Kingston’s Best Signature Dish

signature dish, food in KingstonPhiladelphia is known for its cheesesteak.  Belgium is the birthplace of waffles.  And Quebec lays claim to first combining french fries, cheese curds and gravy.  While not every city in the world can claim responsibility for creating popular menu items, they each have unique and interesting restaurants, public markets, bakeries, breweries and other manufacturers of delicious consumable fare.  Kingston may not be on the culinary map for developing tasty offerings such as deepfried pickles or deep dish pizza, but that doesn’t mean that the local food scene is boring.  Locavores and foodies have their own favorite, iconic establishments in the Limestone City. With yours in mind, this week’s poll asks:

[poll id=”41″]

Maybe your idea of Kingston’s best meal or eatery did not make the list.  Unfortunately we simply can’t include them all in a single poll, but certainly there are many honourable mentions including Chez Piggy’s club sandwich, Bread and Butter Bakery’s butter tarts, Stooley’s french fries, Bubba’s poutine, the Goat’s veggie-friendly offerings and the list goes on.  Truly, it would take one well over a week to eat and drink their way through the Limestone City’s tastiest establishments, and that’s a good thing.  Does Kingston have a single, famous dish or resto that attracts foodies from near and far?  If not, what sort of ingredients, notable residents or oversized gimmicks do you think local chefs could use as inspiration to get the Limestone City on the gastronomic map?

Special thanks to Thomas Hawk for today’s photo of Los Angeles’ iconic dealer of fried dough, Randy’s Donuts.

Harvey Kirkpatrick

Harvey Kirkpatrick is Kingstonist's Co-Founder. His features curiously explore urban planning, what if scenarios, the local food scene and notable Kingstonians. Loves playing tourist and listening to rap music. Learn more about Harvey...

11 thoughts on “Kingston’s Best Signature Dish

  • Anyone who lives here knows that Kingston is famous for the number of Thai/Cambodian restaurants, and also knows about the supremacy of Pat's Restaurant. I'd vote for them! (The only problem is that for each person who visits Pat's, there is a different signature dish… everyone's got their favourite.) I know people from the surrounding area (Picton, for example), who drive here to have dinner at Pat's.

  • Pan Chancho's many types of bread can be found in an eerily similar Nova Scotia bakery, which outdates Pan Chancho by about two decades called the LaHave Bakery… think again folks!!!

    • I believe you missed the point. Clearly Kingston didn't invent bread/bakeries or beer/breweries, or any of the other offerings selected as poll options. Kingston's unique establishments have comparable ones in cities around the world. That said, which of our delicious local businesses best represent Kingston's food scene? Which one does the best job of attracting locals and tourists alike?

  • My vote goes to Golden Chicken. A Pat exclusive. Can't be found elsewhere. I personally am a fan of the one at Royal Angkor or at Cambodiana!

    • Pat's is good . However, the dish you mentioned is not that unique (Golden Chicken – Spicey Hot & Sour Chicken, Lemon Grass, Peanut , Cocnut and Rice) Yes I have the menu in front of me. This dish uses common igredients that are found in Cambian, Thai and even Vietnamese Restuarants. Good but not unique

  • As for something uniquely Kingston, I'd vote for Luke's Gastronomy, even though I've never been.

  • The only food-related thing that started in Kingston that has some larger presence in the outside world, believe it or not, is Pita Pit. There is even one in Tokyo.

    • And the one in the hub was the first. It's a pretty big chain now, and growing fast.

      Sadly I don't think there is much else to put us on the culinary map, except maybe Chez Piggy, which is reasonably well known, and their cookbook is sold in bookstores all over Toronto.

  • What about the Hoagie House? As far as I know, Kingston's two locations are it and I know my father-in-law has fond memories of it from when he was at Queen's 30 years ago, so it's certainly made its mark. I've actually never been there myself. Anyone been?

  • Pan Chancho for sure, the old Morrison’s and the original White Mountain all ring bells for me. Looking back in time I have lots of memories of the Hoagie House as a Kingston landmark. Almost a tradition in years gone by. My wife and I, who first met in grade 9 some 40 years ago, went on a bit of a nostalgia trip a few years back and dined on a Cheese-Steak Hoagie and Chocolate Milk, to go, and as we sat down at a picnic table on the waterfront, it was a huge blast from the pat! HOWEVER… my biggest vote must go to CAPRI PIZZA in Amherstview! I have been ordering the CAPRI SPECIAL since 1976 when I lived with 3 buds in the old farmhouse mansion (gone now) on Bath Road just about where the new Rexall sits at the corner of Bath Rd and Coverdale. Capri was a staple in those days! Now for me the true test of a ‘signature’ dish or establishment (and Capri gets my vote on both counts) is longevity! This pizza was fantastic and… HAS NOT CHANGED ONE IOTA! It is still as thick and delicious as ever and for my wife and I and our band mates, every month or so we take another trip down memory lane with both our music and a Capri Special! FANTASTIC.

  • There is a Pita Pit in Amherst, Mass….Kingston's culinary gift isnt original, but it is from Kingston….

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