Quebec is the Canadian cuisine capital of Canada. They put gravy and cheese curds on fries to make our beloved poutine. They put minced beef into a pie crust to make tourtière. They broke down peas in a crockpot and called it split pea soup. They poured boiled maple syrup on fresh snow and rolled it onto popsicle sticks to make la tire, or maple taffy. So naturally, during my trip to Quebec City, there was a lot of food to be eaten.
Although I can’t eat most of those foods (no matter how much I tell myself they won’t make me sick), it was quite easy to track down some sweets to keep my energy up while walking around downtown in between meals.
Unfortunately, there was no snow to have la tire or any fresh maple sap to make fresh syrup. (Track down a sugar cabin in the early spring for fresh syrup, maple butter, maple taffy and everything else maple.) But, with many local chocolate stores and even a chocolate museum, there was never a shortage in sweets.
Here are some of the best spots to get your sugar fix while around Old Quebec:
Chocolat Favoris – 65 Boulevard René-Lévesque Ouest
Chocolate is always a good idea. (And a good life motto!) Located in the Montcalm neighbourhood, at the intersection of the popular Avenue Cartier and René-Lévesque, Chocolat Favoris offers a wide variety of in-house made specialty chocolates, hots chocolates, chocolate bars and fondues (and tasting all of them is a must).
Grab some of their $1.25 chocolates and make your way over to a café for a perfect afternoon pick-me-up. I’d highly recommend their maple chocolates and their sea salt caramel dark chocolate (pictured below with mint tea).
La Maison Smith Café – 23 Rue Norte Dame
After checking out Samuel de Champlain’s trading post and the Notre-Dame-des-Victoires church, two of French Canada’s oldest buildings (1604 and 1687, respectively), look no further than across the street for your sweets fix!
La Maison Smith Cafe makes a killer maple latte that has enough caffeine and sugar to help you keep exploring Petit Champlain and its macarons, which are gluten-free, literally crumble in your mouth. And if you’re lactose intolerant or vegan, it’s one of the few cafes that offers both almond and soy milk! Plus, its cute and cozy atmosphere fits perfectly into the quaint streets and old buildings in Petit Champlain.
Érico (Le Musée de chocolat) – 634 Rue Saint-Jean
For those who want their chocolate fix to be educational and closer to Old Québec, Érico is the place to go! Not only is it a chocolate shop, it’s also a museum!
With cacao beans sourced from different areas of South America and Africa, you can learn about the process of how chocolate is made and try samples of cacao beans (which are so bitter that you should rinse your mouth with hot chocolate) and different types of chocolate from different countries.
And for those who are lactose intolerant or vegan, their dark chocolate doesn’t contain milk and they also offer hot chocolate with soy milk (“le soyeux”).
If you decide to pull a Vianne Rocher (yes that is a reference to the movie Chocolat) and add some spice to your hot chocolate, the Aztèque is delicious mixed in with le soyeux hot chocolate (pictured behind “le décadent”).
If you’re looking for what I can only describe as drinkable chocolate, le décadent is so thick and chocolatey that stirring requires effort on behalf of your index finger and thumb. Better start prepping those stirring fingers now!
What’s your favourite sweets shop where you live? Let me know in the comments below or tweet it to me @thefttourist