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Neighbourhood Guide: Vieux Port

Vieux Port, Petit-Champlain, and Place-Royale, known as Basse-Ville (Lowertown) when combined, was once one of the fifth largest ports in the world. Today Vieux Port is a hub of activity in Québec City — a popular place both with locals and tourists.

In the summer months, the port fills with cruise ships, spilling thousands of cruisers into the city every year. Starting at Côte de la Montagne, Vieux Port stretches past Gare du Palais; streets filled with everything from French bistros, gourmet restaurants, antique shops, boutique hotels, outdoor patios, and galleries.

You can search for things to do, where to shop or eat or drink, just click on the appropriate tabs along the top of this neighbourhood guide.


VIEUX-PORT BUCKET LIST

 Nestled up beside Place Royale and Petit-Champlain, and just below Vieux-Québec, Vieux-Port is more known for its shopping and restaurants than its activities. That being said, there are a few activities that should not be missed: Musée de la Civilization and L’ilot des Palais being the top choices.

While the neighbourhood is quiet during the winter months, summertime is when Vieux-Port begins to buzz with activity; welcoming large cruise ships, food and beer festivals, art installations, and more.

CYCLO

BIKE RENTALS & TOURS • 289, RUE SAINT-PAUL • CYCLOSERVICES.NET • 418.692.4052

This bike shop in Vieux-Port rents bikes for 2 hours, 4 hours, 24 hours, 1 weeks, and 2 weeks. Prices start at $15 (for 2 hours) for adults, $10 for kids, and $25 for a tandem bike. If you’re unable to pick-up the bike, they will deliver to your hotel, for a fee. Cyclo also offers guided bike tours; including a 2-hour bike tour of Lower Town (Petit-Champlain, Place Royale, and Vieux Port) for $55. Book a bike tour!

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ÉCOLO CYCLO

BIKE RENTALS & TOURS • 160, QUAI ST-ANDRÉ, MARCHÉ DU VIEUX-PORT • ECOLOCYCLO.NET • 418.692.2517

Located at Marché du Vieux-Port, Écolo Cyclo rents hybrid, tandem, quetzal, and electric bikes starting at $16. Rentals are available for 1,2,3,4,6,or 8 hours. As well as 2 or 3 days. Écolo Cyclo also offers tours in Parc Jacques Cartier, Île d’Orleans, and Québec’s historic areas. Tours start at $65. Book a bike tour!

EXCURSIONS MARITIMES QUÉBEC

BOAT TOURS • 180, RUE DALHOUSIE, QUAI 14 • EXCURSIONSMARITIMESQUEBEC.COM  • 418.845.4564

Offering zodiac tours along the Saint-Lawrence River, giving visitors a unique view of Québec City, Ste-Foy, Montmorency Falls, and more. They offer 90-minute tours, as well as a 4 hour and 30-minute tours. Prices start at $55 per person. Tours operate daily from May to November and reservations are recommended at least 48 hours in advance. Book an excursion!

L’ÎLOT DES PALAIS

HISTORIC SITE  & GEORALLIES • 8, RUE VALLIÈRE • ILOTDESPALAIS.CA

A newly opened (2014) historic site, L’îlot des Palais is a fascinating historical and archaeological site that dates back to the 14th century and includes a look into what was once the Jean Talon Brewery, the intendants home, the king’s storehouse or Boswell-Dow Brewery.

Activities at L’îlot des Palais include Virtual excavations and GeoRallys (geocaching with a historic twist): Vieux-Québec for 2 hours and 30 mins; Castle, Palaces and Prisons for 2 hours and 30 mins; On the Beer Trail for 3 hours which includes a tasting; For the Holidays, a special geo-rally held during winter holidays for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Georallies cost $10 per adult, plus $10 for the GPS rental. 

GARE DU PALAIS

TRAIN STATION • 450, RUE DE LA GARE DU PALAIS

Built in 1915 by the Canadian Pacific Railway, Gare du Palais, like many of the buildings erected by the Canadian Pacific Railway, was built in a château-style similar to Château Frontenac. A beautiful historic building with vaulted ceilings and a gorgeous stain glass ceiling in the lobby.

