Subject: Nektar Cafeologue
Location visited: Quebec City, QC (Rue Saint-Joseph Est)
Rating: 6+ [see key]
There are precious few North American cities that have incorporated long stairways right into the urban landscape, yet if I had to pick one of my favorites, it would be Quebec City. During a visit when temperatures were mild and above freezing, I found each set of stairs unique and full of personality, though sometimes a few steps longer than my lungs would have liked.
Like the local stairways, Quebec City's cafes also boast an eclectic variety. One of my favorites was Nektar Cafeologue, one of the more elder of the excellent cafes in the city. With two locations, I happened to find myself closest to the Saint Roch location on Rue Saint-Joseph Est one damp morning. Inside, the shop was warm and merry, with lots of patrons making conversation or toiling away on their laptops.
As for coffee, they offer a vast variety of roasters spanning Canada and the USA. During my visit, I ordered a Bolivian from Bows and Arrows for their espresso and a drip of an Intelligentsia Honduras. The espresso, pulled short/medium with light brown crema, trumpeted out a sweet, bright infusion full of lemon, chocolate, black tea, nutmeg, walnut, champagne and a little cream. The filtered brew of Honduran coffee proved similarly delicious, with nuanced notes of honey, rose tea, apple, caramel, plum and biscuit in a medium body.
Much like I recommend you seek out Quebec's gorgeous stairways, you should definitely also hunt down the great cafes of the city, including Nektar. Note: if you really hate steps, there are usually detours and if you're in Old Quebec you can take the Funicular (which I recommend taking at least one way), so don't be too concerned if stairs are your nemesis.