Québec City is absolutely stunning in winter, especially after a fresh fall of snow. There is something magical about white snow clinging to the roofs and doorways of 17th and 18th-century buildings sparkling in the sunlight. A winter wonderland. Cliché, yes, but it is true!
With the snow comes a cool crisp atmosphere, one that can be frigid and bone-chilling at times. Yet, despite the cold temperatures and the (sometimes) mountains of snow, Québec City locals love to be outside in winter, hell, even I (who loathes winter) love to be outside in winter when I’m at home in Québec City.
However, as much as I enjoy experiencing the pretty snow, there is something I enjoy even more… rich, thick chocolat chaud (hot chocolate).
And Québec has some of the BEST hot chocolate in Canada. Yes, really, the BEST.
Forget the cans of powdered Carnation hot chocolate, Tim Horton’s (Wha?!?!), Second Cup and Starbucks. At least while you’re in Québec.
In Québec City, it is not difficult to find hot chocolate. Almost every café and restaurant makes it, but that doesn’t mean it’s worthy of your taste buds or your money. On the contrary, there are only a handful of restaurants and cafes that sell thick, rich and delicious hot chocolate that will have you begging for more.
Forget drinking chocolat chaud from McDonald’s or Tim Horton’s. Forget about hot chocolate powders and mixes; rich and delicious chocolat chaud is made with real chocolate and either whole milk or heavy cream. Wait to have your Timmy Ho’s bastardized hot chocolate when you go home, indulge in the BEST chocolat chaud in Québec City while you can!
Address: 634, rue Saint-Jean
Erico’s has been in business for 25 years and is one of the best chocolatiers in Québec City. Érico serves 10 different chocolat chaud, however, we recommend indulging in the ‘Decadent’ chocolat chaud, which is made from seven different chocolates! It is a chocolate orgasm like no other.
Address: 8, rue Saint-Antoine
Situated within the Auberge Saint-Antoine, Bar Artefact is tied for first place (in our opinion) for chocolat chaud in Québec City. In fact, we call their chocolat chaud ‘Sex in a Cup’. Each year the café features a different chocolate mixture, it is always rich and delicious. Choose from their popular rich house chocolat chaud or a version that is a little spicier (highly recommended). A pot is enough for 2-3 people.
Address: 849, rue Saint-Joseph Est
A bright and spacious café in Saint-Roch, we love going to Saint-Henri micro-torrèfacteur for freshly baked artisanal donuts or twice-baked almond croissants and a cup of chocolat chaud. It is the best way to warm up on a cold afternoon, and sometimes we order another cup of chocolat chaud to go before heading back into the snowy streets of Québec City.
Le Chic Shack
Neighbourhood: Old Québec
Address: 15, rue du Fort
Le Chic Shack is one of our favourite places in Old Québec for gourmet burgers and poutine (some of the best poutine in Québec City), and when the air gets crisp we head to Le Chic Shack for a cup of delicious chocolat chaud. Take the family and order a cup of chocolat chaud for everyone, and possibly asked for an extra kick in your own. We recommend Bailey’s or a little whisky ;).
La Maison Smith
Neighbourhood: Place-Royale & Old Québec
Address: 23, rue Notre-Dame & 9, rue des Jardins
La Maison Smith is a café selling local pastries, speciality food items, as well as delicious chocolat chaud. The café has wifi and patio seating for summer and fall. There are two locations in Québec City; one in Place-Royale across from Notre-Dame-des-Victories church; the other in Old Québec across from Hôtel Clarendon. Enjoy a cup of chocolat chaud inside, or get one to go and continue exploring the city.
Neighbourhood: Old Québec
Address: Dufferin Terrace, beside Fairmont Château Frontenac
Located inside the gazebo on Dufferin Terrace, au1884 is a winter hotspot as locals and tourists alike flock to ride the Dufferin Slide and warm up afterwards with a rich cup of chocolate chaud. The chocolate is sourced from a local chocolatier (most of their menu features foods from local producers), rich and delicious and the perfect way to warm up!
Address: 181, St-Vallier Est
Exposed brick walls and faded plank wood floors, worn square tables with mismatched country style chairs painted in either white, black, or grey; exposed pipes painted in a brushed gold to give them a more industrial-chic feel. By day Mæalstrøm Café sells deliciously rich chocolat chaud, cold brew and coffee; by night it’s a cocktail bar.
Make Chocolat Chaud at Home!
Would you like to make chocolat chaud at home? Ditch the powdered mix and try this recipe by cookbook author, David Lebovitz: Parisian Hot Chocolate Recipe. Be sure to buy your chocolate from Érico’s Chocomusée before heading home!