For a French place, Quebec City sure does have a lot of Italian restaurants! I’m fairly certain that they outnumber the French restaurants. While we did venture outside of the main tourist area for some wonderful vegan food, we did spend the majority of our time in Old Quebec. While it is a very touristy area, there were some charming patios that overlooked the hustle and bustle of the city streets. The allure of being in the middle of it all was rather appealing. Thankfully, each restaurant not only had a patio, but had their menus posted outside so we could see if there were any meals that were vegan or could be prepared using only plant ingredients.
Generally, French restaurants in Quebec City don’t have any vegan food. The focus is on meats and cheeses, and many did not even have a vegetarian option on the menu (let alone vegan). Italian restaurants are usually a very safe bet – there’s always spaghetti with tomato sauce, right? Wrong. In Quebec City, many of the restaurants prepare even their most basic spaghetti dish using meat sauce. After browsing some of the menus, this was beginning to look more challenging than we had first anticipated. Then, we stumbled upon Spag&Tini Le Resto! (pronounced Spag Et Tini, a fun play on words naming the restaurant after the type of noodle). There were quite a few vegetarian options on the menu. Not only that, but they stated on their menu that they accommodate all sorts of diets, including gluten-free diets, and to speak with the server regarding this. That sealed the deal! But how would the food taste?
It was a lovely evening to sit outdoors, enjoy the warm summer breeze, and watch as people strolled by. The patio here is one of the best in Quebec City. It seats up to 200 people and overlooks Rue du Marché-Champlain in Lower Town. The patio is even heated when it gets chilly outside, so I imagine that it would be open all year around. We ordered some cold beverages – Justin got a beer, and I got a mojito – and they were ideal after walking around the city all day. My mojito tasted great and really quenched my thirst. I had to be careful not to drink it too fast.
Some fresh bread was brought to the table and our server was very attentive to our needs. After we briefly explained that we wished to consume no meat, dairy, or eggs, she was very responsive. We could tell that she took it very seriously and sought to deliver us the proper meal. The pizza sounded too irresistible not to order it. It was “La Végétarienne” with all kinds of fresh veggies: zucchini, spinach, red onions, bruschetta, mushrooms, and peppers. To start, I ordered a Garden Salad and Justin got one of his favorite soups, Minestrone.
The food was very fresh tasting, was wonderfully arranged on the plate, and tasted great! Sometimes when eating at a restaurant right in the heart of a tourist area, the food can be overpriced and flavorless. Spag&Tini was quite the contrary – it was very yummy and the prices were comparable to any other restaurant we’d eaten at in Quebec. Our server had quite a few tables to attend to, yet she still had time to bring us more bread, ask how we were doing, and bring our food out quickly.
The main course arrived and we soon devoured our pizzas. They were really good and arrived just as we ordered them (without cheese). There were so many veggies piled on top that you wouldn’t even miss the cheese. Sometimes restaurants give you just a few vegetables on top, but Spag&Tini put on plenty! The pizza was baked perfectly in a wood oven and the crust was awesome.
If you’re looking for vegan food in the middle of it all, don’t hesitate to check out Spag Et Tini. It might be in a touristy location, but they have great food and service. It’s also incredibly convenient for when you’re walking around the Lower Town of Old Quebec.
Spag&Tini Le Resto!
40 Rue du Marché-Champlain
Hours: Daily 11:30am-9:00pm