Food and Drink in Saguenay
La Baie might be small, but foodies can delight in culinary treasures close to the dock. (When ordering in restaurants, remember that an entree is an appetizer in French, and a plat is the main course.)
Opia Restaurant: This cozy restaurant is located inside a converted home with a flower-bedecked front porch in the village. Opia excels at black mussels, steamed a variety of ways, such as with beer and shallots, or white wine, shallots, cream and curry powder. The mussels come with French fries sliced from freshly cut potatoes; their golden-brown crisp deliciousness make them easy to devour. Pizzas and more serious dishes, such as seafood gratin, also compel, and the apple tart with vanilla ice cream tastes too good. The wine list, with primarily French, Italian and Spanish bottles, features selections from Portugal and South Africa, too.
Bistro Cafe Summum: Many cruisers dine at this bistro to sip regional microbrews, or cocktails like Negroni or an Aperol spritz. (This place even offers a blueberry cocktail made with gin.) The menu features a haute take on poutine, a Quebecois diner classic (cheese curds, brown gravy and French fries); their fancier dishes might showcase pork or duck confit. A burger with wild mushrooms in black beer and spiced bacon is a lunchtime winner, pairing particularly well with an artisan brew.
Fromagerie Boivin: Should you want to try the freshly made curd cheese or other local varieties, head to Fromagerie Boivin. At Cantine Boivin, you can try traditional poutine. And if you're seeking pub eats and brew, grab a seat at Au Pavillon Noir by the cruise pavilion.
O'Gelato & Cacao: Sweets-lovers should plan a joyful visit to O'Gelato & Cacao, where more than 20 flavors of artisanal ice cream fill the cases, and gourmet chocolates line the shelves. Canadian chocolates, like Encore, come in flavors such as cayenne or sea salt. Other interesting bars, like Majani extra dark chocolate, showcase beans hailing from Columbia and Peru.
Cafe La Grange aux Hiboux: Freshly baked blueberry pie - really, anything made with locally grown blueberries- is a must-try. Dig into a slice at Cafe La Grange aux Hiboux right inside the cruise pavilion.
Don't Miss in Saguenay
Saguenay Fjord: This fjord is the one don't-miss natural spectacle of the region. Ships offer multiple tours like Zodiac rides in the fjord or seaplanes that soar above to experience its grandeur. Whale-watching excursions provide great opportunities to spot beluga and other whales and porpoises.
Fjord Museum: A small La Baie museum dedicated to how the Saguenay fjord was formed and its importance to the region attracts nature devotees. (3346 Boulevard de la Grande-Baie-Sud; 418-697-5077; open Tuesday to Friday, 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., weekends and holidays, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.)
La Pyramide des Ha Ha: This quirky 70-foot-tall pyramid in La Baie's small Ha Ha Park is worth a photo stop. Commissioned by residents deeply moved by the catastrophic flood of 1996 (its raging waters were equal in force to Niagara Falls), it was created by a Quebecois artist from about 3, 000 red "yield" road signs. Yield in French is "ceder," same pronunciation as s'aider (help each other). Entry inside is only available in the summer. (3000 Rue Monseigneur Dufour; 418-698-3200)