Quebec City Neighbourhoods Guide: Saint-Jean-Baptiste

Neighbourhood Guide: Saint-Jean-Baptiste

A five-minute walk from the old city walls, Saint-Jean-Baptiste, Quebec City was one of the first neighbourhoods established outside the city gates. In the beginning, people living in Saint-Jean-Baptiste had access to the fortified city during the day, but once the gates closed for the night they were cut off from its protection.

Today, the gates of the fortified city are gone (only the walls remain) and Saint-Jean-Baptiste is a thriving neighbourhood popular with locals, and tourists alike.

As a thriving local neighbourhood, Saint-Jean-Baptiste in Quebec City is ideal for shopping, restaurants and nightlife.

Are you ready? It’s time to explore!


THINGS TO SEE + DO IN SAINT-JEAN-BAPTISTE

BIBLIOTHÈQUE CLAIRE-MARTIN

OLD CHURCH & LIBRARY • 755, RUE SAINT-JEAN • BIBLIOTHEQUEDEQUEBEC.QC.CA • 418.641.6798

Built between 1878 and 1882, St. Matthew Anglican Church was St Matthew Cemetery from 1772 to 1860; the final resting place of several famous anglophones from Quebec City. Classified a historic site by the Government of Québec in 1976, the church was later bought by the city for $1 and converted into a library on 27 May 1980. Today, you can still see many of the 19th-century stained glass windows, as well as the marble baptismal font; of course, most people visit the church to sign out books, read, and sometimes do a little work.

ÉGLISE SAINT-JEAN-BAPTISTE

CHURCH • RUE SAINT-JEAN & RUE DE CLAIRE-FONTAINE

Built in the Second Empire style which originated in France during the reign of Napoleon III, Saint-Jean-Baptiste Church was built in 1884 out of seven different Italian marbles after the original church (circa 1847) burned down in 1881. Église St-Jean Baptiste closed in 2015 when it was decided that the parish could not afford the repairs and renovations (roughly $10 million) needed to maintain the church. While you’re not able to go inside, the church continues to stand majestically in the heart of Saint-Jean-Baptiste, Quebec City.

ÉRICO’S CHOCO-MUSÉE

CHOCOLATIER & MUSEUM • 634, RUE SAINT-JEAN • ERICOCHOCOLATIER.COM • 418.524.2122

One of the best chocolatiers in Quebec City, Érico has created a small chocolate museum to accompany his chocolate boutique. Learn about the process of picking cocoa, as well as how chocolate is made as you watch Érico and his team create chocolates through a large window at the rear of the museum. After you’ve learned about chocolate, buy some of his delicious creations, buy an ice cream cone, or indulge in some of the best chocolat chaud in Quebec City.

PASSAGE OLYMPIA

PUBLIC SPACE • 865, RUE SAINT-JEAN

An outdoor public space with benches, yellow metal tables, and matching chairs, Passage Olympia is popular in summer and fall. The passage is located on the site of the former Olympia Theatre, which resided on this spot from 1909 to 1946, before burning down. Today, the passage is used by locals looking to relax outside, enjoy their lunch, hanging out with friends, or reading. An integral part of the neighbourhood.

THE FOOD TOUR

FOOD TOUR • 12, RUE SAINT-ANNE • TOURSVOIRQUEBEC.COM • DURATION: 2 HRS 30 MINS

A gourmet food tour through Old Quebec City and Saint-Jean-Baptiste, Quebec City. Sample crêpes, local wine and cheese, craft beer, and gourmet snacks from fine dining establishments. Tours operate in both French and English. Book a tour.

VÉLOS ROY-O

BIKE SHOP & RENTAL • 463, RUE SAINT-JEAN • VELOSROYO.COM • 418.524-0004Subtitle for This Block

Vélos is a bike shop that also rents bikes, making it easier to explore the city. Rent for a few hours, a day or a whole week. It should be noted that they require a deposit of $250 for each bike rented. A one-day rental is only $30!


FOOD & DRINK

In Saint-Jean-Baptiste, Quebec City there is a wonderful mixture of bistros, cheap eats, wine and cheese, and gourmet restaurants. See below for our favourites!

ÉPICERIES & COMPTOIR

LE CRAC & LA CAROTTE JOYEUSE

HEALTH FOOD SHOP • 690, RUE SAINT-JEAN • LECRAC.COM • 418.647.6881Subtitle for This Block

A large health food shop on rue Saint-Jean in Saint-Jean-Baptiste, La Carotte Joyeuse sells organic fruits and vegetables, as well as sandwiches and dairy products. Le Crac sells everything else, from herbs to organic cleaning supplies to tea and healthy non-perishable foods.

