Poutine is a classically Québecois dish of french fries, gravy and cheese curds. Nope, its not the healthiest dish. Claimed to have been invited just outside of Québec City (the exact place varies), poutine is extremely popular in Québec. So popular that everyone has a favorite, and the Québecois will staunchly defend their favorite poutine. Do not get into an argument over which poutine is best. You will certainly lose. One thing, however, that is generally agreed (at least in Québec City): Québec City poutine > Montréal poutine.
You’re visiting a cold destination in the Winter?! We get that. A lot. We got it last January on our trip to Stockholm (read about that here), previously on Thanksgiving jaunts to Montréal and Toronto, and we got it again this year regarding our Thanksgiving getaway to Québec City! In short, we always try to go away over Thanksgiving because of the two free vacation days! Sometimes we take the whole week, others we just take the long weekend. This year we could only take the long weekend and decided on Québec City because we found fabulous, direct flight deals from JFK (about $200 less than I usually see)! And it was a great long weekend – even in the cold weather!
Québec City (or simply, Québec) is the capital of Québec, the large, French-speaking province in the Eastern part of Canada. Québec was founded in the early 1600s by Samuel de Champlain as a French settlement, and the Québec province is generally what people mean when they refer to “New France.” As a result of its French roots, French is the predominant language and the city maintains a very European feel. For example, Québec is the only walled city in North America north of Mexico and it is home to the famous “castle,” the Château Frontenac. In addition, the Old Town maintains many of its historic buildings – just like in Europe! Québec is a great city to visit if you are in need of a European fix without the expense and time of a European vacation.
Montreal is just over the New York/Canadian border, about a 40 minute drive into Canada. While a lot of people only think of Montreal as a bachelor party or underage drinking destination, Montreal is a fabulous weekend destination, and offers travelers delicious food, a European feel and plenty of outdoor activities. Dan, our friend Pryor (a frequent wareontheglobe traveler) and I, spent a long weekend in Montreal over the 4th of July this summer. Yes, just the three of us. We drove from Princeton, New Jersey to Montreal on a Thursday night and back on Monday evening. It was an easy drive, a fun trip and a great way to spend a long weekend!
Ah, yet another great restaurant in Montreal! And this one is quite reasonably priced!
Juliette et Chocolat’s specialty is, what else, chocolate! The main feature is a laundry list of chocolate from all over the world that Juliette et Chocolate makes into European sipping chocolate. The list runs the gamut from milk chocolate to super dark chocolate, and lists the country, a description and the cacao percentage.
The sipping chocolate comes in two sizes and is accompanied by a chocolate bon bon! These sipping chocolates are delicious, but very filling…
If you have ever heard me or Dan talk about Montreal, chances are that you have heard us talk about Bota Bota! It is our favorite place in all of Montreal, and probably Canada!
Bota Bota, formally Bota Bota, spa sur l’eau, is a spa in a renovated tug boat on the St. Lawrence River in Old Montreal, at the intersection of McGill and the St. Lawrence River. Bota Bota offers all of the standard spa treatments, from nails to massages to facials, but the best thing about this spa is the Scandinavian water circuit! This is what we always do, and I highly recommend it to anyone visiting.