comptoir boreal in old quebec

comptoir boréal by chez boulay

Last Updated on October 3, 2022 by Pamela

On Côte du Palais, next to the entrance for Hôtel Manoir Victoria, is Comptoir Boréal, a small cafe operated by the team of Chez Boulay. It’s cute. I mean, the ceiling is decorated with white evergreen tree cut-outs, with black moose cut-outs hidden among them. Where there was once seating, now rests coolers and shelves filled with terroir.

Opening its doors in December 2016, Comptoir Boréal has quickly become one of my favourite cafes in Old Quebec. Visiting during a food tour in early 2017, I was captivated by the décor, and soon found myself swooning over a tarte au sucre (a mini sugar pie) with its delicate round crust and sweet sugary filling – which was, thankfully, not too sweet to enjoy!

Inside Comptoir Boréal in Old Quebec City

The comptoir is a cafe and lunch counter, and pretty much everything is delicious. As an extention of Chez Boulay, the prêt-à-manger (ready-to-eat) meals are made with wild game, fish, berries, herbs, and root vegetables common in nordic/boréal cuisine.

A small lunch menu is offered daily, consisting mostly of sandwiches, soup, and salad. It changes based on what’s seasonally available. Personally, I love popping in from time to time to see what’s new and tasty. I do, after all, live less than five minutes away.

grilled cheese with caramelized onion and brie from Comptoir Boréal
grilled cheese with caramelized onion and brie
tarte au sucre at Comptoir Boréal
tarte au sucre

Sometimes a visit to Comptoir Boréal is all about grabbing a croissant or two and a chocolat chaud or labrador tea. Everything is made fresh, and this cafe is one of the best places for chocolat chaud. Or, and one cannot forget the desserts, because if they have tarte au sucre I highly recommend buying one – it’s a classic Québécois dessert.

desserts at Comptoir Boréal
desserts at Comptoir Boréal

As I mentioned above, the cafe is quite small, with space for a short line of people, which means it can be crowded at times. Not to worry, the service is generally quick and you won’t be waiting for too long. If you’re not sure what to try, ask! Most staff speak a little English, but it’s also a good opportunity to practice your French ;).

go to comptoir boréal

where: 42 côte du palais • vieux-quebec (old quebec) • 418-380-8237 • chezboulay.com/comptoir-boreal/


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quebec city hotel recommendations

The hotels listed below are my current favourites. I have stayed in each of these properties and often recommend them to out-of-town friends and family. List this will change over time as I make my rounds through the various accommodations in Quebec City.

  • Château Frontenac – from the decorations to the overall luxurious vibe of the hotel, this is truly a magical place to sleep. The views of Old Québec and the Saint-Lawrence River help too. LGBTQIA2S+ safe space
  • Auberge Saint-Antoine – Located in Vieux-Port this luxury boutique hotel is close to the old city and offers rooms with insanely comfy beds and pretty views. LGBTQIA2S+ safe space
  • Hôtel Nomad – Located near Château Frontenac, this small boutique hotel has themed rooms, each one beautiful and luxurious in its own way.
  • Hôtel Manoir Victoria – Close to the action on rue Saint-Jean, this boutique hotel has a modern-contemporary vibe, as well as a pool and spa. A lovely base for a Christmas holiday.
  • Hôtel 71 – Across the street from Musée de la Civilization, Hôtel 71 is a beautiful boutique hotel with views of the Saint-Lawrence River and Old Québec. The rooms are spacious and the beds are quite cozy!
  • Monastère des Augustines – This former monastery is now an award-winning health and wellness retreat in the heart of Old Quebec. They also have a museum and a health-focused restaurant.
  • Château Frontenac – from the decorations to the overall luxurious vibe of the hotel, this is truly a magical place to sleep. The views of Old Québec and the Saint-Lawrence River help too. LGBTQIA2S+ safe space
  • Auberge Saint-Antoine – Located in Vieux-Port this luxury boutique hotel is close to the old city and offers rooms with insanely comfy beds and pretty views. LGBTQIA2S+ safe space
  • Hôtel Nomad – Located near Château Frontenac, this small boutique hotel has themed rooms, each one beautiful and luxurious in its own way.
  • Hôtel Manoir Victoria – Close to the action on rue Saint-Jean, this boutique hotel has a modern-contemporary vibe, as well as a pool and spa. A lovely base for a Christmas holiday.
  • Hôtel 71 – Across the street from Musée de la Civilization, Hôtel 71 is a beautiful boutique hotel with views of the Saint-Lawrence River and Old Québec. The rooms are spacious and the beds are quite cozy!
  • Monastère des Augustines – This former monastery is now an award-winning health and wellness retreat in the heart of Old Quebec. They also have a museum and a health-focused restaurant.