From the funky red walls to the live jazz music, this is an atmospheric spot to relax and grab a drink with friends. The extensive drinks list includes several excellent Belgian Trappist beers, as well as mixed drinks and wines, and if hunger strikes, the charcuterie and cheese plate goes down a treat.
Strapontin Café, 23 Rue de Chateauneuf, Tours, France, +33 7 61 27 37 37
This bar, just a stone’s throw from the cathedral in the heart of Blois, has cool vaulted ceilings, cosy booths, and an altogether welcoming decor. Serving up creative and well-executed cocktails, Le Velvet is also known for its food, especially the ice cream.
Le Velvet, 15 Rue Haute, Blois, France, +33 2 54 78 36 32
Cave des Silènes
For a delicious glass of local Loire Valley wine, look no further than this Chinon wine bar, which is located along the main road into town from the Château de Chinon. The helpful and friendly staff is happy to let visitors peruse the many bottles, as well as to provide advice.
Cave des Silènes, 43 Avenue François Mitterrand, Chinon, France, +33 2 47 93 07 43
This lively and inviting bar is known for its extensive collection of rums, including rare and top-quality varieties and brands. For good atmosphere, fun music, and great drinks, Ailleurs is the place to be.
Ailleurs, 26 Rue de Chateauneuf, Tours, France, +33 2 47 05 66 20
La Cave à Bulles
This atmospheric lounge/bar is situated at the foot of the Château d’Amboise and is the ideal place to unwind with a beer from the lengthy list. Order some food while enjoying a drink; the burgers are stellar and the bar also offers tapas to share.
La Cave à Bulles, 44 Rue de la Concorde, Amboise, France, +33 6 61 13 02 69
Club 15 is a delightful and sophisticated bar and jazz club, and is perfect for those seeking a relaxing and fun evening spent enjoying a drink or few, taking in the strains of live jazz, and chatting with both other patrons as well as the friendly owner.
A lively and always-crowded bar in in the heart of Tours, Le Campus is outfitted in retro Americana decor in a cheeky nod to American college bars, and is a great place to hang out and chat with friends over a beer, watch a football or rugby match on TV, or celebrate a private party.
Le Campus, 13 Rue du Grand Marché, Tours, France, +33 6 09 77 65 29
Le Cercle Rouge
Enjoy the best of local wines by the glass at this Angers wine bar, which is ever-popular and for good reason, and pair the vin with a bite to eat; Le Cercle Rouge’s kitchen turns out its own house-made terrines, as well as serving local cheeses, charcuterie, and more.
Le Cercle Rouge, 4 Rue des Deux Haies, Angers, France, +33 2 41 87 49 66
Tucked into the small hamlet of Valaire, near Blois, this bar and restaurant is a destination for wine-lovers including local vineyard workers, who frequent it for lunches of rustic food and copious amounts of wine. Make like the locals and order a magnum and a plate of beef and frites or foie gras with lentils.
L’ Herbe Rouge, Le Bourg, Valaire, France, +33 2 54 44 98 14
Les Becs à Vin
This bistro and wine bar has several owners, one of whom is Thierry Puzelat, a natural winemaker in the Loire Valley, and the wine offerings here definitely do not disappoint. Nor does the decor, which is cheerful and inviting; fresh flowers, eclectically mismatched furniture, and a guitar on the wall.
Les Becs à Vin, 8 Place du Châtelet, Orléans, France, +33 9 65 16 64 09