Québec's undisputed tea experts. Stop in for a pot of freshly brewed tea and a pastry or slice of cake, and then do a bit of shopping. The selection of teas is truly astounding, hailing from all over the world, and the staff is well educated in the qualities of each and every tea on the shelves. A full range of tea accessories is also available, and the shop offers a number of interesting and educational tea classes, tastings and workshops.
In the tradition of the finest European bakeries, De Blanchet uses nothing but natural ingredients in their baked goods – real butter, fresh eggs, cream, real vanilla – and the resulting products are superior because of it. Plain and filled croissants, artisan breads, cakes, adorable little tarts and pastries, cookies and more fill the pastry cases, and everything tastes as good as it looks, or even better. The shop also has a gourmet food section where you'll find items such as foie gras, local cheeses, olives, pâtes, dried fruits and infused vinegars and oils.
Benjo is a fabulous huge toy store in the Saint-Roch district. Spread out of the 25,000 square feet of space are a restaurant, arts and crafts workshop, party room, more than a dozen specialty toy departments, a place to create your own stuffed animal, and an electric train chugging throughout. You'll find traditional toys like dolls and blocks, along with educational games and science toys, books, and even a candy shop. This is one not to miss, especially if you're traveling with children!
This is the kind of place hardcore shoppers and collectors love, for it's a veritable treasure trove of knickknacks. You almost need to stop by Le Rendez-Vous regularly, because you never know what unique surprises await you on the cluttered shelves. How about a Gordie Howe card from the 1950s? Or old picture-postcards of the Québec region circa 1920? You'll also find numerous odds-and-ends pieces like old signs, lights, and a surprisingly interesting antique Zippo collection.
Since 1993, the Beauchamp family has had the distinction of being among Québec's most well respected purveyors of new artwork. Their exclusive Place Royale gallery contains well-lit display areas where you'll find acrylics by Algerian Abdullah Khaled and Italian Jose Salvagio, pastels by Josée Lord, and oils by Frenchman James Gaubert and Québecois Aline Brochu. A word of advice, Marc and Claudette Beauchamp did not open this gallery so casual tourists would have a place to buy postcards and run-of-the-mill prints of Old Québec; this gallery boasts world-class original art, most of it ranging from $1000 to $1500. Across the street is the sister gallery, Galerie d'art Bel Art (418-694-1144), also maintained by the Beauchamps.
This contemporary, well-lit gallery showcases the work of a variety of regional and international artists. Of course, it is the Eskimo and Inuit art that normally garners the most attention, with its vivid representations of Artic and sub-Artic animals and people. The sculptures, specifically, attract keen interest from collectors. Be warned, though, as prices here are not for the faint of heart. But, then, how many places can you find such exquisite pieces of craftsmanship, including those of ivory?
This gallery/studio is housed in a beautiful, white Georgian-style building right in the heart of the unforgettable Petit Champlain. The Quartier does not lack for its share of galleries and boutiques, but Flamand's stands out because he is city's only wood sculptor. Browse through the two level showroom, taking care to admire the three-dimensional open work designs hanging on the walls, exquisite statues of animals and Québecois at work and play, and even a few abstract carvings on display in the loft area.
It's a mall! It's an amusement park! It's...both! A shopper's nirvana, Les Galeries has over 250 stores, from major retailers to small independent boutiques. It's got the requisite food court, two multi-screen cinemas, an IMAX theater and plenty more. But it also happens to be the province of Québec's only indoor theme park, complete with rides, miniature golf, an ice skating rink, an arcade and a playground, all under one roof. Perfect for that rainy day when the kids have seen about all they care to see of the inside of your hotel!
Boasting about 250 stores and 30 eating establishments, Place Laurier is one of the region's premier shopping destinations. Indeed, statistics show that more than 15 million people browse through its naturally lit, palm tree-lined public spaces each year. Aside from an assortment of boutiques and specialty shops, shoppers also have the benefit of such department stores as Sears, Le Baie and the ever-popular Future Shop.
A uniquely Québec attraction, Rue du Trésor is a narrow alley between the Holy Trinity Anglican Cathedral and the Notre-Dame Basilica where local artists set up each morning, attracting tourists searching for one-of-a-kind souvenirs and art lovers looking for a masterpiece. It all started in the 1960s, when two young artists decided to hang up their work and sell directly to the public, sidestepping the whole gallery process. The idea caught on and by the 1970s the alley was packed with artists and art. During the 80s, the artists formed a non-profit organization to regulate their activities and ensure the high quality of work, so you won't find any velvet Elvises!