17 Must Try Famous Foods in Québec during Winter Carnaval

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More than a celebration of winter, you’ll also find a lot of famous food in Québec that you must try when you go to Winter Carnaval. What better way to get into the spirit of the Québécois winter than by trying all of their delicious food and drinks?

Maple Taffy from La Buche

To make sure you don’t miss any treats, we’ve put together this list of quintessential Québec food that you must try as well as a list of restaurants where you can find many of our recommendations.

Many thanks to the Québec City Tourism Office for sponsoring my recent trip. All opinions are mine.

One thing you won’t have a shortage of when you visit Québec City is delicious food. The food scene here is on point with more locally owned, seasonal, and inspiring restaurants than you’ll be able to visit in only one trip. 

Just like there’s no shortage of famous hotels in Québec, there’s also no shortage of delicious and famous food in Québec either. Here are 17 Québec food and drink options, plus a few restaurant suggestions you’ll find in Old Québec and beyond.

You must add each of these items to your vacation checklist when you visit this historic and charming Canadian town.

12 Must-Try Famous Food in Québec City

We love the French-Canadian dishes you find in Québec City. Their emphasis on local and seasonal ingredients, as well as sustainability, is commendable. So many restaurants highlight the region’s produce, dairy, meats, and maple products in innovative and creative ways. 

You’ll notice that Québécois cuisine also incorporates elements of Indigenous First Nations. Ingredients like wild game (deer, rabbit, duck), fish (salmon, trout), wild berries (blueberries, cranberries), and maple syrup are traditional Indigenous staples and you’ll see a lot of these ingredients in many of the best foods.

When you visit this Canadian province, you’re in for a treat of unique dishes from diverse influences, not just French influence. Bring your appetite because you will have a hard time saying no to all of the food you will want to try!

Poutine from La Buche
Poutine from La Buche


A Canadian classic, authentic poutine is a comfort food masterpiece, Québec cuisine at its finest. Imagine a hearty bowl of crispy french fries, topped with squeaky fresh cheese curds, and smothered in rich, savory brown gravy. 

French Canadian Poutine is something I’ve started to see in many US restaurants too, so you definitely need to try the real deal when you go to Québec City! Different restaurants in Québec put their own unique spin on poutine, so keep your eyes open for all the yummy flavor combos you can try during your visit. We had the best poutine at La Buche!

Sugar Shack Breakfast 
Sugar Shack Breakfast  at Lu Buche

Sugar Shack Breakfast 

The most iconic meal you can eat in Québec  City is a sugar shack meal, also known as “cabane à sucre” in French. This is a traditional Québécois dining experience centered around maple syrup. Inspired by the sugar shacks that are used to make maple syrup, this delicious meal is full of traditional dishes the entire family will love.

It typically includes a hearty, family-style feast featuring dishes such as pea soup, baked beans (Fèves au Lard), ham, bacon, sausages, omelets, meat pies, and of course, plenty of maple syrup.  There are many places you can enjoy a sugar shack meal, but La Buche is our favorite. Treating yourself to a sugar snack breakfast is a hearty and delicious way to start your day at the Winter Carnaval so make sure you do it!

Maple Taffy from a street stand
Maple Taffy from a street stand

Maple Taffy

No visit to the Winter Carnival is complete without indulging in maple taffy, (tire d’érable). It’s a beloved Canadian winter tradition, and the carnival offers the perfect opportunity to taste this delightful treat, freshly made before your eyes.

This sweet treat is made by pouring hot maple syrup onto clean, fresh snow where it quickly cools and hardens. Then, it’s rolled onto a stick to create a chewy, maple candy. Be careful rolling or you’ll end up with maple in your hair. Ask me how I know!

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BeaverTails (Queue de Castor)

Another Canadian treat, BeaverTails are flat pastries made in the shape of a beaver’s tail. They’re fried until crispy, then topped with a variety of toppings like cinnamon sugar, chocolate, or maple butter. Its warm, crispy exterior and sweet toppings make it a favorite Carnaval dessert.

Traditional French Canadian Meat Pie (Tourtière)

Tourtière is a classic Québécois traditional meat pie, filled with a savory mixture of ground meats, onions, and spices. It’s a comforting and hearty dish that’s perfect for winter.

Maple Sugar Pie (Tarte au Sucre)

An iconic French Canadian pie that celebrates the region’s maple syrup heritage, this pie is made with a rich filling of maple syrup, cream, and butter, all baked in a buttery pie crust.

Wild Game entree from La Buchette
Wild Game entree from La Buchette

Wild Game  

Embrace Québec ‘s love for wild game meats like venison, boar, and duck. Look for them on menus featuring traditional Québécois cuisine. We had a lot of really delicious venison at La Buchette and La Traite too.

You’ll see a lot of rabbit on menus in Quebec, including Rabbit Wings at La Buche. We wanted to try them, but unfortunately, the kitchen ran out. Take the opportunity to try foods you don’t see that often at home!

