Welcome to Kingston (Part I): Feasts, meats, and tasty treats
Although you may not realize it by hanging around the “University District,” Kingston has a vibrant and eclectic music, arts and entertainment scene. Further there is also a fantastic selection of restaurants and bars with enough offerings to tantalize the taste buds of even the most discerning foodies and boozies among us.
Now you may be asking yourself, “How am I possibly to navigate the copious number of restaurants, bars, theatres and shops sprinkled throughout downtown Kingston?”
Lucky for you, we at Juris Diction have put together a city guide to shed some light on our favourite locales in the Limestone City, starting with where to get some delicious eats.
If you’re ever taking a blindfolded stroll through downtown Kingston, you will recognize Pan Chancho as the place steeped in the sweet aroma of fresh and delicious baked goods. In addition to having the best loaf of bread in Kingston (Olive and Rosemary Sourdough), the bakery offers a range of treats tempting enough to shatter the self-restraint of a Tibetan monk.
Pan Chancho also boasts a wonderful café in the back where they serve breakfast, lunch and—on the weekend—brunch. In the summer, try to snag a seat on their beautiful back patio.
The highlights of the breakfast menu include the “Breakfast Wrapped Up,” “The Weekender,” and the “French Toast with Apple Butter Crème Fraîche.” If you’re heading to Pan Chancho for their weekend brunch, get there early, or be prepared to wait for a table because this place is a popular for students and locals alike.
Pan Chancho, 44 Princess Street / 613.544.7790 / www.panchancho.com
Geneva Crêpe Bistro
Crêpes—need I say more? This is also the only establishment that serves fondue in downtown Kingston! There is no better post-smoker breakfast than the “Swiss Fondue for Two”—ahem—one.
Geneva Crepe Cafe, 297 Princess Street / 613.507.0297 / www.genevacrepecafe.com
Harper’s Burger Bar
We’re going on the record and saying that Harper’s has the best burgers in Kingston. Don’t believe us? See for yourself. With a fun atmosphere and a broad selection of local craft beer to go with your meal, Harper’s is one of the best places in Kingston for lunch or dinner.
One of the highlights is the “Slider Sampler” for indecisive customers who want the option of trying three different burgers in slider format. For those who would rather enjoy the unbridled glory of a regular sized burger, try the “Bull’s Eye” (Monterey Jack, local bacon, fried farm egg, jalapeños, S. Carolina BBQ sauce – $15) and get it on a pretzel bun for a life-changing experience. You also can’t go wrong with the amazing milkshakes and spicy waffle fries.
Just in case you aren’t tantalized enough, Harper’s also has beer floats—yes—BEER FLOATS. Do what you will with this information.
Harper’s Burger Bar, 93 Princess Street / 613.507.3663 / www.harpersburgerbar.com
Golden Rooster Deli
The Golden Rooster Deli is a great place to satisfy a hankering for a fresh sandwich and some potato or macaroni salad at a reasonable price. The deli is also stocked up with oh so many fine meats and cheeses. Sandwich highlights include schnitzel on a pretzel bun and whatever happens to be on special. Tasty treat highlights include the jelly-filled donuts and custard danishes.
Don’t think this place is the real deal? Try heading down there for lunch and bear witness to the colossal queue of customers gearing up for a delicious sandwich.
Golden Rooster Deli, 111 Princess Street / 613.549.6540
Casa Domenico is an Italian restaurant located in Kingston’s historic downtown area, across from Market Square. Not only is this one of the best restaurants in Kingston, it is also one of the best Italian restaurants this culinary critic has ever been to (and I’ve been to Italy!). For those of you who crave delicious Italian but may be celiac or have gluten intolerances, Casa offers delicious gluten-free options.
While a night here could leave your wallet feeling sore, it the perfect place to go when your parents come to visit. If you make it to Casa Domenico, be sure to go all out.
Highlights include the calamari, scarpetta, and the undisputed champion of ravioli—the “Ravioli a la Silvio.” Since there is nothing wrong (and, in fact, everything right) with treating yourself to dessert, we recommend the tiramisu, or the cannoli, a personal favourite.
Casa Domenico, 35 Brock Street / 613.542.0870 / www.casadomenico.com
Atomica is one of the best gourmet pizza restaurants in Kingston. Atomica offers a great Italian menu with a heavy focus on pizzas, which are outstanding. With its modern atmosphere and versatile cocktail list, it is the place to go for a second or third date. Highlights include the “House Ricotta Gnocchi,” and any pizza on the menu. We especially love the “Atomica” (spicy tomato sauce, mozzarella, salametti salami, local cremini mushrooms, pepperoncini). Atomica also provides a range of gluten-free options.
Atomica Pizza and Wine Bar, 71 Brock Street / 613.530.2118 / www.atomica.ca
Wooden Heads is another one of Kingston’s gourmet pizza offerings. It offers a fantastic array of pizzas prepared in their wood-burning oven. The menu is eclectic and offers everything from a Creole-themed shrimp appetizer (“Voodoo Shrimp”), to a coconut-poached chicken in a cashew curry sauce (“Kai Mekong”).
Other highlights include the “Lumpia Diavolo,” “Calamari Mumbai,” “Risotto di Mare” and, of course, any pizza on the menu. Some of our favourites are the “Citta” (pomodoro sauce, brie, caramelized onion, prosciutto, fresh basil) and the “Nonna Mela” (apple butter, roasted garlic, cheddar, sweet onions, blackened chicken).
Wooden Heads, 192 Ontario Street / 613.549.1812 / www.woodenheads.com
Le Chien Noir, 69 Brock Street / 613.549.5635 / www.lechiennoir.com
Tango Nuevo Wine and Tapas, 331 King Street East / 613.548.3778 / www.tangonuevo.ca
Dianne’s Fish Bar, 195 Ontario Street / 613.507.3474 / www.dianneskingston.com
The Iron Duke on Wellington, 207 Wellington Street / 613.542.4244 / www.ironduke.ca
Mission Street North
You can rarely go wrong with food truck tacos. Let’s try that again—you can rarely go wrong with tacos. The guys at Mission Street North are usually serving up California-style Mexican food at the corner of Division and Princess but since they have freedom of movement (yay law jokes), they sometimes set up at other locations. They have been known to frequent Queen’s campus or The Brooklyn’s patio, weather permitting.
Highlights include the “Cabo Tacos” (made with grilled fresh tilapia) and the “Classic Carnitas” burrito (seasoned slow braised pork shoulder). If you opt for the burrito, be ready to eat leftovers for dinner—these things are seriously huge.
Mission Street North, 155 Division Street / 613.453.9698
Andy Gibbons (2L) and Tom Mack (2L) are the Culture Editors for Juris Diction.
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