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Québec City at its Best

8 Restaurants You Need to Try in Saint-Roch

Credit: Audet Photo

If you’re looking for a hip little restaurant that’s getting a lot of buzz, chances are you’ll find it in Saint-Roch. This booming neighbourhood is a nexus of start‑ups and tech companies, with all the attendant perks: great food, culture, technology, fashion, and nightlife. Be there or be square.

1 Café Le Clocher Penché

Chef Mathieu Brisson understands meat, but it's the vegetables he compliments best. Always begin with a faisselle, it’s a Québec City favourite and one of the restaurant’s most renowned dishes. Or is it the blood sausage? Or brunch? The artisans whose products are highlighted in the menu grace the walls of the bar area, while local artists expose their work in the dining room.

2 Tora-ya Ramen

There is a line-up of hungry people in front of this Japanese izayaka-style pub every day at dinner, because it’s that good. Try lunch for a quick fix! The broths are hearty and filled with aromas that transport you to Japan or South Korea. The spicy homemade kimchi ramen is not to be missed and pairs beautifully with a Shôchû tonic.

3 L’Affaire est Ketchup

Apartment vibe, chirpy service, energetic wine list and menu presentation where food is prepared on ordinary stoves. That in itself is a sight to see. Seasonal ingredients, saucy dishes and carefully selected alcohol presented in vintage plates and witty decor. It’s also the best sweetbread I have eaten in Canada.

4 La Gueule de Bois 

To have a gueule de bois is that related the feeling you have the morning after excessive drinking. Or is it here a play-on-words pointing to the menu’s freshly foraged and wild ingredients. Either way, it’s where you’ll embrace the conversations and the game meat of the moment. Unfussy service and, as one would expect given the name, splendid drinks.

5 Battuto

Its Italian-inspired cuisine gives way to simple and well-mastered interpretations where everything is homemade. Your most important move is to order pasta, but keep an eye out for those seasonal perfect tiny dishes. Cross your fingers you’re assigned a counter seat -you can no longer choose upon reservation- where you’ll dive right into the action and chit-chat with the utterly creative two men swaying kitchen orchestra. Make sur to book a few weeks ahead.

6 Nina Pizza Napolitaine

The second you walk in Nina Pizza, you feel the buzz for Québec City’s Neapolitan love child. A prime spot for wood-fired pizza with vegan options made with both local ingredients and traditional Italian charcuteries and cheese. And don’t miss the fresh burrata! It’s the essential treat for l’apéro.

7 Le Voisin

Decorated with exposed brick walls and design wood furniture, you’ll feel the bright young energy the minute you walk in. You’ll also taste it in the food, wines and cocktails. I love that they serve every dish in handmade ceramics by artist Julie Lavoie. Don’t miss out on the fried cauliflower, it will forever change your perspective on this too often unloved vegetable.

8 Hono Izakaya

Hono Izakaya is a relative newcomer offering a Québec City spin on the Japanese izakaya…or is it an authentic gourmet trip in the heart of a true Japan izakaya? Textured dishes filled with bright colours bursting with flavour. Love their okonomiyaki, a sort of omelette with bacon or vegetables. Watch closely the dancing katsuobushi. The cocktails are indeed perfect, but the privately imported, carefully selected sakes are the stars of the bar.

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