Côte-Nord is a vacation destination that is becoming increasingly popular with Quebecers.
With hundreds of kilometers of road along the waterfront, passing through pretty little villages, spruce forests and vast expanses of tundra and taiga, you are sure to get a kick out of it.
But the Côte-Nord region is also a gourmet destination with its seafood products, its boreal ingredients, its microbreweries, coffee shops and other products.
To discover this aspect of the Côte-Nord during your next visit in the region, why not follow the Taste of the Côte-Nord tour, which includes some twenty stops along Route 138 between Tadoussac and Natashquan.
This tour is a great opportunity to enhance your trip with exchanges and discoveries with local artisans, chefs, producers and merchants, not to mention you’ll find great gift ideas to bring back home.
Is route 138 very long? Yes, but far from being bland! Let’s discover the talent and flavours of the Côte-Nord!
Places to discover along the 138
The Côte-Nord gourmet circuit includes about twenty addresses and to make you want to go on this journey, here are some of them.
One thing is certain, we eat well on the Côte-Nord!
Don’t miss a stop at the restaurant Chez Mathilde where chef Jean-Sébastien Sicard highlights the products of the sea and the Côte-Nord. A must in Tadoussac.
In Havre-Saint-Pierre, it is at Chez Julie restaurant and Chez Julie Boutique du terroir that you must go to. The seafood plates and cloudberry pie on the menu of this family restaurant will make your mouth water.
Microbreweries and distilleries
Beer lovers will be happy to know that there are several microbreweries on the Côte-Nord, including La Chasse Gardée in Sacré-Coeur. Don’t miss their beer La nébuleuse des champs made with northern berries. Tasting room on site and possibility to buy products.
In Baie-Comeau, the microbrewery St-Pancraceneeds no introduction. Stop there to taste their craft beers or at the pub to grab a bite.
To discover gins and vodka from the Côte-Nord, a stop at the Puyjalon Distillery in Havre-Saint-Pierre is a must. It is possible to make guided tours with tasting upon reservation.
Producers and artisans
The Borale soap factory, located in Baie-Comeau, is another must on your itinerary. I had a big crush on the Borale hand soap with the aromas of the boreal forest, which I received in a media shipment and have been ordering ever since because it was such a big hit at home!
This shop also distinguished itself by using a traditional full-bake manufacturing method, rarely used today because of its complexity. Store on site and explanations on the method used by the master soap maker.
A gourmet roadtrip on the Côte-Nord would not be complete without a stop at the Manicougan fish market and restaurant in Manicougan Fishery in Escoumins. Many of the region’s seafood products are available for sale or can be enjoyed in the restaurant, including whelks and halibut.
The Manicouagan Farm in Pointe-Lebel specializes in the pick-your-own of small fruits and vegetables as well as in the production of camerises (camerise jams and juice, steak spices, camerise and bourbon BBQ sauce, etc.). There is also an interpretation center to learn more about this small fruit.
In Forestville, you need to make a stop at Les Saveurs Boréales specialized in the harvesting of products of Côte-Nord such as green plants (sea asparagus, liveche), teas (Labrador and chaga), mushrooms (tube chanterelle, boletus, crab mushroom, maple-scented milkweed), spices (dune pepper, balsam myrtle…). Trainings and guided pickings in the forest are also possible upon reservation.
Find the complete list of the stops online.