The new restaurants in Kelowna are bringing the variety and flavour this year! I am so excited to show you some of the new must eats at these new Kelowna restaurants! From fine dining to cafes and more than a couple brunch spots that you can’t afford to miss during your visit or on your to-do list as a local. If you pay attention you’ll also notice that many of these new spots are neighbours to each other in Kelowna’s culinary neighbourhoods. More entrepreneurs are searching for alternatives to Downtown Kelowna (Bernard Ave.) due to cost and the vandalism. In doing so they’re creating some incredible culinary neighbourhoods that demand your attention with new Kelowna restaurants.
Tell me which new restaurants in Kelowna you are excited for or have visited in the comments below!
The latest addition to fine dining in Kelowna! This new Kelowna restaurant in the ONE Water street high rise has been on our watch list since summer of 2022 when they were supposed to open. Building set backs and permit delays have prolonged their grand opening by approximately one year. We seized the chance to experience Erica Jane in the north end of downtown Kelowna when they offered limited seating during Valentine’s Day week. Local chef Chris Braun heads the menu with a truly Okanagan perspective having grown up on a hobby farm in the valley. While it may be yet another farm to table dining establishment, Erica Jane has a very different vibe than Waterfront Wines and RauDZ. It’s elegant. Think white table cloths and maybe a bit stuffy. I almost want to say it is very Vancouver in its plating approach and modern yet minimalist interior bringing another level we haven’t seen before to the Okanagan dining scene. The new Kelowna restaurants is something you’ll need to try at least once.
Formerly the It’s a Bakery location in the red barn at Surtees Corner in the lower mission, Barn Owl Brewing has since taken it over and kept it a bakery/cafe offering coffees and more deliciousness in this beloved and historic local hangout. If you don’t know, this is one of the best areas to visit Kelowna like a local. This historic area has had many lives since it has been refreshed by local businesses. The big red barn contains the brewery and coffee shop. Across the lane is the old Surtees house that was once used as a prostitution house but is now one of the best salons that also serves alcohol. All this is located right next door to a church with a cemetery, a small hiking trail, and a great little market with Mexican, sushi, butcher shop and local pizza hang out popular with families.
Neighbours to the Milk Shed Coffeehouse, what was once a small taco restaurant that primarily offered take out has now officially been taken over by Hector’s Casa. I say officially because Hector’s Casa did help promote this small business on social media but it was confusing. Were they ofiliated or not?
The original owners already served some of Kelowna’s best tacos but their own social media presence was non existent and word didn’t spread fast enough despite the quality.
However, Hector’s Casa is one of the city’s most beloved Mexican restaurants and the location will be in good hands with this small but convenient locations in the Surtees Corner next to this big red barn!
The Okanagan attracts many Alberta chains and the trends continues. This eye catching small chain began in Edmonton with three locations and has now branched out to British Columbia with a new location next door to Erica Jane. Unlike most of the local Indian restaurants the lively atmosphere is reflected by the bright and sunny with floor to ceiling windows as well as the beautiful mural in the dining room.
This new creperie is another North End gem. The owners hail from Maine and many building set backs delayed the opening by two months but finally we get a chance to try their take on delicious crepes and so much more including an upside down coronation grape cake (yum!). Watch for their official opening at the end of February or beginning or March fingers crossed! When opening new restaurants in Kelowna it seems nothing goes as planned or scheduled.
Bonus: Get 15% off with your Kelowna Foodie Card
Formerly Nari Sushi restaurant, new renovations and a rebrand have set this Lakeshore Rd location in the lower mission as the newest Korean restaurant in Kelowna. It appears they are predominantly focusing their efforts on take out with online ordering or delivery. Specializing in Korean chicken dishes and fries, they’re keeping things simple and yet surprising with fiery Bul Dak and the intriguing Cream Onion – Korean chicken topped with cream sauce and onion. I think I’ll stick with my personal favourite the spicy and sweet Yangnyeom.
Located on Bernard Ave in the heart of downtown Kelowna is this new healthy smoothie cafe. Bringing the smoothie bowl craze to the streets of Kelowna Just Peachy is an expression of her travels in Australia and California. The decor channels Californian oasis vibes with the green velvet seating, pastel peach enabling the colourful smoothies and bowls to be the vibrant ornaments within the space.
Black Rabbit Coffee House
This new coffee joint moved in after Cafe XI moved out. This space has long been a coffee shop but most of the time the owners end up turning the keys over to someone else who wants to take a shot of being the owner of a trendy cafe. So far, I think the new owner has the best shot. She has injected a fresh vibe with wall art and beautiful brews to be enjoyed in this mini tourist centre at the Playa Resort – across the street from The Hotel Eldorado and Manteo Resort. During my visits the cafe has always been busy and with good reason! More food options, killer brews with a hidden spot to tuck away from it all, to work on your computer or sip in the sunshine.
New restaurants in Kelowna within the last year:
New to the Landmark District, Habibi Tapas is located in the Landmark and opened late summer in 2022. Serving traditional Lebanese dishes with a modern twist. Their outdoor patio with warm string lights is a vibe in the evening.
Bonus: Get 15% off your bill with the Kelowna Foodie Card.
Maestro’s is located in the Manteo Resort and specializes in Mediterranean dishes. The pricing reflects resort location, one of the few restaurants located on Okanagan Lake with a view of the beach. It is a solid choice if you are in the area or staying at the resort. Pro tip: It’s a great spot to watch kite surfers on a windy yet sunny day!
Analog Coffee is neighbours to Tiffin India’s Fresh Kitchen and Erica Jane so you can tell Sunset Road near the North End of downtown Kelowna is getting its rejuvenation with the new high rises going in. The new builds are a mix of residential and retail so I expect the future of Downtown Kelowna will no longer be Bernard Ave but beyond.
The Nixon Family is behind Kelowna’s best hangouts. From BNA Brew + Bowl and Skinny Duke’s to the new Bernie’s on Bernard. Bernie’s Supper & Cinema Club is a restaurant with chic interior serving up delicious bites and craveable cocktails. The cinema on the top floor offers food and drinks during their show times. If there’s one place you want to go for Kelowna’s night life, skip the cringe clubs and head to either BNA or Bernie’s.
Bonus: Get 15% off any bottle of wine with your Kelowna Foodie Card in 2023
This is the best Italian restaurant in town. The owner comes from Rome and the food is as if Kelowna had a direct road to the Italian capital. The food is truly incredible as is the friendly service. You won’t find a better nor more authentic carbonara in the city.
Shaved roast beef and bacon in a Ceasar – is it wrong to love this? Their take on the classic Canadian hangover cure is unique to say the least and there’s a variety to try. If Cesars aren’t your thing you’ll find all kinds of brunch items like the Ukrainian breakfast, ramen breakfast bowl, eggs benny on biscuits and so much more.
Bonus: Get 15% off your order using the Kelowna Foodie Card for 2023!
The new Kelowna restaurant that dominates the waterfront is King Taps. Drake is linked to the restaurant having called it one of his favourite haunts in Toronto. In Kelowna, the building it now resides in was owned by Cactus Club for a long time. The franchise sat on it until the right buyer came. Now only Cactus Club (Yacht Club location) and King Taps can really claim any ownership of lakefront dining in the downtown core. Great food and always jam packed in the tourist season.