We’re on a mission to discover the oldest bars in Canada, one pint at a time. If you don’t like ghosts, drink at L’Oncle Antoine with caution.
Let’s get real: ghosts dig really old buildings. At least, that’s what we learned on cable TV. We’re convinced, therefore, that L’Oncle Antoine, Québec City’s oldest bar, is as infested with poltergeists as they come. The 262-year-old stone building, with its low, arched ceilings and French feel, ranks high on the charm scale, but also on the ghosts-live-here scale.
Located on Rue Saint-Pierre in Old Québec, this historic watering hold is tucked on the ground floor of one of the city’s oldest surviving structures. We sidled in on a rainy afternoon in June and pulled up a stump at the bar–it’s Li et Co policy to always sit at the wood, just as an FYI.
We asked the staff of friendly, young, Quebecois hipsters if they ever run into phantoms while taking out the empties. “Non, there are no ghost,” our messy-haired bartender assured us between bites of cheese (no kidding). Honestly, though, he could’ve been dead himself (ghosts like cheese, right?).
L’Oncle Antoine’s taps pour a range of McAuslan brews, which is pretty much Quebec’s best offering when it comes to beer, and their short menu is all prepared in the little stone oven behind the bar. We both ordered a beer sandwich (aka, the IPA) and clinked glasses while the staff did shots of Fireball–they didn’t invite us to join.
Quebec City’s oldest bar is worth at least a couple pints. And if you’re worried about getting slimed, just channel your inner Bill Murray or Dan Aykroyd, whip out your proton pack, and bust ’em.