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1. PARIS GRILL

Dubbed "the best restaurant on Grand avenue," the Paris-Brest boasts a hip young waitstaff and rich mahogany-paneled rooms illuminated by soft candlelight and enriched by fresh flowers and a contemporary décor. The food at this local favorite features a slew of fabulous French dishes contents, each with an international lilt.


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2. LE SAINT-AMOUR

Regarded as one of the most romantic restaurants in Québec, Le Saint-Amour is one of the finest in every respect. The restaurant and chefs have all won multiple awards over the years, and the wine list is counted among the top ten in Canada. While foie gras is the chef's specialty, he does an admirable job with game as well, in dishes such as grilled caribou steak with wild-berry and peppercorn sauce. Dishes are plated beautifully – indeed, seeing the food presentation is half the fun of dining here.


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3. L'ÉCHAUDÉ

This restaurant has gained a reputation as one of the most polished in Lower Town. Butcher's paper serves as a covering on outside tables, and the food offerings range from grilled meat to fish to seafood stews. The chic décor consists of reds and yellows, with the odd piece of modern art sprinkled here and there. L'Échaudé attracts a mix of business people, tourists and local patrons. There's also a bright, mirrored dining area outfitted with a stainless-steel bar. For lunch, you'll want to sample their special: cuisse de canard confit frites and salad.


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4. VOODOO GRILL

This African-themed restaurant, located in the heart of the Grand-Allée's hip nightlife scene, offers an exotic alternative to the Euro-bistros spread out across the city. Voodoo, which is part of the popular Chez Maurice complex, boasts themed décor, soft lighting and the hypnotic beat of congas in the background, making you feel as though you've truly gone to the Dark Continent. Try the chef's special mixed grille, which includes shrimp, duck breast and filet mignon, or the Asian-style tuna steak with fresh vegetable sides.


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5. LE TOAST

The stylish restaurant, found in the equally stylish Le Priori Hotel, became a hit as soon as it opened its retro-sleek doors. The chef combines the best local produce in traditional Continental preparations with truly amazing results. The menu is unusual and innovative, but there's enough familiarity to appeal to a good cross section of diners.


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6. AUX ANCIENS CANADIENS

Located in a stone building dating back to 1677, this restaurant serves up authentic Québec cuisine. A variety of meat pies, duck and the restaurant's famous sugar pie are available. You can taste shades of locally produced maple syrup in most of the dishes. The friendly waitstaff is attired in Old Québec City period clothes, and the house itself is furnished in traditional style, making for an interesting backdrop.


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7. LAURIE RAPHAËL

Dining at Laurie Raphaël is truly a special occasion. The atmosphere is sophisticated and glamorous; the creations coming from the innovative chef, such as caribou and salmon tinged with Asian sauces, are simply indescribable! When it comes to the impeccable waitstaff, patrons have nothing but praise for the high level of service and the explanation of seasonal menu items.The restaurant has also earned Wine Spectator's Award of Excellence.


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8. INITIALE

Watch the ships come and go as you enjoy fine French cuisine at this elegant restaurant, located in Québec's Vieux Port area. L'Initiale, which has been honored by the Chaine de Rotisseurs gastronomy society, offers an interesting juxtaposition in terms of décor and architecture: although the restaurant is housed in one of the Old Port's beautifully preserved, century-old buildings, its interior is marked by soft lighting, light colors, large windows offering spectacular river views, and intimate tables that offer ample privacy.


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9. LE CHARBON

Located in Québec's historic train station, Charbon stands out because most locals justifiably consider it among Québec City's elite steakhouses. A favorite of area business-types and politicians, this classy steak house specializes in preparing meat using traditional Canadian methods – that is, cooked on maple charcoal, thus giving it a distinctive flavor. House specialties include fish filets, seafood and, of course, North American beef.


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10. LA FENOUILLIÈRE

One of Sainte-Foy's most talked-about restaurants, the avant-garde Fenouillière offers an elegant atmosphere, a wine list that's second to none, and superb Nouveau French cuisine. The restaurant's captivating interior, at once sleek and contemporary, is ideal for everything from a romantic dinner to lunch with an important client. Featured entrées include the likes of veal medallions au parfum, foie gras of duck in a red wine sauce, and browned lamb with fresh thyme and rosemary. O


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