Quebec City
August 7, 2018 10:49 AM   Subscribe

What are your favorite things to do and see and your favorite places to eat in Québec City in October? All price ranges, honestly.

We're staying near the Fortifications of Québec National Historic Site of Canada. Both my parents are healthy (no infirmities or activity restrictions) and in their mid-70's though Dad prefers to do less walking. Good food (especially seafood), special exhibits (I did not see anything at Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec) and typical "sights" (like scenic outlooks) are all generally appealing.

We're a pretty well-traveled bunch, but none of us have ever been to Québec City. We'll be there for two full weekdays and one weekend day, not including travel days..
posted by crush to Travel & Transportation around Quebec City, QC (13 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
posted by DrGail at 11:08 AM on August 7, 2018

Response by poster: We won't have a car and are not interested in a lot of driving.
posted by crush at 11:15 AM on August 7, 2018

Well, I’m in Quebec at this very moment, so I can test any suggestions that come in. I haven’t yet been here 24 hours, but it seems like the big spots for places to eat (at least that I’ve seen) are Grand Allee and Rue Saint Jean, but there also seems to be a heavy tourist factor.

I just had lunch at Le Billig, a crepe place on St Jean, which was pretty good, but I’m not a connoisseur. In addition to the crepes (savory and sweet were on offer), they have a fairly large selection of cider and apple brandy (calvados). We had a poached pear dessert crepe that was really good.
posted by LionIndex at 11:30 AM on August 7, 2018

In the linked post, I mentioned a food tour in St Roch. That was awesome. Even just going to that area for interesting food that wasn't the typical tourist stuff would be nice. Also, the legislature has informative tours.
posted by TORunner at 11:33 AM on August 7, 2018 [1 favorite]

Ciel at the Concorde Hotel - the rotating restaurant - had great views and amazing food.

The Continental is the classic flambee restaurant, featured on "Parts Unknown".

If you can make it to the Montmorency Falls, that was a highlight.
posted by DoubleLune at 12:24 PM on August 7, 2018

At the lower end, the city has a a Frites Alors! location.

I heart heart heart Frites Alors! They have good, authentic Belgian frites. Presumably, you love your family. Show them you love them by taking them to Frites Alors!
posted by Capt. Renault at 1:01 PM on August 7, 2018

I work near St Roch. I've always liked Table restaurant, Cafe Nektar and Le Croquembouche. If you go a bit further east, Cafe St-Henri is my local coffee shop in Montreal, I assume it's also good there.
posted by jeather at 1:08 PM on August 7, 2018

Le Moine Échanson!!
posted by Kitteh at 1:08 PM on August 7, 2018

We quite enjoyed the Museum at Place Royale. And walking the breakneck stairs.

There was also a public art walk through Old Quebec, and the market is nice, but on the small side.
posted by csmithrim at 2:21 PM on August 7, 2018

On Route 138 into (or out of Quebec City I guess) there's the Casse-Croûte Chez Micheline (225 QC-138, Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures, QC). A casse-croûte is a snack bar / fry shack sort of thing. You'll see a few at the side of the road but Chez Micheline is famous for its poutine, guédille (like a lobster roll but with choice of egg, chicken salad or coleslaw or other mayonnaise based salad stuff in a hot dog bun) and the moderately weird nouilles Chinoises (macaroni mixed with soy sauce, green onions and I think just butter). If you like that kind of stuff it is worth it. It is an uniquely Quebec experience.
posted by Ashwagandha at 4:38 PM on August 7, 2018

There's a restaurant in Vieux-Quebec that I quite enjoyed called aux Anciens Canadiens . It's in a 17th century house and serves 17th century food. Well, maybe the food is a bit more modern than that, but it's definitely traditional.

Chez Ashton is basically a fast-food restaurant concentrated in Quebec City, and is considered to serve the canonical, quintessential poutine.
posted by indecision at 8:25 PM on August 7, 2018

I've lived most of my life in Quebec -- as I'm writing this, I'm in a bus, traveling from Quebec to Montreal, my current hometown..! Very happy to share some suggestions. I'll restrict myself to the area around the Old Town.

