Kelowna is among the largest cities in the Okanagan Valley, which is one of Canada’s best wine-producing regions. Fine wine and excellent food often go hand-in-hand, and Kelowna’s dynamic and diverse culinary scene is no exception. Combining British Columbia’s rich coastal bounty with community-oriented business practices, here are some of the most exciting places to eat in Kelowna.
Raudz, pronounced ‘Rod’s’ after founder Chef Rod Butters, is a trailblazer in its use of organic, local ingredients. The menu features simple yet playful dishes like baked fish & chips made with a chickpea batter, cucumber tartar sauce, and baked fries spiced with fennel. The restaurant’s commitment to local cuisine extends to its drink menu, which focuses on Okanagan wines, and cocktails that incorporate seasonal ingredients from the Okanagan Valley. Set in a century-old heritage building, the interior features exposed brick and seating at comfortable banquettes and booths. The prime seat is a 21-foot long communal table constructed of reclaimed heartwood pine, which offers views of the kitchen.
Raudz, 1560 Water St, Kelowna, BC, Canada, + 1 250 868 8805
Old Vines Restaurant blends a fantastic seasonal menu, dramatic views, and award-winning wines from Quails’ Gate. Chef Roger Sleiman sources ingredients from the fields surrounding the vineyard, as well as the restaurant’s own garden. Although the menu changes regularly, you can expect dishes like 30 Day Dry Aged Cache Creek Ribeye with pomme puree, roasted watermelon radish, cipollini onion, watercress, and red wine jus. Diners enjoy views of Lake Okanagan and the Boucherie Mountain Bench, and entrées are presented with suggested wine pairings.
Old Vines Restaurant, 3303 Boucherie Rd, West Kelowna, BC, Canada, + 1 250 769 2500
The Little Hobo Soup & Sandwich’s unassuming red-brick exterior and simple interior belie its extreme popularity. The restaurant has been ranked as the top place to eat in the entire province of British Columbia, beating more than 13,000 other restaurants. This small restaurant serves up home-style, made-from-scratch breakfast and lunch, including dishes like breakfast club sandwiches and Mexican chicken soup. The restaurant quickly turns first-timers into regulars, with owners Crystal Dougan and her partner Steve MacDonald aiming to treat customers like family.
Little Hobo Soup & Sandwich, 438 Lawrence Ave, Kelowna, BC, Canada, + 1 778 478 0411
Bouchons specializes in classic French cuisine in a relaxed environment. Headed by husband-and-wife team Richard Toussaint and Martine Lefèbvre, the restaurant’s interior feels very Parisian with its bright yellow walls and red banquettes. There’s also a lovely patio dining area open from May to October. The menu features comforting bistro favourites like duck confit and cassoulet Toulousain, prepared with fresh, local ingredients. There are three certified sommeliers on staff to help diners choose from the bottles stored in the restaurant’s central wine cellar, which includes an excellent balance of French and regional selections.
Bouchons 1180 Sunset Dr #105, Kelowna, BC, Canada, + 1 250 763 6595
Okanagan Street Food began as a food truck headed by Chef Neil Schroeter, who moved to Kelowna after working for a number of years at a winery in Summerland. The popularity of the street food operation led Schroeter to open a permanent location, where he continues to serve up simple yet often bold creations. Go for the seared fish taco: fresh snapper, cabbage, cilantro, salsa and spicy lime and avocado mayonnaise; or the ‘Market Breakfast Wrap’, which consists of house cured and applewood smoked bacon, egg, potato, aged cheddar and salsa served baked in a flour tortilla. The restaurant is fairly plain, but decorations like a neon sign reading ‘I love duck fat’ add a touch of whimsy.
Okanagan Street Food, 812 Crowley Ave, Kelowna, BC, Canada, + 1 778 478 0807
Waterfront Wines focuses on comfort food reinvented with fresh, seasonal ingredients and paired with an excellent selection of wines. The restaurant is led by Mark Filatow, who is both a chef and sommelier, and whose expertise is evident in all areas of the restaurant’s menu. Fresh fish is sourced from Codfathers Seafood Market and prime cuts come from Wild Moon Organics; while the cocktails incorporate fresh juices and herbs. The interior is open-concept and intimate, featuring oak walls that pay homage to the restaurant’s emphasis on wine, as well as a cinderblock bar topped with Douglas fir.
Waterfront Wines, 1180 Sunset Dr, Kelowna, BC, Canada, + 1 250 979 1222 ext. 2
Overlooking the Two Eagles Golf Course and Okanagan Lake, 19 Okanagan serves up a menu of dishes made from local, sustainable ingredients, complemented by an excellent wine menu. The restaurant’s signature dish is a sandwich of thinly-sliced New York striploin served on a toasted sourdough bun with sautéed mushrooms, swiss cheese, firecracker onions, and rosemary jus. The restaurant’s distinct entrance features two enormous totem poles and hand-carved doors. Inside, two fireplaces keep the atmosphere cozy in the winter; while in the summer, the restaurant is home to the largest patio in Okanagan.
19 Okanagan, 3509 Carrington Rd, West Kelowna, BC, Canada, + 1 250 768 3133
Bohemian Cafe is a popular local restaurant with colorful decorations and a laid-back ambiance. This vegetarian-friendly restaurant offers home-style dishes for breakfast and lunch. Go for the mango chutney turkey salad at lunch; or at breakfast, there’s the BC Benedict: poached free-run eggs with hollandaise sauce and wild Nanuk sockeye salmon served with hash browns. Prices are reasonable and they also offer catering services.
Bohemian Cafe & Catering Company, 524 Bernard Ave, Kelowna, BC, Canada, + 1 250 862 3517
The Salted Brick offers an ever-changing menu of house cured meats and hand-crafted cheese. With a focus on locally-sourced meat and produce, owner Chef Jason Leizert believes in using every part of the animal. Diners are sometimes presented with venison hearts or pigs’ feet, and fat from on-site butchered pigs is rendered into lard and sold for baking. The restaurant’s interior features seating on wooden benches and a few stools along the window, with a total capacity of less than a dozen people. In this intimate environment, Leizert is not only the chef but the host.
Salted Brick, 243 Bernard Ave, Kelowna, BC, Canada, +1 778 484 3234
Terrace Restaurant is located on the shores of Lake Okanagan, overlooking sloping vineyards and clear lake waters. Part of Mission Hill Winery, the restaurant is set in an outdoor colonnade which mirrors the design of the Mission Hill estate. The menu features local dishes, such as duck sourced from Yarrow Meadows, Okanagan beef, and free-range elk, all paired with Mission Hill wines. If you’re not up for a full meal, you can always enjoy the view along with a tasting plate of cheese or chocolate. Heaters and blankets are available for chilly days.
Terrace Restaurant, 1730 Mission Hill Rd, West Kelowna, BC, Canada, + 1 250 768 6467