Old Quebec City is magnificent. It is like a tiny piece of Europe has been transplanted onto north America. There is nothing else comparable in any American city I have visited, and it is truly unique. It is a cultural site on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, which is a well-deserved recognition. The Chateau Frontenac, the centerpiece building of Quebec City, is perhaps one of the most photographed buildings in North America. Although not as old as much of Old Quebec, the architectural style fits extremely well.
My wife and I had an absolutely wonderful 5 nights and 4 days visiting this winter. We chose to cook for ourselves most of the time during our stay, since we booked a studio apartment through AirBnb, but we ate out on three occasions. Two of these restaurants were fantastic, and both were located in Old Quebec.
The first was Bistro Sous le Fort in the lower part of Old Quebec. Just steps from beautiful Petit Champlain Street, the Funiculars, and the Levis ferry, the restaurant was exactly what we were looking for on a cold winter day. My wife ordered a red deer medallion steak served with blueberry sauce, and I ordered and elk burger with brie. Both were first rate. The service was good and the atmosphere was perfect. The seating in the restaurant was limited to probably only 24 people, and, combined with the brick walls and fireplace, it was very cozy. The price tag on the meal was about $50 USD, with no appetizers, alcohol, or dessert, and including tax and tip. Bistro Sous le Fort is currently #26 on TripAdvisor among restaurants in Quebec City.
The second restaurant was Chez Boulay Bistro Boreal in the upper town, along Rue Saint Jean. I looked the place up beforehand on TripAdvisor, mainly looking for a menu that my wife could handle due to a strict diet, and it looked very promising. I would return later to see that it is rated #12 among all restaurants in Quebec City, and deservedly so! We ordered both an appetizer and dessert since this was going to be one of the few gastronomic splurges that we were going to have on the trip. The appetizer was arctic char carpaccio, followed by the restaurant’s classic blood pudding duo for me and a steak with vegetables and creamed squash for my wife, and choux pastry with maple cream for dessert. My wife unfortunately could not enjoy the final item.
I tend to order dishes that are unique, new (to me), ethnic, and/or regional when traveling. I had never had carpaccio, blood pudding, or choux pastry, and all were excellent. When I asked the server for advice after narrowing down my choices to 2-3 items for each course, she always pointed me in the perfect direction. The flavor and presentation of everything was exceptional.
I have rarely enjoyed a dining experience that rivals this one. The service was excellent, the food amazing, and the overall experience is unforgettable. The bill set us back $80 USD after tax and tip, which is an exceptional deal considering the experience. If you are ever in Quebec City, give both of these restaurants a try. I am sure you will not be disappointed!