It may have more than half a million inhabitants, yet Quebec City maintains a very small-town feel. It doesn’t aspire to the urban vibe of larger places such as Montreal or Toronto, but it punches above its weight with plenty of great restaurants, bars and clubs. Quebecers love to dress up and go out – and it shows. Service is quite formal and generally excellent. Here’s our tips on where to spend your night on the town.
The Sugar Shack
The traditional sugar shack, where maple sugar is produced, is the casual exception that proves the rule. The shack experience can be found all over the province and there are several in and around Quebec City. Here, your will consist of meat, potatoes, beans, pancakes, maple syrup and so much more. The event is accompanied by live music, which sounds Irish to the untrained ear, and, of course, lots of dancing.
The Louis Jolliet departs from the old town and offers sightseeing and dinner cruises. Quebec City must be seen from the water, as the city’s location at the narrowing of the river once controlled access to the continent. The city lights sparkle at night as the ship makes its way around Cape Diamond, which gets its name because early explorers thought the local quartz was actually a far more valuable stone.
Theatre Petit Champlain
This little theatre is in the heart of Old Quebec, with many restaurants and bars close by. It has a long history and hosts music, theater and stand-up comedy. Obviously it is worth confirming if performances are in French or English, but as music often transcends language, an evening at the theater can be beautiful regardless.
Poutine is French Canada’s other culinary contribution to the world after maple syrup. The basic dish consists of French fries, cheese curds and gravy. So why is this an evening activity? What else could be as delicious after a night of drinking and dancing? Poutine has evolved and may be ordered with meat including duck. Ashton is a local poutine chain in Quebec and versions of the famous dish will be found on most menus, even in chain fast food restaurants.
Walking after dinner
Quebec City is a romantic setting for weddings and honeymoons. It is often thought of as a European-style destination in North America, yet is uniquely Canadian. Among Quebec’s many attributes is the sense of safety – so you can feel free to walk almost anywhere at any time. Winter walking is particularly beautiful, but can be extremely cold and a little slippery underfoot.
Located just outside the city walls, Grand Allée has long been considered Quebec’s centre for nightlife. There are many restaurants and bars and the area is easily walkable. The largest nightclub in the city, Le Dagobert is a multistory dance club that comes to life in the evening. If you’ve overindulged on the food and drink and need to walk it off – or you simply fancy a romantic stroll along the river – the Plains of Abraham, which sit above the Saint Lawrence river, are very close.
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