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What's Good in Kingston These Days?

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Heading off to Kingston for a weekend trip in the next couple of weeks.

Looking for what's good in the $20-$30 category for lunch/dinner.

Also wondering if that wonderful Indian place down by the waterfront close to City Hall is still in operation and as good as I remember it.

Not really picky on cuisine, but I do like a lot of veggies with my meal options, so classic French won't cut it. :)

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  1. I've spent quite a bit of time in Kingston over the past few years, though mostly on a student budget. All of these restaurants will get you a $20-30 meal ordering, say, an entree and an app/dessert. I've recently enjoyed:

    - Greco's: reliable Greek (with a very satisfying pork souvlaki entree)
    - Pan Chancho: lovely bakery/cafe with a nice patio area. Lunch only. Good baked treats. I've enjoyed the cumin spiced lamb pita in the past.
    - Woodenheads: the focus is on pizza but they serve other Italian fare. The Nonna Mela was a memorable pizza - good sweet/savoury combination.
    - Saigon Delights: Vietnamese. they're known for their bun (#6 on the menu) - a vermicelli with grilled pork, spring rolls, etc. It's a solid standby.

    There's one more restaurant I thought was really great but the caveat is that I went three years ago:
    - Aqua Terra: located in the Radison Hotel by the water. They had a dinner prix fixe at the time that I thoroughly enjoyed for the flavour of the food, atmosphere, and service. Don't really have too many details but having just looked at their current menu, you can't really go too wrong with their $15 lunch prix fixe.

    Also, the Indian place you're thinking of, I believe, is called Curry Original. Can't say I've been in quite a while but hopefully others can help you out.

    -----
    Curry Original
    278A Princess St, Kingston, ON K7L1B5, CA

    Saigon Delights
    217 Division St, Kingston, ON K7K3Z2, CA

    1. Windmills is very good. Its on Princess Street, right in the middle of everything.

      1. Phnom Penh (335 King Street East)
        A must try! They have amazing Cambodian/Thai food, and huge portions.

        Taj Curry House (125 Princess Street)
        They opened pretty recently. After trying many indian places in Kingston, I can honestly say that this is the best so far (in Kingston). Better than the place by the water front (Curry Original).

        Copper Penny (240 Princess street)
        Good food and atmosphere, for a decent price.

        3 Replies
        1. re: food.lover.t.o.

          I understand that one guy has, one at a time, started six Cambodian/Thai restaurants in Kingston. I starts them and then sells them, and repeats this.

          His latest is Pat's at 887 Division St. There was a newspaper article posted there about this but I only read a paragraph.

          We enjoyed our meal there last week. It was my first Cambodian meal so I'm not able to compare it with Cambodian food in general or the other five Cambodian restaurants in Kingston.

          1. re: food.lover.t.o.

            Cambodiana (on Brock right across Hotel Dieu) is excellent. Phnom Penh is also a good bet. For something not Cambodian, Woodenheads is a great option.

            1. re: food.lover.t.o.

              When I lived in Kingston for a few years back in the day my only form of entertainment was eating out and despite Kingston being a bit small to my liking I loved the restaurant scene. Phnom Penh was one of my favourites, in addition to Cambodiana, and I went back to Phnom Penh a week and a bit ago. It was just as good as I remembered it with huge portions, cheap food, and great quality. Golden chicken and the tofu pineapple are the mainstays at about $8 each (comes with rice).

              Two months ago a friend also brought me some Pan Chancho bread, specifically their rosemary and olive loaf, which has always been my favourite. Kingston never seems to change but in the case of its food, it might be a good thing.

              -----
              Phnom Penh Restaurant
              500 Hazeldean Rd, Kanata, ON K2L2S3, CA

              Cambodiana Restaurant
              161 Brock St, Kingston, ON K7L1S2, CA

            2. hey,

              you should probably take a look aquaterra, i find that most of the other places in kingston are overrated

              for something a little more ethnic try royal angkor - a hole in the wall but the dishes have great flavour!!

              1. #1 for me is Curry Original - it beats all Indian I've had in Toronto, including Amaya.

                Atomica for decent pizza and good bruschetta (get the mushroom bruschetta, amazing), Chien Noir for basic but reliable bistro, Aqua Terra for solid (but overpriced) fine dining, Margaritaville patio @ LoneStar for cheesy frozen margaritas and amazing homemade tortillas, Golden Rooster for great value deli/sandwiches, Windmills for brunch.

                Full disclosure: I did work at Lone Star and have a soft spot for that restaurant. :)

                -----
                Chien Noir
                69 Brock St, Kingston, ON K7L1R8, CA

                Atomica
                71 Brock St, Kingston, ON K7L1R8, CA

                Curry Original
                278A Princess St, Kingston, ON K7L1B5, CA

                Amaya
                1574 Bayview Ave, Toronto, ON M4G3B7, CA

                Margaritaville
                251 Ontario St, Kingston, ON K7L2Z4, CA

                Lone Star Cafe
                472 Morden Rd, Oakville, ON L6K3W4, CA

                Golden Rooster Restaurant
                5 Toronto, Colborne, ON K0K1S0, CA

                6 Replies
                1. re: miketoronto

                  Your Golden Rooster link points to a place in Colborne, I think you meant the one on 111 Princess Street. :) I remember that place, it was pretty good back in the day.

