Some Of The Best Bars, Pubs and Breweries in Kingston, Ontario!
So, you’re in Kingston and you’re thirsty, right? In need of a beverage and perhaps a summer patio? Maybe a classic pint at a historic pub? Or a bit of live music with your cocktail to end off the evening? Well, you’ve come to the right place!
Eric lived in Kingston for years and had the chance to frequent most of these places – some many more times than others. So, we figured to help out visitors to Kingston, we wanted to write up a comprehensive list of the best bars, pubs, and even breweries the city has to offer!
Keep in mind that most of these are in downtown Kingston because that’s where most visitors/tourist tend to check out. Also, (if you’re local) you’ll notice that we haven’t mentioned any of the classic clubs or dance places. That’s because this list is intended for the average visitor – and let’s face it, we’re suggesting Red House, Stone City, or Tir Nan Og before the Spot any day.
So, from the Alibi to The Toucan to Kingston Brew Pub and more – here are the best bars, breweries, and pubs to visit in Kingston, Ontario!
If you are visiting Kingston, you might want to check out these other posts!
- Travelling from Toronto to Kingston
- Great Things to Do in Kingston
- Where to Stay in Kingston: Hotels and Inns
- The Top Restaurants in Kingston
- Coffee Shops in Kingston: Our Favourites
Pubs in Kingston, Ontario
Given the fact that Kingston is an old city with a historic downtown core, there are a number of great pubs in downtown Kingston that draw on this theme.
You’ll find multiple places that offer classic pub grub, good live music, great drink/beer selections, and an actual properly poured pint of Guinness on-tap.. not from a can! Most of them also have great summer patios to enjoy your beverage on – “enjoying patio season” is a quintessential thing to do in Ontario in summer.
Keep in mind that while most of these quintessential pubs are located in downtown Kingston, a handful at the bottom are not – but they are still highly-rated should you want to check them out.
Iron Duke on Wellington
Oh, the Duke. If Eric had a nickel for every time he’s been to the Duke – he’d be rich. But honestly, the Duke is great. Eric used to live on Wellington so it was always fitting to visit the “Duke on Welly” – it was just a quick walk away!
Eric actually celebrated a few milestone birthdays here – including his 19th (which is the legal drinking age in Ontario) and had a great time. That said, The Duke has a lively, authentic pub decor and atmosphere – with good food and usual specials/deals most nights of the week. The beer selection is plentiful – but a pint of Guinness was the usual order of choice!
You can check out the Duke on Wellington here.
Address: 207 Wellington St, Kingston, ON K7L 5R2, Canada
The Merchant Tap House
Eric has been to the Merchant for food, sat on their patio, been there for events, and just gone with a buddy or two for pints. It’s also great because the place is located right by the Kingston waterfront making it an easy stop for a drink or a bite to eat.
Inside, the Merchant is surprisingly large. There are a few different areas and smaller rooms to find tables in. The main area has a massive bar (loads of beer on tap) and a little stage where we’ve heard some great live bands over the years.
Address: 6 Princess St, Kingston, ON K7L 5P7, Canada
Another one of the popular pubs in Kingston (arguably the most popular) is The Toucan. Located right on Princess Street a little way downtown towards the water, The Toucan is a favourite Irish pub for locals and visitors alike.
Eric has been there a bunch of times – sometimes for food, sometimes for pints with friends. Every time was equally enjoyable! The Toucan has a great back/side patio for the summer season and also make a point of offering live music and sports nights most nights of the week.
They also have good drink deals that rotate by the day – from popular beers to bar rail, food deals, and of course – pints of Guinness! They pour A LOT of Guinness. Check out hours, deals, and menus for The Toucan.
Address: 76 Princess St, Kingston, ON K7L 5R2, Canada
The Public House
If you are looking for a pub downtown Kingston that has an authentic, historic feel inside – from decor to vibes – The Public House might be for you. Located down on King Street, this places was once called Sir John A’s but was re-branded to The Public House with the whole “Sir John A” part taking a back seat.
The Public House is an authentic Scottish pub – significant for the fact that the building was once the law office of a young Sir John A. In case you are lacking Canada history, he went on to become Canada’s First Prime Minister. He also loved to drink… that’s no secret.
