Located outside the old city walls, Grande Allée and Avenue Cartier in Montcalm are the go-to streets in Québec City for those wishing to party the night away in a bar or discothèque; music thumping around their bodies, yummy drinks tickling their taste buds, and greasy comfort food just steps away for those needing a post-drinking snack. Of course, the bars and discothèques are not the only reason to spend time in Grande Allée and Montcalm.
A mixture of tourists and locals flock to both Grande Allée and Montcalm; bistros, discothèques, bars, a cigar club, boutiques and a couple cafés; this area of Québec City is also home to the largest green space in the city, the Plains of Abraham, and the beautiful Jardin Joan de Arc.
Each year, Québec City is alive with vibrant festivals, many of which will make their way to Grande Allée and parts of Montcalm.
In summer, I love spending time on the patio of a café or bistro, enjoying the sunshine; and let’s not forget the various stages that are set-up during Festival d’été de Québec – the largest outdoor music festival in Canada. When friends come to visit, I’ll take them to Hôtel du Parlement for a free tour, and perhaps to lunch at Bistro B on Avenue Cartier or Jack Saloon on rue de la Chevrotière.
Make time to enjoy the cosmopolitan nature of Grande Allée and Montcalm. Party the night away, and then eat gooey poutine out of a foil pan at Chez Ashton – and remember to have a pair of comfortable shoes tucked in your handbag for the walk back to your hotel at the end of the night!
THINGS TO SEE + DO IN GRAND-ALLÉE & MONTCALM
Walking along rue Saint-Louis, and through the Saint-Louis gate into the neighbourhood of Grande Allée and Montcalm; home to museums, nightclubs and bars, gourmet food, shopping, cafés, and one of the most important historical sites in Québec City. Escape the throngs of tourists in the old city and enjoy the Plains of Abraham, visit a museum or gallery, or take a tour.
On this page, you will find suggestions on Grande Allée and Montcalm activities: military, historic and religious sites; spots to Instagram (and make your friends green with envy), and more.
PARLIAMENT HILL (HÔTEL DU PARLEMENT)
Parliament Building & National Assembly • 1045, rue des Parlementaires • assnat.qc.ca • 418.643.7239 • Tours: FREE
Designed by Eugène-Étienne Taché (a French Canadian architect and civil engineer), Hôtel du Parlement du Québec (Parliament Building) was built from 1877 to 1886. Home to the Parliament of Québec: Lieutenant-Governor and the National Assembly; Hôtel de Parlement du Québec is a stunning building with 22 statues of major people in the province’s history decorating the façade.
Take time to admire the parliament building’s gorgeous façade and gardens before venturing inside for a free walking tour. Find out more about the guided tours here. After your tour, spend some time exploring the gardens, admiring the National Assembly Library, or enjoying lunch at the Parliment’s beaux-arts dining room.
MUSÉE NATIONAL DES BEAUX-ARTS DU QUÉBEC
Art Museum • 179, Grande Allée Ouest • 418.643.2150 • mnbaq.org • Admission: Adults $22 CAD
One of our favourite Montcalm activities is to spend a morning or afternoon at Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec (MNBAQ); is there anything more relaxing than fine art followed by a delicious gourmet meal? Yes, at MNBAQ one can admire fine art created by local and international artists, as well as enjoy a gourmet meal at the museum’s restaurant. You can also enjoy a café au lait or light snack at the museum’s café, which is located in an old jail. While it is possible to visit for an hour or two, we suggest spending half a day admiring the exhibits inside, and outside the museum.
LE MUSÉE DES PLAINES D’ABRAHAM
Museum • 835, avenue Wilfred-Laurier • lesplainesdabraham.ca • Admission: Adults $12.75 CAD
Visit the Plains of Abraham museum to explore various exhibits on the history of the plains, as well as that of Québec City (once known as New France). Through the museum, you can join a walking tour of the park or a bus tour, rent snowshoes in winter, or enjoy musical performances in summer. An ideal stop before exploring the various points of interest within the park.
