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Quebec city long weekend - advice on food choices

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Foodies from Toronto spending 3 days in Quebec city - not our first visit - in late September. We want to focus on French food (traditional and/or "with a twist"), especially locavore places and those who do lighter dishes or work well with vegetables. Staying in lower Old Town and won't have a car but willing to walk up to an hour for good food. We have a continental bkfst included at our hotel, and really can't do 3 big meals a day. We have been to Le Saint Amour in the past and frankly, it wasn't especially memorable for us, so despite great reviews here we likely won't go again. Have been to the Laurie Raphael in Montreal, enjoyed it but would rather try something unique to QC.

Please critique our choices; happy to have other suggestions too!

Friday - daytime visit to Choco-musee Erico for cake or icecream, dinner Le Pain Beni
Saturday - daytime trip to Paillard for croissants, dinner at Panache
Sunday - brunch at Cafe du Clocher Penche, late lunch/early dinner somewhere very casual on a terrace - salad/sandwich and a glass of wine - advice?

Also - any very sophisticated, quiet places with well-made cocktails? We don't need the rotating restaurant view, been there done it, rather have a great bartender

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Le Saint Amour
48 Rue Sainte Ursule Vieux, Quebec, QC G1R, CA

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  1. Sunday you can do L'Echaude near the vieux-port (across the street from Panache)... casual elegant but exquisite bistro fare; in fact it's the encyclopedic referance for french bistro imo! Outstanding market-fresh salads, sandwiches, etc - Check!

    As for cocktails, your best bet would probably be the St-Laurent Bar in the lobby of the Chateau Frontenac. You won't find creative mixology or innovative drinks (perhaps this exists somewhere in the city?) but classic and expertly crafted cocktails in a quiet, lovely and sophisticated setting overlooking the promenade and river. Check the hours beforehand, I'm sure they must be open late. Great for single malts, martinis, old fashioneds, etc. Whenever we stay at the Fairmount I stop in for a customery nightcap.

    Otherwise, a sound itinerary I think.

    1. PS - if you want to skip the continental breakfast and opt for something more interesting and unique to the city - Le Lapin Sautee was a nice surprise on our last trip! Great brunch/lunch options in a very casual country dining setting with outdoor seating on the Petit-Champlain strip as well. Great breakfasts and rustic cuisine de terroir, ie. homemade rabbit pies and duck rillettes, sausages, cheeses, etc.

      And along the way to Choco-Musee Erico (for an ideal picnic lunch or epicurean food sampling) you can stop at Patisserie Au Palet D'or, Boulangerie Paillard, Epicerie J.A. Moison and Le Moiune Échanson for wine and digestifs, with Erico being the last stop along the route. All relatively nearby and makes for a nice morning walk through the city. If I recall, they're mostly all within a stone's throw along the same street.

      1. Just came back from our trip to Quebec City and the Gaspe Peninsula but haven't had time to write our overview including restaurants yet. One thing I will say to help you out is going to Le Billig for amazing crepes is a must. It fulfills your need for French with a twist, vegetables and lighter fare. Great for lunch or lighter dinner. No frills, very unassuming place. Beware, closes at 3PM on Sundays. Will take your energy to walk there. Is on Rue St Jean but outside the wall. Totally worth the walk.

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        Le Billig
        526 Rue Saint-Jean, Quebec, QC G1R1P6, CA