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Jun 30, 2008 10:59 AM

Quebec City - not super upscale

Heading for a driving trip around Gaspe and ending in QC. Most of the posts I've found here talk about great but pretty expensive restaurants in Quebec. What's great at a lesser level? Thanks.

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  1. I haven't been but I hear from a friend who "adores the City more than Montreal" that Cafe de la Paix <> is reasonable and not 'dressy'. It's in the old city, not far from Chateau Frontenac.

    I know it's tacky to suggest a resto where I've never been but I find the CH Quebec board has very little to say about food in Quebec City. We're planning a September trip and I hope the foodies will come out of lurking and give us some reviews.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Paphos.SK

      > I find the CH Quebec board has very little to say about food in Quebec City

      I don't think anyone's holding out on you. ;-) There happen to be very few Quebec City residents who post on this board, which is not surprising considering QC is a vastly francophone city, while this board conducts itself entirely in English. The few folks on this board who are familiar w/food in QC (and I am not one of them because I've only been there a few times, and usually for work so meals were not a priority) do often generously post responses again and again to the many questions we get on this board about it.

      What would actually be incredibly useful and appreciated is if more tourists actually reported back here after their trip to Quebec City so their finds could benefit others. :-)

      1. re: kpzoo

        "I don't think anyone's holding out on you. ;-) "...
        No I didn't think that... I *was* curious why there isn't more info restos in Quebec though. Never thought of the language thing... Thanks.

        And now, I have a mission... I will encourage my traveling companions to also post about our foodie experience in Quebec.

        I hope this thread attracts more posters.

    2. A few years ago I really enjoyed dinner at Le Graffiti, which was lower-priced than the top restos. Here's a link

      3 Replies
      1. re: souschef

        Thanks for the responses. Wonder if there's a french language I can get by (poorly) and might put together a list.

        1. re: rmbelson

          > Wonder if there's a french language

          Very good question. The popular Recettes du Québec (Quebec Recipes) forum does have a restaurant message board covering the whole province:

          While it doesn't seem to be super-active, just skimming it I see a bunch of potentially useful stuff about Quebec City. Keep in mind that in French, Quebec City is often just called "Québec."

          A couple of threads that already caught my eye:

          Brunch à Québec

          Resto asiatique région Québec , avez-vous des suggestions? (Asian resto suggestions)

          Restos "apportez votre vin" à Québec? (BYOBs in Quebec City)

          Good luck!

          1. re: kpzoo

            It is good to get an appreciation of the best among the whole slew of byow Vietnamese and other Asian restos - I certainly wouldn't travel to Québec for Vietnamese food, but if they are good that can be a money-saving option and lighter meal, saving your money for somewhere such as Le Café du Clocher penché (I agree with that rec as do several Québec residents I know), if you are on a strict budget.

            There is also a very good and non-touristy Crêperie outside the walls in St-Jean-Baptiste. I forget the name - there was a thread on crêperies in Québec City here a while back.

      2. For mid-range, modern bistro with a smart wine list, it's hard to beat Le Café du Clocher penché (203 rue Saint-Joseph Est, 418 640-0597).

        1 Reply
        1. re: carswell

          we were just at clocher penche today and it was fab. great service, reasonable wines by the glass and great food- recommend the duck for dinner

        2. I remember the name of the crêperie in St-Jean-Baptiste (upper town, just outside the old city walls)

          Le Billig
          526, rue Saint-Jean
          418 524-8341

          2 Replies
          1. re: lagatta

            Thanks. We're not on a super strict budget -- in Montreal, we've been to Au Pied du Cochon, L'Express and Au Thym, which aren't budget restaurants, but which aren't 'best meal I ever had' kind of places either. It just seemed to me from the majority posts here that hounds were more upstream than I. L'Express, for example, is the kind of bistro I love.

            1. re: rmbelson

              Then I think you'd be very fond of Clocher perché - it is more modern in its bistro approach, but in general bistro fans are fond of it.

          2. I live here, there are SO MANY good restaurants it's almost not worth the while to post. Walk in any restaurant in the OLD city and along Laurier and you will be amazed. Obviously you are staying away from the fast food places (there aren't too many anyway). Just walk along the old city, the menus are available at the door. Look inside... I have eaten at many and stay away from the 3-5 that are mentioned here because..... well, they are not locals. You can eat there sure, but there are too many GREAT places to eat. Knock yourself out.

            5 Replies
            1. re: execk2

              Good to know! Going to QC this weekend and wanted to know where to eat.

              1. re: execk2

                But which 3-5 do you not recommend on this list?

                1. re: execk2

                  Personally, I wouldn't be THAT enthousiastic about finding great restaurants in Old Quebec.

                  There are certainly great places to go to, but (working as a concierge and former tour guide) I'd like to warn you against the many tourist traps Old Quebec unfortunately has to offer.

                  Moft of them offer "traditional Quebec cuisine" and aren't shy of charging the big price for it. For instance, I won't tell you that Les Anciens Canadiens isn't a good restaurant, but I'll say that they shouldn't charge as much as they do for what they serve.

                  As for great places in Old Quebec, I'd recommend:

                  - Le Pain Béni - One not too fancy, definitely not pricey bistro where you can discover actual "cuisine québécoise" elaborated by a very talented and creative young chef from Québec City. The charming mid-1800s building is well situated, right in the middle of the fortifications, not even a minute walking distance from Château Frontenac.

                  The wine card is good although the selection of wines sold by the glass isn't impressive. Go there for the food first. No dress code, nice bistro atmosphere, quality products exploited with care.

                  L'Échaudé, Le Café de la Paix and Le Patriarche are places where you should try too.

                  As for the best tables, it's been a while since I've visited them so I'll keep my comments for the next post. I'll just say that up to now, Le Panache's been my favorite.

                  1. re: ConciergeQC

                    Not a connaisseur of QC city restos, but I went to Les Anciens Canadiens last year and it was one of the worst restaurant meals I've ever had, and ridiculously pricey.
                    Toast! is quite brilliant, a bit pricey but not that much more than the Mtl restos you mentioned above.

                    1. re: johnnyboy

                      Agree with johnnyboy, we too thought Les Anciens Canadiens very poor. Maybe not the worst but certainly overpriced and imho, not authentic. There are so many better places to eat in Quebec City why waste the money there? L'Utopie was really good, for example and I loved that they have their own kitchens to develop signature meals.