Conquering the culinary highs of


A visit to this historic walled city in Canada is enhanced by a healthy appetite.

By Catherine Marshall

French Origins

Québec City is encircled by ancient ramparts and fortified by ambrosial fare. More than four centuries after the French settlement’s cornerstone was laid, it is the only remaining preserved walled city in North America. The citadel walls looms undaunted and (almost) impenetrable above the St Lawrence River, which glides by in a broad ribbon of blue on its way to the Atlantic Ocean.

ABOVE: Old Québec City, Canada

Modern visitors to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Historic District of Old Québec need not enjoy its charms on an empty stomach. Indeed, its culinary temptations will ensure you return home with vivid memories of the local cuisine. The diversity of food underpins this city as much as the unshakeable parapets, providing not only nourishment but historical context. Though French-inspired, the city’s cuisine has always relied on seasonally available resources (seafood, game, arboreal produce), and draws from traditional recipes which were sufficiently rich to sustain settlers against the rigours of early colonial life – including winters cold enough to freeze the blood in their veins.

Many modern cuisines are characterised by the gradual influx of immigrants from around the world. So in Québec, there’s no escaping the influence of the English, with whom the French battled for dominance and possession. It is also delightful to see First Nations dishes finding their rightful place on Québec City’s menu.

ABOVE: Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, Québec City


Be led by scents and aromas through the Old City walls


Learn how Québec produces 85 per cent of the world's maple syrup


Discover the city's craft beer and ice cider culture


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