During our motorcycle trip through the Okanogan Valley, we spent a couple of nights in Penticton right in the middle of wine country. In addition to enjoying time outdoors, both downtown and in the surrounding area, we spent some time sampling regional wines, brews, and cuisine.
Because we only had a day and a half, we didn’t make it to most of the places on my list. However, we did make a pretty good dent! Here’s a roundup of our favorite places to eat and drink in Penticton.
One of the better meals of our trip was at the Hooded Merganser right on the shore of Okanogan Lake in Penticton. We went for my birthday dinner and despite getting completely soaked on our rainy walk to the restaurant, we had a wonderful evening watching the storm roll across the water from the safety of our private booth inside.
While this restaurant is a little nicer, we didn’t feel out of place in our jeans and dressier tops. We enjoyed some aperitifs before our meal—lamb for Brian and steak for me. Brian’s lamb was by far the best thing we ate on the trip!
I imagine this place is packed when the weather is cooperating—it has ample seating outside on the water. It’s a great spot for a romantic meal with a view!
The Bench Market
The Bench Market was directly across the street from our AirBnB and highly recommended by our hosts. It was packed each morning, including when we popped over for breakfast, and we had to do a little navigation to figure out how the line meandered through the shop and how we grabbed one of the tables outside.
The staff were very busy and accidentally put my order in twice—we were confused by all of the food that arrived at our table! They were very kind and fixed everything, and the food was very good. Recommend for breakfast or brunch!
Cannery Brewing Co.
Our AirBnB hosts recommended several breweries in downtown Penticton but the one that topped their list was Cannery Brewing Co., which was a short walk from their house. We decided to check it out the first evening we arrived and lucked out with a whole outdoor picnic table to ourselves!
The brewery is very low key and fun—we ordered two beer samplers and some AMAZING nachos to share for dinner. They were unbelievably good. We were tired from riding all day but it would have been easy to have spent more time hanging out in this spot!
Bad Tattoo Brewery
The other brewery we tried for lunch was Bad Tattoo Brewery, which is a few blocks over from Cannery Brewery. It was pretty busy when we arrived but they were able to squeeze us in at a small table outside.
We grabbed a sampler to share as well as a pizza, ordering half Chicago (sausage+veggies+red sauce) and half Donair (lamb+cucumers/mint+donair sauce). Both were good but I would say the Donair didn’t really hit the spot in terms of my craving for pizza. We ate it, but I probably wouldn’t order that one again if I was really in the mood for more traditional pizza. That said, I loved that we could order half/half to try a couple different kinds!
Poplar Grove Winery
Despite being in the heart of wine country we only ended up visiting two wineries. Originally I thought this would be the highlight of our time in Penticton—and the visits were very fun!—but there was a lot more to see and do than I anticipated and we simply didn’t have time for more touring!
After walking the KVR trail and hiking up Munson Mountain, we circled around to Poplar Grove Winery, which was recommended for its wine as well as its incredible views. The tasting room overlooks downtown Penticton and the surrounding area, and I found myself wandering around their tasting room enjoying the floor-to-ceiling windows as much as the wines.
There was an on-site restaurant that looked good, but we were heading into town for lunch so we skipped it. Next time!
As we walked from Poplar Grove Winery back into town, we passed Monster Vineyards. This unassuming winery has a nice outdoor patio but we ended up staying inside the tasting room chatting with the guy who was working. It turned out his mom owned the winery and he drives back and forth from Vancouver to help her in the tasting room on the weekends!
We really enjoyed the wines here, and Brian was enamored with the traveling case of wine, which was not only a good deal, but ideal for transporting wine on our motorcycles! We bought one of those to go. We’d definitely go back here and spend a little more time!
We loved our time in Penticton, and I’d love to go back and spend more time wine tasting and visiting the surrounding area, including Kelowna. What other places to eat and drink should we check out on our next trip?