Located in the Okanagan Valley, Kelowna is the largest municipality within the interior of the Canadian province of British Columbia. Over 140,000 people live in the city, with another 80,000 in adjacent suburbs.
From its perch on Okanagan Lake’s eastern shore, Kelowna serves as the region’s business hub and a gateway for tourists wishing to explore the area’s orchards, vineyards, mountains, forests, and parks. Below are the 17 best restaurants in Kelowna.
Antico Pizza Napoletana
$$ | 250-717-3741 | Website
The wood-fired Neapolitan pizza offered here captures the taste of Naples. Among the white pizzas without tomato sauce, diners will find the Tartufino (with cremini mushroom and black summer truffle) and Quattro Formaggi (with Parmesan reggiano, gorgonzola, brie, and fior di latte).
Red pizzas include the meaty Carne-Val (with Genoa salami, Soppressata salami, and Italian sausage), the al Greco (with Kalamata olives, feta, onions, and peppers), and the Margherita, among others. Salads, pastas, small plates with antipasto, and the delicious house-made tiramisu or cheesecake for dessert are popular choices.
Bohemian Café & Catering Co.
$$ | 250-862-3517 | Website
Since opening in 1991, this family-run café and catering company has prided itself on the home-cooked meals that the brother and sister team of Oma and Opa serve for breakfast and lunch. The breakfasts available at this downtown restaurant include the ever-popular blueberry oatmeal pancakes and egg dishes that feature their homemade sausage and bacon.
The huevos rancheros (also available in a vegan version) and corned beef hash win much praise. Lunch sandwiches include the chicken clubhouse, banh mi, and mango chutney turkey. Those who prefer bowls can choose from the Thai or Mexican rice bowls, or the Indian curry variety.
$$$ | 250-763-6595 | Website
The proprietors moved from Paris to New Brunswick, but chose to settle in Kelowna when the Bistro’s former owner decided to sell the restaurant. The menu includes some of the finest French dishes one would expect at a nice Paris restaurant, where the food, aesthetic, and atmosphere all have an upscale vibe.
Hors d’oeuvres include fine salads, French onion soup, escargots, selections of fine cheese and charcuterie. Dinners feature red meat classics such as filet mignon and steak tartare to pork, rack of lamb, seafood and shellfish dishes, and a braised Fraser Valley rabbit in tarragon sauce with French mustard seed. The menu includes vegan and vegetarian options as well.
Cantina del Centro
$$ | 778-484-0887 | Website
Similar to its sibling in Nelson, this Cantina del Centro offers both authentic Mexican street food and Americanized versions of popular fare. Begin with chips accompanied by pico de gallo, salsa fresca, or guacamole, or try the honey chipotle chicken wings or tuna & prawn tostadas.
After these appetizers, you can select from tacos, enchiladas, burritos, and quesadillas with a variety of options. Be sure to save room for the churros at dessert time.
$ | 250-861-4932 | Website
Since 1993, diners with a craving for Ukranian, Polish, and Eastern European dishes have counted Cecil’s as a top destination. The combo dishes include perogies, a bun, bacon bits, and various entrees that include cabbage rolls, roast beef, sausage, or chicken. In addition to these dishes, you can get bowls of boscht, delicious fries, and even the ubiquitous Canadian staple, poutine.
Central Kitchen + Bar
$$ | 250-862-8820 | Website
Opened by Jared Lee and Devon Murray in 2014, this downtown restaurant, a few steps from Waterfront Park, Okanagan Lake, and the city’s cultural district, offers tasty food and drink in a comfortable setting. Begin with the fish or tofu tropical tacos, dirty truffle fries, crispy chicken wings, or the S-Wagyu sushi press before dining on sandwiches, pizza, bowls, and burgers.
Vegetarian and gluten-free offerings are included along with traditional meat and seafood dishes. The bacon chorizo mushroom pizza, the vegan “Fun Guy” burger, and Korean or Jamaican jerk chrispy chicken are popular entrees. Weekday happy hour and weekend brunch options round out this tasty menu.
Chutney Cuisine of India
$$ | 250-762-9300 | Website
Those who enjoy Indian cuisine will find a lot to like at Chutney. Popular appetizers include pakoras (vegetable, chicken, and fish varieties), paneer fingers, and curried mussels. Naans include garlic cilantro, palak paneer, and stuffed potato options.
Tandooris such as the murgh malai tikka, mint and coriander chicken kabab, and tandoori vegetables are delicious. Curry dishes, such as vindaloo, coconut curry, and malai tikka masala have variations that include the addition of prawns, fish, lamb, or chicken. The restaurant also offers many vegetarian selections as part of its menu.
Dosa Crepe Cafe
$ | 778-753-6939 | Website
Combining the best of a French crepe and the dosa that is a staple in southern India, the variety of dosas at this restaurant will please anyone familiar with this healthy comfort food.
Variations include everything from egg, egg ghee, onion, paneer, and paneer and spinach dosas to meat versions with BBQ beef, beef curry, butter chicken, and chicken curry. The vegan dosas available here are gluten-free. The restaurant also serves spicy special dosa varieties, dosa pizza, and spicy biryani rice dishes with chicken, beef. or vegetables.
The Fixx Cafe
$$ | 250-861-3499 | Website
Chef Wade Siever grew up on a family farm in Saskatchewan and learned at a young age the difference between locally grown products and those shipped from afar. After completing his culinary studies and apprenticing to learn the trade, he brought his influential recipes–including linguini and penne pastas–to diners at this restaurant.
