Kingston’s dining scene is exploding with diversity. The best way to discover Canada’s first capital is to stay in comfort at the cozy family-run Green Acres Inn, enjoy breakfast in bed, and then make your way to the historic downtown to experience Kingston Food Tours.
There’s just no better way to start the day than with Kingston Food Tours, a cool margarita and a fresh and crunchy beer-battered Baja fish taco at Dianne’s Fish Shack & Smokehouse. There is such a good vibe here, we may as well be in Baja California. We head to Pan Chancho Bakery & Cafe to devour maple butter tarts and their heavenly maple chomeur cake. It’s really hard to leave here without selecting from all the beautiful specialty ingredients from charcuterie to cheese and fresh bread to make my perfect sandwich! At Tango Nuevo we sample from one of the most unique and eclectic menus we’ve ever seen: tuna poke nachos; Persian lamb tacos; chorizo with foie gras snow; Moroccan meatballs with pomegranate seeds; and chocolate and peanut butter tiramisu. I could eat every single item on this menu, but alas, the tour continues.
Atomica‘s menu offers delectable bites from Harissa cauliflower popcorn to slow roasted sticky lamb ribs, but OMG the pizza! Try the crunchy flavour-forward thin-crust Funghi with almond pesto crema, cremini, Portobello, shiitake and enoki mushrooms and truffle oil. The flavour, the crunch, don’t rush me, I need to be alone with this pizza. Finally we reach Le Chien Noir Bistro for the most savoury Poutine of my life. Crunchy frites are enrobed in triple crème brie, a generous portion of duck confit, and the most delectable green peppercorn-cognac demi glace. With each lip smacking bite I swear it’s my last one. The Bistro Burger of in-house ground beef brisket with manchego and house bacon hits every note, and the crispy fried duck confit wings with orange honey butter had me at hello. All I want to do in Kingston now is eat. This tour has introduced us to the unexpected.
We weave through artful alleyways and admire the 19th-century Canadian municipal architecture of this “Limestone City.” Customized tours are available to include Fort Henry and other historic sites, but the classic tour, which visits eight delicious stops and introduces us to locals to hear the stories and learn Kingston’s history is so informative about architecture, history, culture and gastronomy. Located steps from Kingston’s original commissary, and inspired by colonial times, General Brock’s Commissary is chock full of local products from gourmet mustards, chutneys and jams, to specialty meats and artisan cheese, and handicraft gifts. At Kingston Olive Oil Co. we sample olive oils and nut oils; a unique range of infusions including Olive Wood Smoked, Tea Rose, and Wild Mushroom Sage and Cranberry; as well aged and flavoured balsamic vinegars like Maple; Espresso, and Cinnamon Pear. And finally… Mio Gelato. Here we happily indulge in luscious scoops of Peanut Butter and Jelly Gelato, Chocolate Pudding Sorbetto and Lemon Greek Yogurt.
As walkable as Kingston is, it’s also a mecca for boating and cyclists, but after a marathon of eating our way through historic Kingston, we sit by the shore and relax.
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Adam Waxman is an award winning travel journalist focusing on food, wine and well being. As well as an actor in film, television and formerly, the Stratford Festival, he is the Publisher of DINE and Destinations magazine.