We spent a glorious two weeks in Naramata, which is 20 minutes north of Penticton. We had some memorable food experiences in that time:
- Burger 55 is a little shack on Westminster Avenue in Penticton, just behind Front Street. They are darn expensive, but have the best burgers I have tasted in a long time. Their menu features ‘choose your own burger’ toppings. I had the salmon with blue cheese. And sweet potato fries. We sat on a picnic table behind the shack, watched the people and dogs walk by on the river path, and listened to Michael Jackson on their funky remix soundtrack. Loved it.
- Theo’s – now, I am not a huge Greek food fan because I find it tastes the same wherever I go. (Well, except in Greece). But in Penticton? Theo’s is an institution. And while I only had the Greek salad, I can tell you that it was the service and atmosphere that clinched the deal for me. We had a reservation for 36 giggly soccer girls and their parents and showed up with 42 people, and the staff at Theo’s was nothing but gracious and accommodating the entire time. Thank you, Theo’s, for engaging a bunch of 14 year old girls in their first ever plate throwing. Truly a memorable experience. And ya gotta love a place whose URL is eatsquid.com
- Bench Artisan Market – this is my favourite specialty coffee and bakery place in Penticton. They serve full fledged breakfast, and I need to indulge next time around. Also, the Bench is a fabulous place to pick up specialty picnic items. And! There’s gelato!
- Lake Breeze Winery – My second visit for lunch at Lake Breeze was this year. I had the seafood, I had the wine, and it was a beautiful setting with lovely service right on Naramata Bench.
- Naramata Farmer’s Market – On Wednesdays. And it is huge for such a small village. Loved the Smoothie Guy and also the Okanagan Food Truck, which served steaming fries, and take-home fresh pasta and sauce that we enjoyed the next day.
- Vanilla Pod in Summerland – again, a second visit. The sushi pizza is worth a visit – tapas with wine, but done fine dining style.
- Salty’s – right on the beach in Penticton. It is a good sign when ALL the restaurants are empty along the strip, but Salty’s is PACKED. I always have the Cuban sandwich. Nice and loud place to take my nice and loud kids.
- Soft ice cream convenience store on Duncan Avenue in Penticton- OK, I cannot recall the name, but just keep driving up the hill on Duncan. There is a store there that serves slushies with soft ice cream, AND different flavours of soft ice cream. Worth the trek, even with my rotten directions.
- T-Bones – this place is an Okanagan chain, like M&M’s Meats in Alberta, but with a proper butcher and lots of accompaniments – like dips, pita and sweet potato fries. I have to say, this is a brilliant concept for those of us travelling, borrowing a rental kitchen, or camping. The chipolte mayo is really really good and tastes delicious on anything. Please come to Edmonton, T-Bones.
- Bliss Bakery in Peachland – a little gem of a bakery in Peachland – upscale bakery, breakfast goods, nice strong coffee. I think I got whiff of the Bliss from Cheryl – thanks for that.
- D Dutchman Dairy in Sicamous – on the way to the Okanagan. Introduced to me by Julie. I have to say that I adored the maple butter ice cream (and the live cows) and no other ice cream place rivaled it the entire trip.
- Food establishments at Silver Star, Vernon – I’m afraid my food expectations were low when we stayed at the Bulldog Hotel at the top of Silver Star mountain in Vernon. My husband and daughter were there to embark on an epic downhill mountain biking experience. But food at a ski resort? Silver Star did deliver – from a surprisingly culinary experience at the pub at the Bulldog Cafe, to coffee and flaky pastries at the Dutch-influenced Bugaboo Bakery the next day. Bravo to Silver Star for setting the bar high for ski/mountain bike resorts everywhere.
I’m thrilled that I’ll be returning in two weeks to Penticton for the Okanagan Food and Wine Writers’ Workshop. So there will be more Okanagan food tales to come….