Quebec City: France in North America

09:01 October 08, 2019
By: Josh Danzig

Quebec City is one of the oldest cities in North America.Founded by Samuel de Champlain as the site for Fort Saint Louis in 1608, Quebec City was founded more than 100 years before New Orleans.The capital city of the Canadian province of Quebec, a visit to Quebec City is like visiting France without leaving the continent.

French is the official language of Quebec City.While almost everyone speaks English as well, it is French that is written and spoken throughout.In addition to the language, the French lifestyle is celebrated in Quebec City.It is all about the art of living life to the fullest: this includes eating fine foods, drinking alcohol liberally, and overall enjoying the finer things in life.

Like the French Quarter is to New Orleans, Old Quebec is the heart of Quebec City.Located overlooking the Saint Lawrence River, Old Quebec is surrounded by fortified defensive walls that lead to the fortress Citadelle of Quebec.It is made up of the Upper Town and the Lower Town, which are separated by a steep walk or the charming funicular.Old Quebec is full of enchanting restaurants, beautiful architecture, and friendly people.

Old Quebec revolves around The Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac.The spectacular hotel that looks like a castle is a tourist destination visited by thousands.Opened in 1893, the Chateausque-style building was built by the Canadian Pacific Railway company.It is one of the most famous hotels in the world. The Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac is so significant, it can be argued that it was an important part of world history.

The Chateau Frontenac is one of Canada's grand railway hotels built by the Canadian Pacific Railway.The hotels were built as local and national landmarks designed to serve the passengers of Canada's then expanding rail network. Its striking tower is derived found medieval chateaus found throughout France.The hotel features 611 guest rooms and suites; many suites are named after a head of state or famous person who has stayed at the hotel.

The Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac lies on the eastern edge of Old Quebec's Upper Town.It features amazing views of prominent landmarks and the Saint Lawrence River.It is blocks away from many of the most important sites of Quebec City, including the 17th century Ursulines Monastery of Quebec, the Citadelle of Quebec, and the Plains of Abraham.

The hotel features three wonderful restaurants. Bistro Le Sam features exceptional views of the St. Lawrence River along with creative menu items; it's also where breakfast is served, with a buffet that rivals any other. The 1608 Wine and Cheese Bar is a perfect spot for a glass of wine and cheese plate, while the upscale Champlain is one of the top restaurants in all of Quebec.The Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac also produces its own honey through the "Bee Sustainable" program; honey is harvested twice a year and served in the hotel's restaurants.

The hotel holds a remarkable place in modern history, as it's the location of the First and Second Quebec Conferences.These conferences were highly secret military conferences held during WW II by the governments of the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Canadian Prime Minister William King met to discuss strategies for defeating the Axis powers. Without these meetings, it is possible that the Allies would not have been victorious.

Quebec City is a place filled with plenty to see and do.Highlights include wonderful museums, monasteries, and shopping.Quebec City also has fantastic flea markets that are popular with the locals.These include Ecans Gelineau & Fils and the Marche aux puces de Sainte-Foy.

These markets serve as a great place to buy souvenirs, including some of Canada's famous maple syrup. The maple syrup is given either an A or B grade, and the colors range from Medium Amber to Dark Amber.Syrup is a great thing to bring home to friends and family, and with the favorable exchange rate, each U.S. dollar earns you $1.33 in Canadian dollars.Thus, every purchase enjoys practically a 33% discount compared with that you'd spend in the United States.

Quebec City is one of the top food cities in Canada.First class French cuisine can be found in many spots.One of the best restaurants in town is Le Saint Amour. Chef-owner Jean Luc serves as the personal chef of Paul McCartney during each visit, as his cooking is spectacular. Le Saint Amour also is one of the most romantic restaurants in town, making it a great date spot.

Restaurant Le Bistro Sous Le Fort serves fantastic French food in a more casual atmosphere.For over 15 years this spot has been packed with locals and tourists alike for French classics such as mussels and frites.Restaurant Le Bistro Sous Le Fort also serves an amazing poutine, which is a dish with cheese curds and brown gravy over French fries.The dish originated in Quebec in the late 1950s, and this is a great spot for it.

For great oysters, head to the infamous Kraken Cru in the hip St. Roch neighborhood.A cross between a classic oyster bar like Seaworthy and a dive bar like Snake & Jake's, Kraken Cru is a place to go when you have no agenda for the rest of the night.Expect comradery with fellow diners at the bar while enjoying shots from the bartender to be enjoyed while ordering specials off the chalkboard.

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If you need a break from the French cuisine, don't miss Portofino Bistro Italiano.Located in a historical home built in 1760, this restaurant is the finest Italian restaurant in Old Quebec City. The restaurant has a cozy and festive atmosphere with a fantastic menu to please everyone.

From pizzas and pastas to steaks and fish, Portofino is a great spot to step back into Italy while visiting Canada. Highlights include the Buffalo mozzarella antipasti, the four cheese gnocchi, and the Walleyed pike fillet with mango and avocado salsa.Portofino has a spectacular wine list with wonderful wines from the old country.

Speaking of wine, Echo Buvette is the sort of wine bar that would be extremely popular in New Orleans. Located next door to its sister restaurant the Echaude, the Echo offers creative and affordable cuisine that matches perfectly with their wine list. Highlights include the scallop ceviche served with raspberries and beets and the fresh pasta with rabbit. This is a great spot to try many of the wines from the Quebec region, and with the favorable exchange rate, you can have multiples glasses at a discount.

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