Quebec City is the perfect destination for food and wine lovers. Located, naturally, in the province of Quebec, Old Quebec has a lot to offer. My mother and I spent a recent weekend in the beautiful and historic city. The fortified city is brimming with interesting local shops, both traditional and modern restaurants, and of course, amazing wine. The best way to experience the amazing cuisine and rich history is to take a Quebec City walking food tour. Visitors should also take some time to wander and explore on their own. Check out our list of what to see, do, and eat in this quaint, one-of-a-kind city.
Take a Quebec City walking food tour
With all of the intriguing cuisine that Quebec has to offer, it’s hard to know where to begin. Luckily, there are a number of great food tours available to help navigate the unique food scene in Old Quebec. A Quebec City walking food tour is the perfect way to find the best local spots. Our guide, Evelyn, offered us the perfect blend of Quebec’s culinary history as well as a background of the city’s history. Wear your running shoes for this tour–you’ll do a fair amount of walking and trekking up stairs on the local Quebec City walking food tour.
Our first stop was at a hip little spot called Chic Shack. There, we sampled “poutine 2.0,” Quebec City’s bold take on the dish. From there, we were hooked. We went on to sample traditional pea soup, a croissant, sugar cream (a classic Canadian treat), and more. We topped our final dish of bacon mac and cheese off with a glass of rose–the combination was, surprisingly, wonderful. This last stop at Be Club was our favorite, though it was tough to choose. The tour was three hours long, which was the perfect amount of time for five different stops and a total of eight different tastings.
Explore other incredible food options
We had no shortage of eateries to choose from on this trip. Around the corner from where we stayed was a long street of amazing restaurants, like La Buche, modeled after old sugar-shacks where maple syrup is made. The popular spot offers traditional Quebecois foods, and even has a station for making maple “taffy on ice.” Tip: if you’re thinking of taking a trip to Quebec, you should probably like maple.
Another of our favorite spots was Anciens Canadiens. The decor there was enough to make it the most memorable spot we visited. A bright red roof makes it clear that this place is unique, and their wine selection really sealed the deal. If you’re feeling really hungry, they offer some filling choices, and a lot of game options.
Wander the old city
While the Quebec City walking food tours are a great way to get to know unfamiliar places, sometimes the best move is to take some time to wander on your own.
My mother and I being fans of the “wander on your own” philosophy, we decided to roam near the hotel we stayed at, Hotel Acadia. Located right on Rue Sainte-Ursule, we were lucky enough to be right in the heart of the city.
After you’re done eating at one of the many incredible restaurants on this street, walk on over to the boardwalk overlooking the Saint Lawrence river. You’ll see a toboggan slide (which won’t be as exciting in the summer, but hey. It’s still there!) and, of course, a large set of stairs. Quebec has almost 30 sets of stairs connecting the upper and lower towns, and even hosts an annual staircase challenge.
Then, check out the Chateau Frontenac. This magnificent hotel is a popular tourist spot, and for good reason. The architecture is stunning, and you can have lunch or a drink without staying there–we did just that.
Head down to the lower town
Just below the old city is Petit Champlain, or the Lower Town. The best way to get there is by the funicular, a cable-car that travels at a 45-degree angle and offers an unbeatable view.
When you arrive in Petit Champlain, be prepared to shop ’til you drop. There are a number of quaint boutiques and great local finds. When you’re about ready to drop, try one of the many restaurants in the area. As you head back up the stairs, you’ll find tons of great choices.
Place Royale is also located in Petit Champlain. This historic town plaza is picturesque, and also has an important history. The spot was where Samuel de Champlain created his “Abitation” when he arrived to Quebec in 1608.
When in the Lower Town, you can also take a ferry ride over to Levis, a city on the opposite side of the shore from Quebec City. This 12-minute ride is pretty cheap, and is relaxing as well as beautiful.
Visit a vineyard
This one is a little more doable if you have a car in Quebec. We did not, yet we decided to take a (rather expensive) taxi on over to Ile d’Orleans, home of Vignoble Ste-Pétronille, a breathtaking vineyard.
There, you can do a tasting with about five different wine selections, pick your choice of drink, and order a glass while sitting on the patio overlooking the lush green area. There is even a food menu with enticing choices, like a delicious cheese plate. I had a kir, and my mother had a rose. Both were, somehow, the best thing I’d ever had. Pair the outstanding wine with the gorgeous view, and you have the perfect Canadian evening.
The Quebec City walking food tour, local shops, and lots of wonderful wine made Quebec a destination that we will definitely return to. If you are looking to take more adventures in Canada, check out our articles on Vancouver and Whistler.
Are you planning a Canada weekend trip? Have you ever been to Quebec City? What is your favorite spot in Canada?