ÉPICERIE EUROPÉENNE

ÉPICERIE • 560, RUE SAINT-JEAN • 418.529.4847

A neighbourhood favourite since 1959, Épicerie Européenne carries products from Québec, as well as Europe. Buy some award-winning Quebec cheese and pair with jambon (ham) from Spain, and maybe some snacks from France. They also make gourmet sandwiches using both Québec and European ingredients. A good spot for picking up picnic supplies in Saint-Jean-Baptiste, Quebec City.

ÉPICERIE SCOTT

ÉPICERIE • 505, RUE SAINT-PATRICK  • 418.990.0905

Tucked away on the corner of rue Saint-Patrick and rue Scott, Épicerie Scott is a gourmet food shop selling mostly Quebec products. Buy craft beer and wine, snacks, sandwiches and hot meals. Good for quick picnic supplies.

CAFÉ, PÂTISSERIE & BOULANGERIE

BOULANGERIE EPI’FANNY

BOULANGERIE • 646, RUE SAINT-JEAN • EPIFANNY.JIMDO.COM • 418.621.9191

A new addition to Saint-Jean-Baptiste, Epi’Fanny is a small bakery specializing in artisanal leavened bread, and pastries, as well as deliciously fresh sandwiches. They offer an $8.90 CAD lunch special which includes a sandwich, drink, and pastry (when available).

LA BRÛLERIE STE-JEAN

CAFÉ • $ • 881, RUE SAINT-JEAN • LESBRULERIES.COM • 418.704.4420

One of several locations in Quebec City, Brûlerie St-Jean is a two-story café on the corner of rue Saint-Jean and avenue Honoré-Mercier. The coffee menu is extensive, and they serve pastries and light lunches as well. If you are looking for a spot to do some work, sit upstairs where it is quieter.

CANTOOK MICRO TORRÉFACTION

CAFÉ • $ • 575, RUE SAINT-JEAN • CANTOOKCAFE.COM • 418.529.4769

A small café, Cantook serves up some of the best coffee in Saint-Jean-Baptiste, Quebec City, and not much other than that. They sell a handful of pastries, but the focus here is on coffee. A small outdoor patio is open in summer.

LE PAINGRÜEL

BOULANGERIE (BAKERY) • 578, RUE SAINT-JEAN • 418.522.7246

One of the most popular boulangeries in Saint-Jean-Baptiste, Quebec City, Le Paingrüel makes artisanal bread by hand. Try their sourdough or organic bread. You will be addicted!

PÂTISSERIE SIMON

PÂTISSERIE • 471, RUE SAINT-JEAN • 418.522.6582

Located on a quiet corner of rue Saint-Jean, Pâtisserie Simon has been delighting locals with pastries and sugary baked goods since 1948. A  true Quebec institution, and a must for pastry-lovers! 

RESTAURANTS

ALBACORE

SEAFOOD • 819, CÔTE D’ABRAHAM • ALBACORE.BUSINESS.SITE • 418.914.6441

A celebrated restaurant on the edge of Saint-Jean-Baptiste, Quebec City, the specialty at Albacore is seafood and delightful cocktails. A truly delicious dining experience for those who love fish. The menu changes regularly.

LE BILLIG CRÊPERIE-BISTRO

CRÊPERIE • $-$$ • 481, RUE SAINT-JEAN • 418.524.8341

A sweet and savoury crêperie, Le Billig is a popular stop on food tours in the Saint-Jean-Baptiste, Quebec City neighbourhoods. The crêpes are some of the best in the city. Choose from sweet or savoury, and order some beer or wine if you feel so inclined.

BOLS ET POKÉ

POKÉ • 545, RUE SAINT-JEAN • BOLSETPOKE.CA • 581.741.3455

A Saint-Jean-Baptiste, Quebec City hot spot, Bols et Poké serves up a refreshing smoothie bowl, as well as poké bowls (they a vegetarian option) packed complex flavours. Visit their website to order in advance and pick up when you’re ready. An excellent, and healthy option!

BUVETTE SCOTT

BISTRO • $$ • 821, RUE SCOTT • BUVETTESCOTT.COM • 581.741.4464

A micro-restaurant on rue Scott, Buvette Scott is another local hot spot. The menu features Canadian cuisine made with Quebec terroir. Ask for suggested wine pairings, sit back, and enjoy a delicious meal that will make your tastebuds dance. While it is possible to show up and get a table, calling ahead to make a reservation is highly recommended.

