Summertime in Quebec


Rachel and I just got back from 8 days in Quebec City and Montreal — there’s so many photos we took of the sights we saw and the food we ate, that’s it’s too much for one post. But here’s some highlights of our favorite things.

Quebec City, as seen from the 10th floor of the Hilton facing the old city and Esplanade Park.

Summertime is the best time to check out Quebec. Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more.

The walls and citadel of Vieux Quebec.

Rue St. Jean in Old Quebec is where a lot of the tourist and restaurant action is.

The national dish of Quebec is Poutine, which is French Fries topped with fresh cheese curds, a beef-based gravy, and your choice of optional toppings. This one has steak hache on it (hamburger). Every eatery in town has their own version of poutine, with their own distinct gravies and toppings.

A Canadian-style breakfast, served at L’Accent Cafe in Quebec City.

A ham, mushroom and cheese crepe with hollandaise sauce and a poached egg at L’Accent.

Croissants

Vieux Quebec City has a distinctly European feel to it. Make sure you bring comfortable walking shoes because this city has a lot of hills.

Hills, like this.

Quebec is the largest producer of Maple Syrup in the world. Most of the tourist shops sell it in pretty glass bottles but if you want it in foodie quantities and to pay less money for it, you’ll want to buy it at a farmer’s market.

The 500ml cans go for about $7-$8 in the Quebec City and Montreal farmers markets and you want to buy the darkest grade you can find, amber at bare minimum. The light grade is for the tourists.

The farmer’s market in Vieux Port is by far the best place to buy all kinds of fruits and vegetables, as well as cheeses, meats and other food items for cooking or immediate consumption.

A picnic lunch of cheeses, locally produced ham and chorizo, berries, radishes, heirloom tomatoes and whole grain loaf.

Quebec’s Montmorency Falls as well as nearby Île d’Orléans where most of the local produce is grown should not be missed.

Montreal’s Chinatown is not big when compared to that of Toronto, Vancouver or other large American cities, but it is clean and has some very authentic restaurants.

Qinghua Dumpling, along Rue St. Laurent was one of our favorites.

This Shanghainese and Northern Chinese-style dumpling restaurant makes every batch of dumplings fresh per order, and there’s a huge variety to choose from.

Classic XiaoLongBao, or Soup Dumplings.

While we spent a lot of time in Montreal’s Chinatown due to the proximity of our hotel, the city is known for all of its ethnic cuisines. Schwartz’s is a Jewish delicatessen that specializes in Montreal Smoke Meat, which is a very close relative of Pastrami.

A classic Montreal Smoked Meat sandwich, on rye bread.

In addition to Jewish delis Montreal is also known for its unique style of bagels. Montreal bagels, such as the Fairmount bagel shown here, are about half the size of New York bagels and have a slightly sweeter dough.

Here’s the oven at St. Viateur, which has been pumping out bagels and other wonderful baked goods since 1957.

We also had a chance to try Tunisian cuisine for the first time at the tiny La Goulette cafe in Montreal. Like Moroccan food this North African cuisine is centered around couscous dishes and heavily employs the use of harissa, a spicy red pepper paste.

Montreal being ethnically diverse is known for its street fairs during the summer.

This street paella was the real deal.

Summer is blueberry season in Quebec, so you’ll encounter a lot of pastries featuring them.

But of course, you can just eat them all by themselves.

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