“FieldTrips” is either a day trip or a few days where I visit food areas of interest which may include farm visits, producers, wineries, restaurants and/or other places that people can visit. This is about offering Vancouver Foodster readers a chance to get out of town and take a “Field Trip” for the day or a few days to explore, learn, taste and experience.
Field Trip to Kelowna
As I was already in the Okanagan for a visit to Osoyoos I was driving a different direction than the usual route from Vancouver. It is a fairly easy trip of around 1-1/2 hours from Osooyos on Highway 97 North to Kelowna.
Through the pandemic the largest city in the Okanagan region has grown immensely with many moving to this Okanagan spot from areas back East as well as those on the West coast. There is a lot more to do here now than there was just a few years ago.
While visiting Kelowna you may want to check out downtown and the beautiful waterfront boardwalk. Go on a tour of the many local Okanagan wineries, restaurants, craft breweries, cideries, and distilleries. Hit the trails by bike, visit the historic Myra Canyon Trestles, or hike to the top of a mountain. Relax by the lake at one of the many beaches or take to the water for endless lake activities. Visit the farms, orchards, markets, or many local restaurants for delicious seasonal products grown right here.
After we arrived to Kelowna, we checked in to the Coast Capri Hotel to stay for a couple of days, a centrally located property to nearby Capri Mall, shops and restaurants. The staff at the front desk were super helpful and ready to assist guests whenever needed.
The hotel features free wi-fi and parking to pet-friendly rooms and suites including a heated outdoor pool (opened seasonally), and a fitness room. Our room had a king bed, bathroom and sitting area.
We headed out for dinner for a 30 minute drive North to Block One Restaurant in the nearby suburb of Lake Country. This was my second visit to this wonderful restaurant at 50th Parallel Winery where Chef Kai Karoll leads the kitchen.
Started out with a Pineapple Ginger Fizz mocktail and then shared some dishes with Lawrence, the Forager pizza was a winner with nettle & spring garlic pistou, wild & cultivated mushrooms, pickled wine things, asparagus, and arugula.
We then had the outstanding Peace Country Rack of lamb on a Vadouvan curry, with Israeli couscous, butter-roasted radish, mint chutney, sumac marinated red onion, romanesco, cilantro; and the Chickpea Panise with arugula pistou, asparagus, broccolini, peas, sunflower romesco, spiced crispy chickpeas, and Grana Padano.
We decided to head back to Kelowna for dessert and visited Parlour Ice Cream downtown, a popular spot amongst locals and tourists with a great selection of flavours that are made in-house.
They make their own waffle cones in house, I had the Birthday Cake Ice Cream on a waffle cone while Lawrence had the Salted caramel vegan on waffle cone.
After a good night’s rest, we headed downtown for an early breakfast on the patio at Sunny’s a Modern Diner. Getting there right when they opened meant there was no line to wait. This is a great spot that features comforting classics for locals and tourists to enjoy. I had the delicious RJB Triple Stack Pancakes with Okanagan fruit and mascarpone; while Lawrence had a Coffee and a Fruit Bowl.
After breakfast we drove to one of my favourite Kelowna cafes, Bright Jenny Coffee Roasters and Café which is located in the industrial area of town. They had a lot of seating both inside and outside at this popular café where they not only roast their coffee beans but they also do their own baking. We both had Espresso and Tonics which were refreshing as always.
A little later for lunch we visited nearby Frankie We Salute You that’s owned by notable Chef Brian Skinner. The eatery has a nice industrial vibe, serving an inventive vegetarian menu, plus cocktails & desserts.
I had the tasty Grilled Avocado Bowl with ticky brown rice, grilled avocado, sautéed greens, adzuki tempeh, spicy pickled onions, chickpeas, Thai cashew dressing; while Lawrence had the Chorizo Ranchero Bowl – Made from scratch plant-based chorizo, sausage, roasted beets, potatoes, sweet corn salsa, tofu cotija, chili sauce.
One of my friends back home had told me about spot that makes award winning gelato, so we headed over for a visit to QB Gelato and Bakery. After tasting some of their flavours, I settled for the outstanding Bakewell tart gelato and green goddess pistachio gelato; while Lawrence had the Guava and Blackberry lemonade sorbet.
We both took some time to relax in and around the hotel during the rainy afternoon. There were 2 spots we were yearning to have dinner at that night, so we made a couple of reservations and visited both, starting off at Raudz Regional Table downtown, where we enjoyed a couple of dishes. The Panfried Handmade Parmesan Gnocchi with nettle pesto roasted preserved tomato, spinach leaves; was very good as was the Grilled Salmon Burger on a Okanagan Grocery potato bun, baked fries with blackberry ketchup.
For our 2nd dinner of the night or part 2 as we shall call it, we got back in the car and drove about 30 minutes to West Kelowna where we visited Crown and Thieves Winery and their Angel Share restaurant. This is where Chef JP Holmes offers up an almost daily changing menu using as much local seasonal ingredients as possible at this outside rooftop restaurant that offers an incredible view.
Here we shared the unique Roasted carrots with chili, peanut butter powder, chocolate; and the Peri Peri Chicken and pork belly fried rice; finishing of with the Pop Tart Ice cream Sandwich with pistachio ice cream for dessert when they did last call.
The next morning we went to the other popular downtown restaurant for breakfast, visiting the Bohemian Café a restaurant that had been around for many years. Here I had the Build your own breakfast with organic yogurt, half avocado with salsa and whole wheat toast with their house-made strawberry jam. Lawrence got the Bohegger Breakfast sandwich bacon cheddar which he loved.
Afterwards we headed nearby to the Slow Side Coffee Bar and had the tasty Comp set (coffee with milk in one cup and an espresso in another) featuring Tim Wendelboe coffee (Norway) along with a delicious Lemon Meringue croissant.
Right next door, through the adjoining space is Sprout Bread where they bake an extensive selection of breads as well as baked goods. I had the delicious The Ploughman Sandwich with peach chutney, mustard, cheddar, salami, shallot for my lunch.
Lastly before leaving town, we visited Karat Chocolate and Pastry Boutique for some Iced Americano’s and chocolate bars at this notable chocolate shop owned by Chef Julian Helman.
It was a nice couple of days visiting Kelowna and area.
Stay tuned for my next Field Trip outside of Vancouver.
By: Richard Wolak
Disclosure: Coast Capri Hotel provided us with complimentary accommodation, Tourism Kelowna assisted with providing complimentary meals and such. As always, all opinions and photos are my own.