A takeout food tour of Kingston

By Andrea Gunn

Bored with your own cooking? Want to sample some terrific local cuisine? Heather Ford, of Kingston Food Tours, helps us discover some of the best dining experiences in Kingston to take out.

Heather Ford has a passion for food, and she loves introducing people to the talented restaurateurs and chefs of Kingston. And though her in-person food tours of downtown Kingston are on hold for now, she wants to share some of her recommendations for your next dinner. And they include not just the restaurants of downtown Kingston, but some west end gems.

West End Restaurants

Days on Front carrot cake

Days on Front

730 Front Road
Open Wednesday through Saturday

“Days on Front is one of my favourite spots,” she says. “I think Matt [Day] is doing such an excellent job. he’s just true to the kind of cuisine; it’s fresh and local. The menu is not huge, but I respect that, because you know it’s going to be super fresh.”

Days on Front lists all the local ingredients used in its menu, from fruits and vegetables to meats and cheeses. Its takeout menu offers six appetizers (one vegetarian) and six mains (one vegetarian) with gluten-free options for some dishes. Wine and desserts are also available for takeout, for those who want to create a full romantic dinner at home.

Bella Bistro/Bella Market

4050 Bath Road
Open Wednesday through Saturday

Farther west, Heather recommends Bella Bistro. Family favourites include a variety of pizzas like arancine (risotto croquettes served with marinara sauce). Attached to the restaurant is Bella Market, where you can pick up many of the restaurant’s frozen entrees, from soups to pizza, as well as fresh baguettes and sourdough loaves.

The Red House West

629 Fortune Crescent
Open daily

The Red House Downtown

369 King Street East
Open daily

In the mood for comfort food? Heather recommends The Red House (which has both downtown and west end locations). “They also have these most amazing buttermilk breaded chicken bites, which are delectable. So, they do a nice turn on things that are classic pub cuisine, but at a higher level. They really focus on local ingredients as well.”

Downtown Restaurants

“Downtown Kingston is perfect for a self-guided food tour,” says Heather. “It’s very easy to walk from place to place. Even before I did food tours, I would often have a bit of a progressive dinner: a drink and tapas here, a main course somewhere else, and stop somewhere for dessert on the way home. It’s a fun way to eat.”

Pan Chancho Bakery

44 Princess Street
(613) 544-7790
Open daily

If you want to do a picnic at home, Heather recommends ordering online from Pan Chancho, where you can choose from a dizzying array of breads, cheeses, salads and sandwiches, prepared meals, and desserts. Heather’s favourite Pan Chancho treat is a decadent maple chômeur, a traditional Quebecois pudding cake.


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Tango Nuevo

331 King Street East
(613) 548-3778
Open Tuesday through Sunday

Tango Nuevo also offers many of its menu items to go, from charcuterie to tacos (and gluten-free options are available on request). So you can still enjoy the communal tapas experience at home with family: just pick up two or three small plates per person. “Tango Nuevo has so many interesting things,” says Heather, “not just Spanish tapas but tapas from all over the world. Their Brussels sprouts [served with garlic yoghurt, almond dukkah, and pomegranate jelly] are super. I’ve never been disappointed with any of their plates.”

Atomica pizza

Black Dog Tavern

69 Brock Street
Open Tuesday through Sunday


71 Brock Street
Open daily

The Black Dog Tavern also offers a number of sharing plates that are perfect for an at-home picnic. It also offers main courses that you might want to keep all to yourself, like its lobster mac and cheese, a favourite of Heather’s. “Then you can go next door to Atomica, where they have a very interesting selection of vegan offerings. They’ve done a really good job of that. And I think their thin-crust pizza is the best in town.”

Olivea pasta


39 Brock Street
Open daily

Olivea offers a weekly dinner-for-two series (Friday and Saturday only: limited quantities available). Order ahead of time, pick up curbside, and reheat and enjoy at home. Check the website to see what the next special will be: past offerings have included lasagne al forno and osso buco with saffron risotto (one of Heather’s personal favourites). But if you miss out on the weekly special, you can still enjoy the restaurant’s regular offerings, in-house or to take out. The restaurant also now has an in-house pantry, where you can grab to-go salads and sandwiches as well as frozen entrees and more.

Restaurant hours and menu items are subject to change; contact each restaurant directly for up-to-date dining options.