The Loire Valley is a region that offers plenty of specialties: fruit, vegetables (in the 15th century, Touraine - the region around the city of Tours, where most castles of the Loire Valley are located, was called 'the garden of France' by the Italians), cheeses but also various animal species bred for human consumption... Gastronomy is part of the cultural heritage of our beautiful region - a few years ago, Tours was awarded the title of 'International City of Gastronomy' - and gastronmy and food will undoubtedly represent an important aspect of your stay in the Loire Valley. We have chosen to suggest you some local addresses of restaurants, that we have tested ourselves and appreciated. An eclectic selection, to satisfy everyone's tastes and tastebuds.
Quai de la Loire in Rochecorbon (between Vouvray and Tours)
This restaurant is located in one of the villages where Vouvray wines are produced. It is one of the best and most famous in the area - it has been awarded one star in the Michelin guide for several years now. The chef, Dider Edon, is originally from Britanny. He cooks fresh, seasonal and local products, but combines them with ingredients coming from other French regions, so that the flavours combine and enhance one another.. The food is wonderful, and the setting is exceptional, as the restaurant is located along the Loire. Its terrace overlooking the river is perfect to enjoy warm summer days and the scenery by siping a glass of Loire wine. And if you want to experience something really unique, why not book a room to stay on the premises after dinner? The place also includes a four-star hotel, whose troglodyte bedrooms are former cells dug in the limestone that were lived by monks coming from a nearby monastary in the Middle Ages. For sure, an exceptional place for an exceptional stay in the Loire Valley!
In the centre of Rochecorbon (between Vouvray and Tours, opposite the church)
A restaurant located at the heart of teh beautiful village of Rochecorbon, that offers creative dishes and tasty food. Original flavours are created from daily and local ingredients. In the warm days, you will be able to enjoy the beautiful terrace overlooking the tiny river that goes through the village. La Part Belle is also a delicatessen, selling local products as well as wine, beers... from here and there. We have eaten there once with a group of Belgian chefs, who were all delighted by the food they were served.
In Vouvray (Vallée Coquette)
You'd like to eat in a picturesque place while staying in the Loire Valley? This restaurant located in a cave in Vouvray is absolutely unique. Both the locals and the tourists love it! In summer, enjoy the lovely terrace with its view on the vineyard; in winter, the former dwelling in the rock with its fireplace will be like paradise.
No menu here, but several starters, main courses and desserts to choose from and which change according to what David and Catherine, the owners, find at local markets and producers'. They only cook fresh and seasonal products to prepare delicious ad original dishes. Lots of Loire wines - especially those produced in the Vouvray area - are available on the wine list.
In Vouvray (18 Route Nationale)
French cuisine cooked by Stéphanie, the chef, with seasonal and and fresh products. A nice restaurant, in a bright and elegant room, in the centre of Vouvray. Lovely staff, to help you choose from the different courses offered evey day. A wide choice of Loire Valley wines, and more precisely of Vouvray wines. If you don't want to spend too much money, you may choose the menu offered at lunch time, that is cooked with local produce and changes every day.
14 rue des ailes, in Parçay-Meslay (along RN 10)
The environment of this restaurant may be a bit confusing in the first place, as it is located outside Tours' city center. However the inside will make you think of a gastronomy restaurant. The food is really good, and the ratio between quality and price really interesting. Several menus are offered, from €18 during the week (a lot of people who work in the neighbourhood have made their 'canteen' of this restaurant) to €27 at weekends. A restaurant where I have eaten several times, with my husband, my family or some friends, and where I've never been disappointed. I recommend that you try the 'bouillabaisse tourangelle', inspired by a dish originally prepared in Marseilles and that uses Mediterranean fish, and that is here adapted as it includes local charcuterie.
in Neuillé-le-Lierre (15 mn from Amboise)
A family-owned restaurant, that serves fresh and seasonal products - some of them coming from the chef's garden! - cooked by Ghislaine and her son-in-law, while her husband and their two
daughters deal with the customers and service. A restaurant where I have eaten many times, with my husband, my family or some friends and where I have always been delighted by the food. One of my
husband's favorite dessert is prepared here: 'îles flottantes aux pralines' - something you should try!
