We realize that foods which are easily available in your country may not be available in Kingston. If you cannot find something that you eat frequently in your country, ask the people you have met from your cultural community what they have done to make sure their meals are healthy.
Healthy Eating resources are available from the Health Promotion team at Queen’s Student Wellness Services.
What is on this page
Where can I go to buy food?
Most people in Kingston buy their food at supermarkets or grocery stores. In these large stores, many types of food can be found including fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables, canned and dried goods, fresh and frozen meat and other items. Generally, specialty shops specifically for one type of product do not exist or are difficult to find. Here are some of the places where people in downtown Kingston shop for groceries (food and kitchen items):
Supermarkets or Grocery Stores
- Food Basics – Corner of King and Barrack Streets, 33 Barrack Street.
- Food Basics – One block west of Sir John A MacDonald Blvd., 1225 Princess Street.
- Food Basics – Frontenac Mall, 1300 Bath Road.
- Grocery Checkout – Queen’s Centre, 284 Earl Street.
- No Frills – Corner of Division Street and Dalton Avenue, 1162 Division Street.
- Loblaws – Kingston Centre, Princess Street at Sir John A. Macdonald Boulevard, 1100 Princess Street.
- Metro – corner of Barrie and Princess Streets, 310 Barrie Street.
Bulk Food Stores
Bulk food is not pre-packaged. You put as much as you want into a bag. The price is determined by the weight. Bulk food shopping can be more economical than buying pre-packaged items. Dry goods are most commonly found in bulk food stores/sections (grains, candies, etc.).
- Tara Natural Foods – 81 Princess Street, 613-546-4439
- Bulk Sections in grocery stores – see above.
Health Food Stores
Health Food is food considered by many North Americans to be better for you because:
- It generally does not contain certain preservatives, artificial colours and flavours or other chemicals or ingredients which many people have allergies to.
- Some of it is produced organically and/or without hurting animals.
- Health Food stores sell food for vegetarians and other alternative diets and a variety of foods from other countries. €˜Health Food’ in general is more expensive than common foods.
- Bistro Delight – 164 Princess Street, 613-545-9626
- Cards Bakery – 115 Princess Street, 613-544-4448
- Golden Rooster Delicatessen – 111 Princess Street, 613-549-6540
- Pan Chancho – 44 Princess Street, 613-544-7790
- Wolfe Island Bakery – 311 Queen Street, 613-545-9434
Butchers may offer higher quality and a larger selection of meats than grocery stores. They often sell cheese as well.
- John’s Delicatessen and Meat Market – 507 Princess Street, 613-548-7638 – Greek olives, pastries and cheese – Middle Eastern pita bread
- M & M Meat Shops – 795 Gardiners Road, 613-384-6892 and 277 Bath Road, 613-531-8888
Regional Specialty Stores
You may find some of the foods that you are looking for in these shops:
South Asian and Middle Eastern
- Quattrocchi’s Specialty Foods – 662 Montreal Street , 613-542-4996 – has many different spices and vegetable-especially good for Middle Eastern and Far East Foods
- Asian Market – 354 Princess Street, 613-547-0329 – specializes in Oriental Foods
- Beaver Variety – 213 Princess Street, 613-546-1616 – a convenience store that sells some Asian food items
- Kingston Asian Super – B1-461 Princess Street, 613-985-5558 – sells frozen Asian meals, seafood, noodles, meat and packaged Asian food items
- Golden Rooster Delicatessen – 111 Princess Street, 613-542-5676 – specializes in European Food – many items imported from Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Holland
- Cooke’s Fine Foods – 61 Brock Street, 613-548-7721 – mainly foods from Britain and some from Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Scotland and Denmark
Local farmers set up outside-stalls and sell a wide variety of produce. The items sold depend very much on the season, but usually fresh vegetables, fruits, cheese, meats, maple syrup and baked goods are sold. The farmer’s market is located in the square behind City Hall, on Market Street, It is open on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from about 8am-5pm. On Sundays, there is an antiques market.
There is also a farmer’s market at Queen’s every Wednesday from 9am – 4pm. It is held on Union Street outside the John Deutsch University Centre (JDUC) in the fall and spring, when the weather permits. In the winter, it is held inside the JDUC.
Kingston has many restaurants appealing to different tastes and income levels. Generally speaking, it is more expensive to ‘eat out’ at a restaurant than it is to prepare meals at home. There are many restaurants on campus and near campus and downtown that are popular amongst students.
Most Canadians eat instant or ready-to-serve food only occasionally. Although the packaging on these foods is highly attractive, be aware of the nutrient value and the cost (usually quite expensive).
Remember that Canada has a northern climate and therefore a very short growing season. This means that during August, September and October, fresh food grown in Canada is abundant and cheap. After this, during the winter months, fruits and vegetables must be imported from the United States and Central America. The food found in stores will be of lesser quality and become more expensive. In winter, fruit juices and frozen vegetables can be used in your meals instead, as they are less expensive and of equal nutritional value.
It is a good idea to take your own cloth shopping bags or reuse old plastic ones. This will limit waste, conserve the environment and save you money as some grocery stores charge you for plastic bags.
I cannot afford to buy healthy food for myself or my family, is there help?
If you find that you are unable to provide healthy food for yourself and your family, there is assistance available. The Alma Mater Society (AMS) at Queen’s runs a Food Bank where non-perishable food items can be picked up FREE OF CHARGE.
They are located on 218 Earl Street, MacGillivray-Brown Hall. (Hours of operation are limited so check before visiting) Enter through Barrie Street entrance and then turn immediately to your left. All you must present is your student card. Your comfort and confidentiality is ensured. For more information, contact the Food Bank Co-ordinator.
The Partners in Mission Food Bank in Kingston will supply a week’s groceries to a family who really needs it. In order for you to receive such assistance, you must be referred from another agency, such as the QUIC. Please check with the International Student Advisors at the Queen’s University International Centre for more information.
If you have further questions, after reviewing the information above, advising is available (without an appointment) from the International Student Advisers at the Queen’s University International Centre from Monday to Friday between 1:00pm and 4:30pm.