Last updated on March 1, 2023 by Wandering our World
Tucked away in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley is a paradise awaiting discovery. The picturesque wilderness encompasses Kelowna, a city with an award-winning food scene.
After all, winning hearts and stomachs is easy when the valleys surrounding you are packed with fresh produce and excellent vineyards.
The city of Kelowna is known for its gorgeous scenery, with tourists traveling across oceans to enjoy the wilderness of British Columbia and that infamous Canadian hospitality. Crystalline lakes, towering mountains, and lush forestry make Kelowna an outdoorsman’s dream.
But the lesser-known secret of this thriving city is the unbeatable food scene. Cozy cafes, upscale restaurants, and craft bars nestle on every corner of Kelowna, just waiting to welcome hungry wanderers through their doors.
Luckily if you’re new to the city, right here we’ll take you on a culinary journey that will make your Instagram feed envy-inducing. We hope you’ve packed an appetite. Let’s tuck in!
The Best Restaurants In Kelowna: Food Worth Waiting For!
1. Gather Restaurant
Take your tastebuds on an unexpected journey into the culinary fusions of Korea and Italy. You’ll instantly fall in love with this standout restaurant, all quirks included.
A romance is blossoming in Kelowna, where two diversely unique cuisines have met to create an exciting fusion. Gather Restaurant is the foodie lovechild of the rather odd marriage of Korean and Italian cuisines. Sounds strange? We couldn’t believe it either, but curiosity got the better of us.
Opened in 2018, this restaurant has shot to infamy amongst the local and visiting crowds for their refreshing offerings. This unique collaboration is the brainchild of Chef Sung Ji Park and Luigi Coccaro, and we suppose you can guess where this story is going?
Both owners grew up in different regions but shared an immense passion for food. Their culinary adventures crossed paths somewhere down the line, and this bond soon resulted in a trendy restaurant in downtown Kelowna.
The design is urban industrialism, where the comfort of luxury restaurants meets a warehouse vibe creating something entirely on-brand for something as interesting as Gather.
Despite the concrete walls, the restaurant has a bright and vibrant atmosphere, with plenty of space for large groups. And they’ve even kept some more traditional aspects like the open kitchen and bar you’d usually find in Asian restaurants.
But, while the vibes are great, people come here for the undeniably tantalizing meals. The collaboration of flavors works surprisingly well together.
Among the fan favorites are the Pork Shoulder and Gnocchi Alfredo, which magically combine the best of both worlds and offer diners an unforgettable meal worth coming back for.
Kelowna is a hip and urban city that sticks with the trends, so it only makes sense that a place as dynamic as Gather would make it onto our list of the best restaurants in Kelowna.
- Opening Hours: 11 am to 3 pm Mon – Fri (Lunch); 5 pm to 9 pm Tues – Fri (Dinner); 5 pm to 10 pm Sat; Closed Sun
- Location: 460 Doyle Ave #105, Kelowna
2. Frankie We Salute You!
Vegan cuisine has never looked better than at Frankie We Salute You, Kelowna’s very own vegan fine-dining establishment where the most important thing is family, and locally grown produce of course!
We’ve mentioned how fruitful the Okanagan Valley is, with farms and vineyards stretching across the region and providing easily accessible, organic ingredients to the surrounding towns and cities.
Well, it’s no lie that restaurants in the area have been built on the roots of this principle, and Frankie We Salute You is no different.
Their journey began in May 2019, before the worldwide pandemic that saw plenty of businesses shut their doors. This did nothing to damper the owners’ spirits, who successfully navigated these hard times without batting an eyelid. After all, this wasn’t their first rodeo, in fact, they were the proud owners of Vancouver’s “Acorn”, the city’s first fine-dining, fully vegan restaurant.
Well, Frankie We Salute You! carries similar sentiments bringing organic, vegan, and vegetarian cuisine to the doorstep of Kelowna. The entire idea behind the restaurant is to use the local offerings while providing something family-friendly and dynamic; in this regard, they’ve certainly succeeded.
The industrial-chic stylings of the restaurant suit the hip local culture perfectly, and the use of their indoor and outdoor space for seating ensures that families of all types have somewhere to feel comfortable.
