After you get your chill on racing down the slopes, you will inevitably want to take it off and warm up somewhere delicious. Après ski or après snowshoe or whatever fun you are having in the snow simply must be rewarded with good food and drink and a place to warm your bones. In Kelowna, I have several ideas for places best to melt into.
1. Tutt Street Tapas
Tutt Street Tapas is a cozy little wine bar that features many local, hard-to-find wines on their list as well as a perfect après ski menu with yums like bruschetta, flatbreads, and house favourite gnocchi to choose from. Lots of amazing veggie items to nibble on, too…oh, and they open at 4!
2. The Eldorado Hotel
The Eldorado Hotel will greet your weary selves with a fire going, snug seating options – bar or dining room – and beautiful views of Okanagan Lake. Hang up your toque and order up a round of wings, mussels, and calamari to share or check out the dinner menu.
3. Waterfront Café
Waterfront Café has the best breakfasts to choose from if you want a pre-ski fuel up. Or, how does a big ol’ Rueben sandwich or bowl of housemade pasta sound with a local beer or wine after your shred?
4. Mirco Bar + Bites
Micro Bar + Bites downtown features a tapas menu to satiate the foodie spirit. Potato Bravas, poutine or frog legs – get in there! Happy hour from 2-5 p.m.
5. Krafty Kitchen & Bar
Krafty Kitchen & Bar is a welcome sight. This comfy room has a fun vibe; it just calls to sit and thaw out for a while. Food is delicious and drink choices are a-plenty.
6. Wasabi Izakaya
Wasabi Izakaya is basically a gastro-pub Japanese style! The menu has loads of delicious items to choose from and house-made Ramen a.k.a the ultimate soul satisfier. Dive into that with some sake or large Sapporo and you will be healed.
7. Antico Pizza Napoletana
Pizza is a go-to for many who are in need of a food charge and Antico Pizza Napoletana has got the right stuff on hand for your jump-start.
8. BNA Brewing
BNA Brewing is wa-hay more than great craft beer. A perfect destination for a group that is ready for more fun after the slopes. Eat, drink, make merry, and bowl? Yas! They have a bowling alley.
9. Memphis Blues BBQ House
If your taste buds are screaming for BAR-BE-QUE then you must surrender to Memphis Blues BBQ House on Bernard. A carnivore’s dream, the deal here is racks upon racks of slow-cooked, succulent ribs.
10. The Keg Steakhouse + Bar
The Keg--the ‘steady Eddie’ of the food scene. They’ve been around for decades offering the comfort and consistency of getting to order that big Keg Caesar and a steak dinner. You could probably even order a Courvoisier.
11. Central Kitchen + Bar
A big burger is probably one of the easiest ways to tame your hungry crew. Central Kitchen + Bar downtown gets major high fives from their burger reviews. They also have happy hour deals.
12. QB Gelato
You may not think you feel like gelato on a cold day but really you do and QB Gelato has hot things on the menu as well as cold. A bowl of their delicious soup or a mug of hot chocolate will be just the ticket.
Jennifer Schell is a writer & columnist, former editor of BC Food & Wine Trails Magazine and internationally award winning author of three cookbooks titled: The Butcher, The Baker, The Wine & Cheese Maker. Co-founder of Garagiste North Wine Festivals, she is also co-owner of Schell Wines - one of Kelowna’s newest small lot wineries. Born and raised on an orchard in East Kelowna, Jennifer’s family roots run deep in agriculture. An advocate for all things local, she focusses on shining the spotlight on the people of the food, wine and farm scene. www.jenniferschell.com