Food

The delectable smells of fresh bread and pastries, gourmet entrées, desserts, and other delectable creations overwhelm your senses as you walk into Kingston’s Pan Chancho Bakery and Café.

Although I have visited many a time, I keep returning because there is always something new to discover and to indulge in. Combined with ever-helpful and knowledgeable staff, I am immediately reminded of all the reasons why Kingston is one of the fastest growing tourism markets in the country.

As General Manager of Chez Piggy and Pan Chancho for over thirty years, Nick Waterfield had already been part of Chez Piggy Restaurant since its inception in 1979, when Canadian rock musician, Zal Yanovsky, opened the restaurant with his wife Rose Richardson. Since then, Nick has seen Pan Chancho established in 1984 and evolve from a small bakery originally at Johnson and King Streets into an unmistakable landmark in the downtown Kingston scene.

A little clue to the true meaning of Pan Chancho's name.
A little clue to the true meaning of Pan Chancho’s name.

With an extensive collection of baked goods and products, it's no wonder that Pan Chancho is so popular.
With an extensive collection of baked goods and products, it’s no wonder that Pan Chancho is so popular.

Looking for a delicious meal? Look no further!
Looking for a delicious meal? Look no further!

As Nick describes, “It’s more than just a bakery. It’s all about really good flavourful food. It’s an artisan bakery, take-home lunches and dinners, locally sourced meats and dairy, frozen goods, sit down licensed café, a patio with live music once a week in the summer… it’s a gathering place.”

Though Nick could not pick a favourite (“I would recommend everything!” he says), popular items are the chocolate profiteroles, scones, and their delicious artisan breads. As it turns out, each staff member has a “must-have” item as well, further emphasizing Pan Chancho’s appeal to any kind of taste buds. When I spoke with Nick just before the Easter long weekend, hot cross buns, chocolate salted shortbread, cupcakes and other sweets were the highly sought after items. Pan Chancho changes their menus seasonally and also adds items based on customer recommendations, including the recent addition of gluten-free goodies. In fact, it is difficult to phase out any menu item as customers stay loyal and true to their favourites and will make a point to ask for them back!

Indulge in Pan Chanco's popular double-chocolate profiterole!
Indulge in Pan Chanco’s popular double-chocolate profiterole!

Available by popular demand - gluten-free products!
Available by popular demand – gluten-free products!

Choose from a wide assortment of delicious breads, baguettes, buns and baked goods!
Choose from a wide assortment of delicious breads, baguettes, buns and baked goods!

At Pan Chancho, there’s something for everyone: grab a dinner-to-go after a busy day, linger over breakfast with friends on a Saturday, or pick up a box of delectable pastries as a treat for your family (or maybe just yourself). If you’re looking for local products, you can browse selections from a variety of local producers, including Limestone Creamery, Seed to Sausage and Lyon’s Family Farms. For cheese-lovers, Pan Chancho sources Prince Edward County producers for certain cheeses (with over 100 kinds of cheeses in total), and other Canadian sources promoting healthy and organic choices.

Seed to Sausage is just one of Pan Chancho's featured local producers!
Seed to Sausage is just one of Pan Chancho’s featured local producers!

A full list of products available from local producers.
A full list of products available from local producers.

Pan Chancho is a cheese-lovers paradise, with cheeses sourced from Prince Edward County
Pan Chancho is a cheese-lovers paradise, with cheeses sourced from Prince Edward County

As if a full-time café and bakery wasn’t enough, Pan Chancho also offers a renowned catering service for office or business functions as well as a private dining room for more intimate celebrations. Despite thousands of people passing through their doors each day, Pan Chancho maintains their trademark high quality, by what Nick described as a focus in good customer service, an eye for detail, and of course, good food.

In need of a sit-down?
In need of a sit-down?

This year, Pan Chancho celebrates 20 years of serving not only the local Kingston community, but also visitors from around the world. Pan Chancho’s fame has only grown and Nick attributes that to its family values – it is an intergenerational legacy with a number of children of staff working there as well.

Pan Chancho has certainly carved out its own place and identity in downtown Kingston, staying true to the intent and vision of Zal and Rose, who are arguably two pioneers of Kingston’s vibrant downtown community with their desire to highlight local ingredients and products.

As summer approaches, Pan Chancho, both inside and outside on the patio will sure to fill up quickly – be sure to beat the crowd to get the best selection of offerings!

