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Neighbourhood Guide: Old Quebec (Vieux-Quebec)

When I decided to move to Quebec City and found an affordable apartment in  Old Quebec (Vieux-Québec or Upper Town), I was over-the-moon with joy: architecture dating back to the 18th century, cozy cafés, summertime patios, gourmet poutine and burgers that clog my arteries but have me returning for more every single month.

I love the way Old Québec makes me feel like I’m travelling somewhere in Europe. I love how every time I walk through the small side streets I find houses with intricately detailed doorknobs or door knockers, odd shaped windows, stained glass — I never know what I’ll find during my random wanderings through the neighbourhood.

During high season, when the sidewalks are crowded with tourists exploring the old city (which you must do), I venture to Chez Temporel on rue Couillard for breakfast or La Maison Smith for chocolat chaud (hot chocolate) and a croissant. It is a favourite spot among locals, mentioned in Louise Penny’s book Bury the Dead, and has walls so thick that I lose my cell signal – forcing me to unplug for a little while. When I’m craving Québécois cuisine, I’ll go to La Bûche or Batinse. When I want a burger, truffle fries and a salted caramel milkshake, I go to Le Chic Shack. When I want onion soup (known outside Quebec as French onion soup) I go to Le Petit Coin Latin or D’Orsay.

Spend time in Old Quebec and get to know the history and vibe of the city. Take a walking tour, hire a guide, or walk around on your own. Admire the architecture. Eat croissants at Paillard or La Maison Smith. Take a stupid amount of photos of Château Frontenac from every possible angle and vantage point.

Welcome to one of the oldest neighbourhoods, in the oldest city in Canada.

Pamela xo

Morning sun at Château Frontenac

BUCKET LIST

RESTAURANTS

Vieux Québec Shopping

SHOPPING

Vieux Québec Nightlife

NIGHTLIFE

Vieux Québec Hotels

HOSTELS & HOTELS

OLD QUÉBEC BUCKET LIST

As one of the oldest neighbourhoods in one of the oldest cities in Canada, Vieux-Quebec is the most popular neighbourhood in Quebec City. Buildings dating back to the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries; fascinating military, historic and religious sites; museums, walking and bus tours; there are plenty of Vieux-Quebec Activities to keep you busy during your time in the city.

On this page you will find suggestions on military, historic and religious sites; spots to Instagram (and make your friends green with envy), as well as suggestions for guided tours that take you around Vieux-Quebec.

CATHEDRAL OF THE HOLY TRINITY

RELIGIOUS SITE • 31, RUE DES JARDINS • CATHEDRAL.CA • ADMISSION: FREE

The first Anglican church to be built outside Britain, The Cathedral of the Holy Trinity is the seat of the Diocese of Quebec City. Built between 1800 and 1804, the cathedral is British-Palladian in style, and fashioned after London’s Church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields; the cathedral’s tower has eight bells, the heaviest being 840 kg and the lightest being 297 kg.

The Cathedral of the Holy Trinity is home to two parishes: Parish of Quebec and la Paroisse de Tous les Saints. Smaller than Basilica-Cathedral Notre-Dame-de-Quebec, the cathedral features impressive stained glass windows and architectural details, as well as a silver communion set which was ordered by King George III. Take a guided tour!

CHALMERS-WESLEY UNITED CHURCH

RELIGIOUS SITE • 20, RUE DAUPHINE

Built between 1818 and 1820, the Jesuit chapel was designed by François Baillairgé and lies on the former grounds of the Jesuit College. Upon completion of construction, the chapel was served by priests from Notre-Dame Basilica-Cathedral until the Jesuits returned to Quebec in 1842.

In 1992, a centre for homeless youth, Maison Dauphine, was built next to the chapel, but the centre closed around 2010 and a charity, Carrefour d’Action Interculturelle was established on the ground floor, below the chapel. Today the charity helps migrants when they arrive in Québec.

CHÂTEAU FRONTENAC

HISTORIC HOTEL • 1, RUE DES CARRIÈRES • ADMISSION: FREE • TOUR COST: $17.40 (ADULTS), $8.70 (CHILDREN 6-17)

Originally built by the Canadian Pacific Railway in the 19th century, Château Frontenac is now owned by Fairmont Hotels & Resorts – and therefore it is not a locally owned business. That being said, over the years Château Frontenac has become synonymous with Quebec City. Hundreds of thousands of photos are taken of Château Frontenac each year – if you visit Quebec City and leave without taking a photo of the château, can you say you were truly there? – from vantage points around the city and across the Saint-Lawrence river.

Take a historic walking tour of the hotel with Cicerone Walking Tours, or wander around the public spaces on your own and admire the architecture.

LA CITADELLE DE QUEBEC

HISTORIC SITE • 1, CÔTE DE LA CITADELLE • LACITADELLE.QC.CA • ADMISSION: $16 (ADULTS), $13 (STUDENTS & SENIORS), $6 (CHILDREN 7-17)

A star-shaped stone fortress atop Cap Diamant, La Citadelle de Quebec (the Citadel of Quebec) was built after Quebec City scrapped through the War of 1812, successfully fending off the invasion of American military forces. Based on designs by a French engineer, Sébastien le Prestre Vauban, construction of the citadel began in 1820 and completed in 1850.