French Onion Soup from la buchette

French Onion Soup

Is there a better soup than a comforting bowl of French onion soup? This delicious soup is a favorite at my house and also in Québec. Caramelized onions, rich beef broth, and melted cheese work together in the most delicious way.

Make sure to have a bowl when you’re in Québec. It’s such a delicious way to warm you up after being out in the cold.

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Pea Soup (Soupe aux Pois)

Another way to warm up from a cold day of having outdoor fun is to try Pea Soup. Québécois pea soup is a hearty and flavorful dish, often made with split peas, vegetables, and sometimes ham or bacon for added richness. I haven’t tried this yet, but it’s top of the list for my next trip to Québec!

chocolate fondue from la buche


Warm up with a cozy fondue meal at the Winter Carnaval, perfect for sharing with friends or family. Whether it’s cheese fondue for a savory delight or chocolate fondue for a sweet finish, it’s a fun and delicious way to enjoy the winter festivities. We had a fabulous chocolate fondue at La Buche. Highly recommend indulging in a fondue!


Indulge in delicate crepes filled with sweet or savory fillings, a popular treat found at the Winter Carnival. Whether you prefer Nutella and bananas or ham and cheese, these thin pancakes are a favorite.

Our hotel, the Le Manoir d’Auteuil had a really nice crepe breakfast on their menu featuring cinnamon apples!

Croissants and other Baked Goods
Croissants and other Baked Goods

Croissants and other Baked Goods

Flakey croissants and other baked goods are top of my list when I want an indulgent treat. You’re in luck when you visit Quebec City because there’s no shortage of bakeries that have mastered French-style baked goods, including Boulangerie Paillard and La Maison Smith.

5 Must Try Famous Drinks in Québec

While you’re trying the famous food in Québec, don’t miss out on all the best drinks! Here are a few that need to be on your radar. Quebec is famous for ice wine, ice cider, Caribou, and more. Here are a few you’ll want to try!

Caribou drink


Caribou is the signature drink of the Québec Winter Carnaval, a warm and invigorating drink made to chase away the winter chill. Featuring red wine, whiskey or brandy, and a blend of spices, it’s like mulled wine and is better warm than cold.

Ice Wine

Québec is also famous for ice wine which local wineries from nearby île d’Orléans  make using grapes that have frozen on the vine. During Carnaval you’ll have the opportunity to try ice wine so make sure you do!

Carnaval Hot Toddy (Ponce du Carnaval)

Carnaval Hot Toddy (Ponce du Carnaval)

The Carnaval Hot Toddy, or “Ponce du Carnaval,” is served in an official souvenir mug, at an Ice Bar (Bar du Glace) during Carnaval. The official Hot Toddy is made with Bonhomme’s syrup, Chic Choc Spiced Rum, Ungava Gin, and hot water.

This was not my favorite drink, but when at Carnaval – make sure to try something! You can order one of several drinks in the official souvenir mug, including delicious and non-alcoholic hot chocolate!

hot shot shooter from La Buche
hot shot shooter from La Buche

Hot Shot Shooter 

Available at La Buche as a liquid dessert, this shooter is as delicious as it is beautiful. It’s a layered shot featuring Galliano, espresso, and whipped cream. 

Curious about Galliano? I was too so I looked it up. Galliano is an Italian liquor that tastes like vanilla and anise. It’s bright yellow in color and makes the shooter almost too pretty to drink. 

having an ice drink at the hotel de glace

Signature Champagne Cocktail at Hôtel de Glace

We recommend visiting the Hôtel de Glace, Quebec’s stunning ice hotel when you’re in Quebec. If you go, make sure to try the signature champagne cocktail served in an ice glass. Made with champagne, limoncello, and gin, this is one drink not to miss!

Must Visit Restaurants in Québec City

Now that you know several must try food and drink options! Here’s a list of just a few of the best restaurants where you can try much of the famous food in Québec listed in this article!

La Buche table and decor

La Buche

La Buche is the best place to experience a true taste of Québec’s culinary heritage and local specialties. You will love the rustic charm, wooden beams, and cozy seating. Make sure to take your camera when you use the restroom! It’s really fun. You’ll also want to make a reservation because La Buche is very popular and very busy.

  • Address: 49, rue Saint-Louis
  • Menu Highlights:
    • Poutine Traditionnelle: Crispy fries, squeaky cheese curds, and rich gravy.
    • Truite Fumé Maison: Maple wood Smoked trout gravlax
    • Expérience Cabane à Sucre: A complete Sugar Shack breakfast featuring pea Soup, scrambled eggs with smoked cheddar, “cream fudge” crepe, ham, sausage, maple bacon, breakfast potatoes, baked beans, homestyle cretons, meat pie, crispy Pork Rinds, fresh fruits and toast.
Ophelia restaurant igloos


Chic and modern, fine dining with an artistic flair in decor, plus outdoor igloos for warm seating outdoors even in the winter Ophelia is a great restaurant for a delicious and upscale dinner or lunch. You will love the  innovative surf and turf dishes that blend Québécois flavors with global influences. Make reservations here.

