Next to the effervescence of city life, discover the countryside of Laval, and it’s easy to do so. Our regional products come directly to you, tastily prepared and served in our renowned restaurants. You can also find them on our farms and at fresh product stands when travelling the island’s countryside roads.
Laval, which is the third-largest city in Quebec with its 400,000 inhabitants, has a well-kept secret: its countryside and agricultural area cover 30% of its territory. Like we say, you have to see it to believe it. So, come visit!
A trip down a big city’s country roads
Laval is home to over 120 farming businesses and some fifty farm stands. You will discover a wide variety of fruits and vegetables in this farmland. At some places, you can even pick your own. You’ll find cheese, honey, wine and cider, and of course, homemade products, which are very popular! No wonder why. And there’s more: bread, pies, jams, salad dressing, pickles, cakes, and even doughnuts cooked in maple syrup – a traditional treat that you’ll find at Ferme Marineau – and other delights to bring home and make the memories of your countryside outing in Laval last longer.
How about a day in the country without leaving Laval? Here’s the plan. First, treat yourself to goat cheese at the Fromagerie du Vieux-Saint-François located in the northeast part of the island. Next, head west, and depending on the products’ harvest season – between June and November – you’ll be able to pick fruits and vegetables from the fields. Pick fruits like strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, apples, and tomatoes (yes, remember, tomato is a fruit!), and vegetables such as squash, pumpkins, peppers, eggplants, onions, hot pimentos, etc.
You can choose between Ferme F. Turcot et fils, Ferme Marineau, Ferme Vaillancourt (an institution for almost 200 years!), Ferme Forget, where starting in August children have a lot of fun in the giant corn labyrinth, and where it’s possible to pick sunflowers! Finally, by the end of summer, visit Verger Gibouleau for apple picking.
Other stops are a must along the road. Not to be missed is the Ferme Jeunes au travail that employs young adults between 16 and 35 to help them develop their personal, social and professional skills. Encourage them by purchasing fresh products from the fields or cooked and prepared ones (pickles, etc.). You can even buy handmade furniture if you have space in your luggage!
If you prefer to enjoy countryside pleasures in an urban setup, check the Saveurs de Laval (in French only) or the Local Flavours section of our website. A good idea would be to draw a treasure hunt map for your gourmet tour. This way, you will be sure to visit all the farms and even a vineyard. You can use this itinerary to inspire you.
If your exploration has made you thirsty, all the better! You can taste Château Taillefer Lafon vineyard’s wines and ciders and discover several beers proudly brewed locally at Insulaires microbrasseurs or enjoy them at many other Laval restaurants that have them on their menu.
People that are passionate about their work
Like the farm producers on the Laval territory, the chefs and restaurant owners are passionate people that love sharing their stories. It’s always pleasant to take the time to make their acquaintance and have a little chat with them. Since you won’t have the opportunity to meet them all, we would like to introduce a few of them here.
Richard Bastien, chef and owner of Le Mitoyen Restaurant, is undoubtedly the one that has been around for the longest. This chef is renowned for his fine cuisine made of regional products. Since 1977, he has been operating his restaurant in an ancestral home in the Saint-Dorothée district of Laval.
We’re also very proud of Marc-André Royal, a chef from Laval who owns one restaurant and three La Bête à Pain bakery shops, one in Laval and two in Montreal. La Bête à Pain in Laval is also a restaurant that is famous for its delicious lunches on weekdays and its brunches during the weekend. It also has a speciality grocery section and offers catering services. Fun fact: this business practices a circular economy by sending its unsold bread to the Oshlag microbrewery in Montreal, where it is used to make a beer named Miettes (which means breadcrumbs)! Since June 2022, La Bête à Pain has extended this initiative to the Silo Microbrewery, which has launched Gros-Sault, a beer made of bread.
Another excellent example of a successful initiative is Bar à vin Oregon. The chef of this restaurant, owned by four guys with a passion for great food and outstanding wines, is Mark Lee Basombrio, that called himself “Mark the Infamous Chef.” Mark is very creative and not at all infamous! Tasting his cuisine is a journey by itself.
Another chef we have to mention since he contributes significantly to the enviable reputation of Laval hotel restaurants is Éric Robidoux. He is the chef of the Sheraton Laval's and Hilton Laval's kitchens. Even if they don’t stay at the hotel, Laval residents and people visiting the region love to eat at La Piazza du Sheraton Laval, a trendy restaurant that attracts gourmets and foodies!
Come to think of it, you won’t have enough of one day to see and do it all if you are the gourmet and food lover type. Contact our experts at Tourisme Laval. They will help you plan your agrotourism getaway!