Québec City’s Best Restaurants

Québec City has restaurants catering to every price point, and our recommendation is that you try them all—from the white-linen special occasion options to creperies and funky burger and poutine joints.

77 Rue des Remparts, Québec, QC G1R 0C3, Canada
Who would have expected that an ancient order of nuns would be generating buzz in Québec City’s restaurant scene? The Augustinian Sisters have been present in the city since the 17th century, devoted to caring for the poor and suffering. But as their numbers declined the nuns chose to venture in a new direction, and in 2015 they opened a wellness hotel and a restaurant. The menu is limited—soup, a salad bar loaded with grains and roasted vegetables, and a choice of a chicken, fish or vegetarian entrée. On a recent visit, a dish of chicken and wild rice in green curry sauce proved to be one of the most memorable meals in a city of excellent restaurants. The money raised by the hotel and restaurant helps support the nuns’ outreach programs—which makes eating well feel even better.
1 Rue des Carrières, Québec, QC G1R 4P5, Canada
Set high above the St. Lawrence on Cap Diamant, overlooking Old Québec, this imposing yet inviting landmark is as much a lodging as it is a tourist attraction, borne out of its reputation as the most photographed hotel in the world. Opened in 1893 by the Canadian Pacific Railway to drum up luxury riders for its trains, the castle-like Fairmont Le Château Frontenac feels every bit as grand today as it must have when Roosevelt and Churchill secretly hatched plans for the invasion of Normandy here in 1943—and it continues to be the hotel of choice for A-list celebrities and other notables. A $75 million renovation in 2014 updated the 611 rooms with a more contemporary feel, draping spaces in chic furnishings and soothing shades of gray and cream, plus butter-yellow or soft turquoise accents. The spa features seven treatment rooms adjacent to an indoor pool, whirlpool, steam rooms, and a gym, but the hotel has become a destination for its food: Champlain restaurant is helmed by acclaimed young chef Stéphane Modat and offers a modern take on Québécois cuisine alongside magnificent views, while 1608 Wine & Cheese Bar highlights local wines, cheeses, and charcuteries.
95 Rue Saint-Paul, Québec, QC G1K 3V8, Canada
This busy restaurant sits on Rue Saint-Paul, a street in Lower Town that’s lined with antique shops, hence the name. Buffet de L’Antiquaire is a classic diner—but with a Québecois twist—that has been a mainstay of the city’s dining scene for more than 40 years. The reasonably priced menu lists traditional dishes like boudin (blood sausage) and pork stew among the entrées and sugar pie and crepes among the desserts. (You can also order more typical diner fare, from burgers to omelettes.) It is open early to late, from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week, adding to its popularity.
71 Rue Saint-Paul, Québec, QC G1K 3V8, Canada
It’s not surprising that many Québec City chefs have been trained in classic French cooking. But a number of them are taking those skills in unexpected directions, incorporating unusual ingredients and devising their own signature preparations. One admired member of this new generation is Christian Lemelin, the innovative chef and owner of Le Restaurant SSS (Simple Snack Sympathique) and restaurant Toast! at Hôtel Le Priori. Sadly, Toast! is indefinitely closed following a fire in December 2017 (though hopes are that it will reopen soon). In the meantime, the more causal Le Restaurant SSS continues to serve its signature salmon and beef tartares, foie gras with fig spiced mustard, and mushroom risotto to Lemelin’s loyal patrons and curious visitors to Québec City. There’s a five-course tasting menu at dinner that highlights the best of Québec’s bounty, both from the Atlantic and the province’s farms, and even a young taster’s menu for kids, including croque monsieur and poutine among the options.
34 Rue Saint-Louis, Québec, QC G1R 4P3, Canada
Aux Anciens Canadiens in Upper Town is a venerable favorite among Québec City’s restaurants. It opened in 1966 though the building it’s in is almost three centuries older than that, having been built in 1676. It’s easy to find—the red-roofed house looks as if it were moved from the Québec countryside into the heart of the city. As it happens, it was the other way around: After the house was built, the city grew up around it. Inside, there are five different dining rooms, all equally cozy and inviting, especially if you are visiting in the winter. The menu focuses on solid, excellent traditional dishes, many featuring game: bison stew, red deer fillet, grilled stag, and bison and wapiti tenderloins. And for dessert, try the maple syrup crème brûlée. The $20 three-course prix fixe menu comes with a glass of house wine and is a good option if you are on a budget, though be aware that there are supplemental charges for many of the dishes offered.
10 Rue Saint-Antoine, Québec, QC G1K 4C9, Canada
Panache at the Auberge Saint-Antoine hotel in Lower Town was long one of Québec City’s most celebrated restaurants, a special-occasion favorite of locals and visitors, located in a cozy and historic 19th-century warehouse with wooden beams and stone walls. In June 2017, the restaurant was rechristened Chez Muffy, after one of the inn’s co-owners. The same chef is at the helm, Julien Ouellet, who is known for Canadian and French dishes that make the most of local produce. (The menu is changed every two months to highlight whatever is in season.) With its farmhouse inspiration, you’ll typically find venison, duck, and other gamey options, but Ouellet usually has at least one vegetarian entrée, often made with ingredients grown on his farm on the Île d’Orléans. The hotel’s Bar Artefact, named for the items on display that were unearthed during an excavation of the site, is an ideal place to extend your meal with a cocktail before or after you eat.
481 Rue Saint-Jean, Québec, QC G1R 1P4, Canada
This casual creperie-bistro sits on Rue Saint-Jean, one of Québec City’s busiest shopping streets. With its brick walls and fireplace, the Breton-owned restaurant has a cozy and casual feel. It’s best known for buckwheat crepes, a favorite typical dish of Brittany, but whether you like your crepes savory or sweet, you’ll find something on the menu to satisfy you. There are traditional fillings like cheese and mushrooms as well as shrimp, salmon, and, this being Québec, maple syrup.
15 Fort St, Québec City, Quebec G1R 3Z8, Canada
Old Québec can be a little hard on the wallets of budget travelers. It’s not that the restaurants are overpriced, but they definitely cater to the tourists who fill its streets most days, especially in the warmer months, and who are happy to pay a little extra for the location and the opportunity to enjoy a long meal savoring some Québecois dishes. Le Chic Shack is a good option, however, if you are looking for a quick meal that’s a good value. The restaurant’s gourmet burgers include beef, bison, chicken, and veggie ones, all served on brioche rolls. There are also three different choices of poutine—classic cheese, braised beef, and wild mushroom. Try the restaurant’s rendition of a milkshake, or lait frappé, spiked with Baileys, Kahlua, or whiskey if you are in the mood for something stronger.
75 Rue Saint-Paul, Québec, QC G1K 3V8, Canada
Québec City has an abundance of elegant restaurants, both contemporary and classic, where you could easily imagine you are dining in Paris or New York. Bistro St-Malo, on the other hand, is a no-pretense, casual favorite, albeit one that still serves excellent renditions of French and Québecois dishes. Steak frites, duck confit, and boudin (blood sausage) are among the classic bistro options served here. The setting is as memorable as the cooking—the stone walls, hung with oil paintings and knickknacks, gives the restaurant a feeling similar to that of the many antique shops that sit near it on Rue Saint-Paul. In the summer, alfresco dining on the street, which runs along the waterfront of Lower Town, adds to the cafe’s popularity.
More from AFAR
Sign up for our newsletter
Join more than a million of the world’s best travelers. Subscribe to the Daily Wander newsletter.
AFAR Journeys
Journeys: Africa + Middle East
Journeys: Africa + Middle East
Journeys: Africa + Middle East
Journeys: Africa + Middle East
National Parks