Today, La Citadelle de Quebec is an active military base for the Royal 22e Régiment, and while some areas are off limits, be sure to watch the changing of the guard in summer, take a guided tour of the citadel during the day or a nighttime ghost tour, or walk the paths along the top of the walls for superb views of Quebec City and the Saint-Lawrence river. Book a Hop-On Hop-Off Bus tour which stops at La Citadelle de Quebec.

CRIME IN NEW FRANCE

WALKING TOUR • 44, RUE DE LA CHAUSSÉE DES ÉCOSSAIS • PROMENADESFANTOMES.COM • DURATION: 2 HOURS • TOUR COST: $24.50 (ADULTS), $20 (STUDENTS & SENIORS)

This nighttime walking tour of Vieux Québec features ghostly looking guides: Marie Rivière or Jean Rattier; who regale you with tales of ten of Québec’s past criminals. Warning: there may be some surprises along the way. Tours operate in both French and English.

FORTIFICATIONS OF QUÉBEC

HISTORIC SITE • 2, RUE D’AUTEUIL • ADMISSION: $3.90 (ADULTS), $3.40 (SENIORS), $1.90 (YOUTH)• TOUR COST: $9.80 (ADULTS), $7.30 (SENIORS), $4.90 (YOUTH) • SUMMER: 10:00 A.M. TO 6:00 P.M. • SPRING/FALL: 10:00 A.M. TO 5:00 P.M.

Built between 1608 and 1871 to protect the colony of New France, the fortifications that circle Vieux-Quebec are roughly 4.6 km’s in length; making Quebec City the only remaining fortified city north of Mexico.  

For those who enjoy them, walking tours are available (in French and English) from the Frontenac kiosk on Dufferin Terrace or Artillery Park at 2, rue D’Auteuil.

GHOST TOURS OF QUÉBEC

WALKING TOUR • 94, RUE DU PETIT-CHAMPLAIN • GHOSTTOURSOFQUEBEC.COM • DURATION: 1 HR 30 MINS • TOUR COST: $20 (ADULTS), $17 (STUDENTS & SENIORS)

Take a lantern-lit night tour through Vieux-Quebec with a costumed guide and hear about murders, executions, and ghostly tragedies that have taken place during Quebec 400+ year history. Tours operate in both French and English.

HELICOPTER TOUR OF QUÉBEC CITY

HELICOPTER TOUR • 1688, ROUTE DE L’AÉROPORT QUÉBEC • COMPLEXECH.COM • DURATION: 30MINS • TOUR COST: $179.95

This 30-minute helicopter tour takes you around Vieux Québec, along the Saint Lawrence River to Montmorency Falls. GoHelico offers a free shuttle from Vieux-Quebec, shuttles depart daily from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.

MAISON DE LA LITTÉRATURE

LIBRARY • 40, RUE SAINT-STANISLAS • MAISONDELALITTERATURE.QC.CQ • ADMISSION: FREE

Originally built in 1848 as the Wesley Temple, a neo-gothic church erected for the Methodist community in Quebec City, the church shut down in 1931 and reopened in 1944 as Salle de L’Institut Canadien – library, concert and lecture hall – only to close down in 1999.

Today, Maison de la Littérature (House of Literature) is one of the most beautiful libraries in Quebec City. Blonde wood floors, white walls and bookcase and sun streaming through the large windows of the old church give the library a delicate and warm ambience.

Visit the library and Instagram the white-walled and blonde wood spiral staircase; or the light beams as they pass through the large chapel windows, bathing the library warmth.

LE MONASTÈRE DES AUGUSTINES

RELIGIOUS SITE & WELLNESS CENTRE • 77, RUE DES REMPARTS • MONASTERE.CA • ADMISSION: $10 (ADULTS), $8 (STUDENTS & SENIORS), $4 (CHILDREN 12-16) • TOUR COST: $15 (ADULTS), $13 (STUDENTS & SENIORS), $9 (CHILDREN 12-16) • HEALTH & WELLNESS CLASSES $15

Located in the historic section of the Hôtel-Dieu de Quebec monastery (established in 1639), Le Monastère des Augustines is Vieux-Quebec’s newest wellness retreat, as well as home to the archives of the Augustinian Sisters, a medical order that arrived in New France in 1639 (on the same ship as the Ursuline Sisters).

The museum and archives constitute 400 years of history of the Augustinian Sisters who established the first hospital and several monasteries in Quebec. Guided tours are available Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Le Monastère des Augustines also offers daily yoga and relaxation classes, for more information on which classes are held each day, visit their website for more details.

MORRIN CENTRE

LIBRARY & MUSEUM • 44, CHAUSSÉE DES ÉCOSSAIS • MORRIN.ORG • TOUR COST: $8.75 (ADULTS), $6.50 (STUDENTS)

Housed in a 200 yr old building, the Morrin Centre was once an army barracks than a prison, a college; and now the only English library in Quebec City, and the headquarters for the Literary and Historical Society of Quebec. Venture into the library on your own, take a deep breath and enjoy the smell of old books and wood, admire the antique wooden spiral staircase and the statue of Montcalm, or spend some time relaxing and reading before venturing back outside.

