Vernon’s Voluptuous Victuals: Diverse Culinary Scene Tantalizes

Vernon’s Voluptuous Victuals: Diverse Culinary Scene Tantalizes

By Roslyne Buchanan.

Once the unrefined country cousin of Okanagan hot spots and noted more for its cadet camps and retirement homes, Vernon has quietly come of age. Ironically, in Vernon’s case the coming of age translates to the arrival of young families and a diverse and youthful population.

Evidence is found uphill in the SilverStar Mountain Resort which used to fade to black as the ski season ended and now takes only a breather before hiking and the Bike Park shifts into gear. More evidence is found on the Okanagan Rail Trail and other established hiking and biking trails such as those at Ellison Provincial Park and Predator Ridge Resort Community.

Find proof on the beaches of Kalamalka, Okanagan and Swan Lakes plus the water sports skimming those waters. Check out the skating rinks, arenas, soccer fields, soccer domes, running tracks and parks. There’s golf like Spallumcheen Golf & Country Club, The Rise, Predator Ridge, Hillview Golf Course, and the Vernon Golf & Country Club.

Then there’s the arts, culture and heritage scene plus science and nature centres and Okanagan College.

Verification is most profound in the culinary scene where tantalizing tastes tempt your palate with victuals originating internationally and locally. Let’s dig into a few examples.

Italian/Mediterranean cuisine at Intermezzo Restaurant. Photo credit: Roslyne Buchanan.

Intermezzo Restaurant and Wine Cellar
While its trademark has been Italian Continental, the menu has expanded to Mediterranean and European fare. In the heart of Downtown Vernon, it offers elegant dining for that special evening out.

Blend of East and West cuisine at Bamboo Beach Fusion Grille. Photo credit: Roslyne Buchanan.

Bamboo Beach Fusion Grille
A blend of East and West, the traditional Japanese chef captures flavours from around the world in surprising combinations.

Comfort food at Naked Pig intended to pair well with Marten Brewing Co. Photo credit: Roslyne Buchanan.

Naked Pig Kitchen
Specializing in low and slow, artisan smoked cooking as well as vegetarian dishes such as cauliflower wings, Naked Pig Kitchen provides the food service for Marten Brewing Co. This collaboration allows the brewery to focus on its craft beers and its new non-alcoholic Kombucha and Nitro Coffee line Underground Beverages.

Arrive early for bakery daily specials at Ratio Coffee & Pastry. Photo credit: Roslyne Buchanan.

Ratio Coffee & Pastry
A fine coffee shop and bakery, Ratio highlights different delicacies each day of the week, however, it’s on Fridays you’ll find long lines of local and tourists for the fresh, hand-made donuts. Arrive early or risk missing out on the day’s special.

Hot Bread Shoppe tempting baked goods. Photo credit: Roslyne Buchanan.

Hot Bread Shoppe
The intoxicating aromas of fresh baking greets you in this small artisan bakery and gift shop. Small batches are made from scratch every morning with organic ingredients. Fair warning that your decision what to select will be a tough one.

Olive Us gift shop features oils, vinegars, salts and more. Photo credit: Roslyne Buchanan.

Olive Us Oil and Vinegar Tasting Room
Sample and buy an array of oils, vinegars, salts and spices in this delicious specialty store.

Small batch kettle roasted almonds at Sweet Hoopla. Photo credit: Roslyne Buchanan.

Sweet Hoopla
A family confectionary outlet offering small batch kettle roasted almonds, bean-to-bar chocolates from companies such as Choklat, Choco-Sol and Wild Sweets, plus organic candies made by Tout de Sweet.

Over 130 types of loose-leaf teas at Teassential. Photo credit: Roslyne Buchanan.

Locally owned specialty tea shop with over 130 types of loose-leaf teas, specializing in Persian teas which are blended in-house. Have a cup there or take products to go. The variety of teaware ranging from locally handmade pieces, cast iron teapots, mugs and more will also tempt you.

Hot Bread Shoppe tempting baked goods. Photo credit: Roslyne Buchanan.

Do a walkabout of Downtown Vernon to discover all its treasures for yourself. For picnics and party platters, consider platters from Gumtree Catering that showcase local artisans.

Fan Out for More Tasting Sensations

Another favourite is EATology which opened in 2015 to offer a creative palette of breakfast and lunch and has since expanded throughout the former Greyhound Bus space. There’s Midtown Bistro with rotating seasonal specials.

Globally inspired food at Predator Ridge’s Range Lounge & Grill. Photo credit: Roslyne Buchanan.

Drive to Predator Ridge to find the Range Lounge & Grill where it is upscale casual for breakfast, lunch and dinner with food that is globally inspired using locally and responsibly sourced ingredients. For an Italian twist at Predator there’s Pallino’s Italian Bistro.

Tour the Lake Country wineries and find amazing wine country cuisine. Two premier examples: O’Rourke’s Peak Cellars, where Chef Alex Lavroff will dazzle you at The Garden Bistro showcasing local flavours – the ultimate farm to table experience paired with great wines. Up the road is 50th Parallel Estates Winery with award-winning wines and the brilliant cuisine of Chef Kai Koroll in the BLOCK ONE Restaurant.

Featured photo: Platters from Gumtree Catering highlight local artisans. Photo credit: Roslyne Buchanan.

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Roslyne Buchanan (aka Roz) Roslyne Buchanan is a regular freelance contributor to food, travel, wine, home and lifestyle magazines. Her work has appeared in Food & Wine Trails, WestJet Magazine, OpenRoad Driver, Savour, Niche, Destinations Travel Magazine, My Van City, and Based in Penticton, she enjoys spectacular views of forests, vineyards, lakes, and hills beyond and regular visits from wildlife. Enchanted by the food and beverage industry and all things culinary as well as recreational pursuits such as travel, golfing, skiing, hiking, tennis and snorkeling. For her it’s the perfect balance to pursue her passion for writing with integrity and joy to share firsthand experiences. Most of her adventures are shared with her husband, Mark and when they’re not out exploring, they are managed by two felines Baja and Floyd. Find her personal blog at, follow her on twitter @RozDB and Facebook @roslynebuchanan


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