Kingston’s Best Cocktail Bars

By Visit Kingston

There is absolutely nothing that will make you feel instantly more luxurious than a finely crafted cocktail. Maybe you go Bond style and like your drink shaken, not stirred. Maybe you like a straight-up Old Fashioned and refuse to settle for anything but the best. Maybe you really don’t know what you like, but you’re ready to treat yourself.

We’re spoiled in Kingston with our amazing culinary scene, but what makes our limestone streets even more special? These amazing cocktail bars where you can find world-class drinks. Here are our picks for the best cocktail bars in Kingston!

1. AquaTerra – The Vu

1 Johnson Street

Open: daily 12 pm – 9:00 pm

The Vu is the delectable offshoot of AquaTerra, Kingston’s fine dining gem. Tucked in the Delta Kingston Waterfront Hotel Lobby, this lounge offers one of the best views in Kingston, with a sleek ambiance. Combined, it makes their amazing cocktail menu that much more special. Try their Smoked Old Fashioned, made with bourbon, Angostura bitters, muddled orange wheel, Luxardo cherry, and raw sugar in a smoked glass. Looking for a non-alcoholic beverage? They have a selection of mocktails such as the Wanderlust, made with grapefruit, cucumber, lemon, mint, grenadine, simple syrup, and soda.

Must-try: Strawberry Basil Mojito


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2. Miss Bao Restaurant + Cocktail Bar

286 Princess Street

Open: Thursday – Saturday from 5:00 pm to 11:00 pm and Sunday from 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm

You may know Miss Bao for being the first zero-waste restaurant in Kingston (and their mushroom bao that’s to die for), but have you ever had one of their cocktails? Their hand-crafted cocktails are designed with a goal to revolutionize traditional Asian flavours. Every cocktail can be made plant-based, too. Try a sip of one of their best-selling cocktails, the Tom Yam Siam. It’s a spicy, citrus-focused drink that combines vodka, tropical coconut rum, lychee, lime, and Thai green chilis. You should also check out their selection of sake – a Japanese alcoholic beverage made by fermenting rice.

Must-try: The Peach Bellini (hand juiced from Ontario sourced peaches)


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3. The Grad Club

162 Barrie Street

Open: Monday – Tuesday 11:am – 8:00 pm Wednesday – Friday 11:00 pm – 1:00 am

When you think of a student pub, you may have flashbacks of warm beer in red cups, but the Grad Club will quickly change that perception. Besides the fact that they’re located in a beautiful heritage building right on Queen’s campus, the vibe here is always welcoming and friendly. Choose from one of their cocktails, or you can always request your favourite specialty drinks to be made for you by the talented staff.

Must-try: The Peach Bourbon Smash


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4. Tango Nuevo

331 King St. East

Open: Sunday – Thursday 11:30 am – 11:00 pm, and Friday – Saturday 11:30 am – Midnight

This chic spot on King Street never fails to amaze us every time we visit. Tango Nuevo is loved by locals for their huge selection of tapas, charcuterie (all locally sourced), and international wine list. The hidden gem here is their amazing cocktail list, which ranges from the classic martini (with premium gin and vodka options available) to delicious signature creations like the Campfire Manhattan (lapsang souchong-infused rye, sweet vermouth, bitters, maple syrup, cinnamon, and orange zest) and their Strawberry Balsamic Negroni Sour.

Must-try: Bare Skin Rub or The Tango Iced Tea

Looking for Pubs & Nightlife?

The Merchant
Stone City Brewing Co.

5. Olivea

39 Brock Street

Open: Sunday – Thursday 11:30 am – 9:00 pm, and Friday – Saturday 11:30 am – 9:30 pm

This family-run trattoria is an essential Kingston foodie destination for the fresh pasta and gnocchi they make in house. The pleasant, and delicious, surprise here? The cocktail menu. Olivea’s smaller drink menu means they have even more time to spend perfecting those delicious drinks. And it definitely pays off. Their Mojito (rightly titled Kingston’s Best Mojito) is made with Havana Club Rum, muddled mint, fresh lime juice and soda water, and comes in five different flavours (hello, passion fruit!). Some other favourites include their Diablo (with Jose Cuervo silver tequila, cassis, fresh lime juice and ginger ale), the Tuscan Rosemary Lemon Drop, and their Blood Orange Bellini!

Must Try: Mojito

6. The Everly

103-171 Wellington Street

Open: Wednesday – Thursday 4:00 pm – 11:00 pm, and Friday – Saturday 4:00 pm – Midnight

The newly opened Everly restaurant features refined modern, classical food. They also have The Everly Wine Shop – a shop dedicated to a carefully curated selection of wines not available at the LCBO and snacks to pair them with. Take a seat at the sleek bar and try out the Earl Grey MarTEAni, which has quickly become a favourite. This neo-classical cocktail was first introduced to owners Amber and Jamie while working at Uva Wine Bar and Cibo Trattoria in Vancouver over 10 years ago. Another great pick is The Bee’s Knees; Tanqueray gin, local Hogan’s Honey syrup, lemon juice, and a spritz on Kinsip Lavender bitters.

