Where to begin, again? It was so good the first time, we had to go back. We decided that going over the Canada Day weekend worked out best. Getting to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday in one of Canada’s oldest cities was something not to be passed up. There were many things that were part of the celebration. The Plains of Abraham hosted a fantastic event, featuring acts like Billy Talent and Metric. Following the concert an amazing fireworks display lit up the sky. It was certainly an amazing experience to be apart of.
Stepping away from the Canadian celebration, the beauty of Quebec City on its own deserves a second post. First off, doing something that is uniquely Canadian was enjoying some Maple Taffy, right outside of the Chateau Frontenac. So sweet!
I really don’t know where to start. This is one of those posts where there is so much to talk about and I feel the ideas bounding around in my head. As much as I want to keep things organized and flowing, I just want to get it all out!
First thing is first. This bakery, ugh. Its called Paillard. Me being the idiot didn’t snap any photos of what we ordered, but trust me, you must go there. The smell as soon as you walk in the door, or even walking past the place, is an amazing indication of what’s inside. The signs on the outside of the building share that its won the Best Croissant Award a few years running. Coming from experience, it’s certainly true. The best croissants I’ve ever had. We ended up getting breakfast one morning and a snack there another day. It is certainly a popular place as the lines can vary in length. You must go there, but be far warned. There will probably be a wait.
Exploring a place like Quebec City is pretty unique. We spent almost all of our time, with the exception of the Canada Day celebration and a trip to Montmorency falls, (Which I will get to later) inside the walls. For those who don’t know, Quebec City is a walled/fortified city. Way back in the 1600/1700’s, Quebec City was a strategic city, used as a stronghold for conquering the Saint Lawrence River. These walls were built around the city as protection. The walls are still in existence today and serve as almost a barrier in time. The architecture from the time period it was founded remains intact. The three gates into the walls are almost like portals back in time. Walking down the narrow, cobble stone streets are a reminder of a time period past.
There are two parts to old Quebec City. Upper and lower town. The upper town is the part of the city immediately inside the walls, whereas lower town is down the cliffs, closer to the Saint Lawrence. There are two ways to get down, the funicular or the stairs. Better known as the breakneck steps.
One place we did get a chance to visit was Montmorency Falls. A beautiful experience that’s only about a 10-15 minute drive outside of the city. A very reasonably priced attraction gets you a few hours of hiking and walking on the trails to the falls, and its steps down. There is a cable car to the bottom for those who don’t want to take the trek, or only want to go one way. For the more adventurous, the Zip Line across the falls is an option! Great views!
One of my constant themes, or Mantra’s maybe is: Experience Local. I didn’t go all the way to this unique town to eat at chain restaurants like McDonalds. Now, to a person who enjoys their local cocktails, there comes a time for a quarter pounder with cheese. But this isn’t it. I want to instill in anyone who is starting to explore and travel, that experiencing as much as you can from that slice of the world is key. There is cuisine and lifestyles that you may never get to experience anywhere else in the world. So why not go out on a limb and give it a shot, right? Eat and Drink local. That’s my motto.
We ate a lot. Of course, we did. This isn’t Food Travel and Vacation for nothing, right? I don’t want to make this post bore you, so Im going to highlight a few places that we visited.
What a place. Great location, in the heart of old Quebec, and a patio that is amazing. The Venison Cannelloni is what I recommend. They have Local beer on tap as well. So good!
The place with the secret sauce. This plate might not look like anything special, but it makes up for it in taste. The sauce was to die for. Certainly a secret for a reason. Super good. Great cut of meat. I had an Old Fashioned made the Canadian way with Canadian Whiskey. A great twist to a classic.
I don’t really like going to burger joints when my options are so vast. But something caught our eye, or more importantly our stomachs. The selection of burgers was great, including different combinations of toppings you really wouldn’t get anywhere else. The hand cut fries are certainly a selling feature as well! Yum!
After finishing this trip, its hard to say that we completed everything. There are still so many places that we wanted to see and eat. A city with immense history and an amazing culinary scene has the draw to go back time and time again. Thanks for a great time Quebec, We will be back!