Most of Bayonne’s specialty shops and boutiques lie inside the ramparts of the old town, Grand Bayonne. The pedestrian streets of rue Port Neuf (aptly nicknamed the “street of chocolate shops”), rue Victor-Hugo, and rue de la Salié are major shopping destinations. For antiques, walk along the rue des Faures and the edges of place Montaut, behind the cathedral. Most of the modern shops and French chain stores are on rue Thiers and quai de la Nive, outside the old town. Visit the Maison Jean Vier shop, carrefour Cinq Cantons (www.jean-vier.com; tel. 05-59-51-33-24), to get your Basque bathroom, kitchen, and bed linens. Do not miss a visit to Cazenave, 19 rue Port Neuf (www.chocolats-bayonne-cazenave.fr; tel. 05-59-59-03-16), pretty much the only place left that still works directly with cacao in its raw form and specializes in turning it into chocolats de Bayonne. Stop in the tearoom here for a warm chocolate mousse.
The accessories of one Basque tradition have become something of a fine art. In olden days, the makhila was used as a walking stick, a cudgel, or—when equipped with a hidden blade—a knife. Today carved makhilas are sold as collectors’ items and souvenirs. For safety’s sake, they almost never come with a blade. One of the best outlets in town is Makilas-Leoncini, 37 rue Vieille Boucherie (tel. 05-59-59-18-20). Another famous product of the Basque country is jambon de Bayonne, cured hams, which taste best shaved into paper-thin slices and consumed with one of the region’s heady red wines. An establishment that prepares and sells these hams is Saloir et Séchoire à Jambon Pierre Ibaïalde, 41 rue des Cordeliers (www.pierre-ibaialde.com; tel. 05-59-25-65-30), where they are sold either whole or in thin slices. Also available is an impressive roster of sausages, pâtés, and terrines.
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