Must-try: The Earl Grey Martini

7. Union Kitchen + Cocktails

184 Princess Street

Open: Sunday 9:00 am – 3:00 pm, Monday – Wednesday 11:00 am – 10:00 pm, Friday 11:00 am – Midnight, and 9:00 am – Midnight

Union Kitchen is known for its specialty cocktails, which transform each season. From Candy Cane White Russians and Legends of the Fall (rosemary-infused bourbon, sortilège, sweet vermouth, sweet apple cider, lemon juice, orange bitters, apple slices, and fresh rosemary), to iconic mojitos made with local mint from Forman Farms, you’re sure to find some unique favourites here.

Must-try: The Exotic Tonic

8. Black Dog Tavern

69 Brock Street

Open: Wednesday 4:00 pm – 9:00 pm, Thursday 4:00 pm – 10:00 pm, Friday 12:00 pm – 11:00 pm, Saturday 11:00 am – 11:00 pm, and Sunday 11:00 am – 9:00 pm

One of the city’s most popular dining establishments, this upscale pub serves French bistro classics such as steak frites and mussels, along with soft pretzels and chicken wings. Enjoy one of their signature cocktails in their dining room or on their shady courtyard terrace. We recommend their Skydogg Caesar made with peppercorn, garlic and chili-infused Top Shelf vodka, Walter’s caesar mix, pickle juice, lime and harissa salt rim.

Must-try: Skydogg Ceasar

9. Harper’s Burger Bar

93 Princess Street

Open: 11:30 pm – 9:00 pm Daily

When visiting Kingston, you don’t want to miss this local burger joint with some of the best burgers in Ontario. We couldn’t imagine hitting Harper’s Burger Bar and not indulging in one of their cocktails such as their Purple Rain (vodka, blue curacao, cranberry, pineapple, and grenadine) or Cinnamon Maple Whiskey Sour (Forty Creek whiskey, maple syrup, lime, cinnamon, and soda). In terms of creative cocktails, Harper’s is a cut above with the likes of their spiked shakes and beer floats.

Must-try: The Whitney

Looking for Kingston Pubs & Live Music?

The Mansion
The Ale House

10. Atomica Kitchen and Cocktails

71 Brock Street

Open: Sunday – Thursday 11:30 am – 10:00 pm, and Friday – Saturday 11:30 am – 11:00 pm

Fresh Italian food and contemporary cocktails are waiting for you at Atomica. Their specialties include antipasto boards, salads, pasta, panini, entrées, and housemade desserts. Celebrate a sunny summer day by relaxing on their vibrant sidewalk patio with a glass of wine or a delicious cocktail from one of the city’s most creative drink lists. The Espresso Martini is a fan-favourite made with Kavi cold brew-infused whiskey, Kahlua, Frangelico, espresso, and Xocoatl Mole bitters.

Must-try: The Bless

11. Musiikki Café

73 Brock Street

Open: 2:00 pm – 2:00 am Daily

Musiikki Café is a music hub and go-to spot for a daytime coffee or a late-night cocktail. They offer locally roasted coffee and handcrafted espresso beverages along with high-end whiskey-based cocktails and local craft beer. Relax at a shady spot in their back courtyard and indulge in an old favourite or try something new from their huge fine whiskey selection. They specialize in Irish and Scotch whiskies, Canadian rye and American Bourbon. We love their Smoked Lemonade cocktail, made with bourbon, cherry syrup, house-made sours, chilled lapsang tea, and lemonade.

Must-try: Whiskey Sour

12. Mesa Fresca

1347 Gardiners Road

Open: Tuesday – Saturday 11:30 am – 9:00 pm

Mesa Fresca just might serve the best house-created margaritas in Kingston. While this “authentically inauthentic” restaurant offers a delicious Mexican-inspired menu including enchiladas and lime pie, their cocktail menu is a serious showstopper as well. Try a sip of their Hibiscus margarita made with Epsolon tequila blanco, Cointreau, hibiscus, fresh lime juice, simple syrup and citrus salt. Mojito lovers can indulge in Mesa Fresca’s version made with white rum, fresh mint, lime, brown sugar, and soda. Their bar selection also includes an extensive wine list, local craft cervezas (beer), and a summertime staple: sangria.

Must-try: Mesa Fresca Margaritas


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13. Days on Front

730 Front Road

Open: Wednesday – Thursday 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm, Friday – Saturday Noon – 8:00 pm

Elevate your girl’s night out or switch up date night with cocktails at Days on Front, a restaurant that offers simple and refined Canadian cuisine. They’re dedicated to using local ingredients whenever possible. Take a sip of one of their seasonal cocktails or request your favourite classic cocktail or martini. Their current cocktail list includes a refreshing Irish Buck (Irish whiskey, lemon juice, honey syrup, and ginger beer) and a unique Banana Rum Old Fashioned (bourbon, light rum, crème de banane, bitters, and orange peel). Cheers!

Must Try: Maple Manhattan

This article was updated February 2022 to reflect changes in menus and venues, using previous content by Kate Farrell and Patrick Bisson.

Looking for more places to dine in Kingston?

With more restaurants per capita than almost any other city in Canada, Kingston has something for everyone. From bar and grill style food to unique cuisines, whatever you’re craving, you’ll find it here.

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