Quebec City is home to countless gourmet restaurants offering outstanding French-Canadian cuisine, in addition to innovative global fare, made out of the best of local market produce. Traditional Canadian food is rich, hearty and comforting, but eating out in the capital of Quebec offers much more than that. Check out these seven restaurants in Quebec City to get a sense for all the culinary delights the city has to offer.
Le Saint-Amour is a renowned icon of Quebec fine dining, located in the historical heart of the city. Tradition and innovation are fused to accomplish a sophisticated culinary experience with refined, healthy ingredients from local producers. Impeccable freshness and creativity are two premises that distinguish the delicacies offered by award-winning chef Jean-Luc Boulay and his team. Le Saint-Amour is divided into three dining rooms, one of them an indoor garden with a glass ceiling, and is home to a spectacular wine cellar which will impress wine lovers. As its name suggests, Le Saint-Amour is regarded as one of the most romantic restaurants in Quebec City.
Housed in a 19th century restored riverside warehouse and part of the luxurious Auberge Saint-Antoine Hotel, Panache restaurant has been offering local cuisine at its finest since 2004. Under the guidance of chef Louis Pacquelin, this elegant restaurant displays a menu of traditional Quebecois cuisine with an innovative twist. The focus here is on the freshest seasonal produce, primarily sourced from the venue’s own organic garden on Île d’Orléans and local farmers. Its stunning wine cellar houses over 12,000 bottles, with more than 700 different labels from 14 countries. Panache restaurant offers French-Canadian gourmet cuisine in a relaxed and warm atmosphere, with stunning views on the bustling river.
Le Continental is a prestigious and long-established dining spot in Quebec City; since 1956, this restaurant has been offering the finest traditional French fare in a charming and sophisticated atmosphere. Located in a house built in 1845 by the Honourable Jean-Thomas Taschereau, judge of the Canadian Supreme Court, Le Continental is situated a few steps away from the Château Frontenac, a National Historic Site. Its menu presents gourmet delicacies, flambées and specialties such as chateaubriand, orange duckling or filet mignon.
Aux Anciens Canadiens restaurant is housed in the historic Maison Jacquet, built in 1675, the oldest standing house in Quebec City. The restaurant owes its name to the novel Les Anciens Canadiens, written by Philippe-Aubert de Gaspé, former resident of the house. Since 1966, the venue has been cooking up authentic Quebecois recipes; meat pies, duck braised in maple syrup sauce, caribou or pheasant are some examples of its hearty cuisine. The waiters are dressed in old Quebec City period clothing, and the house retains the characteristics of times gone by, with thick walls, antique furniture and nostalgic paintings, in a cozy, homey setting.
L’Échaudéspecializes in the informal bistro tradition, with classic and affordable French cuisine, a wine list that encourages discovery and a casual-sophisticated atmosphere. Founded by five foodie friends, L’Échaudé’s menu has been prepared with generosity and a keen attention to detail; it’s always tailored to the season and combines fine tradition with organic and locally sourced fresh produce. This small and usually crowded French bistro is situated on an ancient cobblestone street in the Old Port district.
Charbon Steakhouse masters the traditional Canadian way of preparing meat on maple charcoal. Located in the beautiful Gare du Palais, Quebec’s historic train station, its ceilings are 30 feet high and the unique architecture and decor create a sublime atmosphere. House specialties include high-quality grilled fish, seafood and, of course, North American beef. Charbon Steakhouse serves an outstanding premium steak, the Sterling Silver, beef with strict characteristics in terms of shape, color, texture and marbling; only 12% of all cattle raised in Canada are certified for this status of excellence. Charbon Steakhouse offers an authentic and distinctive grilled cuisine with the exceptional flavor and character of maple coal.
Restaurant Initiale was founded in 1998 in one of the Old Port’s historic buildings, a former bank well-known for its stunning architecture. Restaurant Initiale offers the signature cuisine of chef Yvan Lebrun in addition to spectacular river views, high ceilings, columns and ornate mouldings. This Five Diamond rating restaurant serves fine contemporary French cuisine that changes according to market availability and features some of the region’s top products. L’Initiale exudes elegance, creativity and innovation in a relaxing atmosphere.