Whenever we travel, our plans are centered around food and must-see sights. Before setting off, we choose everywhere we want to eat and organize which restaurants to visit based on the locations of museums, historical sites, nature trails, etc.
One of the best things about Quebec City is that great restaurants and things to see are within easy walking distance from one another. The only trouble is that there are so many great restaurants marked in our guide book but only so much time, meals, and money. Oh well. Good excuse to visit again.
While everything is delicious, here are some culinary delights that you have to try.
9. French onion soup
Just as there’s that notable difference between a Hershey’s Kiss and Godiva chocolate, there’s a notable difference between French onion soup in America and in Quebec. More onions, richer cheese, tastier broth… It might seem cliché, but don’t pass it up.
Bonus Tip: Want to wash up before eating? Most of the very small bathrooms are in the basement of the buildings.
This open-faced ham and cheese sandwich would make Julia Child proud. Covered in a thick, cheesy sauce, this ham on toasted bread makes a great late lunch. (Check it out at Cochon Dingue!)
Caribou isn’t a stranger to the menus in Quebec City. A great example is this caribou and bison pâté appetizer at Aux Anciens Canadiens. While I’m not normally a pâté person, it’s surprisingly good!
Bonus Tip: At this fancier restaurant, a meal typically includes a drink, an appetizer, the main course, and a dessert. Most restaurants have this deal, though, if you order one of the specials of the day. (And the specials aren’t the most expensive meals on the menu.) Great bang for your buck!
6. Old fashion hot chocolate
Forget Swiss Miss powder. This hot chocolate is thick, creamy, and not obnoxiously sweet.
Bonus Tip: Most breakfast places include coffee or hot chocolate with a breakfast plate.
5. Meat pie
Self-explanatory but not to be underestimated. The best one we found was at Aux Anciens Canadiens.
4. Café au lait
The Quebecois seem to love their coffee. For an authentic experience, try café au lait (coffee with milk) served the traditional way: in a bowl. This half-coffee, half-steamed milk mixture is a frothy delight. Need a little sugar? No one will look down on you for including a packet or two… or three.
We loved café au lait served this way so much that my mom ordered bowls as soon as we returned home. Can’t wait to drink from them tonight.
3. Bacon covered in crepe batter
Yes, it’s as delightful as it sounds! It’s a breakfast of champions at Buffet de l’Antiquaire.
2. Maple pie
This is a delicacy. It’s very sweet, but with a dollop of fresh, unsweetened whipped cream, it’s perfect. We love it so much that we brought the recipe back to the States with us.
When we decided to visit Quebec City, this instantly hit the top of my list of foods to try. While the combination of fries, cheese, and gravy makes it sound like glorified gravy fries, the description falls short in so many ways. Most restaurants use cheese curds, which melt yet maintain some shape. The potatoes involved aren’t always fries (like the thinly sliced potato wedges used at Chic Shack). And gravy isn’t the only topping. The Quebecois make all sorts of combinations: mushrooms and Parmesan, smoked meat and Swiss cheese, and even chicken with a red wine sauce and shallots. And all of them are amazing.
Bonus Tip: If you visit Chic Shack for its variety of poutine, be sure to grab a salted maple caramel milkshake. You won’t regret it (and the walk back to the hotel should burn off most of the calories… unless you’re staying at le Chateau Frontenac).
Want my quick overview of Quebec City? Click here!
Have you tried any of the foods on this list? Have other Quebec delicacies you would add? Visit any must-try restaurants lately?