Where To Eat In Kingston With Kids
Kingston is known for many things: its beautiful 19th century limestone architecture, its historic vibe and its scenic location where the St. Lawrence River meets Lake Ontario and the Rideau Canal.
But when my sister-in-law and I decided to take the kids on a two-night stay to Kingston in March, we were going for the food. Kingston has the most restaurants per capita of almost any of city in Canada. Read below for all the family-friendly eats we discovered in Kingston!
Looking to experience Kingston for yourself? Dive in with our amazing South Eastern Ontario experiences and stays. For a custom trip with kids, you can contact us and we’d be happy to put one together for you. For an adults-only vacation, we recommend our wonderful Boutique Urban experience in Kingston or our popular Seaway & Cider Kingston tour.
What we ate in Kingston with Kids:
We arrived in Kingston on a snowy March afternoon with five kids, ages 4 to 16. Our criteria for places to eat was: good food in a kid-friendly location that also served gluten-free options.
Our first night in Kingston was cold and windy. We headed for Harpers Burger Bar at 93 Princess Street. While the restaurant was open, it was serving take out only. The moms opted for take out to be eaten later (the Pig in the Orchard 2.0 burger and the Bull’s Eye burger, both of which were AMAZING!) but the kids wanted to eat immediately so we headed next door to Score Pizza.
Score Pizza at 91 Princess Street is a make-your-own pizza joint where you can customize everything from the crust to the sauce to the toppings before the pizza is tossed into a stone-fired oven to bake. The teens loved picking adventurous toppings and sauces but the younger kids opted for a simple pepperoni.
The availability of lemonade earned the restaurant extra points from the younger kids as that is definitley a drink we save for vacations!
After breakfast the next morning we headed out to explore the city. The day was sunny but still chilly so we promised the kids hot chocolate to warm up.
We found the perfect spot at CRAVE Coffee House & Bakery at 166 Princess Street. This independently owned coffee shop is big, with lots of cozy places to sit and enjoy the delicious coffee and plethora of freshly baked goods. This place smells divine. While the moms enjoyed coffee, the kids opted for giant cinnamon buns with their hot chocolate. A perfect sugary pick-me-up that kept them going until the next meal — in fact, they were too full to eat lunch so we skipped it in favour of an early dinner.
By the time we arrived at Dianne’s Fish Shack and Smokehouse at 196 Ontario Street, we were very hungry! We immediately loved the laidback vibe and cheery interior. The big tables that made it easy for our group to spread out.
The younger kids ordered off the kids menu — a burger for my daughter, chicken fingers for my older son and Mac n’ cheese for the youngest. The teens and their mom were happy to order a bit of everything from the amazing menu — “dirty” fries made with chorizo-roja gravy and queso fresco, fish and chips and a huge shareable BBQ platter that came loaded with ribs, brisket, chicken wings, kettle baked beans, coleslaw and a variety of house-made sauces. I opted for the corn tacos made with pulled chiloria pork and smoked chicken tinga.
Everything we tried was incredible. The younger kids received crayons and fun colouring pages to keep them occupied but even they were happy to just sit and munch on their yummy food.
Even though we were so full from our incredible dinner, we had promised the kids a stop at Mio Gelato, which is just across the street at 178 Ontario Street. We were not disappointed!
The sweet little shop served a huge variety of gelato, sorbetto and frozen yogurt. We all tried different flavours — from classic lemon to sweet raspberry sorbetto to the inventive worms n’dirt that came with a gummy worm on top — and everything was delicious. It is a good thing our hotel had a pool to help the kids work off all that sweet energy!
The next day we just had enough time after our hotel breakfast to visit the wonderful SENS Cafe at 136 Ontario Street before heading home. The space here is magical — warm and inviting with beautiful French pastries and the best flat white I’ve had since my time in Australia. We highly recommend this spot when you’re next in Kingston.