Kelowna and the Okanagan are celebrated for their abundance of fresh, local fare, which is plentiful during the summer and fall months. Read on to find out what delicious eats you can discover throughout summer (and stay tuned for part two, focused on fall)—your taste buds and memory bank will be sure to thank you!
Find the Freshest Flavours
Image credit: Matt Ferguson Photography (@mattfphotography)
For many years, “peaches and beaches” was a well-known adage associated with Kelowna, and for good reason. Tree fruits from the Okanagan—peaches and cherries in particular—are synonymous with the area and highly sought after by locals and visitors alike.
Cherries are one of the first tree fruit crops ready to be picked, with the first varietals typically maturing in early July. From there, you’ll see apricots, peaches, pears, plums, and finally, apples ready for the picking. There are several orchards offering u-pick, so the whole family can get in on the fun!
If you prefer to let someone else do the picking, then drop by a local market to choose from the array of available produce. Or, take part in a Summer Market Field Trip with The Okanagan Table on August 10. Chef Kelsey will guide you on a tour of the Kelowna Farmers’ & Crafters’ Market, where you’ll learn about and select local ingredients to prepare lunch together.
PRO TIP: Harvest dates and availability of local produce are weather dependent—fruit and vegetables may be ready earlier or later than usual, depending on what Mother Nature delivers. Connect with the team at the Kelowna Visitor Centre or with the orchards and markets directly to confirm availability.
Sip the Best of the Okanagan
BNA Brewing Co. & Eatery. Image credit: BC Ale Trail (@bcaletrail)
Along with fresh fruit and vegetables, Kelowna and the area are also well known for the more than 40 wineries that produce award-winning wines—there are also exceptional and award-winning craft beer, cider, and spirits, so you can pick your favourite sip to enjoy while visiting. Throughout the summer, you can enjoy your favourite sips alongside live entertainment, as several of the wineries, breweries, and distilleries in the area host musicians at their establishments.
While you can easily explore Kelowna’s wine trails and breweries, cideries, and distilleries on your own, with someone in your group as the designated driver, there are also local tour companies that will organize all your stops and provide you with a knowledgeable guide to give you lots of interesting and fun info during your journey. It will make your experience a breeze!
PRO TIP: Reservations at area tasting rooms are strongly recommended during the busy summer and fall months. It's a good idea to plan your tour days as far in advance as possible so you can make sure to visit all your favourite or must-visit wineries and watering holes.
Savour Local Fare
Dishes at Salt & Brick. Image credit: Mirae Campbell (@miraecampbell)
You’ll have no trouble finding delicious food while you explore Kelowna, including several seasonal dining options that are only available during the warmer months of the year. This includes 19 Bistro @ Fitz in Peachland—a collaboration between Fitzpatrick Family Vineyard and 19 Okanagan Grill + Bar—as well as Angel Share rooftop restaurant at Crown & Thieves and Terrace Restaurant at Mission Hill Family Estate. You'll marvel not only at the food but at the expansive lake views as well!
Other spots you don't want to miss for fresh summer flavours include:
- Plant-based Frankie We Salute You!, where they turn the freshest fruit and vegetables into scrumptious dishes for brunch, lunch, and dinner.
- Krafty Kitchen + Bar, whose casual farm-to-table dining concept delivers high-quality eats daily for dinner, as well as for hip hop brunch Friday through Sunday.
- Salt & Brick for its fresh sheet menu that offers creative and inspired dishes made with the freshest local ingredients.
Be sure to leave some room so you can beat the summer heat with a cold treat from Parlour Ice Cream or QB Gelato & Bakery, who both make their ice cream and gelato using as many locally-sourced ingredients as possible.
Check out the #exploreKelowna blog to discover more ways to enjoy Kelowna’s four-season playground.
Header image: Home Block at CedarCreek Estate Winery, captured by Ken Hagen (@kenny_hagen)