The 13 Best Places to Eat
in Quebec City
Yearning for the charm, history and fantastic cuisine that a trip to Europe delivers, without having to sit through the long flight?
Look no further than Quebec City—the capital of La Belle Province where bistro-lined, cobblestone streets that ring with the sound of bonjour and merci could fool anyone that they’ve departed Canada for France.
Quebec City was an Iroquois village of the First Nations people before it was discovered by the French explorer Samuel de Champlain in 1608.
Through England conquered the province of Quebec in the late 1700s, the impression left by the first European settlers from France largely remained. Today, the city is an emblem for everything quintessentially French-Canadian—and nowhere is this more evident than in their culinary culture.
The Quebecois have a penchant for food; one that is distinct from the rest of Canada and likely the influence of the French and their innate love for gastronomy. Quebecois food staples are the result of the many cultures that played a part in its history.
The English contributed savoury pie, known in Quebec as tourtiere, which is minced pork in a flaky crust. The British are also said to have been the importers of potatoes and cheddar cheese, resulting in the much-loved combination of fries, curd and gravy known as poutine.
Salting was introduced to the Europeans by the First Nations people: a preservation tactic to keep meat from spoiling during Canadian winters. This is the basis of cretons, a salted pork spread that’s best enjoyed on toast for breakfast.
Quebec’s tarte au sucre (sugar tart) hails from Normandy, from where many of Quebec’s settlers arrived.
Another favourite, warming and rib-sticking pea soup, was born out of pure survival to get through the cold months, as peas were easy to dry and store.
Is your mouth watering yet? Experience Quebecois cuisine for yourself: here’s my list of Quebec City’s best places to sample everything from French-Canadian delicacies to elevated pub grub to dishes with an international twist. À table!
Original stone walls, wood beam ceilings and the St. Lawrence River frame Chez Muffy, a restaurant renowned for its French-Canadian, farm-to-table fare that uses produce from its farm on the nearby Ile d’Orleans.
Find Chez Muffy at our favourite boutique hotel in the city, the luxurious Auberge St. Antoine.
While I admit it’s a bit on the touristy side, the old-world vibe and their tourtiere make it worth checking out this traditional Quebecois restaurant.
Other favourite dishes you’ll find here include Grand-mère (Grandmother’s) pea soup and meats hailing from the province such as red deer, caribou and bison in the form of ragout and stews.
For a truly gourmet experience, visit Le Saint-Amour: a hot spot for upscale French food that boasts one of the top wine lists in the country and a menu to match.
World-class cuisine is served in a bright dining room accented with mirrors and hanging plants. You can order à la carte or try the tasting menu with the (highly recommended) option for wine pairings.
In a homey dining room, choose from savoury galettes made with buckwheat flour that range from the standard egg-ham-cheese variety to more extravagant specialty items like La Belle Illoise, dressed with scallops and shrimps.
Follow it up with one of their sweet crepe options for dessert—perhaps the one drenched in maple syrup for some true Canadiana.
Hands down—the best croissants in town! Their fresh-baked bread and pastries, gourmet pizza and Italian-imported gelati impress, too.
Paillard has four locations within Quebec City, including their flagship shop centrally located in the Old Town.
This Relais & Châteaux establishment serves French haute cuisine in an understated—yet sophisticated—dining room.
A three-course carte fuses meat and fish sourced from Quebec with the flavours of France, while a tasting menu allows you to sample a little bit of all of the chef’s top offerings.
Tuck into seasonally inspired antipasti, hearty homemade pasta and all-around sublimely executed Italian food at Battuto.
Seating is limited in this cozy, minimalist space, so book your table well in advance.
For your morning java or a midday pick-me-up, head to Cantook: an artisanal coffee shop that roasts all their beans in-house.
Sip your brew in their cozy, wooden café—inspired by Canadian forests—or revel in the happenings of Rue Saint-Jean while seated in a chair out front.
Le Pied Bleu is your classic bouchon, a type of bistro hailing from Lyon, France, whose focus is on rich meats and charcuterie.
Don’t miss the house-made boudin noir (black pudding), a 5-time medalist at the elite Foire au boudin (Black Pudding Festival) that’s held annually in Normandy, France.
At this bar au vin, natural wine is paired with creative tapas in an intimate setting with exceptional hosting.
Knowledgeable servers guide you through their curated list of wine options—by the bottle or by the glass—and a menu that’s always on rotation depending on what’s in season.
For a break from French-Canadian dishes, visit this Japanese haunt where you can share plates of sushi, yakitori and sip on sake in a hip atmosphere with unstained wood benches, concrete walls and a touch of greenery.
La Planque evokes the ambiance of a cozy, wood log cabin mixed with a rustic-chic gastropub.
Their innovative takes on Canadian fare sees local meats like guinea fowl and duck be taken up a notch with crafty foams and purees.
Ask for a seat at the bar so you can watch the chefs in action in the open kitchen.
Spend your night tasting seafood and sipping on fabulous cocktails at this pirate-like tavern that specializes in a variety (up to 10!) of fresh oysters.
With only about 20 seats and no reservations, make sure to show up early—I promise it’s worth the wait!