Walking through the door of La Serre feels as though you have stepped into an urban greenhouse with its pine A-frame beams, wheel barrel light fixture (Yes, you read correctly!), thick rope lights hanging from an antique beam, vintage garden tools and planted herbs and vegetables.
La Serre, a companion to Laurie Raphaël (one of Québec City’s best fine dining restaurants), is a comptoir/counter featuring a healthy menu that will have just about every vegetarian and celiac jumping for joy: salads, soups and sandwiches, cold pressed juices and smoothies; and desserts like cocoa and chicory cake.
Long and narrow, with small hexagon shadow box tables and stools on one side of the entrance, and a long pine bar overlooking Quai Saint-André on the other, La Serre is a go-to spot for many locals living in Vieux-Port.
The rustic earthiness of the comptoir almost has us looking at our fingernails to make sure there is no visible dirt – because clearly, we have been spending time digging in the soil. Why else would we be in a greenhouse? – and looking around for a place to take off our imaginary wellies.
No doubt, this is the vibe Chef Daniel Vézina was aiming for when he built La Serre next to his restaurant, Laurie Raphaël. The spaces share a kitchen, and the planted herbs and vegetables on display in La Serre are used at both the comptoir and Laurie Raphaël.
While many restaurants in Québec City serve healthy dishes, there are few that cater to vegetarians and even fewer who cater to celiacs. Of course, you do not need to be a vegetarian or celiac to enjoy the foods at La Serre.
In the morning, stop by La Serre for a coffee/tea and a muffin, sitting at the counter and enjoying some relaxation before starting your day.
In the afternoon or evening, enjoy a healthy meal at the counter or outside on the large patio, or take your food to go. Or stop by for a cold-pressed juice and snack (kale chips, nuts, or healthy desserts), grab one of Chef Daniel Vézina’s cookbooks (the cookbooks are in French, but worth buying and using Google Translate to decipher the dishes within) and continue exploring the city.
Online ordering is available if you want to quickly stop by on your way out of the city for a day trip or don’t have time to look around. Visit their website to order.