Boxes of produce

Wine and Dine in the Okanagan

When it’s all farm-to-table, where do you go?

Kelowna is so well known for its fresh produce, locally sourced foods, and great healthy, organic dining options. The selection is great, but how do you know where to go when they all look so good?!

On our wonderful tour of the city, we had the chance to taste some of the finest seasonal ingredients at leading restaurants and sip wines at a few of the region’s many exceptional wineries. Look no further than this list for your reservation-making needs!

BNA Brewing Co. & Eatery

We were so hungry after a busy travel day and adjusting to the time change – BNA’s relaxed atmosphere, modern rustic interior, and nourishing, hearty plates were the perfect welcome to our first night in Kelowna.

BNA Brewing, Kelowna

The root vegetable and quinoa salad was calling my name ever since I first checked out the menu in advance of boarding the plane. Featuring local beets, arugula, toasted pumpkin seeds, tahini kale chips and tossed in a cider emulsion, I was thinking about this salad – no joke – for the rest of our time out west! The fried cauliflower and mushrooms on toast were also delicious small plates.

Salad

And for those into craft brews (or exciting, creative cocktails), look no further than the beers brewed right on the premises! A loved the “Don’t Lose Your Dinosaur” IPA and “Earl” Ale; the latter made with the addition of earl grey tea to complement its citrus and spice qualities.

RauDZ

Rhyming with “odds” (a combination of the award-winning chefs’ names), this restaurant was the one that came most highly recommended to us and it sure didn’t let our palates down! Chefs Rod Butters and Audrey Surrao use organic, sustainable and naturally raised ingredients to present colourful, pure dishes that excite both your eyes and taste buds alike. It’s clear the chefs draw inspiration from the abundant land surrounding them and pay homage to the region through their delightful dishes.

I opted for the roasted carrots and braised beets to start — which came beautifully plated with a bright green ramp vinaigrette — followed by the oat-crusted arctic char with crispy pancetta, potatoes and vegetables. We paired our meals with a bottle of Blue Mountain Vineyards’ Sauvingnon Blanc  that completed the local experience.

OAK + CRU

The newly renovated kitchen and wine bar is located in the beautiful Delta Grand Okanagan Resort and, in keeping with the theme of the area’s talented restaurateurs, derives its dishes from the bounty of the area, including more than 300 wineries and an array of local food producers and artisans.

In the summer, its patio has to be THE place to unwind and uncork — its doors open up to its expansive patio on the harbour where boats will dock for happy hour as the sun sets.

The Hatch Winery

Even on a rainy, chilly April Saturday, the main tasting room at The Hatch was buzzing. The relaxed, rustic setting is the inviting backdrop to the relatively new winery’s wonderful wines and their creative backstories.

Have a read of its website (specifically the People page) and you’ll quickly get a sense of the humour, cleverness and quirkiness that seems infused in the brand and the vibe you get upon entering the winery itself. It’s clear they’re doing something a little bit different in the famed winery region and we felt lucky to experience it briefly during our visit.

Wine tasting

Mission Hill Winery

A VIP tour and tastings at the area’s most well-known winery had us filled with so much newfound knowledge of wine-making, architecture, history, and, of course, vino!

Mission Hill’s situated on an impressive and expansive property with intricate design elements and fascinating, detailed construction. We were taken deep below these structures to the dimly lit and damp underground where merlots, cab-francs, shiraz’s lied in rows and rows of barrels, untouched save for the few times our guide, Bram, let out a small pour for us to taste.

The winery, made even more well-known internationally by the Duke and Dutchess of Cambridge’s visit last year, sources grapes from five distinct growing regions of the Okanagan Valley.

Its Terrace restaurant is a popular spot, as well.

Mission Hill portrait
A and I at Mission Hill

Quail’s Gate Winery

We were advised by more than one person to sample Quail’s Gate‘s Chenin Blanc, and after tasting various whites and reds, it definitely stood out for us!

Located on a beautiful hill overlooking its vineyard, Quail’s Gate is a can’t-miss on the Okanagan Valley wine route, and its Old Vines Restaurant is highly acclaimed, as well.

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