Where to Eat Seafood Chowder in Quebec City

I will try really hard not to let memories of the best seafood chowder I’ve ever had hijack this post. It won’t be easy though.

Let me set the stage for you: it was the final day of our trip to Quebec City. Kristina and I awoke to rain that showed no sign of slowing down. We walked into the old city, all the while trying to avoid wiping out on the slippery cobblestone roads. When we arrived and acknowledged that our walking plans for the day are likely shot, we decided to look for a place to have lunch.

Here’s where the seafood chowder comes in. Kristina’s parents know how much I enjoy a bowl, so they recommended a place that they tried on their visit to the city. They said the chowder there was the best. On such a drab, rainy day, the thought was too difficult to pass up.  The D’Orsay Restaurant Pub became our destination.

Located in the centre of the old city near the Notre Dame Basilica of Quebec, the pub had a booth available with an open window facing the public square. The view of pedestrians and horse-drawn carriages passing on the street combined with the basilica and nearby statues in the square was worth the price of lunch. Then….lunch actually came.

I don’t want to infuse this post with hyperbole and suggest that the D’Orsay Restaurant Pub serves the best clam chowder in the world. How could I possibly know that? I do know, though, that I still dream about the medley of scallops, shrimp, mussels and smoked salmon in the creamy broth that made up this dish and until I travel the globe to experience and sample the clam chowder other lands have to offer, this bowl holds the title.

I could tell you about the rest of our meal there, which was fantastic (fresh pasta, locally-brewed beer on tap and a crème brûlée that nearly made Kristina melt). The memory of the seafood chowder, though, is what remains in my heart to this day.

The restaurant itself has a very warm and joyful European flair that makes every diner feel welcome and ready to eat. The menu offers a variety of local and international dishes to satisfy any palate and the staff proved extremely friendly at every turn. Combined with the food and the view, the D’Orsay Restaurant Pub became a must-visit in my book for any return trips to Quebec City. That is, at least, until I can convince the owner to pack up and relocate to Toronto.

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