After our great crêpes at Le Billig on rue St. Jean in Québec, we passed a delightful afternoon exploring the other shops that line this charming street outside the stone wall of the Old Town. It feels a little like Soho in its bohemian days before the chain stores moved in. The entire neighborhood is named after the street and is known as Le Faubourg Saint-Jean (luh foe-boorg sahn zjohn). A faubourg refers to part of a city on the outskirts. In this case, le faubourg is outside of the city wall. Rue St. Jean continues within the wall as well, connected to it by la Porte Saint-Jean but it’s le faubourg that is the more charming part.
Our first find was the Épicerie Européene, 560 rue St. Jean. If you want to pick up a reminder of your trip for yourself or a gift for a foodie friend, this is the place to go. The goods are enticing and the displays are perhaps even more so. Teas from Kusmi in Paris, exotic oils, and fleur de sel de Guérande are just some of their offerings. The business has been around since 1959, but moved to a larger spot on the street a few years ago. The shop gleams with abundant natural light and cheery yellow walls.
Brûlerie de Café de Québec, 575 rue St. Jean, is the place to go for your afternoon cup of pick-me-up. The beans are roasted on site in small batches and the selection is impressive
My daughter is a petite grad student. She found plenty of interesting clothes for twenty-somethings at Boutique Séraphin at 738 rue St. Jean. It was at this point that my husband wore out and went back to the hotel for a nap. No stamina at all.
Jupon Pressé, 790 rue St. Jean, is a relatively new store featuring retro-style clothing for women, especially dresses, as well as accessories to wear and for the home. They had a lot of fun merchandise and it was hard to resist temptation.
Finally, I really liked the boutique Esther P, 873 rue St. Jean. Housed in a beautiful building, this is an artfully curated collection of prestige brands, such as Equipment and Alice + Olivia. Accessories and shoes are on hand to complete the look. I loved a beautiful cranberry cashmere robe. What luxury to snuggle by a fire wrapped in its cozy folds!
If you have the opportunity to visit Québec City, I hope you’ll have the opportunity to spend some quality time in le Faubourg Saint-Jean. We had such a delightful afternoon there, and I hope that you will too.