Looking to book a Quebec City food tour? You’re in the right place.
The province of Quebec has traditional food that is unique to the rest of Canada; based on both French and North American cuisine. Quebec City is a ‘foodie’ town where you can indulge in French Canadian cuisine. There are a few different food tours offered right in Old Quebec.
I’m going to share with you which tour I believe is the best and why, but also, what you should keep in mind when booking any of the food tours in Quebec City.
As a French-speaking Canadian, I’ve grown up on Quebec-inspired food. I’ve been lucky to sample and try many versions of Quebecois food, and go on several food tours in Quebec City. There are a few different ones to choose from, and a few important things to keep in mind.
So, let’s dive in – everything you need to know before booking a Quebec City food tour.
The Best Quebec City Food Tour
Here is the best of all the Quebec City food tours, and what sets it apart from other tours
To me, this is what is important in a food tour:
✅ It’s based around the food.
✅ Being able to try food from different establishments, not just from the same place
✅ There’s a variety in the types of food
✅ The food is good quality
With that in mind, here is the best Quebec City food tour:
The best thing about the Quebec City Food & Drink experience is that its focused on the FOOD, and a good variety of it. You make stops at some of the city’s best restaurants and trying Quebec’s most iconic, traditional foods – pea soup, poutine, pâté, and more.
With this tour, you visit some of the best and most popular restaurants in town, such as La Bûche, Chez Paillard and BEClub Bistro; among others.
This 3-hour daytime tour will give you a culinary experience as well as convey some interesting historical tidbits as well. They can also accommodate dietary restrictions, which you can let them know of at the time of booking.
Book the Quebec City Food & Drink Experience here
3 Things To Know Before Booking A Quebec City Food Tour
Here’s what you will notice if you look at your Quebec City food tour options carefully
1. Many of them don’t take place in Quebec City
If you look at the Quebec City food tour options, you’ll see that quite a few of them actually don’t happen in Quebec City, but in Ile d’Orléans instead.
Ile d’Orléans is 15 km from Old Quebec (a 20-30 minute drive, depending where on the island you’re going.) Ile d’Orleans is known for its farming and its sweet shacks, which is why there are many tours that take place there.
So, when you book your Quebec City food tour, be sure to take note of where its taking place.
2. They require a “moderate” level of physical fitness
Most of the food tours are, well, a tour. There’s some walking involved.
Personally, I think the word ‘moderate’ is a bit of an exaggeration. You’re not going to be running or physically exerting yourself. But you do need to be able to walk comfortably from place to place in order to participate in most Quebec City food tours.
The tours are also generally not wheelchair or stroller friendly, which is why they ask for a standard level of physical ability.
3. They are geared primarily towards adults
Most food tours are more suited to an adult audience, because you need to be open and willing to try new things. Plus, you need to listen to someone talk about the food, as well as any interesting history about the area (which can sometimes get boring for young children.)
Most Quebec City food tours have a minimum age of 13. Generally, if you want to bring an infant, it is allowed provided they can sit on your lap. There is only one Quebec City food tour that accepts paid participants from the age of 2 years old. They pay 1/4 of the price of an adult ticket.
Looking for Quebec City foodie experiences for the whole family? Here are 15 of the best family-friendly Quebec City restaurants that are just as welcoming to kids as they are delicious!
2 Other Good Food Tours in Old Quebec
If the doesn’t grab your attention, here are the other food tours in Quebec City (not New Orleans) that may interest you
This is a history walking tour as well as a food tour. Your guide will show you some of the most historically prominent landmarks in Old Quebec (a total of 6-8 depending on the interests of the group) and you’ll be making stops at top restaurants.
Receive one course plus one drink at each restaurant that you visit.
The cost includes all your food, a knowledgeable guide, a history walking tour and a funicular ticket.
Book the Combo Historical and Food Tour in Old Quebec City here
Unlike other Quebec City food tours, this one takes place in the early evening. On this tour, you get a guided tour of Old Quebec before being able to enjoy a 5-course meal of traditional Quebecois foods paired with wine.
Cost includes a 5-course meal, a short history walking tour, a funicular ticket, and a knowledgable guide.
Book your Evening Gourmet 5-Course Dinner here
Food to Try on a Quebec City Food Tour
Here are some of the main food that Quebec City is known for that you’re likely to encounter on a food tour, regardless of which one you choose
Poutine is my all time French-Canadian dish; its the ultimate Canadian comfort food. I make poutine at home, but the best kind is found in Quebec City. (Even though I’m usually seeking out vegan versions of the dish.)
