With its mountains and valleys, breathtaking views, bucolic towns and villages and welcoming people, Charlevoix never ceases to charm. For me and many other foodies, the region’s best attraction is its delicious Flavour Trail. It’s a gourmet route to be explored at your own pace, with friends, family or a partner. Here are a few of my favourite stops.
La Ferme Basque de Charlevoix
As you may have guessed, Isabelle and Jean-Jacques, the two owners of this family-run business, hail from Basque Country. Established in Charlevoix for more than 20 years, they offer duck products that are processed in an artisanal, sustainable way that respects both animal welfare and the environment. We go there to explore the facilities, demystify the process of making artisanal foie gras and, above all, chat with the passionate owners.
Viandes biologiques de Charlevoix
If you've spent any time in Baie-Saint-Paul, there's a good chance you've run into Damien and Natasha, the cheerful farmers behind Viandes Biologiques de Charlevoix. Their “Eat better to live better” philosophy is palpable, from the tremendous respect they have for their animals to the preparation of their 100% local and organic products. This is where we go to get the best sausages!
La Famille Migneron
I have great affection for the Dufour family. They make the cheeses you know and love (my favourite: Le Secret de Maurice, which is creamy, sweet ... perfect) as well as wine in more recent years (the delicious Charlevoyou), plus, spirits made from ... whey! We go there to enjoy all of these products, of course, but also to meet with the artisans and visit with the gorgeous sheep!
Les Faux Bergers
Inside the Migneron Family’s facilities we discover the beautiful, instinctive cuisine of Sylvain Dervieux and Emile Tremblay. At this little restaurant with huge flavours, the two chefs prepare food that is fresh, inventive and hyper-local. We savour it all alongside cocktails and wine suggestions from sommelier and co-owner Andréanne Guay. It’s unquestionably one of the finest restaurants in the region — and an experience you won’t soon forget. Bonus: the three partners recently opened La Louve, a snack bar on St-Jean-Baptiste Street in the heart of Baie-Saint-Paul.
A family-run business established in the area for several generations, la Laiterie Charlevoix produces the 1608 and Hercule cheeses, among other products. We go here to learn more about their eco-responsible initiatives, procure their delicious cheeses and other goodies from the Charlevoix region, and enjoy the BEST soft ice cream around!
(Tip: If you drive to la Ferme Basque and make the above stops in sequence on your way back to Le Germain Charlevoix Hotel & Spa, all addresses will be on your right.)
Special mention: Menaud
All of the above-mentioned addresses are on the same road to facilitate visiting, but I couldn't overlook Menaud, a new distillery and microbrewery in Clermont. Their product is as beautiful to behold as it is excellent to drink. Cheers!
These are some of my favourite addresses, but the Flavour Trail includes many others that are just as extraordinary, all bursting with regional delicacies and gourmet history.
I invite you to explore the Roadmap to discover — and taste — every bit.