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Quebec City - please help me find the best:

  • t
  • tastinglife Jun 23, 2006 07:54 AM

I'll be spending 2 nights in Quebec in early July and hope to taste the best of what the city has to offer. I've searched the postings for the last six months and will likely dine at Le 48 and Yuzu thanks to the raving reviews I've seen here and elsewhere on the web. Could you please offer recommendations on:

Onion soup (topped with gruyere, not mozzarella)

Pastry shops

Breakfast

Also, I'd like to hear experiences and opinions regarding Aux Anciens Canadiens. I try to have at least one "splurge meal" on each vacation, and so far, this is it. Laurie Raphael seems to be the favorite on this board, but the menu/website has me more intimidated than convinced...

Thanks in advance.

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  1. First of all, suggest you lunch at le 48...Quebec City has other many things to offer for dinner.

    -For very very casual breakfast, but very good croissant, Café Temporel is good.

    -L'Échaudé has amazing brunches if you're there during the weekend.

    Now. Dinner. Les Anciens Canadiens must be one of the biggest tourist trap in the city. Please don't go there. If you want a true fine dining experience, I strongly suggest Laurie Raphael (dont worry....it really is not an intimidating place. Plus Daniel Vézina cooks with a lot of terroir products, so you can really have a taste of the province) or l'Initiale. L'Initiale serves the best food in the city, but the ambiance is not that good...very formal.

    I am not a fan of pastries, so I don't really know what would be the best...same for onion soup! Enjoy Québec...it really is a gorgeous city!

    6 Replies
    1. re: Frenchie

      Thanks for your quick response! I've seen other suggestions for Cafe Temporal, I'll add that to my definates list.

      I'll probably only have one lunch in Quebec, so Le 48 it is!

      I'll have two dinners to work out. I'm hoping one will be fairly inexpensive and casual... perhaps where I get my soup... the other will be my "slurge" dinner for this portion of the trip. It should offer well prepared authentic terrior cuisine, not too stuffy, and I'll put an upper limit of $300 CAD for 4 adults, starter main and dessert with a bottle of wine. Is this attainable at Laurie Raphael? Any other suggestions?

      Normally my splurge budget would be a bit higher, but I'll have a couple non-chows with me that are sure to gawk at prices in my aforementioned range... anything higher and I won't get them in the door.

      Thanks.

      1. re: tastinglife

        $300 is unattainable in any of the top restaurants is Québec...not if you include the wine anyway. Plus, if you have people that don't necessarily appreciate food that much, I don't think it's worth it to go to either L'Initiale, Laurie Rapahaël or L'Utopie (which are about $200-$300 for two). However, you will find very good food at Toast! on Sault au Matelot (lovely terrasse). L'Échaudée is also a very good option. If your guests are fish lovers, the Marie-Clarisse serves the best fish in the city. You might also want to check out le Saint-Amour. It might go just a little over $300 for four, if you're reasonable, but it is an institution in Québec and you won't be disappointed. Yuzu would also fit into your price range, but it serves more of a fusion/eclectic cuisine, so maybe your friends wont enjoy it? It is a must try, though.

        1. re: Frenchie

          I just checked out their website and Yuzu looks fantastic! It doesn't fit the authentic french/quebecois aspect I was looking for, but I'm going to have to book anyways!

          As for my other night at dinner, I'd still really love to find a place that makes a proper gratinee with gruyere cheese... Do you think maybe Cafe du Monde? I've read god things about this bistro... seems like the sort of place...

          Barring that, I may have to consider dropping the wine or splitting up my party or both.

          Thanks for all your assistance!

        2. re: tastinglife

          Laurie Raphael does offer an ~60 dollar three course daily surprise menu (Called le chef chef I believe). That should barely clip your 300 dollar limit if you so desire.

          1. re: Blueicus

            We had a great fixed price lunch at Laurie Raphael a couple of years ago - very civilized and creative. If they still offer it, I think this is a good way to go, if you want to experience their cuisine without the big bucks.