During the summer months, visitors can take a guided tour (in either English or French) of the old prison rooms and cells in the basement, as well as a lab/classroom which has been maintained from the days of Morrin College. Tours are available in winter, but only by appointment.

MUSÉE DE L’AMÉRIQUE FRANCOPHONE

MUSEUM • 2, CÔTE DE LA FABRIQUE, • MCQ.ORG • ADMISSION: $8 (ADULTS), $7 (SENIORS), $5.50 (STUDENTS), $2 (CHILDREN 12-16)

Just steps from the Holy Door, on the grounds of Séminaire de Québec, Musée de l’Amérique francophone is a museum focused on the history and evolution of the Francophone culture. Visit the chapel to view religious relics that speak to Québec’s religious heritage, admire works by Quebec artists, learn more about French Quebec and what makes Quebec different from the rest of Canada.

The museum has limited hours in winter and early spring, check their website before planning your visit.

MUSÉE DU FORT

MUSEUM • 10, RUE SAINTE-ANNE • MUSEEDUFORT.COM • ADMISSION: $5.50

Lovers of history and military history will want to make a visit to Musée du Fort their top priority when visiting Quebec City. The museum, while small in size, offers a 30-minute sound and light show that takes visitors back in time to the beginning of Quebec; detailing the six military battles that helped shape Quebec’s history. The museum also features a model of the city from the year 1750.

Museum hours vary depending on the time of year, so be sure to visit their website for current information.

MUSÉE DES URSULINES DE QUÉBEC

MUSEUM • 12, RUE DONNACONNA • MUSEEDESURSULINES.COM • ADMISSION: $8 (ADULTS), $6 (SENIORS), $4 (YOUTH)

Attached to the Ursuline convent, Musée des Ursulines de Quebec exhibits artistic and historical artefacts of the Ursuline sisters, a teaching order in Québec who arrived in New France (Quebec City) in 1639.

The museum houses several religious relics used by the Ursuline sisters, as well as needlepoint and other works of art – and, for a time, was the home of Montcalm’s skull (the French General who died during the Battle of the Plains of Abraham in 1759).

NOTRE-DAME-DE-QUÉBEC BASILICA-CATHEDRAL

RELIGIOUS SITE • PLACE DE L’HÔTEL DE VILLE • 16, RUE DE BUADE • NOTRE-DAME-DE-QUEBEC.ORG • ADMISSION: FREE

Notre-Dame-de-Québec began as a small church – built in 1647 – and became the first Catholic Cathedral north of Mexico in 1874. Some two hundred years later, the church was given the honour of becoming the first minor basilica in North America.

Today, the basilica is one of two minor basilicas in Quebec (the other is Basilica Saint-Anne-de-Beaupré), and while it is a beautiful piece of architecture on the outside, the inside is where its true beauty can be found: the golden baldaquin, tomb of François de Laval, a chancel lamp given by King XIV, stunning stained glass windows.

HOP-ON-HOP-OFF BUS TOUR

OPEN-TOP BUS TOUR • TOURS VIEUX QUÉBEC • TOURSVIEUXQUEBEC.COM • OPERATING TIME: 9:30 A.M––4:30 P.M. • TOUR COST: $34.95

Take advantage of this hop-on-hop-off bus tour to see the many spectacular sites Quebec has to offer but on your own schedule. This tour goes to Place d’Arms, Quartier Nuovo Saint-Roch, Musée de la Civilization, Place-Royale, Marché du Vieux-Port, Centre des Congress, Observatoire de la Capitale, Manège Militaire, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Place d’Youville, Citadelle de Québec.

PLAINS & PARLIAMENT TOUR

BUS TOUR • 12, RUE SAINT-ANNE • TOURSVOIRQUEBEC.COM • DURATION: 2 HRS • TOUR COST: $22.95 (ADULTS), $10.95 (CHILDREN 8-12)

This bus tour takes guests through the western section of Vieux-Quebec visiting La Citadelle de Québec and fortifications, Parliament, the Plains of Abraham and Grande Allée. Tours operate in both French and English.

SAINT-LOUIS FORT & CHÂTEAUX NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE

HISTORIC SITE • TERRASSE DUFFERIN • ADMISSION: $3.90 (ADULTS), $3.40 (SENIORS), $1.90 (YOUTH)

Buried beneath Dufferin Terrace (in front of Château Frontenac) rests an archaeological gem containing 200 years of French and British history. Long before Château Frontenac graced the top of Cap Diamant, Fort Saint-Louis stood guard. This is where the colony’s intendant lived, where the colonies defenders would look out for enemy ships sailing down the Saint-Lawrence river.

TERRASSE PIERRE-DUGUA-DE-MONS

PARC DES CHAMPS DE BATAILLE & RUE SAINT-DENIS • ADMISSION: FREE

Located near the end of rue Saint-Denis, Terrasse Pierre-Dugua-de-Mons (Pierre-Dugua-de-Mons Terrace) may look like a large grassy knoll – and a great place for a picnic, which it is – but this is also one of the best locations to capture a ‘postcard shot’ of Château Frontenac, Old Quebec and the Saint-Lawrence river.