Eric has been there for pints a few times and even went there for brunch with a larger group. Brunch was actually pretty good! Learn more about The Public House here.
Address: 343 King St E, Kingston, ON K7L 3B5, Canada
Tir Nan Og
Another classic pub downtown is Tir Nan Og. Located right across from Springer Market Square, we’ve mentioned Tir Nan Og before as a place for pub food and a place to check out if you are in need of a pint, some grub, or a little singing.
This authentic Irish pub is a staple of downtown life and always has a healthy mix of locals and visitors in the summer time. At night on Thursdays, “the Nog” as it’s sometimes called has karaoke and let’s just say it’s a very fun time!
If singing isn’t your thing, you can count on Tir Nan Og for lots of beer on tap and good fish and chips. They also have a larger menu full of classics like meat pies, burgers, and more! Check out their Facebook Page to learn more.
Address: 200 Ontario St, Kingston, ON K7L 2Y9, Canada
Pilot House of Kingston
While most would just call it “Pilot House”, this small pub at the corner of King and Johnson is another classic. It’s definitely a more local place – and the interior hasn’t been updated in a while… but that’s what makes Pilot House great. A true local watering hole!
The nice thing about Pilot House (besides the great location) is the beer on tap, the variety of fish and chips on the menu (get the Halibut.. trust us), and the great little side patio where you can enjoy your beer and food in the sunshine.
Eric has been a handful of times for pints or food and it’s always been enjoyable. Great staff, local vibe. Check out the Pilot House here.
Address: 265 King St E, Kingston, ON K7L 3B2, Canada
If you walk by and aren’t looking for it, there’s a good chance you might miss Coppers. This is because this pub downtown on Brock Street is located in an inn – and it’s sort of on a commuter street to the heart of downtown. That said, Coppers should be a stop you make if you like beer and chicken wings!
Apparently, Coppers has the best chicken wings in Kingston – but Eric has never tried them and NOW he definitely wants to stop in to test it out himself! If you try them, let us know! You can also book a stay at the Queen’s Inn to have Coppers close by at all times. Check out more information about Coppers Pub.
Address: 125 Brock St, Kingston, ON K7L 1S1, Canada
PJ Murphy’s Irish Gastro Pub
A relative newcomer to the downtown core (from the time of writing), this is one of those restaurants that you can go for a drink BUT since it’s more of a pub atmosphere it made the list.
For the record, we’ve actually never been. We’ve heard good things and walked by – but never enjoyed a pint or food there. That said, Eric laughed when we walked by the first time because in the time we had moved away from Kingston and came back the place had changed into PJ Murphy’s from an old Italian restaurant (rest in peace, Frankie Pestos).
The location right on the corner of Ontario and Johnson Street makes it a great stop in as you walk the downtown waterfront area. You can learn more about PJ Murphy’s here.
Finally, the Royal Tavern rounds out the list of pubs that are downtown. Admittedly, the Royal Tavern is a very, very local establishment. Eric has been a bunch of times and enjoyed live music on a few occasions. There’s the chance to play pool and even a Jukebox (last time he was there it was there) to pick a track or two.
The place is so small and local that you really can’t learn much more online. Just go and see what you think. It’s old – and it shows. But a pint is a pint – plus, you never know who you might meet.
Address: 344 Princess St, Kingston, ON K7L 1B6, Canada
The Rose & Crown Restaurant
If you find yourself away from downtown and looking for a pub, then check out The Rose & Crown Restaurant. Again, more of a restaurant but since they serve up an authentic English pub feel, we wanted to include it!
Located up on Princess Street but out in the west end/ up town from downtown, the Rose & Crown boasts live music on Wednesdays and has been serving up fish and chips for over 30 years! That said, you’d need a car to get there or take the bus since you can’t walk – unless you were visiting the mall (Cataraqui Centre) perhaps.
You can also check them out for the British store onsite in case you were missing food/novelty items from the UK (if you are from the UK and reading this as a visitor to Kingston). You can learn more about The Rose & Crown here.
Address: 2815 Princess St, Kingston, ON K7P 2X2, Canada
The Loyal Oarsman
Another Kingston pub that is not downtown but great and should be included is the Loyal Oarsman. This pub, located out on Bath, is another one of those places you’d need a car to reach since you can’t/wouldn’t walk there.
The place is a classically decorated pub with that pub feel you only get from the most established and tested of pubs. The red carpet, the old wood finishes, everything. It’s in a commercial complex and you might miss it if you aren’t looking for it.
The menu is full of classic pub starters and you can get a classic British breakfast here, too! Might be good if you are heading out of town in the late morning and need a hearty brunch. Check out The Loyal Oarsman here.
Address: 1724 Bath Rd, Kingston, ON K7M 4Y2, Canada
Finally, a Kingston pub that is closer to downtown compared to the two above but not quite there is Portsmouth Tavern. Also known as “The Ports”, this establishment in the small town/neighbourhood of Portsmouth on Kingston’s waterfront has a rich history to it.
The legend goes that the pub used to be the watering hole for the old prison guards of the nearby Kingston Penitentiary. These days, the place has seen better days. Eric’s been and – parroting how others feel – the food can be hit or miss, the inside is pretty dated, but the beer is cold.
While it’s not one of the top pubs to visit for some, it deserves to be included on this list due to its long history. So, if you’re out exploring Portsmouth and need a drink, it’ll do just fine!
Address: 96 Yonge St, Kingston, ON K7M 1K4, Canada
Bars in Kingston, Ontario
Now, it’s on to the bars in Kingston. Keep in mind that “bars” is somewhat loosely defined in this post. For example, these are all the places you can get drinks that are not the classic pubs.
That said, this bar list also includes a few places that are more like restaurants that are really, really good to go to for drinks (e.g. Red House). Also – quick terminology lesson – “The Hub” is the grouping of bars/restaurants, etc. at the top of downtown near the intersection of Princess Street and Division Street.
Just so you know, we have put the bars downtown Kingston at the top and the few that are not downtown further down this section’s list! There’s a variety here so be sure to check them out!
If you want a cool place with a great vibe, nice staff, and really good food – Red House is for you. This is one of those places that Eric generally went to for drinks but usually ended up getting good food, too. Some might call it a restaurant – either way, we wanted to include it!
Red House had a menu of upscale pub grub – buttermilk chicken bites and burgers are always really good! They also have a blackboard for daily/seasonal food and drink specials.
As for drinks, Red House makes a point of having an extensive scotch selection (which is great if you are into scotch) as well as a number of classic Canadian/local beer on tap.
It’s a lively, intimate vibe that’s very social and always welcoming. They also have a front/side summer patio area for drinks outside! Learn more about the Red House downtown location here.
Address Downtown: 369 King St E, Kingston, ON K7K 2Y1, Canada
It should be noted that if you are in the west end of Kingston, Red House opened up another location. Here’s more information about Red House West!
Address: 629 Fortune Crescent, Kingston, ON K7P 0L5, Canada
The Brass is one of those places that you go to because you know exactly what you are going to get. Located up on Princess Street in the Hub, the Brass has been frequented by Eric many, many, many times.
He’s been for sports (which are great on their screens), wing deal night (wings are good but not great), live music (the Smitty days), and much more. He’s even been for brunch and regular food which are greasy but generally tasty.
In the summer, the windows open up and the fresh air hits everyone as if they have an outdoor patio (they don’t but that’s okay). Usually though, you go to the Brass for pints. They have a pretty good but simple selection of beer and pitchers on tap – and that’s just fine!
Check out who’s playing and what’s going on at the Brass here.
Address: 403 Princess St, Kingston, ON K7L 1B9, Canada
Having lived in Kingston for so long, Eric saw what is now Barcadia turn into that from a bunch of other hilarious places (rest in peace, My Bar!). These days, the tiny venue is home to a fun bar jam-packed with classic arcade games like Pac-Man. The nice thing is each game is only 25 cents to play!
Barcadia has a pretty extensive draught beer list – and drink deals almost every night of the week. The shots are even themed to be classic video game characters! Eric has actually never been but has friends who go and enjoy it. It’s a nice place to change up your nightly routine with some different fun! Learn more about visiting Barcadia here.
Address: 347 Princess St, Kingston, ON K7L 1B6, Canada
The Ale House/Canteen
Let us be clear: we’re mentioning Ale House/Canteen so that it’s on the list – but we wouldn’t necessarily tell a visitor to Kingston to go. That said, Ale House is a two-floor dance bar that’s a venue for live music, too and Canteen is the more relaxed, patio/sports bar in the front. They are physically connected – hence Ale House/Canteen – but entry to one doesn’t ensure entry to the other.
