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Quebec City: Seeking Restaurants Other Than the Obvious!

Will be staying in Quebec City for three nights and--naturally--am looking forward to some delicious eats. I have thoroughly researched restaurants and heard friends' recommendations... like many posts on this site, they always come back to the same 10-12: Cafe du Clocher Penche, Aux Anciens Canadiens, Laurie Raphael, Paillard, le Paingruel, le Lapin Saute, le Saint Amour, Initiale, Panache, le Pain Beni, etc...

Wondering whether anyone had different suggestions? Perhaps less touristy, more local places.

Greatly appreciated.

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  1. Just came back from a so incredible tour in Québec. Loved Quebec city and the food and the people and the architecture! Where will you be staying so I can give you some ideas of off the beaten path. Even if some of the restaurants you mentioned in your post are touristy the are in the top 10 of the best restaurants of Quebec. What kind of food, budget?

    1. Le Moine Echanson, which doesn't seem to be on your list.

      1. "L'Affaire est Ketchup" on St-Joseph East - small and noisy but lots of fun.
        "Restaurant Toast" on Rue des Matelots, in the Old Port - in my eye (and after multiple meals at all of them) the best of the high-ends.
        "SSS" - Bistro food on St-Paul from the guys at the Toast. Good high-end bistro food, great room.
        "Le Moine Echanson" on St-Jean (West of the St-Jean Gate) - great place for their wine list and vast "per glass" selection, kinda tiny and crowded, very solid food (again, think upper-scale bistro).

        3 Replies
        1. re: Voidsinger

          Toast and SSS are as touristic as the above list. L'Affaire est Ketchup sounds fun

          1. re: madamebatignolles

            Don't think the OP mentionned "touristic" more than "Not the usual Quebec names when people ask for recs on Chowhound". I don't think Toast comes up nearly often enough compared to the old mainstays (St-Amour, Laurie Raphael, Initiale, Panache). La Taniere is also often forgotten (apparently has a very modernist slant now) but I haven't been in ages so I really can't recommend it.

            Not sure about you, but my last two trips to the St-Amour and Laurie Raphael respectively were a bit underwhelming, with St-Amour being pretty disapointing. I never get tired of the Toast and never got a "meh" meal there.

            As for "L'Affaire est Ketchup", you are spot-on! It's a very fun place. There's something to be said for a single chef and his two friends in an informal setting just making delicious food.

            1. re: madamebatignolles

              Toast goes in my List of Places to Avoid for Lunch: good service but deeply banal and a bit overpriced lunch time menu.

              It was a disappointment after taking the time to locate it and go there. Maybe the evening menu is better.

          2. I had two wonderful dinners of horse meat skirt steak and sauteed veal brains at Cafe St-Malo. They also make some of the best french fries I ever tasted. As well as cassoulet and steamed local mussels in white wine. Mistral Gagnant makes wonderful dishes as well. I had sweetbreads with mushrooms , while my brother had fish soup and my sister-in-law had lamb chops with thyme and basil. Everything was fantastic.

            They are both located outside of the fort.

            Cafe St-Malo, 75 Rue St-Paul, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada (418) 692-2004

            Mistral Gagnant, 160 rue Saint Paul, Québec, Québec, G1K 3W1 (418) 692 4260

            A very good rule of thumb is to stay clear of the restaurant located within the walls of the fort. Especially rue, St- Louis. You're paying a ton of money for slop. Even the much touted La Saint-Amour on St- Ursule, I found to be mediocre.

            2 Replies
            1. re: David11238

              I really disagree with you David11238, for Cafe St-Malo for me a tourist trap as much as some on rue St-Louis. On St-Louis you will find Le Continental and Caffe Conti, in the walls also Le Patriarche and Le Pain Beni.
              A new one in Quebec is Bistro B on Cartier the former chef of Le Panache

              Le Panache Restaurant
              201 Eddy Rue, Gatineau, QC J8X2X5, CA

              1. re: madamebatignolles

                How in the world is Malo a tourist trap? Their ingredients are first rate if not fresh. They don't over cook, drench any of the meals in meaningless sauce, and digging into my Yankee passion, they serve their french fries piping hot, crispy and perfectly seasoned. What experience have you had that makes you call it a tourist trap?

            2. Bistro Sous-le-Fort for a great value right in Petit Champlain
              il Matto, good italian food
              L'Affaire est ketchup, small place with great comfort food
              Le Cercle, tapas and other nice stuff
              Les Bossus, french classic
              Metropolitain, sushi
              L'Echaude, french bistro
              Le Maizerets, pizza
              Petite Boite Vietnamienne, fusion/vietnamese
              Le Fin Gourmet, neighborhood restaurant
              Billig, crepes
              Brynd, smoked meat
              Le Pied Bleu, for lunch
              Le Bac, also for lunch

              Nothing high end there but good choices for a casual meal!

              Never been to Bistro B but the chef is Francois Blais (Panache) so I assume it is good...

              850 Av Myrand, Quebec, QC G1V2V5, CA

              2 Replies
              1. re: potap

                I was deceived really deceived by Bistro Sous-le-Fort a month ago

                1. re: madamebatignolles

                  I saw this place given a positive review on a food blog they own a farm just outside of city which you can visit but they do have a restaurant in Quebec city for noon meals and friday gourmet meals all featuring the bio duck raised on their farm, sorry website only in French


                  they only have the lunch menu posted, you would have to call for details on Friday evening menu


                  For the farm of Muscovy ducks it is in the village of St-Apollinaire, about a half-hour outside of Quebec City.you can visit the farm, buy fresh products and eat on their terrace. But you can also enjoy their small resto (reservations a must) in Quebec city at 1281, avenue Maguire 418.687.5116

              2. We just got back from three days in Quebec city and had some great meals. I am writing this post because of one place.. L'affaire est Ketchup. it was a cold drizzly night and we stopped by this place without having heard anything about it..seeing a packed cozy inside and no obvious sign piqued our interest from the other side of the street. there just seemed to be a buzz coming from this place. We came in and asked if they had any room, and were told to come back maybe in 30 min, we wandered down the street to check a couple of other places but something drew us back to this place. when we came back the host found us 2 spots at the bar. usually its not so nice to sit at the bar, but this was perfect. after a couple minutes of being ignored, one of the owners, Francois, came up and gave us our waters and settings. We settled in and next up noticed that the food was being cooked on two electric burner stoves that looked like ones i had cooked many a college mac and cheese on! our waiter came over and explained the menu with the aide of the whole specials chalkboard held up for us to see..We decided on the duck breast on a bed of lentils and the merou, which we came to understand was something like sea bass. We got a couple of drinks and waited for our food..when it came we were in heaven! also a little drunk, but this was such wonderful food, so simple, and very fresh, but delicious and unique..WOW i cant stop thinking about that meal. We ended up talking food with Francois for a good hour as we ate. We told him he needs to come to Brooklyn so we can enjoy his food all the time! Great spot, so much fun, this is what eating out should be!

                L'affaire est ketchup
                46 Rue Saint-Joseph Est, Quebec city, QC G1K 5T3, CA