THE FOOD TOUR

FOOD TOUR • 12, RUE SAINT-ANNE • TOURSVOIRQUEBEC.COM • DURATION: 2 HRS 30 MINS • TOUR COST: $43.95 (ADULTS), $24.95 (CHILDREN 8-12)

A gourmet food tour through Vieux-Quebec and Saint-Jean-Baptiste; sample crêpes, local wine and cheese, microbrewery beer, and gourmet treats from fine dining establishments. A delightful food tour with engaging guides. Tours operate in both French and English.



FOOD & DRINK

As the main tourist destination in Quebec City, Vieux-Quebec has a mixture of touristy restaurants, as well as delicious bistros and cafés. While we could list every restaurant in the old city, we are not going to do that, instead, this page features the Vieux Quebec restaurants we love and highly recommend. As such, this page will change from time to time as we discover new favourites and remove places that have shut down or have decreased in quality.

Are you ready to fill your belly with delicious eats from our favourite Vieux-Quebec restaurants? We suggest pacing yourself!

AU 1884

CAFÉ • $ • 1, RUE DES CARRIÈRES • TERRASSE DUFFERIN • AU1884.CA • 418.528.1884

A café-bistro that sells gourmet sandwiches, prepared meals, soups and seasonal salads; most of which are made with local ingredients. Open all year, Au 1884 also runs the Dufferin Slide (the oldest attraction in Quebec City) in winter. Coffee and chocolat chaud (hot chocolate) is good, but are often served in glass mugs so be careful when drinking!

AUX ANCIENS CANADIENS

QUÉBÉCOIS • $$$ • 34, RUE SAINT-LOUIS • AUXANCIENSCANADIENS.QC.CA • 418.692.1672

This fine dining restaurant is housed in one of the oldest houses in Quebec and features a high-end dining experience. The ambience is warm and classic, and the menu features traditional Québécois dishes. The food is delicious, but a tad overpriced.

AU PETIT COIN BRETON

CRÊPERIE • $ • 1029, RUE SAINT-JEAN • AUPETITCOINBRETON.CA • 418.694.0758

Opened in 1963, Au Petit Coin Breton has exposed stone walls and a charming French ambience. A lovely choice for breakfast or lunch, the menu features fondues, crêpes, and gratins; and views of rue Saint-Jean. While the sweet crêpes are yummy, we recommend trying savoury crêpes and sharing some fondue.

BATINSE

QUÉBÉCOIS • $ • 1200, RUE SAINT-JEAN • BATINSE.COM • 418.792.2555

Located a few doors up from Pub St. Patrick on rue Saint-Jean. The restaurant décor is country-chic with a white and tiffany blue colour palette. It’s pretty, and a little girly, and the menu features classic Québecois cuisine with a gourmet flair. Skip the salad and order La Pout-Pout or Poke au Saumon et au Thon Albacore.

LA BÛCHE

QUÉBÉCOIS • $ • 49, RUE SAINT-LOUIS • RESTOLABUCHE.COM • 418.694.7272

Québécois cuisine with a modern twist, La Bûche combines wood and plaid with warm yellow light, giving the restaurant a sugar shack ambience. The menu is tradambienceQuébécois, with dishes that can be found in a sugar shack. The food is delicious and the price is affordable. A top choice in Vieux-Quebec for traditional Québécois dishes.

CAFÉ DE PARIS

CLASSIC FRENCH • $$ • 66, RUE SAINT-LOUIS • CAFEDEPARISVIEUXQUEBEC.COM • 418.694.9626

A classic French restaurant, Café de Paris is well known for their Chateaubriand – sirloin steak served with a sauce made of white wine, shallots cooked with a demi-glaze, butter, tarragon and lemon juice – a dish that everyone needs to try at least once in their lifetime.

CASSÉ-CRÊPE BRETON

CRÊPERIE • $ • 1136, RUE SAINT-JEAN • CASSECREPEBRETON.COM • 418.692.0438

The most famous crêperie in Vieux-Quebec, it’s best to arrive early as customers usually line-up down the block. The crêperie itself is small, but warm and inviting, and the menu offers a variety of both sweet and savoury crêpes; all of which are delicious and quite filling.

CHEZ ASHTON

POUTINE • $ • 54, CÔTE DU PALAIS • CHEZASHTON.CA

A go-to spot for late night poutine lovers, Chez Ashton is a Quebec fast food chain with several restaurants in Quebec City, including restaurants in Grande Allée, Vieux Quebec, and Saint-Roch. The first order of business? an order of traditional poutine served in a foil pan — perfect for keeping it hot. In winter, Chez Ashton offers poutine deals based on the weather: if it’s -15ºC, then your poutine is 15% off, -25ºC means 25% off, and so on.

CHEZ BOULAY

QUÉBÉCOIS • $$ • 1110, RUE SAINT-JEAN • CHEZBOULAY.COM • 418.380.8166

Located along rue Saint-Jean, Chez Boulay specializes in Nordic boreal cuisine: wild game like boar, bison, duck, and deer. As well as root vegetables, fresh plants, and berries. The dishes are beautiful and gourmet, and the food is delicious and unpretentious. A top choice for an affordable upscale dining experience.

CHEZ TEMPOREL

CAFÉ • $ • 25, RUE COUILLARD • 418.694.1813

Made popular by the book, Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny, Chez Temporel is a favourite among locals, artists, and the travellers who find themselves wandering down rue Couillard — which is tucked away from the tourist hordes on rue Saint-Jean. They serve a fabulous café au lait, as well as chocolat chaud, and croque monsieur.

