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.
The exotic Aviatic Club, located in Québec's historic train station, stands as one of the city's premier international dining locations, serving dishes from Japan, South America and Thailand. The Club maintains particular popularity with the business crowd, who like to use its bar and lounge area as a place for after-work cocktails. Indeed, this classy lounge is a wonderful spot to take an important business client for before- or after-dinner drinks.
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.
If you want to sample excellent local brews, this is the place to do so. Located in the Old Port area, this homey brewpub is a popular after-work destination for area business-types. Inside, you'll find an inviting, pub-style atmosphere conducive to hanging out and tossing back a few, although the highlight of this watering hole is definitely its spacious terrace – a great place to watch river traffic go by, especially at night. Not just your run-of-the-mill, beer-slinging dive, this microbrewery also caters to the needs of connoisseurs by offering such delightful snackables as artisanal cheeses.
Few places embrace cigar aficionados like the popular Société Cigare, located at Chez Maurice. Boasting the city's largest selection of Cuban cigars, their walk-in humidor is the stuff of local lore. In the summer, smokers tend to congregate on the terrace outside and puff away as the traffic on Grand-allée goes by. Most nights, the bar features live blues or jazz.
That little voice in the back of your head may disagree, but go ahead and walk into this narrow Rue Saint-Jean dive, where locals gather to hang out, watch the tube and check out daily beer specials. Note the old stone fireplace and the interesting juxtaposition of stone and red-brick walls, making it seem as though you're actually between two different buildings. The décor is, at best, offbeat – but cozily so, including church house style flooring, groovy lighting and a foosball table that may have arrived with the first settlers. Best of all are the beers on tap, including St. Ambroise Noire and Griffon (make sure you say "Grrrriffon!" when you order).
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.
The action at Cosmos starts early every day, with excellent breakfasts drawing crowds of early morning risers and still-up-from-the-night-before partiers. And it's no wonder – the menu has over 40 options, from pancakes and omelettes to fruit and yogurt. Throughout the day, food is of the "comfort" variety: pizza, burgers, and yummy homestyle desserts. The somewhat dorky (yet charming!) sci-fi décor seems more appropriate once the sun goes down – the vibe gets noticeably funkier, attracting a bevy of college students and young professionals who celebrate into the wee hours.
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.
A multi-level club with three distinct spaces, this always-busy nightspot offers a variety of options, from drag shows to video poker to dancing. Le Drague is at the center of Québec's lively gay scene, and a portion of the club is designated "men only," but the rest is open to all, and the staff and clientele are friendly and welcoming. Catch an entertaining show or join in the karaoke fun in the cabaret upstairs, then head down to the disco, where a resident DJ spins house and techno for an appreciative and energetic audience.