Quebec City’s “French charm” has always been hard to resist—and with very good reason. The French language is not the only thing our founding nation has passed on to us: Quebec’s cuisine has inherited a lot from France too. The many outstanding bakeries dotting the city center may be the most obvious evidence of this fact. Test your will by strolling along Rue Saint-Jean or Rue Saint-Joseph: it won’t be long before the aromas entice you to come in and have a taste. Perfect croissants and freshly baked bread provide the perfect sustenance as you explore Quebec City’s cobblestone streets and beautiful vistas, or stroll through the Old City. Whether you’re looking to grab a quick breakfast, buy fresh-filled sandwiches for a picnic, or indulge in sinfully decadent pastries, the following addresses are guaranteed to please even the most demanding gourmands. Bring your appetite—and a loose-fitting pair of pants.
La Boîte à Pain
This bakery is a favorite of local workers who line up at lunchtime to get a ficelle, an individual slender baguette garnished with classic or creative ingredients. Also offered are soups, quiches, and salads, along with huge croissants and delicious breads. Some of city’s best restaurants buy their bread here.
Picardie Délices et Gourmandises
Its pretty terrace alone, right on one of the city’s best shopping streets, Rue Cartier, makes Picardie worth a visit, but regulars come back for the delightful buttery pastries, the selection of cheeses and cured meats, and the local and imported gourmet products on offer, such as jams and olive oils.
Paillard is a favorite of visitors due to its location, right in the heart of the Old City. Communal tables, classic bistro chairs, high ceilings, made-to-order sandwiches, and colorful pastries all add to the Parisian flair of the place, and the fact that they make the prettiest croissants in town doesn’t hurt either.
Au Pain Grüel
A hidden gem in the Saint-Jean-Baptiste neighborhood, Au Pain Grüel makes its breads using a wide variety of organic flours—wheat, rye, spelt and many more—and carefully selected ingredients, such as fruits, nuts, and even chocolate, if you’re lucky. Specialty breads are offered on rotation according to seasons.
This large bakery and pastry shop—which features a dining area with several tables that allow customers to eat on site—makes one of the city’s widest ranges of pastries, cakes, breads, and ready-to-eat dishes such as soups, quiches and pizza slices. Sorbets, gelati, macarons, fine chocolates, and truffles are all house made too.