Recently we told you about some of the fun places to visit in Quebec. While there are loads of fun things to do in Quebec, Canada, there are also lots of tasty bites that you should not miss that aren’t poutine. Here are some of our favorites:
1. La Buche. La Buche (which translates “The Log”) is located in the heart of Old Quebec. It offers traditional Quebec cuisine. Very similar to a sugar shack experience if you are familiar with that experience. It offers breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as maple taffy on snow! This is not a Vegan restaurant. It’s very meat heavy and is an homage to the logging and trapping past of Quebec. It’s also got an artistic niche as you will find out if you use the restroom here. If you are looking for a traditional local experience full of comforting, home-cooked dishes, then you’ve got to try La Buche. Our Recommendation: Quebec Shepperd’s Pie Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes, Creamy Corn, Bacon, Red-Wine-Braised Beef and Fruit Ketchup!
2. St. Viateur Bagels– This bagel is like no other bagel I have ever had the pleasure of biting into. I would even say that when compared to NYC bagels. Also, I would say they are better than Fairmount Bagels in Montreal. Good news, Fairmount is a couple blocks over so do a taste test. We did. These are smaller, thinner, sweeter, topped with sesame seeds. These bagels are handmade and wood-fire baked. Just delicious. They are a ‘must try’ when visiting Quebec’s largest city, Montreal. Our Recommendation: Get enough for the room.
3. Erabliere du Lac-Beauport. We have never felt more southern in a foreign land. This sugar shack will make you feel close to your Tennessee, Alabama or Kentucky kin even if they aren’t there. It begins with a family style meal you are going to recognize instantly from your family get-togethers. The difference is that this one has pure maple syrup added to every dish. Sit back and enjoy some local entertainment (much like our region is very bluegrass in nature) and then head outside for some maple taffy on ice. This sugar shack also has a maple museum and a gift shop loaded with maple delights. It also has a taxidermy museum. These are our people and a truly Canadian experience. Our Recommendation: Get reservations. This place is packed with schools etc and it’s a must to call ahead.
4. Paillard Cafe-Boulangerie. Everyone dreams of the perfect Parisian cafe. This cafe delivers. Serving delicious homemade bread, pastries, sandwiches, soups, and gelato. Located in Old Quebec and is a nice respite from shopping and sight-seeing. It also gives you a chance to gaze out the window and dream. The patrons seemed to be having a great time, laughing and conversing with their tablemates without a cell phone or laptop in sight! Something much of Quebec does. They wait till they leave their meal to post on Instagram. Stop by for a latte and pastry—they are divine! Our Recommendation: Latte and whatever bread tickles your fancy.
5. Cassis Monna & Filles. A short drive out of Quebec and past the Montmorency Falls is the Île d’Orléans. A wonderful farming town on an Island in the middle of the St. Lawrence River. This small island could pack a connoisseurs vacation with wine and cheese makers. Île d’Orléans is where you get that very French inspired Quebec. Cassis Monna & Filles are without a doubt Black Currant experts! There are a thousand and one ways to enjoy black currant and you will find most if not all at Cassis Monna & Filles. From black currant wine, syrups, jams, gelatos and sorbets, they are true local artisans. This 5th generation family business should be on your list. Enjoy a glass as the St. Lawrence river passes by off in the distance. Our Recommendation: If you have kids grab the gelato. If you don’t spend some time downstairs trying the different wines and enjoying the view of the farm.
6. The Cheese Stops in Charlevoix- North of Quebec City and on the way to whale watching (we talked about it in our last travel blog) in Baie St. Catherine are some of the best stops for cheese in all of North America. There are trails of cheese at local farms all over Charlevoix County. The two we visited are from our research two of the best. The one we first stopped at is a working Sheep farm with sheep’s milk cheese called Famille Migneron. The secret of their cheese lies in the care given to their ripening. During this process of maturation, nothing is left to chance. Maurice Dufour and his team deploy their know-how so that each of their creations becomes what it should be: prodigious and unique. The second stop was Laiterie Charlevoix Lévis. I preferred the cheese made from the ewes but the service and humor from Laiterie Charlevoix Levis was worth the trip. The gentleman discussed driving through our area on the way to Florida and Alabama. Made jokes about the region as he fed us his wonderful cheese. It was an amazing time to enjoy the best cheese we’ve tasted in North America.
There is so much to eat in Quebec and narrowing it down was difficult. If you have suggestions, let us know in the comments.