The place is also a hotel - a good address to spend a few nights in the area, while enjoying visiting castles, wineries and tasting Loire Valley wines.
in Saint-Ouen-les-Vignes (10 minutes from Amboise)
A beautiful setting for this gastronomy restaurant located at the heart of an old and lovely village close to Amboise.
The owners have perfectly combined tradition and innovation in this relaxing and peaceful restaurant. The food is excellent and the wine list is impressive - a lot of good wineries are reprensented, some of them from the Loire Valley.
The place is also a hotel, with a swimming-pool, and a spa open to the public.
5 rue d'Orange
A restaurant located just round the corner of the main shopping street of Amboise - rue Nationale - and within a 2-minutes' walk from the chateau. The €17.50 lunch menu includes a starter and a
main course or a main course and a dessert, but if you are hungry and want to opt for the full menu of teh day, it will cost you €21.50. In the evening and at weekends, you will have to pay from
€33 for a 3-course menu. A very good value given the quality of the seasonal products cooked by the chef and the nice and tasty food ending up in your plates. The wine lists presents beautiful
bottles from local producers. We have tested this restaurant with friends and have loved it!
17 quai Charles Guinot
This restaurant, located along the Loire River, just beneath the beautiful castle of Amboise, focuses on regional and seasonal products. Nice and welcoming staff. The dining-room is bright and clear, the food appetizing and savoury. This address is popular with both the locals and the tourists, so we recommend that you book before you go. We've already been there with some of our visitors, and everybody loved the food they were served. At lunchtime, you can eat there for less than €20. A very good value given the excellent quality of the food!
14 rue Nationale
A modern dining-room, a welcoming staff and an impeccable service in this restaurant located in the main shopping street of Amboise. We've eaten there several times with colleagues and friends and have never been disappointed. A cuisine mixing tradition and modernity, food presented in an original way and combining interesting flavours, which is what we look for when eating out (I cook a lot at home so when going to the restaurant I like to try things I wouldn't be able to cook myself). The wine list includes many Loire Valley wines and wineries.
A restaurant where it is better to book, as it is often full. We wanted to have dinner there one evening in July, out of the blue, but had to turn around. And even on weeknights, it is often full. So, what attracts people in this restaurant located near the parking lot of the Château d'Amboise, right next to a lock on the Amasse, the small river that runs through Amboise to flow into the Loire? First of all, the friendliness and smile of the owners. But also, a tasty cuisine, made with local products. Two menus to choose from - Chenin and Côt, named after two grape varieties, grown in the Loire Valley - which are renewed every week. As a result, you will only have 3 starters, 3 main courses and 3 desserts to choose from for your meal, but this is a guarantee of quality. The plates are sufficiently full, and the dishes are well prepared, the flavors original and sought after. We enjoyed it. The wine list offers a wide choice of Loire wines, and Touraine wines in particular.
23 rue du commerce
A wine bar and a restaurant at the heart of the city of Tours that are dedicated to gastronomy and wine. If you are food and wine lovers and feel like spending a friendly moment in a cosy environment, this is the place to go to. Comfortable sofas and armchairs will be waiting for you at the bar, for you to enjoy a large selection of wines by the glass, from the Loire Valley, France and the world in general, and served with a variety of cheeses, charcuteries, etc. For a meal, the restaurant, at the back of the building, offers fresh and seasonal products cooked with a lot of finesse. The wine list offers a lot of choice, of Loire Valley wines in particular, but not only. Ask David Fontaine, the sommelier, to give you advice to find the wine that will perfectly pair with the food you will eat. If you've enjoyed the wines you've tasted, it is possible to buy bottles from the shop located next to the restaurant.
94 rue Colbert
This restaurant located in the heart of the old city of Tours, in a traditional wooden and brick 16th-century house. A comfortable and cosy place to enjoy local and seasonal food. Only 3 starters, 3 main courses and 3 desserts on the menu, which proves all the meals cooked by young chef Mathieu Melin are home-made from fresh products. I tried the Pithiviers - a Loire Valley specialty bearing the name of the town it comes from - cooked with local chicken, foie gras and mushrooms. The pie was really tasty and there was a lot to eat in the plate! Loire Valley wines are well-represented on the wine list, with famous wineries and good wines.