MUSÉE DE CIVILISATION

MUSEUM • 85, RUE DALHOUSIE • MCQ.ORG • ADMISSION: ADULTS $16, SENIORS $15, STUDENTS $10, YOUTH 12-16 $5, CHILDREN FREE • OPEN: TUES-SUN 10 AM – 5 PM

Featuring over 125,000 artefacts, Musée de Civilisation has interactive displays and exhibits on local culture and surrounding societies. Guided tours are available in French and English. A perfect activity for families, or on a rainy day. Buy a museum package!

MUSÉE NAVAL DE QUÉBEC

MUSEUM • 170, RUE DALHOUSIE • NAVALMUSEUMOFQUEBEC.COM • ADMISSION: FREE • OPEN DAILY JUL & AUG: 10 AM – 12 PM & 1 PM – 5 PM

This unique museum, with extremely awkward operating hours, tells the story of the war on the St. Lawrence River, as well as the history of the Naval Reserve of Canada. The perfect spot for those who love naval history.


FOOD & DRINK

French bistros, insanely delicious Italian food, Québécois diners; Vieux Port offers a wide range of cafés and restaurants to enjoy. On a cold winter day, we can often be found lounging in Café-Bar Artefact and sipping decadent chocolat chaud; sitting along the bar at Matto71 and indulging in our favourite pasta dish; starting off the weekend with a greasy Québécois breakfast.

BOUCHE BÉE

Pizza, Sandwiches & Quiche • $ • 383, rue Saint-Paul • bouchebeetraiteur.com • Open: Mon 9 am – 2 pm, Tues-Sat 9 am – 10 pm in summer and Mon-Fri 9 am – 2 pm in winter

A bistro near Gare du Palais with a menu of pizza, salad, toasted sandwiches, quiche, and pie. Fresh local ingredients are key, and the menu changes per season.

BUFFET DE L’ANTIQUAIRE

Québécois • $ • 95, rue Saint-Paul • buffetdelantiquaire.com • Open daily: 6 am – 9 pm

A delightful little diner-style bistro serving Québec cuisine that tastes as though you’re sitting in the kitchen of a local grandmother. The menu offers a variety of Québec dishes as well as burgers, poutine, and sandwiches. Weekend brunch is very busy, so be prepared to wait in line to get a table.

BAR ARTEFACT

Café-Bar • $$ • 8, rue Saint-Antoine • saint-antoine.com • Free wi-fi

Located in Auberge Saint-Antoine, Café-Bar Artefact is decorated with artefacts dating back to the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries has comfortable seating, and one of the BEST chocolat chaud in the city.

CAFÉ DU MONDE

French • $$-$$$ • 84, rue Dalhousie • lecafedumonde.com • 418.692.4455

A Parisian-style bistro at the cruise ship port in Vieux Port, Café du Monde is known for their Sunday brunch. The regular menu features classic French dishes like beef or salmon tartar, boudin noir, and duck — among other delights.

CAFÉ LE SAINT-MALO

French • $$-$$$ • 75, rue Saint-Paul • Open daily: 11:30 am – 2:30 pm and 5:30 pm – 10:30 pm

Located near Place de la FAO, Café le Saint-Malo is a European-style bistro that serves traditional French cuisine. Bouillabaisse and the duck confit are highly recommended. A charming bistro with exposed brick walls, antiques, crisp white linens, and a terrace during the summer months.

CHARBON STEAKHOUSE

Steak • $$-$$$ • 450, rue de la Gare du Palais • charbonsteakhouse.com • 418.522.0133 • Open: Mon & Tues 11:30 am – 9:30 pm, Wed-Fri 11:30 pm – 10:30 pm, Sat & Sun 5 pm – 10:30 pm

Located inside Gare du Palais, Charbon is a steakhouse with a modern design. The menu is a mixture of steak, as well as a collection of classic French dishes.

