No need to venture into neighbouring areas to find cafés with comfortable seating, free wifi, perfectly brewed coffee and flaky buttery pastries; cafés are finally making their mark in Vieux-Québec.
A few years ago, the café scene in Old Québec was restricted to Paillard Café-Boulangerie and Chez Temporel. While both are superb and with visiting, there are a few new cafés in the neighbourhood that are worth a visit, or three during your time in Québec City.
Here are the current Old Quebec cafes worth checking out.
La Maison Smith
9, RUE DES JARDINS • MAISONSMITH.CA • FREE WIFI
A favourite among locals and tourists in Place Royale, La Maison Smith has opened two new locations in Vieux Québec: one on rue des Jardins, and the other on rue Saint-Jean near Côte du Palais.
The café on rue des Jardin features a courtyard patio, as well as salads and sandwiches, tarts, cakes and pastries made by local producers like Paillard and Fastouche. The café on rue Saint-Jean offers less seating but features gelato as well as pastries, tarts, cakes and some sandwiches and salads.
Whichever location you choose, enjoy a coffee, tea or chocolate chad (hot chocolate), free wifi, and a relaxed environment.
Chez Boulay Comptoir Boréal
42 CÔTE DU PALAIS • 418.380.8237 • FREE WIFI
Comptoir Boréal has a distinct café vibe but also features a counter where you can buy hot or cold lunches, as well as meals that can be taken home and heated.
Located beside Hôtel Manoir Victoria, Comptoir Boréal has seating for twelve. The Comptoir sells tarts, cakes and pastries, puff pastries, sandwiches and soup; all of which are made in-house.
Come by to enjoy a coffee, tea or chocolate chaud, enjoy the free wifi, and be sure to buy some unique herbs and seasons which are featured in many of the dishes at Chez Boulay restaurant.
PLACE TERRACE DUFFERIN • 418.528.1884 • FREE WIFI
Housed in an enclosed gazebo on Dufferin Terrace, beside Château Frontenac, Au 1884 is part café and part snack bar. The menu features sandwiches and soups, all made with local products, as well as local coffees, tea and chocolat chaud. In summer they also serve gelato and soft serve ice cream. Yum!
Enjoy a treat outside on the terrace with views of Château Frontenac or at one of the tables inside. If you’re looking for a place to do a little work, you’re welcome to do so. Staff are very friendly.
1097, RUE SAINT-JEAN • 418.692.1221 • PAILLARD.CA • FREE WIFI
Paillard has long been a favourite in Vieux Québec, and understandably so, the café-boulangerie makes some of the best croissants in the city. A large space, Paillard features vaulted ceilings and a counter that sells delicious salads, soups and sandwiches.
If you’re looking for a quiet space to relax and work, this may not be the best choice. Paillard has become quite famous and as such, they are generally busy. That being said, it is always a good idea to stop by and try a croissant!
25, RUE COUILLARD • 418.694.1813 • FREE WIFI
A local favourite, Chez Temporel is tucked down rue Couillard, away from the crowds of tourists on rue Saint-Jean. Made famous by the book Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny, Chez Temporel has thick stone walls that make it difficult to find a cell signal. Which, let’s be honest, can sometimes be a good thing.
The café is cozy and the staff are friendly. Spend some time reading and enjoying a coffee, or bring your laptop to do some work and use their free wifi. If you’re hungry try their Croque Madame – yummy!