Québec City is possibly the most European city in North America, and that is especially reflected in its shopping.   The Vieux Port (Old Port) area is one the most thriving and diverse commercial areas in the city. This area was one of the leading ports in Canada until about a century ago, and its merchant heritage lives on. 

    There are several major malls in Quebec. Laurier boulevard has the greatest concentration of retailers in eastern Canada. Laurier Québec is the second largest mall in Canada after West Edmonton Mall. You'll find most major chain stores, including Future Shop, Best Buy, Sears and Hudson's Bay Company.  Laurier's free shuttle bus is in operation from mid-May to mid-October.  Nearby, stylish Place Ste-Foy contains prestige shops like Holt Renfrew, local champion Simons, jewelers Birks, Zara, as well as international brands such as Lacoste or BCBG. The very large Galeries de la Capitale mall features an indoor amusement park   that includes an IMAX theater, a skating rink and some children's rides. One needs a car to reach Galeries de la Capitale, while Laurier Québec and Place Sainte-Foy can be reached by city buses (from the Old Town # 11 and MetroBuses # 800 and 801). Also not too far from downtown is Place Fleur de Lys, with a more limited choice of shops.

     Simply getting out and exploring places like Old Québec and the Vieux-Port  will introduce you to a number of other shopping options, from souvenirs to boutique items, art galleries to local delicacies and bakery items, and much more.

Other options include:

 

 -- OLD QUÉBEC, Upper Town :

  • The whole St-Jean Street, ''inside the walls''.  The section '' outside the walls '' is less known by tourists and well worth a visit, heading west from Dufferin HWY, in a neighbourhood called ''Quartier St-Jean-Baptiste'', where the first Protestant Burying Ground could be seen (oldest protestant cemetery of the province, where many historical figures were buried between 1772 and 1860). Vintage stores, exclusive clothing, decoration, trendy boutiques, record stores, a museum of chocolate (you may eat or drink some, including the very same hot chocolate Mayas are said to have enjoyed!). Do not miss J.A. Moisan , a 135 year old grocery store and its tempting delicacies — it is said to be the oldest grocery store in North America. 
  • Rue du Trésor , near Château Frontenac : pedestrian very small street. Artists sell their works between the Place d'Armes little park, east of the Château Frontenac, and the Notre-Dame basilica. 
  • Located on 6 Côte de la Fabrique Street, is a fabulous boutique called Claude Berry. It sells original pewter objects, Limoges porcelain and Gien china from France, as well as many other beautiful collectables.. This shop is a must for the serious china collector. Claudeberry.com 
  • Cartier St : restaurants, sidewalk cafés, food hall with a fabulous cheese shop, book store, special shops. Vibrant, trendy and close to Grande-Allée St. .
  • L' Inox , a 21 year old microbrewery, with its 11 delicious beers. At 655 Grande-Allée St 

-- OLD QUÉBEC, Lower Town :

  • Rue Petit Champlain , next to the river. Said to be the oldest street in North America. Restaurants, unique shops. Quaint, and popular. You may reach the area by car (street) or by foot through the funicular between Lower and Upper Town ($1,50 per person), or walking down one of the staircases from the Terrasse Dufferin, next to the Château Frontenac). The Petit Champlain neighborhood has its own interesting and comprehensive website.
  • Charest and St-Joseph streets, in Quartier St-Roch (St-Roch neighborhood). Decoration, outdoor gear, etc, all styles. Getting trendier. Within walking distance from the train/bus station "Gare du Palais".
  • St-Paul St. : antiques, antiques, antiques... plus a few other kinds of shops, restaurants for all budgets and sidewalk cafés. La Barberie , a fine microbrewery, is also worth a visit in the area . The Marché du Vieux-Port  (Old Port Market) is a popular food market a few meters away from St-Paul St. Fruits and veggies in season, it holds a fantastic winter market with fine products (a wide array of ice ciders you may taste, fine meat delicacies, local fine pastries, jams, home-made beers [even spruce beer!], etc., along with one or two jewelry stands whose choice and prices are to die for, medicinal herbs and so on). If you're around in December,  the Christmas market  is not to be missed in December. The Marché du Vieux-Port is open from 9:30 to 6PM, Fridays until 8PM. Closed Dec 25 & 26.