Popular lunch sandwiches include the lamb kofta pita wrap, the chicken and brie, and the Pacific Coast salmon filet burger. Dinner entrees include Andalusian duck breast, the lamb duo, and a beef tenderloin with its signature caramelized red onion marmalade.
$$$ | 778-478-7726 | Website
Known for the all-you-can-eat waffles and many jam flavors produced by its staff, this is a very busy brunch destination with all of the popular menu options. Breakfasts include French toast, avocado toast, steak & eggs, various eggs benedict (including Caprese Italian, smoked salmon and bacon cheeseburger varieties), bowls, and omelettes.
Soups, salads, and sandwiches fill out the luncheon menu, including the Jammery beef dip, avocado cheddar panini, and turkey & brie panini. Many purchase jars of their favorite jams while visiting.
Little Hobo Soup & Sandwich Shop
$ | 778-478-0411 | Website
Every city or town has a popular, go-to destination for inexpensive sandwiches, fresh soup, and an abundance of warm conversation. The Little Hobo fills that role in Kelowna. The consistent high-quality breakfast and lunch entrees bring crowds to this popular location every weekday.
If you are looking for a place to get cheesy dishes, including some of the best-grilled cheese in British Columbia, consider adding a visit here to your schedule. Soups cover the gamut, including a tasty beet and borscht soup and plenty of soups on the rotating menu with cheese offerings. The burgers receive high praise, as well.
Mad Mango Cafe
$ | 250-762-8998 | Website
This Asian fusion cafe in the center of town offers a popular all-day breakfast and an extensive lunch and dinner menu with a focus on Southeast Asian favorites. The soup and rice dish offerings have won praise since the Mad Mango opened in 2004, with curry, won ton, hot & sour, and spicy laska soups, along with the ever-popular varieties of Vietnamese phở.
Numerous vegan dishes are available, including spring rolls, breakfast wraps, fried tofu, and green onion cake. The chicken vermicelli bowl, Malaysian coconut curries, and curry lamb rice are popular entries.
Raudz Regional Table
$$$ | 250-868-8805 | Website
For an exquisite evening out that includes some of the best locally-grown produce, bread, fish, food and wines, Raudz Regional Table is the perfect destination. In a building that dates back more than a century, the presence of the 21-foot-long communal table inspires people to come together, join in social communion, and enjoy a memorable dinner.
Chef Rod Butters’ signature crab cappuccino soup, ahi tuna, and cold smoked angus eye of round beef are a couple of the appetizers. Main dishes include sablefish & shrimp, lamb sirloin, gnocchi, oat crusted Arctic char, apple brined pork tenderloin, and the very popular Fraser Valley chicken supreme. For dessert, consider the pear affogato, warm apple custard cake, chocolate caramel crunch, or pumpkin poppyseed cheesecake.
Salt & Brick
$$$ | 778-484-3234 | Website
Casey Greabeiel and Craig Lewis acquired this restaurant, once a high-end charcuterie, in September 2017. With Chef James Holmes, they transformed this popular destination by tweaking the menu while creating a welcoming dining environment for those who enjoy the region’s outstanding wines accompanied by small plates that are perfect for sharing.
The charcuterie board remains, with some of the best-cured meats and cheeses, joined by vegetable dishes that offer innovative flavors and outstanding presentation. Pizzas with Okanagan goat feta, duck breast, Montreal hot dogs, and smash burgers are just a few of the menu items that rotate as the chef adjusts the offerings to coincide with the fresh foods of the region.
Social 242 Lounge & Grill
$$$ | 778-484-0242 | Website
The cocktails and alcoholic daily deals bring many to this venue, also known for its tasty menu. Sharables include the risotto & prawn arancini, mussels Rockefeller, garlic prawns, cheese toasties, mushroom caps, cauli wings, tenderloin carpaccio, and truffle fries. Main dishes include BBQ ribs, Okanagan chicken, signature salmon, beef ribeye, and tenderloin.
Bowls such as the butter chicken, pesto chicken, and spicy tomato & prawn attract attention, as do sandwiches that include the four-cheese BBQ burger, Southern fried chicken sandwich, Cajun chicken club, and stuffed prime rib Yorkies with a foundation of freshly baked Yorkshire pudding. The comfort food here is very pleasing.
Waterfront Wines Restaurant
$$$$ | 250-979-1222 | Website
A top destination for the best wines, this eclectic restaurant a short stroll from Waterfront Park has received awards for the top plates for more than a decade. Chef Mark Filatow has established significant contacts with some of the highly-rated farms and groves of the region, assuring a steady supply of fresh ingredients from British Columbia.
Begin your meal with tapas, cheese and charcuterie boards, potted foie gras, or mushroom risotto. Transition into Yarrow Meadows duck breast, Brant Lake Wagyu top sirloin, seared steelhead fillet, grilled peppercorn roasted angus, or coconut rice cakes & vegetable curry. Save room for memorable desserts that follow your fabulous meal.
Zabb Thai Restaurant
$$ | 778-484-3988 | Website
In a city with many Thai options, Zabb Thai Restaurant has consistently received praise from local foodies and out-of-towners alike. Spring rolls and chicken satays are lunchtime and dinner appetizers that get you ready for entrees such as drunken chicken noodles, pad Thai with shrimp, pineapple fried rice, as well as various woks and curry dishes.
The dinner sets for 3 to 5 diners allow your party to sample some of the best dishes and get a feel for excellent Thai cooking. Rich flavors and perfect attention to detail make this a popular destination for eat-in or take-out.
Great Food Traditions in the Okanagan Valley
With its variety of recreation opportunities, wine tours, and farms, Kelowna and the surrounding areas offer residents and visitors alike an opportunity to enjoy nature and a rich variety of locally-inspired and grown recipes. The 17 best restaurants in Kelowna listed above offer the top choices for people of all budgets and food preferences. Bon appetit!