Whether you fancy a salad of old variety tomatoes with mozzarella and basil, farm-raised chicken in cream and mushrooms grown in Saumur, or a traditional crémet d’Anjou dessert, the possibilities are endless! Anjou’s livestock farmers, vegetable growers and winemakers produce a wide range of fresh and quality produce that fill the stalls of the many markets you can find dotted around the town and in the surrounding villages. In this guide, we take you to discover asparagus, strawberries, and apples and pears from the farms and orchards of the Loire Valley, as well as quinoa from Anjou, red meat from the cattle of Rouge des Près and locally grown roses.
The 'Grand Marché', one of Angers’ favourite markets
On Saturdays, many Angevin people gather at the market in Place Leclerc known by its regulars as “le grand marché”. Located in the heart of the city, between the town hall, the courthouse and the convention centre, it has the widest choice of all the city’s markets, with something for everyone. You’ll find both organic and sustainable vegetable growers from the nearby area as well as fruit and vegetable sellers offering conventionally farmed produce. You can come away with fish, flowers, wine, spices, a pair of trousers or even cooking utensils. One thing is certain – it’s always a lively place! Beware though – sometimes the queues can be lengthy at the market’s busiest.
Once their shopping done, market goers and groups of friends head to the cafés on Rue Jules Guitton for a drink, while fans of antique hunting continue on to the nearby Place Imbach where a flea market takes place on Saturday mornings. Here too, you can find anything and everything, from furniture and trinkets to old coin or stamp collections.
A multitude of neighbourhood markets
Another major market in Angers is the Fayette market. Just a few steps from the station, it is a little smaller but has a very good range of produce of excellent quality and from well-established local producers. In fact, it isn’t rare to see the city’s chefs there, shopping for ingredients from their suppliers. There are plenty of original stalls, too, like those selling organic fruit juices, dried flowers, loose goods or woollen socks and tights. On Wednesday lunchtimes, many customers are people who come to enjoy the food trucks on their lunchbreak. Crêpes, Asian dishes and Armenian cuisine are among the choices on offer. On Saturday lunchtimes, Brasserie Lafayette is where families, friends and regulars go for a drink and to share the charcuterie, oysters or cheeses they have just bought.
Several other markets can also be found scattered across town. Place Molière, right nearby the river Maine is home to a small organic market on Saturday mornings. This more modest-sized market, which is also much quieter than the main markets, has two vegetable sellers, a fruit seller, a butcher, cheesemonger, fishmonger and a very popular crêpe stand. It is a very pleasant place thanks to its view of the grassy Coeur de Maine esplanade and location close to the riverfront. Alternatively, for those who enjoy a lie-in on Saturdays, the Friday evening micro market on Rue Saint-Julien offers an excellent solution!
The week is rhythmed by the markets that take place all over the town, like in the Doutre district on Thursday mornings in Place Bichon and Saturday mornings in Place Grégoire, in Place Ney on Tuesday mornings, Belle-Beille market on Fridays and finally an enormous Sunday market in the district of Monplaisir. Nicknamed “Marrakech”, this market has an exotic feel with its smells of spices, noisy vendors and foreign produce, and is an excellent place to end the week.
Markets worth a visit outside of Angers
The surrounding area has plenty of markets too. Why not make an outing of your market trip while picking up what you need at the same time? On Tuesday mornings (or Saturday mornings on a smaller scale), the attractive town of Chalonnes-sur-Loire has one of the biggest markets in the area, with over 100 stalls, including non-food items in the town hall square and food stalls around the market hall. Combined with a walk along the banks of the Loire or a drive along the Corniche Angevine with its breathtaking view of the Loire Valley and Anjou wine region, a trip there is a good way to discover Maine-et-Loire. On Thursdays, it’s the turn of Brissac-Quincé. As well as the market, you can visit the Château de Brissac and explore the wine region of L’Aubance. A little closer to Angers, still alongside the Loire, the markets of Bouchemaine and Savennières are perfect for a Sunday morning stroll. In Savennières, you can buy oysters and a glass of local white wine to enjoy on the spot, before setting out to visit Behuard island just nearby. For cyclists, Bouchemaine market is quite an easy ride from Angers via the Loire à Vélo cycle route, and cycling there is the opportunity to explore and relax.
So, have you made your mind up about which market to try?