Soda Soul’n Spirits – One of the First in Lyon
Lyon presents itself as metropolitan and elegant at first glance and I was immediately taken with it. With about 520,000 inhabitants in the core city, Lyon is France’s third largest city after Paris and Marseille. Magnificent town houses, bridges, boulevards and squares characterise the cityscape and with both the Saône and Rhone rivers running through Lyon, the city offers stunning views throughout. The old town of Lyon and part of the Lyon Peninsula were declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1998. Lyon is also the headquarters of the international police agency Interpol, by the way.
A successful bar visit always starts with a smile – and so it did at Soda. Soda Bar, Soul’n Spirits is the full name of this small and intimate venue. I was eating next door at Sapna and when I took a quick look at the large illuminated back bar as I walked by, it was like a flame to a moth. Seconds later, I found myself inside a dimly lit room.
A collage of black and white photos adorns an entire wall where there are some familiar faces to discover. The rest is kept black with nice wooden furniture, large comfortable corner benches and retro posters on the walls. Old black and white films play continuously in the background. What first came to my mind was that this is a retro american style bar inspired by the beginning of the soul era. All in all, a place to spend a long night. A highlight for a rendez-vous is definitely the cosy niche in the window. Established in 2006, the Soda Bar was the first real new generation cocktail bar in Lyon.
What awaits you at Soda is a nice atmosphere, excellent service and a welcoming bar team. The success of a bar would be impossible without superb staff.
I briefly browsed through the menu because I was suddenly in the mood for a Daiquiri. The drinks list is well mixed so that everyone can find something to their taste from Espresso Martinis to burning Zombies. And if not, ask the barteam. This is how I got my excellent mezcal drink and a super tasty tiki classic. The Jungle Bird is a tropical rum cocktail combining blackstrap rum, Campari, pineapple and lime juice. Refreshing and a very good balance of bitter and sweet. I didn’t order the drink, but I asked the bartender to describe himself as a cocktail. “I am all sweet but can turn bitter when someone pisses me off”, said Baptiste while placing the Jungle Bird in front of me.
It’s always a good experience when you get to talk to the bar team and feel in good hands. Especially when you have a lot in common as the bar manager Marylou is half french, half german and has worked in Berlin’s bar scene.
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There are more bars to discover but I was totally pleased with my choices. What surprised me the most was the incredible variety of beers. If you’re a beer lover you will find many places and shops that sell beers from micro-distilleries. And we don’t even need to talk about the lavish selection of wines. I have drunk some fantastic natural wines here, but now my train to Montpellier awaits . . .