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The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan

Break a Sweat in Québec City

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5. Oddball Day

Kick back with an artisanal beer (and some tunes) at La Korrigane, one of many microbreweries to recently open in the city.  

Unwind weary muscles the best way outdoorsy types know how: with a pint (or several) of locally brewed beer during a self-guided tour of Québec City’s burgeoning microbrewery scene. Fuel up for the day at Buffet de L’Antiquaire (no website; 95 Rue Saint Paul), a no-frills spot in the Lower Town serving consistently solid staples like fluffy eggs, bacon, sausage, and poutine to a largely local clientele. Walk off your meal in the Petit Champlain quarter, chock-a-block with galleries and boutiques, like artist Isabelle Malo’s glass studio, and Boutique Transparence, for hand-painted plates by Canadian artisans ($23-$112). Make your way to the funicular ($2) an elevator-like car in operation since 1879, which will haul you up a 45-degree incline to Upper Town (sparing your tired quads what’s known as the Breakneck Staircase). From there, it’s an easy walk to La Barberie, the first microbrewery to open in Québec City. Opt for its Carousel dé Gustation: eight drafts (recent flavors have included a cherry-and-vanilla stout and a Scottish ale) served in a nifty little sampler, perfect for sharing (5 oz. samples for $15; 10 oz. samples for $25; cash only). About a ten-minute walk away, La Korrigane offers artisanal brews right from the cask ($4 a glass), like local favorite Kraken IPA. Break from drinking for lunch at pint-sized Café Crack Grill-Cheese in the trendy Vieux-Limoilou neighborhood (about a twelve-minute ride on the 801, 802, or 3 bus on Québec City’s RTC system) where the ultimate comfort food (a Quebec favorite, of late) gets a makeover in variations like Le Maccro ($8), overflowing with braised beef and mac-and-cheese. Post-lunch, walk about fifteen minutes to La Souche, the city’s newest microbrewery, in Vieux-Limoilou. The ruggedly handsome tasting room (think cut-log tables, dim lighting, and hanging plants) draws a jovial, young-ish crowd with artisanal pints ($6) like Wee Heavy Scottish ale (aptly named: it’s infused with maple syrup and packs an alcohol content of 8.2%). Hop in a cab to Cartier Street’s Le Graffiti, for dinner, a welcome respite from the club-thumping beats of nearby Grande Allée. Generous portions of artfully presented French and Italian cuisine, plus attentive but not hovering service, have made the restaurant a longtime local favorite. Head downstairs to marvel at the 9,000-bottle wine cellar before closing out the day with rich lobster bisque ($9), venison medallions with oyster mushrooms ($24), and “Graffiti-style” linguini, or deer flank with blueberry ($18).

Published on Feb 6, 2014 as a web exclusive.

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