Without a doubt, Québec is one of the world’s top culinary destinations. It owes its success to multiculturalism and unique regional products. Québec gastronomy features revamped, creative cuisine inspired by the various cultural communities that call the province home. Epicureans can discover all kinds of poutines, as well as smoked meat, bagel, duck, shrimp, lobster, snow crab, deer and lamb dishes, and a myriad of other products.
Internationally renowned chefs like Daniel Boulud (Maison Boulud), David McMillian (Joe Beef and Le Vin Papillon), Normand Laprise (Toqué!), Martin Picard (Au Pied de Cochon) and Chuck Hughes (Garde Manger) will welcome you in their restaurants with original and exquisite dishes. Toqué!, Joe Beef and Le Vin Papillon ranked among the nation’s top five restaurants according to Canada’s Best Magazine 2017. Lastly, the Montréal Casino also has its own high-end restaurant to discover: L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon.
Montréal offers cosmopolitan flair and a wide variety of menus for all tastes and budgets, with many neighbourhoods featuring their own culinary specialties. Chinatown, an obvious choice for those who crave Chinese cuisine, also boasts several specialty shops and grocery stores offering Asian products.
A little further north, Little Italy is particularly charming in the summertime thanks to the Jean-Talon Market and countless Italian restaurants.
The festive Quartier Latin (Saint-Denis Street) will be sure to win you over with its friendly atmosphere, terraces, nightclubs, as well as its wide selection of restaurants offering very affordable options. Located near the Université du Québec à Montréal, this area is a popular student hangout.
Nestled on the banks of the St. Lawrence, Old Montréal features many renowned gourmet restaurants. This historic district is home to a multitude of art galleries and magnificent terraces. It is also where visitors can board a Bateau-Mouche tour boat and enjoy a romantic dinner-cruise on the St. Lawrence! Adjacent to Old Montréal, the very trendy Griffintown neighbourhood features a wide variety of newly opened restaurants catering to the most discerning palates.
Right next to downtown, the Plateau Mont-Royal borough is crawling with little neighbourhood eateries, each more welcoming than the next. Prince-Arthur Street, a pedestrian thoroughfare, comes alive in the summer with its many terraces and restaurants. Nearby, Duluth Street is lined with restaurants, most of which are BYOW locations! The famous Au Pied de Cochon is also located on this popular street. Crossing both of these roads, Saint-Laurent Street is home to the legendary Schwartz deli and its popular smoked meats. Meanwhile, poutine lovers routinely make a beeline for La Banquise, on Rachel Street, due to its incredible selection! Further north, the chic Laurier Street features trendy boutiques and some very interesting options for those looking for a gourmet experience.
In the downtown area, renowned for its business lunches and vibrant nightlife, Crescent Street takes care of all your eating, drinking and dancing needs until the wee hours of the morning. Bars and restaurants all line up in a festive setting, making it popular among tourists and the perfect place to meet new people. Also in this area, Le Balcon and Le House of Jazz offer dinner-shows in cozy, intimate settings.
In Québec city
Québec City is famous for its gastronomy as much as its rich history, with Old Québec boasting one of the highest concentrations of restaurants. Saint-Jean Street features many renowned restaurants, and the sheer number of terraces on the Grande Allée make it a summertime hotspot. Nearby, restaurant Ciel! Bistro-bar tournant overlooks the city from the top of Hotel Le Concorde.
Downstream from Old Québec, the Petit Champlain and Saint-Roch neighbourhoods stand out through their vast selection of restaurants and terraces. Saint-Pierre Street is home to l’Initiale, one of only two restaurants to have been awarded the CAA Five Diamond distinction. Recently revitalized, Saint-Roch boasts trendy restaurants run by young, creative and innovative chefs.
Located just outside the tourist district, the Montcalm neighbourhood offers a variety of excellent restaurants on Cartier Street, including a few Italian options. The Sillery district features snack bar Pat Rétro, which will charm fans of the ‘50s with its retro atmosphere. In fact, stars Céline Dion and René Angélil frequently stopped by this establishment.
Visitors can get their fill at any of the regional Ashton and Chez Victor locations, which offer a range of unique and delicious hamburgers and a surprisingly extensive selection of poutines.
The restaurant of Manoir Montmorency, perched atop the majestic Montmorency Falls outside Québec City, offers an impressive view of the falls, the St. Lawrence River and Île d’Orléans, the latter of which features La Goéliche, a beautiful restaurant whose dining room and terrace both overlook the St. Lawrence.
A true original!
In Wendake, the Hôtel-Musée Premières Nations will be sure to impress through its original architecture, as well as its fine cuisine at Restaurant La Traite inspired by the culinary traditions of Québec’s First Nations.
Québec’s regional cuisine is primarily composed of high-quality local products that restaurant owners across the province greatly appreciate. For example, several restaurants across the Eastern Townships have duck dishes on their menus due to their access to regional sources. Moreover, Gaspésie boasts an extensive selection of mouth-watering lobster and shrimp platters. Lastly, lamb is a very popular regional product in Charlevoix.
The region of Outaouais is home to Le Baccara, one of only two restaurants to have been awarded the CAA Five Diamond distinction. This restaurant is located in the Casino Lac-Leamy.
In short, Québec has good food! Whether you’re looking for Native, traditional, regional, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, vegetarian or other dishes, Québec’s restaurants have something for all tastes and budgets. Time to dig in!