OBSERVATOIRE DE LA CAPITALE
Observation/View Point • Édifice Marie-Guyart • 1037, de la Chevrotière, 31st floor • 418.644.9841 • observatoire-capitale.com • Admission: Adults $14.75 CAD
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PLAINS OF ABRAHAM
Park & Historic Site • Avenue Wilfred Laurier • ccbn-nbc.gc.ca
The largest green space located in the heart of Québec City, the Plains of Abraham is not only a great place to run, cross-country ski, or enjoy a picnic; it is also the location of one of the most important battles in Québec’s history. The Battle of the Plains of Abraham took place here in 1759 between the French and the British. The battle was not long, it lasted all of fifteen minutes. The outcome, however, was pivotal as the British emerged victorious over the French, forever changing the city’s vibe.
FOOD + DRINK
While you will find national fast-food chains like McDonald’s in the old city, you won’t find any of these along Grande Allée or in the neighbourhood of Montcalm. The only ‘fast food’ restaurants you’ll find here are St Hubert and Chez Ashton, both of which are Québec institutions.
Grande Allée and Montcalm restaurants are, for the most part, bistros serving up everything from French to Italian to Spanish to Québécois cuisines. In summer, dine on the patio and enjoy the party vibe that takes over in the evenings. Some of the city’s up-and-coming chefs can be found in many of the restaurants below, so bring your appetite.
Pâtisserie & Chocolatier • Halles du Petit-Quartier • 1191 Avenue Cartier • annapierrot.com • 418.524.2662
Located inside Halles du Petit Quartier, Anna Pierrot is a high-end pâtisserie and chocolatier. Never visit if you are hungry, and love dessert, there is no way you will walk away empty-handed. This is the second location, the first is in Halles de Ste-Foy on Chemin des Quatre-Bourgeois.
ARTISAN DU PAIN
Boulangerie • 1070, avenue Cartier • artdupain.com • 418.523.7066
Every neighbourhood needs a boulangerie, and Montcalm has several – including several along Avenue Cartier. Artisan du Pain L’ is small but bakes several artisan breads, as well as baguettes, rolls. While their sign says they are also a pâtisserie, chocolatines and croissants are usually the only pastries on offer.
AUX PETITS DÉLICES
Fromagerie & Charcuterie • Halles du Petit-Quartier • 1191 Avenue Cartier • auxpetitsdelices.ca • 418.522.5154
A go-to spot along Avenue Cartier for fromagerie and charcuterie, Aux Petits Délices specializes in Québec made products. Buy cheeses like Sabot de Blanchette and some tasty dried meat and some fancy crackers to put them on. The staff are friendly and knowledgeable, and some speak both French and English (and a wee bit of Spanish).
BORDERON ET FILS BOULANGERIE
Bakery • Halles du Petit-Quartier • 1191 Avenue Cartier • artisanborden.com/fr/ • 418.521.5757
One of the several locations in Québec City, Borden et Fils is a small boulangerie in Halles du Petit Quartier. Bread is not baked in-house but at one of their other locations. That being said, the bread is fresh and delicious. Easily one of my favourite boulangeries in Quebec City!
FLORENT & FILS
Boucherie • Halles du Petit-Quartier • 1191, Avenue Cartier • florentetfils.com • 418.523.2022
Located in the back of Halles du Petit Quartier, Florent et fils specializes in meats from Québec, and the rest of Canada. Their knowledge of meat is extensive, and they also create artisanal sausage. You can also visit their shop at Le Grand Marché, as well as order online.
MORENA ÉPICERIE TRAITEUR
Gourmet Food Shop • 1038, Avenue Cartier • morena-food.com • 418.529.3668
A ‘prêt à manger (ready to eat) and gourmet épicerie, Morena is a neighbourhood favourite for those looking for both Italian and French gourmet foods – everything from oils to vinegar to condiments to teas to wine and chocolate. A fine place to enjoy a café or thé, a warm croissant, and read a book or use the free wi-fi to do a little laptop work.
PÂTACI ET PATACA
Italian Food Shop • Halles du Petit-Quartier • 1191, Avenue Cartier • 418.641.0791
A épicerie specializing in Italian food, Pâtaci et Pataca sells everything from fresh pasta to oils and balsamic vinegar to olives to parmesan cheese. Anything you need for cooking a yummy Italian dish can be found here.
