The Saint-Roch district in the heart of Quebec City that has gone through a major revitalization recently so that the old factory district has become a trendy area for music, new restaurants, and visual arts.
Quebec City Food Tours
While in Quebec City I had the pleasure of joining the Quebec City Food Tours for their 3 hour Saint-Roch food and cultural walking tour, where I learned more about the history of the district while strolling from one amazing foodie hotspot to another.
Starting at Fromagerie Des Grondines my group met our two tour guides, both locals who live in the Saint-Roch district and were passionate about the community and local businesses we visited.
To start the tasting we sampled local Le Clos Des Roches cheese and Argouille, a carbonated orange coloured drink produced by Achilles Farm, that is made out of sea buckthorn which is also known as “the miracle berry” because it is high in Vitamin C and E that is sweetened with maple syrup to make a delicious beverage.
Next, the tour group sampled a French Canadian classic dish, French Onion soup along with a gourmet grilled cheesed sandwich.
The french onion soup with bread and cheese.
Our next stop was Om Prana, a vegan bistro and yoga studio that was bustling inside with locals grabbing a smoothie or some of the amazing healthy meal options such as sandwiches and salads. Here our tour group got to have an absolutely divine raw avocado lime pie that is topped with shredded coconut. This dish was my favorite on the entire tour as the flavor combination was so fresh, and it so happens we were given the recipe in our walking tour guide book so I’m certainly going to making this dish this summer for my friends.
The third stop on the food tour was Camellia Sinensis a tea house that offers tea classes, and high-quality tea and cups for sale in a zen environment. Here I tried a hot cup of Labrador tea from local plants grown in Quebec, and the perfect cup of fruity ice tea that was rich in flavor.
After a bit of exploring the local garden and Saint-Roch Church that is the largest church in Quebec City, we warmed up for a truly Canadian dish – poutine. Chez Ashton is a fast-food chain in Quebec that makes all the food fresh to order.
Everyone got their own huge serving of poutine to sample.
Poutine, a dish of French Fries, gravy and cheese curds.
For the 5th stop on the tour, we visited Champagne Chocolatier, a chocolate shop that offered a vast assortment of high-quality chocolates.
I had the pleasure of trying the chocolate raspberry truffles which were divine, and unlike many of the fruit flavored chocolates, I’d had in the past it had a distinct taste of fresh raspberries.
Some of the other delicious sweets available
Joining me for my trip to Quebec City, I also brought along my mother, aunt and grandmother, and this food tour kept all 3 generations of my family happily entertained the entire time. While the food was all delicious, and their knowledge of the areas was extensive it was their warmth and attentiveness to everyone in the group that made the tour outstanding.
In the photo above is my dear grandmother who will be celebrating her 80th birthday in a few days and has several dietary restrictions. Throughout the tour one of the guides would keep walking near her, allowing her to walk at a slower pace, or would find her a chair so she could rest her feet if the rest of the group was standing. Several times alternate food items were provided for her to eat, due to her dietary restrictions, such as replacing milk chocolate truffles with this huge piece of dark chocolate instead. As you can notice from the photo, my grandmother was all smiles on the trip and loved every moment along with her alternate tasting options too.
To wrap up the tour we visited La Barberie, a microbrewery that had a great assortment of craft beers available. What I found interesting was as they focus only on making truly wonderful pints you are allowed to bring food in from other restaurants to have along with your beer. As such, we got to sample chocolate caramels from Champagne Chocolatier paired with La Barberie’s chocolate stout or with a non-alcoholic apple must.
Working on identifying the flavor notes in my stout.
I strongly recommend signing up for one of the food tasting tours offered by Quebec City Food Tours, over the course of the 3 hours my family and I had a wonderful time exploring a part of the city we would have normally overlooked. From the huge assortment of samples you are provided the tour provides enough food for a full lunch and will allow you to try a variety of local Quebec focused ingredients and dishes.
My Saint Roch food tour was provided complimentary as part of a press tour, but all opinions are my own.