At the heart of Quebec’s culinary scene is a connection to tradition, channelled into the menus via the use of local farmers’ produce. Here is our guide to Quebec’s finest cultural restaurants.
Locally renowned for its lovingly made smoked meats, Phil Smoked Meat Restaurant is a well-loved establishment. It offers exactly what it says on the tin: good, local, humble food – something Quebec takes pride in. The restaurant, with its relaxed and friendly atmosphere, is ideal for a lunch stop, with owner Phillipe P. Bolduc regularly present to welcome you inside. With an open kitchen, you can even sit at the bar and watch your meal being prepared for you with Phil Smoked Meat’s trademark care and attention.
Phil Smoked Meat, 275 Rue Saint-Vallier Est, Quebec, Canada, +1 418-523-4545
Run by a charismatic duo, Vincent and Benoit Lemieux, this bistro is a culinary haven from the ruggedness of its exterior and the neighborhood. With only nine tables, booking is a necessity, but once you’ve bagged a table you’re in for a culinary treat. With an attentive host and menus written up on the walls, it’s as if you can tailor your own private dining experience. Follow Vincent’s recommendation and try the calvados as a palate cleanser, and the honey wine with your dessert. iX pour Bistro is not just a restaurant, but a memorable evening out in itself.
iX pour Bistro, 1104 18e rue, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada, +1 418-914-8525
Just one minute away from the Quebec Bridge, you can discover La Cuisine Du Marche, a little house that has been converted into a cosy bistro by Hugo and Caroline Bernier, a husband-and-wife team that warmly invite you indoors. As the name suggests, they pride themselves on preparing everything fresh on site, using the best ingredients. Dishes such as the salmon tartare and the wagyu beef come highly recommended for packing a flavorsome punch. The Berniers enjoy experimenting with food and discovering new tastes, offering a menu-of-the day to keep your tastebuds on their toes.
La Guele de Bois is an unassuming restaurant from the exterior, mainly because the restaurant’s complete focus is on the food and diners’ enjoyment of it. Staff are knowledgeable and passionate about what they cook and serve, and so allow customers to take their time in ordering. Thus, what may be considered slow service should actually be regarded as attentive. Diners should try the lobster risotto, the bison carpuccio, and the tangy lime and basil ice cream or an indulgent chocolate fondant.
La Gueule de Bois, 7 rue de Saint-Vallier Est, Quebec, Canada, +1 418-353-0505
Located in the Auberge Saint-Antoine Hotel, in a riverside warehouse restored from the 1800s, Panache restaurant has been serving the locals the finest food since 2004. Chef Louis Pacquelin uses produce from the restaurant’s very own organic garden to serve up the freshest and most seasonal ingredients. His elegant dishes tell the story of their French-Canadian heritage, in a beautiful setting, overlooking the river, and with gourmet finesse. Dinner may be accompanied by a bottle of one of Panache’s 12,000 fine wines, all housed in its wine cellar and boasting an impressive 700 labels from 14 countries.
Panache, 10 Rue Saint Antoine, Quebec, Canada, +1 418 692 1022
Restaurant Legende is the sister restaurant to La Tanière and pays homage to its culinary heritage with an equally impeccable attention to detail. You can choose to have your meal served on half plates, for a tapas-style dining experience. Or choose full plates if you just want to indulge in one dish. The Granny Smith dessert, an apple pie infused with cilantro, comes particularly highly recommended. For such a young restaurant, opened only recently, Legende’s consistently good reviews suggest it has learnt well from its reputable older sibling, and is definitely one to watch.
Restaurant Legende, 255 Rue Saint Paul, Quebec, Canada, +1 418-614-2555