As a vegan of three years, trust me when I say despite Kingston’s size, the city boasts an impressive vegan food scene.
Coming from Montreal—lauded by many as one of the best destinations for great food in Canada—my expectations for Kingston were low. With several independent vegan restaurants in Montreal, I was disappointed when I found out Copper Branch was the only 100 per cent vegan restaurant in Kingston.
Despite this, Kingston came through and left me pleasantly surprised. As a self-proclaimed expert on plant-based eating, I’ve compiled a list of the best places to go for extremely specific vegan food cravings while experiencing different vibes you might be looking for. Whether it be 2 a.m. on a night out with your housemates, or a Thursday evening while your parents are visiting, there is a place with vegan food for every occasion.
For the best vegan baked goods (with a side of coffee): Balzac’s
This might be a crazy take given the array of delicious vegan cakes, cookies, and pastries available at Crave, but lately Balzac’s has captured my heart.
Despite the smaller baked good selection, there’s always something vegan, and there’s nothing like a moist vegan banana muffin to pair with your Americano while you study. On top of the baked goods, Balzac’s boasts an extensive lineup of non-dairy milks, including oat, soy, and almond—which is my personal favourite.
Next time you’re in need of a sweet treat and a midday pick-me-up, it’s worth making a pitstop here. Though it’s a bit quieter than the bigger coffee shops downtown, it certainly doesn’t compromise on taste or quality of their coffee and baked goods.
For a greasy vegan muck after a night out: Pizza Pizza
Before you call me foul, there is no such thing as “good” late night food after the bar—it’s always greasy, and it always makes your stomach hurt. However, it’s a necessity to cap off a night out and ward off a hangover. Pizza Pizza is in a prime location, right across from Trinity Social. It’s also open until 2 a.m., making it the perfect spot for a post-Dollar Beers munch.
From the vegan chicken nuggets—yup, you heard that right—to the build-your-own pizzas with dairy-free cheese, Pizza Pizza has all the greasy indulgences for vegans and non-vegans alike.
For a warm bowl of plant-based comfort food: Flavours of India
This is by far my favourite spot on the list and has been my go-to since first year. Whether you order it on Uber Eats or dine in, Flavours of India never misses. Indian food is generally a hit in the vegan community, given the abundance of plant-based proteins like chickpeas and lentils found in many Indian dishes.
If you ever find yourself here, I recommend ordering the tarka daal, a warm dish of yellow lentil goodness that pairs fabulously with naan or rice.
For a lavish dining experience: Chez Piggy
Chez Piggy is a beautiful hidden little gem located near the waterfront on Princess St. Whether you’re looking for brunch, lunch, or dinner, Chez Piggy has it all.
While on the slightly pricier side, it’s a fine dining experience and makes for a nice spot to hit if your parents are in Kingston for the weekend. Chez Piggy has options for everyone, with a plethora of plant-based dishes, from vegan chilaquiles for brunch, to mushroom risotto or Middle Eastern inspired Harira for dinner.
Despite being a small city, Kingston certainly packs a punch with its massive selection of restaurants. Within the abundant restaurant scene, Kingston has proved itself to be a vegan-friendly city with many restaurants having dedicated vegan menus, and many others having plant-based options.
Next time you’re craving some plant-based deliciousness, look no further than these suggestions. Whether it be savoury or sweet, as your annoying vegan friend, I’ve got you covered.
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