Like any urban center in Ontario or the world, there are a variety of dining opportunities in the Kingston restaurants. In the historic core of incredible Kingston, visitors and residents can enjoy the offerings of more than 100 food and beverage locations, catering to the culinary tastes of almost anyone.
Fast food type establishments abound throughout the city, the Tim Horton’s coffee chain – Canada’s coffee icon – offers breakfast sandwiches, lighter lunches, coffee and doughnuts, and during the spring, summer and fall, you can find “chip trucks” offering anything from fresh fried french fries, hot dogs and burgers.
This page lists some of the Kingston restaurants we have, or we intend to, enjoy. We hope you do as well.
Ali Baba Kabab
Some of our family members really enjoy Persian & Middle Eastern food. I am not one of them… normally. We attended the Ali Baba Kabab restaurant for an early dinner recently, and I was outvoted. Glad I was. The Shawarma Beef was wonderful. Others in our party had the Shawarma Mix, a much better value for just (at that time) one dollar more. I’m told that the Falafel Plate was wonderful, though I’m more inclined for a meat over a meatless dish.
The service was good in this small restaurant, the food was hot and well (not overly) spiced, which was a surprise to me. They provide chilled water with the meal, yet it, and the soft drinks (not licensed) could do with the addition of some ice. And it were me, I’d lose the TV. Not only is it annoying to hear it when you sit with your back to it, but meal companions eyes are continuously drawn to it, making conversation difficult. One more thing, since I’m on a roll. I’d replace the radio station as background with some CD’s of persian music. They did a nice job decorating the restaurant with a theme, the TV and the radio spoil the effect in my opinion.
Anyway, good grub as far as I’m concerned, and well priced too!
Ali Baba Kabab
Princess St. & Clergy St. near the corner.
Amadeus Schnitzel Haus and Biergarten
Family owned and operated since 1992, the Amadeus Cafe serves authentic German and Austrian cuisine along with many other European favourites. Located in the heart of downtown Kingston just one block down from the Grand Theatre and a few blocks up from the historic waterfront. A visit to the courtyard patio will have you believing you’re sitting at an outdoor cafe in Europe.
Amadeus Schnitzel Haus and Biergarten
170 Princess Street
Tel: (613) 546-7468
Traditional foods, or less fiery dishes for tender North American tastes, if the taste of India is one you crave, don’t miss Curry Original.
Right downtown Kingston in a gorgeous historic building, with some seats overlooking the water. A feast for the eyes and for the palate. Do try the Nan bread – warm, moist and absolutely delicious.
253A Ontario Street
Tel: (613) 531-9376
Day’s on Front
Oh my, don’t miss this restaurant if you are looking for delicious food.
Artfully prepared and delivered piping hot to our table, all our dishes satisfied us, and we all decided that this has the potential of becoming one of our favourite Kingston restaurants. We suggest you make reservations for dinner!
We particularly like, since we think drinking Kingston tap water is like drinking from a swimming pool, that Days on Front brings bottles of chilled and filtered drinking water to each table. A never ending supply. Thanks for that!
Lunch for two, with tip, was around $35. At first we thought that a bit pricey for a lunch, but it turns out it was well worth it.
Days on Front Restaurant
730 Front Road,
Kingston, ON, Canada
This is one of our favourite Kingston restaurants. You will be enchanted with the ambience, from the first taste of the dish of Saganaki that you see burst into flame right beside your table as the servers yell “Opa”, to the last morsel of lamb shank or souvlaki.
The bouquets of fresh cooked Greek fare waft throughout the restaurant, tickling your taste buds as soon as you enter. If you are lucky, you can get a window seat and people-watch the pedestrians strolling past the restaurant in downtown Kingston. We have enjoyed every visit to Greco’s, there have been many, and we sure hope there are many more.
Grecos Wine Bar & Grill
167 Princess Street (only a few blocks from the Lake)
Kingston, K7L 1A9
While we found the prices of the all-inclusive (not beverages, however) buffet restaurant to be on the high side for the Kingston market, and that they had already increased substantially not long after it opened, the offerings of this Western / Chinese restaurant are pretty spectacular.
New since the spring of 2015, the Mandarin offers a number of dining rooms, all adjacent to their rather incredible buffet offerings.
A broad range of seafood is available on a daily basis. Their dinners on the weekend offer some upscale seafood such as all-you-can-eat king crab legs, either chilled or hot from the steam.
The popularity can be attested to by the fact that we were unable to get dinner reservations a number of times during the time slot desired as their seating was entirely sold out.
For dinner then, we recommend reservations.
Their takeout is made fresh, a claim that we can substantiate by having had our meal-to-go a number of times. Service is fast, the table cleanup between courses is magical, the hot towels before and after dinner very much appreciated, the the cleanliness of all their facilities supports the perception of a class establishment.
The Mandarin Restaurant
1300 Bath Road,
Frontenac Mall, Kingston, ON K7M 4X4
T: (613) 546-2000
Merchant Tap House (The)
During July 2018 four of us popped into The Merchant Tap House for a late lunch / early dinner.
Near the corner of Ontario and Brock Streets in downtown Kingston Ontario, this pub and restaurant is well located. Near the water? Yes, but unfortunately, not on it, and the traffic to the adjacent hotel means that those sitting on the patio are treated to an almost never ending waft of motor vehicle exhaust and road noise.
My sense was this a more an after-work drink spot, and an evening pub with lots of music (loud, even after they turn down the speaker over the table at our request) tons of young folks cavorting, and, oh, they serve meals as well.