Not to mention the cuisine, which will gobsmack even the most die-hard carnivores in the crowd. If anything, you’ll love the generation portions and creative flavors!
We expect creative ingenuity with a Michelin-rated Chef at the kitchen’s helm, where things like Vegan Chourico, Pumpkin Ramen, and Chickpea Fries are made to mimic their non-vegan counterparts in a way that makes the meals inclusive to all palates.
And obviously, they further take advantage of the fact that they’re smack bang in the middle of Canada’s best wine country and offer local beverages to pair perfectly with anything you order.
We don’t need to explain ourselves more, the reviews speak for themselves, and Frankie, we really do salute you!
- Opening Hours: 11 am to 8:30 pm Tues – Thurs & Sun; 11 am to 9 pm Fri & Sat; Closed Mon
- Location: 1717 Harvey Ave #6, Kelowna
3. Roma Nord Bistro
Feel embraced by Roman culture at this fine Italian eatery in Kelowna’s cultural hub, where you can wine, dine and soak up the trendy vibes this unforgettable bistro has to offer.
We don’t have to tell you that no city or town is complete without its very own slice of Italy, and Roma Nord Bistro is as good as it gets for Kelowna. And what venue is more fitting for the colorful and dramatic flavors of the known and beloved cuisine than the Rotary Centre for the Arts!
Owned and operated by the charismatic Danilo and Angela D’Alba, the restaurant has been turning heads since its opening in 2022, where the hungry crowd at their ribbon cutting were champing their bits to tuck into a bowl of their mouth-watering pasta.
They’ve taken traditional cooking and added a modern flare but have yet to quell the vibrant flavors of Rome in their search for glory on the restaurant grandstands. And while we had our doubts, what with them being so new to the scene, we were quickly hushed by riveting reviews speculating about life-altering meals!
Much to our relief, and probably yours, this differs from your neighborhood Italian joint. Instead, the menu is refined and concise, with the chefs focusing all their talents on a limited offering than stretching too thin across pages of dishes.
As a result, the pasta has been labeled as nothing short of phenomenal, and the mains? Melt on your tongue, riddled with fresh ingredients with flavor you can savor! in particular the Carbonara is known for being out of this world, and to end your meal, you have to have a tiramisu.
And we know that Okanagan Valley is known for its wine, but fine Italian dining deserves to be paired with Tuscan merlot, at the very least.
You’ll be a welcomed guest of honor with your choice of indoor or outdoor seating. The venue is bright and spacious, with panoramic views of the busy street and a bustling atmosphere you won’t soon forget. It’s refined, simple, and perfect for families or sneaky get-togethers with old friends.
So come one, come all, buon appetito!
- Opening Hours: 4:30 pm to 9:30 pm Tues – Thurs; 10 am to 9:30 pm Fri & Sat; Closed Sun & Mon
- Location: 421 Cawston Ave, Kelowna
4. Skinny Duke’s Glorious Emporium
A blast from the past, Skinny Duke’s is a unique way to enjoy past decades while chowing down on some delicious Asian cuisine and sipping on cocktails.
Vintage is in, and the guys at Skinny Duke’s Glorious Emporium get it. This restaurant is pure vibes, and there’s no better way to put it. They speak to parts of us that long to be born to forgotten generations, and we’d be lying if we didn’t admit they make for some stellar Instagram photos.
You’ll be hard-pressed to pass on by without feeling even remotely curious about what the colorful neon tiger points to. Well, just cross the threshold and let the throwback take you to the days of Woodstock and Hippies, revolutions, and the birth of the Beatles.
Guests are immediately mesmerized by the nostalgia, and while some might find the vintage and cluttered decor kitschy, we’ve got to admit it has some charm. Pair that with the hip-jiggling sounds of the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s, and boom! You’re officially hooked on Skinny Duke’s friendly and vibrant atmosphere.
The bar pumps out a mean cocktail too. In fact, if anything, it’s what they’re known for! Negronis, Not-so Old Fashioneds, and of course, a list of the region’s top local wines and brews, all waiting for you and your friends to enjoy a sip.
