I often get asked about where I sleep and eat when I come back from my travels. When I find things worth recommending I am all for shouting them from the rooftops! Though, that can be a double-edged sword. One must weigh the recommendations of treasures with the certainty that such places will become over-run with tourists.
- For a mid-day coffee and croissant break, head to Paillard. They have the best croissants in Old Quebec and their cafe au lait is served up in bowls, in true French fashion. They have great salads and sandwiches for lunch too. Grab a crusty-doughy Parisian-style baguette for the road.
- Looking for traditional French bistro food at downright bargain prices in a lively atmosphere? Follow the locals over to Les Frères de la Côte, which is the restaurant in the Hotel du Vieux Quebec. Choose from salmon, pizza, confit de canard and osso bucco. But the deal of the century is the never-ending bowls of mussels, prepared in your choice of three different broths, (with extra bread for broth-sopping) all for under $16.
- For a special treat, head to rue Saint-Paul in Lower Town to experience a touch of the South of France. Mistral Gagnant feels like it was plucked right from Provence. The brightly colored decor combined with the seafood-forward menu offers an experience only the French Riviera could rival. Splurge on the authentic Marseilles classic fish soup, bouillabaisse, complete with croutons and rouille. Snag one of three tables in the front window and finish off with a Pastis to help it all go down smoothly.
- The Café Experience. Many long for it and I am no exception. And no, I am not recommending a Starbucks! I found a hidden-gem-of-a-café, in the back streets of Upper Town. Perfect for breakfast, coming in from the rain for a shot of espresso at the bar, wasting hours on your laptop or for a delicious home-made lunch prix-fixe for about $12 Canadian. Chez Temporel exudes charm and warmth with it’s dim lighting, yellow walls and mahogany-colored tables. The croissants are baked in-house and you can milk your coffee all day while reading the paper without fear of being kicked to the curb.
Let’s see what Cherrye is serving up this Travel Tip Tuesday!