Eric used to go to Canteen for team pitchers, okay pub food, and the large patio right in the heart of the Hub on Princess Street. Honestly, great memories at Canteen. The crowd is generally younger but it’s still a good bet for sports on bigger game nights. You can check out more about Ale House and Canteen here.
Address: 393 Princess St, Kingston, ON K7L 1B9, Canada
The Mansion is one of those places that you aren’t quite sure what you’ve found until you are inside and already drinking/eating/enjoying. With a patio out front, a main bar on the main floor, a wine cellar, live music venue upstairs, and more – the Mansion is just that.
This large house turned into bar/venue is on Princess Street past the Hub close to where Alfred Street meets Princess. The beer selection is vast, it’s good to watch sports, the summer patio is nice, and the food is pretty good – can’t ask for much more. Eric has been many times and every time the Mansion is a good time! Check out their Facebook Page here.
Address: 506 Princess St, Kingston, ON K7L 1C5, Canada
The Grad Club
If you are exploring Queen’s University/City Park and looking for a beverage, the Grad Club might be for you. Located right on Barrie Street, this bar is actually run by a branch of the University. That said, during the day it’s open to anyone for drinks and simple (but tasty) pub food. They have a pretty good beer selection, as well.
At night (and mainly during the school year), they do trivia and live music but the outdoor patio in summer is what you should check out. At the end of the workday when the weather is nice, the patio on the corner is full of a mix of upper year students, profs, and people who work for Queen’s who are in need a pint!
Grad Club is a simple place but fun for events and lovely in the summertime. Learn more about visiting The Grad Club here.
Address: 162 Barrie St, Kingston, ON K7L 3K1, Canada
Likely one of the only true sort of “cocktail” bars in Kingston is The Alibi. You’d walk by it a bunch of times at the top of Princess Street and not think twice – but you should. Inside, this cool place is good for an intimate evening with friends. They always have a good selection of local Kingston craft beers or at the very least craft beers from Ontario.
They also have a wildly popular Wednesday trivia night and they also have loads of board games to play. Eric went there many, many times when it was a previous owner. We’ve heard it’s still really good but haven’t been back since we moved away. Will have to go again soon! Check out The Alibi here.
Address: 291-293 Princess St, Kingston, ON K7L 1B5, Canada
The Grizzly Grill is one of those restaurants in Kingston that we love – but have included here in this post because of their awesome offering for nightlife.
Located right up on Princess Street in “The Hub”, The Grizz becomes a pool hall/cozy drinks place for drinks upstairs and has a fun dance floor in the back of the ground floor! This makes it a good stop for a large group looking to hang out with multiple interests in mind – games, drinks, dancing, socializing!
On weekends, it’s a good bet for locals and older students to frequent so you don’t get as many of the younger crowds running around like at other bars in the area. Eric has been MANY times in his upper years while in Kingston and loved it each time. Nice servers, good music, good fun. Plan a visit to The Grizz here!
Address: 395 Princess St, Kingston, ON K7L 1B9, Canada
Breweries in Kingston, Ontario
For a historic city full of young vibes, Kingston is just getting into the craft beer scene that exploded into Ontario in the recent decade. So, here are some great ones. Keep in mind that a few have been around for a long time but only now are breweries getting their fair share of the spotlight!
Below, there are three downtown while two are further out but worth a look if you are passing through or planning to be “uptown” or to the west of Kingston.
Kingston Brewing Company
If you want to stop for amazing food, great beer, and a fantastic atmosphere – inside the brewery and out on the patio – check out Kingston Brewing Company. KBC – as it is lovingly called – has been a staple of Kingston for decades… and it shows in their popularity. Just look for the brewery truck parked out front!
We’ve actually mentioned KBC before in our other Kingston posts since it’s great for food and a “for sure” things to do when you stop through the city! Located right downtown, very close to the tourism centre/old train station, grabbing a pint at KBC is a great idea if you are in search of a rest while you explore the downtown core. Eric has been many, many times and loved it every single time.