In no particular order:
- this location will offer you one of the nicest views of the St-Lawrence river and the Îles d'Orléans. It's a small walk uphill, but definitely worth it.
- this parc (located at the end of Rue Mont Carmel) is beautiful and very small. It's a bit of a hidden gem.
- a small grocery store that also makes sandwiches. Close to the Château Frontenac -- around it, I'm a bit uncertain (in terms of quality / value) about most restaurants...
- another small grocery, a bit more upscale, great sandwiches done on site as well and right next to...
- Chez Temporel, a very cute and small café, which also serves food.
- in the same area as some of the other excellent suggestions already mentioned (Le Billig!) is this second-hand book store / café / bar. I'm not sure that the English book selection is that great, but the place is beautiful and attracts an eclectic mix of people.
- the "area" I was just referring to is the Quartier St-Jean-Baptiste, which you can experience by walking the Rue St-Jean from the fortifications West-ward and then back East. There are plenty of shops, restaurants and bakeries there. Compared to the Old Town, this is a neighborhood with many more residents. Definitely worth spending some time there!
- in that same Quartier St-Jean-Baptiste, I recommend getting coffee at Cantook, a local roaster. They know their stuff.
- I consider one of the best French restaurants to be L'Échaudé -- it's impossible to leave unhappy. The service is kind and impeccable. They're located close to the port, which is also a great area to walk around.
- Speaking of the port, and maybe as a last suggestion (I feel like I could go on...), you might consider taking the Quebec-Lévis ferry both ways. It's a (well, two) short boat trips, you get to "be" on the St-Lawrence river, the view is magnificent from the deck, and it ends up being very cheap.

MeMail for more / questions!
posted by vert canard at 9:21 PM on August 7, 2018 [5 favorites]

I’m currently en route from Quebec to home in Michigan. Here’s a report on what we did beyond our first day.

Wife and I are walking tour kind of people, so we ended up doing a “ghost tour” and a “free” walking tour from a brochure at our hotel. The ghost tour started at one end of Petit-Champlain, then mostly worked its way around the lower old town and ended at/in the first Anglican cathedral in the city, which is in the upper old town. The regular walking tour started at the jardin st. Joan d’Arc (near the hotel Concorde where we were staying), then went almost all downhill via Grand Allee/Rue saint louis and ended in the lower town. Both tours were pretty good, and the free one (you’re actually supposed to tip the guide at the end) had little radios so you could listen to the guide while walking. Both might be too much walking for your dad, and getting from the upper town to the lower involves a significant change of elevation in a short distance. There’s a funicular that you can take that costs $3.50 or so.

We also did a food tour of the Ile d’Orleans that was pretty neat. A bus picks you up at the tourist office by the Chateau Frontenac, then goes to an island just east of the city, with a decent view of the Montmorency Falls on the way. We stopped at an apple cider place, a fromagerie, and a place that made currant wine. Basically, the bus drove to these places, we all got out and listened to the people explain their products, got a taste test of a few things, and got back on the bus. If that sounds interesting, you can probably get a brochure at your hotel, or at the tourist office.

We also did the ferry, and I don’t know if it was a $7 view, but it was much better than I was expecting. The only museum we went to was the Musee de Civilization, which had some fun exhibits.

For food, we seemed to gravitate more towards the stuff on St. Jean, which struck us as a bit less touristy once you get outside the city walls. One of the best meals I had in Quebec was at Le Hobbit, where they had a parsnip gnocchi with buffalo cheek and a bunch of other things. I also really enjoyed something I had at Orygen in the lower town. Both those places seems like they alter their menu frequently, and Orygen specifically only serves local products, so what’s available in October will be quite different from what we had.
posted by LionIndex at 7:39 PM on August 11, 2018

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