CHEZ RIOUX & PETTIGREW

French • $$ • 160, rue Saint-Paul • chezriouxetpettigrew.com • Open: Mon-Fri 11:30 am – 1:30 pm and 5:30 pm – 10 pm, Sat & Sun 9:30 am – 1:30 pm and 5:30 pm – 10 pm

Formally known as Le Quai 19, Chez Rioux & Pettigrew is a gourmet bistro is a mixture of rustic charm and gourmet dining. Enjoy dishes like Boudin Noir, Salmon Tartar and Oysters. A lovely brunch is served on Saturdays and Sundays.

CHEZ VICTOR

Burgers • $ • 300, rue Saint-Paul, #104 • chezvictorburger.com • Open: Mon-Wed 8 am – 9 pm, Thurs 8 am – 9:30 pm, Fri 8 am – 10 pm, Sat 10 am – 10 pm, Sun 10 am – 9 pm

A bistro specializing in gourmet burgers and poutines, Chez Victor also features gourmet vegetarian burgers and a small selection of salads. The bistro is across the street from Gare du Palais, making it a good choice for a quick meal before catching a train.

LA DOMINICAINE CAFÉ-TRAITEUR

Café • $ • 217, rue Saint-Paul • Free wi-fi

A small café on rue Saint-Paul, La Dominicaine serves really good coffee, sandwiches, and salads. This café-traiteur is more of a locals hotspot and a good choice for some quiet time.

LE BRIGANTIN

French • $$-$$$ • 97, rue Sault-au-Matelot • brigantin.com • 418.692.3737 • Open: Mon-Thurs 11:30 am – 2:20 pm and 5 pm – 9 pm, Fri & Sat 11:30 am – 10 pm, Sun 11:30 am – 5 pm

Located in Place de la FAO, Le Brigantin is a small, friendly bistro with a menu of duck leg confit, lamb, sandwiches, salad, and pizza.

LE VERAVIN

French • $$-$$$ • 233, rue Saint-Paul • bistroleveravin.com • Open: Tues-Fri 7:30 am – 10:30 am and 5 pm – 9 pm, Sat 8 am – 2 pm and 5 pm – 9:30 pm, Sun 8 am – 2 pm

A charming European-style bistro serving French cuisine, majority of the menu is Gluten-Free, making it an extra special find in Québec.

LAURIE RAPHAËL

Canadian • $$$-$$$$ • 117, rue Dalhousie • laurieraphael.com • 418.692.4555

Created by famed chef, Daniel Vézina, Laurie Raphaël is now headed by his son, Raphaël. The menu features gourmet Canadian dishes created with modern techniques. A unique dining experience you will want to do over, and over again.

LÉGENDE PA LA TANIÈRE

Québécois • $$-$$$ • 255, rue Saint-Paul • restaurantlegende.com • Open: Mon & Tues 5 pm – 10 pm, Wed-Fri 11:30 am – 11 pm, Sat 5 pm – 11 pm, Sun 5 pm – 10 pm

Voted one of the best new restaurants in Canada in 2014 by enRoute magazine, Légende’s menu is inspired by the Québec’s culinary history, from the time when the land belonged to the First Nations people to today. A gourmet French-Canadian bistro that is sure to delight your taste buds.

MATTO 71

Italian • $$-$$$ • 71, rue Saint-Pierre • ilmatto.ca • Open daily: lunch 11 am – 2 pm, dinner 5:30 pm – 10 pm

Located within Hôtel 71 on rue Saint-Pierre, Matto 71 is one of the more busy Italian restaurants in Québec, and for good reason: the ambiance is energetic, the staff and friendly and knowledgeable, they have a solid base of local customers, and they serve pasta that takes like it came from an Italian grandma’s kitchen — and some of it has! Voted, by us, as one of the best restaurants in Québec City.

MILLE ET UNE PIZZAS

Pizza • $-$$$ • 363, rue Saint-Paul • 1001pizzas.ca • Open daily: 11 am – 11 pm

A popular gourmet pizzeria in Vieux Port with more pizza selections than anyone could possibly imagine; as well as a salad and a small selection of sandwiches. A very popular restaurant, all year round.

