NY'er/Quebec visit Aug...where to eat well?
I am from NYC and traveling to Quebec for the Fireworks Festival. Have never been to Quebec before, but have been to France many times. I'm looking to find decent, quality food and need your help and recommendations. I want to stay away from any touristy gimmicks. Any ethnic foods are good, atmosphere is not of importance, once again, it's about quality of food. Decent, mid-priced meals. Thank you!
I had been meaning to post these reviews from our trip in June. THANK YOU to all CH-ers because we ate extremely well thanks to all of you.
Lower Old City:
The definitely don't miss spot is Toast! (17 rue
Sault-au-Matelot, corner rue St-Antoine,
418/692-1334). Reserve for dinner. We had Sunday
brunch there, I had a fantastic steak tartare with
aioli, shallots and jalapeno, the meat chopped into
chunks rather than ground, served with frites, salad,
and crouton with a caramelized garlic/onion spread. My
friend had crepes with duck confit, and they brought
amuse-bouches of homemade foie gras-suckling pig
sausage on an apple-garlic reduction.
Moulerie Moss (rue St-Paul), more casual, reservations
not necessary. We had very rich anise-cream sauce on
delicious plump mussels. $15 for a single serving,
$22 or so for unlimited mussels--it would be hard to
finish more than two servings.
L'Inox (37 Quai St-Andre) is a decent brewpub with
these great hotdogs baked into rolls.
Upper Old City:
If you are looking for traditional quebecois food, the
classic spot is Aux Anciens Canadiens (34 rue
St-Louis, 418/692-1627). Hearty game or pork pies, etc.
However, I would recommend lunch, since you get to
enjoy the same food for the prix fixe $15 which
includes soup, dessert and a glass of beer or wine.
Dinner is much more expensive. The maple sugar pie is
La Barberie (310 Rue Saint-Roch) is a super cool,
relaxed brewpub which unfortunately doesn't serve
food. You can get a carousel of 8 beers to taste.
If you want to try one of the best-loved restaurants
in QC and dine away from the touristy area, go to Cafe
du Clocher Penche (203 rue St-Joseph est,
418/640-0597). Make reservations for dinner. Fantastic
seasonal gourmet food in French style that is an
amazing value. We had lunch and everything was
If you have a car (sorry, ny.frenchfry--rent one for a day!) go to Ile
d'Orleans (just 15-20 min north of the city) and sample
the cider (really great!), cassis (delicious), wine
(not so great). There is an info station just after
you get onto the island with info about everything,
including menus. Recommendations:
--we ate at Pub le Mitan, a brewpub with decent beer
and really nice food (homemade sausages with delicious sauerkraut, smoked meat
--Cidrerie Verger-Bilodeau has the best cider we tried and
amazing apple butter; Domaine d'Orleans
was also a good stop but Bilodeau has better stuff.
There are a bunch more cidreries. They make light,
crisp, clear sweet/tart hard cider, much more like a
French apple wine than the ciders we are used to in the US
or in England.
--Cassis Nonna et Filles makes great Creme de Cassis
and wines from cassis
--we also stopped for maple-walnut ice cream at the
shop down in St-Petronille (you can't miss it, just
make sure to drive all the way to the southern tip of
the island, you can see Quebec City from there)
--there are lots of maple sugar places for syrup and
candy, and a fromagerie that unfortunately had not yet
opened for the season when we were there (opened June 24).
--We tasted wine at Isle de Bacchus but I won't
recommend it, unless you are very curious to try wine
made from obscure hybrid grape varieties. I bought a
bottle of the tart white to make wholly Quebecois kirs
with my creme de cassis.
After most of the day on the island, we actually drove
another hour north to Charlevoix (gorgeous ski and
hiking region), to the town of Baie-Saint-Paul. It's
really cute with lots of art galleries. Le Saint-Pub
is the brewpub of Microbrasserie Charlevoix, which
makes pretty awesome Belgian-style beers. The food
was excellent and features lots of local ingredients.
It is in the center of town at 2 Rue Racine. Further
down the main street was another very interesting
looking restaurant in an old house, I didn't record
the name but I would like to try it if I go back.
Yes, that's 4 brewpubs we went to. Beer is a big deal
there. There are tons more places to eat that look
worthwhile but we didn't get to try...that
ultra-charmant Le Lapin that specializes in rabbit in
the old city lower town; Panache looked super fancy
and is highly regarded (close to Toast).
Rue Saint-Jean runs out of the upper old city through
the Upper Town and has a lot of great shops and stores: the
famous gourmet market J.A. Moisan, Gelato Tutto, and
Musee de Chocolat (get the chocolate espresso
there--not coffee but a shot of dark, bitter,
ultra-rich hot chocolate! Superb.)
Oh yeah, I almost forgot poutine, the famous fries
with cheese curds and gravy--classic spot is Ashton's
on Grande-Allee (fast food--great after drinking all
Little tip: I'd suggest adding "City" to the "Quebec" in the subject of your post - (making it "Quebec City") since "Quebec" by itself can refer to the entire province - which is very, very large! I assume you're staying at the Château Frontenac in Quebec City? If you're actually staying on Frontenac St. in Montreal, then disregard my first idea and try adding "Montreal" to your subject line instead! ;-)
Edit: Oh, and I just remembered we've had some good threads about QC recently that you might want to check out, too: