Set in a wide river valley and bordered by towering desert mountains, Kamloops is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise, offering extensive opportunities for mountain biking, camping, hiking, kayaking, and more. British Columbia’s fifth largest city isn’t exactly known for its cuisine, but its dining scene is surprisingly diverse. From Japanese cutlets to Mexican classics, you can find it all in Kamloops. Here are 10 restaurants not to miss.
Hello Toast is a local favorite for breakfast, lunch, and brunch, offering a menu of homemade sandwiches, soups, burgers, rice bowls, baked goods, and breakfast classics. There’s plenty of meat on the menu, but the restaurant also offers an excellent selection of vegetarian and gluten-free dishes. The prices are affordable and portions are generous. Decorated with quirky artwork, the restaurant’s interior is informal and welcoming. Try the Bird’s Nest, which features multigrain toast topped with two basted eggs, cheddar, sautéed spinach, and crispy bacon bits.
Pizzaria, Restaurant, Italian, Fast Food, Vegan, Vegetarian, $$$
Bold Pizzeria may be located in Sahali Centre Mall, but it’s much more sophisticated than your typical mall restaurant. Focused on fresh, simple ingredients, this hip restaurant cooks its pizzas in an open-flame oven. True to Italian tradition, diners are encouraged to order their own pizza, rather than sharing. Go for one of the house or premium pies, or build your own, choosing ingredients from the extensive topping list. The pies are best washed down with one of the restaurant’s Bolder Floats, which feature vanilla bean ice cream with a choice of chocolate strawberry fields, vanilla cream, or butter beer. Patio seating is available in the warmer months.
Terra Restaurant is an innovative restaurant focused on fresh West Coast cuisine. The restaurant’s menu changes monthly based on the seasonal ingredients available, but you can expect dishes like cauliflower and carrot purées, kale pesto, market veggies with spiced sunflower seeds or lamb ragu with creamy polenta, tomatoes, basil oil, and parmesan. Diners who opt for the Chef Table tasting menu discuss their preferences with Chef David Tombs, after which he prepares custom meals. The restaurant’s wines, beers, and spirits are sourced from local BC producers. The restaurant’s chic interior features a beautiful wooden bar and a bold, red accent wall.
Quilas Mexican Restaurant is a family owned restaurant specializing in meat and seafood dishes from Mexico, with a touch of Latin American/El Salvadorian influence. Diners can enjoy their meals out on the patio or in the restaurant’s earth toned interior, which features original artwork, eclectic chandeliers, and an upside down table hanging from the ceiling. Start with Quila’s mesa guacamole, which is made right at the table with tomatoes, red onion, jalapeño, cilantro, lime, and a special blend of spices. Pair your meal with one of the restaurant’s signature Mexican apple mojitos.
Set in the historic Plaza Hotel, The Fireside Steakhouse and Bar offers a diverse menu of steakhouse classics, balanced with lighter Ocean Wise certified seafood as well as vegetarian dishes. Meats are smoked in-house, and the restaurant’s premium Black Angus cuts are sourced from Southlands Ranch in nearby Knutsford. The restaurant’s intimate interior is dominated by an impressive two sided fireplace, with seating available in a dining area or along the bar. Live music is often featured on weekends.
Jacob’s Noodle & Cutlet is a low key lunch and dinner restaurant specializing in Japanese and Korean dishes. As the name suggests, the focus is on pork, chicken, and fish cutlets, which are served alongside a set of house made sauces. Diners are given a little mortar and pestle with sesame seeds for grinding up and sprinkling over their dishes. Set in an older heritage building, high ceilings and brick accents add character to the restaurant’s clean, bright interior. If you’re not in the mood for one of the cutlets, try the Sundubu, a hot pot of seafood, tofu, and egg served over rice.
Offering a menu of house made dishes, Passek’s Classics is a cozy restaurant open for breakfast and lunch. The breakfast menu features a variety of benedicts, omelettes, skillets, wraps, pancakes, and classic breakfasts, while the lunch menu focuses on soups, salads, sandwiches, burgers, and schnitzels as well as dishes made in the restaurant’s smoker. Beef, brisket, and pulled pork are seasoned with the restaurant’s signature rub and marinated for 24 hours. Many of the restaurant’s buns and rolls are baked on site, while others are sourced daily from nearby the Crazy & the German Bakery. Try the wonderfully crispy chicken schnitzel with mushroom sauce.
Spice is an unassuming, family owned restaurant that specializes in traditional Indian dishes. The restaurant’s all-you-eat lunch buffet is a popular option, featuring an excellent variety of tandoori specialities, kormas, samosas, naan bread, salads, desserts, and other Indian classics, along with a great selection of dipping sauces and chutneys. The restaurant also offers à la carte dishes for lunch and dinner, with plenty of vegetarian, dairy-free, and gluten-free options. Enjoy your meal in the restaurant’s simple, warm toned dining room, or opt for takeaway.
Run by husband and wife team Connie and Dale Decaire, the Brownstone is a favorite among locals for special occasions. This elegant restaurant is set in a 1904 heritage building that once housed the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. The menu focuses on beautifully presented plates of West Coast cuisine with international influences, with many ingredients sourced from local farmers, ranchers, and artisans. Try the bison meatballs with San Marzano tomato sauce or the balsamic glazed roasted red pepper stuffed with pearl cous cous.
Part café, part art gallery, and part live music venue, The Art We Are offers organic food in a welcoming atmosphere. The menu feature a variety of house made vegetarian and vegan meals, including plenty of gluten-free dishes. Soups like cilantro coconut lentil and Hungarian mushroom are served with hunks of buttered cornbread or freshly made gluten-free bread. The café walls are covered with the work of local artists for both exhibition and sale, while the stage hosts performers from across Canada and beyond. It’s a place where diners are invited to linger while listening to the live music or drinking a speciality tea while playing a game of chess.