On a regular basis each year I run three columns: Charlie’s Angels Christmas List, Podge’s Tourist Guide of Where to (and not) to Go, and the Best of list.
The latter is a bit of a blend of the Tourist Guide and the Angel list in that I not only name some of the best business or venues in the town, I also include individual employees, owners, or trades folks.
Winners are based on my observations as well as those of Tez and a few close friends. They are not named because of anything to do with advertisers, or other media sources nor because of anything but the fact that I think they deserve the pat on the back. So here are the highlights of those from the past year:
Best combination view/food Kelowna – Earls on Top, Cactus Club on Water St., Pyramid Winery.
Best combination view/food rural – Ancient Hills Winery, Quails Gate.
Best Kelowna restaurant for dinner – Kelly O’Bryan’s, Memphis House of Blues, The Grand Hotel, Montana’s.
Best Kept Secret (funky place to eat) – Central (Central Kitchen and Bar – CPH).
Best Waterfront Pub/Food – Rosie’s Pub, Cactus Club on Water, The Eldorado, Manteo’s Resort.
Best Regional Waterfront Food – Gasthaus on the Lake (Peachland), Blue Rooster (Peachland).
Best Kelowna lunch – Grateful Fed, Brown’s Social House, Brown Bag.
Best Breakfast – Perkins, Cafe Soleil, Rickey’s, IHOP.
Best Chinese Food – Yum Yum Tree at Capri Centre.
Best Soup – Grateful Fed.
Best Italian – Momma Rosa.
Best pizza – Olympia Greek Taverna in Rutland.
Best Kelowna pub (small) – McCullough Station, The Exchange.
Best Kelowna pub (large) – BNA, Original Joes, Rosie’s.
Best regional pub – Turtle Bay Marina – Lake Country.
Best Social Pub or hangout – Browne’s Social House.
Best sports pub – Sturgeon Hall, Dakota’s, Baxter’s.
Friendliest restaurant staff – Grateful Fed, Ricky’s, Yum Yum.
Friendliest sales staff Kelowna – IDA (Capri Mall), Home Depot.
Best Bakery – Nesters.
Best Butcher – Johnny’s Meats, Nesters.
Best Book Store – Robbie’s Rare Books, Mosaic Books.
Best Music Store – Wentworth Music.
Best Clothing Store – Moore’s, Robertson’s Clothing.
Best live Music – Grateful Fed, Blue Gator, O’Flannigans.
Best rural live music – Blue Rooster (Peachland).
Best Concert Facility – Kelowna Community Theatre.
Best Jam night – Riley’s Pub with the Green Room Riders, anything hosted by Jim LeGuilloux.
Favourite Bands – Linus, Jimmy LeGuilloux Band, Dirt Road Opera, Sherman Doucette.
Solo Musician – Keith (Papa) Thom, Rick Halisheff.
Best Local Magazine – Okanagan Life Magazine.
Best Free Outdoor Concerts – Music in the Park– listing on City web site.
Best Roofer – Mike Pearce. He might be an east-coaster and just a tad too much fun, but Mike can fixa roof quick and efficiently. He is not crazy about it but if you whine enough he may just help you.
Best Electrician/Handyman – Robert (Bob) McKinnon claims to be retired but he keeps pretty busy and for good reason.
Best Oral Surgeon team – Dr. Russell Naito, Dr. Bell, RN Deb Naito, and CDA Kathy Truant at Okanagan Oral Surgery. Amazing and accommodating.
New Dentist in Town – Jeff Kozak at Bernard Dental.
Best Respiratory Nurse – Robin Carter.
Best Financial Consultant – Charlie Peet.
Best walk/dog walk – Mission Creek Greenway.
Best Place to People Watch – Rosie’s Waterfront Pub, The Sails, Wings.
Intersections to Avoid – Highway 97 and Spall, 97 and Gordon.
Favourite Hideaway – Echo Lake with Curtis and my canoe, Bear Creek Canyon, Maud Roxby birdsanctuary, my back yard.