Now when people hear the word Okanagan it conjures blissful images of sipping wine and eating delicious food on a patio packing an amazing view. Yes, our wine country is no longer a secret with food and wine lovers from around the world dreaming about visiting our remarkable little corner of the universe.

There is a wide array of amazing restaurants to visit in the Kelowna area but the most captivating are at the wineries. Here are my top four favourite wineries to dine at and where I take my guests for the ultimate Kelowna experience.

1. CedarCreek Estate Winery - Home Block Restaurant

HomeBlock Restaurant at CedarCreek Estate Winery

The long lakeshore drive to one of our most celebrated wineries really adds to the dining experience upon arrival. At your destination, CedarCreek’s stunning architecture will greet you and welcome you to Home Block Restaurant. Patio is preferred for me, but all tables are laid out well.  Chef Neil Taylor was a gift to our culinary world and his menu is sublime. It is comfort food on a whole new level, with some dishes featuring their wood-fired grill fueled by timber from local orchards and seasoned barrel staves. I have to order the calamari as part of my meal ritual (his has become a cult fave for locals) and paired with CedarCreek’s sparkling wine or Pinot Gris as suggested. You also cannot go wrong with any of his pasta creations.

Calamari Dish at Homeblock Restaurant

Calamari Dish 

2. Peak Cellars - Garden Bistro

Peak Cellar's Garden Bistro Restaurant

I love that the Garden Bistro at Peak Cellars in Lake Country actually does draw from a huge organic garden that's on site.  Here at one of our B.C. wine industry’s most exciting winery projects (ask about the incredible caves and design for their next winery coming soon), guests can relax on their patio, or indoors, and enjoy views over the working vineyard- with the lake in the background. The huge wood fired outdoor oven offers amazing pizza and other lovely dishes to pair with their range of wines. The lobster pizza is my go-to paired with their delicious Pinot Noir Rose.

Lobster Pizza at Peak Cellar's Restaurant

Lobster Pizza

3. Quails’ Gate Estate Winery - Old Vines Restaurant

Quails' Gate Winery Outdoor Dining-September 2020 (6)

Photo by: Shawn Talbot Photography

Here at one of our pioneer wineries, you will experience all that you dreamed of in a winery restaurant. Classy, charming and unpretentious, Old Vines Restaurant offers its guests an extraordinary lake view that shimmers over rolling grapevines. Patio tables as well as indoor tables that take full advantage of window views that all will entice you in to stay awhile and fall into the romance of wine country life. The food here is of the highest standard and offer diners a locally focussed expression of our beautiful valley and province.  Here, I cannot start a meal there without the Truffle & Parmesan fries with a glass of Chardonnay before I usually dive into the fresh fish option.

Truffle & Parmesan Fries, Fresh Fish Plate, and a Glass of Chardonnay at Quails' Gate Winery

Truffle & Parmesan Fries, Fresh Fish Plate, and a glass of Quails' Gate Chardonnay

4. Mission Hill Family Estates Winery - Terrace Restaurant

Mission Hill Family Estate Winery

Photo by: Mission Hill Estate Winery and James O'Mara

The Terrace Restaurant at Mission Hill Family Estate Winery is a showstopper. Set regally atop West Kelowna’s Mission Hill, the castle-like setting of our most epic winery offer splendiferous views of our dreamy lake and mountainside. The views from the terrace side tables offer a breathtaking snapshot of the ideal Okanagan. Book a long, and glamourous lunch here to sip and savour the creations of the chef team. The menu is locavorian and the wine pairings sublime- the charcuterie board is always creative and I love the wild caught scallops. Then try to peel yourself away to return to the real world below.

Wild Caught Scallops Dish at Mission Hill Family Estate Winery