Need an article that captures Québec City, but up against a tight deadline? We get it. That’s why we’ve provided a piece on the region’s culinary delights. You’re free to use it as-is, or take some ideas and run with them.
In Québec City, every mealtime is a pretext to make a culinary discovery. Although the city is often referred to as the gastronomic capital of North America, a number of other labels could as easily be ascribed to it: the capital of sidewalk cafés, the capital of unpretentious good food, the capital of bistros or the capital of wine and cheese. Eating well is part of daily life in Québec City and is one of the region's major attractions.
To say there is an abundance of restaurants in Québec City is an understatement. If a dining establishment is full or its menu does not appeal to your current mood, all you have to do is go next door. Over a hundred restaurants are located in the heritage site of Old Québec alone. While French and Québécois cuisine top the list, there is also a wide selection of ethnic restaurants to choose from.
Typical Québécois cuisine is inspired from the hearty country meals that were lovingly prepared in the old days according to recipes handed down from generation to generation. Favourites include tourtière, a deliciously seasoned meat pie with flaky pastry. Also popular are the long-simmered stews made with tasty garden vegetables and thick broth. Creton is a ground pork spread that is similar to rillettes and is absolutely heavenly on toast. And who can resist good old-fashioned sugar pie...
Québécois cuisine is best served—at any time of the year! Yet when the warmer spring weather causes maple sap to flow more freely and sugar shacks to hurriedly launch into the production of maple syrup, there is a sharp increase in the demand for the hearty traditional fare served at the sugaring off parties to celebrate maple sugar time with family and friends.
Québec City's epicurean landscape has been evolving since the 1930s when young, ambitious chefs from France and Italy arrived to open new restaurants. Before long, excellent bistros and trattorias were popping up across the region, each vying to outdo the others. Local residents were soon won over by the culinary masterpieces served at these establishments and flocked to their doors.
Given the local demand for nouvelle cuisine, restaurants and the agrifood industry were quick to follow the trend. Colleges and vocational schools began to offer new chef programs, regional farmers diversified their crops and clients seeking original flavours were challenging restaurants to surpass themselves creatively.
As a result, agritourism has become a booming industry in the Greater Québec City region. New players have stepped onto the local culinary stage: milk producers whose fine cheeses rival the world's best; wine and cider producers who organize tours of their installations; livestock farmers who raise such species as duck, wild boar, pheasant, caribou, emu, ostrich, guinea fowl and popular salt-pasture lamb; fruit and vegetable farmers who grow organic produce and rare foodstuffs like fiddleheads; and a range of innovative food artisans including bakers, pastry chefs and chocolate makers.
Quebecer Daniel Vézina, a multi award-winning master chef, embodies the new gastronomic trend through his marrying of delicate flavours and the freshest seasonal ingredients. His restaurant, Le Laurie-Raphaël, is one of the highest-rated dining establishments in Québec.
Le Saint-Amour is deserving of its accolades as well. Jean-Luc Boulay was voted chef of the year for the third year in a row by the Québec City chapter of the Société des chefs, cuisiniers et pâtissiers du Québec (chef, cook and pastry chef society of Québec).
Get to know Québec City's renowed chefs.