Shopping in Nantes
Shopping in Nantes: with boutiques' galore, from world brands retail stores to more intimate locations offering original items, from savoury terroir shops to antiques and vintage specialists, it is impossible not to find the little souvenir (or the big one!) that illustrates the singularity and the creativity of the buzzing capital of the dukes of Brittany!
What could be more normal for a city where art is everywhere than have cultural and creative boutiques also pop up everywhere? For fans of DIY, creative types, or simply lovers of practical and original objects, head over to Rue Maréchal-Joffre (Boutique Bientôt) or Rue Léon Jamin (Henry et Henriette, Les P’tits Bobos...), to name just a few. The city is teeming with excellent independent shops (specialising in home interior, design and art de vivre. Walk up Rue des Carmes (Pirouette), Rue de la Paix (Printemps de Marnie, Inspirations…), then over to Place Félix Fournier (les Ptits Papiers, La Cerise… ). Close from the Memorial of the abolition of slavery, the Espace LVL will charm those who enjoy graphic art objects. On Île de Nantes, in the HAB Galerie, the bookstore offers a selection of books related to the artists on display, a wide selection of books on contemporary art, art history, architecture, and an array of original and elegant objects! When it comes to design, Nantes has more than its fair share of beautiful concept-stores, like the noteworthy Bel Ami – Burö Allemand (a few steps from Cour Cambronne) but also larger showrooms like IDM-Groupe Coupechoux (Rue la Noue Bras-de-Fer) as well as many ateliers-boutiques (La Cale 2 in the Parc des Chantiers, Le Lab in Talensac…).
Nantes.Tourisme offers its recommendations for the best places to shop with (or for!) children.
To shop as a family in total serenity, take advantage of the pedestrian-only streets in neighbourhoods like Decré, Bouffay and Pommeraye offering a wide array of shops. In the Bouffay neighbourhood, near the Château des ducs de Bretagne, original boutiques are a delight for both parents and kids (Dröm, Million Dollar Baby, Piktoshop, or Sous les étoiles exactement). Take advantage of your lunch or coffee break near the fountain in Place Royale to discover other stores dedicated to the world of kids (Ludibulle, Rue des vieilles douves, the Nantes-based brand Moulin Roty on Rue Duvoisin…).
Shopping hot spots
There is a verb that exists only in Nantes for shopping: crébillonner. Named after the famed Rue Crébillon, which still remains a shopping Mecca in Nantes, bringing together many big-name brands. Just steps away, Rue Crébillon will naturally lead you to Passage Pommeraye, one of the rare covered arcades in Europe spread over three floors, where you can enjoy this piece of architectural heritage – and shop! Below, Rue de la Fosse opens onto several historical boutiques: Debotté, the bookstore Librairie Coiffard … A little further, Rue d’Orléans has its share of surprises, where shop windows are filled with everything a shoe-lover could possibly want, and streets like Rue Decré, Rue de la Marne, Rue de la Barillerie, and Rue de la Paix mix big brand stores with the tiny independent boutiques that Nantes is so well-known for!
Chic doesn’t have to mean expensive!
At the right store, shopping can mean indulging without breaking the bank. In Rue des États, the gift shop at the Nantes.Tourisme office offers a selection of collectors’ items at under €10! In Rue du château, rue des Carmes, rue des Trois Croissants or also rue de la paix, independent boutiques as Trésors partagés, Pirouette, Le Printemps de Marnie, Inspirations, display original pieces with reasonable prices. Also, the Passage Pommeraye hosts good gems as Pylones or Les Poulettes concept-store
The greatest brands for marinières (French sailor’s shirts), pea coats and raincoats… can be found in Nantes! If you’re looking for a souvenir, the famous “bol à oreilles” bowls, made in the pottery works of Pornic, can be found in tourist shops downtown! For clothing, head over to Rue de la Barillierie (Saint-James and Armor-Lux) to adopt timeless Breton style! You can also find many souvenir and speciality shops near the Château des ducs de Bretagne and Place de la Cathédrale!
For antique hunters, strolling down Rue Jean-Jaurès and seeing its many bric-à-brac shops, antique stores and art galleries is a must. Every Saturday morning, Place Viarme is transformed into a large flea market and, twice a year, it is home to an enormous fair for second-hand goods (in May and early autumn). Finally, look for vintage clothing stores (Rue Maréchal-Joffre), bookshops, second-hand goods boutiques and record sellers in Place Sainte-Croix and Place de la Bourse.
As the second most bicycle-friendly city in France and the 2015 bike capital, Nantes naturally has its share of shops and activities dedicated to everything on two wheels. Imagined, designed, and made in Nantes, Le Poupoupidou, the famous skirt pin for cyclists (silver medal at the 2015 Concours Lépine inventors’ fair), will delight all women who do not want to write off part of their wardrobe every time they get on a bike! Several independent shops also allow cyclists to mix style, convenience, comfort and repairs (a few examples: Luis’s Bike Shop, Rue Racine, Les sardines à vélo, Rue de La Tour d’Auvergne, Bo Vélo, Cours Olivier de Clisson)... Finally, one can visit a surprising shop where wrenches and teaspoons share the same space: La Musette (Quai de Malakoff), a “CycloCafé” where anyone can enjoy hot dishes, pastries… while inflating their rear tire.
Made in nantes
If everyone is talking about buying goods that are “Made in France,” there’s no shortage of products that are made in Nantes! The “City of Dukes” is home to many objects that are recognized as true symbols of Nantes. Among them, Les Rigoletttes nantaises, that delicious candy made with century-old savoir-faire, or other culinary delights like the 'gâteau nantais' this typical cake on sale in every good bakery, cheeses from boutique Beillevaire, Vincent Guerlais’ renowned pastries and chocolates, as well as Mamm cookies original biscuit. Let’s not forget the great success of Moulin Roty and its objects for kids, as well as many others, like Naoned and their glasses, which are designed and made in Nantes (this is the same company that made the glasses worn by the Royal Deluxe theatre company’s Grand-mère character), Andrée Jardin brushes, and so much more…