Swap the hustle of the big city for the lakeside beauty of Kelowna, an Okanagan city that’s perfect for relaxing, recharging, and soaking up some local culture. And if you didn’t already know, it has an unparalleled food and drink scene.
Whether you’re fancying a locally brewed cider, small bites in the sun, freshly roasted coffee, a glass of crisp wine, farm-to-table food, or craft cocktails, you’ll find them all at some of the city’s best venues.
Here are some must-try places for food and drinks in Kelowna:
This Kelowna farm to table eatery focuses on using the best in Okanagan ingredients. A must-visit for any foodie, the restaurant offers up snazzy brunch, lunch, and dinner options, in a casual ambience. Did we mention the bartenders mix up a seriously good Caesar? Splurge for something extra special and garnish it with a burger, fried chicken, or a pancake and egg.
Address: 281 Lawrence Avenue, Kelowna
This Okanagan gem regularly releases new wines, so it’s worth stopping by to taste the latest creations even if you’ve been before. Each year, they release a few distinctive barrels that they craft to perfection as part of their Small Lots program. The result? Flavours and characteristics that set these wines apart from anything you’ve tasted before. The choice is yours, and it’s anything but limited.
Sample some wines at the tasting room, or shop at their onsite store afterwards. And if you’re a lover of vintages, try the 2014 Sandhill Gamay Noir. It’s simply divine.
Address: 1125 Richter Street, Kelowna
Start your day off right with a cup of joe from the small batch roasters at Canoe, operating out of a cool vintage trailer that you can find on Kelowna’s High Road on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.
This spring and summer, the trailer will be popping up at the Kelowna Farmers’ and Crafters’ Market at the corner of Dilworth and Springfield on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Oh, and local brewery Kettle River Brewing even has a stout made with Canoe’s coffee. It’s that good.
Address: 1176 High Road, Kelowna
Urban Distillery & Winery
Urban Distillery & Winery is a true craft whiskey distillery located in downtown Kelowna. The building has a lot of heritage too, as the oldest and largest craft whiskey distillery in BC.
Each batch of natural craft spirits made here is distilled in German-made, artisan copper stills using premium Okanagan Valley grains, fruits, and glacier spring water from the Kootenays. For those who prefer a glass of wine, they’ve recently added a brand new winery to their operation. Be pleasantly surprised when you sample some mead-sweet honey wine, made with Canadian honey and crisp mountain water.
Address: 325 Bay Avenue Number 6, Kelowna
Summerhill Pyramid Winery is certified organic and biodynamic and offers unique experiences and tours of their great pyramid replica. Experience the stunning views and delicious culinary treats at their Organic Bistro where much of what you will see on your plate comes from their on-site gardens and the lake and mountain sunsets can't be beat
Address: 4870 Chute Lake Road, Kelowna
BNA Brewing Co. offers everything you could want when dining in downtown Kelowna: an independent craft brewery, an onsite Tasting Room, and an attached full-service restaurant. The beer is brewed on site and served straight to guests, both in the Tasting Room and the Eatery. Ask the bartender to pour you a glass of fun labels like ‘Tipsy Canoe’ and ‘Don’t Lose Your Dinosaur IPA’. Chef Best, who runs the eatery, designed the menu to cater to groups, with a diverse assortment of small and share plates like portobello ‘fries’ and fish tacos.
Address: 1250 Ellis St, Kelowna
If you have a sweet tooth, visit purveyors of high-end chocolate and good vibes in Kelowna, Karat Chocolate. This trendy chocolate boutique will undoubtedly wow you with its colourfully decorated, handcrafted, and quirky treats. It’s also right next door to Canoe Coffee, who they’ve joined forces with to offer a perfect match of coffee and chocolate.
Chocolatiers at Karat create edible artworks like you’ve never seen before. With an emphasis on shape, colour, and texture, each piece of artisan chocolate looks even more delicate and delectable than the next.
Address: 1174 High Road, Kelowna
If you like dining with a view, then visit Kelowna’s Indigenous World Winery’s restaurant, the Red Fox Club. With a diverse menu by Chef de Cuisine Andrea Callan, you can take your pick from dishes like stinging nettle dumplings with brown butter, asparagus, pea, and mint, to a Yarrow Meadows duck breast with fermented cabbage and jewelled wild rice.
Enjoy some equally delectable casual fare here, too, like the local cheeseboard. It doesn’t disappoint after dinner when paired with a glass of the Okanagan’s finest like the Simo Bordeaux Blend.
Located among the rolling hills of the Okanagan Valley, Scenic Road Cider has the perfect home. And it’s aptly named after one of the cidery’s orchard locations. Upon entering the craft cidery, you’ll pass by one of the orchards paramount to the production of the beverages. Make the most of your vacation and enjoy some samples of dry, razz, and nearly dry cider styles in the cool tasting room.
Address: 770 Packinghouse Road, Kelowna
There are so many reasons to visit Kelowna, and its ever-expanding food and wine scene is certainly one of them. Couple this list with all the city has to offer and you have a weekend itinerary ready for your next trip.
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Article originally published on Daily Hive Vancouver, edited/updated for accuracy.