We are excited to introduce a new feature on Urban Guide Québec, The Best Restaurants in Québec City. We strongly believe that the popularity of a city’s food scene is about quality, not quantity. Québec City is one of the best food destinations in Canada. The Best Restaurants in Québec City is a bi-annual article that will be published each year, featuring locally owned restaurants serving up the best food in the city.
Below you will find our picks for the 2016 edition of The Best Restaurants in Québec City, along with some of our favourite Instagram shots taken at each restaurant – it’s the perfect marriage: our favourite restaurants and some of our favourite Instagrammers.
Address: 10, rue Saint-Antoine
Owned by the Price family, and the signature restaurant at Auberge Saint-Antoine, Panache is a four-diamond restaurant in Québec City’s Vieux-Port neighbourhood led by Executive Chef Julien Ouellet. Panache’s menu features classic French dishes with a modern twist, using ingredients procured from local producers, including herbs and vegetables from the restaurant’s farm on Île d’Orleans. While dinner is an elegant affair, we prefer lunch.
Foie gras at Panache is always a good idea. The menu changes frequently.
A photo posted by Eve Martel (@evemartel) on
Address: 203, rue Saint-Joseph Est
Owned by Thomas & François Pélissier, and Chef Mathieu Brisson, Le Clocher Penché is a local favourite in Saint-Roch. The menu, created by chef Brisson, changes on a regular basis, keeping the dishes fresh and exciting. Dinner is the epitome of sophistication, however, lunch is a more relaxed experience. Due to its location and reputation, reservations are highly recommended, for both lunch and dinner.
We highly recommend the salmon tartare, when it is on the menu.
Address: 71, rue Saint-Pierre
A locally-owned Italian restaurant, Matto 71 is one of two in Québec City: il Matto in Ste-Foy and Matto 71 in Vieux-Port. Located inside Hôtel 71, Matto 71 is a popular restaurant with tourists and locals. The restaurant is velvety and dark and filled with pulsating music. None of which will matter when your food arrives. The menu is traditional Italian cuisine, with several dishes made by the owner’s mother. Portions are generous, so it is imperative to arrive hungry.
We highly recommend the Agnolotti or Pappardelle aux champignons sauvages. They also make a delicious escargot à la sambuca.
iX pour Bistro
Address: 1104, 18e rue
Rated as the number one restaurant in Québec City by Trip Advisor, iX pour Bistro is a micro-restaurant in Québec’s Limoilou neighbourhood. Somewhat hidden, the restaurant is run by two fun-loving guys: Benoit is the chef and Vincent, the waiter and chief entertainer. The menu changes on a weekly basis, however, Benoit offers three signature dishes — including a foie gras dessert that one customer said: “My tummy feels like I am a carebear”.
The wine list is extensive and sold by the bottle, not by the glass. The restaurant is very small and reservations are required. Benoit and Vincent want their guests to feel at home, so when you book a table, it is yours for the night so sit back, relax, and enjoy!
Le Renard et La Chouette
Address: 125, Saint-Vallier Ouest
One of Québec City’s hottest new restaurants, Le Renard et La Chouette is a small restaurant in Saint-Sauveur, a few days down from its sister restaurant, Pied Bleu. The restaurant is unpretentious and the food is absolutely delicious. The menu features a range of exciting vegetable, fish, and meat entrées; as well as cheese plates and charcuterie boards. Dine alone, or bring friends and order family style from the ‘plates to share’ section.
We are HUGE fans of their charcuterie and cheese selections. And the Cassoulet de Canard is pretty damn good too.
Nina Pizza Napolitaine
Address: 410, rue Saint-Anselme
It is not a secret that we are in love with Nina Pizza Napolitaine. Owned by two local women who trained with a pizzaiolo in New York City, Nina Pizza Napolitaine is a favourite with locals. The restaurant features a wood-fired oven imported from Italy and pizza that tastes as though it was cooked in Naples. We recommend coming with an empty stomach and ordering as much pizza and fresh burrata cheese as you can handle. And if you have leftovers, you can always take them home.
Address: 821, rue Scott
Another new edition to Québec City’s micro-restaurant scene, Buvette Scott is tucked down a quiet street in Saint-Jean-Baptiste. The décor is basic, the staff are friendly, and the menu changes on a regular basis. Similar to iX pour Bistro, Buvette Scott is unpretentious and serves up surprisingly delicious gourmet food. A popular food destination since it’s opening at the beginning of 2015, tables fill up quickly. Reservations are highly recommended.
Address: 1200, rue Saint-Jean
A new restaurant in Old Québec, Batinse is located a few doors up from Pub St. Patrick on rue Saint-Jean. The restaurant décor is country-chic with a white and tiffany blue colour palette. It’s pretty, and a little girly, but don’t let that keep you from discovering why this is one of the best restaurants in Québec City. The menu features classic Québecoise cuisine.
We recommend La Tourtière à Grand-Maman Claire or La Pout-Pout.
Cook Québécois (French-Canadian) Cuisine At Home!
When the French first landed in what we know now as Québec City they brought seeds and ingredients with them, however, that was not enough and they had to use meats, fish, grains, and herbs that were native to their new land as well. This marriage of ingredients, French and North American, helped to create what we know today as Québécois cuisine.
- Made in Quebec by Julian Armstrong: An essential cookbook for those wishing to not only make Québécois cuisine at home but to learn a little bit about the history and culture of the food made in Quebec.
- The Farm to Table Phrasebook: Master the Culture, Language, and Savoir Faire of French Cuisine by Victoria Mas: French cuisine is at the heart of Québécois cuisine, so it only makes sense that one should utilize this handy little phrasebook. We always have this handy, in Québec and France.
- Bienvenue au Québec by Christiane Thébaudin: This book is written in French, so you may need to use Google translate, but it is worth it. We recommend cipaille (sea pie) a traditional dish similar to shepherd’s pie, but better.
- Tourtière du Lac Saint-Jean (recipe): Traditional tourtière (meat pie) is made with beef, pork, veal and salt pork, not ground beef, and served during the holidays. This recipe is in French, but worth the time it takes to translate via Goole. Note: A tourtière is quite large. This recipe feeds 12 people.
Québec City is quickly becoming one of the best food destinations in Canada. Planning a visit to Québec City? Check out our neighbourhood guides, hit us up with your questions on Instagram or Facebook. When your trip is complete, let us know what you loved most, we love hearing about Québec City from a visitor’s perspective.