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Québec City at its Best

Québec City's Best New Restaurants in 2018

Credit: Tapas & Liège, Les Festifs

Québec City has seen its share of exciting restaurant openings in the last year. Dominated by audacious niche offers catering to more cultured palates, here is my top 14 new restaurants that definitely caught my stomachs’ attention.

1 Hono Izakaya

Japanese cuisine is trendy in Québec City. Hono Izakaya Japanese tavern embraces the many savoury flavours of the land of the rising sun and locals are showing up hungry. Finger foods, crisp beer and privately imported sakes that pay homage to the many unpretentious-but-yummy entrée sized dishes hail from the kitchen: Okonomiaki, Udon noodles, yakitori and mochi. No reservations and frequent line-ups.

670, rue Saint-Joseph Est (Saint-Roch district)

2 London Jack

The British have taken over Québec City’s rue Saint-Joseph in Saint-Roch! London Jack pub is seducing the Québécois, one fish and chip at a time, with over 30 possible fish n’ chip/batter combinations paired with dry gins and brown ales.  They even have vegetarian options made with Haloumi cheese. The dress code is casual, but the ambience is royal.

505, rue Saint-Joseph Est (Saint-Roch district)

3 Mayflower

Although Mayflower isn’t a restaurant, this opening hit Québec City’s third wave coffee scene with a brick. Established on rue Myrand in Sainte-Foy, serving the much-revered products of Heart Roasters from Portland, Oregon as well as a rotating variety of small-batch roasts praised worldwide, Mayflower caters to those who love great coffee, simply. Their open-to-questions, friendly customer service makes it an ideal place to learn about sourcing and savouring. Pair your cup with a morning toast, an artisan pop-tart or free Wi-Fi. 

853A, avenue Myrand (Sillery)

4 Albacore

Albacore offers a flavour incursion into the sea, but without imposing limitations to the chef’s seasonal inspirations. Opened in an almost deserted area of Côte d’Abraham, this trendy open-kitchen bistro features an almost black and white environment, where inventive colourful combinations of local and exotic flavours unite with refinement. Meat, vegetarian and gluten-free options available. A seat on the terrace is highly recommended, especially during the sunset.

819, Côte d'Abraham (Saint-Jean-Baptiste district)

5 Chez Tao!

Street food and cocktails are the motto of Saint-Sauveur’s bad boy Chez Tao! This Vietnamese pub serves Gỏi Bắp Cải Chay, Pad See Ew and Tom Kha Gai next to an exciting list of cocktails created by master mixologist and co-owner Vincent Thuaud. His cocktails shine with inventiveness and are alone worth your while. A popular hangout for late night grub fuelled by the energy of a younger crowd of locals.

104, rue Saint-Vallier Ouest (Saint-Sauveur district)

6 Le Voisin

Just when you think Québec City has enough buvettes, Le Voisin comes along… and stands out as much for its cuisine as its decor. A young staff serving finger-licking dishes in a luminous environment punctuated by raw materials. The dishes are perfect for sharing, ideal for l’apéro! Expect local flavours, international inspirations, a dynamic wine list and friendly service. Do not miss the fried cauliflower served alongside homemade citrus mayo and chips of romano cheese. Reservations are a must, especially for brunch.

299, rue Saint-Joseph Est (Saint-Roch district)

7 La Gaspésienne 51

Dive into Québec’s pristine cold-water seafood through La Gaspésienne 51’s menu. From the sea to the plate, the fisherman of Pêcherie Raymond Desbois, three generations of passionate fishermen who supply this popular Sillery destination with fresh seafood: crab, lobster, whelk, Stimpson's surf clams, seaweed, etc. On tap, La Gaspésienne 51 house brew made by Gaspé microbrewery Pit Caribou.

1626, chemin Saint-Louis (Sillery)

8 Tapas & Liège

Lunch at Tapas & Liège is delightful, either on their sun-filled, street-side terrace or inside next to the gigantic wall lined with corks. Located alongside scenic rue Maguire in Sillery, Tapas & Liège preaches to a tapas-loving clientele where private imports and local alcohols shine. The menu à l’ardoise flows along with the seasons where Spanish traditions are heightened by the chef’s Mexican origins.

1297, avenue Maguire (Sillery)

9 Nhà Tôi

This unpretentious Vietnamese restaurant decorated in a ludicrous, tiki-inspired décor serves finger-licking soups, rolls, stews and charcoal-grilled delicacies. Owned and operated by the duo behind Le Pied Bleu and Le Renard et la Chouette, Nhà Tôi is their first incursion into Asian cuisine. Alongside their partner Hoang Nguyen, they studied every ingredient, recipe and read every cookbook on the subject to come up with an authentic, aromatic adventure through Vietnam’s iconic perfumes: lotus, papaya, galangal roots, lemongrass, star anise, etc. Karaoke devices and disco restrooms showcase perfectly the owners’ bubbly personalities.

281, rue de la Couronne (Saint-Roch district)

10 Diner Saint-Sauveur

The tiny Diner Saint-Sauveur is a reflection of the inhabitants of the neighbourhood where it sits: familiar, affordable and gourmet. Québec snack bars' classics are revisited with skillful enthusiasm by a talented and dynamic young team in the kitchen. Inspired by many gourmet journeys, they propose waffles and fried chicken, Shepherd's pie with foie gras and cheese curds, fried pickles and even a poutine bucket. The heavy menu will challenge your appetite!

450, rue Saint-Vallier Ouest (Saint-Sauveur district)

11 L'Orygine

A French-inspired bistro where Québec's local products are showcased with elegance and modernity by young but oh-so-talented chef Sabrina Lemay. One word best describes her dishes: colourful! Each ingredient is carefully selected and delicately transformed in-house to create thoughtful dishes where flavours overcome the taste buds.

36, rue Saint-Pierre (Petit-Champlain / Place -Royale)

12 ARVI

At ARVI's, the relationship between the customer and the kitchen is a privileged one, just like the one between the chef and his products. With a kitchen/serving area located in the heart of the dining room, ARVI ignores the traditional conventions of the dining experience, without destabilizing the customer. ARVI illustrates itself via tasty dishes with neat presentations in the trendy district of Limoilou.

519, 3e avenue (Limoilou district)

13 La Bonne étoile

La Bonne étoile’s food experience is ephemeral and seasonal, only available from July to October. The young chef duo relies on Mother Nature's beauty and focuses on the seasonality to charm the palate. The plates and setting are both pleasing to the eye, enhanced by historical snapshots of the province.

160, rue Saint-Paul (Old Port)

14 L’Îlot Repère gourmand

At Entourage sur-le-Lac, l'Îlot Repère gourmand brings a breath of fresh air to the Lac-Beauport area. With its cuisine orchestrated by young, curious and dextrous cooks, L'Îlot assembles its menu around seasonal products with stone cooked pizzas, tasty simmered stews, generous burgers and fresh market arrivals.

99, chemin du Tour-du-Lac (Lac-Beauport)

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