Angers' secret gourmet spots

The mansion with a secret restaurant

The very stylish Le Dix-Septième is discreetly located in a 17th-century townhouse, whose splendour is hidden behind its façade. Alongside the main dining room and its open kitchen, a series of lounges welcome guests, who feel like they're walking through a sumptuous bourgeois apartment. It's a fitting venue for the delicate compositions of chef Richard Cerini, which include a riff on foie gras served with a well-seasoned duck broth, sea bass tournedos with a cloud of parsnip on a bed of Granny Smith apples, or pork filet mignon with an orange reduction, aligot cromesquis and carrot and chicory mousseline.

Le Dix-Septième, 6, rue Claveau

A secret tea room

From the street, it would be hard to guess that this coffee roastery has an old 12th century chapel with double stone arches in its back room, which has been converted into a tea room. Here you can order hot chocolate, tea and sweet treats crafted by Aurélie, a skilled pastry chef who has worked at Lenôtre and La Grande Épicerie in Paris. Don't miss out on the Coquets, mini cakes that bring the Paris-Brest or the Opéra up to date and tackle tempting new creations such as orange crémeux and Italian meringue, or vanilla with a salted caramel centre and chantilly.

La Coquetterie, 17, rue Beaurepaire
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A discreet gourmet bistrot

Despite having worked at the Bristol in Paris or in the kitchens of the Hôtel Matignon, Jeanine Ahosse remains resolutely modest. This young lady has now set up L'Ail des Ours, a no-frills restaurant tucked away on the edge of Angers' busy centre, whose bistrot décor is enhanced with a dash of exoticism. Her menu extols market cooking, such as sautéed king prawns served with aubergine caviar, or whiting from La Turballe with coconut milk, chickpeas, grapes and couscous. It's all about simple, good taste.

L’Ail des Ours, 8, rue Boisnet
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The home of the Tuff'line

Laurent Petit, one of the city's star pâtissiers, has developed a local speciality that features among the tarts and gâteaux of his delicate boutique. It is called Tuff'line and is an alternative to the famous quernon d'ardoise native to Angers. This exquisitely fine creation celebrates tuffeau stone, which is widely used in the region, by coating poppy-flavoured marshmallow and raspberry jelly (or pâte de fruits) in white chocolate.

Laurent Petit, 4, rue Saint-Aubin

Visit a jeweller's pâtisserie

A goldsmith of pâtisserie, Damien Vétault designed this refined shop like a jeweller's to provide a chic, pared-down setting for its little gems. His creations, which change with the seasons, include a millefeuille that combines caramelised puff pastry with mascarpone cream flavoured with Bourbon vanilla, and a charlotte with quince, rose and vanilla. Also deserving of a mention are the grand cru chocolates, the macarons (salted caramel, pear and cinnamon, chocolate and spices, etc.) and a chocolate and praline spread that already has a reputation throughout western France.

Pâtisserie-chocolaterie Damien Vétault, 1, place du Lycée

The home of the fouasse

Authentic Restaurant pays tribute to the Maine-et-Loire with its décor, featuring a giant trompe-l'oeil photo of a game of "boule de fort", native to the region. It celebrates one local delight above all else, the fouasse. Alain and Nathalie cook this little loaf of bread, prepared according to artisan tradition, in their wood-fired over, before topping it with artisanal pork rillettes, fresh goat's cheese or mushrooms and bacon with cream. For the sweet-toothed, there's a salted caramel, chocolate or fresh fruit compote version.

L’Authentic Restaurant, 10, rue Hoche
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A delicious spot beloved by those in the know

On this anonymous little street in Angers, Brice Sanchez and Thibault Savornin, ex-colleagues at the gourmet restaurant inside Fontevraud abbey, now run L'Ardoise, a place that comes highly recommended. The former, who worked at the illustrious Tour d'Argent in Paris, cooks up delights that his smiling business partner brings to the table. Dishes include a slow-cooked egg with chicken jus, served with sautéed snails and eel, Maine Anjou steak with caramel deglazed with wine and vinegar, or a majestic dessert with iced nougat, mendiant, honey and sour cherries in Cointreau, all topped off with a thin sheet of dark chocolate! Their set lunch is very affordable at €14.50.

L’Ardoise, 7, rue de la Tannerie
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A wine shop like no other

Jérôme Chauveau grew up in the vines around Tigné. This passionate wine merchant showcases his favourites at Le Pifomètre, where he also sells gourmet-related books and holds themed evenings. He knows better than anyone how to highlight wines by Liv Vincendeau, who grows his vines on schist in Rochefort-sur-Loire, or talk about the Anjou red fruit aromas of the Clos du Bois, or the spicy note of the pineau d'Aunis produced around Saumur.

Le Pifomètre, 64, rue Bressigny

A Michelin-starred "culinary loft" in the city centre

Back from his Asian escape on a quest for new inspiration, Pascal Favre d'Anne re-opened his gastronomic restaurant upstairs in a bourgeois building on boulevard Foch and achieved the feat of winning back his Michelin star. In his pared-down "culinary loft", with no sign on the street, this virtuoso takes his guests to the highest heights of gastronomy. Before their eyes he cooks up dishes such as veal in celery crust, shiitake, soya and liquorice cream, or pollack, Loire fish powder and watercress condiment. A timeless moment.

Le Favre d’Anne, 21, boulevard du Maréchal Foch
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Savour a meal at the tempting spots across Angers, the ultimate gourmet city! We've unearthed ones only familiar to those in the know or tucked away out of sight...

Prized for its famous balminess that is the foil for a resolute epicureanism, Angers is also the home of Curnonsky, the illustrious culinary critic crowned the "prince of the gastronomes". It is a city full of the wonders on offered in Anjou, including market produce, meat and poultry breeds and fish from the Loire. The local culinary specialities, such as rillauds, paté with prunes, fouasse, crémet d'Anjou, quernon d'ardoise and the local wines and liqueurs also add to the delight.

Given the context, it's no surprise that gourmet spots abound in town. Sometimes, though, you have to hunt around to unearth them. We have pounded the pavements of the city of King René on the search for a Michelin-starred restaurant tucked away upstairs in a bourgeois building, a secret tea room, an amazing pâtisserie on a little square, and even a tiny hole-in-the-wall of bistronomy reserved for those in the know. Bon voyage and, above all, bon appétit!

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