We’re halfway through brunch season, and the playoff picture seems to be cementing itself.
Throughout our years at Queen’s, we’ve amassed a treasury of knowledge on Kingston’s greasiest spoons – from gritty campus joints to undervalued waterfront eateries. Now, the pieces have fallen into place for end-of-term power rankings.
To qualify, establishments must conform to the following criteria:
1. Be open for business on both Saturday and Sunday;
2. Have an established location downtown or near the student housing area;
3. Serve a prototypical brunch spread of eggs, meat, toast, hash browns or beans and coffee; and
4. Do so for roughly $10 or less, including tip.
1. Peter’s Place
34 Princess St.
Speedy and inviting service. Mouth-watering pancakes. Delectable hash browns. Eggs sizzled to perfection. It’s a taste of home at the foot of Princess St. — and the best Kingston has to offer.
2. The Toucan
76 Princess St.
Vital combination of affordable price and savoury grub. Serving brunch all day provides ample flexibility for customers on lazy days. Being able to watch the best kinds of pro football — English and American — as you eat is a feather in The Toucan’s cap.
3. Morrison’s Restaurant
318 King St. East
Morrison’s is a throwback, a prototype, a Kingston staple. Pancake-eaters immerse themselves in a buttery bliss after being enticed inside by the restaurant’s eye-catching overhead sign. It’s slightly more expensive than the top two, but with no other discernable weaknesses, it brings everything you want in an old-school diner to the table.
4. Tommy’s Restaurant
377 Princess St.
Opinion was divided on Tommy’s. It’s a fan favourite and its proximity to student housing is second to none. But high upside begets inconsistency — securing a table can be nightmarish and the food is decidedly average compared to the top three. Its location and its all-day breakfast keeps Tommy’s above the rest.
5. Star Diner
849 Princess St.
It’s a significant westward walk from the comfort of bed, but Star offers a refreshing change of pace from typically student-heavy haunts. Attentive servers cater to a sophisticated brunch crowd; one never has to settle for less than scrumptiously cooked eggs. Strong mid-level value at this point in the rankings.
6. Windmills Casual Fine Dining
184 Princess St.
Pre-game appearances can be deceiving. The ambience at Windmills is soothing, but it lacks charm — an essential trait for any go-to brunch spot. The employees are pleasant and the service is swift, but the food is forgettable, belying the bourgeois and button-down image the restaurant spins.
7. The Brass Pub
403 Princess St.
The Brass should be higher in the rankings. It’s close to campus and might serve the tastiest beans in town. But the service is often painfully slow, and they lose points for trying to deceive customers by renaming their staple meal — farewell, Big Brass Breakfast — and upping the price from $5.65 to $7.00. Resting on laurels doesn’t equate to a high ranking, nor a palatable brunch experience.
8. Leonard Dining Hall
150 Queen’s Cres.
We swear by Queen’s cafeterias for lunch and dinner, but brunch is a second-string option. The eggs are rarely fresh and the meat is consistently bland. It’s inaccessible for upper-years without meal plans, overpriced for those that go anyway and overcrowded for everyone. The caf is at its best at Ban Righ on weekdays.
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