PIZZAIO

Pizza • $-$$ • 319, rue Saint-Paul • lapizzaio.com • Open: Mon & Tues 11 am – 2 pm, Wed-Sat 11 am – 2 pm and 5:30 pm – 9 pm

This popular small Italian bistro has been in business for 25+ years. The menu features pasta and pizza, as well as a small selection of salads and sandwiches. Simply delicious.

RESTAURANT L’ÉCHUADE

French • $$-$$$ • 73, rue du Sault-au-Matelot • echaude.com • 418.692.1299 • Open: Mon-Fri 11 am – 2 pm and 5:30 pm – 10 pm, Sat & Sun 10 am – 2 pm and 5:30 pm – 10 pm

A bistro serving contemporary French cuisine: tartar, steak frites, duck and so on. l’Échuade also features a brunch menu.

RESTAURANT L’INITIALE

French & Canadian • $$$-$$$$ • 54, rue Saint-Pierre • restaurantinitiale.com • 418.694.1818 • Open: Tues-Sat 11:30 am – 8:30 pm

A Relais & Château restaurant in Vieux Port, l’Initiale features gourmet French and Canadian dishes made with locally sourced produce. A fine dining experience with an intimate feel.

RESTAURANT SSS

French • $$-$$$ • 71, rue Saint-Paul • restaurantsss.com • Open: Mon-Fri 11:30 am – 2:30 pm and 5 pm – 10:30 pm, Sat & Sun 5 pm – 10:30 pm

A sort of sister restaurant to Toast!, Restaurant SSS (Simple Snack Sympathique) has a lounge as well as a restaurant, the menu is French, with options for vegetarians, celiacs (Gluten-Free). Salmon tartar is recommended.

RESTAURANT TOAST!

French • $$$-$$$$ • 17, rue Sault-au-Matelot • restauranttoast.com • 418.692.1334 • Open: Mon-Thurs 6 pm – 10:30 pm, Fri & Sat 6 pm – 11 pm, Sun 6 pm – 10:30 pm

An intimate restaurant serving fine French cuisine, Toast! is located in Hôtel Priori. The menu features foie gras, bison tartar, lamb, and other French delights.


SHOPPING

Vieux Port is the go-to neighbourhood for antique aficionados and art lovers; wander along rue Saint-Paul to shop for antique treasures, then over to rue Saint-Pierre for antiques and art. Visit Marché du Vieux Port and shop for fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as local products.

GALERIE MICHEL GUIMONT

Art Gallery • 273, rue Saint-Paul • galeriemichelguimont.com • 418.692.1188 • Open: Tues-Sat 11 am – 5 pm, Sun 1 pm – 5 pm

An art gallery showcasing contemporary pieces by Québec and Canadian artists. The gallery also features a selection of modern pieces.

L’HÉRITAGE ANTIQUITÉ

Antique Shop • 109, rue Saint-Paul • 418.692.1681

A delightful little antique shop specialising in porcelains, ceramics, oil lamps, and wooden furniture craft in Québec. Items are a little more refined than those in other antique shops on rue Saint-Paul. Prices are sometimes high, but bargains can be found.

LA NOVELLE FRANCE ANTIQUITÉS

Antique Shop • 225, rue Saint-Paul • 418.694.1807 • Open: Mon 10 am – 5 pm, Tues-Thurs 11 am – 5 pm, Sat 10 am – 9 pm, Sun 10 am – 5 pm

One of many antique shops in Vieux Port, this particular shop specializes in pine furniture, as well as 19th-century collectables, and folk art.

LA PETITE GALERIE JAUNE

Art Gallery • 209, rue Saint-Paul • 418.742.6828 • Open: Tues-Sun 10 am – 6 pm

Unique pieces of jewellery created by Devesh Kumar. Pieces are handmade with silver and gems or precious stones. Designs are beautifully intricate.

MARCHÉ DU VIEUX PORT

Farmer’s Market • 160, Quai Saint-André • marchevieuxport.com • 418.692.2517 • Open: Mon-Fri 9 am – 6 pm, Sat & Sun 9 am – 5 pm

A fabulous market selling goods from local producers and artists; in the summer the market is filled with local producers selling everything from fish to vegetables to fruit to charcuterie to wine. In the winter the market becomes a Christmas market and features local produce and products popular in winter; including locally produced maple syrup.

