UPDATE: The Coop les Grands Rangs has closed its doors. Click here for more info.
I was asked recentlyby Exclaim! to put together a top five of my favourite spots in Quebec City. So, I put together a list of places where you can find something exciting or unusual about Quebec City. A place with a distinctive character. Great spots to bring your teenager along.
Gallerie Morgan Bridge Gallery (367 rue du Pont) **NOW CLOSED
This underground, urban art nucleus is a small version of a local artist-oriented gallery. It features vibrant, audacious and mostly unknown talents. AVIVE (Patrick Beaulieu) and PisHier (Pierre Girard) are two of their more recognized artists, and often there to welcome you. GMBG is where you’ll get a snapshot of the city’s mystifying stream of consciousness while chumming-up with its street artists. (morganbridge.ca/home)
Le Cercle (228 Saint-Joseph E St)
A multidisciplinary complex where creativity merges with gastronomy and art. To the left is a restaurant where cooking with local foods is mandatory. Alongside the main wall of the restaurant, a near 20-feet wide screen illuminates conversations with video projections. The right side of the building is a concert venue featuring up-and-coming indie and underground artists from all over the world. The downstairs area hosts smaller, local bands as well as various expos. (www.le-cercle.ca/2010)
La Coopérative les Grands Rangs / La Luncheonette (199 rue Saint-Joseph est) **NOW CLOSED
If you want to know what la Belle Province tastes like, crafty-canteen grocery store Les Grands Rangs is your one-stop shop. This co-op is a 100 percent pure-laine Quebec concept featuring cheese, rilettes and sausages of over 80 local producers. Have a seat at the counter while Chef Eric Fontaine and his team cook you up a local favourite grilled cheese sandwich. And while you’re chomping away, have a sip of their Labrador tea infused lemonade. Délectable! (www.lesgrandsrangs.com)
Article 721 (721 3e avenue)
f you only have time for one destination, Article 721 is it. Not only will you find creative, somewhat loony T-shirt designs from Baltrakon Vêtement Tordus, unique OBV bags or some vintage accessory, but also a plethora of unique limited editions, exclusive prints, restored junk and Limoilou-style apparel. (article721.com)
La Souche (801 Chemin de la Canardière)
Within a 30-kilometre radius, there are ten microbreweries, with another one expected in the fall. The youngest, yet most effervescent is La Souche. Located near the Limoilou Cegep, you’ll find a student-friendly establishment with tasty, yet reasonably priced food. One sip of their maple syrup infused, wee-heavy scotch ale and you’ll never want to leave town. (www.lasouche.ca)
Allison Van Rassel lives and breathes Quebec City. She shares her passion for music, arts, culture and food for various media including CBC, Radio-Canada and Vtélé. She blogs about food at foodiequebec.com.