Quebec City may seem fairly quiet, but don’t be fooled into thinking it’s staid. There are quite a few cool places to have a drink (or two) and plenty of fun after dark here.
Most of the city’s nightlife is concentrated along rue Saint-Jean and Grande-Allée in the Upper Town, and rue Saint-Joseph in the Lower Town—with each area attracting a different crowd. Locals blend with tourists along rue Saint-Jean; a more dressed-up clientele and those who feel like dancing head for Grande-Allée; twenty- and thirty-something hipsters gather with anybody else who wants to have fun on rue Saint-Joseph. Although most bars are open seven days a week, the biggest crowds turn out at the end of the week (between Thursday and Saturday). Whatever your style of club or drink you prefer, be prepared for a late night—bars stay open in this city until 3:00 a.m. And if you overindulge, minimize your next-day hangover by ending your evening like locals do—with a plate of salty, gooey, carb-filled poutine.
Le Sacrilège instantly makes visitors feel like regulars. The space is tight and rowdy, the atmosphere is laid-back, the service is friendly, and the drinks are cheap. A packed events calendar offers a mix of hockey nights, DJ sets, live performances, and art exhibitions. The small inner-courtyard terrace is a popular hang-out spot.
This multidisplinary space is equal parts restaurant, bar, and exhibit space. By hosting performing artists, DJs, and music shows, it caters to a diverse crowd that includes everyone from families to hipsters. The food is a draw, too. The chef supports the “nose to tail” movement and his menu features top quality ingredients, prepared in creative and affordable dishes. They go perfectly with the list of house-created cocktails and carefully curated wine list. Sunday brunch is a favorite of local families: kids eat free and enjoy special activities organized in partnership with local organizations.
Smack in the middle of Grande-Allée, Maurice Nightclub attracts a chic set that’s ready to flirt, dance, and drink the night away. Experienced DJs know how to excite the crowd, and changing music themes intertwine the latest and biggest hits. Upstairs, the Charlotte Ultra Lounge caters to a more sophisticated, pleasantly sedate clientele.
A literal hole-in-the-wall hidden in a small street of the Old City, Bar Sainte-Angèle is a cozy pub where locals and visitors mix to chat, drink, and sometimes listen to live jazz music (performed by musicians sitting only inches from the crowd). The place is known for its long list of classic cocktails served in pitchers. Surprisingly reasonable prices make you forget you’re sitting in the most touristy part of the city.