Quebec, aka La Belle Provence, is unlike any other province, and not just because the primary language spoken there is french! The capital, Quebec city, is now a UNESCO world heritage site. In the words of our aunt, “visiting Quebec city is like going to Europe, except you can spend your own money.” We couldn’t agree more, Aunt Sherry! It’s an old-meets-new type city, with tons of history, including the Plains of Abraham where many battles were fought that decided much of Canada’s history.
La Nourriture…aka the FOOD
Beyond Quebec city, there’s also Montreal, which is one of the most culturally diverse cities in North America. This of course makes for a very eclectic food scene. So without further ado, here are your must-eats when visiting Quebec.
Poutine is probably one of Canada’s most famous foods, and Quebec is its birthplace, showing up in snack bars across the province in the 1950s. These french fries slathered in gravy and cheese curds have become somewhat of a Quebecoise symbol, and Canada as well. Now you can find poutine all across the country and with various twist on the classic original (think: pulled pork, pizza, bacon covered, even dessert poutine made with sweet fries and covered in maple syrup and ice cream).
Aka traditional Quebecois meat pie. Depending on where you are in the province filling can change, but it’s typically minced beef, pork, or sometimes game meat encased in a flaky pie crust.
Montreal bagels are unlike any other! In contrast to the popular large, fluffy New York style bagels, the Montreal version is smaller, denser, and a little bit sweeter. Often wood-fired, these bagels are so good they really don’t require any toppings, though paired with a couple of our next must-have Quebec foods would be a match made in heaven…
Montreal Smoked Meat
Again, similar to the New York variety, but using a different process and unique spices to cure the beef brisket that gives it a flavour all its own. Other meats to try in Montreal include Shish Taouk, a local take on classic shawarma, and Haitian Tassot, a Haitian dish made with jerk goat or beef.
Eastern Township Cheeses
Seriously, Quebec has la route des fromages, which is like the wine route in Niagara except for cheese that goes across the whole province, with the Eastern Township having the most options. Quebec’s cheese scene is unique to elsewhere in Canada because young, raw-milk cheeses are legal in the province.
Tire Sur La Neige
For those with a sweet tooth, this classic Quebecois dessert is for you! Considering Quebec is a) The maple syrup capital of Canada, and b) it gets really cold and snowy there, this sweet treat is kind of a no brainer (and if you understand french, self-explanatory). It’s made by pouring boiling hot maple syrup onto fresh snow, which then turns into a soft, taffy-like candy. Really, how much more Canadian can you get than that?
Les Fetes de la Bouffe
With it’s mix of old-meets-new, it’s blend of cultures and it’s celebration of all seasons (yes, even winter!) it comes as no surprise that Quebec would have its fair share of food festivals. The following are just a tiny sample of different events that take place across the province every year.
For three days every August, Montreal hosts a culinary fair that gives visitors a chance to see the province’s best chefs in action, participate in over 250 tastings and visit over 50 different exhibitors. For more information click here.
Festival de la Poutine
Of course Canada’s [arguably] most famous food will be given it’s own festival! Head to Drummondville at the end of August for great music, a family-friendly vibe and of course all the poutine you could possibly desire. Click here for more details.
Les Delices d’Automne
This 4-day agrifood event in Trois-Rivieres is not to be missed! With no entry fee, all you have to do is purchase tickets on a rechargeable card and you can sample all of the tantalizing products vendors have to offer. Learn from the best during the many free chef demonstrations, or sit back and watch the pros at work during the chef competitions- it’s like a choose-your-own food edventure…sign us up! Learn more here.
Carnaval de Quebec
Ok, so this is not specifically a food festival per say, but winter carnival in Quebec is the true Canadian experience, and of course that will include all the delicious carnival food. Seriously, this is one event you need to have on your bucket list. Click here for more details.
Quebec is a mecca for music, art, culture, and food in Canada. Old Quebec City almost feels like you’re in Europe, and the meats and bagels in Montreal make this province a must-visit for anyone traveling throughout Canada. Vive la belle provence!