72 Hours in Québec City
What time of year you choose to visit Québec City depends on the type of experience you want to have. We traveled in late spring when the light showers and misty rainfall fed the lush green lawns in the park and bouquets of flowers throughout the city. Had we arrived a few weeks earlier, we would have been able to visit a Sugar Shack and see maple syrup extracted fresh from the trees and dine on hearty breakfast fare in a rustic log cabin or “Sugar Shack.” A few weeks later, in the heart of fruit and produce season on Île d’Orléans, we would have been in heaven on the farms and eating beautiful fresh strawberries the region is known for. And to visit in the fall…I can only imagine how spectacular leaf season or the fall grape harvest would be in this part of Canada.
With so much to do in Québec City and the surrounding region, you must make time to have a proper meal and dine in several of the excellent restaurants in the city. That’s one of the main reasons we travel. To fully experience the culture of a region, you need to experience the food, and better yet, experience the food with people from the area. So we did.
You may have heard of Poutine, Québec City’s famous dish of cheese curds, French fries, and rich brown gravy. Not particularly a springtime dish, we tried our fair share of the hefty Poutine at different spots around the city and not to mention, many versions of the original recipe. No famous dish can go without a chef or two adding their own twist on traditional ingredients and preparations.
As you would expect, there are plenty of French boulangeries (or bakeries) in Québec City. Pallaird in the Old City with a true Parisian ambiance, Panetier Baluchon (downtown Québec), Pâtisserie Praline et Chocolat (Marche du Vieux-Port de Québec) for pastry and homemade gelato, Eric Borderon (whose French baguettes are considered the best in the city), and Au Pain Grüel, which makes all of their breads by hand using traditional ancestral methods. We have been to known to travel to France for the sights and smells of fresh baked goods and French butter. Québec City is much closer and every bit as inviting.