Hi, we are going to be in Lyon in May. Any recommendations on restaurants good for local cuisines + vegetarians? Wife is a vegetarian, while I like meat and seafood. So I'm looking for some places to please us both and sample Lyonnaise dishes I've heard so much about.
Then you should look for Bouchons.
You might want to take a look at my response in this posting from a short while ago.
Stick to more modern places if you want good vegetarian choices. Bouchons tend to be pretty meat-heavy -- more specifically, "variety cuts" as they might be called in the U.S., such as foot, liver, tongue, brains, head, kidney, tripe, sausages of various origins including andouille and andouillette, made from a pig's intestinal tract with the accompanying smell you might expect, and so on.
We just visited Lyon for 5 nights this month and the OP Sammy is correct, the bouchons focus on traditional food. We went to Le Merciere and were pleased with their selection, so you may find a vegetarian option there but I wouldn't count on it in the Old Town. We didn't make it here but it was recommended: LES 3 DÔMES - Sofitel Lyon Bellecour. I would also recommend you take the Old Town Food Tour which you can find at the tourist office at Place Bellcour. The guides know the city well and will make good recommendations. Plus the food tour is lots of fun!
Go for officially recognized bouchons: https://lesbouchonslyonnais.org/en/
We were in Lyon in September 2022 (not our favorite city, sorry!). As a vegetarian, it did have my favorite restaurant out of all the places we visited while in France. It was called Le Grand Liban and was Lebanese food. https://www.legrandliban.com/menu
We went to one Lyonnaise restaurant in Old Town and I was limited to one dish as a vegetarian. Lyon is really well known for their meat dishes; so you should love it! Your wife may have a harder time. Enjoy!
We have spent months in France and the rudest treatment we ever got from a waiter was at Le Mercier. Food ok.
Our favorite Bouchon was Les Lyonnais just across the foot bridge into the old town side. They were gracious and welcoming, gave excellent advice on wine selection and did a great job on the classic bouchon foods. We had quenelles, eggs meurette and a duck confit parmentier there -- all excellent. I am not sure a vegetarian can prosper here. We joked about Lyon cuissine that it was basically all meat -- salads are filled with bacon, plats rarely include vegetables.
I suspect you may have to find an actually vegetarian restaurant. Bouchon food is very meat oriented. If she could eat fish then there are the wonderful quenelles, but those have fish in the dish and in the sauce.
Have heard Culina Hortus has excellent vegetarian options. Also have heard that it fills up an reservations recommended.