When Quebec City’s Festival D’été is in full throttle, the city’s downtown core is bursting with music lovers from all over the world. But, no matter how good the music is, you’re stomach is bound to scream its desire for food. Fear not festival goers, Foodie in Quebec City has got you covered with a list of must-eats (and drink!) during Festival d’été de Québec. In this list, you will find a variety of mostly grab-and-go destinations so that you won’t miss a note of the Festival d’été de Québec musical flavours.
Poulet Portugais, 203 St-Jean
What? You have never heard of Poulet Portugais a-ma-zing fire-grilled chicken? Nor its delicate squid salad? Oh you are going to thank me, but thank the Chef Stoyan Napoleonov! He and his creative team in the kitchen will not only introduce you to authentic Portuguese flavours, but also initiate your palate to some of the best dishes a fire-grilling oven can create. Take the time to sit down, eat, drink and be merry whilst planning your next home barbecue near the charcuteries counter. Look to your right, a little more, again, yes! You have laide your eyes on Pastel de nata, the infamous Portuguese custard tart! This sweet, flavourful, unctuous tart will become your favourite dinner party dessert. But again, don’t thank me, thank Stoyan and his family!
Le Crac, 690 St-Jean
especially for the flavour crunching sesame or barbecue tofu burgers! Along with their unique array of fresh salads, local cheese and fridges full of thirst-quenching drinks, Le Crac will soon become your darling destination for an «anytime healthy grab-and-go meal» during the Festival. I truly enjoy their Dorémi couscous salad, filled with fresh veggies. Or the artichoke hearts salad with load of tomatoes; I always grab a bottle of apple juice with this one. A great destonation on St-Jean for fresh fruit and veggies, gluten free and vegan.
Restaurant Liban, 24 rue d’Auteuil
For the past 40 years, or as far as my teenage memories can recall, Restaurant Liban has been serving one flavourful Shish Taouk. Steps away from the Place d’Youville stage, Liban is located at the bottom of d’Auteuil Street. It’s inside the fortification and right across from the Parc de l’Artillery. Your chance to eat a Shish Taouk sitting on a history-making canon in the oldest city in Canada. How’s that for blending cultures and making memories?
Jaja la Pizz, 1225 Cours du Général Montcalm
How is pizza not an excellent choice as festival food? It’s especially a brilliant idea when the pizza in question is made with one of the city’s best doughs! Jaja is located on the ground flour of the Concorde Hotel, the pillar of Grande-Allée street. Yes the one with the rotating restaurant on top. Make Jaja your destination for the quality-to price ratio, as well as the quantity-to-taste result. But there’s not only pizza! Pulled pork sundae, calamari, pasta and salads. A great variety of French inspirations with local flavours.
Frites Alors, 122 Crémazie west
Earlier this year, I sacrificed my taste buds to put together a list of my favourite poutines in the greater Quebec City area. You can read my full experience here. The experience resulted in not only gaining 10 pounds, but finding the best traditional recipe poutine that Quebec City has to offer. Well worth the extra fat! If you ask me, the Festival d’été de Québec and poutine come hand in hand. I’ve tasted 25 different poutine in the city all based on the same criteria: tradition. The best classic poutine experience you’ll get in Quebec City is at Frites Alors! on Crémazie street. Plan accordingly, and have a seat to enjoy the full cantine/dinner-like experience.
Nektar Caféologue, 235 Saint-Joseph
If you’re planning to attend a show at l’Impérial during the Festival, you can expect a line-up almost every day. Refreshments while in line? Think Le Nektar, not just for one of the best cup of «third-wave» coffee in Quebec City, but also for their frozen lemonade and iced tea. Forget the heat –and especially the wait time to get inside the air-conditioned Impérial- by striking a pose holding a refreshing, perfectly tart lemon-mint infused lemonade cup. Hint: ask for a dash of strawberries! Nektar’s iced tea is also a must and made with Camelia Sinensis’ tea; my gut feeling and papilla tell me it’s the best iced tea in town, but I have yet to finish my taste test on this one. Open until 9 pm during the Festival d’été.
Deux 22, 222 Saint-Joseph
It isn’t a boutique, it’s a restaurant. It isn’t a restaurant, it’s a boutique. Actually, it’s both! Saint-Roch newest resident is serving beer and tacos all day long, until 3 am! Finger food delights, with fresh Mexican flavours with Farnham’s beer on tap. Grab a few tacos, enjoy their private, isolated backyard terrace with friends before a show, or make it your after hours destination while peeking over at the latest fashion trends. But, if it’s shopping you want, you’ll have to come back to Deux 22 during regular business hours.
Nina Pizza, 410 Saint-Anselme
Where to begin? The best pizza in the greater Quebec City area. period. Read my full review here. Nina’s is about authentic flavours, quality of ingredients in a respectable quantity that shine resting on a «Royale» dough; as in Pulp Fiction «Royale with cheese» sense of pronouncing the word😉 A dough kneaded by hand and cooked to order. A must not just during the Festival d’été, but year round. Rumour has it the owners are about to open a gelato counter in Saint-Roch, non-existent in that sector of town.
Ôm Prana, 241 Saint-Joseph
Healthy is always the answer. Om Prana is the healthiest option you’ll find in the greater Quebec City area. Soup, sandwiches, juices and desserts all made with the highest instance of well-being in mind. Taste and flavours are never set aside; the ideal environment to introduce your palate to vegan food, cheese made from nuts and energy drinks made from real ingredients. And energy you’ll need for the Festival d’été de Québec.