LE CHIC SHACK

BURGERS & POUTINE • $ • 15, RUE DU FORT • LECHICSHACK.CA

One cannot spend time in Quebec City without eating poutine, and while poutine from Chez Ashton in Grande Allée is highly recommended, the best gourmet poutine in Vieux-Quebec is at Le Chic Shack.

Located under Musée du Fort – across the street from Château Frontenac – Le Chic Shack offers up some of the best poutine creations in Quebec City; and while they make traditional poutine (fries, squeaky cheese curds smothered in brown gravy), their gourmet poutine is the reason why you need to go. Go with an empty stomach, portions are quite generous!

D’ORSAY

FRENCH BISTRO • $$ • 65, RUE DE BUADE • DORSAYRESTAURANT.COM • 418.694.1582

A restaurant, and pub, D’Orsay is a popular bistro-pub near Basilica Notre-Dame de Quebec. The menu has standard bistro fare; burgers and fish n’ chips; as well as classic French dishes like Mussels & Fries and Salmon Tartare – both are highly recommended.

LA MAISON SMITH

CAFÉ • $ • 9, RUE DES JARDINS & 1141, RUE SAINT-JEAN • MAISONSMITH.CA

When spending time in Quebec City is is essential that you ditch the Tim Horton’s or McDonald’s coffee or hot chocolate and experience the best that the city has to offer – and one of the best places to do that in Vieux-Quebec is La Maison Smith.

One of three locations in Quebec City (the other is in Place Royale), La Maison Smith is a small café with delicious chocolat chaud, good coffee and enough pastries and snacks to make your tummy happy all day long – including croissants and other pastries from Paillard on rue Saint-Jean, which is way too crowded.

Recommendation: Rich chocolat chaud made from chocolate and cream, and a warm croissant.

LES FRÈRES DE LA CÔTE

BISTRO • $$ • 1129, RUE SAINT-JEAN • LESFRERESDELACOTEQC.COM • 418.692.5445

Once located next to Hotel Du Vieux Quebec, Les Frères de la Côte has moved up rue Saint-Jean near Chez Boulay. The bistro is large and inviting, the staff friendly, and the menu a mix of traditional bistro fare, pizza, and tapas. A cozy place to eat and relax, when the tourist crowds become too much.

LE PETIT COIN LATIN

QUÉBÉCOIS • $$ • 8 ½, RUE SAINTE-URSULE • 418.692.0700

A quaint café-bistro on rue Sainte-Ursule, near rue Saint-Jean, the menu at Le Petit Coin Latin offers Québécoise and European dishes — they are famous for their raclette.  However, Soupe à l’oignon (Onion soup) is highly recommended. In summer they offer terrace seating for up to 70 people, as well as live music.

LE SAINT AMOUR

FRENCH • $$$$ • 48, RUE SAINTE-URSULE • SAINT-AMOUR.COM • 418.694.0667

One of the most well known fine dining restaurants in Quebec City, Le Saint-Amour first opened its doors in 1978. Created by French chef, Jean-Luc Boulay, the menu features locally sourced products: foie gras, venison, bison, wild salmon, and other nordic boreal ingredients. A restaurant that will impress your significant other, as well as your palette.

LES TROIS GARÇONS

BURGERS • $ • 1084, RUE SAINT-JEAN • BISTRO3GARCONS.COM • 418.692.3900

One of the best gourmet burger joints in Vieux-Quebec, Les Trois Garçons serves several styles of (large) gourmet burgers and mayos; the menu also features gourmet salads and fish n’ chips. In some ways it feels as though you are eating at a Quebec version of Kelsey’s, but the food is good and the staff are friendly, and it is a far better choice than many of the touristy restaurants within the old city.

PAILLARD

CAFÉ-BOULANGERIE • $ • 1097, RUE SAINT-JEAN • PAILLARD.CA • 418.692.1221

The most popular café-boulangerie in Quebec, Paillard is known for their vaulted white ceilings, free wifi, flakey croissants, crusty baguettes, pastries, café au lait, and lunch menu — which consists of gourmet sandwiches and salads. During the summer months, Paillard is quite busy, so visit early in the morning or late afternoon to avoid the crowds. In winter, the café-boulangerie is more manageable in terms of crowds.

PORTOFINO

ITALIAN • $$ • 54, RUE COUILLARD • PORTOFINO.CA • 418.692.8888

One of two locations (the other is in Ste-Foy), Portofino is an Italian bistro located in a house that was built in 1760, the menu features classic Italian dishes: pasta, risotto, fish, veal, and beef.

TOURNEBROCHE

ROTISSERIE CHICKEN • $$ • 1190, RUE SAINT-JEAN • TOURNEBROCHE.COM • 418.692.5524

Chef Stephane Roth and partners opened this delightful bistro next to Hotel Du Vieux Quebec to provide an affordable dining experience featuring rotisserie chicken and guinea fowl – as well as a different crème brûlée for each day of the week. Served up with a gourmet flair, Tournebroche has a contemporary ambiance.

