Strasbourg overflows with antiques shops, artisans, craftspeople, and beer makers. Every well-accessorized home in Alsace owns some of the napkins, aprons, tablecloths, and tea and bath towels of the Beauvillé textile mills. Nappes d'Alsace, 6 rue Mercière, near the cathedral (tel. 03-88-22-69-29), has one of the widest selections of textiles in town.
Bastian, 22-24 place de la Cathédrale (tel. 03-88-32-45-93), specializes in 18th- and 19th-century ceramic tureens that Alsace produced in abundance. Look for ragout pots in the forms of a cabbage, a trout, a boar's head, or a turkey, painted in bright colors. There's also a selection of Louis XV and Louis XVI furniture, crafted in the region during the 18th and 19th centuries following Parisian models from the same era.
Bastian's main competitor is Ville et Campagne, 23 quai des Bateliers (tel. 03-88-36-96-84), housed in a Renaissance-style 17th-century building across from the Palais de Rohan. Standout items are polychromed Alsatian antiques (especially 18th- and 19th-c. armoires and chests), Louis- and Directoire-style furnishings, statues, and antique paintings.
One of the most appealing shops in Strasbourg is Arts et Collections d'Alsace, 4 place du Marché aux Poissons (tel. 03-88-14-03-77), which sells copies of art objects and utilitarian ware from museums and private collections through Alsace. You'll see upscale gift items for the home and kitchen, made from pottery, stone, wrought iron, glass, copper, and carved wood. The shop also sells fabric by the yard.
A name in pottery that you're likely to encounter is Soufflenheim, a provincial rococo pattern -- usually in blues and reds -- named after the Alsatian village north of Strasbourg where the style originated. To get there, take N63 north of the center of Strasbourg for 24km (15 miles). In the village, ceramics and pottery have been made since the Bronze Age. Soufflenheim is home to at least a dozen outlets selling cake molds, tureens, saucers and cups, dinnerware, and more, usually in rustic patterns. One of the most prominent retailers is Gérard Wehrling, 64 rue de Haguenau (tel. 03-88-86-65-25), known for pottery that can withstand the rigors of modern ovens, microwaves, and refrigerators.
If you're driving, you may want to check out the villages of Obernai, Illhaeusern, Ribeauvillé, and Schiltigheim. The last is beer-drinking territory; the others offer country wares and antiques.
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.