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When our neighbours to the south ask me where they should visit in Canada, I always suggest Quebec City. Most people know Quebec City for it’s food and cuisine, it’s historic architecture, and it’s vibrant scene of arts and culture. But one question you’re sure to be asked is, “How’s the nightlife!?” It’s always difficult to restrain myself when responding because the quality of nightlife in Quebec City is great. If you don’t have a story about partying in Quebec City that makes a tale from a weekend in Vegas pale in comparison, then you likely have a friend who does. An average weekend in Quebec City is a lot of fun, usually a little cold, and kind of weird. Few cities in Canada can offer you a Friday and Saturday night like La Vieille Capitale. The question isn’t so much about how good Quebec City nightlife is, as it is a question of where should one start?
While you’re going to have everyone and their dog telling you to go to Grande-Allée, hold off. You can’t go into this city too hot or it’s going to chew you up. Play it cool, like you’ve been there a thousand times before. Instead, start in the Saint-Roch, a district with some great pubs and bars including Le Projet, La Ninkasi, and Nelligan’s. I recommend starting it off at an art gallery, eatery, and bar called Le Cercle. Once there, try the Wagu Beef Wellington map your night out while enjoying the live video screening or house DJ.
Now that you have some substance in your stomach, go for a stroll to La Korrigane, a quality and friendly microbrewery featuring all-natural beer, a terrace, some live entertainment, and gallery showings. La Korrigane is across from a nice park, so if you want to relax or have a jumpoff to meet your friends before things really get moving, this might be your best option. Order a couple of Kraken IPA’s, arguably the best beer on their menu, and then make moves to La Ninkasi. La Ninkasi offers up a huge beer and cider menu with most pints running you only $5, a heated patio, trivia nights, improv nights, karaoke, etc. Alternatively, Le Sacrilège is a great bar with affordable drinks, church pew seating, a courtyard, and live music. If you hadn’t guessed, this is going to be the point in the night that you turn up.
If any of the aforementioned bars are too busy or if they’re just not your style, St-Jean is full of options. Walk the street freely, you only need to stop your stroll once you notice your surroundings becoming hyper-touristy and starting to feature too many souvenir shops.
Now that you’re all warmed up, it’s time to move on to Grande-Allée, a historic and beautiful road that features some of the city’s best restaurants, bars, and clubs. The neighbourhood began as a fur-trading hub and developed into the area of choice for wealthy Quebecers in the 19th century. As such, Victorian architecture is everywhere, but don’t let it fool you into thinking you’re going to some poetry reading where you’ll have to raise your little finger while drinking cognac out of snifters (though admittedly, that sounds all-time), Grande-Allée can get pretty wild.
Le Dagobert is the staple nightclub, and it truly is a nightclub. Do you remember when you were younger and your idea of a nightclub was a bunch of floors and levels with every genre of music playing, booths surrounding big dance floors, lasers, a big sound system, foam, and fog? That’s Le Dagobert. The place is a lot to handle, but after midnight, that’s usually a good thing. The crowd tends to be pretty young, and wearing all levels of dress and attire. Alternatively, across the street you can check out Maurice Nightclub, another dance-oriented club in a gutted Victorian-style mansion, offering more of the same vibe as Le Dagobert.
The Saint-Angèle is a pub located in the middle of downtown Quebec City in a New-France era building. Awesome vibe and they sell cocktails by the pitcher…so there’s that.
The MacFly is a great time with lots of arcade games and cold brews on tap — a good spot for all you chillers.
Where to Stay:
Stay at a hotel or hostel within walking distance to the aforementioned bars and restaurants; the wait for taxis can be pretty outrageous, and if the weather is decent, Quebec City is one of the friendliest walking cities you’ll ever encounter.
Like this post? Check out 5 Must-Try Restaurants In Québec City and The 10 Hippest Places To Visit Next Time You’re In Québec, too!