And when the hunger bug starts to bite, fret not. Their menu of tantalizing tasties is there to satisfy all your cravings. Their dishes are inspired by Asian cuisine, Thai Pork Belly, Crab Noodles, and a light bites section with a create-your-own-platter vibe. It’s a refreshing bite of something exotic.
For the fussier kinds, they also serve good old-fashioned pizza and old-school smash burgers – simple comfort foods made to impress.
The verdict is in, and it seems locals and tourists can’t get enough. Skinny Duke’s Glorious Emporium is a great all-rounder for funtertainment, food, and memory-inducing nostalgia but without the perms.
- Opening Hours: 5 pm to 11 pm Sun – Thurs; 5 pm to 12:30 am Fri & Sat
- Location: 1481 Water St, Kelowna
5. Okanagan Street Food
Comfort food is the name of the game at Okanagan Street Food, with a dynamic and creative menu, this simple restaurant is the perfect place to sit outside and enjoy a breakfast burrito a la carte with your furry friends in tow.
Sometimes when we picture street food, our mind wanders to the less-than-tantalizing images of staked Scorpions in Asian markets (we like traveling after all!). We’ll take your word for it if they genuinely taste like chicken, but for now, we’re more than satisfied settling for Okanagan Street Food which has far more appetising street food delights.
You can’t get more of a local taste of Kelowna than this. Once a food truck, this restaurant has undergone quite the glow-up, and we’re here to “Yas Queen” their successes!
As one of the best restaurants in Kelowna, they’ve got some stiff competition, but by abandoning tin walls for something more stable, dog-friendly, and with indoor and outdoor seating, they’ve certainly upped their game.
They haven’t abandoned their origins, though. After all, street food is synonymous with comfort food, and that’s all they’re about! We’re not talking greasy, deep-fried chicken. Although that sounds great, rather what they serve is elevated, a cut above the rest, and regulars can’t speak highly enough of the fantastic creativity.
It’s hard to list a favorite because their dynamic menu frequently changes to introduce new flavors and dishes. Still, one thing we can’t ignore is the portion sizes, quality, and undeniable joy people seem to feel when presented with a plate of OSF’s finest.
Open for breakfast (think omelets and bursting breakfast wraps) and lunch, we can’t imagine a better way to get yourself out of bed, and head out on the town than this. Locals agree, and luckily for you, even their busiest days see a quick turnover. So you won’t need to wait long for the friendly servers to seat you and get your order in.
They keep everything but the food simple, with basic decor, comfy seats, and chalkboard menus. Nevertheless, they carry all their style and charisma in their cooking, and we’re certainly not complaining.
The venue is small, a hole-in-the-wall, but it’s definitely one of Kelowna’s worst-kept secrets and worth visiting if you ever find yourself in town.
- Opening Hours: 8 am to 3 pm Tues – Sat; Closed Mon & Sun
- Location: 812 Crowley Ave, Kelowna
6. Mid-Town Station Kitchen + Drink
A laid-back eatery with a reputation for good food and service, they’re great for every occasion from parties to a quiet drink with friends. Has an outdoor patio too!
Casual dining can be a very welcoming idea, and with restaurants like Mid-Town Station Kitchen + Drink, you might just find your new favorite restaurant in Kelowna. But don’t take our word for it. Instead, simply pass by and check out the food and atmosphere offered here.
You might look at the exterior and think it’s nothing more than a cozy local, and maybe you’re right, but there’s a charm in that. The restaurant is often bustling, with a mixture of locals and tourists basking in the conversation and overhead music.
It’s spacious too, with a sprawling outdoor patio overlooking the town. Open for lunch and dinner, you can find a comfortable spot to soak up some of that local charisma and find out precisely what makes the people of Kelowna tick.
Well, it’s the food, of course! And with a menu like this, we can understand why Mid-Town is considered one of the city’s best. Their dynamic menu is designed to feed the world, one dietary preference at a time. So really, Mid-Town is the perfect response to that dreaded line, “I don’t know, honey, whatever you feel like.”
And it’s global too! So no matter the craving, they’ll have something up their sleeves to satisfy your needs. From Moroccan Chicken Burgers to Pork Belly Sliders the menu is a delightful collaboration of flavor, local ingredients, and ingenuity.
