Not too enamored with souvenir shops full of tacky plastic mementos? Experience has taught me that very few of the mass-produced baubles sold in such shops are unique to the place I am visiting. I often prefer going to a local grocery store to bring back a sauce, a spice, or a condiment that I can’t find at home, or I’ll hunt out an artisan’s shop where I might find a unique handicraft to help me recall my travels forever.
It is in this spirit that I have compiled the following list of recommendations—all of which are true treasure chests filled with handmade goods and gourmet Quebec products. Look for ciders and ice wines, maple treats, indigenous or Inuit crafts, responsibly made fur products, and artisan creations. No matter what you end up tucking into your bag to take home, these shops will be sure to enthrall you and anyone else you want to spoil.
Marché du Vieux-Port
As the city’s main public market, the Marché du Vieux-Port serves as a year-round pantry for locals as well as one of the best places for edible souvenirs. Look for maple products (straight from the producers), ice ciders and preserves, and artisan treats. The market’s tasty restaurant serves affordable meals made with produce sold at the market.
Métiers d'Art du Quebec
Conseil des métiers d'art du Quebec is an organization that brings together talented artisans who produce crafts and handmade products to sell at a yearly trade show. It also runs two shops, one of which is located in Quebec City’s Old Port. Here you will find jewelry, decorative objects, kitchen tools, fashion accessories, toys, and works of art from local artists that will make sure-to-be-cherished gifts.
Boutique du Musée de la Civilisation
This museum boutique is set in a historic vault dating back to 1751. It sells memorabilia from the museum’s exhibitions, but you’ll also discover creations from local artists here—including jewelry, edible souvenirs, and paper products, as well as clever toys, posters, books, and postcards.
Magasin général P. L. Blouin
If you need to visit a traditional Quebec City souvenir shop, this is where you should come. Modeled along the lines of an early-century general store, Magasin Général P. L. Blouin sells an eclectic mix of Quebec-made knick-knacks and antique reproductions, along with customary souvenir store offerings like magnets, pens, and t-shirts.
Délices de l'érable
Granted, this maple-focused shop sells its products at a premium price, but its central location, array of treats, and a museum that explains the process of maple-sap harvesting and transformation will please travelers who don’t have time to visit an authentic sugar shack. Maple-infused juices, coffee drinks, ice cream, chocolates, and desserts are also served on site.