Au Rendez-vous des Pêcheurs
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.
Au Rendez-vous des Pêcheurs, 27 Rue du Foix, Blois, France, +33 2 54 74 67 48
La Maison À Côté
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.
La Maison À Côté, 25 Rte de Chambord, Montlivault, France, +33 2 54 20 62 30
Les Années Trente
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.
Les Années Trente, 78 Rue Haute St Maurice, Chinon, France, +33 2 47 93 37 18
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.
Auberge du XIIe Siècle
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.
Auberge du XIIe Siècle, 1 Rue du Château, Saché, France, +33 2 47 26 88 77
Le Petit Patrimoine
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.
Le Petit Patrimonie, 58 Rue Colbert, Tours, France, +33 2 47 66 05 81
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.
Restaurant L’ Odeon, 10 Place Gen Leclerc, Tours, France, +33 2 47 20 12 65
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.
La Licorne, Allé Ste-Catherine, Fontevraud L’Abbaye, France, +33 2 41 51 72 49
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.
L’ Aigle d’Or, 10 Avenue Adélaïde Riche, Azay-le-Rideau, France, +33 2 47 45 24 58
Auberge du Cheval Rouge
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?
Auberge du Cheval Rouge, 30 Rue Nationale, Chisseaux, France, +33 2 47 23 86 67