Fish & Sushi Shop • Halles du Petit-Quartier • 1191, Avenue Cartier • sushiunimer.com • 418.648.6212
Every neighbourhood needs a poissonnerie, where one can access fresh and delicious fish – and where said fish can be bought from someone who knows what they are talking about. If you’re not looking for fish or seafood to cook on your own, but you have a craving for sushi, they have a counter for that.
POISSONNERIE POISSON D’OR
Fish Shop • 960, Avenue Cartier • 581.300.1510
This small poissonerie is located across the street from Metro Cartier. The selection of fresh fish and seafood is excellent, and the staff are very helpful. One of the best poissoneries in Quebec City.
PROVISIONS INC. ÉPICERIE BOUCHERIE
Épicerie & Boucherie • 1115, Avenue Cartier • 418.525.7154
It’s hard to miss this épicerie with its green and white striped awning and tables of fresh fruit and vegetables on the sidewalk in spring, summer, and fall. This épicerie has a butcher and sells dry goods, fruits, vegetables, canned goods, wine, and beer. A wonderful little grocery store.
CAFÉ LES COUSINS
Café-Boulangerie • $ • 1029, Avenue Cartier • cafelescousins.com • 418.522.8889
Once known as Picardie Cartier, Café Art Les Cousins is a café and boulangerie which also acts as a small art gallery. The café is cozy enough for those looking for a place to relax, do a little reading or work while enjoying a café au lait, and possibly a light lunch. Aside from bread and pastries, Les Cousins also sells cheese, tarts, quiche, light lunches and gourmet condiments and preserves.
Café • $-$$ • 1089, Avenue Cartier • cafekrieghoff.qc.ca • 418.522.3711
Café Krieghoff is a Québec institution, a café that everyone needs to visit at least once in their lifetime. Buzzing with activity in the mornings with both locals and tourists popping in to enjoy breakfast and some coffee. If breakfast is not your thing, spend some time relaxing with a cup of coffee and a paper while sitting on the patio.
Oyster Bar, Tartare & Small Plates • $$ • 624, Grande Allée Est • bistrolatelier.com • 418.522.2225
Known as having the best cocktails in Québec City, L’Atelier is a hopping bistro and cocktail bar. The menu features tartare and small plates, bistro-style fare, and oysters. One of the more popular bistros along Grande Allée, reservations are recommended.
French • $$-$$$ • 1144, Avenue Cartier • bistrob.ca/ • 418.614.5444
Walls of floor to ceiling windows flood Bistro B with light during the day and add to the ambience in the evening. A popular spot for local foodies and tourists, the menu is upmarket French and changes regularly. Reservations are highly recommended, and sitting at the bar surrounding the open kitchen is the hottest choice [pardon the pun!].
Mediterranean • $$-$$$ • 64, boulevard René-Lévesque Quest • cafesirocco.com/ • 418.529.6868
A Mediterranean bistro with a slightly modern twist, Café Sirocco serves up traditional Pan-Mediterranean dishes as well as tapas and a Sunday Brunch. The restaurant has a modern contemporary vibe and features a patio/terrace in warm weather.
French • $$$-$$$$ • 28th floor of Hôtel le Concorde • 1225, Cours de Général de Montcalm • cielbistrobar.com • 418.640.5802
Located atop Hôtel Le Concorde Québec, Le Ciel offers 360º views of Québec City, making it an ideal location for a romantic meal. The menu features slightly upscale French cuisine, and Sunday Brunch is quite popular. Tip: in summer, try reserving a table that will coordinate with the fireworks over the Saint Lawrence River, a sight not to be missed.
Spanish • $$-$$$ • 595, Grande Allée Est • copas.ca/fr/ • 418.521.2373
A warm vibe with exposed brick walls, oak and orange walls and a terracotta floor; Restaurant Copas is a Spanish restaurant that will make you think you’re enjoying a meal in Spain. Tapas and wine are the best options, but traditional entrées are delicious as well.
