A fun Food Walking Tour in Quebec City

A fun Food Walking Tour in Quebec City

A taste of France while in #Canada is exactly what I had when I visited #Quebec. Heavily influenced by the French, this city has all things bright and beautiful to offer its visitors. From a wide variety of savoury treats and selection of fine #wines, there is no doubt why Quebec stands out!


Hi Frugalistas! Regular readers will know that I love exploring food when I travel. One of my favourite ways to explore food is to take a food walking tour. You get to spend a few hours with a local, eat food you wouldn’t dare taste otherwise (anyone remember my sheep’s head or chicken pudding in Istanbul?), and go into food places you definitely wouldn’t find on your own. So when I was organising my visit to Canada a food walking tour in Quebec City was definitely on my agenda.

If you thought it was all about maple syrup, read on!
If you thought it was all about maple syrup, read on!

Starting my Food Walking Tour in Quebec City

Meeting my fun and interesting guide, Simon from Tours Voir Québec, we headed to our first destination, La Cremaillere in rue Sainte-Anne. Our first tasting is dessert, yep, dessert. An Italian pannacotta. Not very Quebecois, but made with local cream it’s delicious. The word cremaillere is a new one for me. It turns out to mean two things: the cross bar used to hang pots over a traditional open fire stove, but it also means a housewarming. So warm and welcoming when you know that.

Heading Into rue St-Jean

Rue St-Jean is one of the foodie centres of central Quebec City. So that’s where we focus the rest of our visit. And it’s here Simon really hits his straps as a guide. Turns out he’s a real wine connoisseur, and with a couple of exceptions, we are going to be enjoying paired wines and dishes for the remainder of the food walking tour in Quebec City. Heaven! My own personal wine critic to escort me through the maze of Canadian wine…..

he’s a real wine connoisseur, and with a couple of exceptions, we are going to be enjoying paired wines and dishes 
J A Moisan a traditional nineteenth century epicerie in rue St-Jean
J A Moisan a traditional nineteenth century epicerie in rue St-Jean

Our first stop on rue St-Jean is Tournebroche. Featuring all local ingredients (including beehives on the roof and their own vegetable garden), and a menu made entirely on the premises, this is exactly the sort of restaurant I love. 

Featuring all local ingredients; including beehives on the roof and their own vegetable garden

We tried a wild boar and duck fat terrine, paired with a local white wine. The wine is made from the vandal cliché grape, a local hybrid. We discussed food, waved to the chef/owner (hard at work in the open kitchen) and explored the cellar.

All local at Tournebroche
All local at Tournebroche

At Les Delices de l’Erables they specialise in everything maple syrup. Not just the syrup mind you, but tarts, pastries, cakes, drinks and even sorbet. In addition to tasting a range of maple syrups. Yes, we tasted maple syrup. In fact we tasted lots of different styles of maple syrup. But for me the biggest highlight is getting to roll (and taste) my first snow taffy. What’s it like? Apart from being very cold, it’s a bit like treacle, but reminds me more of the Australian golden syrup (a lighter version of treacle).

Normal for Canadians, but exciting for me – making snow taffy!
Normal for Canadians, but exciting for me – making snow taffy!

After our maple syrup tasting we headed to the very groovy Ninkasi micro brewery for a complete change of pace. I’d heard micro breweries were big in Quebec, so I’m delighted we are going to one. On a sunny Sunday afternoon the outdoor terrace is definitely the place to be – it’s full. So what are we tasting? Gingerbread. Yes, a ginger-bread flavoured beer called “Resolution” that was created for winter and new year. It takes me back to German Christmas markets. Even if you don’t drink beer, this one is a winner. I drink it all…….

A ginger bread flavoured beer called “Resolution” that was created for winter and New Year
My resolution is to drink more gingerbread beer!
My resolution is to drink more gingerbread beer!

We hadn't eaten for at least 20 minutes now, so it’s just as well our next stop is Le Moine Echanson Boite a Vin. Yes, it’s a wine bar. But it’s a wine bar with a difference. Specialising in wine and food pairings, you could easily spend an afternoon just trying little share plates with accompanying wine.

The Aladdin’s cave cellar – feel free to browse and choose what takes your fancy
The Aladdin’s cave cellar – feel free to browse and choose what takes your fancy

The young waiter takes us on a tour of the (tiny) wine bar. They are particularly proud of their cellar, and I’m not surprised. It takes up a whole room of the bar and customers are free to browse the shelves and choose something rather than relying on the usual wine lists. Both Simon and I are super impressed with our cod fritters paired with a white wine from near Montreal. The fritters are so light they almost float into our mouths and are a real highlight of my stay in Quebec City.

The fritters are so light they almost float into our mouths and are a real highlight of my stay in Quebec City
Cod fritters about to float into our mouths……
Cod fritters about to float into our mouths……
We’ve had wine (twice), we’ve had micro brewery beer, so what’s next?
from  $43

Culinary Guided Tour in Quebec City

Food & Drink
 Quebec City, QC, Canada
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Cider. And if you are of French heritage, what would you have with your cider? Well, if you are from Normandy, the cradle of French cider, it would definitely be crepes. So it’s off to Billig for cheese and ham crepes and cider. Cider is quite a trendy drink now, but I don’t drink it. Too many memories of rough and ready cider in seedy pubs in my youth. I’m also not a huge fan of savoury crepes.

How wrong can one Frugalista be?

The buckwheat crepe is feather light, almost like lace. And oh so tasty. But the cider is the big surprise. It’s light and sparkling, refined, and dare I say, sophisticated. It reminds me of a light sparkling wine (a bit like the cremant I tried in Alsace). Definitely not rough and ready, and definitely no thoughts of seedy pubs here.

I’m not a fan of savoury crepes, I’m not a fan of cider. I was wrong, and wrong……
I’m not a fan of savoury crepes, I’m not a fan of cider. I was wrong, and wrong……

It’s getting late in the afternoon by this stage. Even though we’ve been walking and only sampling small dishes, I’m also quite full. So we finish our food walk the only way possible – with a tasting plate of chocolates at Erico. Yum. The great thing about Erico is they also have a “sweet” little display of chocolate making equipment. I’m very taken with a cute little tray of Easter bunny moulds.

Final Thoughts on my Food Walking Tour of Quebec City

On a sunny afternoon I loved walking and eating my way around rue St-Jean. The neighbourhood itself is quite edgy the further you delve into it. That means the food is great, and the vibe is fun. Everyone we met was truly passionate about their offering, and loved sharing their knowledge with us.

the food is great, and the vibe is fun
Walking rue St-Jean on a sunny afternoon
Walking rue St-Jean on a sunny afternoon

Simon was tremendous fun and great company. His experience and knowledge of wine really added to my tour, and I think we talked and laughed as much as we ate and drank.

I’ve done a number of food walks, and this one ranks right up there

As they say in French “Sante!”

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