Québec City at its Best
Limoilou: a Vibrant Neighbourhood
With artist studios, foodie boutiques, and unique streetscapes, this Lower Town district has upped its game while staying true to its working‑class roots.
Credit: Hosaka-Ya, Lyra Zoom
Fine dining and comfort food go together in Limoilou like champagne and comfortable shoes. You’ll find both—and all points in between—nestled along 3e Avenue. Stop by La Salsa for the tasty empanadas and tamales prepared by mamà Pardo and her daughters. Walk just a few doors down to catch a whiff of the innovative cuisine served up on the patio of La Planque. For variations on that theme, mozy on down the street to La Planque’s sister restaurant, Le Cendrillon. From there you can follow your nose straight over to Limoilou’s neighbourhood rotisserie, OS, for delicious roasted chicken. The subtleties of Japanese cuisine are revealed at Hosaka‑Ya, at the corner of 3e Avenue and 5e Rue. For more great flavours, try Soupe & Cie—the fantastic soup spot right across the street.
Easy‑going hospitality is big in Limoilou. Perfect examples: the gang at Les Colocs serves up a mean pouding chômeur (a.k.a. poor man’s pudding), Les Fistons and Fratelli have virtuous burgers and sandwiches, and Fun en Bouche aims to please with their tasteful brunches. For authentic down-home cuisine, head out to Chez Madame Charlotte on 1re avenue. The food—and decor—are the real deal.
More Good Eats
What’s better than discovering a local gem? Telling your friends! Here are a few Limoilou secrets that are still well kept: La Taqueria (authentic Mexican tacos), Kebaberie Limoilou Izgara (kebabs, obviously, plus Turkish pastries and mint tea), Pop T (addictive artisanal popcorn), Le lièvre et la tortue (divine scones and adorable retro decor), and IX pour Bistro (creative cuisine that’s already earned top marks on TripAdvisor).
Drinks on the Patio
You can soak in the sun at one of the many patios on 3e Avenue. Bal du Lézard has been the place for good beer, good music, and good company since 1985. For craft beer, head to La Souche and try a few brews inspired by the local landscape. To get you going the next morning, swing by Nektar Caféologue for a very fine cup of Joe.
Credit: Yannick Fromagerie, Lyra Zoom
When it comes to choosing the best local and exotic cheeses, the owners of Yannick Fromagerie are a dream team. Add an exquisite loaf from La fournée bio and an Italian tapenade from La réserve, épicerie fine (fine foods) and you’re all set. For a sit-down snack, La boîte à pain/Café Napoli has phenomenal breads and pastries, plus a pizza oven. Alimentation Bio is a must for healthy, organic treats. If you have a yen for preserves, you’ll love the oils, mustards, pickles, and homemade jams at Conserverie du Quartier. Finally, Café Sobab is the place for fresh, fair trade coffee.
Credit: Baltrakon Zoom
Foodies go wild over the kitchenware and culinary workshops at La folle fourchette. Love pottery? Ateliers du Trois Cinquième (3e Avenue and 5e Rue) is bursting with the multifarious creations of a pottery collective. The peoples’ choice award goes to Article 721 for its local designs and rare finds. If you’re wondering where everyone got their “New York, London, Tokyo, Paris, Berlin, Limoilou” T-shirts, they’re made by Baltrakon and sold at Article 721.
Fresh Air and Sunshine
There’s a great trail for walking and biking that runs along the Saint-Charles River and, a little further out, a 27 hectare (66 acre) park at Domaine de Maizerets. From the top of the park’s observation tower, you’ll see the Île d’Orléans, the beaches of Beauport, and downtown Québec City.
This article was written by Diane Laberge and Caroline Décoste and published in the 16.08 magazine.