Fries & Burgers • $ • 122, Crémazie Ouest • fritealors.com • 418.614.5522
Tucked on Crémazie Ouest, just off avenue Cartier, Frite Alors! is a small cheap eats shop featuring ‘Belgian fries with a Québec accent‘. Eat in (they have seats for 35) or pop by their take-out window, either way, it’s a slightly greasy meal that is sure to satisfy you. MMmm fries with gourmet dipping sauce. Vegetarian burgers are also available.
French • $$-$$$$ • 668, Grande Allée Est • louishebert.com/ • 418.525.7812
Located at Auberge Saint-Louis on Grande Allée, the Auberge and restaurant are housed in a historic stone building, the inside of the restaurant sports a modern contemporary design. The menu features classic French dishes, and the restaurant boasts an impressive cellar of 6,000 wines. A wonderful choice for a luxuriously French meal.
PETITS CREUX & GRAND CRUS
Corsican Restaurant & Wine Bar • $-$$$ • 1125, Avenue Cartier • petitscreux.corsica • 581.742.5050
One of our favourites on Avenue Cartier, Petits Creux & Grand Crus is styled after the wine bars and restaurants you will find in Corsica. The menu is sophisticated and exciting. A happy hour crowd can be found between the hours of 4 pm to 6 pm, after which the dinner crowd takes over. Late in the evening, those attending the cinema or theatre will come by for a late-night drink and dessert.
The streets of Grande Allée and Montcalm are known for their cafés, restaurants and bars, but there are some great boutiques as well. Wander through Les Halles Cartier to shop for teas, cheese, charcuterie and gourmet food ingredients; and if you cannot find everything you need, go to Morena afterwards. Buy records or jewellery or clothing. You will be hard-pressed to find tacky souvenirs, Grande Allée & Montcalm has a local shopping scene.
*New shops are bound to be added to this page, so be sure to check for the latest picks.
Jeweler • 1033, avenue Cartier • bijouteriedulac.com • 418.524.0259
Bijouterie Dulac was founded in Saint-Georges de Beauce in 1992; by the same jeweller who founded Bizou, a national accessories store. Bijouterie Dulac specializes in jewellery for both men and women. Repairs and custom made pieces are available as well.
LES CONFISERIES PINOCHE
Candy Shop • 1048, avenue Cartier • pinoche.ca • 418.648.8640
Sometimes you need some sweets to get you by, and if you’re wandering around Grande Allée and Montcalm stop by les Confiseries Pinoche. The shop is small, but the walls are lined with jars of hard and soft candies. And some cute stuffed animals as well.
Florist • 1068, Avenue Cartier • orchideefleuriste.com • 418.529.0739
A delightful little flower shop near l’Artisan du Pain on Avenue Cartier. Stop by the florist in person or visit their website and have a bouquet or two delivered. Flowers are a lovely way to dress up a picnic or your apartment rental.
Fashion • 989, Avenue Cartier • robaecasso.ca • 418.522.1016
Murmure Cartier is one of three clothing stores for women in Québec City. The boutique carries local brands as well as well-known international brands of clothing and accessories – such as Ted Baker.
Fashion • 996, Avenue Cartier • urbainboutique.com • 418.521.1571
A local fashion boutique, Urbain Prêt-à-Porter has been in business for over 15 years and a favourite among local fashionistas. While they carry mostly women’s clothing and accessories, they have fashion for men as well.
If you’re looking for the best neighbourhood to party the night away, then Grande Allée and Montcalm is the place to go! Start your night along Grande Allée, then work your way to Avenue Cartier to finish things off. Or pick a street and have the time of your life.
Bar • $-$$ • 1179, Avenue Cartier • blaxton.com • 418.522.9955
One the outside, Blaxton Cartier looks a, possibly, rowdy pub which probably serves up traditional greasy pub food. Thankfully the reality is quite different. Sure, the pub can get busy and noisy, but the food on the menu has a gourmet flair and offers up dishes like tartare and smoked salmon carpaccio along with poutine and hot wings.
L’INOX MÂTRES BRASSEURS
Brewpub • $-$$ • 655, Grande Allée Est • brasserieinox.com • 418.692.2877
A Québec City institution since 1987, l’Inox was originally located in Vieux Port, then moved to its location on Grande Allée Est in 2008. L’Inox brews several different beers, four of which are available at all times; they also rotate four beers and have a different beer for each season. If you’re a beer-lover, l’Inox needs to be on your list of places to go.
