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Best dining bets for Quebec City

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Best Spot for a Romantic Dinner: Stars above, tables illuminated by the flicker of candlelight, unobtrusive service, and even the name, Le Saint-Amour, 48 rue Ste-Ursule (tel. 418/694-0667), bespeak romance.

Best View: Revolving rooftop restaurants rarely dish out food as elevated as their lofty venues. L'Astral in the Loews Le Concorde hotel, 1225 cours du Généralde Montcalm (tel. 418/647-2222), is an exception. The food here is above average and the cost is entirely reasonable.

Best Bistro: In a city that specializes in the informal bistro tradition, L'Echaudé, 73 rue Sault-au-Matelot, near rue St-Paul (tel. 418/692-1299), is a star. Classic dishes are all in place, from confit de canard to steak frites. The dining terrace is on a pedestrian-only street.

Best New Restaurant: Amid the cluster of innovative new restaurants that have blessed the city in the past couple of years, Utopie, 226 rue St-Joseph, near rue Caron (tel. 418/523-7878), is a standout, the one most likely to equal the current champs .

Best Restaurant: Laurie Raphaël, 117 rue Dalhousie (tel. 418/692-4555), has been the sole occupier of the apex of the local pyramid, and just completed a total physical overhaul. However, Initiale, 54 rue St-Pierre, at Côte de la Montagne (tel. 418/694-1818), can no longer be denied equal status. Visitors can have the best meals of their lives at these stellar restaurants.

Best Rockin' Hot Spot with Good Food: You don't have to be young, gorgeous, and hip to get into the Voodoo Grill, 575 Grande-Allée est (tel. 418/647-2000), but there seems to be a lot of self-selection going on. As part of a complex that includes two bars and the Maurice disco, the noise level is brutal and the pace frantic, making the surprisingly good food all the more remarkable.

Best Seafood: The owner of Le Marie-Clarisse, 12 rue du Petit-Champlain (tel. 418/692-0857), selects all the just-off-the-boat seafood served at his comfortable bistro at the bottom of Breakneck Stairs. There's a fireplace inside and a terrace outside.

Best Sugar Pie: Québec's favorite dessert reaches its apogee at Aux Anciens Canadiens, 34 rue St-Louis (tel. 418/692-1627). Think smooth maple sugar with a crust, at the ideal end of a traditional meal.

Best People-Watching: The few outdoor tables at Le Marie-Clarisse -- perched above the main pedestrian intersection of Quartier du Petit-Champlain -- monopolize an unsurpassed observation point.

Best Place to Take a Teenager: Pizza-sized crepes packed with meats, eggs, peppers, cheese, or, for dessert, jams or fruit are made before your eyes at Le Casse-Crêpe Breton, 1136 rue St-Jean (tel. 418/692-0438), and it's open just about anytime your teenager gets hungry.

For a complete listing of Frommer's-reviewed restaurants, visit our online dining index.

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