Fun Facts:

  1. It takes about seventy-five individuals to keep the café and bakery running.
  2. Pan Chancho’s name is commonly misunderstood (and mispronounced) – instead of naming it “Chez Piggy Bakery,” Rose, one of the original owners, thought up something unique; pan chancho means “Bread Pig” in an obscure Spanish dialect from Central America.
  3. Cooke’s Fine Foods has a “Chez Piggy” blend of coffee you can also purchase in-store.
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Food

The fall harvest is such a gorgeous time of year with its diverse colours spreading across the countryside, prompting Kingston’s culinary scene to feature an enticing array of vibrant mouth-watering offerings to match. With many of Kingston’s creative culinarians layering ingredients from local farms and producers into their menus, a wide selection of seasonal items guarantee a smorgasbord of tasty delights will be discovered throughout the city. Let’s dig in and see what some of Kingston’s finest restaurants and chefs have cooking this fall.

Kimchi Tofu Stew + Lamb Confit Poutine, Chez Piggy


68 Princess Street, Kingston
chezpiggy.com

Chez Piggy, which celebrated its 40th birthday this year, is well known for its love of world flavours, as well as their ardent support for fresh local produce, meats, and sustainably-sourced fish.

Kimchi tofu stew
Kimchi tofu stew

Their fall/winter menu—one of two seasonal menu flips from head chef Richard Nicholas—promises late stone-fruits, squashes and cellared root vegetables (think carrots, onions and potatoes), expertly paired with a range of proteins. Expect earthier, smokey, sweet flavours and scents throughout the fall and winter.

Seasonal mainstays like their Kimchi Tofu Stew (fried tofu, shitake and kombucha dash, kimchi, bean sprouts, daikon-gochugaru, scallions and cilantro), or Levantine Lamb (kefta spiced lamb chops with harissa chickpeas, baby kale, sumac and mint yogurt, and pomegranate molasses) are prime examples of their fall delicacies.

New menu features for this season include a hearty lamb confit poutine with lamb demi, nabulsi, pomegranate seeds/molasses, with minted yogurt and coriander, plus a Muscovy duck leg confit with roast herbed celeriac wedges, spinach and chevre purée with red peppercorn duck demi-glace.

BBQ pork ribs, local corn and coleslaw.
BBQ pork ribs, local corn and coleslaw.

The arrival of fall means savoury soups with root vegetables, spicy fried chicken and waffles with local honey, and delectable desserts made with freshly-harvested apples. Be sure to check out their latest menu addition, fork-tender barbecue pork ribs—locally sourced from Quinn’s Meats—in a sticky BBQ sauce, and served with home-cut fries, local corn on the cob and delicious coleslaw.

House Pumpkin Gnocchi, Le Chien Noir Bistro


69 Brock Street, Kingston
lechiennoir.com


Le Chien Noir is the energetic, comfortable little French bistro located just steps from the historic Market Square. Popular for their mixture of French classics and irresistible farm-to-table comfort foods—made with fresh, locally-sourced ingredients—their fall menu is sure to be irresistible. Keep your eyes out for weekly promotions, including Cocktail Hour, a main feature beginning this fall. New on the menu is the heavenly House Pumpkin Gnocchi with walnut cream, ‘Kelly’s’ roasted shiitake and oyster mushrooms, baby kale, radicchio with broiled gruyere and toasted hazelnuts.


House Pumpkin Gnocchi
House Pumpkin Gnocchi


Seasonal Pot Roast, AquaTerra


1 Johnson St, Kingston
aquaterrakingston.com

Led by Executive Chef Brent McAllister, AquaTerra is conveniently located downtown along Kingston’s waterfront and boasts a commanding view of the Confederation Basin Marina with its historical Shoal Tower. Known for their routine menu updates and Chef’s Test Kitchen Menu, AquaTerra is one of Kingston’s go-to destinations for sampling new culinary creations.

Ontario beef tenderloin 
Ontario beef tenderloin

Fall’s arrival shines a spotlight on the freshest local seasonal ingredients, as well as the popular Meet the Maker Wine Dinner event on Friday, November 15 with Grange of Prince Edward Estates Winery. The new fall menu is sure to impress, with recent additions like a heart-warming Pot Roast featuring Otter Creek wagyu sous vide round cut, paired with Mill Creek peas, Honey Wagon potatoes, and local mushrooms from Wolfe Island. Plus, their Ontario beef tenderloin with braised vegetable melange, carrot purée, potato pave, cippolini and merlot demi-glace is a regular fall menu favourite.

