Although Montreal may be more well-known for its nightlife scene than Quebec City, the latter has plenty of options to satisfy anyone looking for some late night fun. From casual pubs and breweries to chic cocktail bars and buzzing nightclubs, you won’t have to look far for something to do come nightfall. Here’s what not to miss when it comes to nightlife in Quebec City.
Bars of all kinds abound in Quebec City, from sprawling pubs serving house-brewed beer to sleek spots crafting unique cocktails and everything in between. No matter your mood, there’s a bar here to suit your drinking needs, whether you want to cozy up to your favorite plus-one at a table for two or join a group of friends for night of beer-soaked debauchery. Each of the city’s neighborhoods offer their own selection of bars, so no matter where you happen to be, there will be a beer, glass of wine, or craft cocktail close by.
- Taverne Jos Dion: Open since the 1930s, this is one of the oldest taverns in North America and a great place for a laid-back night out.
- MacFly Bar Arcade: As the name suggests, head here for a side of arcade games and vintage pinball with your beverage of choice.
- La Revanche: Booze and board games are on the menu at this spot that boasts a whole wall of games. Grab some friends and enjoy some friendly competition between beers.
- La Barberie: Beer fans will want to snag a seat here for their impressive roster of house-brewed beers. In warmer months, opt for a spot on the large street-side terrace.
Clubbing in Quebec City isn’t as ubiquitous as it might be in other major cities, but that doesn’t mean you won’t find a place to practice your best moves or sip cocktails into the wee hours. Locals enjoy an eclectic variety of music and nighttime entertainment so you can expect everything from DJs spinning house music to drag shows and karaoke. Just note that, as with most clubs, the good times don’t get going until around 10 or 11 p.m. Below are a couple clubs worth checking out when you’re in town.
- Le Drague: From drag shows to lively karaoke to DJs spinning house and techno, this multi-level club has something for everyone interested in a memorable night out.
- Dagobert: This is one of the most popular spots to get your dance on in Quebec City. The late-night fun is spread over three floors (one for live entertainment and two for dancing) so even if it’s packed, there is room to roam. They also have TVs and video games on offer.
Whether you’ve just spent a few hours downing pints or dancing the night away and are now in need of a quick caloric fix, or you just don’t feel like grabbing dinner until later in the evening, Quebec City has you covered for late night eating options. And we’re not just talking about greasy spoons serving pizza by the slice. Your palate does not have to suffer if you’re eating late in Quebec City.
For example, La Cuisine is a popular choice throughout the evening for its laid-back atmosphere and home-cooked dishes served well past midnight. Or Snack Bar Saint-Jean is open into the wee hours most days of the week and has you covered for hearty burgers, gooey poutine, and grilled cheese sandwiches—all perfect for soaking up the booze. And then there’s Diner Saint-Sauveur, open until at least 1 a.m. most nights. The small neighborhood joint has you covered for diner classics like burgers, chicken and waffles, poutine, hot dogs, and more.
You can’t visit Quebec City without hitting up a local "bar de chansonniers," basically a bar, pub, or restaurant with traditional folk music. These venues offer a fun way to mingle with locals and feel like you’re really getting into the spirit of the city. Pub Saint-Alexandre boasts live music every night of the week, along with pub grub and a good beer selection, while Pub Saint-Patrick offers live music Thursday to Saturday along with hearty pub fare. La Piazz is another venue with live music every night in a basement setting with friendly staff. Another good option is Le Pape Georges, which offers live jazz and blues from Thursday to Sunday with a chilled out vibe prefect for a relaxing yet fun night out.
There is a festival of some sort happening every month in Quebec City, covering everything from history to food to beer to music. Live music fans will not want to miss out on Festival d’été de Québec which takes place over 11 days in July. This is Canada’s largest outdoor musical event and features performances day and night by both local and international artists. Or if you’re a beer lover, make sure to be in town for Festibière de Québec wherein 75 exhibitors from across Québec and around the world display their best brews. In the winter, don’t let the cold get your down. Instead, make your way to the annual Winter Carnival, one of the world's largest winter carnivals. For 10 days in February you can enjoy parades, skating, snow tubing, live music, DJs, and much more. And for foodies, there’s Québec Exquis!, where the city’s best chefs offer special three-course menus, making it a great opportunity to acquaint yourself with Quebec City’s culinary scene.
Tips for Going Out in Quebec City
While it might be tempting to stick to Old Quebec when you’re looking for nightlife options, it’s well worth expanding to some of the city’s other neighborhoods to bars and live music venues.
In Québec, tipping is expected in restaurants, bars, and taxis. The amount (not included in the bill) should be between 10 to 15 percent of the total bill before taxes. Locals normally add up both taxes (GST and QST), the sum of which equals approximately 15 percent.
If you’re visiting the city during the winter, prepare for cold weather and layer accordingly before you head out for a night on the town.
Bars in Quebec City allow customers to stay until 4 a.m. but stop serving alcohol at 3 a.m.