Québec City at its Best
Québec City's 15 Best New Restaurants of 2019
Like its economy, Québec City’s restaurant scene is booming. And the food has never been better! All over town, diners are being treated to quality products, artfully prepared. Here, for your dining pleasure, is my list of newcomers not to miss.
1 La Tanière3
With the reopening of La Tanière in a new underground venue and with a young and talented new chef, Québec City has joined the ranks of the world’s top food destinations. Chef François-Emmanuel Nicol draws inspiration from the seasons, the region, and the complex and subtle aromas of wild edibles from the boreal forest to craft a menu that feels like an adventure. Every item has a story and is served in a special dish created for that very purpose. The restaurant even has valet service—a welcome offering in the Old Port sector. Think of booking ahead.
2 La Baraque Gourmande
Limoilou has another affordable family restaurant worthy of the neighbourhood! Owners Léa Paquet and Sébastien Son are partners in the kitchen and in life and you can feel the love in the dishes they create. Every day of the week brings a new daily menu inspired by fresh seasonal ingredients. The restaurant’s coffee-and-reading nook is a must, especially for soaking up some of the restaurant’s abundant natural lighting.
Tucked away in Québec’s Saint‑Jean‑Baptiste neighbourhood is a pro‑pot bistro where the words “I don’t like reggae, I love it” have newfound meaning. Don’t be fooled by the restaurant’s eclectic decor and unassuming appearance. The dishes are delish! The wine may be cheap and cheerful, but the menu more than makes up for it, with great fresh seafood and other seasonal fare.
4 Les Botanistes
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The team at Les Botanistes is on a mission to elevate vegetables to their proper rank on the plate. And elevate they have, ever since the restaurant’s very first week. It’s a fitting theme, since the restaurant is part of the Floralies Jouvence complex in Cap‑Rouge—the largest garden centre around the city. The restaurant is also something of an ode to the incredible talent of chef Pierre Joubaud, whose root-to-tip approach to vegetables is simply showstopping. Of course, chef Joubaud has the benefit of working with some fine equipment (including Québec City’s very first plancha grill) and some very fine chefs: co‑owners Jean‑Luc Boulay and Arnaud Marchand. Between the three of them, no delicious subtlety is left unturned!
With its European tradition of excellence in all things food and drink, Sardines makes an elegant choice for a pre‑dinner drink. The menu is simple, with small portions of the finest quality: artisanal charcuterie, homemade sourdough bread, and of course, Portuguese and Spanish sardines. The restaurant’s charming interior features beautifully recycled materials, making this newcomer a natural fit in historic Saint‑Jean‑Baptiste.
6 Le Don
Chic and elegant, Le Don is the 2.0 of vegan restaurants. Everything here is classy, from the interior to the dishes themselves, which reflect chef Anne-Marie Grenier’s refreshingly playful and vibrant personality. The comforting soups, the heaping salads with their endless textures, and the al dente pasta make for a fabulous meal.
This bistro is located inside Cabaret Club Le Drague, an institution for Québec City’s LGBTQ2+ community. In a minimalist modern décor combining cement, metal, and white ash, chef Jean-Sébastien Mahé celebrates the richness and beauty of our local ingredients. With all the seasonal veggies, locally raised meats, and sustainable fish, you’ll forget you’re dining on a dance floor! The vegetarian and vegan options are on point.
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The burger game is strong at Chaz. Chef Jérôme Gilpin assembles a generous beef patty between a homemade bun, topped with a thick slice of smoked bacon and a special secret sauce. Just wait until the sweet and sour flavours kick in! Every burger comes with a pickled cucumber and house-fermented coleslaw. Go for the onion rings featuring a light and crisp batter with that perfect sweet-to-salt ratio we all love. Well-dressed bar featuring a surprisingly well-curated list of local brews and affordable cocktails. Weekend brunch, Wednesday deals and Sundays children eat for free!
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jjacques is straight out of a mystery novel: singular wines, stunning cocktails -and mocktails- along with fresh seafood are served in a velvet underground setting. But you’ll have to find the place first! Located in Saint-Roch, clues on jjacques’ whereabouts on their Facebook page will easily lead you inside. Feels like prohibition! Have a seat at the bar to witness chef Ryan Gabriele’s flair and mixologist Vincent Thuaud’s artistry. Selected wine bottles are half price on Sundays.
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L’Épicurien is all about serving crepes and waffles elaborated using mostly local, organic ingredients. Crepes prepared to order on a bilig and served folded on themselves in a square shape, a tradition native to Brittany. You’ll also find delicious homemade pastries including my favourite macarons in Québec City.
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Québec City loves pizza and Pizzazorg in Saint-Sauveur is the latest joint to feed the crave. Owned and operated by the same passionate people behind Les Salons d’Edgar, Zorg serves Neapolitan inspired pizzas cooked in a wood-fired oven. Here, both local and Mediterranean flavours inspire. Don’t miss the delightful octopus appetizer.
12 Kebec club privé
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Québec City now has a private foodie club, one that highlights the seductive powers of Québec’s picked, foraged and gathered wild food products like mushrooms, berries, herbs and spices. The young and talented chefs Pierre-Olivier Pelletier and Cassandre Osterroth invite guests to take part in a unique formula where, just as you would buy a ticket for a concert, your meal must be paid in advance. Beverages for the evening are also included in the reservation price and only 12 can eat at a time, all seated at the same table. On the menu: classic Québécois dishes revisited with modern flair.
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Colibri is more than a restaurant, it’s an eco-friendly business driven by a desire to reduce its ecological footprint, one bite at a time. With a menu elaborated in collaboration with a nutritionist, Colibri offers a colourful, fresh and health-filled prescription to your hunger. A lot of vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options made from ingredients sourced directly from local producers. They’re on a sustainable mission to awaken your environmental conscience while serving you the best of what nature has to offer. Dare to dive into a breakfast porridge, served cold or warm, an Israeli-inspired salad or a chicken and blue cheese bowl.
14 Comptoir Sushi à la maison
Credit: Allison Van Rassel Zoom
Popular for her original, generous, colourful and truly decadent sushi, chef Geneviève Everell recently opened a Sushi à la maison location in Québec City. Located on René-Lévesque Boulevard in the heart of Montcalm, it offers a well-curated menu of sushi, bowls and sushi pizzas where fruit, in-house smoked salmon and fried wontons are highly recommended. You can also let your imagination run wild to create your own meal. No matter which you choose, work up your appetite, because even the smallest of portions are copious enough for two!
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Highlighted as Canada’s best new restaurant by Air Canada’s EnRoute magazine, ARVI is home to a new way of serving and eating food in a restaurant: every staff member takes part in both the preparation and service of food to guests. Reservations a few weeks ahead are highly recommended and require that you pay your meal in advance if you book online.