The one thing I could not shut up about in Quebec City was the food. I don’t know what restaurant was my favourite because holy guacamole, they were all wonderful. In truth, I did some research before I left for the historic city. I wanted to get an idea of where to eat in Quebec City. It’s what I do, I plan. But I ended up changing quite a few items on my itinerary, even the restaurants.
The great thing about travelling solo was I could eat wherever – I’m not picky – and eat when I wanted. Not hungry? Cool.
What to eat in Quebec City
Quebec City is known for its hearty traditional dishes with a contemporary twist. You’ll find game meats such as venison (deer), rabbit, and duck alongside beef and chicken. Of course, the must-try item for any visitor to Quebec is poutine.
The key to enjoying your meal in Quebec City is not to be afraid of anything you may not understand. Ask the server; they are more than willing to explain their dishes and I’ve found that their recommendations are far better than anything I could order.
Here are some choices for what to eat in Quebec City:
Escargot at Aux Anciens Canadiens
This little bustling restaurant is quite the charmer. Nestled on the corner of Rue Sainte Louis and Rue de Jardin, this former home is one of the oldest buildings in Quebec City. The house was built in 1675 and housed Philippe-Aubert de Gaspe, author, from 1815 to 1824.
In 1966, the home was converted into a restaurant that still operates today.
The menu is rich with hearty meals such as pea soup, meat pies, and other delicious dishes like bison and duck.
I tried the escargot – yes, snails – and oh my were they good. What can go wrong when you slather them with butter and garlic and bake them with cheese? Pair the dish with some French fries and a local cider and I left feeling satisfied.
This place is not cheap, but well worth the money spent to enjoy the atmosphere of the oldest house in the city.
Venison at Batinse
UPDATE: Batinse is now closed, however, there are many amazing places to try venison, bison, wild game and more. Check out this list here.
This quirky and flirty restaurant was remarkable; I went there twice during my trip to try more on their menu.
Inside is like stepping into a garden tea party in the tropics. They sport knitted lampshades, porch swings for chairs, upside down teacups and saucers for lights, and their drink menu is off the chain!
I sipped on one, or two, Fleurettes a tequila-based drink with lime, hibiscus syrup, and pink grapefruit juice.
Their menu is riddled with unique and flavourful dishes.
I devoured the venison ravioli – giant pulled venison ravioli sauteed with leeks, maple, wild mushrooms and truffle oil milk.
The décor and the mouth-watering meals made me come back to try their poutine (delicious) and have a few more of those cocktails.
Looking for a gluten free guide for Quebec City? Check out this indepth post.
Duck at Le Repaire
This restaurant – aptly named the Hideout – is located on the L’Escalier Casse-Cou (literally the breakneck steps).
It’s very trendy with a terrace that overlooks Rue de Petit Champlain. It has a range of items that will tickle everyone’s fancy.
I tried the homemade duck confit imperial rolls and the best fried calamari I’ve ever had. (The best calamari, in general, was in Greece. Hands down)
Rabbit at Le Lapin Saute
It only makes sense to have rabbit in a restaurant that is called rabbit hop right?
The menu is carefully selected local ingredients, even the rabbit. The menu states “Our rabbit comes from the Besnier farm in the Beauce region of Québec. It is naturally farmed without antibiotics, hormones, animal meal or fat.”
There were so many options to choose from here, so I let my server tell me the best dish featuring rabbit. I was not disappointed.
The two pieces were topped with blueberry-cranberry spiced wine Gentilhomme sauce and paired with season vegetables and tasty mushrooms.
This spot was a little tricky to get into. The first night, there was an hour and a half wait, so I went to another restaurant instead. The second night was a 20-minute wait, so I hung around Parc Félix-Leclerc and listened to a man play the didgeridoo.
Well, there you have it my favourite dishes (and restaurants) to eat in Quebec City.
What was the best meal you have had on vacation?