Canada / Solo Travel

5 Great Tastes for Foodie Travel on Ile d’Orleans, Quebec

Not to be a completely, totally, predictable… but the first tour I did was food.  Yep.  That’s right, Mom goes away, and first thing out of the gate was a food.  That I didn’t prepare.  That people just brought to me, on trays!  😀  What a wonderful idea.

Actually, I really wanted to go to the Ile d’Orleans for a visit.  It is a rich part of Quebec’s history, with some of the first French colonizing happening here.  The first settlers were granted land for the specific purpose of growing crops, each different farm designated for different crops, and the farms have been passed down from generation to generation.  Many of the French Canadians can trace their ancestry back to these first settlers, and the island has earned the title the Birthplace of New France, and Cradle of America.

Quebec Food Tour Bus Quebec Food Tour Ile d'Orleans food tasting Quebec City Day Trip foodie travel

Quebec Food Tour Bus

The farm plots designated so early in its history still exist today, with one road that encircles the island, and three roads that cross from one side to the other.  Two of these roads that cross the island are closed during the winter, because the snowfall makes them too hazardous.

I wanted to see this island for myself, but wasn’t so sure I wanted to rent a car and blindly drive around, hoping to find good tasting spots.  SO… enter  Quebec Food Tour, the Taste Trail.    The Taste Trail tour took a 21 passenger bus, and visited 5 different stops for tasting, while our driver, Jaak, taught us about the history of the island.

(Here is where you can book the same tour.)

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1. Chocolaterie de l’Ile d’Orleans

Chocolaterie Quebec Food Tour Ile d'Orleans food tasting Quebec City Day Trip foodie travel

Exterior of Chocolaterie Ile d’Orleans

Quebec Food Tour Ile d'Orleans food tasting Quebec City Day Trip foodie travel

Our Driver, Jaak, holding chocolates from Chocolaterie Ile d’Orleans

The Chocolaterie d’Orleans has been making chocolate on the Ile d’Orleans since 1988, and the house that contains the chocolaterie dates from 1760.  The ice cream parlor attached, is in a building that was originally the first grocery store, built in 1800.

The shop actually imports Belgian chocolate to use in making its treats, which contain no chemical preservatives.  All of the fillings are made from the produce of the Ile d’Orleans.

We got to sample dark chocolates with a raspberry ganache filling, that were truly delectable.   This is the way to start a food tour!  After we all tried some, we could then mill around and explore the shops, or purchase something to take home.  I got several of the dark chocolate bars with caramel filling to take home to the girls.  🙂  Time to start building a little goodie bag for them for when I get home!

Chocolaterie interior Quebec Food Tour Ile d'Orleans food tasting Quebec City Day Trip foodie travel

The chocolate counter!

To learn more about the chocolate shop, their products, or retailers that sell their product <<Go to their website here>>.

Interior seating at Chocolaterie  Quebec Food Tour Ile d'Orleans food tasting Quebec City Day Trip foodie travel

Seating area inside the chocolate shop

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2. Vignoble du Mitan

Our second stop was Vignoble du Mitan, a winery.  Planting grapes in 1998, Vignoble opened its doors in 2007.  The wines were generally on the sweeter end of things.

Exterior of Vignovle de Mitan Quebec Food Tour Ile d'Orleans food tasting Quebec City Day Trip foodie travel

Exterior of Vignoble du Mitan on Ile d’Orleans

Interior wine tasting bar at Vignoble de Mitan Quebec Food Tour Ile d'Orleans food tasting Quebec City Day Trip foodie travel

Interior tasting bar at Vignoble du Mitan

Ice wine Vignoble de Mitan  Quebec Food Tour Ile d'Orleans food tasting Quebec City Day Trip foodie travel

Bottle of ice wine at Vignoble du Mitan

The specialty was ice wine.  The grapes are harvested during December and January, while the grapes are frozen.  Pressed while still frozen, a smaller amount of concentrated grape juice is obtained.  The resulting wine has a taste of a white port wine.  In my mind, I could imagine drizzling it over vanilla bean ice cream would be amazing!

The vineyard has beautiful views of the St. Lawrence, and even a front deck seating area to spend a little sipping time on.

Grape vines view of St. Lawrence River Vignoble de Mitan Quebec Food Tour Ile d'Orleans food tasting Quebec City Day Trip foodie travel

Grape vines with view of St. Lawrence River in the distance at Vignoble du Mitan

To learn more about their wines, activities, or where to buy their product, <<Visit their website here>>.

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3. Cidrerie Bilodeau

Apple trees were first planted at Bilodeau in 1980, and sold from the orchard since 1985 when most of that was done through a pick-your-own set up.  However, in 1995, the Bilodeau family added the making of ciders to their business, and have grown their varieties of ciders since.

Cidrerie Bilodeau welcome sign Quebec Food Tour Ile d'Orleans food tasting Quebec City Day Trip foodie travel

Cidrerie Bilodeau welcome sign on Ile d’Orleans

Tasting counter at Cidrerie Bilodeau Quebec Food Tour Ile d'Orleans food tasting Quebec City Day Trip foodie travel

Our server was sweet and informative and let us taste a number of the offerings.

