Looking for a shop open early in the morning and late in the evening, offering basic essential products, within walking distance?

Try the dépanneur!

The dépanneur, or “dép”, is a convenience store, typically with a family-business atmosphere, which offers essential services to the community in the form of grocery and household items. The dépanneur has become a staple feature in the Canadian urban environment, and holds a special place in the Quebecer lifestyle. According to the CCSA (Canadian Convenience Stores Association), more than 10 million Canadians purchase at least one item a day at the “dép”! Once you’ve experienced it, we doubt you’ll be able to live without it!

The dépanneur is practical if you finish working after 5pm (when many other stores are already closed) or if you don’t own a car. Most neighbourhoods have a number of dépanneurs, so you won’t need to look far to do some last-minute shopping on your way home. These convenience stores will stock basic items including: milk; bread; dry goods; tinned food; fresh fruit and vegetables; household cleaning products; beauty products; tobacco; and beer.

Québec’s dépanneurs are unique in their ability to sell beer, as most Canadian provinces do not authorize convenience stores to sell alcoholic beverages. You typically have to venture to a SAQ store to purchase wine, beer and spirits.

Enjoy discovering the dépanneurs of Québec, but do make sure to pay attention to the prices, as they are generally higher than what you would pay at a supermarket.

Photo credit: Wikipedia