Further Afield Trips asks a local in a town well beyond Vancouver’s city limits where to find the best places to eat, drink, chill, and have a good time. Think of it as the country cousin to The Dishes.
For this Okanagan edition of FAT, we asked Virginia Bray, owner of the amazing ad hoc boutique in Penticton, to give us the scoop on where she likes to eat, drink and hang out around town…
Good morning! Let’s take a walk/hike in nature before it gets too hot. Where should we go?
“We love to hike up Campbell Mountain. It’s close to town and the views are spectacular. I love to listen to the ravens up there. There’s a parking lot just past the dump on your left. Quest for the Dairy Queen bench and take some selfies with that view.”
Is there somewhere along the way we can stop for coffee?
“I love coffee and baking, so I have a few options here. Seis Cielo is incredible. For awesome baked goods go to Petrasek Bakery just one block up Main Street. We’re all pretty excited for new kid Wayne & Freda to open up soon – they’ll have great coffee and breakfast salads too! I love salad as much as coffee and baking. These spots are all maybe a block apart, so you can easily please everyone while eating and drinking all the good things. Bad Tattoo brewery is right across the street from W & F if anyone needs some hair of the dog before the hike…”
Now we’re starving! Where should we eat?
“I’m vegetarian primarily, so I appreciate a great veggie burger. The Bench Market makes my favourite. They have a nice little patio, good coffee and lots of good sandwich options. We also love Il Vecchio for sandwiches – the veggie with banana peppers! Grab them to go and eat at the beach just 2 blocks away. Ha! I totally forgot our amazing farmers market every Saturday! 8:30am to 1pm for everything awesome! So good.”
We’ve got some free time for an afternoon adventure. What do you suggest we do?
“Afternoon adventure for us is always to ride out towards Naramata on the gravel KVR trail. If you want a great view and have some time, ride up to the tunnel (it’s downhill the whole way home, stay strong, it’s worth it). Riding out to JoieFarm is fun too – eat top drawer charcuterie and fresh baguette on the lawn and enjoy their beautiful wines. Joie charcuterie is new this season – it features Oyama Sausages Co., Benton Brothers cheese and breads from True Grain bakery in Summerland – organic BC flours only. Lots of wineries are close by so you can ride from tasting to tasting — always really fun.”
That was fun! Now we need a pick-me-up plunge in some cool water. Can you let us in on your favourite nearby place to cool off in?
“Three Mile Beach is a local favourite on Three Mile Road. It’s easy to hit on your way back from Joie or the tunnel. It’s got good shade and some nude options too FYI. The dog beach is out there too. It’s rocky though, so if you’re after sand I’d go to Okanagan Lake Beach (the samosa truck by The Peach – yes there’s a giant peach- is awesome, BTW.)”
Where should we head for a post-adventure beer, glass of wine or cocktail?
“Bad Tattoo is a block up Winnipeg Street from the beach – pizza and beer and always fun. We love The Cannery too – they’re pretty famous for their nachos. I’m in love with their cilantro cream on the veggie nachos, and their radlers call to me… Across the street is Mile Zero wine bar. There’s often live music there so check out what’s happening. What could go wrong?”
Now we’re hungry again. What’s the plan for dinner?
“Dinner plans in summer usually take us to either Hillside Winery or to Gusto Ferrari pizza. Hillside is beautiful with expansive views of the valley and lots of gluten and lactose free and veggie options for those who struggle with that. It’s a tapas based menu that’s fun to share and you can bike there pretty easily on the KVR. I don’t often eat meat but I love the sopressata meatballs and the duck rillette there. Other menu loves at Hillside are: honey beets, waygu beef carpaccio, lentil croquettes and the vegan cashew chèvre salad. Lol… lots of good stuff. Gusto Ferrari makes awesome pizzas and the Caesar salad is great. I always have a Campari Spritz, the Sfiziosa pizza and a limoncello. The desserts are also fantastic, homemade everything by Roberta and Flaminio. Take it to go and eat at the beach.”
Any tips on a good spot to take in the view and watch the sun go down?
“Munson Mountain is close to town and a pretty magical desert environment. Take in the sunset and head a bit down the hill to nearby Poplar Grove for some more wine and food on their stunning patio.”