SAPRISTI

ITALIAN • $$ • 1001, RUE SAINT-JEAN • SAPRISTI.CA • 418.692.2030

A gourmet Italian bistro along one of Quebec’s most popular streets, Sapristi’s menu features: gourmet pizza (cream sauce, pears, candied pecan, leek, blue cheese, and arugula) and classic pizza (tomato sauce, pepperoni, mushrooms, peppers, and mozzarella), pastas and tartare; both beef and salmon. A chic bistro, Sapristi has opened a second location in Quartier Petit-Champlain.

Urban Guides: Quebec City -- discover locally owned restaurants in Quebec City



SHOPPING

As the hub of tourism in Quebec City, many of the shops in Vieux-Quebec can best be described as kitschy. Intermixed with souvenir shops you’ll find retail chains like David’s Tea, Crocs, and Aldo; but there are also some wonderful shops featuring Quebec products.

We are not here to point you to the kitschy souvenir shops, you will find those on your own as you wander around Vieux-Quebec shopping until your wallet goes on strike. Instead, we are going to tell you about all the other shops in the old city — as well as a couple of our favourite shops. Of course, new shops are bound to be added to this page, so be sure to check for the latest picks.

BAGAGES DE FRANCE

HANDBAGS & ACCESSORIES • 74, RUE SAINT-LOUIS • BAGAGESDEFRANCE.COM

Those who love Longchamp bags will be excited to find out that they can buy them in Quebec City from Bagages de France, the only who exclusively carry the bags in Canada. The boutique carries handbags, luggage, jewellery, and accessories like belts, wallets, silk scarves, gloves, and small leather goods).

BIRON & FIL

IRONWORKS • 38, RUE GARNEAU • OLDQUEBECHARDWARE.COM

We admit, adding a ironworks/hardware shop is an odd choice, but we love this place! A charming little hardware store in Vieux-Quebec, the back room of Biron & Fils is standard hardware like nails, nuts, and bolts; the front of the shop contains ironworks: hooks, grates, vintage hardware and more. Why buy overpriced iron décor pieces in a fancy boutique, when you can go to this place and get them for a good price!

ÇA VA DE SOI

FASHION • 1154, RUE SAINT-JEAN • CAVADESOI.COM

A Canadian clothing boutique, Ça Va de Soi specializes in fine knits and cashmere for both women and men. The clothing is stylish and warm and fuzzy. A great choice if you’re looking for business casual type attire.

CHLOROPHYLLE

FASHION • 1060, RUE SAINT-JEAN • CHLOROPHYLLE.NET

A Quebec clothing company selling quality outdoor clothing for men, women, and children. Chlorophylle has several stores throughout the province of Quebec.

CONFISERIE C’EST SI BON

SWEET SHOP • 1111, RUE SAINT-JEAN

A delightfully small confiserie next to Café-Boulangerie Paillard, C’est Si Bon sells a variety of candies, many of them old-fashioned and hard to old-fashioned. During the Christmas season the shop transforms into a winter wonderland of candy.

GALERIE D’ART INUIT (Art Inuit Brousseau & Brousseau)

INUIT SCULPTURES • 35, RUE SAINT-LOUIS • ARTINUIT.CA

Established in 1974, Galerie d’Art Inuit features sculptures and carvings created by Inuit artists which are represented by North Canadian Inuit cooperatives. The pieces are beautiful and act as an insight into Inuit culture and heritage.

LA BOUTIQUE ARTISANS CANADA

FASHION & ACCESSORIES • 30, CÔTE DE LA FABRIQUE • ARTISANSCANADA.COM

This delightful boutique specializes in products made in Canada: clothing by Red Canoe and Australian Outback (which is a Vancouver-based company), as well as art, metal soldier, and jewelry.

LA BOUTIQUE DE NOËL

CHRISTMAS BOUTIQUE • 47, RUE DE BUADE • BOUTIQUEDENOEL.CA

The only place in Vieux-Quebec where it is Christmas all year round. La Boutique de Noël is the place to shop for ornaments both traditional and kitschy, nativity sets, Christmas villages, and more!

LA MAISON DARLINGTON

FASHION • 7, RUE DE BUADE

The oldest and most well-known wool and cashmere boutique in Quebec City. La Maison Darlington carries clothing for both men and women, as well as accessories.

LES DÉLICES DE L’ÉRABLE

MAPLE SYRUP • 1044, RUE SAINT-JEAN • DELICESDELERABLE.COM

A boutique and a museum, Les Délices de l’Érable is heaven for anyone who loves all things maple syrup. Quebec produces the majority of Canada’s maple syrup. The boutique sells more than 60 different products made of maple.

LES TROIS COLOMBES

LOCAL ARTISANALE PRODUCTS • 46, RUE SAINT-LOUIS

A boutique selling gifts made by local artisans: wood and stone carvings, furs, leather goods, wool sweaters, maple products, small trinkets, and more.

OLiV

OLIVE OILS & BASLSAMIC VINEGARS • 1187, RUE SAINT-JEAN

A boutique shop that specializes in gourmet olive oils and balsamic vinegar, OLiV is ideal for foodies who are looking for unique souvenirs. OLiV’s variety of flavours is impressive and include a chocolate balsamic vinegar — which tastes better than it sounds.

