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Quebec City’s German Christmas Market is an Absolute Delight

By VIA Rail

Read time: 4 minutes

The holidays are fast approaching, and there’s something in the air this year… we’re smelling the aromas of roasted almonds, sausages, melted cheese-stuffed bread and churros!  But before stuffing yourself with holiday delights, make sure to take in the rest of the view: the pretty holiday lights, the rows of one-of-a-kind offerings to stuff stockings, and the people—the happy people—sauntering, warm drinks in hand.

There is a magical place where you’ll find everything from bamboo socks to keep your “dogs” cozy and warm (seller: BABOU Style) to a little doggie bowtie to spiff up your actual dog (seller: Pilouf & Milouf). And where, pray tell, is it that you can find these hand-made, artisanal items? Only and exclusively at Quebec City’s German Christmas Market!

Is it charming, with wood kiosks manned by local artisans? Yes! Is it thoughtfully put together and tastefully decorated? Yes! And most importantly, is there hot mulled wine (Glühwein)? OH, YES!

Now celebrating its 15th year, the market gets better with each passing holiday season. Since its inception in 2008, when it began as a single afternoon affair in a church basement, it has evolved into a truly authentic month-long affair (FYI: German Christmas markets are the gold standard!)

Britta Kröger, President of the Quebec City German Christmas Market explains, “In Germany, Christmas markets are an over 400-year-old tradition…the age of Québec itself! The city of Quebec is a magnificent place to celebrate this tradition and we are proud to turn it into a Christmas fairytale for four weeks. The German Christmas market has become, for all generations, a place to celebrate the magic of the holidays.”

The smells alone will keep any visitor jolly, while the locally crafted goods are varied enough to check off gifts for every fussy family member. While there, make sure to visit these not-to-be-missed exhibitors featured at this year’s market:

Casse-croûte européen Markus (which loosely translates as: “Markus’ European Snack Shack”):  

Markus Peter emigrated from Austria when he was 23 with a backpack and a dream. He is a sculptor by day, making (among other things) authentic Austrian luge sleds, which he once sold at the market. But when the sausage kiosk became available at the market, he leaped at the chance to take it over, because Markus knows German sausages! He serves four kinds of authentic sausages (crafted by a German butcher) on a bun with sauerkraut and a very special imported mustard! Markus prides himself on the fact that these are the real deal – as close to what you’ll find in Germany as possible!

Givre & Passions: A few years ago, my sisters and I had and executed one of the most brilliant family hacks of all time (clearly, I am proud). We bought a new set of kitchen glasses and had each one engraved with the name of a family member. The results: no more unclaimed half-filled water glasses loitering about the holiday family-filled house. A triumph! Seek out Givre & Passions’ kiosk. They will engrave not only your name, but whatever design you like on your glassware. Cheers to that!

DelycaStef: This one-woman show upcycles textiles on their way to landfill into beautiful, washable items for the house. We’re not only talking practical objects like washcloths, sponges and cloth napkins but also jewelry, chew toys for pets, and my personal favourite: washable cloth colouring books for the kids!

Omerto: This seller offers a definitely different option for people who think they’ve tried it all: tomato wine. No point in writing more about it here, suffice it to say it’s delightful. Don’t believe me? Do stop by for a taste.

When visiting the market, you are encouraged to arrive hungry, for there are some other essential food items to stuff yourself with, only available on site:

  • Glühwein, a German market staple. A warm-the-cockles-of-your-heart kind of drink made from wine and mulling spices (citrus zest, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and sugar) and served hot. Easy to find at the market – just follow your nose!  
  • Melted cheese (fondue) stuffed baguette from S.O.S. Fondue 
  • Almonds roasted and seasoned to perfection by Bonbec Noix & Confiseries

And finally, do yourself a favour and bring along the pooch. You already got him the bowtie, so why not commemorate the moment by having him sit on Santa’s lap? The man himself will be visiting the market this year, inviting family pets onto his lap to let him know what they want for Xmas (ahem, treats). A framed pic of your fur baby sitting on Santa’s lap is the gift that keeps on giving!

One last tip: once you choose the perfect gifts for friends and loved ones, make one last stop at Éco-Cado (Eco-gift) for some re-usable wrapping. This concept warms my green heart for eliminating the waste that comes with present giving.

Frohe Weihnachten! Merry Christmas!

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