The best poutines in Quebec City in 2024

best poutine quebec

Poutine is the unofficial national dish of Québec. I would not say it’s the most traditional food of my province, but it surely the most known and famous one! Even if many restaurants have their own version of it, poutine will always be the ultimate comfort food.

You can count on poutine to warm you up on a cold winter day or to fill you up after a night where you had too much drinks. So, where are the best poutines in Quebec City? This is truly a sensitive question! Everyone has their own opinion on the subject. For the purpose of this article, I will focus on Old Quebec and its surroundings. Let me share with you my personal favorite top best poutines in Quebec City.

As a native French speaker, English isn’t my first language. I Learned it school, but most of my learning came from watching ‘The Simpsons’ and listening to rock and metal music. If I’ve made any mistakes in this blog post, please point them out—it’s the best way for me to improve!

What is poutine?

It is a meal consisting of french fries, fresh cheese curds and topped with hot beef and chicken stock gravy. The dish was invented in the 1950’s in a small city between Quebec City and Montreal ( two cities are still debating on who invented it first) and has long been associated with our cuisine. For many years, it was negatively perceived and mocked, and even used as a mean of stigmatization against the Quebecois. Eventually, poutine became celebrated as a symbol of Québécois cultural pride.

What makes a good poutine?

As a quebebecoise, I’ve seen my fair share of bad poutines. A great poutine has chunky cheese curds; the ones that keep their shape and don’t melt under that thick, hot gravy. Ho and the cheese needs to squeak. No squeaky cheese, no good poutine. A great poutine also has thick, solid french fries. The kind that still has the potato skin on them. Then, the most important part of this unique dish is without a doubt its gravy. It should be thick but not too thick, just light enough so that all the french fries get coated in. Most chefs will prepare their poutine gravy with a mix of chicken and beef stock. The temperature is also important here: the gravy should be served hot!

fancy poutine
Poutines can be classic or more fancy (like this one!)

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Reminder: for the purpose of this article, I will focus on Old Quebec and its surroundings. There are amazing poutines all across my city but if it’s your fist time visiting Quebec City, you’ll probably want to find one in the old historic district or nearby. Let me share with you my personal favorite poutines around Old Quebec.

The classics

Chez Ashton

Chez Ashton is a popular fast food restaurant in Quebec City and it has been a locals’ favorite for decades. Many locals will say it’samong the best poutines in Quebec City because of its constancy. You can be sure that you are going to have a good quality poutine at Ashton’s. Ashton Leblond (only 21 years old at the time) opened its first “location”, a traveling snack cart, in 1969. The business grew in popularity and in 1979, Leblond was able to open a restaurant with a dining room open year-round. Today, the franchise has grown to include 24 restaurants in the Quebec City region. He is still the owner of the company today. There is one Chez Ashton in Old Quebec located on Côte du Palais Street and one outside the fortifications on Grande-Allée Street. For a classic poutine in its most basic (but delicious) form, Chez Ashton is the place to go!

The best poutines in Quebec City
Poutine with sausage at Chez Ashton

Chez Gaston

Quebec City is much more than just Old Quebec. Yes, this area is where most of the historic sights are but during your next stay here, please, plan some time to wander outside the old city walls. If you like shopping, microbreweries and meet locals, the neighborhood to visit is St-Roch. When you’ll feel hungry, head to Chez Gaston. This tiny little snack-bar has very few tables and seats so you might have to take your poutine pour emporter (to go). Trust me, you won’t regret it. Chez Gaston serve classic, basic poutines and the cheese is always fresh. Who’s hungry?

Chez Samy casse-croûte de quartier

The new restaurant in the Quartier Petit Champlain offers customers friendly, snack-style cuisine. Chez Samy stands out for its speed in serving comforting dishes during a visit to the region. Whether you want to sit in the dining room or nibble your way through the streets of Petit Champlain, Chez Samy is sure to satisfy your appetite.