While there were a number of different tasting options at this Cidrerie, I chose to taste four:

  • La Petit Pommier – This is a light, alcoholic apple cider.  The first that I tried, I thought it was a refreshing apple cider with a little kick to it.
  • Le  Cassis – The second sample was a slightly more fruity blend of apple and black currant, with the same little kick.
  • Nectar de Glace – this is the ice cider, where (as with the ice wine) the apples are pressed while frozen, giving a more intense and sweet flavor.  This is definitely intense and for sipping, and delicious.
  • La Petit Bonheur – This blend was my favorite of the four, a mild, alcoholic apple cider with a touch of maple added.  I really debated for a while about whether I should buy a bottle to take home.  The only reason I didn’t was that I was traveling carry-on, so I knew I wouldn’t get it through security.  🙁
Interior seating at Cidrerie Bilodeau Quebec Food Tour Ile d'Orleans food tasting Quebec City Day Trip foodie travel

Interior seating at Cidrerie Bilodeau

They have plenty of indoor and outdoor seating, so visit, bring a snack to pair with your choices after a tasting.  Make an afternoon of it!

Cidrerie Bilodeau patio seating Quebec Food Tour Ile d'Orleans food tasting Quebec City Day Trip foodie travel

Very cute patio at Cidrerie Bilodeau

To learn more about the Cidrerie Bilodeau, or to find a place that sells their products, <<Check our their website here>>

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4. La Nougaterie Quebec

This one surprised me.  Cider, yep, that makes sense.  Wine, I live in VA wine country, I’ve done those tastings.  Even the chocolate I had known was here.  But nougat??  Really?  We can do a nougat tasting?

I came in the door, and first of all… is this place cute and fun or what?

Tasting area of Nougaterie Quebec Food Tour Ile d'Orleans food tasting Quebec City Day Trip foodie travel

Tasting area of La Nougaterie Quebec

And if you look at all those different piles on the table, those are all different flavors of nougat!  Who knew?  So I tried a bunch:  chocolate, almond, orange, caramel, maple, lavender, pistachio… I mean, at some point I just have to tell myself not to make a spectacle and stop already.  I was truly surprised by the variety and the flavors that were at times understated (maple) and with others intense (orange).

Coffee Counter and kitchen at La Nougaterie Quebec Food Tour Ile d'Orleans food tasting Quebec City Day Trip foodie travel

Counter also serves coffee!! You can also see where the Nougat is made.

In addition to the nougats, they also make meringues, home-made marshmallows, and jams.  And there’s a coffee bar (did you hear the angels sing?  I did), as well as sodas.  It’s really a tasty little stop.

To learn more about the Nougaterie, their many, many different flavors, or to order some (they deliver throughout Quebec)  <<Visit their website here>>

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5. Cassis Monna & Filles

Bernard Monna, a 4th generation ‘liquorist’ from the l’Herault area of France, came to Ile d’Orleans in the 1970s, which Cassis Monna & Filles claims has the ideal microclimate for growing black currant.  Now, his two daughters are having the tradition and family business passed down to them.

Covered porch Cassis Monna & Filles Quebec Food Tour Ile d'Orleans food tasting Quebec City Day Trip foodie travel

Covered Porch seating and entrance to Cassis Monna & Filles tasting area.

Their list of awards for their wines is extensive, and several different choices are available for tasting.  I tasted La Creme de Cassis, and it was rich and tart with a touch of sweetness and greater depth than is usually there in grape-based wines.

Tasting Area Cassis Monna & Filles Quebec Food Tour Ile d'Orleans food tasting Quebec City Day Trip foodie travel

Tasting area of Cassis Monna & Filles

In addition to the wines, they have a whole assortment of black current based goodies like jam, jelly, syrup, and marmalade in an assortment of different flavors.  There are a number of different gifty packages that make great local-made foodie treats to bring home.

Cassis Monna & Filles Covered Pavillion in field with view of St. Lawrence river Quebec Food Tour Ile d'Orleans food tasting Quebec City Day Trip foodie travel

I love the mismatched chairs in this pavilion, and the view of the fields and St. Lawrence river isn’t bad either!

To learn more about the history, products, or even recipes for use with their produces (um, yum)  <<Check out their website here>>.

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Websites of the Tasty Stops we visited:

  1. Chocolaterie de l’Ile d’Orleans:  chocolaterieorleans.com
  2. Vignoble du Mitan:  vignobledumitan.com
  3. Cidrerie Bilodeau:  cidreriebilodeau.com
  4. La Nougaterie Quebec:  nougateriequebec.com
  5. Cassis Monna & Filles:  cassismonna.com

I thoroughly enjoyed my tour.  I befriended two other women on the tour who were also by themselves, and we tasted and chatted through it. The week I was there was pre-peak season, so our bus was not packed, which was pretty nice, although even filled I don’t think it would be overwhelming.

