Best date spots in Kingston

Galen Eye Centre

Sidestep campus and explore Kingstn for the perfect first date spot

A date at Balzac's

At first glance, Kingston might appear to be in short supply of trendy spots for a romantic evening. Visiting as a kid, I never realized the amount of authenticity and charm that downtown Kingston’s cafes and bars really had.

But upon further discovery, Kingston has proved to be home to an abundance of options that will almost guarantee a second date — no matter what kind of atmosphere you’re looking for.

Drinks

If you’re hoping for a more mellow night out with a first date, I’d recommend grabbing drinks at a laid-back establishment like the Kingston Brewing Company or Stone City Ales. Both places offer a variety of lavishly delicious menu items and specialize in a variety of local craft beers, guaranteeing a fun, unique and casual experience.

Coffee

For a stress-free daytime date, heading to Princess Street to grab a coffee is the perfect plan. Balzac’s welcoming environment creates a relaxed space that’s ideal for a first or second date. Not to mention, the baristas are all friendly and sociable — key for breaking any awkward pause in conversation. 

Music

Musiikki’s outdoor patio is often scattered with couples enjoying the live jazz music and intimate environment. And if you’re not looking to stray too far from campus, the Grad Club is another place that frequently hosts musicians passing through our limestone city.

Outdoors

Taking advantage of the warmer weather while it lasts, heading to Wolfe Island is a great way to spend the day outside. The ferry is free, and plenty of local stops on the island are within walking distance for an easy and informal date. 

When the weather does turn, an extremely popular winter date idea in Kingston has always been to go skating in Springer Market Square. Skates are inexpensive and easy to rent — and seeing as most people only skate for around 30 minutes tops, Sipps Coffee and Dessert Bar is conveniently placed right next door to the square and has the best hot chocolate in Kingston.

Fancy Dinner

If you’re willing to increase your date budget (or split the bill), both Tango Nuevo and Chez Piggy are more formal date spots and have some of the most amazing food in the city. Tango is trendy and interesting — but I wouldn’t recommend going there when you’re hungry because of the tapas style of smaller portions. 

Chez Piggy is a Kingston staple and family-run restaurant that serves locally-sourced and organic food. If its formal dinner setting is still too elaborate, Pan Chancho Bakery & Café sits a few blocks down as the company’s lunch location and another Kingston favourite.

By student standards, going to the movies is a feat that not many are willing to face, especially as many of us don’t have a car to reach the Cineplex Odeon. But the Screening Room and The Grand Theater are two movie theatres that are much closer to campus than most realize. You may have to skip the box office hits as the two frequently show older or alternative films, but the vintage ambience will add a certain charm to your evening.

As long as you know where to look, there are dozens of small places in Kingston that will allow for a perfectly romantic evening. Unfortunately, the date spot can only do so much — the rest is up to you.

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