There are plenty of places to grab eggs and ‘patates’ in Vieux-Québec. Here are Billy’s picks for three of the best
The French word for brunch is… brunch. You can try saying it with a bit of an accent, but it doesn’t really work – nor is it at all necessary. Think of it the way English-speakers have adopted so many brunch worthy words from French: café au lait, baguette, croissant, and even omelette. There’s an ample supply of restaurants serving up all those options (and more, of course) right in the heart of Old Quebec. These are the ones we actually recommend to get your bilingual brunching started. Bon appétit!
Buffet de l’Antiquaire
This family diner is a favourite with locals and tourists alike, and expect to line up with a good mix of both on weekend mornings – especially in the summer. The something-for-everyone menu is no-frills and affordable, all prepared on the same open grill behind the counter. Eggs, meat, more eggs, more meat. You won’t be wowed by any creative dishes, but will leave feeling full of comfort food. And it doesn’t matter what time you wander over to this lower town institution – like any good greasy spoon, breakfast options are served all day long.
95 rue Saint-Paul, 418-692-2661
Café du Monde
Also in the lower town, Café du Monde is right on the water, overlooking the St. Lawrence River. In contrast to the Buffet de l’Antiquaire’s diner-like vibe, this is a bright and spacious Paris bistro-style restaurant with a carefully curated menu. The weekend brunch selection includes staples (eggs benedict, a full “Québecoise” breakfast), along with treats like a pulled duck confit omelette, and baguette french toast (“pain perdu”) with homemade maple caramel. Expect white tablecloths, those rattan-framed woven chairs that dot Paris sidewalks, and servers who know their stuff.
84 rue Dalhousie, 418-692-4455
Perfect for the picky eater, the menu at Casse-Crêpe Breton is very build-it-yourself. Choose from different veggies, cheeses and meats for your savoury crêpe, and try to save room for a sweet one for dessert. The batter is spread thicker than a traditional Breton crêpe, but still thin enough that we aren’t in pancake territory. They are simple but well stuffed, and the service at this small, casual upper town spot is speedy. The interior was recently refreshed, but owners kept the same whimsical circus theme, against a backdrop of old city stone walls.
1136 rue Saint-Jean, 418-692-0438