Become a Kingston Foodie Adventurer!

By Visit Kingston

So much to taste, so little time! Your exploration of the local scene might begin with culinary walking tours such as Kingston by Fork or Dishcrawl Kingston. The Kingston Public Market, meanwhile, is at its tastiest on summer Saturdays when chefs host demos using local ingredients. Then there’s the Beer & Food Truck Festival (June 14), which rolls into Fort Henry, and The Taste of Kingston Festival (July 5), which takes over Confederation Park with culinary samples and entertainment. In the morning, you might search out Pasta Genova, a hole-in-the-wall Italian food shop with 25-cent espresso shots for the sleep-deprived. Combine a love of fine dining with an appreciation of history at Fort Henry’s Battery Bistro, Kingston’s largest waterfront patio. Don’t forget to bring a cooler — you’ll be needing it for those local food finds you want to take home.
Below are some picks for must-try food, drink, and local goods!

Card’s Bakery

This is a seriously sweet bakery, with a colourful vibe and a real knack for old-school baked goods. We’re talking giant peanut butter cookies, jam-filled sugar cookies, thumbprints, haystacks, and shortbreads. Squares are similarly retro and the butter tarts are brilliant. Homemade fudge also makes an appearance. The bakery includes a compact shopping section jammed with super-colourful cookware and aprons.
304 Bagot Street

Cooke’s Fine Foods and Coffee

This charming building, with its big display windows and pressed-tin ceiling, has housed a food shop since 1865. Hugh Cooke purchased the business in 1924, and his descendants run it to this day. With its wooden floors and cranberry-glass pendant lamps, it may seem preserved in amber, but the up-to-the-minute stock includes must-haves for discerning foodies today. Think Dutch licorice, Rogers chocolates from British Columbia, Spanish olives, Duchy Originals cookies, Indian spice mixes, and much more. Though they don’t specialize in local products, they do carry a selection of award-winning Henderson Farms jams and jellies from nearby Wolfe Island.
61 Brock Street

Kingston Olive Oil Co.

Let the tasting begin. With over 60 flavours and types of extra virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegars, that could take a while. Luckily, staff at this pretty store are well equipped — on a table in the centre of the room sits a basket of freshly baked Pan Chancho bread, broken into chunks ready for dipping. The shop hosts regular chef demos and tasting experiences  so check the events calendar on its website to see what’s coming up. Can’t decide on one or two flavours? Customize your own gift box with an array of 60-mL tasters ($4 each). Our box included a cilantro and roasted onion infused olive oil and a black mission fig balsamic vinegar.
62 Brock Street

Pan Chancho Bakery

Bright, fragrant, and always busy, Pan Chancho bakes up a huge range of loaves, baguettes, muffins, scones, and other carb-olicious treats (many of them gluten-free). The caf. does a brisk business during breakfast and lunch — think French toast, savoury wraps, and clever sandwiches. It’s all brought to you by the same folks who own the iconic Chez Piggy restaurant up the street. Fans of local goodness will want to browse the shelves and fridges. We spotted pale Queen Bee Wildflower Honey from Tamworth, as well as a buckwheat honey from Shane’s Apiary in Odessa. There were much sought-after lankaaster and fleur en lait cheeses from Glengarry Fine Cheese and rich chocolate milk from the Limestone Organic Creamery. DIY gourmets can pick up the Chez Piggy and Pan Chancho cookbooks.
44 Princess Street

Tara Natural Foods

Looking for some pesticide-free produce for your lakeside picnic? Head to Tara, a busy warren of a store packed with natural, healthy foods and personal-care products. Fortunately, the helpful staff do customers a favour by tacking up little signs to highlight local and regional products. Among the finds was local honey and milk, yoghurt and kefir from Pinehedge Farms near Hawkesbury, and a big selection of bacon, salami, and sausages from Seed to Sausage near Sharbot Lake.
81 Princess Street

White Mountain Ice Cream

A landmark on the Kingston scene, on a hot day, White Mountain Ice Cream is the cool-down spot of choice. Some of their homemade flavours are self-explanatory (vanilla, say), but, much like celebrity parents, the ice cream makers here tend to give their concoctions innovative names. Try to stop by at a slightly off -peak time so you can quiz staff on what’s what. They’ll probably have some interesting tales to tell about some of the more unusual flavours. Our suggestion: pair a White Mountain waffle cone with an early evening walk by the nearby marina.
176 Ontario Street
This article has been reproduced from the 2014 Kingston Shop & Dine Guide.