ROBERT LANGLOIS, JOAILLIER

Jeweller • 105, rue Saint-Paul • robertlanglois.ca • 418.265.8485

An incredibly talented jeweller in Québec, Robert Langlois creates exquisite pieces from gold, silver, precious gems or pearls. Among his services: custom-made jewellery, repairs, and refurbishing old jewellery into new pieces.

SCHWARZ COLLECTIONS EUROPEENNES

Fashion • 191, rue Saint-Paul • 418.781.0835

A boutique selling fine clothing for women, Schwarz Collection Europeennes has a fabulous selection of clothing from Canada, as well as clothing imported from Europe. A favourite boutique among both locals and tourists.

 

NIGHTLIFE

LE PUB

Pub • $-$$ • 37, Quai Saint-André • leportroyal.com

The pub at Hôtel Port-Royal has an eclectic homey feel, with exposed stone walls, and a mixture of retro and industrial furnishings. They have a small menu that serves traditional pub fare, and a very large outdoor patio. Pints start at $7.50 and cocktails start at $7.25.


SLEEPING

AUBERGE SAINT-ANTOINE

4-star Hotel • $$$-$$$$ • 8, rue Saint-Antoine • saint-antoine.com • 418-692-2211

A boutique hotel in Québec’s Vieux Port neighbourhood, Auberge Saint-Antoine by Relais & Châteaux is locally owned and operated, and one of the best boutique hotels in Québec City. The hotel is known for their displays of historical artefacts, which were discovered during the building of the hotel. The hotel features newly decorated rooms, a fine dining restaurant, Panache, as well as a fitness centre and spa.

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LE SAINT PIERRE, AUBERGE DISTINCTIVE

4-star Hotel • $$$-$$$$ • 79, rue Saint-Pierre • auberge.qc.ca • 418.694.7981

An elegant hotel on rue Saint-Pierre, the rooms at Le Saint-Pierre, Auberge Distinctive have a contemporary country feel with grey sofas and pale yellow country-style wood furniture. The hotel has a small dining room, a library with a fireplace, a spa, and fitness centre.

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HÔTEL 71

4-star Hotel • $$$-$$$$ • 71, rue Saint-Pierre • hotel71.ca • 418.692.1171

A beautiful boutique hotel on rue Saint-Pierre, Hôtel 71 is located across from Musée de Civilisation, inside what was once the National Bank of Canada’s head office.  The hotel has contemporary-style rooms, fitness centre, and bikes for rent.

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HÔTEL DES COUTELLIER

3-star Hotel • $$-$$$ • 253, rue Saint-Paul • hoteldescoutellier.com • 418.692.9696

Located on rue Saint-Paul, not far from Marché du Vieux-Port, Hôtel des Coutellier has comfortable rooms, many with exposed brick walls, and offers guests a continental breakfast which is delivered to their room each morning. The hotel is also home to a gourmet restaurant, Légende.

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HÔTEL LE GERMAIN QUÉBEC

4-star Hotel • $$$$ • 126, rue Saint-Pierre • germaindominion.com • 418.692.2224

Owned by the Germain family, Hôtel Le Germain Québec is the heart of family’s hotel business. The rooms are modern contemporary in design, with insanely comfortable beds. A fitness centre is available for guests, and the lounge is warm and classical and a wonderful spot for relaxing or meeting with friends.

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HÔTEL PORT ROYAL

4-star Hotel • $$$-$$$$ • 144, rue Saint-Pierre • leportroyal.com • 418.692.2777

A hotel with rustic-contemporary designs, Hôtel Port Royal is also home to Quai 19 and Le Pub. Among the hotel’s amenities, guests will find a 24-hour gym, laundry/dry cleaning, and massage therapy.

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HÔTEL LE PRIORI

3-star Hotel • $$ • 15, rue du Sault-au-Matelot • hotellepriori.com • 418.692.3992

A small boutique hotel on Vieux Port’s walking street (Sault-au-Matelot), Hôtel Le Priori is home to the famed Restaurant Toast!. Rooms are comfortable, and Art Deco in style.

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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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