Over the last few years we’ve been spending quite a bit of time in the Kelowna region, we love everything about this city! One of our favourite things to do when we travel is to check out local restaurants and Kelowna has no shortage of fantastic places to eat! I’m always being asked for recommendations on restaurants so I thought I would share some of our favourites from our recent trip.

The great thing about Kelowna is they have a ton of restaurants for the size of the city, and they are also big about supporting local! It’s great to see so many independent establishments in the area. Here is a list of some of our faves this trip.

The Eldorado Hotel or The El as the locals call it offers lakeside dining at the hotel with the best patio in the city. Executive chef Oliver Kaiser incorporates seasonal and organic flavour from local Kelowna providers to his menu. We had the opportunity to meet chef Oliver who treated our daughter to a very special mermaid birthday cake!  We loved the flavours of all the dishes we tried on their all day menu including:

  • Cheese and Charcuterie Board (Helmuts Sausage Kitchen locally sourced assorted charcuterie, Armstrong Gouda, Little Qualicum brie, olives, mustards, fresh bread and rosemary raisin pecan crisp crackers)
  • El Burger (BC iceberg lettuce, Johnston’s double smoked bacon, vine ripe BC tomato, Armstrong aged cheddar cheese, pickle, El sauce, pretzel bun)
  • Buttermilk Chicken Sandwich (Cornflake breaded free run chicken breast, pretzel bun, BC iceberg lettuce, vine ripe BC tomato, herb ranch spread)

My hubby and I shared the dishes so we could try a little bit of everything. They also offer a fantastic kids menu with crayons to keep them busy. Sitting on the dock is a must if the weather is nice!

Their Sunday brunch is said to be one of the best in the city, with an omelette bar, seafood selection, traditional breakfast offerings, and desserts galore! We plan on trying it next time we visit! Find them at 500 Cook Road (on the lake).

The Orchard Room is the newest edition to the downtown Kelowna dining scene that just opened last month.  Their plant forward menu is full of flavour and offers an array of eats from their newly launched tacos to an array of vegetable dishes. Their menu is designed for sharing which is my favourite way to experience a meal, I like to try a little bit of this and a little bit of that!

We tried the Seared Tuna Tacos (sesame cucumber, pickled seaweed, ginger aoli, crispy nori) and Buffalo Cauliflower Tacos (buffalo sauce, blue cheese, pickled celery) off their new taco menu. The Street Corn Gnocchi (ricotta dumpling, corn salsa, local feta, cilantro) was a must try for me, I love street corn and it did not disappoint! We also tried a Wedge Salad (spiced cashew butter, puffed wild rice, local feta and tomato) so we didn’t miss our greens. All of the dishes were delish!

The space is small but it packs a punch with its retro cool design. Pops of forest green and gold are found throughout the room with an amazing palm leaf instagrammable wall. The space is finished off with plants throughout. No detail was spared, right down to the leaf designed dishes for sharing. Find them at 269 Lawrence Ave

Krafty Kitchen + Bar has been on our radar since last summer to check out, the design of the restaurant reminds me of something you would find in Brooklyn NY! Opened in 2014 by chef Chris Shaften, they offer farm to table eats with contemporary Canadian cuisine. They focus is the quality of local products and how cuisine connects people.

We shared the Fried Cheese (crispy halloumi, BC tomato, marinated zucchini, toasted pine nuts) and the Wilky Burger + Fries (7oz beef patty, crispy pork belly, k1 sauce, blue stilton, onion relish) on their dinner menu. They give you the option to have the burger cooked medium (which we tried) or well done. The flavours were fantastic and we loved the atmosphere of the room. Find them at 281 Lawrence Ave.

Jacks Pizza & Liquor believes that music can bring people together in a unique way through meaningful conversation and endless laughs. The room has an LA vibe and the decor pays tribute to artists that have changed lives through their music. Their menu is a mix of pizza, and snacks, perfect for sharing. We tried the Kale Caesar (herb crumb, parmesan cheese, bacon bits and kale), Pepperoni and Double Trouble pizza (double smoked bacon, chopped kale, cherry tomatoes, garlic pepper cream, aged goat gouda, fresh herbs). I am obsessed with Kale and this caesar salad is one of my faves! Find them at 231 Bernard Ave in Downtown Kelowna.

Creekside Pub offers traditional pub fare with a large menu of options to choose from. We’ve been coming year after year for their Nachos (tortilla chips, green onions, peppers, tomatoes, black beans, corn, cilantro and mixed cheese served with salsa, guacamole and sour cream). What makes them so different is they bake them in a loaf pan so they are stacked with toppings and flavour! We love coming here for Wing Wednesday, they are some of the best chicken wings I have ever had at a pub! Find them at 3929 Lakeshore Road.

El Taquero offers fast casual traditional mexican flavours at their downtown Kelowna location. They have a large variety of street side tacos with fish, pork, chicken and vegetarian options available. We tried a variety of tacos with a side of chips and homemade guacamole. They had lots of options for salsas (hello watermelon salsa) which was different for this style of restaurant, you usually only see traditional salsa as an option! The prices were fantastic, we had lunch for $20 between the two of us! Find them at 1443 Ellis Street.

Parlour Ice Cream sources local ingredients for unique flavour offerings. Their ice cream is made from scratch and their house made waffle cones have a unique chewy texture to them that we love. Parlour offers regular and vegan ice cream options with a variety of local luxury and indulgent flavours. You can find us there every other day when we visit Kelowna, the location is ideal right on the beach and it’s a great way to cool off on a hot summer day! We’ve tried the Peanut Butter Chocolate, Cookies and Cream, Coffee Chocolate Chunk, Salted Caramel and Birthday Cake flavours, they are all fantastic!

Pro tip: the lines can get really long because it’s so popular. We skip the line and go to the counter to order a pint to share, grab a few spoons and you’re good to go! We always enjoy our ice cream at the beach, it’s a family tradition for us!