But if you’re not in the mood for food, you can still enjoy a selection of libations from the local breweries, vineyards, and everywhere in between. After all, an excellent all-around restaurant even offers a comfy seat to those looking to quench their thirst and have a few laughs over a pint.
Simple, understated, and with a friendly staff to cater to your every whim, we can’t see any reason to not pay Mid-Town Station a visit!
- Opening Hours: 11 am to 9 pm Mon – Sat; Closed Sun
- Location: 1615 Dickson Ave #200, Kelowna
7. Soul de Cuba Cafe
Bringing the taste of Cuba to Kelowna’s doorstep, this casual neighborhood eatery is hip, friendly, and an overall great place to enjoy a dining experience. They have occasional live music too!
We’ve got to admire the diversity of cuisines and restaurants that Kelowna offers. Take Soul De Cuba Cafe, for example. This is a surefire way to experience the colorful culture of Cuba without whipping out a passport and visa!
The owners decided to bring the authentic taste of Cuba to Canada, using traditional recipes straight from Granny’s cookbook. They entice your taste buds and introduce you to the world-famous Cuban flare.
You’ll find comfort in knowing that if you visit Soul De Cuba Cafe in the morning, you’ll find more than just Cuban cuisine and can indulge in simple breakfasts like Eggs Benedict and Toasted Bagels, but we still think you should try their Cuban fares.
While we agree the atmosphere is fantastic, you can’t deny sitting and smelling the aromatics wafting from the kitchen won’t get your belly rumbling for something more.
Breakfasts are great, but their lunch and Saturday dinners are better! You’ll get an authentic taste of Cuban cuisine by tucking into world-famous hot-pressed Cuban Sandwiches, juicy Picadillo a la Havana Style, and Ropa Vieja. All this and more comes hot from the kitchen for a truly unforgettable experience unlike any other in Kelowna.
Soul De Cuba Cafe is a humble example of what good food can do, they have no need for fancy tables, but the floor-to-ceiling windows sure help add to the charm of it all. They’re a small venue with a few tables nicely spaced in an airy, bright restaurant.
The industrial stylings add a bit more luxury to the laid back vibe of the restaurant, and the friendly service makes you feel like part of the family. And we can’t forget, if you’re ever around on a Friday or a Saturday, you can enjoy some live entertainment while you eat!
- Opening Hours: 8:30 am to 3 pm Sun – Fri; 8:30 am to 9 pm Sat
- Location: 1169 Sunset Dr, Kelowna
8. Micro Bar Bites
Self-proclaimed as Kelowna’s favorite tapas bar, this is a small, chic urban destination for dates, friendly get-togethers or a plain old self-care day where you can eat small bites, cheese and drink wine to your heart’s content.
Micro Bar Bites is a break from the norm of your standard sit-down-and-eat restaurants. Instead, it’s a touch of something different, something delicate and refined.
This urban bar is rustic, with a reclaimed feel that suits the atmosphere they put out. We can’t quite put our finger on it, but there’s always something charming about places like this, and the locals agree. After all, the upcycled look is trending, and there’s no better way to kit out a bougie Tapas Bar?
Everything about Micro Bar Bite is quaint, right down to the space it occupies, but don’t get deterred. There’s something infinitely cozy about the place. There’s limited tables available, but plenty of space at the bar, and who knows, you might just make some friends!
Besides, small plates are made to be shared, the entire idea garnered by Mediterranean cultures as a way to celebrate family and friends. Luckily for us, though, they serve cuisines from across the world!
Bites of Pork Belly, Gnocci, Calamari, and more are ripe for the picking from their robust menu. Each ingredient is paired to create something simplistic but divine, and the reviews can’t speak highly enough of the quality! Everything from hot plates to a fashionable charcuterie selection is bound to blow your socks off when paired with the right wine.
And speaking of, you can’t have a tapas bar without a stellar beverage menu to accompany your snacks. Wines, beers, ciders, and cocktails, locally sourced and refreshing as ever, are the real reason people can’t get enough of this little spot.
They’re urban chic at their best, winning their space in our list with a little big personality!
- Opening Hours: 3 pm to 12 am Tues – Thurs; 3 pm to 1 am Fri & Sat; Closed Mon & Sun
- Location: 1500 Water St, Kelowna