A no messing around guide to the coolest things to eat, drink and do in Vancouver and beyond. Community. Not clickbait.

Getting to Know the Okanagan, with Aman Dosanj of The Paisley Notebook

Through her work with good food and community connections, we knew that Dosanj would be a great guide to uncovering some of the best things to eat, drink and do in the Okanagan. With travel season starting, we reached out with an appeal to hook us up with an itinerary.

Getting to Know the Okanagan, with Aman Dosanj of The Paisley Notebook

Aman Dosanj of The Paisley Notebook. Photo credit: Meg Froehler

Further Afield Trips asks locals 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.

Aman Dosanj has a deep love of good food. She also has an admirable amount of grit, focus and confidence. From a young age, Dosanj applied that focus to becoming the first British South Asian footballer to represent England (at any level). Though this accomplishment is impressive by any metric, the vision and motivation that led her to forge her path in the culinary world is what first caught our eye. From May to September, Dosanj hosts a series of intimate, down-to-earth and thought-provoking pop-up dinners that are not just designed to feed people good food, but also to bring communities together and to introduce people to flavours, customs and stories of different cultures through the food on their plate. The series is called ‘Sourced’, and the concept is one that we respect.

Through her work and connections, we knew that Dosanj would be a great guide to uncovering some of the best things to eat, drink and do in the Okanagan. With travel season starting, we reached out with an appeal to hook us up with an itinerary. Here is what she had to say:

Good morning! Let’s take a walk/hike in nature before it gets too hot. Where should we go?

Head to Johns Family Nature Conservancy Regional Park. Once you reach the top, there’s a hangout spot with a stone-carved lounger chair, fire pit and the most incredible lake view – and quite possibly the best public washroom view in BC!

Johns Family Nature Conservancy Regional Park
6970 Chute Lake Rd, Kelowna

Is there somewhere along the way we can stop for coffee?

Bright Jenny just opened a second location on Kirschner Road. In a few short years, they went from refurbished caravan at the Kelowna Farmers’ and Crafters’ Market to two permanent spots serving ethical coffee.

Bright Jenny Coffee
1977 Kirschner Rd., Kelowna

Now we’re starving! Where should we eat?

Pre-hike, grab a pain au chocolat (or other pastry) from Sandrine French Pastry & Chocolate. Now in their 13th year, it’s an Okanagan institution.

Sandrine French Pastry & Chocolate
1865 Dilworth Dr., Kelowna

We’ve got some free time for an afternoon adventure. What do you suggest we do?

Drive to the South Okanagan for the black garlic ramen or rolls at Sushi Genki, followed by a pit stop at The Book Shop (because it’s magical).

Alternatively, head to the North Okanagan to hit D Dutchmen Dairy for the most luscious old-school milkshakes. Even though I’m lactose-intolerant, this is always a must. You can wander around the property and say “hi” to the cows. Heading back, pop into the farm shop at Green Croft Gardens in Grindrod, followed by Fieldstone Organics for heritage and ancient grains, dried peas and lentils.

Sushi Genki
104-95 Eckhardt Ave E, Penticton
The Bookshop
242 Main St., Penticton
D Dutchmen Dairy
321 Maier Rd., Sicamous
Green Croft Gardens
42 Meadowview Rd., Grindrod
Fieldstone Organics
4851 Schubert Rd., Armstrong

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?

Kalamalka Lake is beautiful, and it has an amazing green-ish tint to it.

Kalamalka Lake
Kalamalka Lake

Where should we head for a post-adventure beer, glass of wine or cocktail?

Head to Neighbourhood Brewing in Penticton for a cheeky Pilsner. This is the sister brewery to Yellow Dog in Port Moody.

Neighbourhood Brewing
187 Westminster Ave. W, Penticton, BC

Now we’re hungry again. What’s the plan for dinner?

From Neighbourhood Brewing, walk to Elma in Penticton for some stellar Turkish eats – but make a reso – then order the wood-fired breads with all the dips.

994 Lakeshore Dr., Penticton

It’s patio season! What’s your favourite restaurant patio?

Elma has a great patio, but I really like the chill yet super-friendly vibe at Kettle River Brewing – it’s dog-friendly too.

Kettle River Brewing
731 Baillie Ave., Kelowna

Any tips on a good spot to take in the view and watch the sun go down?

Those dreamy peachy skies are even more breathtaking with lake views. Luckily, the Okanagan Lake runs across the Valley, so take a walk by the water (literally anywhere).

Okanagan Lake Beach
Okanagan Lake Beach

It’s time to catch some shuteye, where do you suggest we stay?

The Hotel Eldorado. Dating back to 1926, historical charm meets lakefront luxury at the Eldorado.

Hotel Eldorado
500 Cook Rd., Kelowna

Anything we absolutely have to pack in our suitcase while visiting?

I’m obsessed with pantry items. If I didn’t live here, I’d stuff my suitcase with the uber-delicious garlic scape salt from farmersdotter – you can find Yve at the Penticton Farmers’ Market. Okanagan Lavender & Herb Farm has a lovely rose hydrosol picked and distilled right at their Kelowna-based farm. Then there’s the usual bubbles from Bella Wines and tinned fish from Okanagan Nation Alliance.

2036 Osprey Ln., Cawston, BC
Penticton Farmers' Market
100 Block Main St., Penticton
Okanagan Lavender & Herb Farm
4380 Takla Rd., Kelowna
Bella Wines
4320 Gulch Road, Site 15A Comp 2, Naramata
Okanagan Nation Alliance
#101-3535 Old Okanagan Hwy, Westbank

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