9 Traditional Québec Specialties

A plate of poutine, Quebec's traditionnal dish
D. Lafond

Drawing its roots from French cuisine, Québec’s cuisine was largely shaped by the difficult early years after it was settled. Enduring harsh winters and having many mouths to feed but little to eat, people required dishes with real substance to build their new nation! Today, many traditional dishes take pride of place at Christmas and New Year’s celebrations.

You can try traditional Québec cuisine for yourself at the following restaurants.

  • 1

    Cretons

    A cold meat spread similar to rillettes. Made with ground pork and seasoned with spices such as cinnamon, savory, and cloves, cretons is a Québec classic and popular spread on toast at breakfast.

  • 2

    Baked beans (fèves au lard)

    A traditional dish consisting mainly of beans and pieces of pork fatback, slow-cooked in an earthenware dish. A number of variations exist, but the most popular is made with maple syrup.

  • 3

    Pea soup (soupe aux pois)

    A soup consisting of dry yellow peas, salt pork, and vegetables such as small pieces of carrots, simmered in water seasoned with a bay leaf. Pea soup is often part of the traditional meal served at sugar shacks.

  • 4

    Meat pie (pâté à la viande)

    A seasoned ground beef pie with a top and bottom crust.

  • 5

    Poutine

    A dish consisting of French fries and fresh cheese curds topped with hot gravy.

  • 6

    Sugar pie (tarte au sucre)

    A single-crust pie filled with a mixture of cream, flour, egg, and brown sugar, which is sometimes replaced with maple syrup.

  • 7

    Poor man's pudding cake (pouding chômeur)

    A dessert made with white cake batter and a brown sugar and cream sauce. Both parts are layered in a pan and baked until a sweet syrupy pudding with a cakey topping forms.

  • 8

    Pig's trotter stew (ragoût de pattes de porc)

    A stew made with pig’s trotters, potatoes, and spices, simmered for about half a day.

  • 9

    Meatball stew (ragoût de boulettes de porc)

    A dish consisting of meatballs made with ground beef, pork, veal, or a blend of all three and typically seasoned with cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves and rolled in flour. The meatballs are then simmered with onion and broth thickened with flour. It is often served with boiled potatoes.


Québec cité
Editorial Team

As proud ambassadors of our beloved city, we’re delighted to be sharing the things and places we love most in the Québec City area. What a joy for us to help you discover everything this vibrant and welcoming city has to offer!

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