LE COMPTOIR

SMOKED MEAT, FISH N’CHIPS • $ • 849, RUE SAINT-JEAN• RESTAURANTLECOMPTOIR.CA • 418.614.5533

Housed in a building built in 1854, Le Comptoir has exposed brick walls, a patio in summer, and a relaxed atmosphere.  The menu is affordable – mostly poutines, fish n’chips, sandwiches, and burgers. A good spot for a cheap meal.

DÉLICATESSES TONKINOISES

SOUTHEAST ASIAN • $ • 732, RUE SAINT-JEAN • 418.523.6211

A joyous addition to the neighbourhood, Délicatesses Tonkinoises is a small restaurant specializing in pho. While their menu also features Tom Yum soup and Thai curries, it is the Pho that truly stands out. They also sell Southeast Asian ingredients.

LES GOURMANDISES LOUCA

VEGETARIAN • $ • 778, RUE SAINT-JEAN • LOUCA.BIO • 418.914.4236

A bright and cozy restaurant on rue Saint-Jean, LOUCA serves up organic vegetarian cuisine. The menu has a lovely selection of hot dishes and desserts. LOUCA is also a small épicerie with organic vegetables and grains.

LA GROLLA

SWISS • $$ • 815, CÔTE D’ABRAHAM • 418.529.8107

Traditional Swiss cuisine in a charming little restaurant, what could possibly be wrong with that?! The fondue is perfection, and the raclette and alpine slate skillets are worth it as well. Come hungry and bring friends!

LE HOBBIT

FRENCH • $$ • 700, RUE SAINT-JEAN • http://lehobbit.com/ • 418.647.2677

A French bistro with a fun Tolkienian name and an intriguing history. Built in the early 19th-century, the building housing Le Hobbit has been a pharmacy, several shops, a hardware store, and then a women’s clothing store, a tie shop, and a café-théâtre. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as weekend brunches, the menus at Le Hobbit change on a regular basis.

LE POULET PORTUGAIS

PORTUGUESE CHICKEN • $-$$ • 203, RUE SAINT-JEAN • POULETPORTUGAIS.NET • 418.204.3300

Located on the edge of Saint-Jean-Baptiste, Le Poulet Portugais is a scrumptious addition to the neighbourhood. The draw is, of course, the Portuguese style grilled chicken, however, they also have paella, octopus, and Bulgarian kyufte. Yum!

RESTAURANT TOKYO

JAPANESE SUSHI BAR • $-$$ • 401, RUE SAINT-JEAN • RESTAURANTTOKYO.CA • 418.522.7571

Located on the corner of rue Saint-Jean and rue de Claire-Fontaine, Restaurant Tokyo is a Japanese restaurant specializing in sushi, sashimi, and bento boxes. The menu is extensive, so wear your stretchy pants!

SAVEURS DU MONDE

MOROCCAN • $ • 847, RUE SAINT-JEAN • SAVEURS-DU-MONDE.CA • 418.263.2977Subtitle for This Block

An absolute delight, this Moroccan restaurant is quite large. The menu features shawarma, shish taouk, and kefta, as well as couscous and vegetarian dishes. Sit inside or grab your food to go and enjoy it in a nearby park.

SNACK-BAR SAINT-JEAN

POUTINE & BURGERS • $ • 780, RUE SAINT-JEAN • SNACKBARSAINTJEAN.COM • 418.522.4727

Located next door to LOUCA, Snack-Bar Saint-Jean is a favourite for cheap eats. Honestly, few things are better after a late night out than hot gooey poutine and burgers. A local favourite.

THANG LONG RESTAURANT

VIETNAMESE • $-$$ • 869, CÔTE D’ABRAHAM • 418.524.0572

One of the most popular Asian restaurants in Quebec City, Thang Long is known for its huge portions and BYO alcohol. The menu features dishes from Vietnam, China, and Thailand. In summer they have a large patio, yay! Honestly, it is hard to order a bad dish here.

LE VEAU D’OR

ITALIAN • $-$$ • 801, RUE SAINT-JEAN • 418.525.7371

An Italian restaurant, Le Veau d’Or has called Saint-Jean-Baptiste, Quebec City home for over forty years. The menu features mostly pasta and fish, and in summer there is a terrace with views of the neighbourhood. A good choice for a quick Italian meal during a busy day of exploring


SHOPPING

ALPAQA

HANDMADE WOOLENS • 669, RUE SAINT-JEAN • ALPAQA.COM • 418.522.2720

One of the best boutiques in Quebec City for high-quality handmade woolen sweaters, jackets, and accessories. Clothing is made by Peruvian artisans, who are compensated well for the craftsmanship. A lovely social enterprise.

