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Guinguettes, wine bars, restaurants: the best places in the Loire Valley


Guinguettes (open-air cafes) in the Loire Valley: a lively ambiance by the water's edge

The guinguette cafes on the banks of the Loire and its tributaries are unique places where you can relax to enjoy a glass of wine or a meal.

Every year in summer between May and September the guinguette mood swings into action. Taste a glass or two of fine wine with fried Loire fish, dance a few tunes from all kinds of musical genres, or play a board game... Where? On the banks of the Loire at Blaison-Gohier, at the "Guinguette Port de Vallée", in La Possonnière at the "Guinguette les Tourbillons", in Orléans at the "Guinguette La Sardine", in Baule at the "Guinguette La Corne des Patures", in Tours at the "Guinguette Tours sur Loire" or at the guinguette of Rochecorbon, one of the largest in France.
Other guinguettes can be found on the banks of the Vienne, the Cher and the Indre, such as "Chinon en Guinguette" in Chinon,  "Guinguette-la-nouvelle/Port Avertin" in Saint-Avertin, or "Guinguette La Paillote de Montbazon" in Montbazon.

Find out more about the guinguettes and their events

Bistros, wine bars and "caves à manger" in the Loire Valley

There are plenty of other great places for tasting Loire wines including bistros, bars and wine cellars, of which we offer a tiny selection here: "Le Cercle Rouge" in Angers, "Le pot de lapin", a wine cellar-restaurant situated at the food of the Château of Saumur, "Le Bistrot des belles caves" in Tours, "Volupia" in Chargé, "Le comptoir des vins" in Fontevraud-l’Abbaye, or, in Orléans,  the "Bateau Lavoir" restaurant bar or the "Ver Di Vin".

Find out more about the bistros and wine bars

Top restaurants in the Loire Valley

The art of living trumps in the Loire Valley, as demonstrated by the fine local restaurants which are a real pleasure to dine in.

On the banks of the Loire, take the opportunity to lunch or dine at  "Au bord de la Loire" in Orléans or at "L’embarcadère" in Blois. Alternatively, if you want to enjoy a view over the Loire from a gastronomic restaurant, head to Rochecorbon and its "Hautes Roches", a luxury troglodyte hotel and gourmet restaurant. 

In Nantes, take your pick from the "Tables de Nantes" list of eateris, which offers an excellent selection of restaurants proposing dishes made with fresh local products.

On certain wine-growing estates you can enjoy the full flavour of their wines on site. For example, to discover the Coteaux du Layon wines, head to "La Table de la Bergerie" in Champ-sur-Layon or the "La Table du Square" in Chaudefonds-sur-Layon. 

Find out more about the restaurants of the Loire Valley