© TQ/J.-F. Bergeron / enviro foto

Foods of Québec

Local specialties

Proud of a culinary tradition unique in North America, Québec is justly famous for its many terroir products. Craft beers, artisanal wines, ice ciders, terrines, cheeses, jams: when it comes to food, the imaginations of Québec’s local producers know no bounds!

Aperitif wine, Québec © TQ/A. Quenneville
Atwater Market, Montréal © TQ/M. Julien

A culinary legacy

New France’s first inhabitants ate hearty meals to cope with the rigours of everyday life—not to mention the climate! A distinct brand of home cooking evolved over the centuries, creating such Québec classics as tourtière (meat and pork pie), cipaille (a layered meat pie), fèves au lard (baked beans), cretons (pork spread), tarte au sucre (sugar pie) and galettes de sarrasin (buckwheat cakes). While most of these items no longer appear on the daily menu, many are still served on special or seasonal occasions.

Gastronomy © TQ/D. Lafond

A few gourmet pleasures

  • Gulf of St. Lawrence seafood, smoked fish, farmed game
  • Îles de Sorel-style gibelotte (stew),
  • Lac Saint-Jean soupe aux gourganes (broad bean soup)
  • Ice cider, artisanal wine, craft beers
  • Maple syrup, taffy, butter and sugar

Poutine, a typical Québécois dish, is a mix of French fries and curd cheese drizzled in gravy. It’s served in fast food restaurants—but be sure you’re ravenous before you order! Today, the burgeoning popularity of this unofficial national dish has given rise to a whole range of variants.