From March 26-30 Lifestyle ran an open survey to find the best of the best in Kingston. Over 350 students responded to the annual Best of Kingston survey and voted on the city’s top venues. Here are the results of the 2014-15 favourites, ranging from the best poutine to the best study spot.
Best study spot: Stauffer Library, Douglas Library, CoGro
When it comes to studying, Queen’s students can’t get enough of the two largest libraries on campus. For a more laid-back study atmosphere, CoGro is also a popular destination.
Best dance floor: Stages, The Underground, The Ale House
Stages is all the rage for Queen’s students. Theme nights like Beach Slam and Throwback Thursdays seem to be a hit, with The Underground snagging second place.
Best place to take your parents: Woodenheads, Le Chien Noir, Chez Piggy
Gourmet pizza and French-inspired cuisine may be a touch on the pricey side, but if your parents are paying, it’s worth the splurge. Woodenheads’ lively atmosphere makes it a fun place to catch up.
Best coffee: CoGro, Starbuck’s, The Tea Room
A convenient campus location is key for students looking to satisfy their caffeine fix ― and it’s hard to beat CoGro’s bubbly staff. You’re almost guaranteed to spot a familiar face in the student-run coffee shop.
Best date spot: Tango Nuevo, Pan Chancho, Geneva Crêpe Café Bistro
Shareable tapas and a dimly-lit romantic atmosphere make Tango Nuevo the perfect date spot. For those who prefer something more casual, pastries and crepes are equally delicious options.
Best sushi: Sima, Kame, Jina Sushi
There’s no shortage of sushi joints in Kingston, but Sima’s fresh rolls and excellent service make it a standout ― and well-worth the trip downtown. As an added bonus, Sima has no shortage of vegetarian options.
Best live music: The Brooklyn, The Mansion, The Grad Club
With an intimate atmosphere and consistently fresh stockpile of craft beer, it’s no surprise that the Brooklyn is a hit amongst students. The separate stage area caters to students in the mood for something lively outside the club scene.
Best pub: The Queen’s Pub, Kingston Brewing Company, Clark Hall
QP is the perfect place for post-exam drinks. Cheap food and an impressive drink menu means there something for everyone, whether you’re craving nachos or a pitcher of tropical sangria.
Best grocery store: Loblaws, Grocery Checkout, Metro
Loblaws boasts the largest variety of quality food at a reasonable price. It’s no wonder their student discount days are packed with Queen’s students.
Best poutine: Smoke’s, Mr. Donair, Bubba’s
Smokes was the clear poutine favourite ― you can’t go wroing with a variety of toppings from veggies to steak. Mr. Donair’s sinfully good “pounair” isn’t to be missed, either.
Best brunch: Pan Chancho, Windmills, Morrison’s
Pan Chancho’s upscale spread ― think sweet potato hash and smoked salmon plates ― beat out other brunch contenders. A significant number of students nominated other places too, like Tommy’s and The Brass.
Best baked good: Pan Chancho, Wolfe Island Bakery, Limestone City Cupcakery
A clear favourite, the bakery takes the cake again. That’s not to say Wolfe Island’s famous butter tarts and Limestone’s maple bacon cupcakes aren’t worth sampling ― you can never have enough desserts.
Best place to revamp wardrobe: Urban Outfitters, Phase 2, The Gap
Nearly half of surveyed students ranked Urban as their go-to clothing store. Second-hand shop Phase 2 and normcore retailer The Gap rounded out the top three.
Best photo op: Lake Ontario waterfront, Ontario Hall, Summerhill
No matter the season, Kingston’s waterfront always makes a beautiful backdrop. The picturesque Ontario Hall is another favourite for capturing those Kodak moments.
Best newcomer: Mlt Down, Stone City Ales, Limestone City Cupcakery
It’s hard to beat an ooey-gooey gourmet grilled cheese but the up-and-coming microbrewery takes a close second. Limestone City hits the spot for those in the mood for something sweeter.
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