Best Quebec City Cafes

5 Best Cafes in Quebec City

Last Updated on December 24, 2023 by Pamela MacNaughtan

My love for the cafes in Quebec City has everything to do with architecture, interior design, ambiance, thirst-quenching beverages (coffee & tea), and good food.

I’m often lured into a cafe based on its architectural details or interior design elements, but it is the ambiance, coffee/tea, and food that will determine whether or not we will return. In smaller cities, we are usually attracted to the ambiance or the promise of rich hot chocolate, interesting tea selections, good food, or all of the above.

Cafés in Quebec City, much like the city itself, straddle an invisible line; a small selection of boutique cafes mixed in with ones that are focused on ambience and good quality products.

here are my favoutie cafes in quebec city!

saint-henri micro-torréfacteur

Best Cafes in Quebec City: Saint-Henri micro-torréfacteur in Saint-Roch
Saint-Henri micro-torréfacteur in Saint-Roch

Saint-Henri micro-torréfacteur is a 20-minute walk (downhill!) from my apartment in Old Québec. The cafe is large with communal tables and floor to ceiling windows, strong wifi, my favourite tea (Labrador tea), and delightfully fresh artisanal donuts.

A popular spot with locals, and the tourists who happen to wander into the neighbourhood of Saint-Roch, I almost always visit this cafe in the morning shortly after they open (7 am), staying until lunchtime–not every day, of course, I need to spread the love around–and then venturing to another cafe down the street.

If you’re a coffee addict, I’m told their coffee is a third wave and quite good.

The tea selection is good, and their chocolat chaud (hot chocolate) is rich and delicious. While the donuts are a must, they also have croissants, savoury scones, salads and panini sandwiches – all of which are made onsite.

lgbtqia2s+ safe space


lgbtqia2s+ safe spacewhere: saint-roch – 849, rue saint-joseph est

la maison smith (smith café)

Chocolat chaud (hot chocolate) at La Maison Smith in Place-Royale
Best Cafes in Quebec City: La Maison Smith in Place-Royale

I was introduced to La Maison Smith during my first visit to Québec City in 2013. At that time there was one location (Place Royale), and I made a point of stopping by for a croissant and chocolat chaud every time I was in the city. The location in Place Royale is perfect: along the edges of the square that overlooks 17th & 18th-century buildings and Notre-Dame-des-victories, one of the oldest churches in North America.

The two locations in Old Québec are, of course, quite close to my apartment and I can usually be found at the one on rue des Jardins–unless I have been in Saint-Jean-Baptiste, then I’ll visit their location on rue Saint-Jean before going home for the day.

I love that La Maison Smith sells croissants (and other pastries) made at Paillard, as Paillard is way too crowded with tourists and I rarely go there now. I am also in love with their chocolat chaud, it is rich and delicious and makes my tummy dance with joy.

In recent months, the café has been rebranded to Smith Café.

lgbtqia2s+ safe space

lgbtqia2s+ safe spacewhere: place-royale – 23, rue notre-dame • old quebec – 9, rue des jardins • old quebec – 1141, rue saint-jean

chez boulay comptoir boreal

Best Cafes in Quebec City: Comptoir Boreal in Old Quebec City
Tart au sucre at Comptoir Boreal in Old Quebec City

A new addition to the cafes in Old Québec City, Comptoir Boréal is more of a “counter” than a cafe, but this little gem on Côte du Palais is a lovely little spot for a quiet cup of tea, hot chocolate; or for indulging in a sweet treat or light lunch.

A companion to Chez Boulay, a gourmet restaurant specializing in boréal cuisine (wild game, berries, herbs, and other ingredients found in Northern Canada), Comptoir Boréal continues the restaurant’s theme.

When I visit, it is usually in the morning when the croissants are fresh and warm and the atmosphere too quiet. While their hot chocolate is delicious, I tend to order a pot of Labrador Tea and do a little work.

lgbtqia2s+ safe space

lgbtqia2s+ safe spacewhere: old quebec – 42, côte du palais

mælstrøm cafe

Cocktail bar at Maelstrom Cafe in Saint-Roch, Quebec City
Best Cafes in Quebec City: Maelstrom Cafe in Saint-Roch, Quebec City

I love spaces that have multiple uses, like Mælstrøm cafe in Saint-Roch which is a cafe during the day, and a cocktail bar at night–and a delicious brunch hotspot on the weekends! One of the many reasons this is one of the best cafes in Québec City.

Tucked in a quiet corner of the neighbourhood, I love walking down and spending the morning or late afternoon at the cafe. The floors are worn and full of character, the walls are exposed brick, the bar area has white subway tiles, and the tables and chairs are a mish-mash of colours and styles.

Coffee addicts will love the cold brew coffees and cocktails, but, of course, I come for the hot chocolate (that is my addiction, in case you have not figured it out yet). The cafe offers a light lunch, as well as healthy snacks that tend to be vegetarian or vegan-friendly.

lgbtqia2s+ safe space

vegan options available

cocktail bar at night

lgbtqia2s+ safe spacewhere: 181, rue saint-vallier est

cafe pékoe

Best Cafes in Quebec City: Cafe Pékoe in Saint-Roch
Cafe Pékoe in Saint-Roch

Another of our favourite cafes in Québec City, Cafe Pékoe specializes in tea. That being said, they also have a selection of coffee available.

In summer, the cafe sets up a small patio area outside, but sitting in their window seating inside is just as satisfying. A lovely spot to do some work, enjoy a pot of tea and possibly have a snack. I’m a fan of their hummus banh mì sandwich. Yum.

vegan options available


where: 433, rue saint-joseph est