As bonafide foodies, we’re always looking for new and delicious culinary experiences to be had. When those dull, grey days set in, the best way to beat the winter blues is to get out and explore — especially, with our taste buds. Less than three hours from Toronto, Kingston is a foodie mecca just waiting for the culinary curious.
Home to a rich food scene with plenty of independent restaurants, breweries, food tours and foodie events, Kingston is a worthy destination for your holiday or winter weekend getaway.
Make your first stop The Everly. This must-visit restaurant opened the year the pandemic hit and, just like Kingston’s culinary scene, has emerged thriving. The Everly serves a rotating menu of classic dishes made with local ingredients.
“Our menus are centred around what we can source locally from our farmers,” say owners Amber Thom and Jamie Hodges. “We are very grateful to have nurtured these relationships over the past decade. We work together with our farmers to plant what we need for the restaurant. For the past few seasons, Charles Summers from Salt of the Earth Farm has supplied us with squash blossoms, which normally are only available in early summer. He continually plants so we can have squash blossoms on our menu from June to October.”
Brimming with local ingredients, The Everly’s menu is a reflection of their close relationships with local farmers, and a great representation of Kingston’s flavours. Hodges and Thom’s favourite dish on the menu? The mushroom gnocchi. “Our housemade potato gnocchi are light pillowy potato dumplings with sautéed local mushrooms — blue oyster, chestnut, shiitake, lion's mane — in a light cream sauce with chives and parmesan. It’s winter in a bowl,” they say.
But The Everly isn’t the only restaurant serving delicious local flavours in Kingston — it’s one of many excellent restaurants in this vibrant food scene.
“Northside is our go-to for Sunday brunch with the family,” say Thom and Hodges. “We love to bring out-of-town guests there as well. The coffees are always on point, along with a perfectly executed hollandaise sauce on the Tim's Benny. The space is light, bright and dreamy — a real taste of South Pacific hospitality.”
Perhaps the best time to visit Kingston is in early 2024, when Kingstonlicious returns. The annual event sees local restaurants around the city offering prix fixe menus. This year, The Everly hosted a sold-out Kingstonlicious event. “Kingstonlicious is a great opportunity for us to bring new customers into the space. The Kingstonlicious menus offer our guests a chance to experience The Everly food and drink and hospitality at a value-added price point. It's become an annual event and is a great chance for the restaurant to showcase the local dining scene,” say Thom and Hodges.
Put Kingston on your culinary bucket list stat, and head to the Limestone City for a foodie getaway this winter. Your taste buds will thank you.
Kingston's Brews and Chews
Find local restaurants, breweries, food tours and fun foodie events on your next winter weekend getaway to the Limestone City.
Fascinating Food Tours
You’ll fall in love with Kingston’s flourishing culinary scene on a food tour. Led by passionate, knowledgeable guides, both the Classic and Tapas tours showcase the very best of Kingston’s local cuisine. The Classic tour is a two-kilometre walk through Kingston’s charming and historic downtown, and stops in at several restaurants for exclusive samples of the tastiest bites this foodie wonderland has to offer. You’ll explore unique shops and stellar eateries, and learn about the artisans and farmers behind Kingston’s thriving food movement. The Tapas tour features four stops, where participants try delicious small tastings paired with a tipple.
Don't Miss Kingstonlicious
An epic culinary extravaganza cranks up the heat in Kingston during some of the coldest months of the year. Across January, February and March, dozens of excellent local restaurants launch mouthwatering prix fixe menus for Kingstonlicious. Make a reservation at one or several of the participating eateries and enjoy tons of amazing deals on some of Kingston’s top bites. You won’t want to miss the signature events that happen during Kingstonlicious, either. Last year, some of Canada’s top culinary talent flocked to Kingston to host everything from fondue feasts to pasta soirées and Montreal bagel brunches. Once your belly is full and your eyelids are drooping, spend the night at one of Kingston's premier hotels or inns for some sweet perks.
Kingston's best breweries
Something In The Water Brewing Co.
275 Princess Street
Riverhead Brewing Company
631 Fortune Crescent, Unit 10
Spearhead Brewing Company
675 Development Drive
Kingston Brewing Company
34 Clarence Street
Skeleton Park Brewery
675 Arlington Park Place, Unit 3
Mackinnon Brothers Brewing Company
1915 County 22 Road, Bath
768 Princess Street
Fine Balance Brewing Company
677 Innovation Drive, Unit 4
Hard Way Cider Co.
748 Development Drive
To start planning your winter weekend getaway to Kingston, head to visitkingston.ca