BE LOCAL SERIES – Curious about things that the locals fancy? The Be Local series features articles written by local tourism afficionados who share with you their passion for the region. This week Karine Lavoie, Visitors Information Network Manager at Tourisme Charlevoix, discloses her secrets about Charlevoix’s restaurants.
Coming from a family established in Charlevoix for many generations, I grew up learning to appreciate all that can be found in our magnificent region. Walking in the forest, outings at my grandfather’s chalet, cross-country skiing, trout fishing, river swimming, berry picking, all those activities were close to our home. I’m very fond of my area. I always knew that I would settle here; and that is what I did after my studies in geography at Laval University in Québec. Fortunately, my work allows me to share my passion for my little corner of the world, as our mission is to help visitors discover the many charms and attractions of the region. Among all those attractions, we enjoy a wide range of culinary offerings and excellent year-round enticing regional products to the foodie that I am! Since my teenage years, I’ve always enjoyed tasting the varied local products, and eating at the region’s renowned tables with my friends to try different menus! Here are some of my favorites.
Auberge-Bistro chez Truchon, in La Malbaie, offers year-round gastronomy in a lovely atmosphere. My girlfriends and I select the evening 5-course table d’hôte, allowing us to indulge a bit and have good discussions! The owner highlights the local delicacies and the blend of flavours is excellent. The palate cleanser is a pure delight! Breakfasts are also wonderful, particularly the Sunday brunch and its morning casserole!
In Saint-Urbain, the casse-croûte La Rencontre gathers under one roof many temptations for a foodie like me! Between May and September, when I feel like a comforting and tasty fast-food meal, this is where I go. The French fries are delicious, and the poutine is a real treat! In addition to the traditional fried food, the restaurant offers a range of homemade good Canadian dishes. And if you are still hungry, the dairy bar proposes many delicious desserts, including an excellent raspberry sherbet!
At the crossroads between Baie-Saint-Paul and Saint-Urbain and open year-round, Chez Laurent is a renowned pizzeria! All dressed, seafood or the Laurent special made with spaghetti sauce, all pizzas are delicious. The crust, their best kept secret, is tasty and perfectly cooked. It is also a choice place for hearty breakfasts, with their homemade fruit compote and spicy breakfast potatoes (an extra well worth asking for!).
The Authentique Auberge de Charlevoix is the ideal spot for a relaxing aperitif with a stunning view on the river and Isle-aux-Coudres. Right at the heart of the picturesque Les Éboulements village, the open year-round establishment proposes tasty dishes prepared with regional products. I have a soft spot for the quarter biological Charlevoix chicken, flawlessly cooked on a spit, spiced to perfection, and served with delicious homemade fries! And what about breakfast with a view on the Saint-Lawrence! The Auberge proposes specials and a different menu for sporting events, in a warm and friendly atmosphere.
Even if I live in the neighbouring town, a special feeling comes over me when I arrive at Isle-aux-Coudres : I feel like I am on vacation and I enjoy being the tourist with my family, for once. Quaint shops, museums, theater plays, and musical shows, activities abound! For a snack, there is no better place than Le Corylus restaurant! Offering a varied menu and flavorful family cuisine from May to October, it also boasts the many delicious beverages, alcoholic or non, from the Cidrerie des Vergers Pedneault (my little weakness: the Dame Prune!). The unmatched view on the Saint-Lawrence and the coast of Charlevoix are real delights for the eyes!
Charlevoix features an impressive variety of regional products and restaurants where to sample them, all yours to discover!