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Le Chardon

Food in the Loire

Try the local cuisine

Travelling along the Loire river offers not only the delights of the scenery, towns, villages, chateaux and wines but also the extraordinary variety and opulence of the region’s gastronomy. Loire cuisine has flourished throughout history and still does today, offering possibly the most exiting array of produce in France.

The regional restaurants, therefore, are quite varied, ranging from medieval restaurants serving authentic food from the middle ages to troglodyte restaurants which provide traditional medieval food. Traditional restaurants also serve the regional specialities using freshly grown local vegetables, meat and game, not to mention the seafood from the nearby coast and fish caught in the Loire river.

There is also an increase in restaurants that provide alternatives to French cuisine, not only Italian pizza parlours but Indian, Thai, Cantonese and Chinese food. The French have not quite grasped the concept of vegetarianism, but they are trying, and many restaurants do have a small selection of vegetarian dishes other than salad and quiche!

There are restaurants in all the towns and others scattered in various villages. Sometimes it is best to just wander round the towns and browse the menus of the restaurants to try to choose what you would like to eat. Other times you just want to go straight to a nice restaurant.

It is recognised that everyone has different tastes and budgets and below is the Le Chardon selection of good restaurants in the local area.

Traditional Menus and local specialities.


Montreuil Bellay

  • La Grange a Dime - Speciality menu including fouees served in a medieval style and setting. www.grange-a-dime.com
  • Hotel Splendid - A large hotel dining room - in the centre of the old town. www.splendid-hotel.fr
  • Hostellerie St. Jean – just outside the centre of the town near to the Port St. Jean
  • Auberge des Isles – traditional food served adjacent to the river Thouet with the imposing château towering over you.
  • Le Barbacane- in the square opposite the entrance to the chateau, a large varied menu. In the warmer months you can eat on the large terrace from where you have an unobstructed view of the chateau.
  • Creperie Escalier St Pierre – in the market square, not far from the chateau. You can eat outside next to the fountain in the warmer months - also includes Plat du Jour and Grillades.
  • Pizzeria Pizza Enzo - near to the centre of the town -traditional , cooked in wood fire
  • Le Napoli - in the centre of town, has a terrace to the rear, also includes pasta and grills.


Saumur and the Loire to Montsoreau.

RestaurantSaumur is a large town and there are restaurants to suit all tastes and pockets and there are numerous restaurants on the river road to Montsoreau.

  • La Gambetta – Saumur - not the cheapest but we believe one of the best in Saumur. The menu is not large and is typically French. The amuse bouche are a picture on a plate as well as being tasty. www.restaurantthegambetta.com
  • L’Alchemist – Saumur – local and regional cuisine
  • L’Amuse Bouche - Dampierre -on the road between Saumur and Montsoreau www.lamusebouche.fr
  • Le Grand Bleu – Saumur - Fruit de Mer and fish speciality restaurant
  • L’Auberge St. Pierre – Saumur - traditional French cuisine –open 7 days www.auberge-saintpierre.com
  • L’Helianthe – Tourquant - Varied menu in a troglodyte setting www.restaurant-helianthe.fr
  • Diane de Meridor – Montsoreau - local and regional cuisine www.restaurant-dianedemeridor.com




Doué la Fontaine


  • Auberge Bienvenue - excellant restaurant in this Auberge – regional and Gastronomic menus www.aubergebienvenue.com
  • L’Auberge de la Rose – pleasant restaurant with a varied menu www.aubergedelarose.fr Le Halte – near to the zoo – regional cuisine
  • Hotel de France – traditional cuisine


  • Les Halles
  • L’Astrée

Both these creperies are close to one another in the centre of the town


  • Primavera – near to the zoo
  • Le Caveau – troglodyte setting with fouaces and galipette specialities
  • Cote Salade – saladarie and grill


Le Puy-Notre-Dame

  • Le Bouchon Ponot – near to the Collegiale. A restaurant we particularly like. A good basic French menu with what we can only describe as adequate portions!!


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