The Hôtel Clarendon, a beautiful example of both Art Déco and Art Noveau styles, stands as Québec City's oldest hotel. While many tourists are content to merely snap pictures of its historic façade, knowing ones actually enter in order to get to its fabulous jazz club. Like a page right out of the 1920s, the suave Emprise boasts a unique atmosphere, combining elegance with a certain sense of secrecy. Each week, the bar features a surprisingly talented line-up of local and international jazz musicians and is a great place to head to after a long day at the office or a tough outing in the trenches – shopping, sightseeing, etc.
Although rather intimidating on the outside, this casual bistro (located in the heart of Old Québec) is dynamic and inviting on the inside. Once you enter, you may never want to go home again! Spend your time tapping your feet and grooving to the traditional Québecois chansons and international pop music.
Crunchy munchies and hot music make this a must for those looking for a carefree place to unwind and call it a day. From Thursday through Sunday, live jazz and blues can be heard here. Even on days without tunes, the bar is filled with locals looking to chat with a neighbor and cool their jets after a long day's work.
Despite the rather odd name – it's across from a small church – this is one of those off-beat places that make Québec so special. Indeed, this Haute-Ville watering hole boasts what may be "the best terrace in town" (a shameless but valid bit of self-promotion, to be sure). Though the inside is little more than your average Québec bar, this Rue Saint-Jean favorite draws high marks for its bartenders and regulars, who eagerly engage unfamiliar faces in friendly conversation. Indeed, if there is such a place as home-away-from-home, cozy Sacrilege Terrasse is a haven for many.
Taking over where the Atomic Ant left off, Temps Partiel continues the cooperative approach with exhibits of local art and a roster of local and regional bands. When there's not a band, DJs spin a variety of alternative music, from punk and metal to goth and indie. The crowd varies from night to night depending on the music, but you can count on finding the coolest, most alternative Québecers here. Call ahead to see what's on the night you plan to attend.