Best of Quebec?
One New Yorker and one Bostonian visiting Quebec early next month for work. We are staying at the Auberge Saint-Antoine. We have one afternoon free when we arrive, and then a Friday morning until about 5pm free that day, and are hoping you could suggest some Quebec specific treats. Maybe an excellent cheese shop (or a specific local cheese maker?); an amazing brewer of local beer? A don't miss chocolatier? A restaurant that's jammed with locals, and serves something only found in your area? We're hoping to experience a unique Quebec meal or nibble that we can't find here in the US in quite the same way...but our limited free-time might make that difficult. Any suggestions come to mind?
The best place I know in QC is the market of the old port,
Marché du Vieux-Port de Québec
160 Quai Saint-André
Quebec, QC G1K 3Y2, Canada
I have not been there for several years, but it seems to be still in business. The web site should provide the latest info.
As for what I remember the market had a number of producer-vendors of ice wines and ice ciders, cheeses, fresh fruit and savory pies, fruits and vegetables, and sausage. I do not remember any beer brewers there, but the market should fill most of your needs. A few minutes walk from the market along the quai is la Crêperie de Sophie, 48 rue Saint-Paul, Vieux Port de Québec, G1K 3V7 418-694-9595, a reasonable local resto that is far superior to the touristy places such as au Petit Coin Breton, local Quebec chain on rue St. Jean, Grand Allée Est outside the old city.
I would not recommend Aux anciens Canadiens, which does purport to offer traditional Quebec food. Au Pied de Cochon in Mtl. does not much better. Alternately buying food from the old port market is a cheaper and more varied option.
There was another resto not far from Sophie that was respectable for dinner, Restaurant le Brigantine, 97 rue Sault au Matelot. Not spectacular, but they did a good job with a lamb shank. I think they might have had some local specialties on the menu, but I can't be sure.
The Quebec History (?) Museum cafeteria within the old city has reasonably priced tasty food.
The fancy places in Quebec are Laurie Raphael and Initiale, but I have not eaten there. This site should offer plenty of comment.
Friday morning would be great to go to Marche Jean Talon and try some of the several excellent cheese shops. There is also an SAQ (an alcohol shop) where you can buy tons of local alcohol. the staff at these stores is very knowledgable and will be able to guide you. If i were you i would go to several cheese shops, pick a few wines/beers then have a picnic lunch somewhere in the area. There are lots of MJT threads where you can see what else is good there.