Quebec City: What a Food City! (Vegetarian Style)

Quebec City blew us away with amazing vegetarian food options. See, in the past, we’ve had trouble finding vegetarian fare in some of places that we’ve travelled. For Quebec City, I researched and made reservations weeks before we left to avoid the last minute scramble to find grub (trying to find food when you’re really hungry is such a pain). The verdict?: Quebec City is one of the top food cities of my life! Some food highlights of our trip include:

Chez Rioux & Pettigrew: This place was close to our hotel and absolutely adorable. The atmosphere had a really cool “farm-to-table” rustic vibe. The butternut squash soup was amazing. The grains/veggie ball dish with date puree was also incredible!

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How adorable is Chez Rioux & Pettigrew?
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The date puree in this dish was amazing! I immediately wanted to learn to make this at home.

La Planque: This restaurant was a bit further from our hotel (we ended up taking a taxi). We were lucky enough to sit in the back with a full view of the kitchen, so we had a fun time watching the chefs at work. We told the waiter that we were vegetarian and they ended up making us a customized meal!

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Our delicious customized meal at La Planque.

Le Clocher Penché: An excellent brunch place that we found during our walk through St. Roch. We got the vegetarian plate (onion banjos, orange yogurt, crispy endive, squash pickle, and cashew) and the soup of the day – a root vegetable soup.

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Root vegetable soup at Le Clocher Penché.

My favorite restaurant of the trip was probably Légende, which was a short walk from our hotel. This restaurant was fantastic. We were told that they used all locally sourced products for their dishes. The ambience was awesome – the restaurant was dimly lit with cute string lights. We sat next to the windows watching the snow fall. We had the homemade tofu and vegetable forest (mustard vinaigrette, black garlic crumble, with enoki and chanterelle mushrooms), cricket handmade pasta (kale, oyster mushrooms, and vegetable jus), and the ricotta and flax seed cavatelli (mushroom, pangrattato, eggplant puree, and 1608 cheese). For dessert, I opted for the sea buckthorn curd, because I rarely see sea buckthorn on menus!

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Sea buckthorn curd dessert

As far as disappointing dining experiences, we had dinner one evening at Aux Anciens Canadiens. The restaurant is charming inside with its old world vibe, but the food was bland and not particularly memorable. We were later told that this restaurant mostly catered to tour groups. We were excited to try the maple syrup pie (I had even made my own from recipes online in anticipation for this trip). My pie was better, which I guess is a good thing since that means I don’t necessarily need to rush back to Aux Anciens Canadiens to get my fill.

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Quebec City: Market Time

Alright, so I’m a tad bit behind on blog updates (that’s an understatement!). To celebrate the hot weather outside, I should probably clean up and publish these Quebec City blog post drafts. Not surprisingly, I usually wish for summers in the winter and winters in the summer, so perhaps the timing isn’t so bad after all.

Here’s the thing – I might change my tune someday, but right now I love visiting snowy winter destinations. They make me feel more in the holiday spirit (although I wouldn’t necessarily turn down a Caribbean island after the holidays). 🙂 Seriously, look at this picture of Old Quebec and Petit Champlain; it screams December! (And hot chocolate and scarves and wool sweaters and warm baked goods).

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A Snowy Petit Champlain

Quebec City was lovely. I was a little afraid of the cold; believe me, it was cold. Still, there were a ton of fun things to do. Make sure to pack warm gloves! Since our hotel was in Old Quebec, we made sure to visit Petit Champlain and walk along the Terrasse Dufferin every day. There was also a German-themed Christmas village right down the road with cute snow capped food stalls and clothing/jewelry shops. If Christmas markets are your thing and one isn’t enough, there was also a market we visited during the day at the Marché du Vieux-Port de Québec in the Old Port. The Old Port Market, which was indoors and much warmer, had more in terms of food variety – mushrooms, ice wines, candies, cheeses and maple. And oh, the maple! Maple goodness everywhere.

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The German Christmas market

One of my favorite treks in Quebec City was J.A. Moisan, the oldest grocery store in North America. This photo does not do the space justice – there were shelves and shelves of local jams, honeys, and maple syrups. They had stacks of teas, chocolates, candies, hot sauces, cheeses, and spices. I took a hour to study the shelves and I wanted to bring home everything. Luckily, the airline liquid limits helped to temper my shopping spree. Still, if you love grocery stores and looking through new and interesting products (seabuckthorn jam anybody?!, I definitely recommend a stop here. We went early in the morning, just after opening, and had the place to ourselves for most of our time.

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J.A. Moisan’s tea and coffee collection

After visiting the grocery store, we spent time window shopping through the Saint Roch area. There were cafes to duck into when we needed recovery from the winter.