Québec City at its Best
Guide to Québec City’s Perfect Picnic Spots
Here’s a list of parks paired with nearby establishments where you can fill your picnic basket with everything you need for a quick bite, a pre-made meal, or some drinks and appies.
1 Parc du Bastion-de-la-Reine
Head to Parc du Bastion-de-la-Reine for a sweeping view of the Château Frontenac and the majestic St. Lawrence River. Couillard, Fils & Cie is a new gourmet grocery store located just steps from Dufferin Terrace that sells products made with local Québec ingredients, including breads, cheeses, condiments, spices, and everything you need to go with your morning coffee. They even have healthy treats for dogs!
2 Jardins de l’Hôtel-de-Ville
Chez Boulay comptoir boréal specializes in dishes that incorporate all the unique flavours we have here up north. Whether you’re looking for lunch, a snack, or a sweet treat, the kitchen team always has plenty of dishes perfect for eating in or taking over to Jardins de l’Hôtel-de-Ville and enjoying outdoors. I love picking up a hearty breakfast croissant and a sweet clover latte.
3 St. Matthew’s Cemetery
Ever considered picnicking in a cemetery among 314 tombstones? If that idea piques your interest, head to St. Matthew’s cemetery off rue Saint-Jean in the heart of the Saint-Jean-Baptiste district. You can also download the cemetery app and take a 40-minute guided tour in French or English with historian David Mendel. You can even borrow an iPod from the library located in the former St. Matthew’s Church. There are a number of delicatessens in the area where you can get what you need for your picnic, but J.A. Moisan is second to none, with European-style deli meats, Québec cheeses, and what seems like every preserve under the sun.
4 Bassin Louise, Old Port
Marché du Vieux-Port is the only public market in downtown Québec City. It’s the go-to place to get ingredients for a meal or pick up something ready‑made from one of the specialty counters. You can’t go wrong with tasty empanadas from the Chilean stall, Chile y Medio. Find a spot on the water around Bassin Louise or near the fountain in front of Gare du Palais and tuck in to your delicious seasonal products.
5 Plains of Abraham
Québec City’s arts district has no shortage of places to stop and get provisions for a picnic on the Plains of Abraham, including the aptly named Provisions Inc. grocery store, Les Halles du Petit Cartier, and the Buffet Maison de l’Île d’Orléans boutique. But top of the list is the Morena delicatessen on Avenue Cartier for its high quality products and excellent customer service. While the restaurant serves up a menu that will make you want to lick your plate clean, the delicatessen and ready-to-eat section is full of delicious Mediterranean options—pasta, soup, arancini, salad, moussaka, risotto, antipasti, and more. It’s the perfect place to get supplies for an Italian-style aperitivo surrounded by the natural splendour of the Plains of Abraham. And don’t forget to grab some cannoli for dessert!
6 Place des Canotiers
Épicerie des Canotiers recently opened on Rue Dalhousie, just across from place des Canotiers. It sells crepes and waffles that are perfect for eating on the go. Pair that with the park benches and water fountains for the kids to play in across the street, and you’ve got a nice little break to please the whole family.
7 Jardin Jean-Paul-L’Allier
The Saint-Roch location of La Boîte à Pain is just a short walk from the stunning Jardin Jean-Paul-L’Allier, which is a popular spot at lunchtime. La Boîte à Pain sells quiches, salads, and sandwiches that are easy to take away and enjoy outside. They also sell coffee, pastries, and other tasty baked goods to start your morning.