Visiting Quebec to try and fake French for a week. What should we make a point to do/visit/eat?
July 5, 2008 2:40 PM   Subscribe

Visiting Quebec to try and fake French for a week. What should we make a point to do/visit/eat?

My boyfriend and I are visiting Quebec to try and fake French for a week. What should we make a point to do/visit/eat? We will be staying in a timeshare, Lac Morency in Saint Hippoyte. Its about 3 hours from Quebec and 1 hour from Montreal (we will be driving our car). We're hoping to do some outdoor activities while we are there (fishing/hiking/biking) and do a few day trips to Montreal and Quebec as well. Our budget is relatively conscious but flexible. Any suggestions of some fun things to see or do or a great place to eat? We are easy-going, love good beer/scotch/wine, love good food (Eggs Benedict here I come), and aren't necessarily into the tourist scene. Any suggestions are welcome and appreciated. Thanks!
posted by Carialle to Travel & Transportation around Quebec, QC (16 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
 
Its the 400th anniversary of Quebec this year
Montreal is famous for delis and try poutine which I actually love
and the best looking women in North America :-)
posted by SatansCabanaboy at 2:55 PM on July 5, 2008


On Montreal:

St. Viateur bagels kick ass. Crispier, flatter and with a larger hole than a New York bagel and delicious.

Schwartz's has amazing deli smoked meat. Get it medium, not lean, and have a cherry soda with it. And pickles, of course.

We stumbled upon Les Chenets one afternoon near the Musee des Beaux Arts. We had a delicious, classic lunch of Lillet on the rocks with a twist, rabbit with mushrooms and fresh pasta, and classic onion soup that was outstanding. Come to find out it's one of the most respected old-school French restaurants in the city. The museum was lovely; interesting and eclectic collection, also near McGill University, which has a beautiful campus around which to stroll and relax. There was also a week long culture festival going on while we were there last November - perhaps something similar will be going on while you're there. Lots of fantastic music, art and performance pieces.

Have a wonderful time. We loved Montreal - oh, and don't forget to try out the farmer's markets, and remember that you can buy French wine for about half what it costs in the States. Oh, and cuban rum, too.
posted by TryTheTilapia at 3:28 PM on July 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


When will you be here?
posted by loiseau at 4:45 PM on July 5, 2008


Old Montreal is great for walking around. Also, it is a major tourist attraction, but we actually quite enjoyed the Biodome.
posted by gudrun at 4:46 PM on July 5, 2008


We are leaving tomorrow actually! We will be there until next Sunday, July 13. Poutine is not something I have ever encountered before - I suppose its something you just have to try!
posted by Carialle at 4:55 PM on July 5, 2008


Well, there are lots of general recommendations (restaurants, etc) in past threads -- it's a popular topic! I can recommend but I'm a vegetarian so that's all I know.

Get good poutine at Patati Patata -- grab a tiny table if you can, or take it to go and sit in Parc Jeanne-Mance, just three blocks west.

The jazz fest is just ending tomorrow, so you probably won't get a chance to see any of that, but Fantasia is running until the 21st.

The comedy festival (Just For Laughs) starts on the 8th. You'll want to buy tickets in advance for any shows, but the fest provides lots of opportunity for people-watching and stuff in the area of Berri-UQAM metro.

Walking up the mountain is nice on a warm day -- take the path starting at des Pins and Peel and most of it is shaded. At the lookout there's a little store where you can get a beer or an ice cream.
posted by loiseau at 5:24 PM on July 5, 2008


Oh, the international fireworks festival is also on during that time. You can go right down to La Ronde (the theme park where the fireworks are launched from) or you can listen along at 105.7 FM. They're synchronized to the music, it's quite a thing. There are other events on the island as well.

There's also the tango festival with a couple of free open-air concerts.

And since you'll be up toward Tremblant, there's also the blues festival there.
posted by loiseau at 5:40 PM on July 5, 2008


I don't really have any specific suggestion, but make sure you don't go to Montreal at the expense of going to Quebec City. I know you said you intend to go to both, but... make sure you do.

Montreal's OK, but Old Quebec (within the walls) is fantastic for just walking around - it's like a big, open-air, laid back, nonstop park festival. Beautiful scenery, (good) street performances (the kind that draws crowds), fascinating old architecture, lots of little "streetlife" sorts of places like open-air cafes.
posted by Flunkie at 5:58 PM on July 5, 2008


Oh, I just read about le Festival de Lanaudière, which is in Joliette, east of where you'll be. Lots of outdoor music and art.
posted by loiseau at 6:07 PM on July 5, 2008


Oh! And last post -- the best market in Montreal is (IMO) Jean-Talon market. It's lovely just to look around and people-watch on a nice day. There are also a few little food stands like crêpes, seafood, juice, samosas & paella, an amazing bakery... It's really an awesome place to spend a couple of hours.
posted by loiseau at 6:13 PM on July 5, 2008


Oh the Jean-Talon market looks awesome - definitely stopping in. I love fireworks, but looks like its actually one week following (July 23). The Tremblant Blues Festival looks very interesting too - I think we'll be making a trip for that one night. As far as food rec's looks like a lot of people tell you "the" places to go but not necessarily good value or experience....being from new york originally I am well aware that "the" places often aren't all they are cracked up to be. Thank you thank you thank you to all who posted - I am super pumped and appreciate what great info you all have shared!
posted by Carialle at 6:44 PM on July 5, 2008


In Quebec City, go to the market and get one of the "Saucisses du marche". I ate pork for the first time in 5 years on the basis of how good they looked. I love the eschallots, vin & dijion one -- but the curry is good too. Seriously worth ignoring vegetarianism for. When I go, I buy a bunch, pack them in ice and take them back to Toronto to sit, delicious and tempting, in my freezer. They don't last long.

There are "boites a chansons" in Old Quebec, where young and old Quebeckers gather to sing the standard folk songs by the Great Masters of Quebecois music. So much fun, and a perfect way to get into the musical and cultural traditions of the province.

If you are in the Quebec City area, take a day's drive around the Ile d'Orleans. The island is the source of all kinds of local yummy food, and is viewed as a kind of cornucopia. Great if you are a foodie.
posted by girlpublisher at 8:06 PM on July 5, 2008


Carialle said: "Oh the Jean-Talon market looks awesome - definitely stopping in. I love fireworks, but looks like its actually one week following (July 23). "

Oh no! In case it's not clear, the country listings are for the delegation presenting the fireworks -- they all take place in Montreal. So the next nights (after tonight) are the 12th and the 19th.
posted by loiseau at 8:50 PM on July 5, 2008


Since you're in the laurentians with being in St-Hyppolite, you could visit the other northern towns.

Go to Prévost and then take highway 117 north or use the highway 15 north and you can reach Saint-Sauveur and Sainte-Adèle.
Then you can take the 117 north and check out Saint-Donat, Mont-Tremblant and Saint-Jovite.
All awesome places to visit.
posted by PowerCat at 8:15 AM on July 6, 2008


I was just in Quebec City for a week, and I loved it. Just walking around was great. There are tons of things to do right now, because of the 400th Celebrations. Definitely worth the trip.

You should go to the Festival de Lanaudière, in Joliette, too; I lived there for a few years, and the festival is great.
posted by OLechat at 6:38 PM on July 6, 2008


Dairy, dairy, dairy. Cream-filled pastries, ice cream, cheese, cheese curds, anything dairy. Damn, there's some good dairy up there.

Dairy.
posted by MrMoonPie at 8:19 AM on July 7, 2008


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