Quebec City, capital of La Belle Province, and one of Canada’s most underrated cities. Quebec City is the place I have visited most often outside of my hometown in Canada. I fell comfortable there, it feels comfortable like a second home, despite the fact it is very very different from any other city in Canada. Montreal, Quebec’s best known city is very cosmopolitan, Quebec City is quaint, very old for North America, and very very French. So of course I love it. Quebec City for a small city has a lot to see and do so where should you start, well here are my recommendations.
- Quebec City is very very walkable in terms of everything being in walking distance. However it is also very very hilly. My friend Shannon and I usually rent a car in Quebec City (The car ids to head south to Quebec’s small towns) but we both take turns freaking out driving in Quebec City in the winter. Even in the best of conditions it can be white knuckle driving. That said, walk it. You can walk the historic Plans of Abraham, get a weeks worth of a gym workout by taking the stairs (l”escalier) by the Chateau Frontenac to Petit Champlain, and view Quebec City’s parliament and old buildings and gates. Petit Champlain is the lower town of Old Quebec and full of local fare in restaurants and shops. There is amazing jewelry, glass, and clothing totally unlike the mass produced mall options. I have spent hours and many many dollars in Petit Champlain. There are some beautiful art galleries as well and many feature Inuit art as well.
- Restaurants in Quebec City are amazing.I have visited several times and still haven’t been able to try all that I want but I would recommend trying Restaurant Aux Ancien Canadien. Located in Old Quebec This restaurant is an 17th century building serving delicious Quebecois fare. http://www.auxancienscanadiens.qc.ca/en/ Cochon Dingue in the heart of Petit Champlain offers amazing food. Again it is Quebec food and it is delicious. I am a fan of the homemade pickles, Croque Mosiuer, duck or lobster ravioli, or duck comfit poutine. It has an amazing wine list to boot. Full of French wine offerings along with some local Quebec Wines as well. http://www.cochondingue.com/au-menu/champlain-en. My favorite spot to grab a drink in Petit Champlain is Bistrot le Pape Georges. Built in the 1500s, this pub/bistrot is beautiful. Also if you have to wait for your table at a nearby restaurant, leave a couple of your party at the restaurant and you and the others grab a drink at Pape Georges. Sure it might be rude to leave someone , not that I have ever done this (well maybe once) but Pape Georges is a guaranteed good time.http://www.quartierpetitchamplain.com/en/commercants/bistrot-pape-georges-2/#. But you will need to leave Old Quebec so head out t Grand Allee and eat at Savini, the most recommended restaurant to me. The food is Italian, the wine list worldly and out of this world and he decor is a mix of modern and antique. They have the most beautiful light fixture and some nights actual acrobats from the second level. http://savini.ca/. Bistro l’Atelier is just a few doors down from Savini and offers fresh food with some amazing soups and of course wine. https://www.bistrolatelier.com/. I also like to go Quebec’s downtown and puruse the restaurants there as well, with many to chose from. Pub Parvis is a great spot for drinks and snacks. Very friendly and great wines. http://www.pubduparvis.com/
- Head to Chateau Frontenac even just for a drink. This Quebec City landmark is stunningly beautiful , iconic and well worth a visit if not a stay. I have had some very proper sips of Champagne by the fire at Chateau Frontenac and some debacherous nights full of wine and tequila and most of all fun. http://www.fairmont.com/frontenac-quebec/
- Le March Aux Vieux Port du Quebec is a large covered farmers market and a fabulous place to introduce yourself to Quebec Wines. Many of the wines are grown in the valleys surrounding the St Lawrence. The wines are white, late harvest and ice wines. They also produce some beautifully flavoured ciders and flavored desert wines with apple and pear. The Market is also offers local Quebec beer and products like the famous maple syrup, foie gras ect… There are local artisans as well. http://www.marchevieuxport.com/After a visit to the market I was rushing back to the car, arms full of wine and met my friends we stuffed the last of the shopping into the back closed the door, ready to head to the airport. We had stuffed so much in there the door didn’t close and burst open sending our shopping into the street. A fairly embarrassing moment that as also pretty funny except I lost one of my bottles of precious wine.
Quebec City has more to offer than I have highlighted. It is an old beautiful, friendly city and I literally can’t wait to return.