34 avenue de Grammont
This nice restaurant is located near the main square of the city of Tours, place Jean Jaurès, that hosts the town hall and the courthouse. It is not very large and the address is famous and successful, so don't forget to book, even if you go during the week or at lunch time. The chef, Florent Martin, specialises in cooking fish in general, and Loire fish in particular : silure - a big catfish found in the Loire river - is one of the specialties you will find on the menu. Fish but not only! 'Tête de veau' (literally calf's head - a famous French dish that was loved by our former president Jacques Chirac) and 'beuchelle à la tourangelle' (a local specialty cooked with sweetbread and calf's kidneys served with a creamy sauce and mushrooms) are part of what you can eat in this restaurant, that serves local, fresh and seasonal products. An address very much appreciated by the locals!
18 rue de la Monnaie
A stone's throw from the famous Place Plumereau, in a 17th-century house in Tours, come and try the tasty cuisine of Emmanuel Deuval's team! A subtle alliance of flavors around seasonal products. A delight! If you come in winter, remember to ask for a table by the fireplace, this contributes to the pleasure of the meal!
15 rue du Change
Another great address in the old city of Tours. Tasty local products well cooked and beautifully presented. A specialty of Touraine to discover: 'beuchelle à la tourangelle' - a recipe based on sweetbreads and kidneys, various mushrooms and fresh cream. A delight.
3 rue Buffon
For lovers of Japanese cuisine, here is a REAL Japanese restaurant, run by a Franco-Japanese chef and his Japanese wife. Refinement and tasty dishes await you. The food is cooked in front of the customers, behind the counter, where you can sit and eat in case no more tables are available. The restaurant is small, remember to book! Loire Valley wines are on the wine list, but also Japanese alcohol, tea and sake...
Two Thai restaurants in the centre of Tours
24 rue Bretonneau
17 rue Blaise Pascal
For those who enjoy Asian food - and Thai cuisine in particular - and don't feel like having French or local food every day, here are two good Thai restaurants, the first one being located in the old neighbourhood of Tours, close to Place Plumereau, the second near the train station. Good products for home-made food, nice people originally from Thailand giving you a warm welcome, for reasonable prices in the end.
86 rue Colbert
If during your stay in the Loire Valley you get fed up with the local food - who knows?! - and feel like tasting something very different, why not try this Ethiopian restaurant, which is located in the old neighbourhood of the city of Tours? Various menus are available, but in any case there is always plenty to eat. A good opportunity to discover new ingredients and new flavours! In the evening and at weekends, don't forget to book, as the place is rather small and often full.
L'épicurien (in Monnaie)
The restaurant is aptly named, for those who appreciate good gastronomy restaurants offering tasty dishes. Remember to book.
Route de Monts in Montbazon
Go there for the setting and the beauty of the place! The restaurant is located in a castle built at the beginning of the 20th century for perfumer François Coty. Everything is sumptuous, the welcome is warm and the dishes tasty. Also a great place to spend the night.
in Bréhémont (between Langeais and Villandry)
You want to eat local food? This is the place to go. 'La cabane à matelot' is owned by Romand Gadais, a professional fisherman working on the Loire river. It is located on the banks of the Loire and therefore offers a superb view on the royal river. A few armchairs and deckchairs are waiting for you on the banks of the river to rest, take the time to sip a local drink and enjoy superb sunsets over the water. In the restaurant, you can taste the fish caught in the Loire by Romain - mullet, shad, catfish... - served with vegetables from local producers or from the garden. The address is renowned in the region, and frankly it deserves a detour. Make sure you book, sometimes a couple of weeks will be necessary to get a table there.
A gastronomy restaurant (one star in the Michelin guide) located along the Loire River and run by a French chef and his Japanese wife. A subtle combination of two cultures and of two cuisines... for the sheer delight of the customers! The food is extremely refined and mixes local and seasonal products with Japanese culinary techniques. The tableware enhances the beauty of the food. Several menus are offered, for different budgets. The particularity lies in the concept chosen by the chefs: the ingredients chosen to cook the various dishes are not listed on the menu. A piece of paper is placed upside down on the table, to give the hosts the answers as the meal goes on. To make the meal even more playful, ask the sommelier to suggest some food and wine pairings (a lot of Loire Valley wines are included in the wine list) and to organise a blind tasting.
To mut it in a nutshell, this is one of the best restaurants where we've ever had the opportunity to eat! A memorable moment for both my husband and I, we absolutely recommend this place if you are food lovers!