How to Celebrate a Major Quebecois Holiday, Vancouver-Style

It’s a holiday today. But only in another province, gotcha!

Technically, Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day is a national holiday… but unofficially, it’s Quebec’s time to party. The history of Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day goes back hundreds of years and is a pretty big deal: it’s a day off that usually involves beaucoup de baked goods, fine dining or a big home-cooked meal, and drinking lots of wine.

All that being said: it seems like a decent excuse to celebrate all things Quebecois right here in Vancouver…so here are our favourite ways to put a French twist on a day out.

La Boulangerie

It’s pretty easy to get on board with a holiday that involves copious pastry consumption. And there’s no better place to find tres traditional patisseries than the oh-so-French Batard Bakery. The 1912 building located on the eastside sets the tone for pastries and bread made in-house. Pain au chocolat, double baked almond croissants, and cinnamon-orange morning buns are just a few classics on offer (and of course, everything is made with real butter).

Les Patates

Want to feel even more Quebecois? Stop by La Belle Patate in the Village. This is the closest thing to real Quebec poutine you will find on this side of the country (and saves the $800 plane ticket). Binge on some crispy thick-cut french fries coated in cheese curds, gravy, and maybe some veggies (but why ruin a good thing?).

Le Dîner

For a classic French dinner infused with Quebecois roots, head to St Lawrence on the downtown eastside. Feel as French as can be when you’re sitting in the wainscoting-lined bistro, dishing out vol au vent from Chef JC Poirier, who reinvents the classics from his childhood with simple, fresh ingredients. The resto has won Restaurant of the Year two times in a row, so there’s no better place to show a little Quebecois love.

Here’s wishing a Happy Saint Jean Baptiste Day to everyone…even if we’re not doing it quite right out on the west coast.