Hôtel Québec - Centre-Ville
Hôtel Québec - Centre-Ville

It is not surprising that there is so much great Quebec food to taste given that the province has a four-century-old French cultural legacy. This picturesque Canadian province’s French cuisine is inspired by both its history and climate. After spending the day exploring the cobblestone alleys of old Quebec City, the chilly, snowy winters call for some substantial Quebec cuisine. In this weather, calorie counting is unnecessary.

Whether you prefer a sweet treat or something savory, Quebec’s authentic food and burgeoning culinary scene has everything. The most popular Quebecois food items that you’re likely to find on the menus of restaurants in Quebec City are listed below.

15 Best Quebecois dishes

Poutine

Poutine, which consists of French fries with cheese curds and a rich gravy sauce, is arguably Quebec’s national food. It is believed to have originated in the dairy town of Warwick in 1957, when a diner asked for French fries and cheese curds to be served together. Taking one look at the dish, he called it “poutine”, which is Quebecois slang for “mess.”

These days, you can find poutine on the menus of gourmet restaurants as well as roadside trucks on city streets and along motorways. For something a little unusual, you may occasionally find toppings like pulled pork, chorizo, or foie gras.

Crêpes

The paper-thin pancakes known as crêpes have long been popular in France and Belgium. They traveled to Quebec with French explorers, but they are often a little thicker in Canada than in Europe. Traditional Quebecois crêpes are created with milk, flour, and eggs, cooked on a billig, and then turned into savory dishes as well as sweet treats.

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Bagels

Bagels are a staple of Montreal’s culinary scene and were first introduced in the city by Jewish immigrants from Canada. Many people believe they are superior to their American counterparts since they are smaller and lighter than those found in New York. 

There have always been tons of places in Montreal that specialize in bagels, many of them baked over a wood fire in front of the seating area. Following Montreal’s lead, Quebec City now boasts a number of eateries that serve bagels, many of which are popular amongst locals and tourists alike.

Smoked Meat

Like the bagel, smoked meat, a form of spice-cured beef brisket, is another Montreal dish that can be attributed to the Jewish community. Many delicatessens in the city sell rye bread topped with smoked meat and mustard, but Schwartz’s Montreal Hebrew Delicatessen is the best-known because it has been cutting meat since 1928. 

Their ploy? The flavor is only improved by an 80-year-old brick smokehouse and a 10-day curing time. As in the case of bagels, smoked meat has become practically a fixture in the Quebec City restaurant scene. The city boasts a number of top-quality eateries that are known for their smoked meat, such as Phil Smoked Meat and La Fabrique du Smoked Meat.

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Tire sur la neige

Tire sur la neige is a soft candy that is meant to be consumed right away. It is made by pouring hot maple syrup directly onto fresh snow. It is available at sugar shacks all around Montérégie and the Laurentians, and indulging in this delectable dessert is a mandatory component of every trip to Quebec City. 

Tourtière (Meat Pie) 

Tourtière, a traditional meat pie that is a mainstay of Christmas reveillon and New Year’s Eve feasts, is one of Quebec City’s most well-known delicacies. Typically, it is filled with potatoes and ground pig, veal, or beef, though occasionally wild game is also used. 

While tourtières from Lac-Saint-Jean are famed for having a thicker crust, you might even find them with salmon if you travel to Quebec’s coastal regions. In reality, when Quebec was still a French town, it is thought that the tourtière was born here.

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Couscous

Although not as multicultural as Montreal, Quebec City is home to many immigrants from all over the French-speaking globe, including those from North Africa. As a result, Moroccan, Tunisian, and Algerian cuisine is extremely well-liked across the city. 

A dish that is immensely popular here is couscous, which consists of steamed durum wheat semolina grains covered in a spice-infused stew of meat and vegetables. Be on the lookout for one of the several couscouseries that have appeared throughout the city.

Tassot

The province of Quebec has a vibrant Haitian community, which has contributed a great deal to its culinary landscape. Quebec City is no exception, as is evident from the many Haitian eateries that can be found there.

Chief among these contributions is tassot, a dish in which goat or cow meat is marinated in onions, orange juice, and lemon juice before being fried to a crisp brown. Tassot is frequently served with rice and fried plantains.

French Onion Soup

This classic French dish, known locally in Quebec as soupe à l’oignon, is thought to have originated in 18th-century Paris. Some sources even claim that it dates back to the Roman Empire. It is typically cooked with beef broth, caramelized onions, croutons, and melted cheese on top. 

You can discover many versions of French onion soup in Quebec City. Some of these involve the addition of red wine or ale to the broth, while in others baguettes are substituted with croutons and so on. 

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Soupe aux pois (Pea Soup) 

Another well-known dish from Quebec is ‘’soupe aux pois’’ or pea soup. It is made with dried yellow peas, salted pork, and vegetables. Around 400 years ago, the French explorer Samuel de Champlain is thought to have brought it to Quebec. 

Most families in the province have their own unique pea soup recipe because it is such an integral element of the local cuisine. It is a standard item on sugar shack menus and it is frequently served during the holiday season.

Cretons

Cretons, a cold meat dish cooked with ground pork, onions, spices, and pork marrow, is similar to French rillettes. It was once popular with French Canadians exercising in the woods, but it is now a standard breakfast item in Quebec. In the morning, locals enjoy spreading it over toast and perhaps adding maple syrup.

Tarte au Sucre (Sugar Pie) 

This single-crust pie is as sinfully sweet as its name suggests and is made with cream, flour, eggs, and brown sugar. At times maple syrup is used. Although it has a more gritty texture than its European cousins, it is believed to have its origins in the dessert pies baked by early French and Belgian immigrants. Throughout Quebec City, stores, bakeries, and dining establishments serve tarte au sucre.

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Bûche de Noël (Christmas Log) 

This cake in the shape of a log is a staple of Quebecois Christmas feasts. The yule log custom is believed to have started in the 12th century when a log was burned to fend off bad spirits after being sprayed with wine and oil. 

The French had turned it into an edible form by the 19th century. Although cooks are continuously experimenting with different flavors to make it their own, the most classic bûche de noel is a sponge cake that is filled with buttercream and rolled.

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Sucre à la crème (Tablet) 

Sucre à la crème is a rich Quebecois confection made with sugar and milk. At times, butter and vanilla are added. It is the ideal treat for anyone with a sweet tooth and, unlike fudge, it often has a grainy texture.

Pâté chinois 

Pâté chinois is the Quebecois equivalent of Shepherd’s Pie, although it may also provoke arguments if the layers aren’t eaten in the right order or if exotic ingredients are used. In a traditional pâté chinois, the bottom layer is usually meat (sometimes with onions), followed by corn, mashed potatoes, and occasionally paprika on top. 

Many claim they can’t eat pâté chinois without drizzling ketchup on it because it’s a childhood favorite of most Quebecers. You’re probably wondering where the “Chinese” in the name comes from. It is believed that Chinese cooks who worked for British employers used to bring pâté chinois to French-Canadian railroad workers.

Where to Stay in Quebec City

In this stunning part of the world, travelers of all kinds are welcome. Meandering through cobblestone alleys and visiting the most important historic sites, you can immerse yourself in the city’s great past, unique atmosphere, and European charm before relaxing in a luxurious hotel room.

You can fully experience the diversity of Quebec’s distinctive, dynamic culture thanks to the many activities and attractions offered all year long. French and English-speaking locals will be happy to share their passion for the city with you as you go through the city’s different tourist sites.

Your ideal home away from home in Quebec City is Best Western Plus. We value your needs and work hard every day to satisfy them. In our hotel, you will find: 

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