You’ll discover classic Quebec snacks such as poutine, cheeseburger, guédille, giant hot dog, soft-serve ice cream, slush, bottled drinks and draught beers, all in a relaxed atmosphere.

The reinvented poutine


In Quebec City, Poutineville offers a twist on the classic poutine. With two locations—one near the fortifications on Honoré-Mercier Boulevard and another on St-Joseph Street—you can indulge in imaginative toppings and flavour combinations. Customize your poutine by adding all kinds of toppings such as meat and additional cheese. For the ultimate indulgence, try their 15-pound Heart Attack plate—the largest poutine in town! 

Le saviez-vous?
A popular etymology is that the word “poutine” comes from a Québécois slang word meaning “mess”.

The fancy versions

Chic Shack

When walking around Old Quebec, you just can’t miss the Chic Shack! It is located right next the tourist information center and the Fairmont Château Frontenac. I always walk past this place on my tours and never miss an opportunity to recommend this restaurant to my guests. I simply love their gourmet “reinvented” 2.0 poutines (and their reasonable prices). Looking for a vegan poutine? Chic Shack is the place to go. Another good reason to visit? They make their own sodas and serve local beers from Archibald.

Le saviez-vous?
McDonald’s offers poutine as a permanent menu item across Canada. The McPoutine might be an “ok” choice as a drunk food but it’s definitly not the best poutine on the market!

La Buchette

I recently swung by La Bûchette (the younger sibling of La Bûche) with my friend Alex, and let me tell you, we had an absolute blast! La Bûchette boasts a more refined, bistro vibe compared to its lively big brother, La Bûche. So, if you’re aiming for a more laid-back and serene dining experience, I wholeheartedly recommend it. While they might not exclusively serve up classic Quebecois foods, they’re all about those locally-sourced ingredients.

For starters, we dove into their cheese and charcuterie board, and let me say, it was not only plentiful but also offered a delightful array of flavours. As for the mains, Alex went for the beef tartare, while I opted for the poutine. Hey, sacrifices must be made in the name of culinary exploration, right?! Though the cheese wasn’t exactly fresh (still tasty, but lacking that signature squeaky texture of fresh poutine cheese), I’d still give it a thumbs up. If this happens to be your maiden voyage into Quebec City’s poutine scene, don’t hesitate to give it a whirl!

I’ve heard that La Bûchette is a great place for Sunday brunch. I can’t wait to give it a try!

la buchette poutine et tartare
Beef tartar and fancy poutine at La Bûchette

La Maison Livernois

On our first visit last summer at The Maison Livernois, Sebastien and I came for the gin tastings they offer. We had a blast! They have an excellent selection of quebecois gins, plus their own gin, the Jules-Ernest. The name La Maison Livernois is inspired by an influential family of photographers that used to own the building this restaurants is now in. It’s in this maison (house) that was founded the first photography studio in 1854. The decor of this restaurant evokes the early years of photography with multiples antiques and great design. It is chic but not snobby. On the menu are pub classics, but also signature dishes like their asian meatloaf (which Sebastien picked on our last visit). I personally tried their duck poutine made of homemade fries, gravy with foie gras base, cheddar curds, duck and cranberry sausage. I have never tasted a poutine that fancy! I can certainly say that it’s one of the best poutines in Quebec City. At least, among all the ones that I tried. WOW!

One last thing: the service is excellent! The staff will be happy to recommend cocktails according to your tastes and discuss with you. Fred, one of the manager, knows a big deal about gins and will be happy to share his passion with you. Cheers!

best poutine in Quebec City
The Maison Livernois’ duck poutine. Bring your eating pants… you’ll need them.

After indulging in all those poutines, you’ll definitely want to get some exercise! How about exploring Quebec City on a walking tour? 😊

Marie-Pierre Lessard

Marie-Pierre Lessard

Quebec City Tour Guide and Blogger

Will I be guiding you through Quebec City on a walking tour during your next visit? Feel free to reach out and book a tour using the contact form below. Looking forward to seeing you in Quebec City!

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