Introducing a Culinary Adventure with Kingston Food Tour

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Uncover a world of authentic, mouth-watering foods in historic downtown Kingston through a new culinary adventure - Kingston Food Tours. This amazing new venture showcases some of the best local restaurants and one-of-a-kind specialty food stores that the Limestone City has to offer but there's a catch it's all on foot. Whether a foodie or not, tourists and locals alike will experience intimate tastings at eight local spots led by a passionate local guide for a duration of about three hours.

Prepare yourselves to savour in the finest local cuisine while immersing into the culture of this wonderful city and taking on a local's perspective. Though be sure to come with an appetite - by the end you will walk away with new culinary perspectives, big smiles, satisfied taste buds and the confidence to continue exploring new areas!

Kingston Food Tours
{First stop on the tour is Dianne's Fish Shack and Smokehouse}

All of the Kingston Food Tour partners are locally owned businesses that share a passion for creative, fresh, locally sourced food. The Classic Kingston tour includes stops at: Dianne's Fish Shack and Smokehouse, Pan Chancho Bakery and Cafe, Olivea, Tango Nuevo, Atomica's Pizza and Wine Bar, General Brock's Commissary, Kingston Olive Oil Company, and The Common Market. You'll have to scroll down to read all about the delightful tastings - they certainly will tickle your fancy and take you on a culinary journey into downtown Kingston's hidden gems.

The guided foodie adventure commences on the front steps of the Kingston Visitor Centre where introductions are made followed by an outline of the next few hours. This is great chance to mingle with new folks and make new friends.

Let's go on a Kingston Food Tour:

Stop #1: Dianne's Fishbar & Smokehouse

The first stop of the afternoon was just a few steps away situated on the corner of Ontario St and Clarence St at my local favourite Dianne's Fish Shack and Smokehouse. We were quizzed on our tequila knowledge (no surprise mine was non existent) while being served refreshing margarita and presented with a gracious story about the history of the establishment and its owner Tim Pater. We learned about the proud Oceanwise partnership i.e. paying slightly more money for a product that is caught and maintained properly rather than overfished and may be depleted with the next few decades. Quite fascinating!

Plated in front of us was Beer Battered Baja Fish Tacos filled with pico de gallo, avocado tomatillo crema, roasted tomato salsa, shredded napa cabbage, pickled onions on a corn tortilla (featured above). Each bite was filled with crush and flavour.

Kingston Food Tours

Stop #2: Pan Chancho Bakery & Café

A savoury and sweet option was brought out at our next stop as we passed by City Hall - Quebec Maple Chômeur and BellaVitano Espresso cheese on an olive and rosemary sourdough respectively. Ding ding! We were in for a true treat as this destination was a treasure spot for all things breads, cheeses and other goodies that you wouldn’t want to go in there hungry or else you'd come out with a bag full. The Maple Chômeur was sweet yet moist and truly melted in your mouth, while the cheese and bread complement tied it all together.

Kingston Food Tours

As we walked through Rochleau court in behind Chez Piggy, we stopped for a moment and learned all about rockstar turned restauranteur Zal Yanovsky and his wife Rose Richardson. The eclectic pair had quite the prominent impact on downtown Kingston that went far beyond the food scene and we certainly owe our thanks to them for revitalize neighbouring businesses and maintaining the limestone buildings.

Stop #3: Atomica Gourmet Pizza & Wine Bar

At Atomica we were seated up at the bar and indulged in an item that was not on the menu, we sampled the Katrina pizza topped with pine nuts and fresh greens that was perfectly paired with an easy drinking Red Fox Summer Ale by Mackinnon Brewing. The brew had a distinct colour and flavour thanks to the additions of beets, yes beets as in the veggie. The pizza was nice and light with a slight flaky crust - as a side, guests were offered a homemade chili sauce that was refreshingly sweet with a hint of tanginess rather than being overwhelmingly spicy - quite the nice added touch.

Kingston Food Tours

Stop #4: Olivea

A few doors down on Brock St, our next destination brought us to Olivea, an eatery specializing in traditional and contemporary Italian fare. Lovely bowls of potato gnocchi with beef cheek ragù were served and parmesan was grated over top. Conversation flowed seamlessly between guests as we savoured each bite and glanced at picture books of staff and owners on trips to Italy.

Kingston Food Tours


Stop #5: Tango Neuvo

As appetites slowly started being satisfied, we made our way in the opposite direction of Market Square down King Street to a restaurant that embraces the concept of fusion tapas - Tango Neuvo. As we awaited for our tasty bites, we admired the decor and were also introduced to the story of how the restaurant came to be. Don't worry I won't spill the beans - you'll just have to take the tour!

As we waited patiently, the chatter continued as a traditional soft, Turkish pastry called Börek was placed on the table. The cloud of savoury pastry alongside a olive tapenade was stuffed with feta, cheddar and parsley. It was delectable and I was amazed at how the phyllo pastry was so soft and succulent towards the bottom but gradually crispy towards the top. A must try tapas!

Kingston Food Tours

Stop #6: General Brock's Commissary

With bellies filled with local flavours of downtown Kingston, a stop at the General Brock's Commissary was a nice touch. Though not a restaurant by any means but a one-of-a-kind specialty food store, it featured an array of local artisanal foods: jam, chutney, mustard, relish, hot sauce, rubs and herbs, lavender and so much more!

Kingston Food Tours

As we walked in, we were greeted by General Brock himself in full attire (but actually it was the owner Chris a retired colonel who has a fond fascination with military history). Then again who doesn't love a man in uniform - off topic I know! We munched on samples of ginger shortbread cookies from Sprucewood Handmade Cookie Co., mustard pickles paired with quinoa crackers from Enerjive, peppercorn salami from the Mennonites of St. Jacobs and my favourite dark chocolate topped with salt and filled with a heavenly chocolate ganache. Are you drooling? Because I sure am! Boy was I impressed with the selection and you will be too!

Stop #7: Kingston Olive Oil Company

Just a few feet away, the tour group found ourselves at the Kingston Olive Oil Company, a family owned business. We headed to the back to their tasting bar and as an introductory we had a sampling of mild, medium and robust oils to identify the taste we were most appealed to, as told our palette would very much differentiate based on the flavours.

From colour, taste and texture, we learned a wide array of interesting facts about olive oils, balsamic vinegars and fascinating food pairings as well as great cooking tips!

Kingston Food Tours

Kingston Food Tours

With one more stop on the food tour, we ventured down a few side streets while listening to our guide  Daniel recite the most interesting stories about buildings along the way such as St George's Anglican Cathedral and the Frontenac Club Inn. If stories spark your curiosity, this tour is the perfect fit as it combines history, modern day successes and beautiful scenery.

Stop #8: The Common Market

Probably one of my favourites stops along the food tour and the last, I was most impressed with the items we were happily delighted with from unique flavoured ice creams of burnt marshmallow and campfire. I simply wanted to take a pint of each home with me, it was so good.

Kingston Food Tours

Kingston Food Tours

To cheer the end of the tour, we sipped on a cortado - an espresso coffee mixed with a small amount of warm milk which was locally sourced from Limestone Creamery. With drink in hand, we made our way back to the starting point for a few more quiz questions and farewells.

Kingston Food Tours

Thank you to Kingston Food Tours for the kind invitation to take part!

Tours run Wednesday to Sunday at 11 a.m. from now until October in downtown Kingston.

Book your Kingston Food Tour now: www.kingstonfoodtours.ca

-xoxo

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