ZIBA

TURKISH RUGS, LAMPS & MORE • 34, RUE SAINTE-ANNE • ZIBAQUEBEC.COM

For over 20 years Ziba’s David ShakiBaian has been importing good quality handmade goods from the orient to Quebec. The boutiques (one in Vieux-Quebec, the other in Montcalm) sell everything from Turkish rugs and lamps to leather purses to jewellery to fabrics to various home decor pieces.

Urban Guides: Quebec City Guidebook - shop at locally owned boutiques


NIGHTLIFE

While Vieux-Quebec is not known as a hotspot for bars and discothèques, Vieux-Quebec Nightlife offers a few bars and pubs within the old city that are worth visiting. Pubs can be found along rue Saint-Jean, as well as a small selection of bars. Once you have hit up the nightlife scene in Vieux-Quebec, we suggest venturing into Saint-Jean-Baptiste, or Grande Allée and Montcalm for more lively venues.

1608 WINE & CHEESE

BAR • $$ • 1, RUE DES CARRIÈRES • 418.692.33861 • OPEN: MON-THURS 4PM––12AM, FRI-SUN 12PM––1AM

A small wine and cheese bar located inside Château Frontenac, 1608 features dark wood panels, fireplaces, a semi-circle bar, and views of the Saint-Lawrence river. The wine list is extensive, and the cheese selection superb – they have their own cheese cave! A lovely upscale evening choice.

BAR SAINTE-ANGÈLE

BAR • $ • 26, RUE SAINTE-ANGÈLE • 418.692.2171 • OPEN: MON-WED 8:30PM––11PM, THURS 8:30PM––12:30AM, FRI & SAT 8:30PM––3AM

One of the BEST dive bars in Quebec City – and we all love a really good dive bar – Bar Sainte-Angèle is a small and quaint and delightfully French. The décor is rustic, boarding on being worn out, the live music is energetic, and the locals are extremely entertaining.

CHEZ TEMPOREL

CAFÉ-BAR • $ • 25, RUE COUILLARD • 418.694.1813 • OPEN DAILY 9AM––9PM

A café tucked away from the tourist crowds, Chez Temporel is located down rue Couillard, and is a popular café with locals – and tourists who wander off-the-beaten-track. While it is first and foremost a café, Chez Temporel has a small bar and extra seating on a second level. If you are looking for a local drinking scene, start here, then venture to bars that are open later.

PUB IRLANAIS CHEZ MURPHY’S

PUB • $$ • 1095, RUE SAINT-JEAN

A new Irish pub to Vieux-Quebec, Chez Murphy’s is a microbrewery with communal seating and views of lively rue Saint-Jean. The menu features flatbread pizza cooked in a stone pizza oven, as well as other popular pub foods. The atmosphere is vibrant, thanks in part to live musical performances.

PUB SAINT-PATRICK

PUB • $$ • 1200, RUE SAINT-JEAN • PUBSAINTPATRICK.COM • 418.694.0618 • OPEN: MON-THURS 11:30AM––12AM, FRI & SAT 11:30AM––3AM, SAT & SUN 11:30AM––12AM

The most popular Irish pub in Vieux-Quebec, Pub Saint-Patrick has a large outdoor patio in summer and at least two bars set-up inside. There is plenty of seating, and at a time it can feel like you’re inside a cave – which means you will probably not have cell reception. A great choice for Irish fare, and a pint or two.

PUB SAINT ALEXANDRE

PUB • $ • 1087, RUE SAINT-JEAN • PUBSTALEXANDRE.COM • 418.694.0015 • OPEN DAILY 11AM––3AM

An English pub, Saint-Alexandre is known as one of the liveliest pubs in Old Quebec. The menu features traditional English pub fare, and they have an impressive scotch collection. Pub Saint-Alexandre is also known for their extensive live music program. If you want a crazy fun night in a pub, this is our pick in Vieux-Quebec.


SLEEPING

Vieux-Quebec Hotels vary in quality and style; from charming Bed & Breakfast to comfortable hotels, boutique hotels to luxury hotels. Finding a place to lay your head in Old Quebec is not difficult – unless you are trying to book at the last minute, then it can be a little more of a challenge.

This page is definitely not a complete listing of the accommodation options in Vieux-Quebec.

AU PETIT HOTEL

BED & BREAKFAST • $$$ • 3, RUELLE DES URSULINES • 418.694.0965

A small hidden gem in Vieux-Quebec, Au Petit Hôtel is charming, and budget-friendly, with rooms as low as $55/night in the low season (up to $150/night in high season). The hotel is in a quiet area of Vieux-Quebec and requires a minimum stay of 2 nights. Parking is available for $8-$12 per night, and breakfast is $2.50 per person.

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MAISON HISTORIQUE JAMES THOMPSON

BED & BREAKFAST • $$ • 47, RUE SAINTE-URSULE • 418.694.9042

Once the home of James Thompson (he built the house in 1793), a fortification expert with the British Army, Maison Historique James Thompson is not only a piece of Quebec history but a charming bed and breakfast.

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AUBERGE DE LA PAIX

HOSTEL • $ • 31, RUE COUILLARD • 418.694.0735 • AUBERGEDELAPAIX.COM

Tucked away from the crowds, Auberge de la Paix is steps away from Pub Saint-Patrick. There are 8 dorm rooms and 5 private rooms; the hostel includes breakfast, wifi, and has a fully equipped kitchen.

