Wine aficionados flock to this storied grape-rich pocket of France to tour wineries and châteaux alike. The region is equally gastronomically gifted, so read on for the top 10 restaurants to visit in the Loire Valley.
This charming and welcoming restaurant in the cobblestoned town of Blois is housed in a former grocery store and the simple setting belies the innovative and tasty food. Don’t miss the baby pigeon served on a bed of cabbage after an afternoon spent visiting the Château de Blois.
This restaurant, just outside of Chambord, marries the traditional with the contemporary in both its decor and its seasonally-variable menu, which consists of French haute cuisine with a fresh twist, like a filet of duck served with caramelized endives.
This delicious restaurant is steeped in history, from its 16th century facade to its location in the shadow of the royal fortress of Chinon. Choose from the three different menus and finish off the meal with a selection of regional cheese and wines.
For a fresh and unique experience, head to Le Lift in Orléans, which offers a view through the windows of a neighboring park and also offers a terrace with a view of the Loire River. Take in the ambiance as you sample chef Philippe Bardeau’s creative dishes made with local ingredients.
Just down the road from the Musée Balzac, in the town of Saché near Azay-le-Rideau, this lovely, historic spot serves up traditional French food in an equally traditional setting. From the amuse-bouche to the last bite of dessert, this meal is a delectable taste of France.
Located on Rue Colbert in delightful Vieux Tours, this reservation-only restaurant is a favorite with locals, who swear by its regional classics. Don’t miss the Rillons de Tours, a delicacy of glazed pork, to which Balzac was partial.
For a more contemporary experience, head across town to this Art Deco dining room near the Tours train station. L’Odeon specializes in fresh and local products, including Loire Valley wines and an assortment of fine cheeses. Try the fixed price three-course dinner, which consists of a seafood starter, main dish of duck and a tasty dessert.
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It’s hard to miss this picturesque historic townhouse, which— as the name suggests— is marked with an old-fashioned hanging sign with a painting of a unicorn. Take a seat on the terrace, amidst a verdant floral garden, and tuck into a plate of decadent Triple Sec soufflé.
Opt for the prix-fixe menu at this Azay-le-Rideau venue, where chef Jean Luc Fèvre produces interesting and tantalizing takes on Francophone specialties. Of particular note is the dessert of peaches, roasted and served with pistachio ice cream.
Innovation is the name of the game when it comes to chef Jacques Guillamat’s creations at this reasonably-priced and modern Chisseaux restaurant. Where else can one order a dish like foie gras flan with a Port gelée?