Food and drink

Dining out

Québecers adore good food, just as they adore gathering around a restaurant table with family or friends. And the selection is mind-boggling: local specialties, ethnic cuisine, self-serve health food, gourmet creations, fast food, family fare… Whatever your budget and tastes, there’s something for everyone. One thing never varies, though: the warm welcome you’ll receive!

To vary your menu, try one of the following: a bring-your-own-wine establishment (marked Apportez votre vin), a Montréal food truck, a weekend brunch or even a dinner cruise!

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!

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.

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.

Farm tourism

A farm tour is a chance to meet real, down-to-earth Québecers with a vast knowledge of their region. Happy to show off the fruits of their labours in the fields, pastures, orchards, vineyards or sugar bushes, they’ll also be pleased to let you in on some of the tricks of their trade.

Over 700 agricultural producers welcome visitors to their production sites. With the range of options available—tastings, picnics, guided tours, children’s activities, horse-drawn cart or sleigh rides, country meals and more—you can really tailor the outing to your taste!

U-pick

The highly popular pick-your-own format lets you play at foraging as you choose the fruits or vegetables you find most appetizing in a tranquil country setting. Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, apples, pears or pumpkins: they’re all ripe for the picking!

A few gourmet experiences

  • Farm tourism routes
  • Establishments certified by Terroir et saveurs du Québec: Tables champêtres (Country-style Dining), Tables aux saveurs du terroir (Terroir Restaurants), Fermes découverte (Farm Explorations) and Relais du terroir (Farm Shops)

A must-see in early fall is the spectacular cranberry harvest, when the little red berries float atop the flooded fields.