Quebec City

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Quebec is nearly as celebrated as France when it comes to French cuisine, though the dishes may be a bit heartier and the service a bit friendlier.

Top Restaurants in Quebec City

Café de la Paix

This charmingly old-fashioned eatery serves up a daily prix-fixe menu for a very easy-on-the-pocket C$8-C$15. The order of the day usually includes a classic meat-and-potato dish or other comfort food. Wild game, such as pheasant or caribou, are available in season. Other specialties include French mainstays like frog’s legs and escargot.

44 Rue des Jardins, QC, 418-692-1430, www.cafedelapaix.restoquebec.com
Tags: budget | french | comfort food

Chez Ashton

This small, local chain has been serving up quintessential Quebec diner fare since 1969. But it didn’t add its most popular item to the menu until 1972, when the strange recipe was imported from the Bois-Francs region of Quebec. Poutine, a delicious mess of fries, gravy, and fresh cheese curds, is what the Quebecois eat at the end of a night out on the town or even as a sinful lunch or snack. And, in these parts, Ashton’s is the best.

54 Côte du Palais, QC, 418-692-3055, www.chez-ashton.com (French only)
Tags: family | budget | comfort food

Creperie Le Petit Chateau

Right next to Château Frontenac, this charming crepe house with exposed stone walls serves up some 60 variations all day long, both savory and sweet. You’ll also find breakfast, raclette, and various fondues on the menu. In the crepe department, try the Canadienne with ham and béchamel sauce, or the Française with apples and cheese.

5 Rue St. Louis, QC, 418-694-1616, www.petitchateau.ca
Tags: family | moderate | editor pick | great value

Initiale

One of the city’s most upscale restaurants, Initiale offers diners a choice of two tasting menus – one at C$69 and one at C$110 – served in subdued, contemporary dining room. Chef Yvan Lebrun spit-roasts a number of his meats, giving them a smoky, charred quality and fall-off-the-bone texture. Ditch the jeans for a reservation here; the dress code is eveningwear.

54 Rue St. Pierre, QC, 418-694-1818, www.restaurantinitiale.com
Tags: expensive | contemporary

L'Utopie

Birch trees kiss the impossibly high ceilings of this hip gastro emporium located in the up-and-coming neighborhood of Saint-Roch. The “menu frugal” is made up of simple foods like smoked salmon and beef confit. The “menu bouteille” (bottle menu) was devised in collaboration with the sommelier, who pairs dishes with selections from the restaurant’s extensive wine list. You can also sample Quebec ice wines, either as an aperitif or with dessert.

226 1/2 Rue St. Joseph Est, QC, 418-523-7878, www.restaurant-utopie.com (French only)
Tags: expensive | trendy

Laurie Raphael

Get the full gourmet experience at this combination restaurant, boutique, and cooking school. Order the C$94 tasting menu, à la carte from the seafood- and game-heavy menu, or let chef-owner Daniel Vézina recommend three courses for C$60. Expect to see foie gras, red deer, and blood sausage, but also fresh seafood dishes on offer. Book early to nab the eight-person kitchen-view table.

117 Rue Dalhousie, QC, 418-692-4555, www.laurieraphael.com
Tags: expensive | trendy | cooking class | local ingredients

Le Lapin Sauté

This country-style eatery features a large menu of regional fare and, of course, several lapin (rabbit) dishes. Nestled in the charming Petit Champlain district, it also serves up succulent duck, lamb, and salmon, and expect local cheeses and maple crème brûlée for dessert. The kids’ menu is light on bunnies and is printed with distracting games.

52 Rue du Petit-Champlain, QC, 418-692-5325, www.lapinsaute.com
Tags: family | moderate | local ingredients

Le Moine Échanson

This unassuming wine bar boasts an extensive list of inexpensive organic, biodynamic, and natural wines, each served in a two- or four-ounce glass. The food menu features cheese and charcuterie, as well as regional, seasonal options that can be ordered in small or large portions. Owner and sommelier Bertrand Mesotten (formerly employed at the hip Saint-Roch restaurant, l’Utopie) is happy to help you pair your dish with a wine.

585 Rue St. Jean, QC, 418-524-7832, http://moine.echanson.ifrance.com
Tags: moderate | wine bar | small plates

Le Petit Cochon Dingue

This adorable café is part of a small family of eateries spread around the city center. As part of the family of Cochon Dingues eateries, it serves up soups, pressed sandwiches, and an extensive selection of house-made pastries and desserts. It also makes a great café au lait – order the bowl, like the locals do.

24 Boul. Champlain, QC, 418-694-0303, www.lepetitcochondingue.com
Tags: budget | cafe | dessert

Le Saint-Amour

In a city that breathes romance, Le Saint-Amour is a restaurant for lovers. A classic décor of crisp white table linens and heavy drapes over large windows is the backdrop for chef-owner Jean-Luc Boulay’s (and his son, Frédéric’s) inventive Quebecois cuisine. Call ahead to see if the Inuit-style caribou, one of the most talked-about dishes, is in season. Order a four-course menu for C$52 or ten courses for C$95.

48 Rue St. Ursule, QC, 418-694-0667, www.saint-amour.com
Tags: romance | expensive

Patisserie Le Truffé

This pastry shop makes its own truffles and other tasty treats. It also serves up light lunch and snack items, such as homemade salads, quiches, mini croque-monsieurs, and bagels. But the stars of the show are the fresh pastries and desserts. Expect éclairs, croissants, and molten chocolate cake. Cheese and charcuterie are also on offer, as is, of course, freshly baked bread.

2300 Père Lelièvre Blvd., QC, 418-681-3384, www.letruffe.com (French only)
Tags: moderate

Toast!

Warm brick walls and rich red banquettes provide a backdrop to the eclectic dishes and first-class wine list at chef-owner Christian Lemelin’s stylish restaurant located in the Hotel le Priori. Try beef bone marrow or crispy pork belly to start. Then, move on to foie gras-stuffed roasted quail or milk-fed piglet cassoulet. For the complete local experience, finish with a maple soufflé topped with cedar ice cream.

17 Rue Sault-au-Matelot, QC, 418-692-1334, www.restauranttoast.com
Tags: expensive | notable chef | editor pick | smart splurge | trendy

Zonorange

Though it bills itself as a bistro, this hip, brick-walled establishment could also label itself a beer garden. The terrace is open in the summertime and a vast selection of beers are available on tap year-round. Try the Barberie Brasse-Camarade, made by a microbrewery based right in the neighborhood. For lunch, get a potage, sandwich, and coffee, all for C$15.

291 St. Vallier Est, suite 002, QC, 418-692-4864, www.zonorange.com (French only)
Tags: bistro | notable beer list

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