Guide to Local Holiday Hosting

local holiday food, 100 Mile DietThe local food movement is strong in Kingston and this year we thought it would be interesting to explore the options when it comes to keeping the holidays local.  Of course, not every single thing we’ll want to enjoy and serve will be found in our neighbourhood but we can certainly make a valiant go at partaking in the 100 Mile Diet this holiday season.  If you’re interested in staying traditional with turkey and all the trimmings, eating vegetarian or changing things up entirely, you can find what you’re looking for nearby.  Whether you do it for the economy, to support small business or to lessen your footprint, eating locally feels great.

Because we are so lucky to have such a huge variety of options, we’re sure we haven’t listed every single possibility, but we’ve created what we think is a pretty great list of local resources to get you started.  If we left out your favourite local treat, please fill us in with a comment below!


  • Black River Cheese Company: Looking for cheese?  This is your one-stop shop.  In addition to delicious, locally made cheeses for your party, you can also pick up that hostess gift basket for a visit with friends.
  • Crack’d Pot: This small, unassuming shop expertly creates delicious, locally sourced appetizers from finger foods to cheese and charcuterie boards.  Give them a call ahead of time to place your order.
  • Garlic Fields: Well-known for their incredible pizza, this Elginburg farm also has a huge menu of appetizers including an array of dips and rolls, veggie platters and more.  Be sure to order ahead!
  • Henderson Farms: Located on RR #1 on Wolf Island, Henderson Farms offers an array of jellies and jams as well as wild dandelion wine.  Yum!
  • Old Farm Fine Foods: Old Farm has a holiday-specific menu created especially for your event.  They’ll take care of everything from apps to dessert.
  • Pan Chancho: This downtown staple has a plethora of wonderful dips and spreads, cheeses, crackers and bread.  Planning ahead?  Check out their full hors d’oeuvre menu under catering and pre-order for your holiday party.

Beer, Wine and Cider

Between the brewery, County Cider and the wineries (not to mention cheese, bread, produce and other treats) a drive to the county pre-holidays is definitely worth it.

  • Barley Days: This Picton brewery offers three main beers and a number of seasonal beers including their Yuletide Cherry Porter which is available now for a limited time.  Barley Days can be found in our local LCBO.
  • County Cider:In addition to making their own cider and wine, The County Cider Company also carries Waupoos Cider.
  • Wine: The big question here is, where do I begin?  There is so much wonderful wine in the county and a lot of it is now available in our local LCBO (Trumpour’s Mill, Black Prince, Sandbanks and Closson Chase to name a few).

Turkey, Fish and other Meat

  • Bearance’s: This downtown grocer offers nothing but high quality, locally produced and never frozen meat.
  • John’s Deli: John’s can order you a local turkey but if you’re looking for something different, they specialize in London Broils and Frenched Local Lamb Racks.
  • Limestone Organic Creamery: Located in Sydenham, this family run farm offers meat and dairy products, many of which can be found locally at Old Farm, John’s and Bearance’s.  Turkeys for Thanksgiving and Christmas must be ordered in the spring, so add them to your list for next year.  In the meantime, they offer fresh, local eggnog!
  • Mike Mundell’s Surf & Turf: Although the fish itself is not local (but it IS Canadian), Mundell’s caters and creates high quality seafood platters of all sizes.
  • Sugar Hill Farm: This family farm is located 16km outside of town in Battersea.  Call ahead to place an order for poultry, pork or beef.


Many of these farms and locally owned shops offer a wide selection of vegetarian options from pre-made salads, hors d’oeuvres and main courses such as veggie lasagna, pizzas and casseroles.  Who says you have to have Tofurkey every year?


  • Bearance’s: This neighbourhood shop carries seasonal, local produce.
  • Main St. Market: Plan ahead and get in on their great CSA baskets.
  • Old Farm Fine Foods: Located on the cusp of Queen’s campus, Old Farm carries a wide variety of local produce.


Kingston offers a ton of great bread from whole wheat and multi-grain varieties to olive breads and gluten free products.  Your best bet for finding what you’re looking for is right here in our Guide to Bakeries.


Our Guide to Bakeries is a great source for finding desserts in Kingston but there are also a few other options for finding that perfect treat for the end of your holiday meal.

  • Bearance’s: Find tasty desserts brought in from local farms
  • Garlic Fields: Custom made cheesecake.  Need I say more?
  • John’s Deli: Delicious treats are brought in from local sources and made on site.


  • Bueno Bean: This roastery offers a huge selection of organic, fair trade and local coffees that can be purchased at various shops listed here as well as online.
  • Cooke’s Fine Foods: If the scent from the street doesn’t pull you in, the taste of their many varieties of roasted-on-site coffee will keep you coming back for more.
  • Main Street Market (: Paddlers Perk and Hillside House Coffee are both organic, fair trade and locally roasted.
  • Multatuli: This locally roasted, organic coffee can be purchased at Coffeeco as well as local shops such as John’s Deli.

Thanks to ex.libris for the photo associated with this post.

Danielle Lennon

Danielle Lennon is Kingstonist's Co-Founder. She was the Editor, Community Event Coordinator and Contributor at-large (2008-2018). She is otherwise employed as a section violinist with the Kingston Symphony, violin teacher, studio musician and cat lover. Learn more about Danielle...

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