BOUTIQUE EXIL

FASHION • 714, RUE SAINT-JEAN • BOUTIQUEEXIL.COM • 418.524.4752

A fashion boutique that has been in Saint-Jean-Baptiste, Quebec City for over 25 years, Exil carries clothing and jewellery created by several Quebec designers, including Annie50, Karkass, and Anne-Marie Chagnon. They also sell international brands like Kaffe and sandwiches.

BOUTIQUE POINT D’EXCLAMATION

FASHION • 762, RUE SAINT-JEAN • POINTDEXCLAMATION.CA • 418.525.8053

A part of the Saint-Jean-Baptiste neighbourhood since 2004, Point d’Exclamation is a fashion boutique with a flea market vibe. Their focus is on Québec-made clothing, jewellery, and accessories. If you want to shop local, this boutique is a must.

JUPON PRESSÉE

FASHION • 790, RUE SAINT-JEAN • JUPONPRESSE.COM • 418.704.7114

A small fashion boutique, Jupon Pressée sells mostly Québécois fashion, as well as a few international brands. The shop is cute, with a vibrant girly vibe. Shop for clothing or fund accessories.

LIBRAIRIE NELLIGAN

RARE BOOKSHOP • 499, RUE SAINT-JEAN • LIBRAIRIENELLIGAN.COM • 418.614.8043

One could get lost among the crowded and slightly cramped aisles of Librairie Nelligan. A treasure trove of rare French books can be found inside, covering topics like religion, literature, history, and geography.

MUSIQUE CHEZ SONNY

VINTAGE VINYL SHOP • 664, RUE SAINT-JEAN • 418.640.0590

Opening its doors in 1992, Musique Chez Sonny sells vinyl and LPs; as well as some used CDs. As with any shop selling vintage music, be sure to search carefully as some records are in better shape than others. Your patience will pay off, eventually.

ROBA & CASSO

FASHION • 586, RUE SAINT-JEAN • ROBAECASSO.CA • 418.522.7622

A women’s fashion boutique, Roba & Casso are known for their impeccable service and following current fashion trends. The boutique also carries a small selection of home décor.

SCHÜ’Z

SHOES & BAGS • 748, RUE SAINT-JEAN • SHUZ.CA • 418.523.4560

Schü’z is a shoe and bag shop that has been a fixture in Saint-Jean-Baptiste for over ten years. They sell shoe brands like Adidas, Camp, and Vans; and their main bag lines are Fjällräven and Matt & Nat — both of which are Canadian.


NIGHTLIFE

As mentioned in the introduction, Saint-Jean-Baptiste Quebec City is more local than touristy with plenty of shops, restaurants and nightlife. While you won’t find any dance clubs, you will find some cozy bars and pubs.

LE DRAGUE CABARET CLUB

GAY BAR & CABARET CLUB • $-$$ • 815, RUE SAINT-AUGUSTIN • LEDRAGUE.COM • 418.649.7212

A longtime favourite among Quebec’s LGBT community, Le Drague features a cabaret club, gay dance club, crazy karaoke, and incredible drag shows. Open 17-hours a day, Le Drague is for everyone to enjoy.  

LA DUCHESSE D’AIGUILLON DÉPANNEUR

CRAFT BEER & SNACKS • 469, RUE SAINT-JEAN • 581.742.1242

While you can buy some snacks at La Duchesse D’Aiguillon, the main focus is on beer produced throughout the province of Quebec. If you’re a beer-lover, this is the shop for you!

FOU BAR

BAR • $ • 525, RUE SAINT-JEAN • FOUBAR.CA • 418.522.1987

A cozy neighbourhood bar/pub with exposed bricks walls and worn-out tables and chairs. Fou Bar has a relaxed vibe, live music, and a good selection of draft beers.

LE PROJET SPÉCIALITÉ MICROBRASSERIES

GASTROPUB • $-$$ • 399, RUE SAINT-JEAN • PUBLEPROJET.CA • 418.914.5322

A popular gastropub in Quebec City, Le Projet has 24 Québec microbrews on tap, as well as several Québec ciders. The food menu is a mixture of typical pub fare (burgers, nachos, and fish n’chips) as well as classic Quebec foods like salmon tartare and poutine.

PUB NELLIGAN’S

IRISH PUB • $ • 789, CÔTE SAINTE-GENEVIÈVE • 418.704.7817

A lively Irish pub, Nelligan’s is where you’ll find the locals (instead of Pub Saint-Patrick or Chez Murphy’s in Old Quebec).
The pub is small but cozy with chunky wooden furniture and fixtures. They have an impressive whiskey menu and sometimes offer live music. A great pub to go to when you’re travelling alone.