            There are lots of options in QC - we do like Aux Anciens and it is a great bargain if you take it for what it is - traditional french canadian, rather than modern or trendy cooking. very comfortable. If you go in for an early dinner you get the fixed price menu someone else has mentioned, too. I have heard very good reccs for Yuzu and St. Amour.

            1. re: jen kalb

              Traditional French Canadian, that's what I'm after! Maybe I don't need to cancel my reservations at Anciens after all. So now it looks like:

              Dinner : Aux Anciens Canadiens
              Lunch : Laurie Raphael or Le 48
              Dinner : Yuzu

              Thank you all for your advice! I'll post my findings after the trip.

      2. j
        Jonathan Whitney

        I have only had lunch at Aux Anciens which is a wondeful deal.... for something like $14.25 CAD you get an appetizer, entree, dessert and coffee. The dinner menu is certainly alot more. But for a cozy sitdown lunch it can't be beat. Enjoy!!!

        1. I've returned from my trip. Thank you all for your advice! We ended up having Dinner at Aux Anciens Canadiens and Le 48, and Breakfast (both mornings) at Cafe Temporal. I can't remember what we did for lunch... perhaps it will come to me. I'll try and get reviews up later. For now, suffice it to say that I was very pleased with the recommendations! Thanks again.

          6 Replies
          1. re: tastinglife

            Thanks, everyone. We got in to Quebec City late last night and went to le 48. Great food, great prices, fun ambience. Full dinners and drinks for 2 for 55 CAD. Will go back asap.

            1. re: leda

              While this original post is over a year old, now that it's been resuscitated, I felt I had to comment. Having just been to Quebec City a few weeks ago, I had lunch at le 48, and it was truly amont the most awful meals I have ever had. The hamburger was so dry and flavourless, it might as well have been brought in from McDonald's. The place looks nice, but the food is horrid. Avoid at all costs.

              1. re: cherylmtl

                Thanks for the "hands-down"! The write-ups I read about that resto (in local media and Le Devoir) were generallly positive, but they would not be utterly current. What restos DID you like on your trip? Any "vegetarian-friendly" ones? (This is to help another poster, and also a friend of mine).

                1. re: lagatta

                  I was really surprised about how bad the food was - my 11-year-old son couldn't finish his burger, either, it was so dry and flavourless. I don't know how you do that to a hamburger...but the decor is lovely. Oh, well...

                  As for good places, I would highly recommend Cafe du Clocher Pencher - the food was wonderful, as was the service - I believe they had vegetarian options, but I don't remember. Toast! was good, Paillard was our staple for breakfasts and lunches - croissants and other pastries similar in quality and taste to those from Fromentier, a nice selection of sandwiches, and highly kid-friendly. Cafe L'Echaudee looked wonderful, and smelled even better, but we couldn't get in, as it was solidly booked. Most of these places have web sites with menus, so you can check them out.

                  The biggest problem with Quebec City (at least the old city and central area) is that there are so many restaurants that just seem to scream "tourist trap!" - those menus that have a bit of everything on them, and prices that aren't astronomical compared to the good places (which are noticeably pricier than those in Montreal). I have no doubt there are many good places there, but I'm not sure where they're hiding...

                  1. re: cherylmtl

                    They are everywhere beyond the city walls and the grande allee.

                    1. re: littlegreenpea

                      Care to share? Any good places for lunch and dinner that showcase local ingredients and / or organic food?

          2. Whatever you do, do NOT, I reply, do NOT got to l'Échaudée for dinner! It is way to expensive for what they serve and the food is incredibly bland! My husband and I went there and could have eaten at the Laurie Raphael for the same price....

            1 Reply
            1. re: fingourmet

              I find that very surprising. Could you be a little more specific about what you ordered there, and how much it actually cost? I don't recall the prices being anywhere close for the two restaurants.