well ahead of the customary lunch hour. The place was packed by the time we left.

Megan and Eddie sitting at their dinner table in the terasses area with a large tree behind them.
Having a large tree growing in the middle of the area also helped add to the atmosphere.

On a day that was 40+ degrees Celsius (or close to 100 degrees Fahrenheit) we were so thankful for the dense shade!

Megan sitting at our dinner table. Behind her is the waiters prep area in the terasses area.
The waiters "prep area" was an inside/outside type of setup. I would pick that any day over a hot kitchen!

We were waited on by four or five people total during a single visit and there was a wide range in their English speaking ability from fluent to “a little bit” (the most common response we get when we ask in French if they speak English).

To drink, Eddie chose to veer from his usual and ordered a Monaco which Google informed him was 2 parts light beer, one part sparkling soda, and a splash of grenadine. Megan stuck with her new favorite (peach kir, which is an apéritif).

Dinner of beef lasagna and a nicely cooked duck filet! Can't forget the side of bread too.

The food was also amazing! Megan had a beef lasagna and Eddie ordered the daily special, grilled duck on a bed of creamy mushrooms with a side of pasta and grilled endives.

Close up shot of grilled duck on a bed of creamy mushrooms with a side of pasta and grilled endives.
Obligatory "portrait mode" photo of dinner. I think it looks cool so it's staying!

We were enjoying ourselves so much that we opted to share a dessert, just so that we could stay a little longer. We ordered a “Cafe Gourmand” which was a shot of espresso on a tray with other mini desserts. It was just the right amount of sweets!

Cafe gourmand. Espresso and a plate of three tiny deserts. Ice cream, brownie, and cherry tart
Cafe gourmand!

You might expect our meal to have been very expensive simply based on the atmosphere, service, and meals we selected but you would be wrong. We were pleasantly surprised when our check came to €46,60 (or just over $50). Not too bad for two meals, two alcoholic beverages, and dessert. Yes, it’s a more expensive lunch than a simple sandwich at a cafe but, for what you get, we felt like it was a great value.

We have just over two weeks left of our time in Lyon and we will certainly be visiting Les Terrasses d’Alex again!

If you want to check out Les Terrasses d'Alex's social media and websites, you can find them below:


-Eddie & Megan

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