Les marchés de Rennes (the markets)

Americans love the European markets. And we’re no exception. Although Portland’s Farmers Markets, at which we were regular participants, are just as good there’s a longer tradition here, as is the case with almost anything of course. And you know who else loves the markets? The locals! I enjoy the happy din of people buying wonderful food as much as the selection of super fresh and tasty weekly groceries.


The Marché des Lices in Rennes, the first of several we visited in the city, has stood in the same spot for 400 years. The architecture of Les Halles, the market hall, is more recent but proudly utilitarian and functional while also being beautiful, made of brick, iron and glass.

florist at Rennes Market

Les Lices is a weekly Saturday market, and we can’t pass up the sheep’s milk ricotta, spit-roasted chicken, brioche loaf, figs, peaches and the huge lettuces for little more than one euro each that are so fresh they hardly age over a week’s time.

woman seller and woman smoker, rennes

There is an organic market on Thursdays on Place Hoche, I have heard, and a Wednesday market in our district, the Ste. Thérèse which is actually too far from our house to bother. There are others.

And today, on a tip from friends Ruth and John, we made a delightful stop at the daily Les Halles Centrales market at La Criée.

market vendor in doorway

We left with some tangy goat farmer’s cheese, a sweet-smelling melon, a few galettes (buckwheat crepes) for me to experiment with, and a kilo of fresh Breton mussels that carried a whiff of sea on them, which became lunch. You’ll have to take my word for it, they were soft and delicious.


The seafood stands at these Breton markets are fascinating. I didn’t realize there were so many edible types of snails and barnacles.



We have frequented the markets in Nice, France and I have to say from what we’ve seen so far, Breton markets can top them for variety. But — it’s all goodness.





About kmazz

I spend as much time as possible pursuing my interests in global culture, photography, arts and politics.
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13 Responses to Les marchés de Rennes (the markets)

  1. Zowie, what great markets. Tom and I will have to speak to the LO market tomorrow and get them up to speed. Then, we’ll all show up at your place for fresh seafood, etc.!!! Thanks for sharing, Kathleed. Best to you and David.

  2. carolkriebel says:

    oh My gosh, I can just taste those briny mussels and cheese and lettuce ! The pix were just great! I almost feel as if I’m there!

  3. ann purcell says:

    SEEING those fabulous food photos I wish i was reading your blog with a glass of wine!!!

  4. Diane Foulds says:

    I can just imagine the taste of the crema-topped coffee that is certainly in plentiful supply in the inconspicuous cafes that surround these small-town markets. Ahhh! To savor it!

  5. Ruth Ann Lake says:

    Hi Kathleen, I love the photograph of the man walking w the apron into (les halles market?), beautiful tiled floor and perfect capture of the lighting. Even though I just had lunch, your words make me hungry again! P.S: did you try eating any of the snails and barnacles?

    • kmazz says:

      Thanks, Ruth. I have eaten escargots before, but they are not to my liking. Neither are oysters, btw. And I wouldn’t have any idea how to cook the barnacles. Although they were easily found in seafood restaurants in Portugal, I never tried them. What about you?

  6. Cynthia Pagni says:

    My favourite the markets! Best way to live. I’m moving in!

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