Québec City at its Best

Montcalm : The Arts & Lifestyle Neighbourhood

Credit: Ville de Québec

Stretching from Avenue des Braves to Avenue Turnbull, Montcalm is one of Québec City’s most popular neighbourhoods. Recently dubbed the “arts district,” Montcalm’s easy blend of food, shopping, and culture make it endlessly interesting and oh‑so‑livable.

In True Québec Style


Avenue Cartier and its side streets have become a modest nexus for local and international fashion. Start your spree at sister shops La Chic Bohème and SenSas before heading over to MUSE designer Christian Chenail's Québec City boutique. If you’re looking for fine lingerie, unique bathing suits, or lace corsets (as one does), Moi Lingerie's personalized service is sure to win you over. On Avenue Cartier proper, stop by Paris Cartier for elegant, feminine outfits. For hipper threads with a European feel, head to Urbain Prêt-à-Porter, a neighbourhood staple that soon turns 20.

A Taste of the World

Shopping is hungry work! Luckily, there’s no shortage of great bistros and restaurants in Montcalm. You’ll find curried goodness at Cari Doré, Corsican cuisine at Petits Creux & Grands Crus, thin‑crust pizza at Milano—a local favourite since 1968—and tapas and cocktails at Café Sirocco. For fresh, warm bagels, look no further than Bügel. And don’t miss the Belgian‑style fries next door at Frite Alors! Grocery store and caterer Morena brings you the best of Italy, while Métropolitain Eddie Sushi Bar and Enzo Sushi are perfect for lovers of Japanese cuisine. For fine contemporary dining, Bistro B puts the focus on market‑fresh fare and Le 47e Parallèle seduces with its inventive menu. For something a little more laid‑back, Café Krieghoff has a friendly vibe and a great patio. Speaking of patios, the one out back at Cochon Dingue is possibly one of Québec City’s best‑kept secrets, and the menu is perfect for family affairs. Spend a meal enjoying a rotating 360° view of the Montcalm District, the St. Lawrence River, and the Laurentian mountains from high above at Ciel! Bistro-Bar.

For dessert, take your pick: bulk sweets at Pinoche or a sampling of the 90 bite‑sized chocolates at Arnold Chocolats Gourmands. When the sun comes out, the decadent dipped cones at Chocolats Favoris are the stuff of sugar rushes and line‑ups, while the pastries at Les Cousins are enjoyed all year‑round.  

Local Markets

At Provisions inc., you’ll find loads of fresh, local fruits and vegetables. And the provisioning doesn’t stop there! Common in both Québec and France, “halles” are permanent indoor markets. In the Halles CartierUnimer has fresh fish and lobster and Borderon & Fils has fresh traditional baguettes. Brûlerie Rousseau has everything you need for a great cup of coffee.

Culture Time


For live entertainment, Montcalm’s Grand Théâtre has a world‑class program of dance, theatre, comedy, and music. Cinéma Cartier is a small but legendary movie theatre with screenings in French and English, and Périscope is a great place to see a local play. During the day, check out the artwork at Galerie uNo right above Café Castelo for the perfect blend of art and espresso! Un coin du monde hosts a monthly meeting of Québec City intellectuals and boasts a fabulous selection of magazines. For books, enjoy great recommendations from passionate readers at Librairie du Quartier and discover a treasure trove of used books at À La Bonne Occasion. Parchemin du Roy is the kind of place you’ll want to spend hours browsing for stationery, writing instruments, and a few new hobbies.

A Healthy Mind in a Healthy Body


Take a break from the hustle and bustle at La Station Yoga, followed by a fine cup of tea at Sebz tea lounge. With the Plains of Abraham nearby, there are always plenty of runners at Le Coureur nordique looking for shoes, clothes, and expert advice on how to tackle the city’s many staircases.

Fun Fact

Cinéma Cartier has been around since 1927. Located at the corner of Boulevard Saint-Cyrille (renamed Boulevard René-Lévesque in 1992), it was housed in a two‑storey brick building and showed the latest moving pictures. It’s been renovated, bought, and sold many times, and even closed for 15 years, but is cherished to this day as the foundation stone that gave rise to a whole commercial district.

Next post Keeping It Real in the Saint-Sauveur Neighbourhood


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