There are Some Great Coffee Shops in Kingston, Ontario!
If you are wandering around downtown Kingston, there are a few great places for you to grab a hot drink – whether it’s coffee, tea, hot chocolate, or otherwise.
It’s no secret that Eric has lived in Kingston for many years (and LOVES Kingston). That said, the coffee scene has changed quite a bit in recent years!
Back in the day, coffee downtown was just a handful of places and a few classics like Tim Hortons and Starbucks.
More recently, the coffee scene downtown has developed with a few more great places for you to check out. Also, there are obviously a few more coffee shops that we left out. Don’t worry, we will add to this post as we check them out!
So, below are a few of our favourite coffee shops in Kingston. So you know, we’ve left out Tim Hortons or Starbucks – but can find them on Princess Street if you’re in a pinch. For this article, we wanted to highlight a few more local places to grab that perfect Kingston coffee!
Kingston Coffee House
Located right across from Springer Market Square (the public square behind City Hall), Kingston Coffee House was a place that Eric always walked by but never ventured into.
Well, that has changed! Inside, you get these great vibes of red brick and cozy tables.
The staff were super nice and the beverage menu is pretty big – including more artisan coffee blends if you are into that.
Lisa got a hot chocolate which was quite sweet but she loved it. Lacking caffeine, Eric just got a standard Americano which was pretty good! It was nice to just sit for a second since we had been running around doing errands downtown.
In the summertime, you will see students studying there at the front tables by the window. They open the wooden window panels to allow for the air to flow in.
That makes it a great spot to check out in the summer if you want to be around all the downtown Kingston action. We would recommend it!
They also have an “uptown” location in a plaza on Princess Street near where Princess meets Sir John A MacDonald Blvd. It’s near the Loblaws at 1046 Princess St, Kingston, ON K7L 1H2.
You might have heard of Balzac’s before – and that would not be a bad thing. Balzac’s is basically the only “chain” place that we included on this list – but they do a good job of serving up coffee.
Balzac’s Kingston is right on Princess Street (just head for Princess Street and you will find all of them, honestly) right at the corner with Sydenham Street.
Inside, you’ll find a large coffee bar with limited seating. The decor is standard across the brand but it honestly looks really nice. Very trendy, kind of classy in a way.
Balzac’s has your standard cafe drinks (both hot and cold) as well as a few glass-covered sweets to choose from. There is even a little shelf to buy coffee or tea in-house to take home.
For a cafe a little ways away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Kingston, check out Juniper Cafe. This beautiful little cafe is located right on the shores of Lake Ontario a short walk from downtown.
It’s technically located at the Tett Centre which is beside the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts – a part of Queen’s University. Juniper prides itself on being supplied by local businesses – and it shows in the menu options.
Inside the cafe, you’ll find this cool and bright space perfect for sitting, working, and enjoying your food or beverage. Of course, the highlight of Juniper is the patio space that overlooks Lake Ontario.
It took years to finally visit but we’ve been a bunch of times now and it never disappoints. We can vouch for their coffee and baked goods (mostly cookies…) which are excellent.
Friends have had their food (both boxed lunches and otherwise) and have been quite satisfied.
Juniper is also licensed (as in, for adult beverages) so you can head down for a pint if that’s what you’re feeling! Trust us, Juniper is worth the small adventure to get to.
NORTHSIDE espresso + kitchen
One of the newer additions to the coffee/brunch scene in Kingston, NORTHSIDE is still THE place to go. Opened by some Australians who came to Kingston, the place has definitely made a name for itself in a short period of time.
There was a time when we hadn’t been back to Kingston for the longest time – but going to Northside was high on the “places to check out” list. This is because it was recommended by a friend of Eric’s who still lived in Kingston.
So, we were sad when we went to visit and it was closed because the owners were away on holiday. Luckily, we moved back to Kingston and made it a point to go there for brunch. Northside did not disappoint!
Lisa had the Baked French Toast while Eric had ” Tim’s Benny” which was eggs benedict and everything was just awesome. Really tasty – a bit higher in price – but worth it for the quality and size, in our opinion!
So, if you are in Kingston, head down Princess Street to Northside and let us know what you think. IMPORTANT: Also, they don’t take reservations so you just have to go – but the place is pretty large with both indoor and outdoor seating (in warmer months) so you might be in luck!
CRAVE Coffee House & Bakery
Located right on Princess Street about halfway down towards the water, CRAVE opened not too many years ago and has left its mark on Kingston coffee culture.
The place is massive – making it a hub for students to study in. Don’t be scared of them, though – they just need a hot drink, a plug, and some WiFi and they will generally leave you alone!
CRAVE has loads of sweet treats on site (they are a bakery, after all) and a fridge in the front with fresh items like salads and sandwiches, etc. Eric visited a few years ago to meet with friends and sat in a comfy booth which was nice.
CRAVE also has an outdoor patio in the front in the summer months which can get busy since the location is prime. Overall, CRAVE has something for everyone – eating in or taking away!
Common Ground Coffeehouse
And last, but certainly not least – we have Common Ground Coffeehouse. Located in the Queen’s Centre (sometimes called the ARC) on Queen’s University Campus, Common Ground (or CoGro, for short) is actually a really good student-run coffee shop.
Common Ground does great coffees and a variety of hot drinks – but they also do really good food. You can get a wrap, sandwich, or a specialty bagel made onsite and they are always really fresh.
CoGro is located on the second floor of the Queen’s Centre so take the stairs or use the elevator and you will not miss it.
It has a massive seating area which will likely be FULL of students studying at tables or on comfy couches – so if you are just passing through, grab your coffee to go and wander around campus!
And there you have it – 6 of the best coffee shops in Kingston, Ontario. As we said up top, we missed a few but we haven’t been to all of the coffee shops in Kingston yet.
We love Kingston (it’s our hometown) so we’re always keeping an eye out for new additions. Have you been to any of these when visiting Kingston? Which did you like the best? Get in touch and let us know!
As always, Keep Exploring, eh?
If you are exploring Kingston, we have a few more posts on this awesome city:
- 27 Things to Do and See in Kingston
- Great Places to Stay in Kingston – Inns and Hotels
- The Best Restaurants in Kingston
- Awesome Breweries in Kingston
- Nice Options for Day Trips From Kingston
- Our Favourite Bars and Pubs in Kingston
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