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AUBERGE INTERNATIONALE DE QUÉBEC

HOSTEL • $ • 19, RUE SAINTE-URSULE • 418.694.0755 • AUBERGEINTERNATIONALDEQUEBEC.COM

One of two hostels located in Vieux-Quebec, Auberge Internationale de Québec has several rooms, a large communal dining area, kitchen, laundry, and free wi-fi. A fabulous hostel for budget travellers, who want to make new friends and spend their money on experiences, rather than accommodations.

Compare Prices: Booking.comHostelworld

AUBERGE DU TRÉSOR

HOTEL • $$––$$$ • 20, RUE SAINTE-ANNE • 418.694.1876 • AUBERGEDUTRESOR.COM

A small hotel located above Restaurant 1640, Auberge du Tresor offers views of Château Frontenac and Vieux-Quebec. The rooms are contemporary in style and quite comfortable.

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AUBERGE SAINT-LOUIS

HOTEL • $ – $$$ • 48, RUE SAINT-LOUIS • 418.692.2424 • AUBERGESTLOUIS.CA

An affordable little hotel located on rue Saint-Louis, a five-minute walk from Château Frontenac, the rooms at Auberge Saint-Louis has recently been renovated and have a simple modern-contemporary feel. During the summer months, breakfast is included but costs $10 per person during the low season. Parking available for $16 per day.

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HÔTEL ACADIA

HOTEL • $$$ • 43, RUE SAINTE-URSULE • 418.694.0280

Warm rooms with exposed stone walls, fireplaces, and beds with crisp white linens, Hotel Acadia is a good choice for those looking for a mid-range hotel in a quiet area of Vieux Québec.

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HÔTEL CLARENDON

HOTEL • $$$$ • 57, RUE SAINTE-ANNE • 418.692.2480 • HOTELCLARENDON.COM

Built in 1870, Hotel Clarendon on the corner of rue Sainte-Anne and rue des Jardins is a charming hotel with a popular Jazz bar and a gourmet restaurant.

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HÔTEL MANOIR VICTORIA

HOTEL • $$$$ • 44, CÔTE DU PALAIS • 418.692.1030 • MANOIR-VICTORIA.COM

A boutique hotel on Côte du Palais, Hotel Manoir Victoria is a contemporary hotel with insanely comfortable beds, a pool, spa, and is home to Chez Boulay. The hotel is a short walk (uphill) from the train station, and just off rue Saint-Jean.

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HÔTEL DU VIEUX-QUEBEC

HOTEL • $$$$ • 1190, RUE SAINT-JEAN • 418.692.1850 • HVQ.COM

One of the more eco-friendly hotels in Vieux Québec, Hotel Du Vieux Quebec is a newly renovated boutique hotel is a favourite among visitors. Rooms are a good size with good beds, good wifi, and a spacious common room.

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LE MONASTÈRE DES AUGUSTINES

HOTEL • $$$––$$$$ • 77, RUE DES REMPARTS • 418.694.1639 • MONASTERE.CA/EN/ACCOMMODATION

Hôtellerie d’Expérience au Monastère des Augustines offers two room types: Authentic rooms with wrought iron beds and basic solid wood furnishings, and contemporary rooms that offer more modern furnishings while still keeping the hotel’s simplistic decor theme. All stays include vitality breakfasts, access to the museum and heritage site, as well as access to common rooms for relaxation. A heavenly oasis in the heart of Vieux-Québec.

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Urban Guides: Quebec City -- our favourite locally-owned hotels!


POPULAR RESOURCES

  • Québec City Travel Planner: Search through our handy travel planner for information on everything from driving routes, taking the train, when to visit, how to get around and more!
  • Urban Guide Québec City guidebook: Discover the local food and culture of Québec City in this guidebook focused on promoting local artisans, producers and businesses. Explore popular neighbourhoods, or embrace the local side, both are represented in this guidebook on Québec City.
  • Great Canadian Bucket List by Robin Esrock: A travel writer based in Vancouver, Robin has travelled throughout Canada collecting one-of-a-kind travel experiences –including some spectacular ones in Québec! One of our favourite books for travel adventures in Canada.
  • Champlain’s Dream by David Hackett Fischer: Written by a Pulitzer Prize-winner, Champlain’s Dream is a captivating read about the man who established the colony of New France, and considered to be the father of Québec. A tome worthy of any book collection.
  • Québec: The Story of Three Sieges by Stephen Manning: Understanding some of the key battles in Québec’s history is one of the best ways to begin to understand the mentality of Québec, and the relationship between French and English. This book is one of the best in terms of the major battles that helped to shape Québec’s future.
  • Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny: A local favourite, Louise Penny crafts a captivating murder mystery set in Québec City. Book six in her Chief Inspector Gamache series, you don’t need to read the first five to enjoy this story which will take you through some of our favourite places in Old Québec.
  • An Essential Winter Packing List: Planning to visit Québec City during the winter months? Make sure you pack these items for a warm and fun trip!
  • Winter Bucket List: 40+ Things to See & Do: The air may be crisp, and the ground may be covered in fluffy white snow, but there is still plenty to see and do in Québec City in winter!

 

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