This summer has been a banner year for Kelowna when it comes to new locales to grab a drink. I’ve been out of commission for most of the summer after having my baby in June and now I’m finally able to enjoy a drink in these dog days. An added bonus, the smoke has been temporarily pushed out of the valley so I can leave the house with baby in tow.
My sister grabbed me at five weeks postpartum to get me feeling like a human again. I was a bit bummed to be missing the summer heat – what little we ended up having with the terrible smoke conditions. we’ve had this year. Each day I awake to find a air quality advisory warning notification on my phone. But I enjoyed what little I could as we agreed to visit places I had yet to go, places i felt I had been missing out on. All of these newbies to the downtown core are within walking distance of each other. These were our findings…
It calls itself an urban winery and with its plush velvet seating alongside the concrete eggs where the wine is aged, I’d say they’ve earned the title. Flights, full glasses and bottles are all available for purchase as are cocktails like Campari and Aperol spritz, antipasti and certified organic Canadian sturgeon caviar. It has a bit of a club vibe with bumping music and table service with waitresses in matching burgundy striped outfits. Albeit a bit on the pricey side, if you’re a lover of good bubbly then check out Ricco Bambino!
Maybe one of the best 360˚ views of downtown Kelowna from downtown Kelowna. Located on the rooftop of a building on Doyle Street, it is a view that can be hard to come by in the downtown core. The Perch is still relatively under-visited making it a bit easier to get into than say Earl’s On Top or Craft Beer Market that offer decent views of the Okanagan, however, both pale in comparison to Perch.
Full disclosure, the restaurant doesn’t serve their food at these ideal viewing spots photographed, however, it is encouraged to order your drink and walk around, take photos and even enjoy your food at the picnic tables that do offer unparalleled views.
I first stepped foot in a Craft Beer Market while visiting False Creek during a LEED Certification Course. I fell in love. It is a beer lovers fermented firmament with so many craft beers on offer. Since they opened their doors in Kelowna during the late spring (2018) it has been packed with a constant wait list. Most locals are waiting for the tourists to leave this Fall so that we can actually get a spot without a long wait. The cost you pay to live in paradise.
Charcuterie and beer. I really don’t need to add anything more. Beer is my go to drink nowadays as it helps with breastmilk supply and is just plain delicious. Vive and Virtue were founded by 6 local celebrities within the food scene – Tantalus’ New Zealand winemaker David Paterson, his wife and Tantalus’ marketing specialist Stephanie Mosley, former sous chef of Waterfront Wines Nelson Daniels to name a few.
This is no ordinary brewery. The food is upheld to a quality beyond what you might expect. It is just as important as the beer and works in sympatico with each other much as you would expect the relationship between wine and food to work at a winery restaurant.
This is a Mexican tapas-style restaurant new to downtown Kelowna, located on the historic Water Street. The locals explain the location as, the one that used to be the old Keg if that should mean anything to you.
But what I really want to talk about is the Haskap berry margarita. The Haskap berry is grown local to British Columbia and is the supposed new superfood with the likes of the Goji and Açai berries. The Haskap margarita is expertly shaken up by the bartender who boasted that it was his grandfather who grows the Haskap berries locally. $3 off during happy hour!