Taste of Kingston 2018 deliciously successful

All writing and photography by Marisa Sandlin

The Leon’s Centre booth at this year’s Taste of Kingston not only served up some awesome bacon-wrapped pickles, they also took home the people’s vote for ‘Best of Taste.’

Kingstonians and tourists gathered alike for the Diabetes Canada’s 20th Taste of Kingston festival, held this past Sunday at Confederation Park downtown.

With over a dozen restaurants participating, event-goers were able to sample everything from a bacon-wrapped pickle courtesy of Leon’s Centre, to the best in plant-based dining from Knifey+Spooney. Each $1 tasting ticket not only went to food the whole family could enjoy, but also to support Diabetes Canada’s D-Camps for children and youth with Type 1 diabetes.

This year, Taste of Kingston raised enough funding to support 10 children from south eastern Ontario in attending D-Camp programming at subsidized costs, Diabetes Canada said.

Radford Cowan, one of the owners/chefs of Knifey+Spooney, dishes up some killer mac n’ cheese.

Despite the massive queues of people lined up for tempting taste of the city’s best, the sunny weather wasn’t a problem when a tasting ticket could buy you a refreshing cup of Loon Kombucha or freshly squeezed juice from CRAVE Coffee House and Bakery.

A cold glass of cucumber-pear kombucha from Loon Kombucha.

These weren’t the only new entrants on the local food scene. The Copper Branch, a new Princess Street vegan restaurant, was serving up quinoa chili and zucchini brownies. The Cheesecakery Bakery had single-ticket cheesecakes, with caramel, cherry, berry and even Reese’s Pieces on offer. Grocery store The Grocery Basket had small veggie wraps, but also delicious-looking meat-and-veg skewers.

Amber Potter, manager of the all-new vegan restaurant Copper Branch.
A sweet taste of strawberry cheesecake from the Cheescakery Bakery.
Some yummy veggie wraps courtesy of The Grocery Basket.

Tandoori Sizzle had some of the heftiest food at the fair – a channa masala for a hefty eight tickets – and other local standards The Grizzy Grill, Jack Astor’s and Milestones were dishing out gourmet variants of pub grub. Italian restaurant Go Italian was serving up risotto balls – a hot ticket item that ran out early on Sunday.

Food wasn’t the only attraction for those attending Taste of Kingston. For the little ones, there were bouncy castles and face-painting, and for the adults, there were great local musical acts interspersed throughout the afternoon. With sunny weather the whole day through and happy faces munching the best food on offer, Taste of Kingston celebrated another successful year!

Winners of the Taste of Kingston 2018 public vote are:

Best of Taste – The Leon’s Centre

Best of Service – The Grocery Basket

Best Event Day Sales – Tandoori Sizzle


Marisa Sandlin is the host/creator of Harpy Hour, a podcast that focuses on women in craft beer. A future Certified Cicerone and current Certified Beer Server, Marisa travels and visits as many as breweries as she can. She is very proud of the Kingston beer scene. You can say hello and talk about beer with her at @HarpyHour on Twitter.


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