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Penticton recommendations

Will be in Penticton for a few days next week. Looking for dinner recommendations. In-laws really liked Bogner's the last time we visited, but they are not open the days we are there. Would prefer a restaurant that plays to the locale. Many thanks in advance.

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  1. it really depends what you're looking for ...

    close in town (Penticton) - with minimal drive ...

    lake water slopping right below you? (or close to that) --- then eat at the hotel at the north end of Main St (casino) --- depending on what convention or group or event is in "woo-hoo town" at that time, then your experience will vary.

    lake view --- for sure lunch at Hillside or Lake Breeze --- and i have not checked in a while - they may serve dinners at this time of year.

    i know that Theo's still gets thumbs up but i find it very tired. the food is fine enuf but the entire place- and in fact experience - needs a good clean-up and refresh. For mediterranean i would rather go to La Casa Ouzeria http://www.lacasaouzeria.com/ --- granted, it is somewhat predictable in terms of decor and you're right on the main drag - but heck, you're in Penticton.

    for picnic fodder - i recommend several places --- the Bench Market (on Vancouver Hill) --- there is a hidden little deli over on Ellis that is popular amongst those who know. Il Vecchio.

    if you have self-catering - the farmers market is on SAT morning in penticton on NORTH Main St (near the casino) --- and out in Naramata on WED starting (i think) at 3PM (check www.mynaramata.com

    if you go for a drive down toward OK Falls --- take the eastside road down skaha - stop and look at the "truth window" at Matheson Farms strawbale fruit stand. Excellent summer apples too. http://www.tourismpenticton.com/thing... --- then in OK Falls, everyone has to stop at the ice cream place and tourist trap called TickleBerries. It's convenient for a restroom too. And it's around some decent wineries and scenic drives too. (See Ya Later is one of my fav cuz they support the SPCA

    )

    another little spot in Penticton that has a distinct following is the Cubby Hole - it's on Westminster near Martin (near where they are building the new movie theatres) --- i am mixed about it and do note that it ain't no granny bogners --- the food is fine but it's super small and cramped and has this very odd service where the owner will smart-mouth the customers (ie the "cute" customer abuse thing) --- I don't like it but i suspect that is for the chosen few regulars who seem to think that is a special extra treat.

    other people might go all the way out to Naramata to the Heritage Inn. I have not been there in a while. Note that while the drive is very scenic, there is no view from the Heritage dining area.

    one of the better places to visit on the Naramata bench is Elephant Island Winery - and don't let the fruit wine put you off. That's some hearty red to go with bbq beef ... and the pear is good and also the dessert / aperitif wines (apricot) ----- plus they have not ripped out all the orchard to put in "lifestyle" grapes (see globe and mail article) and they are very careful NOT to use propane cannons that are H E double hockey stix to live near.

    and when you are down in the village of Naramata, the cute little coffee shop has dinners at this time of year too .. google Village Grounds Naramata - it is on Robinson Ave.

    so - given your mention of Bogners - that's what comes to my mind in various categories.

    ps - if you want to try SuP (the new popular water sport) there is a good rental in Naramata (i think they have bicycles too if you want to try peddling along the historic KVR above Naramata) http://sunnsup.com/

    1. GS covered most of it. I'm more of a casual dining guy and the Barley Mill is my favorite place in Penticton. Brew pub with great seasonal beers and excellent pub food. I love their French onion soup and most other things I've had there are great too. Depends what you;re looking for.

      Also a good place on the lake in Summerland (near Penticton on the way to Kelowna) that used to have pretty good food back in the day. Been a while though. Lots of customers park their boat to come in a eat, not their cars :)

      2 Replies
      1. re: Jzone

        yes, you're right - what was the name of the pub that was on the lake that they demo'd to make the "waterfront resort & spa" --- anyway, some people like the current version http://www.thelocalgroup.ca/

        i also read somewhere the other day that there's a newer restaurant on the main st in Summerland uptown. I'll try and find the review and let you know

        (ps - i just remembered - i think the old pub on the water (from the late 80's) was called Shaughnessy's)

        1. re: Georgia Strait

          Yup, that was the one. Had great club sammies and soups. It was fun waterskiing over from Naramata, popping in for lunch and skiing back. The good old days. sigh. :-)

      2. for another scenic drive - i'd go up to the heritage gardens at the Ag Canada Research Station (just about 8 miles north of the Sicamous boat in Penticton) --- take some snacks --- walk about and look at the amazing view of the HUGE trestle over the Trout Creek Canyon --- the highest/longest - something like that. - you might also take the steam train ride from Prairie Vallely (Kettle Valley Steam Train) --- and another place that's fun to visit (and get an ice cream) is on the other side of that trestle --- Summerland Sweets -- it's where they make the jams and syrups - been in the family for eons. http://www.summerlandsweets.com/

        1. ps - here is a fairly recent thread pertaining to Okanagan
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/846896

          1. Hilarious, we just came back yesterday after a week in Summerland/Penticton visiting my in-laws !

            The week wasn't a foodie week, really. Only "highlights" being a lunch at Zia's in Summerland (where we stayed) and Friday dinner at Villa Rosa in Penticton. VR was alright, a bit old school and prices felt about 10-15% too high for me, but ambiance was good (outside seating available), decor was good and service was attentive if a bit hectic good (must have had 12 wait staff zipping around on the floor at any given moment, all in tight black short dresses ......). Food was decent, reminds me of Baci or Arriva! here, but not sure I'd go back.

            http://www.thevillarosa.com/

            I would have preferred La Casa Ouzeria after looking at their menus and pics online, but I was out-voted :-(

            1 Reply
            1. re: LotusRapper

              Thanks everyone!

              To clarify, when we went to Bogner's, it was for a family-style farm to table dinner out on the patio; not sure if that's what their regular menu is like. We don't seem them often enough, so I would like something a bit more formal than the Barley Mill (but I will have to check that out for myself for the brew!).

              We've been to La Casa Ouzeria and were a bit underwhelmed, perhaps because my in-laws are from the Mediterranean and used to to their own style of things, or maybe the summer heat just got to us.

            2. Vanilla Pod --- has anyone heard anything about this restaurant http://www.thevanillapod.ca/ ... it would certainly have fab views

              it is just on the side of that big hill that says "Penticton" on it in huge white letters.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Georgia Strait

                The Vanilla Pod was formerly in Summerland, and moved to its new location this spring, attached to the Poplar Grove Winery tasting room. The sunset views are terrific (outdoor seating available), and the food will also not disappoint. It is one of the better options in Penticton, and another good choice is Local, just a few minutes from town, on the water at the Summerland resort. Terrific sourcing of Okanagan ingredients.

              2. i just remembered that this is an interesting place to go and visit in Naramata (he sells fruit too) http://www.forestgreenman.com/Home.html

                a few years ago, Joie Winery & Farm on the Naramata Bench had cooking classes --- but i am not sure if they do that any longer - sadly

                here is a more local perspective from www.castanet.com forum - not so much for your special dinner - but that place in the old cannery sounds interesting - i haven't been yet
                "affordable eats in penticton"
                http://forums.castanet.net/viewtopic....

                1 Reply
                1. re: Georgia Strait

                  Back then Joie also had a "dinner in the field" (vineyard) thingey which sounded really cool, a friend of mine went once. I checked on their website recently and there's no mention of it anymore.