With over 100 restaurants just in downtown Kelowna, there is no lack of chains and independent eateries for families to fill up on burgers and fries. But parents seeking more eclectic menus in child-friendly establishments have a lot to choose from, too. Here are our favourite places to refuel around town with kids in tow.
The colourful and eclectic interior inside the Boho Café on Bernard Avenue makes it a cheerful place to start the day in downtown Kelowna. Dig into a heaping plate of French toast or try an inventive bennie (think BC Benedict with wild sockeye lox, or the Banh Mi Bennie with grilled chicken, pickled carrots, and a baguette slice on the side). This breakfast and brunch hot spot also makes its own bread and jam, and even has a kids’ menu with adorably small Silver Dollar Pancakes.
With three locations around town, this Kelowna pizzeria creates a range of traditional and signature pies, but we especially love their tacos. The Tacos al Pastor, with pulled pork, red pickled slaw, and grilled pineapple, is to die for, and vegetarians can’t go wrong with the Green Goddess, a delicious mix of breaded avocado, chipotle, and feta. It’s also worth the drive to Lower Mission to eat at DunnEnzie’s newest location—in warmer seasons, be sure to nab a seat on the patio beneath the huge London plane tree. There’s often live music on the weekend and kids can run around outside, weather permitting.
Photo by: BC Ale Trail
In the heart of Kelowna’s Cultural District, what was once the warehouse home of the British North American Tobacco Company is now BNA Brewing. Don’t let the facts of great beer on tap and well-balanced craft cocktails dissuade you from bringing the littles—kids dig the cozy vibe inside thanks to Canadiana décor including a taxidermy moose head over the bar. Adventurous eaters love the mushrooms on toast, fried cauliflower or zucchini "fries", and beef rendang, while children with more conservative palates will be satisfied by the pizzas and fish tacos. There are even six, 10-pin bowling lanes upstairs!
The on-site restaurant at Manteo, Eldorado Resort in the Mission neighbourhood happens to have the best lakefront patio in Kelowna, which is probably why Smack DAB is so popular with local families—parents can enjoy BC wines by the glass and keep an eye out while their kids run up and down the boardwalk adjacent to Okanagan Lake. The food keeps them coming back, too. If the truffle spaghetti and meatballs or the vegan faro bowl (mushrooms, tofu, chickpeas, and pumpkin seeds) are too far out for the kids, there’s pizza and a range of $6 mocktails that put Shirley Temples to shame.
Arrive early to grab a table at this casual café on Bernard Avenue that specializes in Laksa soup, which is a Malaysian-style coconut curry noodle soup that brims with either vegetables or chicken and prawns. I was a bit skeptical about whether my children would slurp up the generous bowls of slightly spicy soup, but they loved it. The mango smoothies are also delicious (and filling). Mad Mango's location right downtown makes it easy to combine lunch with shopping and sightseeing.
Photo by: Rebecca Bollwitt (Miss604)
It’s worth the drive across the bridge to West Kelowna to try the bannock at the Kekuli Café. This Indigenous, traditional-style bread, also called fry bread, is soft and doughy on the inside, and some of the flavours—Saskatoon berry and cinnamon sugar, for example—are donut-like in their deliciousness (read: an easy sell for kids!). Equally yummy are the Pow Wow Fry Bread Tacos, in flavours from Chicken to Homestyle Chili. To drink, the café serves tea, coffee, smoothies, and wine from local Indigenous wineries.
Article originally published in January 2020 and has been edited for accuracy.