We just spent a couple of days in the Okanagan and we had a very good dinner at a french Bistro called Bouchons in Kelowna ( Near the Delta Hotel) and an excellent lunch in the patio of the Heritage Inn in Naramata near Penticton . We also had an excellent angus beef hamburguer at a stand at the beach in Peachland (drive in legends?), it is in the same building where the public change rooms are. It was made from scratch and served on an excellent fresh crusty bun. Another recommended place in Penticton for breakfast, lunch or a light dinner is The Bench , on Vancouver Hill. We did not make it this time.
We actually went to Spirit Ridge yesterday for lunch. We are a group of 14 people with a rotating 16 hr flu, so some people came, then left sick, others showed up late and tired. They were very professional and friendly but suffice it to say they could have been just a bit more tolerant of the sick and tired kids. Maybe not the best place for a tired and sick large extended family with young kids.
The food was excellent. We ordered the three "platters" which serve two people each -- the charcutterie platter, the cheese-and-fruit platter, and the signature platter. Great selections on all. We had the mussels, and the onion tart. All very good. Definitely recommended.
There was a problem with wasps, which didn't help the situation with the tired and sick children.
We were on the patio by the wine tasting room. I think there might be another section, or maybe another whole restaurant, in the next building over.
To complete the Osoyoos report:
Smitties for lunch: good peach waffle special, excellent borscht, prompt service, everyone happy, my expectations were vastly exceeded. Ok patio, also about the only place open downtown on Sunday.
Dolci Deli on main http://www.dolcideli.com/ good lattes and capuccino beverages, lunch specials looked good (didn't try them). Also italian specialty groceries, like our grape thickened balsamic reduction, for cheaper than Mountain Mercato in Canmore. If you crave real espresso beverages this is a good place to go.
Speaking of espresso, the Tim Horton's in this area seem to have a super-automatic espresso maker that makes real espresso! Good in a pinch. I don't think we have these at the Tim Horton's in Calgary yet.
East Indian Meat Shop "10475 Highway # 97 (just north of the Husky) Osoyoos" will sell you tikka chicken that you can cook on your bbq or fire pit, along with fresh naan and some boil-n-bag or canned vegetable dishes. Bring along a hibachi or portable grill (like a grilliput http://www.grilliput.com/) and feast like a king at a park. Highly recommended.
Walnut Beach resort: we only had a few appetizers here, but they were good and the tableside service was friendly and prompt. (Poolside service not so prompt, walk up to the bar to order.)
Fresh fruit and vegetables: this time of year I suppose it's obvious, but hit the fruit stands, not the grocery stores.
We were at Breeze (in Osoyoos at the end of the main street overlooking the lake) a couple of weeks ago and it's pretty good. Not cutting-edge foodie good, just decent pub fare good (other than the pad thai which wasn't), and quite inexpensive. The patio tables are really nice and it's fairly big, I'm sure they could accommodate large parties. It seems a bit like a pub, it may not suit if you have kids in your group.
Burrowing Owl has a great restaurant a little ways north of Osoyoos, gorgeous view but may be more expensive than what you're looking for.
The restaurant at Heritage Inn in Naramata was very good, reasonably priced but not cheap. It's a little ways east of Penticton but maybe only 15-20 mins drive from downtown Penticton if you don't stop at every winery along the way. It's not huge but I'd expect they take reservations if you're a large group.
Wildfire Grill was pretty good. My wife said her Tuna Steak sandwich was absolutely fantastic. The tomato soup was also very very good. My blue cheese hamburger was good, nothing to write home about, but it's just a blue cheese burger so what's to write home about a blue cheese burger? The service was very friendly but a bit disjointed -- had to wait for them to change the keg on the beer, the bruschetta appy took a while (apparently the chef burnt the first incarnation), and my son's quesadilla got missed and came out in a hurry 5 minutes after everything else.
I would definitely recommend the Wildfire Grill. Friendly service and great food is more important than any minor mistakes.
8526 Main St
Osoyoos, BC V0H 1V0, Canada
We'll probably hit Burrowing Owl for lunch tomorrow.