As the bustling regional capital, Nantes overflows with shops and boutiques. The principal shopping streets are rue du Calvaire, rue Crébillon, rue Boileau, rue d’Orléans, rue de la Marne, and rue de Verdun. Most of these encompass the shopping districts around place Graslin, place Royale, the château, and the cathedral. The Passage Pommeraye, a historic gallery that dates back to 1843, houses a small, upscale shopping center.
A handful of antiques shops can be perused on rue Jean Jaures such as Ecritoire Antiquités Poidras, at no. 12 (tel. 02-40-47-78-18), offering 18th- and 19th-century furniture and decorative pieces such as historic mantels. Further historic knickknacks can be picked through every Saturday at the flea market in Place Viarme.
For some local gastronomic specialties, start filling your basket at La Fraiseraie, 13 rue de la Marne (www.lafraiseraie.com; tel. 02-51-72-13-18) which sells a variety of jams, juices, and candies made from famous Pornic strawberries. More tasty treats can be picked up at Gautier Debotte, 9 rue de la Fosse (tel. 02-40-48-23-19), a historic chocolatier established in 1823, and makers of “Le Muscadet Nantais”—a chocolate-covered white grape macerated in local muscadet wine. Other Debotte boutiques are at 2 rue des Hauts Pavé, 3 rue de Budapest, and 15 rue Crébillon (the latter two have tea salons). Finish off your food shopping with some actual bottles of muscadet or other regional wines; a great selection is stocked at the Maison des Vins de la Loire, 15 pl. du Commerce (www.vinsvaldeloire.fr; tel. 02-40-89-75-98).
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.