There’s so much delicious, healthy food in Quebec, Canada. Try these restaurants and markets for affordable locavore food in Quebec City.
Quebec City is one of my favorite vacation destinations. It’s just six hours from my home in Massachusetts, and it feels like a European city. The architecture and old world charm make me think I’ve stepped back in time. French is spoken everywhere you go in Quebec City, and I love trying to bring back my high school French when I interact with the locals.
Much of Quebec’s produce is grown on nearby Ile D’Orleans, so many of the restaurants in the city are able to use locally sourced ingredients on their menus. We found many affordable markets and restaurants during our recent visit to Quebec. It’s way more than just crepes and poutine, although we did enjoy both during our travels!
Locavore Food in Quebec City
There are several high end locavore restaurants in Quebec City, but we were on the lookout for lower priced options that didn’t compromise quality. These are some of the best affordable restaurants we found during our recent visit.
Marche Vieux Port is a great place to start in Quebec City. This market is full of vendors selling local produce as well as artisan products made in Quebec. We had breakfast at Cuisine du Vieux Port one morning, and we were impressed by the quality of the egg dishes as well as the prices.
Boulangerie Premiere Moisson is a delicious pastry shop that also serves a handful of healthy egg sandwiches. The prices are affordable, and local ingredients are highlighted on their menu. This boulangerie was near our hotel on the outskirts of the city, so we were happy to enjoy a quick breakfast here one morning before we set out for Vieux Quebec.
Le Chic Shack is a fun burger spot right across from Chateau Frontenac. We loved our meal here, which included great burgers on local artisan rolls, locavore salads, maple potato chips, and homemade soda. My husband gave high praise to the veggie burger. The location couldn’t be better, and this restaurant isn’t touristy despite being in the center of so much activity.
Cafe-Boulangerie Paillard offers healthy counter service meals in Upper Town. Everything is made in house, and they’re known for their bread. I had a unique tuna sandwich that included hard boiled eggs, tomatoes, and lettuce. It was definitely a step above a normal tuna sandwich, and it was big enough to split for a light meal.
Panache Mobile is a great affordable alternative to the higher end locavore restaurants in the city. Located at a vineyard on Ile D’Orleans, it’s definitely worth the 15 minute drive from the city. Many of the ingredients are sourced right on the island. I enjoyed a cleansing meal of cold cucumber soup and a seasonal salad. My kids loved the grilled cheese with apples and bacon. It’s hard to believe you’re so close to the city when you look out at the beautiful landscape from this terrace dining spot.
La Souche is a brewpub off the beaten path that features locally sourced food in addition to beer made in house. We went here for dinner on my husband’s birthday. The menu was only in French, but our server spoke English and helped us through the different options. We went with comfort food here, including pizza, fish and chips, and poutine. Everything was very tasty, and my husband loved the beer.
JA Moisan is the oldest continuously running grocery store in North America. It’s a fun place to stop for unique local products, and they have lots of hot and cold lunch options. The prices were surprisingly low, and my family enjoyed our sandwiches and meat pie. We were lucky to grab one of the few tables here, but you can also take lunch to go.
Where to Stay in Quebec City
We’ve been to Quebec City twice, and we’ve had two different lodging experiences. Depending on what you want to do during your visit, each has its advantages.
During this trip, we stayed at the Courtyard by Marriott on Rue de Rocailles. This new hotel has many great amenities. The rooms are spacious and clean, the beds are very comfortable, and the pool was a hit with the kids. Le Commissariat, the restaurant on site, offers a delicious breakfast menu. We had a great meal here on the morning of my husband’s birthday, enjoying the Eggs Benedict and crepes. Parking at this hotel is self-serve and free, so it was easy to get in and out for all the different stops we had on our itinerary. It’s about a 10 minute drive to the tourist attractions in Vieux Quebec.
Hotel Manoir Victoria is another good option if you’re looking to spend most of your time in Vieux Quebec. The rooms are comfortable and the hotel is located right in the heart of things. We stayed here several years ago, and we were able to walk to most of the tourist sites. The main downside of staying right in Vieux Quebec is that parking is difficult and expensive. You won’t have easy access to your car, so this hotel is best if you aren’t interested in exploring other parts of the area.
Quebec City Between Meals
Vieux Quebec is the historic section of the city, full of charm and history at every turn. It’s divided into Upper Town and Lower Town, with the two sections connected by a large enclosed elevator, the Funicular. You can easily spend a few days exploring this area. Some of our favorite spots include the Chateau Frontenac, the Citadel, and the Musee de la Civilisation.
To see a bit more of Quebec City, a bus tour is a great idea. We enjoyed the hop on/hop off double decker bus, Les Tours du Vieux Quebec. This brought us to different parts of the city we hadn’t explored before, and being outside on the open air upper level of the bus gave us great views of this beautiful city. We also ventured out on a boat tour with Croisieres AML, which is a wonderful way to see the city from a different angle. It took us all the way up to Montmorency Falls and Ile D’Orleans, offering beautiful views of the falls as well as the city.
The Plains of Abraham offer a lovely green space in the Vieux Quebec area. We took a 45 minute bus tour with an animated tour guide (“Abraham”), and learned about the historic battle between the British and French that took place on this spot. It’s now a serene park where families can get away from the hectic pace of the city.
And for a day trip, we headed north. In the morning, we visited Montmorency Falls and walked across a bridge over the falls. This is a stunning spot that attracts a crowd of tourists. After lunch on Ile D’Orleans at Panache Mobile, we headed further north to Canyon Sainte Anne. This canyon also boasts a beautiful waterfall as well as several adventure activities, and it’s less crowded than Montmorency Falls. We loved the Air Canyon Zipline, which took us right over the waterfall. My husband and kids also did the Via Ferrata, a mountain climbing experience. They were so brave to scale a small section of the side of the canyon, and they were rewarded with a second zipline over the water. These experiences aren’t cheap, but they’re a fun splurge for a special occasion.
We’re so lucky to have Quebec City nearby, and we can’t wait to visit again soon!
Disclosure: My family was hosted by Quebec Tourism, as well as many of the attractions in the area. All opinions are my own.