With its strong historical ties to France, it’s no surprise Quebec City delights with delectable cuisine. From local cheese plates to local red deer tartare, there’s plenty of dishes that will have you saying, “Je me souviens,” — there’s plenty to remember about dining out at these eight classic Quebec City restaurants.
Chic interiors aren’t just for show — what’s on the plate is just as sexy, chic, and tantalizing as the décor. The restaurant/workshop/boutique designed by local architects and interior designers offers up the chance to buy Quebec-area products or take cooking lessons with chef Daniel Vézina, one of the pioneers of Québécois cuisine. The elaborate “5 theme” or “3 theme” menus feature intriguing plates like Icelandic cod with St. Lawrence River seaweed mousse and a maple and cider vinegar reduction or blue cheese ice cream with Quebec black walnut and Camerise berries (a hearty research crop just right for Canadian winters). Make a reservation at LaurieRaphael.
1608 Bar à Vin et Fromage
In the mood to just pick or goûter, as afternoon snacktime is called in French? Grab a glass of wine and a nibble of local cheese at the round bar here, where you’ll enjoy an amazing view looking inward or outward. Grab a spot for your elbows and a bowl of citrus olives, savory choux pastry filled with sheep’s cheese and Port jam or a creative cocktail, each of which has its own story. The Toronto features Lot 40 Canadian rye, amaro, bitters, and simple syrup, while the Georgia Hotel, named after a Vancouver landmark, is created with gin, orange blossom water, nutmeg, and egg white. Make a reservation at 1608 Bar à Vin et Fromage.
Brasserie Française Chez Jules
Right in the heart of the action, Chez Jules will have you feeling like you’re in Paris being serenaded by accordion music – although you just may hear some from outside where the buskers go to occupy a prime spot right near the Old Quebec Funicular. The lunch menu of the day may be one of the best deals in town, with soup du jour or an appetizer included along with mains such as steak frites, croque-madame or -monsieur, and Wellington-style deer medallion. Make a reservation at Brasserie Française Chez Jules.
Get a little turned around when sightseeing? Just look for 1640’s bright-red roof, like a Bat-signal for foodies on the prowl for all three meals. Open early for breakfast all the way through dinner service, there’s lots to like here beyond the central location: duck confit salad with tarragon dressing, smoked salmon salad with maple dressing, or Canadian lobster. Make a reservation at Restaurant 1640.
As perhaps the city’s most notable landmark (besides its historic walled fortification, of course), the Chateau Frontenac hotel looms large over the capital of the province – and a meal at Champlain, which is tucked inside it, is sure to make just as much of an impression. Chef Stéphane Modat’s menu is like a geography quiz of North America’s northernmost reaches, including sturgeon from New Brunswick with wild mushrooms, Prince Edward Island beef filet with elderberry glazed carrots, and ravioli stuffed with hare, ricotta, and truffle from St. Jules. Make a reservation at Champlain Restaurant.