Are you ready for a culinary treat? I’m going to share details about the delicacies of Old Québec City. For those who are foodies, you’ll be glad to know that in 2015 Condé Nast Traveler ranked Québec City among the top 20 world’s best food cities.
Luxury Dining At Fairmont Le Château Frontenac
If you haven’t read my previous post about my visit to Québec City you can find it here. I was in this charming Canadian province last month to attend the 2018 Women In Travel Summit, also known as WITS18.
The conference was held at the luxurious Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, the most iconic hotel in the world. Le Château Frontenac has its own collection of noteworthy restaurants, including the elegant Champlain Restaurant with its modern cuisine; The 1608 Wine and Cheese Bar with an incredible selection of cheeses; Bistro Le Sam for a casual lunch and dinner; and Place Dufferin featuring sumptuous breakfast buffets and a la carte menus with seasonal ingredients. All offer exceptional views of the St. Lawrence River – one of the most prized features of Le Château. (Note: If you cannot view the video below click here.)
A Food Tour Of Old Québec City
I had a chance to discover the delicacies of Old Québec City during a WITS18 excursion with Tours Voir Quebec Food Tour. The 2.5 hour walking tour took us to popular shops and restaurants where we sampled traditional and local specialties.
Our guide Robert gave us a history lesson as we strolled. “Québec is a native word and means where the river gets narrow. Canada means small village,” said Robert.
He recommended some favorite restaurants as we passed: Continental for dinner (which a Canadian friend also praised); Aux Anciens Canadiens for lunch; Le Clarendon Hotel for drinks and jazz music; Paillard Boulangerie for pastries and coffee; and Chez Boulay, a casual bistro.
Our first stop on the tour was La Buche, where we drank shots of Kalibu, a legendary Québec alcoholic beverage, accompanied with cold smoked salmon topped with maple syrup. Kalibu is also consumed as a hot drink.
Second was Le Tournebroche, an organic farm to table bistro. Honey is one of their specialties. They use their own honey in many ways — on ice cream, in tea, and mixed with fruit. Their menu focuses on organic, local, gluten-free food. Supposedly they have a really good organic burger and vegan entrees. They also have an extensive wine list.
Our group of boomer bloggers enjoyed dinner at Tournebroche on Saturday night. I ordered the Poulet Bio De Charlevoix, one of their specialties. It was so good, so good, so good.
Next was Le Moine Échanson, an organic wine bar & bistro. Daniel, the wine master explained how to pair wine and food. “It’s all about sharing and caring and enjoying food and people at the table,” said Daniel. “Have a sip of wine. Have a taste of the food. Then have another taste of the food and see how the wine tastes afterwards.” His wine bar focuses on the wine first. They try to use as much local food on their menus as available. We sampled Daniel’s favorite Abruzzi wine from Italy and paired it with cod fritters. Both were so good, so good, so good.
At Maple Delights & Company, our host Sasha told us about the 2000 family producers of maple syrup and about how maple syrup is made from the maple trees in Canada. We tasted golden syrup and dark maple syrup, maple fudge, maple pearls and maple tea. It was so sweet, so sweet, so sweet.
At Le Snack Bar, I had my first bite of Québec poutine, a quintessential Canadian snack food. It’s fries, topped with cheese curds, topped with gravy. It wasn’t one of my favorites. I like my fries with ketchup – thank you very much.
At our next stop, Crêperie le Billig, I devoured the French-style ham and cheese crepes made with buckwheat and a touch of apple cider.
Our finale was at Chocolaterie Érico, a chocolate museum and shop. We tasted chocolate with ginger, chocolate with onion, and chocolate caramels. I bought some dark chocolates to bring home to my boyfriend L.
During my walk the next day, I retraced the food tour and stopped in at J.A. Moisan, the oldest grocery store in North America. It is definitely worth a visit. It’s fun to peruse the shelves with likely thousands of gourmet products. You can also sit at tables for lunch or relax with a coffee and dessert. I also stopped at two well-known Canadian clothing stores – Simons and Roots.
All in all, it was a fun and satisfying time discovering the different culinary and cultural traditions of Québec. Did my post make you hungry for more? Hope you can plan a visit sometime to sample the delights and delicacies of Old Québec City.
There’s more to share about my wellness tour, yoga session, and lunch at Le Monastère Des Augustines. Ooh, ooh, ooh, I promise to tell you the story in an upcoming post.