Tomiko and I stopped at the Chocolaterie de l’Île d’Orléans on our Quebec Culinary Adventure. Located on the Île d’Orléans, the Chocolaterie de l’Île d’Orléans started making chocolates in 1988 using raw ingredients from the Barry Callebaut Group in Belgium. On our visit, I bought a maple and caramel dark chocolate tartinade spread that Ryan and I will put on crepes. I also bought a small bar of dark chocolate sprinkled with maple sugar, which Tomiko and I shared on the lawn just outside the Église Saint-François.
On the Île d’Orléans, Tomiko and I stopped at the Boulangerie Blouin. We hadn’t planned on stopping, but decided we should buy some bread for our planned lunch with cheese. We had driven by but pulled over as soon as we noticed the bakery sign. Entering the building, we smelled the delicious aroma of freshly-baked bread, and then we faced the hard decision of choosing what to buy!
The Boulangerie Blouin was founded in 1917, and continued using traditional family recipes. Now, the bakery offers whole grain baked goods in addition to loaves made with white flour. The bakery’s products are increasingly being found in stores and supermarkets across Quebec. After being run by four generations of the family, entrepreneurs from the Île d’Orléans have taken it over and are breathing a new life into the bakery.
Just 5 km east of downtown Quebec City, the Île d’Orléans is known as the “Garden of Quebec.” Even at the Marché Jean-Talon in Montreal we started seeing fresh fruits and veggies originating from the Île d’Orléans, from tomatoes and potatoes to their famous strawberries. Since we were on a food tour, of course we had to visit and taste some of the amazing foods at their source.
Tomiko and I brought our bicycles all the way from Toronto, stuffed into the back of our minivan. We had hoped to have a few bike rides during our trip, but we were turned off cycling on the Île d’Orléans. There was no designated bike lane, let alone a wide shoulder to ride on. There are four cycling routes on the island, the shortest being a 20 km loop on the south-west part of the island, and the longest being the whole 67 km perimeter. The vehicular traffic drove pretty fast, so we decided to just drive by car. I guess we should have looked up the aspects of the bike route before we packed our bikes. Our one recommendation to the island administration: please put in bike lanes! There were quite a few hard-core cyclists on the road, but I’m sure more casual cyclists and families would bring their bikes if they felt a bit safer.
After visiting the Montmorency Falls, we drove around the perimeter of the island clockwise, starting at the bridge on the south-west part of the island. Just after touching down on the island, we stopped at the tourist information centre where we picked up maps that listed the attractions (agritourism farms, restaurants, sugar shacks, boutiques, lodging, and art galleries) in numerical order. Each of these attractions had their number placard placed by the side of the road, so finding and stopping at the sites is super easy.
Nevertheless, we had an amazing experience; here are some of our stops on the Île d’Orléans:
On our Quebec Culinary Adventure, Tomiko and I stopped at Montmorency Falls on our way to the Île d’Orléans. Montmorency Falls are 30 metres higher than Niagara Falls, and located just 13 kilometres from Old Quebec.
Access to the falls is free, but the parking is not. We paid just over $10 to park by the Manoir Montmorency, which is just a short stroll to the falls. Tomiko and I just walked around the falls and the surrounding area, and skipped the activities like the cable car, zipline, and via ferrat.
On our Quebec Culinary Adventure, Tomiko and I spent two nights in Quebec City. On the second evening, Tomiko and I waited about 15 minutes to get a table for two at Le Chic Shack, a popular and busy restaurant in Upper Town part of Quebec City. The wait gave us ample time to decide on what we wanted to order, before being led to our table.