                  1. re: miketoronto

                    miketoronto, I'm heading to Kingston this weekend and am thinking of heading to Curry Original for lunch/dinner. Any suggestions on what I should order? I can't remember if there's anything that they do particularly well.

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                    Curry Original
                    278A Princess St, Kingston, ON K7L1B5, CA

                    1. re: littlelam

                      Yes, the golden rooster on Princess. Chowhound auto-linked to the one on colborne I guess.
                      Sorry I didn't reply sooner, but their butter chicken is unlike any other I've tried. No tomato added to the sauce, stays a vibrant yellow. Unreal.

                      Always liked their rogan josh and their aloo gobi, and make sure to get their onion bhaji, best I've had as well. Hopefully that will help with future visits. :)

                    2. re: miketoronto

                      Sorry Mike,

                      Went to Curry Original for diner last night and it was lame. Onion bhajis were too doughy (in a ball shape) and taste like Campbell's chicken noodle soup powder, Samosas had canned veggies in them, chicken used in curry tasted like those frozen pre salted breasts, beef vindaloo was just OK, and I'd swear the paneer was tofu. Very unimpressive.

                      I not a Toronto Curry expert, but I'd take Curry Twist or even North of Bombay over Curry Original any day.

                      1. re: PoppiYYZ

                        Sorry it was so lame, I used to live in Kingston and always had great meals there. Maybe they've gone downhill, not sure...

                        1. re: miketoronto

                          Hey, live and learn - and usually try again ;-) . Walked by Sleepless Goat on Saturday afternoon and it was packed for lunch. Tried it for breakfast Sunday and I really liked it. Nothing fancy, but good food, reasonably priced, kitschy atmosphere, good music, and GREAT coffee. Add it to the list for next time...

                          -----
                          Sleepless Goat Cafe
                          91 Princess St, Kingston, ON K7L1A6, CA

                    3. Thanks all, won't have time to check all these out but I appreciate the suggestions. I think Curry Original is a definite visit, though. Most of these names bring back pleasant memories, the ones that don't I've never been to.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Pincus

                        Not sure if it is still there but the Wok in, up from Princess on Montreal street is a great place for a cheap lunch. It's closed on Sundays. I loved it in uni and since then I have traveled extensively in Thailand/Cambodia/Viet nam and it still compares favorably. I was last there 2 years ago so others may have more up to date information to add

                      2. We usually spend a few weekends up in Kingston every summer and look forward to visiting our favourites & discovering some new places every year. Pan Chancho is a must for breakfasts/brunches or anytime you want bakery goods or excellent breads. Not that excited about Curry Original but location is nice. Woodenheads is a good pizza, as is Atomica, both with interesting choices although Woodenheads menu could use a bit of editing. Le Chien Noir is nice for a more special evening out if you are in the mood for French bistro fare that is made fresh & modern, and Chez Piggy (owned or connected to the Pan Chancho people) is good too. For a relatively small city IMHO there is a lot of good eating to be had in Kingston. For a nice finish, try a walk along the waterfront with some homemade icecream from White Mountain (a legend in the town) or a refreshing *new* offering in Kingston is Mia Gelato with a wonderful array of original flavours (you can sample to your hearts content before deciding too!).

                        -----
                        Chien Noir
                        69 Brock St, Kingston, ON K7L1R8, CA

                        Atomica
                        71 Brock St, Kingston, ON K7L1R8, CA

                        Curry Original
                        278A Princess St, Kingston, ON K7L1B5, CA

                        Chez Piggy Restaurant
                        68R Princess St, Kingston, ON K7L1A5, CA

                        1. Isn't there some place with a 15 year-old chef that's supposed to be great?

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Herb

                            Well, he's probably closer to 20 these days, but as far as I know, he's still going:

                            http://lukesgastronomy.com/

                            Did a chow road trip out there 3 or 4 years ago. It was an interesting meal, with several nice aspects, but many more "meh" aspects. He clearly needed more experience, preferably under a master chef. But it WAS remarkable what he was doing at 17, I would love to hear how he's doing a few years down the road.

                          2. Curry Original may have a nice environment, but it also serves some of the worst food I've ever eaten. The food is bland and at times almost dessert-like. It's a travesty that this place has declared itself Kingston's "most authentic" Indian restaurant.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: keshkul

                              Went to Lukes in July. Loved every bite. I would drive back to Kingston from Toronto...just to have another meal there. Every morsel had flavor and creativity. However the restaurant itself is lacking in atmosphere. But the food made up for it. Big time. Highly recommended.

                              1. re: keshkul

                                Any comments on Taj Curry House?

                                1. re: keshkul

                                  Go again. :)

                                  Naan rivals any of Toronto's, great (albeit a bit sweet) butter chicken and kormas, great lamb, great bhaji, what more do you need ?

                                2. Actually, I'm going to praise Atomica more than the above"decent pizza". I was there in July and had an assorted mushroom and pesto pizza, and a glass of wine. The pesto was very good, the mushrooms were plentiful and various, and the crust was thin and crisp (not overly). The nice thing about the wine was that the selection was broad and you could select the size of glass (150ml, 250mL, 500mL, bottle), which I think is a wonderful option. The service was very good - friendly and efficient.

                                  -----
                                  Atomica
                                  71 Brock St, Kingston, ON K7L1R8, CA