The nice thing about KBC is the set-up – there are numerous patios in the summer: front and down the side alley/back. You can also sit inside where the walls are covered in everything from photos to posters to beer taps!
As for their beer, KBC has a huge selection on tap but they also do their own brews for you to try. Grab a taste of their Dragon’s Breath Cask Ale, Regal Lager, or Whitetail Cream Ale… but keep in mind they brew more! They fill up in the summer so go early to avoid disappointment. Check out the full menu here.
Address: 34 Clarence St, Kingston, ON K7L 1W9, Canada
Located right downtown on Princess street is another relative newcomer on the Kingston brewery scene – SanTur! We got the chance to go right when it was newly opened and really enjoyed the visit. Eric had a bacon Mac n’ Cheese and Lisa had a flatbead – both were really good.
As for their beers, the brand new shiny venue they have produced a handful of beers like a German Lager, Czech Pilsner, and even an Altbier. Given that Lisa is actually German, we loved the numerous nods to German-style brews and European influences!
The place was packed when we went so we can’t imagine it would be any less busy in the summer months. Might want to call ahead if you know you are coming. Here is their website to learn more about SanTur.
Address: 177 Princess St, Kingston, ON K7L 1A9, Canada
Stone City Ales
One of the front-runners in the “new wave” of craft beer to Kingston, Stone City opened a few years ago and has been pleasing Kingstonians ever since.
From the cozy cool space, to prime location, to their summer patio in the front and – of course – great beers, Stone City shouldn’t be skipped if you are downtown. They do everything from brewing to packaging right there at the location on Princess Street.
It’s usually pretty busy so be sure to go early if it’s summertime. They have a small but tasty food menu and a beer to definitely try would be their Oatmeal Stout. It’s delicious! If you aren’t sure which beer you want, grab a flight of their classics and whatever might interest you for their seasonal brews! You can learn more about Stone City here.
Address: 275 Princess St, Kingston, ON K7L 1B5, Canada
Spearhead Brewing Company
If you want to get a “behind the scenes” from a classic warehouse-style brewery, you could check out Spearhead! Located on Gardiners Road between Bath Road and Taylor Kidd Blvd, you won’t be able to walk but a cab or Uber might work.
Spearhead is known for their beers like the Hawaiian Style Pale Ale, Moroccan Brown Ale, and Sam Roberts Band Ale. Eric’s actually had the Hawaiian before and it was really nice!
You can visit their location to buy their beer direct – it’s their retail store, taproom for tasting, and you can even do a tour if you like. From trivia to live music, there’s usually something going on. You can learn all about Spearhead here!
King’s Town Beer Company
We had to give a nod to King’s Town Beer Company – even though they are not right downtown and also potentially harder to get to. King’s Town is located just off of Gardiners Road also between Bath Road and Taylor Kidd Blvd (very close to Spearhead Brewery, actually).
They’ve been brewing for over two decades and have a new, bright space for tasting and enjoying their brews! You can check out more about King’s Town here!
Address: 3-675 Arlington Park Place, Kingston, Ontario K7M 7E4
MacKinnon Brothers Brewing
Last, but certainly not least – we wanted to mention one of the bigger breweries in the area… even if they aren’t right in Kingston! MacKinnon Brothers Brewing have made a name for themselves in recent years in the Ontario craft beer scene.
Located in Bath (to the west of Kingston), their brewery/farm is meant for buying and tasting (call ahead for a taste/tour, though). Try the Red Fox or the Crosscut – both are good and made for different tastes. Their beers are also on tap in quite a few places in Kingston – many we have already named on this list!
That said, the location makes them a great stop on the way to/from Prince Edward Country (one of Ontario’s top wine regions) – which we will also cover in depth when we get there. Eric’s been years ago but the region is always changing!
Make no mistake we will also write up a longer post on our visit to Ontario craft breweries! Check out MacKinnon Brothers here.
Address: 1915 County Rd 22, Bath, ON K0H 1G0, Canada
And there you have it – some of the best bars, breweries, and pubs in Kingston, Ontario. Of course, if you are visiting you won’t visit them all – but definitely try your best to check out and support those local establishments. Of course, please also enjoy responsibly. If you drove, get a cab here or call an Uber, or just walk home if it’s close. Better safe than sorry – have fun!
As always, Keep Exploring, eh?