Guide to Finding the Best Cafe in Quebec City

Finding the best cafe in Quebec City is a fun and delicious endeavour. It’s also a different way to experience the city, from the cobblestone streets of Old Quebec’s lower town to local neighbourhoods like Saint-Roch, Montcalm, and beyond. For fun, let’s chat about the best cafes in Quebec City based on what they offer.

jennifer in streets - of quebec city

Best View: Au 1884

Located on Dufferin Terrace, Au 1884 resides in a gazebo with views of Château Frontenac, Old Quebec, and the Saint-Lawrence River. While technically listed as a sandwich shop, Au 1884 is known for serving good coffee and locally sourced chocolat chaud (hot chocolate). In summer, they serve amazing chocolate-dipped ice cream cones.

Oh, and why not book a tour of this fantastic Château while you’re at it?

Most Instagrammable: La Maison Smith

There are several Smith Cafe locations in Quebec City, but La Maison Smith in Place-Royale is where it all began. Located on rue Notre-Dame, Maison Smith serves pastries from Paillard and roasts their own coffee blends.

In summer, the outdoor patio is perfect for people-watching while enjoying a coffee and croissant. In winter, the cafe is filled with festive decorations and has a great view of the Christmas tree erected in the square each year.

Best Tchotchkes: Le Packwood Café

If you’re looking for cute Quebec-made tchotchkes (from over 50 artisans) to take home, then head on over to Le Packwood Café in Vieux-Port.

It’s a cute cafe with exposed stone walls, with good coffee, creative drinks, and a food menu that changes often. It’s a charming place to relax and shop.

Most Unique Café in Quebec City: Maelstrom Saint-Roch

Maelstrom is tucked away in a quiet corner of Saint-Roch and a favourite among locals. During the day, Maelstrom is a cafe with a yummy brunch menu. In the evening, it’s a lively cocktail bar.

The coffee is excellent, the cold brew and cold brew tonic, too. The brunch menu has a few vegan options, and includes dishes like Turkish eggs, gravlax, and shakshuka.

cafe maelstrom - dining room

Looking for Cool Tours While in Quebec City?

Look no further! We’ve noted the best ones for you right here:

Looking to craft your own tour? Get this amazing ebook about île d’Orléans to create your own itinerary!

For a whole lot of other awesome tours in Quebec province, check out this article: 46 Ultimate Best Quebec Guided Tours You Should Book Now in the Province.

Best Workspace for Freelancers in Quebec City: Café Saint-Henri

Honestly, it’s a toss-up between the best donuts and best workspace. Located on rue Saint-Joseph Est in Saint-Roch, Café Saint-Henri features tons of natural light and plenty of communal workspaces.

The cafe opens at 7:30 (8 on weekends), and gourmet donuts are made daily. The coffee is quite good, as well as the pastries and lunch menu. It’s a perfect place to work and stay caffeinated in the process.

Best Story: Café Castelo

On avenue Cartier in Montcalm, Café Castelo serves fabulous coffee, and has one of the best stories. Owner, Predrag Okuka, arrived in Quebec City with his family in 1995. They were escaping the Bosnian War, and didn’t speak French, but they knew how to roast good coffee. They became the first coffee roasters in Quebec City, and today they are known for serving one of the best coffees in the city.

Micro Roasting - Dinning Room of Cafe Castelo - in Quebec
Photo: Café Castelo

Best Events: Saint-Suave

Saint-Suave is a bookstore and café located in the neighbourhood of Saint-Sauveur. This is one of the best cafes in Quebec City for relaxing with a book, enjoying art expositions, and catching up with friends. The coffee is good, and they have a light lunch menu if you have the munchies.

A Person Working in a Café - in Quebec City - Saint-Suave Librairie Café
Photo: Saint-Suave

Best Espresso in Quebec City: Cantook Café

Cantook Café opened its doors in Saint-Jean-Baptiste in 2015 and quickly became a local favourite. The cafe is small with limited seating and always busy. Their coffee blends are excellent, and they are known for serving amazing espresso. In summer, take a breather on a cozy chair outside before continuing your exploration of the neighbourhood.

A Barista in a Coffee Shop - Cantook Micro Torrefaction - Quebec
Photo: Cantook Café

Best Ambiance: Joe Cool Café & Curiosités

In Saint-Roch, Joe Cool is just that, cool! This is one of the best cafes in Quebec City for affordable coffee, great ambiance, and yummy snacks. It’s also the only cafe where you can eat Flammekueches, a specialty dish from Alsace. Come chill, admire the funky art, and lose yourself for an hour or two.

How to Catch Some Cool Views of Quebec City?

Looking for an original activity during your trip to Quebec City?

– Scope out some amazing views thanks for a helicopter ride over the old town that’s bound to have you squealing with excitement!

– Hop aboard for a view of Old Quebec City from the water, a great way to catch the breeze in summer and change your perspective.

– Looking for a more sporty approach to visiting the old capital? Rent a fat bike and explore on your own the charms of the cobblestone streets.

Best Cats: Café Félin Ma Langue aux Chats

Perched close to Gare du Palais, Café Félin Ma Langue aux Chats is the best cat café in Quebec City. It’s cozy and eclectic, with seating vignettes, games, a small food menu, and of course, cats! It’s a fun place to hang out, and sometimes the cats will come hang out. There are games, and some locals like to work from here.

Cats on a Coffee Shop Counter - Cafe Felin Ma Langue Aux Chats
Photo: Café Félin Ma Langue Aux Chats

The cafe culture in Quebec City gets better every year, and searching for the best coffee shops as you wander around the city is highly recommended. Quebec is known for prioritising the enjoyment of life, so make time to relax and enjoy a coffee or hot chocolate as you do. Which Quebec City cafe are you going to visit first?

Looking for other things to do in Quebec City? Discover them all here. Here’s a preview of some articles:

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Quebec City / Quebec Destinations / Trip Planner / What and Where to Eat

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