16 Best Restaurants in The Loire Valley, France


$$$$ Fodor's choice
While Blois is graced with several acclaimed restaurants, Assa is a relative newcomer to the scene and a total standout. The spare, serene dining room offers river views and Japanese-theme touches, which is your first clue of what's to come: masterfully prepared Asian-inflected dishes that are as beautiful as they are delicious. The market-fresh multicourse menus change almost daily and revolve around a theme that might include fish, meat, and vegetables. Although there are plenty of French delicacies—duck breast, foie gras, truffles—dishes are unique; think creamy shiitake soup followed by smoked tuna with lemongrass sauce and baby vegetables. Finish with a plate of Loire artisanal cheeses and a glass of local wine from the impeccable wine list.

Auberge du XIIe Siècle

$$$$ Fodor's choice

You half expect Balzac himself to come strolling in the door of this delightful half-timber auberge, so little has it changed since the 19th century, including its centuries-old dining room, now warmed by a fireplace, floral bouquets, and rich wood tables. Balzac's ample girth attested to his great love of food, and he would no doubt enjoy the sautéed lobster or the nouvelle spins on his classic géline chicken favorites served here today. Dessert is excellent, and so is the coffee—a beverage Balzac drank incessantly (which may explain how he had the energy to create 2,000-plus characters). The restaurant and inn is nearly opposite the great author's country retreat.

1 rue du Château, Saché, 37190, France
Known For
  • excellent coffee
  • charming outdoor terrace
  • sophisticated presentation
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Mon. and Tues. No dinner Sun., Reservations essential

Chez Gaster

$$ Fodor's choice

A picturesque 15th-century carved wood façade and medieval rafters set the scene for happy diners to feast on deeply satisfying French dishes updated to please modern palates. Chef Robin Pasquier, of Paris's legendary Akrame restaurant, serves a meat-centric menu (pigs' feet, veal brains) that does not skimp on the fish or vegetables, all carefully sourced from around Tours and prepared with a golden touch, with a stunning list of hand-picked wines to match.

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$$ Fodor's choice

Subtle, delicate, and delectable are just a few words that spring to mind when describing the masterful cuisine of chef Nicolas Aubry, who earned his second Michelin star in 2018 and has now taken the reins of this contemporary dining room. It's become a top dining experience in the area, and if you feel like lingering over the sublime wine pairings, the four chic guest rooms are a great way to top off your evening. A 10-minute drive (and an easy bike ride) to both Blois and Chambord, Ezia is convenient to major sights.


$$ Fodor's choice

At this petite 22-seat dining room conveniently set on a bustling pedestrian street between the cathedral and the river, everything converges to make your dining experience a truly memorable one. Beautiful presentation complements surprising pairings; think cod with celery risotto in a bergamot emulsion, delicious white asparagus gratin with comté cheese, or, for dessert, delectably moist carrot cake with candied carrots served with yuzu-infused salted caramel and savory ice cream. The restaurant really shines at dinnertime (be sure to reserve well ahead), but lunch is a great introduction to this splendid cuisine.

Le Petit Honfleur

$$$ Fodor's choice

There's plenty of good dining in Blois, but this cozy restaurant on a pedestrian street among Old Town's half-timbered buildings is a true gem. Not exactly undiscovered—it's a foodie favorite—it's small enough to remain true to its credo of local, seasonal, and original cuisine. The chef has relationships with several small local farmers, cheesemakers, and fisherman (the catch of the day is often fresh from the Loire River), which they use in dishes like escargots de Cour-Cheverny with local mushrooms and trout filet with beurre blanc and local green peas from Chambord. Desserts are heavenly, like the pavlova with local strawberries and rhubarb. Ask the chef for wine pairings, sourced from the Loire's top small estate grower-producers.

Les Arpents

$$ Fodor's choice

An easy walk from Château d'Amboise, this warm contemporary bistro is a big draw for its casual approach to fine gastronomic dining. The smallish menu ensures that every dish depends on the fresh and the seasonal, using local asparagus, artichokes, and strawberries in spring, the Loire's abundant produce in summer and fall, and quality local meats all year round. At €40, the Plaisir menu is a stellar value. The bistro's top-notch wine cellar accentuates the best of this stellar wine region.


$$$ Fodor's choice

One taste of this exceptional cuisine and you'll understand why dining on Syrian food in the center of Orléans makes perfect sense. Besides a powerful backstory—the owners fled the Syrian war with not much more than their recipes stowed in their suitcase and their hopes of starting anew—the warm atmosphere and fresh, traditional fare make this one of the most popular spots in town, serving up delicious comfort foods like slow-braised lamb and eggplant makloubeh, muhammara (a delicious walnut and red pepper dip), or slow-cooked beef kebab. Be sure to save room for the ethereal desserts, some inflected with rose or orange blossom.

