Food That Really Speaks to You — Is That Weird?

By Visit Kingston

“How does food literacy integrate into menus across Kingston?”

To understand the story of Kingston food, we picked the brains of local Kingston chefs and restaurateurs to learn how the concept of food literacy integrates with their menus, as well as any tips they can share from the kitchens to help us be better, more informed consumers.


AquaTerra has been creating healthy, exciting, yet uncomplicated dishes like their Beet Salad — which incorporates local beets and microgreens from Patchwork Gardens, organic yogurt from Upper Canada Creamery — for the past six years. Building long-standing relationships with “neighbourhood” producers makes sense for the environment, the local economy and inspires the team to access the best seasonal ingredients.


Chien Noir

Chien Noir’s wild boar chop highlights how choosing wild meats help preserve our forests – animals raised in a natural environment forage the land, which produces healthier protein. It’s hard to deny the benefits this method of pasture-raising provides to both the animal and the consumer — it’s why so many are seeking it in-store and at restaurants.


Harper’s Burger Bar

By creating locally-themed burgers with ingredients like Enright Beef, Black River Cheddar, and Patch Work microgreens, Harper’s ensures the support of local farms and helps preserve greenspace. With a menu catering to the carnivores among us, the vegetarians, vegans, and those in need of gluten-free options — Harper’s guarantees everyone who passes through the doors can make an informed dining decision.


Atomica proves that that vegan meals and great flavour are not mutually exclusive with their Vegan Pizzas. Besides plenty of meat, seafood, vegetarian topping options, this newest addition to the Atomica menu highlights the importance of offering a variety of choices to their customers.


Juniper Cafe

Juniper’s local carrot and spelt cake with maple glaze is made with 100% local ingredients, continuing their promise of focusing on shopping local throughout the entire year. Juniper Cafe makes a point to visit the weekly market to support local farmers and advocates the importance of community initiatives that promote food literacy in the city.


Dianne’s Fish Shack + Smokehouse

As our oceans face the threat of overfishing, responsibly-raised, Ocean-Wise certified, farmed fish like the kind used in Dianne’s Trout Entree is an increasingly important source for feeding the planet sustainably. Choosing sustainably caught seafood ensures the long-term health and stability of that species has been taken into account.


Understanding where our food comes from sets us on the right path to making better food choices. As Kingston’s chefs strive to use locally and sustainably sourced ingredients, we can take a page out of their book and become inspired to ask questions about the food we eat, and the significant role food plays on a global scale.