If you're a foodie who's been bitten by the travel bug, the beautiful Charlevoix region of Quebec is calling your name. Aside from its picturesque rolling hills and scenic drives, this area is home to everything a flavour connoisseur could dream of.
From the mountains to the river, Charlevoix is an epicurean paradise. The region's farm-to-table experience is unlike anything else in the area thanks to the tight-knit partnerships between local farmers and chefs.
While there's plenty of amazing food producers and restaurants all throughout the region, Charlevoix's Route des Saveurs, or "Flavour Trail," is a must-visit for any lover of gourmet cuisine.
On the Flavour Trail, you'll find farms producing organic duck, lamb, pig and chicken, cheese factories, chocolatiers, bakeries, breweries, cider houses, honey shops, mushroom experts and more. The farm-fresh ingredients from 25 local producers are served at over 20 charming, historic and authentic restaurants and cafés along the way.
Aside from the delectable local eats, the area boasts wide-open spaces and plenty of nature, including some of the most spectacular mountains and valleys in the province, home to the welcoming locals. Plus, this stunning part of Quebec is only an hour or so away from Quebec City.
Whether you're hoping to learn from local producers how these mouthwatering provisions are crafted, want to stop by for a tasting tour or you're just seeking a top-notch dining experience, Charlevoix's Flavour Trail offers gastronomic adventure around every corner.
Sit Back With Local Brews At Le Saint-Pub
Address: 2, rue Racine, Baie-Saint-Paul, QC
Why You Need To Go: If you're a craft-beer lover, you can't leave Charlevoix without trying its refreshing local brews made right in Baie-Saint-Paul.
MicroBrasserie Charlevoix has been coming up with creative beers since 1998, including the Belgian-inspired Dominus Vobiscum, Flacatoune and Vache Folle. Today these beers, and other seasonal drafts, are served alongside gourmet pub fare at MicroBrasserie's stylish and rustic restaurant, Le Saint-Pub.
Pick Up Some Dinner Inspo At Champignons Charlevoix
Price: Tours are free
Address: 770, ch. des Loisirs, La Malbaie, QC
Why You Need To Go: Champignons Charlevoix has been around for over 18 years and has perfected a unique way of cultivating oyster mushrooms. Come by for a tour and learn everything there is to know about this fascinating fungus.
When you're done, pick up some tasty, fresh mushrooms and shop for specialties from the boutique. With a massive range of marinated mushrooms, dried mushrooms, jams and merch for sale, Champignons Charlevoix is a must-visit.
Get Your Bistro Brunch On At Chez Truchon
Address: 1065, rue Richelieu, La Malbaie, QC
Why You Need To Go: At Chez Truchon, you can enjoy a "bistronomique" menu created by founder, owner and chef de cuisine, Dominique Truchon. Inspired by the flavours, aromas and textures of local produce, Chef Truchon and his team serve up seasonal fare and iconic French dishes like foie gras from the local Basque Farm.
You'll find some of the freshest, most scrumptious regional picks of the area in this beautiful 100-year-old country house which also serves as a charming inn.
Indulge Your Taste Buds At Fromagerie Saint-Fidèle
Address: 2815, boul. Malcolm-Fraser, La Malbaie, QC
Why You Need To Go: If you love cheese, this stop on the Flavour Trail is pretty much a no-brainer. Check out Fromagerie Saint-Fidèle and see how good farm-fresh cheese can be when it has 100 years of local experience behind it.
Every day, there's fresh cheddar to sample, or you can pick up the factory's iconic lactose-free Swiss cheese. If you want to make authentic poutine, this is the place to grab those squeaky cheese curds or, if you're craving something a little sweeter, swing by their ice-cream counter for the freshest cone in town.
Sample Something Tasty At Charlevoix Organic Meats
Address: 125, rue Saint-Édouard, Saint-Urbain, QC
Why You Need To Go: At Les Viandes Biologiques de Charlevoix, you can enjoy fresh and dried meats, charcuteries, pâtés and spreads. The farm specializes in pork and chicken and, as the name suggests, the meats are all organically produced.
The farm's focus is on raising healthy animals and producing high-quality, tasty ingredients from sustainable agricultural practices. If you're curious whether to add this stop to your tour, you can find out more about the farm via an app that offers a digital tour.
Sit Back & Take It All In At Mouton Noir
Address: 43, rue Sainte-Anne, Baie-Saint-Paul, QC
Why You Need To Go: Another local gem, the chef-owned Mouton Noir serves up regional specialties inspired by traditional French cooking. Relax on the beautiful terrace overlooking the rivière du Gouffre, where you can warm up next to the cozy fireplace and enjoy bistro cuisine with surprising flavour combinations (roasted carrot dumplings, anyone?) and wine pairings.
With COVID-19 restrictions still in place, reservations for dinner are essential at this Flavour Trail stop.
Tour The Farm Of Les Volières de Baie-Saint-Paul
Courtesy of the farm of les Volières de Baie-Saint-Paul
Price: Tours are self-guided and free, no reservation required
Address: 162, rang Saint-Antoine N., Baie-Saint-Paul, QC
Why You Need To Go: Les Volières de Baie-Saint-Paul is a family farm that raises boar, game birds and rabbit. Here, you can check out more than 1,000 birds in the outdoor aviaries, take a self-guided stroll through sheep and goat paddocks or even try your hand at skeet shooting.
Stop by the boutique to browse a range of charcuterie, preserves and spreads, and maybe pick up something tasty to remember your visit by.
Hungry yet? There's plenty more where that came from. The Flavour Trail has something for every appetite from farms to fromageries and everything in between.
Of course, the Flavour Trail is just a taste of what's on offer in the Charlevoix region. Take your senses on a tour of one of Quebec's most stunning areas and support local farmers, restaurants and foodies all at the same time
If you're excited to sample the local flavours of Charlevoix, check out the website for inspiration, or visit the region's blog, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube pages for tips and ideas.
Before you get going, check out our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your adventure.