Neighbourhood Guide: Limoilou, Québec City

By Pamela MacNaughtan

A 25-minute walk from Old Québec City, Limoilou is home to award-winning restaurants, trendy cafés, summertime ephemeral pop-ups and weekend markets. The neighbourhood is known for its early 20th-century three-story brick houses, with their external wrought iron balconies and staircases, and tranquil tree-lined streets.

The name ‘Limoilou’ derives from Jacques Cartier’s manor in Saint-Malo, France, a homage to the famous explorer who established a winter camp on the banks of the Saint-Charles River in 1535. An agricultural hub from the mid-17th-century until the late-19th-century, Limoilou transformed into an industrial centre for a number of years, before becoming a working-class neighbourhood in the early 20th-century.

Today, Limoilou exudes joie de vivre. Avenue 3e is the heart of the neighbourhood. There are also gems to be found on Avenues 1re, 4e, and Chemin de la Canardière. In summer, the parks and paths along the Saint-Charles River are ideal for relaxing on a sunny day, and one cannot forget the restaurant and bar patios.

Miyagi Bistro & Sushi

523 Avenue 3e;

A small Japanese and Thai fusion restaurant, Miyagi’s menu offers up a handful of classic Thai dishes, and a delicious array of sushi options. Try a chef’s sushi combo or create your own sushi smorgasbord. Whatever you decide, be sure to order sushi pizza as well. Vegetarians, your Thai dishes can be made with tofu.

Article 721

721 Avenue 3e;

This small boutique on Avenue 3e is filled with funky second-hand clothing, as well as prints, jewellery, candles and more created by local artisans. One of the best places in Limoilou to pick up creative gifts and souvenirs.

Café Smith

201 Avenue 3e;

Floor-to-ceiling windows bathe this café in light. A new addition to the neighbourhood, this locally-owned café and coffee roaster is known for its rustic coffee-themed décor – hello, burlap coffee sack ceiling lights – and communal seating. The coffee is superb, and the chocolat chaud is rich and decadent.

Soupe & Cie

522 3e Avenue;

Soupe & Cie is a go-to restaurant for flavourful soups from around the world. The portions are huge, and the scrambled egg taco is particularly delicious. The pink fridge outside the restaurant is a social initiative created by the restaurant to feed locals who are less fortunate. 

La Planque

1027 Avenue 3e;

This long sleek restaurant is divided into three distinct sections: bar, mezzanine and cuisine. The menu features creative gourmet Canadian fare, using as many local ingredients as possible. Make a reservation for dinner or opt to make a reservation for the bar and start the night off with one (or more) of their delicious cocktails. The curry coco cocktail, if available, is divine.

Getting There

Walk to rue du Pont in Saint-Roch and follow it across the Saint-Charles River and into Limoilou. Alternatively, buses 801, 3 and 28 travel to Limoilou. Bus fare is $3.50, one-way. Download the RTC app for updated schedules and bus status.