Braised Short Rib Risotto, Union Kitchen + Cocktails


184 Princess Street, Kingston
unionkingston.com

One of Kingston’s newest culinary destinations is Union Kitchen + Cocktails, where the talented team creates hand-crafted cocktails and gourmet meals from high quality local ingredients. Perfected just in time for the fall menu season is their braised short rib risotto: braised and shredded local short rib with cremini mushroom, Woolwich chevre, herb oil, and garnished with local micro sprouts and herbs.

Braised short rib risotto
Braised short rib risotto


Fall Features, Kingston Food Tours


kingstonfoodtours.ca

If you’re feeling peckish, adventurous, and have your walking shoes handy, then consider taking a Kingston Food Tour. You’ll get a healthy dose of fresh air, history, and no shortage of seasonal eats at some of Kingston’s best eateries. Besides their signature Beer and Bites and Classic Kingston tours, be sure to check out their Wolfe Island: Farm to Table Dinner and Tour which is sure to tickle your taste buds in all the right ways.

Kingston Food Tours
Kingston Food Tours

Any time of year presents a great opportunity to take in the sights, sounds, and tastes of Kingston—But with a shared passion for fresh local ingredients, fall is certainly one of the best times to experience Kingston’s vibrant food scene. Book your stay today and come sample Kingston’s seasonal offerings this fall—just make sure your belt has a few extra notches when you arrive (wink, wink).

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Food

The best part of being a foodie in Kingston is the access to independently owned restaurants that prepare thoughtfully curated dishes using locally sourced ingredients.

Being close to an abundance of rural land gives our community easy access to farmers. The philosophy of eating fresh and local seems trendy, but Kingston chefs have been relying on local farmers since before Netflix foodie documentaries like Chef’s Table.

Burger night at Bella BistroBurger night at Bella Bistro

I take a seat on the patio of local hotspot Juniper Cafe to have a chat about local food with Bella Bistro co-owner Kevin Lapeer. If anyone knows the importance of the farm-to-table movement – it’s him. Lapeer and his colleague Paul Muller do everything they can to support local farmers, featuring their produce and proteins in a long list of specials, daily.

And there’s no better place to discuss eating local than at Juniper where owners Amber Thom and Jamie Hodges provide locally-sourced ingredients as much as they can.

Short ribs at Casa Domenico.Short ribs at Casa Domenico.

Salmon Risotto from Bayview Farm.Salmon Risotto from Bayview Farm.

Lapeer explains while admiring Juniper’s waterfront view, “They [Juniper Cafe] do a great job with as much local as possible. The food is great, homemade and fresh which keeps the philosophy.”

Lapeer is passionate about sourcing local ingredients for many reasons. “As an owner of an independent restaurant with people that rely on us to pay their bills, I feel it’s necessary to help other local small vendors do the same thing – it’s good for the economy, it’s healthier, it’s better for the environment.” And best of all, local ingredients enhance the flavour of any dish. One taste of a Bella Bistro special and you won’t question it.

Rainbow Trout from Bayview Farm.Rainbow Trout from Bayview Farm.

Charcuterie Board courtesy of Red House.Charcuterie Board courtesy of Red House.

I discover there is one thing many restaurants that support local farmers have in common, they use Wendy’s Mobile Market. Run by Wendy Banks and Rick Trudeau, this dream team can be credited for these establishments’ fresh farm-to-table meals.

“They source local, small independent farms and they provide us with a weekly list of what’s available through the local farms,” says Lapeer.

Le Chien Noir’s Rack of Lamb.
Le Chien Noir’s Rack of Lamb.

Wendy’s works with more than 70 producers and being farmers themselves, they understand the priorities and significance of the job. “It is important for us to connect the farmers to restaurants to help keep the farming community sustainable and vibrant. This will help our farming community grow again,” says Banks.

“It gives us food security and assurance that our area will have healthy local food that we can trust. In turn, we can provide the restaurants with great tasting food. It helps them source local food easily,” she adds.

Gokhan Cifci, owner of Tango Nuevo raves about the service.”It’s very difficult in the restaurant business to get a local farmer’s produce and vegetables – consistency is very important but Wendy’s does that perfectly,” he says.

Mela a Brie pizza by Atomica.
Mela a Brie pizza by Atomica.

If you’re on the hunt for a locally-sourced meal, look no further than the restaurants Wendy’s serves:
The Ivy Lea, Riva, Rivermill, Juniper Cafe, Red House West, Red House, Old Farm, John’s Deli, The Elm Cafe, The Grizzly Grill, Amadeus Cafe, Olivea, Casa, Tango Nuevo, Stone City Ale, Atomica, Chien Noir, The Yacht Club, Aqua Terra, Woodenheads, Days on Front, Bella Bistro, Bayview Farm, PanChancho and Pasta Genoa.

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