Tours has many restaurants to choose from but we’ve picked just a few which the locals recommend. Top of the wine list are the local Touraine wines. Choose from fruity reds, lively and aromatic whites, fresh and delicate rosés and superb sparkling wines. So, if you want to know where to eat out in Tours – read on!
Wine and Dine in Tours
Locals Love: Le Bistrot des Belles Caves, a cosy bistro that dishes up French classics as well as gluten free, vegan and vegetarian options. There’s a superb wine list – choose from 1200 different bottles. On sunny days, book the terrace. (23 Rue du Commerce)
Wine and dine: The restaurant of Chateau Belmont is beautiful. With a gorgeous terrace, set in a park with lovely views of the 17th century castle. The food is seasonal, classic with a modern twist and delicious. There’s also a lovely bar where you can enjoy cocktails and aperitifs with tapas. (57 Rue Groison).
Summer special: From May to September La Guingette de Tours sur Loire is the place to go. A summer festival with a great restaurant area (booking in advance is essential). You’ll find it alongside the river (Quai de la Loire) where over the course of four months more than 100 concerts and shows take place. There’s also mini golf, petanque and more leisure activities. Details at the tourist office.
Aperitif heaven: Place Plumereau. Voted the best square in France for apertifs by the French! Actually it’s good all day whether its for your morning coffee, a lazy lunch, aperitifs or a delicious dinner! The locals call it “Place Plum”…
Markets in Tours
There are several markets in Tours, you’ll find one from Tuesday to Sunday somewhere (the tourist office and their website has details). There’s a flower market, flea market (Place Victoire) and a craft market on Saturday. More than 150 years old, Les Halles is the belly of Tours dishing up fabulous local produce 7 days a week.
Gourmet shops in Tours
Ice ice baby: Tutti Gusti just off Place Plumereau where you’ll find a scrumptious selection of ice creams, sorbets and crepes which you can scoff under the watchful eye of medieval characters carved into the wooden frame of the ancient building.
Cake my day: There are a dozen chocolateries in Tours and just as many Patisseries. Artisan made delightful cakes and chocolate creations. Head to Patisserie Nicolas Leger for absolutely delicious artisan made cakes that are like tiny edible works of art and hand-made chocolates (59 Place du Grand Marché).
Bake my day: The locals say that the best place for artisanal bread is in the quartier les Halles where there are several excellent boulangeries including L’atelier du Talemelier (30 Place Gaston Paillhou)
Fantastic fromage: Local cheeses include log shaped Sainte-Maure-de-Touraine, a a delicious fresh goats milk cheese and Selles-sur-Cher, a disk shaped, slightly nutty-tasting goats cheese.
Rodolphe Le Meunier, master affineur (cheese maturer), Meilleur Ouvrier de France (best artisan in his class) has an amazing array of cheeses (Place Gaston Paillhou).
More on Tours
What to see and do in Tours
The amazing wallpaper studio of Ofard, where the wall coverings are made by centuries old methods
Musée du Compagnonnage – the only one of its kind in the world, dedicated to trades guilds
Centre de Création Contemporaine Olivier Debré – contemporary art gallery, innovative with mesmerising exhibitions.
Practical Information for Tours
Tram & bus service. You can buy a rechargeable bus/tram ticket for €1.60 from a bus driver (including the first journey), which can be recharged at major bus/tram stops for €1.50 per trip or €13 for ten trips. These machines take card and change, but not notes. Simply tap the card on a reader to pay for a journey once on the bus.
Top tip: Book tours of chateaux from the tourist office. Many of the greats are easily accessible from here, Chenonceau, Villandry and Chambord to mention just a few.
Where to stay: Splash out and indulge at the 4* Hotel Oceania L’Univers. This historic hotel has welcome Rockefeller, Roosevelt and Ernest Hemingway amongst many prestigious guests. Wonderfully plush, old school glamour, in a fabulous location and friendly staff. (Parking available).
Great value at Le Grand Tours. There’s a range of rooms styles (and prices) in a terrific art deco building. Friendly staff and conveniently close to Tours station.
Get there: Train from Paris takes a little over an hour.
For more information on what to see and do in Tours visit the tourist office: 78-82 Rue Bernard Palissy www.tours-tourism.co.uk