Kingston’s best cafés & bakeries

If you're looking for some speciality drinks, check out Sipps Coffee and Dessert Bar.

In my eyes, downtown Kingston is one of the most charming things about this city: The old stone buildings, the waterfront, Market Square that hosts street markets and ice skaters.

The local businesses that speckle the streets add particular personality to the downtown core. And amongst the shops, bookstores and restaurants, it’s the cafés and bakeries that hold a special place in my heart (read: stomach).

There’s nothing quite as cozy as the sound of good tunes and the warm smell of coffee and baked goods. Cafés are also a nice place to do some work, if you don’t mind some hustle and bustle going on around you. In fact, I wrote this article while sitting in one.

Here are seven of the top cafés and bakeries in downtown Kingston.

Card’s Bakery

115 Princess St.

What makes this place special: traditional treats

Card’s bakery is a cute, home-style bakery. You’ll find a section of kitchen ware and gadgets at the front and a large, open concept bakery at the back. This place sells all the classic pies, tarts, cookies and squares, and man, do they do it well. It’s not overly fancy, but sometimes the best things in life are the simplest.


A photo posted by Hayley (@hayleysedgwick) on May 27, 2015 at 4:53pm PDT

The Sleepless Goat

91 Princess St.

What makes this place special: vegan options

The Sleepless Goat is one of my favourite places on this list. In terms of atmosphere, it feels warm and welcoming. There’s a pay-it-forward board where you can purchase something off their menu for someone in need and their washrooms are gender-neutral. Food-wise, their unique feature is the copious amount of vegan options, which includes lattes, pastries and breakfast and lunch items such as a vegan BLT made with coconut “bacon”. My personal recommendation is their cookies, which are chewy — a very essential component of a good cookie, in my opinion — and almost the size of your face. They also have a good collection of board games if you fancy that.

Pan Chancho Bakery & Café

44 Princess St.

What makes this place special: culinary, gourmet food

Pan Chancho is a bunch of glorious things in one. The back of the store is where they serve their well-known gourmet breakfast in a quaint dining setting, while the front of the store features their café and bakery, a deli counter and racks of their fresh bread and imported cheeses. The owners of Pan Chancho also own the Kingston restaurant, Chez Piggy, so whatever you decide to order will be a true culinary experience. In warmer weather, you can either sit in their back patio or find a bench right across the street in Market Square — either way, you can eat in the sunshine.

Coffee & Company

53 Princess St.

What makes this place special: local ice cream and chocolate truffles

Coffee & Company is a nice, airy space. I love the big windows that surround the seating area and let in a flood of natural light.  There’s a good number of tables and even some arm chairs, but they fill up quickly on weekends and especially during exam time (as do many of these places). On top of all the regular café and bakery items, they also sell locally-sourced ice cream and chocolate truffles, which is quite the confectionary experience.

Sipps Coffee and Dessert Bar

33 Brock St.

What makes this place special: a specialty drink menu

Sipps is a quaint little brick café tucked just off of Princess St. It looks directly into Market Square, so if you love to people-watch the front-facing windows are for you. There are a number of outlets available for a laptop, which is something that’s lacking in a lot of other cafés here. Their menu features many different styles of cakes and a great variety of lattes, teas and hot chocolates. Overall, it’s a good study and date spot alike.


A photo posted by Sipps Coffee (@sippscoffee) on Nov 23, 2013 at 7:51am PST

The Small Batch Café & Eatery

282 Princess St.

What makes this place special: a variety of loose-leaf teas

The Small Batch Café just opened up last year. It’s a smaller place with an interior that’s bright and colourful. They serve lunch items like paninis, soups and salads made in small batches, hence the name. Their selection of tea is my personal favourite — it’s all loose-leaf and there are flavours that you wouldn’t find at just any café. 

Dessert Indulgence

172 Ontario St.

What makes this place special: European-style desserts

Whether it be a decadent mousse cake or a warm cheese scone, Dessert Indulgence is the place to go to treat yo’ self. Dessert Indulgence specializes in authentic French desserts like eclairs and macarons, but also offers other internationally-inspired foods like buns and pies that aren’t just for those with a sweet tooth. Everything is baked fresh and there’s an array of gluten-free options. It’s truly a heavenly place.

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