178 rue de Bourgogne, Orléans, 45000, France
Known For
  • super-friendly welcome
  • beautiful dining room
  • healthy cuisine
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Sun. and Mon. No lunch Tues. and Wed., Reservations essential


$$ Fodor's choice

Tours may be an unexpected place for Japanese cuisine of this caliber, but this sleekly handsome dining room has become one of the city's most sought-after tables (and not always an easy one to get). A warm welcome and accomplished chef Jean-Nobuki Rémon's dazzling small dishes await you, along with expert advice on wine pairings. From light-as-air vegetable tempura and savory miso soup to the freshest seafood (raw and cooked), each dish is a symphony of flavors. Desserts are not to be missed: try the plum liqueur-poached apple served with ginger ice cream.

3 rue Buffon, Tours, 37000, France
Known For
  • great prices for this quality
  • wonderful bento boxes at lunch
  • knowledgeable and helpful staff
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed weekends, Reservations essential

Au P'tit Goûter


For five generations, the Dubois family has been producing the local Crottin de Chavignol goat cheese that figures prominently on the menu at this unpretentious bistro-wine bar—whether baked on toast, melted in an omelet, or included on a cheese plate with other local favorites. You can choose from a range of seasonal dishes that pair beautifully with a local wine that they will happily guide you in choosing.

Bourg de Chavignol, Loches, 18300, France
Known For
  • well-priced wines by the glass
  • local mainstay
  • market-fresh blackboard menus
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Sun. and Mon. mid-Nov.–mid-Apr., Reservations essential

Bistrot L'Oppidum


This bistro, specializing in all the bounty of the Loire Valley, unites friendly service, stylish decor, a convivial atmosphere, and outstanding cuisine. Whether it's melt-in-your-mouth lamb, a copious charcuterie board featuring local cheeses and house-made foie gras, or an all-fish plate that assembles fish rillettes of the local Loire silure and caviar from the Sologne, you're sure to make delicious discoveries. The spacious terrace overlooking the meandering Loire River is a lovely spot to dine, snack, sample the Loire appellations, or imbibe a cocktail on fine days.

56 rue du Rocher des Violettes, Amboise, 37400, France
Known For
  • local cuisine and ingredients
  • delightful riverfront terrace
  • excellent spot for wine discovery

La Licorne


A hanging shop sign adorned with a painted unicorn beckons you to this pretty-as-a-picture 18th-century town-house restaurant on Fontevraud's idyllic Allée Ste-Catherine. Past a flowery garden and table-adorned terrace, tiny salons glow with happy folks feasting on classic French dishes: Loire salmon, boned quail, Triple Sec soufflé, and langoustine ravioli make most diners purr with contentment.

La Tour


For a more elegant introduction to the specialties and wines of Sancerre, why not reserve a table at the loveliest restaurant in town? Set high in the old town under a 14th-century stone tower, the picturesque beamed and half-timbered dining room is the perfect setting for a meal that highlights local delicacies and the highest quality ingredients in beautifully presented dishes. From the spotless linens to the friendly yet discreet service, it’s Sancerre’s top gastronomic experience from start to finish.

31 Nouvelle-Place, Loches, 18300, France
Known For
  • homemade foie gras
  • stellar wine list from all regions of France
  • delightful atmosphere
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Sun. and Mon. No lunch Tues.

Le Médicis


Decorated in a wacky Renaissance-meets-contemporary style with a coffered ceiling and white linens, this is the domain of highly acclaimed chef-owner Damien Garanger, who turns classic dishes into presentations—picture coquilles St-Jacques with bitter roquette, or thin slices of roast hare with a black currant sauce. The impressive wine list, a veritable primer in Loire wines, includes more than 250 choices. Though service can be brusque, word is out that this is among the better local restaurants, so be sure to reserve early. There are also 10 guest rooms on-site for overnight lodging.

2 allée François-Ier, Blois, 41000, France
Known For
  • admittedly ugly building
  • lengthy dining times
  • reasonable prices
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Sun. and Mon. in Oct.–June, Reservations essential

Le Petit Patrimoine


Locals in the know reserve well in advance to get a table at this tiny restaurant in Vieux Tours, which specializes in traditional regional cuisine. Don't miss Balzac's much-loved Rillons de Tours, a glazed pork dish, and the delicious St-Maure goat cheese.

58 rue Colbert, Tours, 37000, France
Known For
  • serves Touraine specialties
  • popular with locals
  • good-value lunch menus
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Sun. and Mon., Reservations essential

Les Années Trente


Located in the heart of medieval Chinon, at the foot of the royal fortress, this spot welcomes diners with a venerable 16th-century facade. A romantic Belle Époque interior continues the historic vibe, but the food—combining fish, game, and regional specialties—is prepared with a light, modern touch. Stéphane and Karine Charles's delicious dishes melt in your mouth without weighing you down. There are three different set menus to choose from; the best might be Le 30 (€46), which comes perfectly paired with local wines and cheeses.

78 rue Haute St-Maurice, Chinon, 37500, France
Known For
  • Michelin-starred dining
  • choice of three set menus
  • organic and local ingredients whenever possible
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Tues. and Wed., Reservations essential