Bar & Restaurant • $$ • 1155, rue de la Chevrotière • jacksaloon.com • 418.522.5350
A popular bar and restaurant since its opening in 2011, Jack Saloon is everything the word ‘saloon’ entails: worn hardwood floors, warm yellow light, and an in-house blues band. It is like stepping into a bar in Southern USA, except you are in the historic city of Québec. The menu, however, does not resemble a typical ‘down home’ type bar; instead, it serves oysters, tartare, steaks and burgers with a gourmet flair.
JULES ET JIM
Bar • $$ • 1060, Avenue Cartier • 418.524.9570
A classic bar along avenue Cartier, Bar Jules & Jim features a cosmopolitan crowd of mostly locals. Come by to enjoy sophisticated drinks, old Hollywood style music and ambience. A little hideaway that has been calling Montcalm home since 1978.
Bar • $-$$ • 1/2, 641, Grande Allée Est • lapiazz.ca • 418.523.4774
A lively bar, La Piazz is a good choice if you’re looking for a place along Grande Allée to enjoy live music and a drink or two. There are different performances each evening, so come and enjoy the ambience at La Piazz as much as your heart desires during your time in Québec City.
Irish Pub • $-$$ • 1112, avenue Cartier • pubgalway.com • 418.522.5282
Everyone needs a little Celtic fun in their life, and Pub Galway is one of your choices in Québec City. The menu features entrées as well as typical pub food like fish n’ chips; beer, wine and whisky are the most popular drinks of choice. The pub itself features a fieldstone floor, dark woods, a tin tiled ceiling and warm yellow light.
TAVERNE GRAND ALLÉE
Bar • $$ • 585, Grande Allée Est • tavernegrandeallee.com • 418.522.8226
Exposed brick walls, high beamed ceilings, 90s grunge music, and yummy comfort food are some of the reasons why locals and tourists flock to Taverne. We also love the eclectic décor and old-school arcade machines strewn throughout the bar.
C3 HÔTEL ART DE VIVRE
8.7/10 on Booking.com
170, GRANDE-ALLÉE OUEST
A gorgeous boutique hotel, C3 is located on a quiet part of Grande-Allée near Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec. One of the most popular hotels in the city, rooms are a mixture of retro and modern furnishings with bold bright colours. All rooms have free wifi and air conditioning. Breakfast is included.
Book a room: Booking.com
HÔTEL MANOIR DE LA TOUR
8.7/10 on Booking.com
A charming and cozy inn with twelve rooms, Hôtel Manoir de la Tour has a country bed & breakfast vibe. Rooms include free wifi and air conditioning, among other things. There is also a shared kitchen and outdoor terrace and garden.
Book a room: Booking.com
PETIT HÔTEL-CAFÉ KRIEGHOFF
8.6/10 on Booking.com
1089, AVENUE CARTIER
Located above Café Krieghoff on Avenue Cartier, this little boutique hotel has seven rooms. Each room is modern contemporary in design and comes with wifi, air conditioning and breakfast (up to $12 CAD in value) in the café. An ideal location in an area filled with restaurants and nightlife.
Book a room: Booking.com
HÔTEL CHÂTEAU LAURIER
8.4/10 on Booking.com
1220, PLACE GEORGE V
Steps away from Grande-Allée and the Plains of Abraham, Hôtel Château Laurier is a family owned hotel are an extensive array of rooms. Amenities include free wifi, a wine bar in the lobby, indoor saltwater pool and outdoor hot tub. Concierge services available. A lovely spot in the heart of some of the city’s best nightlife.
Book a room: Booking.com
HÔTEL LE CONCORDE QUÉBEC
7.8/10 on Booking.com
1225, COURS DU GÉNÉRAL-DE-MONTCALM
While it has changed ownership in recent years, Hôtel le Concorde Québec is famous for its rotating restaurant, which offers stunning views of the city. Rooms are very comfortable and modern contemporary in design. Free wifi is available and pets are welcome. This hotel is also accessible for those with limited mobility.
Book a room: Booking.com