  • Address: 634, Grande-Allée Est
  • Menu Highlights:
    • Snail Puff Pastry: A unique and delicious starter featuring foie gras torchon, leek, and black garlic veal jus.  
    • Delmonico Steak: Cooked to perfection and the side dishes were fabulous.
    • Dôme Chocolat: This dessert reminds me of a hot chocolate bomb. It includes mascarpone, biscotti, meringue inside a chocolate ball which is melted by pouring a yummy coffee and amaretto sauce on top. 
La Traite breakfast

La Traite

Discover the rich culinary heritage of Indigenous peoples in a uniquely beautiful setting.  La Traite offers an upscale dining experience in a stunning blend of modern design and Indigenous artistry. We love the seasonality of the menu as well as a delicious spin on Indigenous cuisine. This is another must visit restaurant when you’re in Quebec. Make reservations here.

  • Address: 5, Place de la Rencontre, Wendake. Located inside the Hôtel-Musée Premières Nations that we recommend in our article, 5 Famous Hotels in Québec City You Must Visit in 2024.
  • Menu Highlights:
    • Scallops from St Magdalena Islands: La Traite takes care to source local ingredients and this scallop appetizer served with butternut squash cream and verbena oil is phenomenal.
    • Boileau Deer Loin: Tender deer loin served with maple parsnip purée, carrot in fir oil, Brussels sprouts leaf, wild boar bacon, red wine and fir juice – this dish was so delicious. 
    • La Pêche for breakfast: Eggs Benedict with Oushata smoked salmon and sage, daisy buttons, light cheese hollandaise with fir salt, potato casserole.
La Buchette flaming crepes

La Buchette

Indulge in smaller plates bursting with exquisite flavors in an intimate setting. Owned by the same people as La Buche, La Buchette is equally as delicious but with a more intimate and charming atmosphere. It’s perfect for a cozy dinner for two or a drink and appetizers at the bar.

  • Address: 24 Rue Sainte-Anne
  • Menu Highlights:
    • Oignons: A delicious French Onion Soup.
    • Surf N Turf: A complete meal for two featuring bison tomahawk, aligot (cheesy mashed potatoes), béarnaise sauce, pan-fried asparagus, scallops, green oil, butternut puree
    • Crêpes Annette: A decadent dessert made tableside! Bring your appetite when you visit La Buchette.
La Maison Smith

La Maison Smith

A great place to start your day with a perfect cup of coffee and artisanal treats in a relaxed atmosphere when you visit La Maison Smith. You can also take a deep dive into coffee with one of their coffee training workshops. And, buy their delicious coffee online and have it shipped right to your house!

  • Address: Currently 7 locations in the Québec City Area, including 9, Rue des Jardins
  • Menu Highlights:
    • Artisanal Pastries: Flaky croissants, buttery scones, and more.
    • Single-Origin Coffees: Sourced from around the world, expertly brewed.
    • Gourmet Sandwiches: Fresh ingredients between crusty bread.
Boulangerie Paillard

Boulangerie Paillard

A European-style bakery with delicious pastries, sandwiches, salads conveniently located in Old Québec. If you need a quick and delicious lunch or bread and pastries to go, this is the place!

  • Address: 1097, Rue Saint-Jean
  • Menu Highlights:
    • Croissants: Buttery and flaky, a classic delight inspired by French cuisine
    • Quiches and Tartines: Savory options for a satisfying breakfast or lunch.
    • Salads: Lots of delicious salads if you’re looking for an easy vegetable source on your vacation.
Le Vivoir at the Monastère des Augustines

Le Vivoir at the Monastère des Augustines

For a healthy, mindful eating experience, make sure to go to Le Vivoir. This restuarance located inside the Monastère des Augustines is dedicated to locally grown produce and serves fish, meat, and vegetarian menu options daily. It’s buffet style, and really delicious!

  • Address: 77 des Remparts Street, Quebec City
  • Highlights:
    • Serving the most delicious salads and locally sourced menu options. They also have a to-go counter!
    • Silent breakfast between 7 am.and 9:30 am is included in all of Le Monastère’s wellness retreat packages.
    • Lunch from 11 am to 5 pm and dinner from 5 pm and 8 am.

Thanks again to Québec City Tourism for hosting us on this amazing experience.

Don’t forget to make reservations early when you visit the restaurants listed in this post! What famous food in Québec are you most excited to try?

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About Michelle Marine

Michelle Marine is the author of How to Raise Chickens for Meat, a long-time green-living enthusiast, and rural Iowa mom of four. She empowers families to grow and eat seasonal, local foods; to reduce their ecological footprint; and to come together through impactful travel.

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