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Loire Valley restaurants

The Loire River has shaped both the landscape and the cuisine of the region. River fish, notably sandre (pike perch) and freshwater eel, are particular treats. Other fine local delights include asparagus in spring, strawberries in summer, and wild mushrooms and game (hare, venison, wild boar, partridge) in autumn and winter, as well as button and oyster mushrooms, which are cultivated in dank caves around Saumur. Also be sure to try the region's superb goat cheeses, from Selles-sur-Cher, Ste. Maure de Touraine, Valencay, and Crottins de Chavignol. In addition to classic dishes like coq au Chinon, fish in beurre blanc, foie gras, game pâtés, and pigeon, you'll also find modern renditions of the repertoire crafted by chefs who are lightening sauces, adding exotic spices, or rediscovering légumes oubliés ("forgotten vegetables"), such as old varieties of tomatoes, parsnips, or beets. Restaurants range from grand château establishments to bustling brasseries serving steaks and salads to simple village bistros. In addition to the restaurants listed here, the establishments of chefs who belong to the association Touraine Gourmande (www.tourainegourmande.com) tend to be worth a visit.

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Auberge du XIIe Siècle, Saché

This ancient half-timbered inn, where Balzac often used to come for drinks, is now a dynamic gastronomic destination. The cooking is judiciously contemporary....more

Editors' Pick
Au Rendez-Vous des Pêcheurs, Blois

Adventurous chef Christophe Cosme has brought the gastronomic bistro trend from its Paris roots to the countryside. This former bar and grocery, located a block...more

Editors' Pick
Brasserie de l'Univers, Tours

This big, beautiful Belle Époque restaurant dates to 1896 and has an original stained-glass domed ceiling and an outdoor terrace. It's widely...more

Editors' Pick
Château de Marçay, Chinon

The menu at this lovely 15th-century château offers such refined masterpieces as turbot cooked in veal sauce, served with asparagus; lobster infused with...more

Editors' Pick
Château de Noizay, Noizay

The dining halls in this 16th-century château are done in shades of chocolate and beige, with hardwood floors and old gilded mirrors above marble...more

Editors' Pick
Domaine de Beauvois, Luynes

An ornate chandelier and grand stone fireplace preside over the dining room of this luxury château, but the food being served is anything but...more

Editors' Pick
Domaine des Hauts de Loire, Onzain

The elegant restaurant of this château-hotel lost a Michelin star a few years ago, but the second star chef Rémy Giraud regained in 2008 is proof...more

Editors' Pick
Jean Bardet, Tours

The top restaurant in Tours is one of the best in France—with the prices to prove it. It is set in the glorious rooms and gardens of the Château...more

Editors' Pick
L'Étape Gourmande, Villandry

If you've overdosed on the heavy brocades and soaring marble of the châteaux dining rooms, reserve a table on this working farm, which dates back to the...more

Editors' Pick
Le Choiseul, Amboise

With its refined cooking and stunning river views, this long-standing gourmet destination below the Château-Royal d'Amboise is a favorite both with...more

Editors' Pick
Results 1-10 of 13  |   1 2 next
Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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