Quebecois are foodies to the core and their cuisine is so unique. Pack some stretchy pants on your trip up north because you must eat everything!
The place to get the poutine:
Chez Gaston, 332 Rue Dorchester, Ville de Québec, QC G1K 6A2, Canada
If you’ve never had poutine before, I am sorry for you. Head to Quebec City and do your best to change that fact immediately! French fries smothered in gravy topped with squishy squeaky cheese curds. It may not sound appealing, but it is the most wickedly delicious comfort food out there. This spot is a hole in the wall, pretty dive-y, and was filled with French speaking bikers when I strolled in. One gal manned the grill and she was great with answering all of our questions and casually chatting. I went for the classic poutine while Jeff went for the one with ‘all of the meats,’ both were phenomenal.
The place to get the crepes:
Le Billig, 481 Rue Saint-Jean, Ville de Québec, QC G1R 1P4, Canada
We got out of the rainy streets into the cozy yellow café, I almost felt like I was back in France ordering a crepe here. Service was great and the food was perfect. The crepes were delicate and savory, the fillings were generous and tasty. Jeff ordered a random drink off of the chalkboard, we had no idea what a ‘snake bite’ would be! I was thinking definitely something strong, maybe with whiskey in it, but I was way off. It turned out to be a delectable drink that I kept taking sips of – a local cider with a shot of black currant wine. So fruity and yummy.
Paillard, 1097 Rue Saint-Jean Quebec City, QC G1R 1S3
This is a very popular bakery perfect for breakfast. It’s huge and filled with tourists, but I didn’t mind. I got online and checked out the glass display case. We decided to grab a sweet pastry each and split a savory one, plus I threw in a yogurt ‘to be healthy,’ but it was overkill. Don’t even think about being healthy in here! My pastry was a dark chocolate and pear one. It was epic. Honestly, the subtly sweet pear and the mildly bitter dark chocolate with almond slivers and buttery crust – hands down one of the best things I have ever eaten. The ham and cheese whopper was heroic as well. Find yourself a quiet corner and the throngs of people fade away as you stuff your face. The meal was so deviously devastating we were unable to ingest lunch.
La Boite a Pain, 289 Rue Saint-Joseph Est, Ville de Québec, QC G1K 6A8, Canada
Another breakfast bakery for us, but with a completely different feel. This one was much smaller, quieter, and filled with locals. Actually, the girl behind the counter is one we chatted with at the bar across the street the night before. Small city. We ended up doing the same thing here, a sweet pastry each, one savory to split, and no lunch. Everything had a more artisanal feel, and each item was so very delicious. However, there was a much smaller selection here (even though everything looked perfect!).
L’Affaire Est Ketchup, 46 Rue Saint-Joseph Est, Ville de Québec, QC G1K 3A6, Canada
Every table was booked in this tiny micro-restaurant on a weekend night. We were happy to get there early with our reservation and sit at the window table, perfect for people watching. The waiter explained the entire menu to us, which was written in French up on a chalkboard. We nibbled on bread and slugged down a delicious sour beer (I had been to the micro-brew on a visit to Montreal). We got a scrumptious mushroom appetizer and shared trout/scallop entrees. Dessert was very unique, a ginger carrot cake that we couldn’t get enough of.
Le Renard Et la Chouette, 125 Rue Saint-Vallier O, Ville de Québec, QC G1K 1J9, Canada
Translates to ‘the fox and the owl’ this was the second lovely experience we had at a Quebec micro-restaurant. In contrast early on a week night it was very quiet inside. We had the kitschy place all to ourselves, enjoying the great music we couldn’t understand and company of the very friendly waiter. Everything was fantastic and it seemed like there was a real passion for food here. Starting with the bread, it was wonderful. A soft sourdough everything loaf. Throughout the night the waiter also hooked us up with little complimentary sips and soups.
Jeff ordered a flambéed sausage, we split an incredible salad app and cod entrée, and topped it all off with a foie gras dessert. It was a decadent night.