Few in the rest of Canada may have heard of them, but here in Quebec, the Îles-de-la-Madeleine (or Magdalen Islands) — an archipelago of eight islands in the Gulf of St. Lawrence — are practically a rite of passage. And while many make the 12-hour drive from Montreal to Souris, Prince Edward Island, plus five hours on the ferry, to lounge on 300 km of sandy beaches, eating on the islands is another main draw, with many hopping from one gourmet producer to the next to create the most epic picnic.
Some of these producers include Fromagerie les Biquettes à l’Air for goat cheese, Cultures du Large for oysters, Grandma’s Bakery for bread and pastries baked by the archipelago’s small anglophone community, and Boucherie Côte à Côte for local veal, boar and seal. But the eating doesn’t stop there.
Yes, there are some stuffy fine dining establishments your parents loved when they went a couple of decades ago, but there’s also a new wave of inspired restaurateurs, taking adored flavours and local ingredients and transforming them into something you won’t get anywhere else — at least certainly not as fresh.
This list is a small smattering of restaurants across the archipelago, from low-key fish shacks to top-quality spots worthy of their praise. For anything that isn’t takeout, reservations are strongly encouraged during high season.
Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; the latest data about the delta variant indicates that it may pose a low-to-moderate risk for the vaccinated. For updated information and regulations, please visit the official sites of the Quebec government and Montreal’s public health authority (Santé Montréal).Read More