Where to Eat in Penticton
Penticton-Lake-View-CK-Stenberg
Penticton-Lake-View-CK-Stenberg

If you're reading this you probably already know where Penticton is, but perhaps you're looking for a good place to eat and/or drink. In a smaller town it's not always easy to tell the good from the bad, or know what to get where, so hopefully a little help from someone who has spent much time eating and drinking in the Penticton area will be useful.

I'll disclaim this by saying that these are my personal favourite places for their combination of atmosphere, service, and food quality, but keep in mind I'm in the early 30's single professional bracket, so these may not be the easiest places to go if you have 5 kids, although they would be welcome at all of them! I haven't listed every restaurant, and there are certainly others, but these are the ones that I consistently frequent and/or recommend to my friends or family when they are in town.

Breakfast

  • The Bench — [map] — This is my favourite stop for coffee and breakfast/lunch. It's not the fastest service in town, but the food and coffee is excellent and leans on the gourmet side of things.
  • The Elite — If you're looking for that greasy spoon experience, The Elite is your best bet. 

Lunch

  • The Bench — [map] — This is my favourite stop for coffee and breakfast/lunch. It's not the fastest service in town, but the food and coffee is excellent and leans on the gourmet side of things.
  • Brodo Kitchen — [map] — With great sandwiches, salads, and soups on the menu, this place is not to be missed. Great vibe, fresh food, and inspired menu make this worth trekking the extra block or two up main street.
  • Il Vecchio Deli [map] — This place is legendary and you may have heard of it already. Located off the beaten path on Robinson Street (behind the TD Bank in downtown), this place has been serving up awesome and cheap deli fare for ages. Locals would agree that this is one of the best sandwiches in town.
  • Sushi Genki — This is your typical amazing sushi place in a totally unassuming storefront. This is by far, without question, the best sushi in Penticton. 

Dinner

  • Burger 55 — [map] — For a fast food joint with character this is my pick. Burger 55 is a grab and go burger factory located in an old tire shack. They do have limited seating on the patio, but it might be better to take-out if it's busy. The burgers are really good, and the experience is uniquely small town.
  • Kettle Valley Station Pub (KVS) — [map] — The KVS is a surprise, and definitely a favourite among locals. Located in the Ramada Hotel by the golf course and driving range on the way out of town toward Kelowna, the KVS serves up the best pub food in town and has a diverse menu, great craft beer, and arguably the best local wine list in town. They also have a great patio despite not having a view of the lake.
  • The Hooded Merganser — [map] — The Hood is located behind the Lakeside Hotel on the lake and adjacent to the Barking Parrot and Bufflehead patios. Just walk through the hotel lobby and you'll find it. The patio is amazing in the summer and gets my vote for best patio in the Okanagan. Sitting on the lake, whether it's for breakfast, lunch, or dinner is always a nice way to get going or unwind. The food and drinks are good with emphasis on local produce and wine. The look of the restaurant has been compared to Cardero's in Vancouver and looks fancy, but the pricing and menu style is approachable and more in line with a bistro style restaurant. My only caution is that in the summer it can be a bit crazy, so be sure to make a reservation and expect to wait a bit longer for food, etc. Go to relax, not to hurry.
  • The Vanilla Pod at Poplar Grove — [map] — Arguably one of the best views in town, The Vanilla Pod at Poplar Grove is a great spot to eat some inspired food overlooking the lake and town. Summer evenings are the perfect time to take advantage of the vista and enjoy a nice glass of wine.
  • Theo's — [map] — This is Penticton's famed greek restaurant and has been popular amongst locals and tourists for many many years before I got here. I typically only go here for family dinners and dinner dates, but that's the kind of place it is. It's cozy, and old-timey Greek family dining. Portions are generous and the food is traditional greek home cooking.
  • Salty's — [map] — Salty's was originally the dream of local pirate Rob Wylie (RIP) and is now owned by two other successful restauranteurs. The menu has stayed true to it's beach inspired menu, but has improved significantly over the past couple of years. The lounge upstairs has one of the best views of Okanagan Lake anywhere in the valley, making it a great stop for dinner, a pitcher of sangria, or both.
  • Bad Tattoo — [map] — Bad Tattoo is something Penticton desperately needed. A simple menu of pizza cooked in the forno oven, paired with beer from the Bad Tattoo Brewery has made this a popular spot in Penticton. It's busy all year round, but one of Penticton's better spots for pints and eats.

 

Chris Stenberg is a photographer, filmmaker, occasional wordsmith, and traveller. In his spare time you can find him hanging out with his family and/or biking and boarding in the mountains of British Columbia.