Poutine consists of French fries layered with warm gravy and cheese curds. You eat it with a fork. Its a great sit-down meal, but also makes a good take-away snack.
Paté Chinois is a French Canadian dish that is similar to the Shephard’s Pie. Its believed to be invented in Canada in the 1930s, but there is some mystery to how it came about.
Its name means “Chinese paté,” because of the believe that it became a dish during the time when Chinese people were building the Canadian Pacific Railway. The Chinese were fed very cheap food consisting of ground beed, corn and potatoes.
The legend told is that the Chinese used these ingredients to come with a delicious dish combined with spices, and the French Canadians adopted it. Now, you can find Paté Chinois on several Quebecois menus. (It is sometimes just called “meat pie”.)
Charcuterie is French by origin, and therefore widely embraced in Quebec cuisine. You’ll see charcuterie options on many Quebec City food tours and restaurants.
Québécois Pea Soup
The pea soup in Quebec is savoury and hearty, and made of either green or yellow peas. Its very comforting, especially in the cold months. It dates back to a time when the new settlers in Quebec had to make do with very little supplies shipped from Europe.
Quebec takes a lot of its culture from France, so you can find many French-style bakeries in Quebec City making things like croissants, pain au chocolat, and other pastries.
A Quebec City food tour will bring you to the bakery that they’ve determines makes the best quality and you’ll be able to try a house-made, soft, buttery croissant.
Quebec meat brisket is a popular dish that you can find at many restaurants.
Flambé means “flamed” and it involves some alcohol being poured on a cooking dish which makes a brief fire, which is short lived (so it doesn’t burn the food) but adds to the texture and flavour. Flambé is done on both savoury dinner dishes and desserts.
During the tours, they often do the flambé right in front of you which is fun to see.
Québécois wine or gin
Quebec wines are made with grapes that are able to withstand cold winter temperatures. There are about 40 different varieties of grapes that are grown in Quebec.
Quebec also has many brands of its own gins. If you’re gin person, then check out Ungava. Its a premium award-winning Canadian gin made in Northern Quebec.
Most Quebec City food tours offer the opportunity to try Quebec wines or gins included in the cost.
Fun Fact: Did you know that there is a Quebecois gin that changes colour? Panoramix gin bicolore changes from blue to a purply pink when it’s mixed with an acidic ingredient (lemon, lime, citric acid tonic).
Best Places To Stay
Here are the best places to stay during your food tour in Quebec City. These places put you clos
Budget: Auberge International de Quebec Located right in Old Town, this hostel has both dorms, and private rooms
Mid-Range: Hotel Manoir de l’Esplanade A historic, stone-wall building right in Old Town with breakfast included
Luxury: Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac There are two superb restaurants located right in the Chateau, as well as the best views of Old Town and everything within reach
Quebec City Food Tours FAQs
Here are the most commonly asked questions about visiting and enjoying the food in Quebec City
What food is Quebec City known for?
Quebec City is known for its poutines, which are unofficially considered to be the Quebec’s national dish. Like many popular snack foods, the poutine was created by accident – in rural Quebec in the 1950s. Today, there are countless restaurants in Quebec City where you can find the most mouthwatering poutine.
Do I need Canadian dollars in Quebec City?
Yes, you need Canadian dollars in Quebec City as Quebec is apart of Canada. However, many establishments may accept U.S. dollars at an exchange rate – you’ll be given Canadian dollars in change. You can also pay by credit card at most places in Quebec City.
Is 2 days enough in Quebec City?
Two days is enough to see most of the Old Town attractions in Quebec City. If you want to venture outside the city to see things such as Montmorency Falls, the Aquarium, then I’d recommend spending at least 3-5 days in the area.
Which month is best to visit Quebec?
Fall and summer are the best times to visit Quebec. The weather is nice, and there are a lot of festivals happening around the city at those times. Christmas is also magical in Quebec City, as long as you don’t mind the cold.
Conclusion: Quebec City Food Tours
Quebec City food tours generally run year round, as Quebec City is a popular place to visit almost every month of the year. Every month of the year, there are festivals in Quebec City – quite a few of them are centred around the food scene.
Many of the Quebec City food tours involve somewhat of a historical tour as well where you’ll be shown some of the most historically significant landmarks, such as Place Royale, the funicular, and the Dufferin Terrace -so if you were thinking of doing a walking tour as well, I’d book the food tour first and then choose a walking tour that doesn’t have too much overlap.
By now you’re well prepared and informed on taking a food tour in Quebec City. I hope that all of this information is helpful to you in choosing the best food tour to suit your vacation and your taste buds.