However, Ile d’Orleans is not too large, and with only one road circling the island, it is kind of hard to get lost!  So if you have a car, you are free head over and make your own schedule.  Eitherway, it’s a tasty and beautiful, easy trip from Quebec City.

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Ile d'Orleans Food Tour Travel

36 thoughts on “5 Great Tastes for Foodie Travel on Ile d’Orleans, Quebec

  1. Well of COURSE you’ve got to visit the Chocolate location first on your tour! Starting off on the right foot for sure. I’ve only been on one food tour before, and I would use that term loosely. We basically went and visited a few of the tour guide’s friend’s shops and had a weird experience. I’m glad you enjoyed yours!

  2. This totally sounds like the kind of thing I’d love to do! And the dark chocolate with raspberry ganache filling, must’ve been pure heaven! The pictures show how cute the town is, so charming! Love it!

    • It was delectable! The island is beautiful, in a rolling hills and less developed way. I really wanted to see it, but not so much rent a car. The tour turned out to be a an easy way to do it.

  3. I love food tours! I prefer street food walking tours, but I like to make a point to have a food-based activity in new countries that I visit. For example I did a one week cooking course in Chiang Mai when I was in Thailand and it really gave me proper appreciation for Thai cuisine. I think food is so integral to understanding culture.
    I also love splashing out and enjoying luxury dining lie you did in this post. Food is a pure pleasure in life and one worth spending money on from time to time.
    Enjoyed the post, keep up your culinary adventures 🙂

    • I have never done a street food tour, and I absolutely want to try it. Hopefully, when hubby gets sent to San Francisco again, I can tag along and do it. When we were in Thailand in December, we didn’t do a food tour, but she had a Thai woman who would come cook for them – and it was amazing! I kept peeking it at what she was doing and asking questions. I think I amused her. 😀

    • Exactly. See, you get me. 😀 I took a second food tour in the St. Roch district of Quebec City later in the week. Total yum. Vegan Key Lime Pie that I wanted to smuggle out in my purse. Quite impressive. I’ll be writing about that soon. 😀

  4. This looks wonderful. Quebec is a foodie paradise for sure. I try and take food tours wherever I go as it’s a great way to experience somewhere new!

    • I only started to do food tours in the past year, and it’s been eye opening. It really is a great way to explore another culture. The tours always give you more variety and options in a short period of time, so sometimes I do two different food tours in the same city – if I’m there for long enough. And, when the point of the tour is the eat and drink, the people in the tour tend to relax and be a lot of fun! 🙂

  5. Wine, Cider, and chocolate, this sounds like my dream foodie tour. Great job explaining the ciders. I got a good understanding of what to expect if I ever do this tour in Quebec someday.

    • Thank you! I definitely recommend Quebec. I’ve always been a European travel girl, and Quebec is so much like a little European town, it’s amazing. Didn’t expect that so close to home for me! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by.

  6. I have to confess, I’d never heard of Ile d’Orleans before (but then I’ve never ventured to that part of the world before). It looks like you’ve had a fab foodie tour though – I especially like the look of the seating at Cidrerie Bilodeau, definitely an Instagramable location there! x

  7. I love food tours! You can really get a sense of a city on a good food tour. I hadn’t heard of Ile d’Orleans before. Now I want to plan a visit!

  8. Wow! I was watching this Korean drama that featured Quebec and I’m fascinated with that place. This post is interesting and I love the different variations of the interiors of each places. Foodie is just love! <3

    God bless!
    JM Kayne | #InMyHeart♥

  9. This is a detailed and organized foodie post for Ile d’Orleans! Love it! I’ve been curious about this city in Quebec for some time now and it looks like a great place to spend and eat your way through the city!

  10. That chocolate place looks great — and this looks like a lovely way to get to know the region. Good to know that this is doable without your own car, too. Where did the tour depart from?

  11. It sounds like you had a great time. We are always creating food tours for ourselves. We just recently stopped through Quebec too. But we stopped in Montreal and Quebec City as they are the most vegan friendly.

    • I did another food tour in St. Roch (putting that post together) and there was one Vegan stop that was AMAZING. They had a vegan key lime pie that was to die for. I seriously wanted to smuggle the whole thing out in my purse. Really great food!

  12. That view of the fields and St. Lawrence river are stunning. And I think the Chocolaterie de l’Ile d’Orleans has some mouth watering delicious chocolates. I would love to visit these places.

  13. I LOVE food tours! And I think it’s super how varied this tour was – nougat to chocolate to wine – all fun foods to sample! I’m hoping to get to Quebec someday!

  14. Food tours are so much fun! I think I’d love this one SO much since it combines history and delicious food. And all of that chocolate–YUM! 🙂

  15. This looks amaaazing! I went to Quebec back in November and I heard there wasn’t too much to do during that season so I didn’t go. I’m definitely hoping to go back and visit Ile d’ Orleans! Thanks for sharing!! 🙂

    • Wonderful! I’m big on off-season visits places – crowds start to irritate me! So this was perfect timing, and it wound up being a beautiful time to visit, with plenty to do and see.

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