Lost in Canada: Sisters Take Quebec City

Canada — By on December 17, 2011 at 8:17 am

By Noella Schink
Special to Lost Girls World

My sister and I are renowned for two things: our blue eyes and our healthy appetites. We’ve been partaking in the charms of Quebec City for seven years now, and have never been able to exhaust the list of great bistros, pubs, crêperies and chocolatiers the city offers.

Every year we road trip north, choose from one of the many awesome hotels in Montreal (have to stop in and see Aunt June), then east to our ultimate destination, Quebec City. We pose as glamorously as possible amongst the flower gardens, picturesque store fronts and of course, over our candlelit meals. We always feel posh ordering our food “en Français” (even if it sometimes backfires). It’s a trip that gives us a taste of Europe and the worldliness we covet, and it’s right in our own backyard.

Our favorite restaurants certainly aren’t world-class, but we love them for their locations in the heart of Vieux-Quebec, their gorgeous views and overall stylish ambience. For breakfast we head straight down Rue Sainte-Ursule (from our favorite hostel, Auberge Internationale de Quebec) to Rue Saint-Jean where Au Petit Coin Breton awaits us. The servers all wear traditional Breton garb (adorable blue frocks with starched lace caps), the seats are hand carved wood and the breakfast crêpes literally melt in your mouth. Sweet or savory, these paper thin delights enfold Nutella and strawberries, jambon et fromage (See? Look at all the French I know!) or maple syrup with bananas. Since 1963, this Old City staple has enticed and delighted brunch-seekers from around the world.

By midday (hey, it’s vacation!), we’ll have worked up a thirst. Les Escaliers Casse-Cou (Breakneck Stairs) are worth navigating down to the Petit Champlain neighborhood for a refreshing glass of wine and perhaps a cheese plate. La Marie-Clarisse is our favorite as its patio is situated on the stairs. This vantage point provides a generally quite amusing view of the frothing crowd in the cobbled street below.

After a welcome funicular ride back up to the old city, (those stairs are steep and many) it’s time for lunch. Rue du Trésor is a somewhat hidden alley that boasts not only a vibrant street gallery of local art, but also La Nouvelle France, a positively Parisian bistro with overflowing flower boxes, a sunny patio and  the best French onion soup in town. The final flourish of the afternoon, we’ll stroll to the promenade that flanks the nearby Château Frontenac to partake in an ice cream (which delightfully satiates that vacationer’s need for dessert after every meal).

As night falls and the shops close up, our final stop is St. Patrick’s Pub on Rue Couillard. The pints flow and snacks like nachos, poutine and bruschetta are the perfect accompaniment to foot stomping good Irish music. We crazy sisters might even fancy a turn around the dance floor! Right around the corner from our hostel, St. Paddy’s is the perfect end to our day. So we sleepily meander back up the hill to tuck into our bunk beds up on Rue Sainte-Ursule and dream of the crêpes we’ll have for breakfast the next morning.

Noella Schink is a travel writer from Portland, Maine. She loves to travel and recommends checking out Auto Europe whether you want to explore Canada or rent a car in the UK on the other side of the pond.

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