There was nothing wrong with our food. The menu is pub fare, pizzas and burgers with some interesting twists on that genre, and a few other tidbits to suit those not interested in the basic.
The broad selection of beers seems to be the big draw, I believe 23 kinds, and this reinforced my thought that this is a place to go for beer first, food second.
At one beer each and one entree each the bill was $130 with tip, not a modest price, but I guess not too bad in this day and age.
Want to party? Hit The Merchant Tap House. Want a quiet place for dinner with friends where you can speak in at a civilized level and hear each other, give it a pass.
The Merchant Tap House
6 Princess St, Kingston, ON K7L 5P7
Telephone: (613) 547-1313
This is one Kingston Restaurant that my partner has been trying to get me to for years. I finally succumbed, and am sure glad I did!
Olivea bills themselves as a contemporary Italian restaurant, and they fill that bill. With a passion for using fresh, preferably organic, ingredients from the Kingston area food shed, the chef crafts delicious lunch or dinner entries.
Olivea boasts a picturesque location overlooking the Springer Market Square with its craft / boutique market in the summer months, and outdoor ice skating rink in the winter, and it is just around the corner from Kingston City Hall and Confederation Basin.
39 Brock Street,
Kingston, Ontario Canada K7L 1R7
Just a couple of blocks over from Princess Street, an easy walk from the Chown parking garage since there’s precious little parking near the restaurant, you’ll find a smallish nondescript building with a small Rustic Spud sign on two corners. Not hugely impressive, though. Then later we learned that this location had been many restaurants in it’s former years.
Eight of us arrived for dinner on a Friday. Good that we made reservations. Shortly after arriving, every seat was full. We now know why!
Well priced, fast service, with all eight meals arriving within one minute of each other, all hot, all absolutely delicious. The chef offers what I call a funky mainstream, dishes we know, but with a Rustic Spud twist. Burgers were hot and juicy, steak was seared perfectly, sweet potato gnocchi hot and tender… supplemented by a nice variety of local and not-sol-local ice cold beers on tap.
Yeah, you should try it. We’ll be back. You may want to reserve even for lunch.
The Rustic Spud
175 Bagot St.
Kingston, ON K7L 3E9
Tel: (613) 544-6969
Claiming the “World’s Best Burgers” The Works takes the basic burger to a whole new level. We were not able to find out the size of the burger in ounces of Canadian beef, but it’s big. And their “burger faves” come pre-dressed… like the “Beverly Hills Lawsuit” or the “Crappy Tire” burger, or you can dress your burger any way you want with a huge variety of toppings. Other treats like the Tower of Rings, “Lipstick on a Pig” poutine, fresh shakes, wild and basic salads, sandwiches… The Works appears to cater to almost any preferences. Don’t overlook the Elk Burger for a special treat.
The food was plentiful, service was excellent, the soft drink glasses are very interesting, and you will enjoy your meal at The Works we expect, though there may be some “sticker shock” when the check is presented. This is not a bargain burger joint!
298 Princess Street,
Just revisited an old friend… Wooden Heads on Ontario Street right down town Kingston.
You can enjoy the small patio out front, or in behind, but mostly you will enjoy their wonderful pizzas, made the old fashioned way, in a wood-fired oven.
Americana, Giovane , Alla Patricia, Annunziato, Greco and Volcano are just some of their wonderful pizza choices.
Lunch service is fast and friendly. Lots of good drinks available as well as on tap, and just after you sit down, on a hot Kingston day, you will enjoy the complimentary chilled bottled water brought right to the table. Never empty, too.
Conveniently located across from the Confederation Basin and Confederation Park – right down town Kingston, it’s a good spot to have a lunch while touring Kingston. Make sure you put money in the parking meters as Kingston parking wardens are VERY efficient.
Here’s a shot of our lunch pizzas. Volcano on the top and Americana at the bottom.
Wooden Heads is not just open for lunch, and is a very popular night spot too, particularly, given its location and reasonable pricing.
Wooden Heads Gourmet Pizza
192 Ontario Street
Gananoque Restaurant Gems:
I know this is a website about Kingston, yet Gan is just down the road, and it’s been developing a fine crop of restaurants too. Here is one of our favourites.
We like to drive along highway #2 to Gan from Kingston. Just as you enter town on the right side, and just before you make the big curve into downtown Gananoque, sits riva restaurant.
Make it a go to place for lunch or dinner as soon as you can. You will be glad you did.
When you arrive, your nose is gifted with the scent of fine food being prepared as you walk past the nearly open kitchen to the sitting areas.
The ambiance – limestone outside and retro-ish modern inside is a treat, and quickly wraps you in comfort as you take your seat in front of, or near, one of the two, lovely huge fireplaces.
Open for lunch and dinner, with limited openings in the winter (check their website for days and hours) you can enjoy a well flavoured and steaming hot dish of fettuccine bolognese, linguine alla puttanesca, chew a wonderful brasato di manzo, or enjoy a perfectly baked pollo pizza. Not sure what these are? See them and much more as their their lunch and dinner menus are posted on their website.
Our first foray to riva was through the invitation of friends. Our next visits will happen as frequently as possible by our choice. We want to enjoy more of the very good stuff at this excellent Italian restaurant as often as possible.
Enjoy your riva restaurant meal with wine or craft beer from their well-stocked bar.
45 King St West
Got a favourite Kingston and area Restaurant? Feel free to use the comment form to tell us about it.