NINKASI

BAR • $-$$ • 811, RUE SAINT-JEAN • LANINKASI.CA • 418.529.8538

This two-storey bar on rue Saint-Jean has large open windows and a patio in summer and features karaoke nights and live music.  Sip on craft beer, have an espresso to keep yourself going or stop by for lunch and a break from exploring.

LE SACRILÈGE

PUB • $ • 447, RUE SAINT-JEAN • LESACRILEGE.COM • 418.649.1985

It is hard to miss the sign for Sacrilège as it is the image of a jovial Franciscan friar — one cannot help thinking about Friar Tuck and wondering is Robin Hood may be inside. The bar is warm and cozy with old church pews for benches. They sell beer and some whiskey (this is not the place to come it you’re looking for a cocktail). If you’re feeling peckish, bring some poutine from Le Projet or poké from bols et Poké and get a discount on your beer.


SLEEPING

GÎTE AU CROISSANT DE LUNE

9.4/10 on Booking.com
BED & BREAKFAST
594, RUE SAINT-GABRIEL
418.523.9946

A charming bed & breakfast run by a local French woman. Croissant de Lune offers three bedrooms and includes a delicious breakfast, wifi, and parking. Perfect for having a local experience during your stay in Quebec City.
Book a Room: Booking.com

CHÂTEAU DES TOURELLES

9.2/10 on Booking.com
3-STAR HOTEL
212, RUE SAINT-JEAN
418.647.9136

A funky hotel in the neighbourhood of Saint-Jean-Baptiste, this hotel is close to local restaurants and bars. Homemade breakfast is included, as well as wifi, parking, and air conditioning. Pets are allowed. A good option if you’re hoping to stay in a local neighbourhood and avoid the tourist crowds.
Book a Room: Booking.com

HÔTEL PALACE ROYAL

8.610 on Booking.com
4-STAR HOTEL
774, HONORÉ-MERCIER
418.694.2000

Located a short walk from St-Jean’s gate, Hôtel Palace Royal towers over most of Saint-Jean-Baptiste. Rooms are comfortable with classic décor. Amenities include a fitness centre, pool, wifi and facilities for those with limited mobility.
Book a Room: Booking.com


PHOTO GALLERY


Planning a Quebec City Vacation?

Planning a trip to Quebec City can be quite fun, and honestly, there is a chance you’ll want to travel sooner rather than later. From our vibrant festivals to our intriguing history and culture, scrumptious food and friendly locals, it is easy to see why you’re planning a trip to Quebec City (and perhaps other areas of the province as well).

Kindle Unlimited Membership: Many of the guides and books recommended on this website are available on Kindle. Whether you have a Kindle, or use the Kindle app on your iPhone or tablet, this membership can be quite useful.

Here are some trip planning resources and recommended reads to help you plan a memorable Quebec City vacation!

Quebec City Tourism: Honestly, the Quebec City tourism website is one of the best tourism board websites in Canada. It is hella helpful and informative.

Quebec Province Road Map: If you’re planning some Quebec road trips, this English/French map will come it handy. Sure, you can use Google, but paper maps are retro fun that you can enjoy!

French Gluten-Free Translation Card: An essential tool for celiacs who want to eat safely when they travel! Free guides here.

Guidebooks

Michelin Green Guide to Montreal and Quebec City: Highlighting history and culture, the Michelin Green Guides are terrific for travellers who plan to road trip in Quebec, or planning city stops with a focus on history and culture. [2018 edition]

Fodor’s Montreal and Quebec City: Fodor’s is known for their local expert advice and offerings for all budgets. An ideal guide for just about any type of travel in Montreal, Quebec City and their surrounding areas.[2018 edition]

DK Eyewitness Travel Guide Canada: One of the BEST guidebooks on the market for in-depth information on history, culture and more. [2019 edition]

Recommended Books

Champlain’s Dream by David Hackett Fischer: This tome digs into the life of Samuel de Champlain, the founder of New France (now Quebec City).

Hélène’s World: Hélène Desportes of Seventeenth-Century Quebec by Susan McNelley: There are not many books on the women of New France. Hélène Desportes was the first child (of French parents) in the colony of New France.

Quebec Under Siege: French Eye-Witness Accounts from the Campaign of 1759: One of the few books interesting books on the 1759 siege of Quebec, from a French perspective. Learn about the siege from the viewpoint of an artillery captain, nun and more.

Pamela

Hello, I'm Pamela! I'm a travel and food writer, chocolat chaud addict, an anglophone who prefers life in Quebec. When I'm not working on Urban Guide Quebec, I am writing for Quebec City Tourism, updating guidebooks for Michelin, and writing freelance! There's a good chance I'm planning my next Quebec road trip, got tips?

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