-- SHOPPING FRENZY ?
  • Wanna shop 'til you drop? The shopper's paradise lies on Laurier Boulevard, not far from the bridges, in Sainte-Foy (about 5 km west of Old Québec - easy to drive to, or take a nr 800 or nr 801 express bus from Old Québec or from the Vieux-Port area). Free parking. Nothing less than  3 shopping malls in a row await you, the biggest one being Laurier Québec , with its 350 stores, including 34 restaurants, visited by near 13 million people every year. The second biggest one of these four is Place Sainte-Foy (125 stores; French website), where one could go, amongst many other unique stores, to Simons , established in Québec since the 19th century (head office and store in Old Québec, bigger stores in Place Sainte-Foy and other locations) and offering stylish clothes for both sexes, accessories and linen.

     

    Where to buy groceries, when staying in the Old Town?

     

    Mostly in the neighbourhood called Faubourg St-Jean-Baptiste , colorful and extra-muros, west of Dufferin, outside the walls. The references numbered 1 through 6 are all located in this neighbourhood, and all on St-Jean St . :

            1. About 3 blocks west of Dufferin, on the northern side of the street, there is a small grocery store, part of a chain, named Intermarché, at 850 St-Jean St.

            2. Nearby, on the south side of St-Jean St, J.A. Moisan , mentioned above in the 'Old Québec (Upper Town)' section, has been a grocery store since 1871. ''General store'' type, selling delicacies, cheeses, breads, fine pâtés and cold cuts, oils, mustards etc.

            3. L'Épicerie européenne, owned and operated by an Italian family. Cheeses, cold cuts, choice of olives, pastas, coffee, etc. Yummy take-out sandwiches made to order right in front of you.

            4. Across the street from L'Épicerie Européenne: Le Paingruël  at 375 St-Jean St,  is a small bakery with a wide variety of organic breads and a few pastries. Closed on Sunday and Monday. Opens at 6AM

            5. Chocolate lovers will not want to miss Choco-Musée Érico, at 634 St-Jean St, in the same neighbourhood. You may learn, eat on the premises, and even treat yourself with a steaming hot spicy chocolate, the drink Mayas enjoyed a long time ago...

            6. There is a health food store co-op in the same vicinity, Le Crac and La carotte joyeuse ('The Merry Carrot') — organic veggies, cheeses, dried mushrooms, specialty breads, vitamins, books, cosmetics, etc. 

            7. On Couillard St, between Café Chez Temporel (#25) and the independant youh hostel Auberge de la Paix, there is a nice small grocery store

            8. On Côte du Palais St, Upper Town (near the McDon. on St Jean St and across the street from the hospital) there is a small grocery store

            9. At the foot of Côte du Palais (where the Hôtel-Dieu hospital is — incidentally the oldest hospital north of Mexico!), is the Marché du Vieux-Port, a very popular farmers' market , open four seasons (with a special Christmas market). See link above, under ''Other options (...) St-Paul st''

            10. Within a walking distance from the Marché du Vieux-Port / Farmers' Market, on Charest St (Lower Town), there is a Métro supermarket. The biggest grocery store in these 10 options.

     

    Where to buy wine, when staying in/near the Old Town?

     

     Although it is true you may buy some wines in grocery stores througout the province, they are substandard quality and you will need to add taxes to the announced price - buying wine in those stores should be a last resort since there are much bettter options at SAQ ( Société des Alcools du Québec) stores. These stores also sell liqueurs and spirits. There are 3 of them in or near the Old Town : 

     

    Upper Town:

    •  at 853 St-Jean St 
    •  at 1059 Cartier ave (interesting choice of imported beers too)

    Lower Town , :

    •  at 400 blvd Jean Lesage, not far from Métro supermarket and also the Farmer's Market. Of the 3 SAQ stores mentioned here, it's the one offering the widest varieties of wines, since it's a "Selection"  type of store, as opposed to "Classique" stores.