With all the buzz around using ChatGPT and AI we thought we would try it out for trip planning. We’ve been wanting to focus on Kelowna in our video series “24 Hours of Eating in…” for YouTube for a while now but as locals it has been hard to figure out where to focus our efforts first. We decided to use the AI twist because not only would it makes us rediscover our own town but it also tackles some big topics in the news today.
If you’re not familiar or have been living in a cave, ChatGPT and AI is creating quite a stir across the world. Countries are banning its use. Writers are picketing. People are worried for their jobs in the future as the fear of being replaced by a non-sentient being mounts.
So what is ChatGPT?
The following answer is what ChatGPT provided me itself:
ChatGPT is an AI-powered conversational agent developed by OpenAI. It is based on the GPT (Generative Pre-trained Transformer) architecture, specifically GPT-3.5. GPT-3.5 is one of the largest language models created to date, trained on a wide range of internet text sources to understand and generate human-like text. ChatGPT is designed to engage in natural language conversations with users, providing responses to questions, generating text, and carrying on interactive discussions. It can understand and generate text in multiple languages and has been trained on a vast amount of information, making it capable of providing a diverse range of responses and answering a wide array of questions. However, it's important to note that ChatGPT is an AI model and does not possess real-time awareness or the ability to update its knowledge beyond its training cutoff date. The information it provides is based on patterns and knowledge available up until September 2021.
I have to admit. I’ve used ChatGPT. I tested it for travel, recipes, even my day job. At times I was impressed, mostly by the sheer speed that it could articulate – in perfectly fine sentences, paragraphs and even essays – an answer to my queries. But if you carefully read, fact check, and had any prior knowledge to the topic of your query, you’d soon discover that there are some pretty large and glaring gaps in its presumed infinite wisdom.
We asked ChatGPT to plan a 24 hour of food focused itinerary in downtown Kelowna. With some prodding and the occasional rephrasing, tweaking, we ended up with an itinerary. Definitely not one that I as a local would have chose BUT a solid itinerary nonetheless.
While ChatGPT did spit out a decent itinerary there were some major issues. Let’s dive in… You can read the entire itinerary generated within seconds below.
Morning: Start your day with breakfast at Bliss Bakery & Bistro (855 Bernard Ave), a local favorite that offers freshly baked goods, breakfast sandwiches, and coffee. You can sit in their cozy indoor seating area or enjoy the sunshine on their outdoor patio. After breakfast, head to the Kelowna Farmers' and Crafters' Market (1314 Ellis St), which is open from 8 am to 1 pm on Saturdays. Here, you can find fresh produce, baked goods, and handmade crafts from local vendors. Mid-Morning: After the market, head over to Okanagan Grocery Artisan Breads (2355 Gordon Dr) to pick up some of their delicious artisan bread. You can also try their coffee and pastries while you're there. Lunch: For lunch, head to Salt & Brick (243 Bernard Ave), a farm-to-table restaurant that offers a seasonal menu featuring local ingredients. Their charcuterie boards and sandwiches are particularly popular. Afternoon: After lunch, explore the downtown area and visit some of the local shops, such as Olive & Elle (457 Bernard Ave) for stylish home decor, or Milkcrate Records (527 Lawrence Ave) for vinyl records and CDs. Late Afternoon: For a late afternoon snack, stop by Sandrine French Pastry & Chocolate (1865 Dilworth Dr #105), which offers delicious pastries and chocolates. Dinner: End your day with dinner at Waterfront Wines (1180 Sunset Dr), a fine-dining restaurant that offers an extensive wine list and a menu featuring locally sourced ingredients. Their tasting menu is a great way to try a variety of dishes. After dinner, enjoy a walk along the lakefront before calling it a day.
To the visitor who has never been to Kelowna or perhaps is unfamiliar with its layout, this itinerary would appear to be perfectly fine. Job done. No need to worry about the time and research that can come with planning a trip to a new city. However, as a local I see some big issues with what ChatGPT presented.
- Bliss Bakery is an excellent bakery for breakfast, snack, coffee or light lunch. However, it’s proximity to the Kelowna Farmers’ Market isn’t idea. You would require a vehicle or bike to get from Bliss to the market. Fine that’s not a big issue for some. It’s only a 10-15 minute drive.
- The Kelowna Farmers’ Market is an excellent choice as a foodie stop. It introduces you to some of our best farmers and makers in the valley. Perfect location to begin the day and I would suggest a better spot to begin with its ample coffee and food stops available in one convenient location.
- Okanagan Breads is another great location that surprised me as it is more of a spot that only locals know about. Again, the location isn’t ideal as we are turning around back towards downtown, kind of double back which for some would be problematic if they were to rely on a bus or cab.
- Salt & Brick is where the serious issues arise. As ChatGPT explained, its knowledge is limited to September 2021. Currently, Salt & Brick is NOT open for lunch and is located downtown not too far from Bliss Bakery. We just did a big loop… its an inconvenience in terms of logistics. But the fact that the restaurant isn’t open until 5 pm and in fact not at all for lunch…no bueno. I only knew this because I am local who curated food tours in the area. Once we prodded the ChatGPT system it corrected itself but made more errors. Here’s our exchange
User Is Salt and Brick open for lunch? I thought it was only open for dinner? ChatGPT You are correct! I apologize for the mistake in my previous response. Salt & Brick is indeed open for dinner only, from 5 pm to 9 pm, Wednesday through Sunday. Thank you for bringing this to my attention. For lunch in downtown Kelowna, I would recommend trying out Sunny's Modern Diner (235 Bernard Ave), which offers modern takes on classic diner dishes, or Mad Mango Cafe (550 Bernard Ave), which serves up delicious Thai and Vietnamese cuisine. User Can you suggest somewhere else. Sunny's offers mostly brunch style food, we are looking for something more suited to lunch in downtown Kelowna ChatGPT Sure thing! Here are some other lunch options in downtown Kelowna: Central Kitchen + Bar (1155 Ellis St): This restaurant offers a modern, upscale atmosphere and a menu featuring locally sourced ingredients. Their lunch menu includes sandwiches, salads, and entrees like pasta and burgers. MTL & Co. (1626 Richter St): This Montreal-style deli serves up classic deli sandwiches like smoked meat, pastrami, and brisket, as well as poutine and other Quebecois specialties. BNA Brewing Co. & Eatery (1250 Ellis St): This brewpub offers a lively atmosphere and a menu of pub favorites like burgers, sandwiches, and shareable plates. Raudz Regional Table (1560 Water St): This farm-to-table restaurant offers a menu featuring ingredients sourced from local farmers and producers. Their lunch menu includes sandwiches, salads, and entrees like fish and chips and steak frites. Basil & Mint Restaurant and Bar (379 Bernard Ave): This Thai-Vietnamese restaurant offers a menu of fresh, flavorful dishes like pho, curry, and banh mi sandwiches. They also have a great selection of cocktails and other beverages.
Again, more issues arise. MTL & Co has closed and was in the Landmark district, not downtown.
BNA’s restaurant opens at 4 and its tasting room only just added smash burgers as a dining option.
RauDZ is only open for dinner at 4 pm.
Basil & Mint isn’t open until 5 pm and is not a Thai-Vietnamese restaurant!
So Central Kitchen it is for lunch. But when we arrived they were only serving brunch. Luckily we asked a local, Janelle from Sandrine’s where she would suggest we eat lunch. Jackknife Brewing is hugely popular with locals for their pizza and came highly recommended. Taryn has heard about this dill pickle pizza for some time. So
Now back to our original itinerary.
Afternoon: After lunch, explore the downtown area and visit some of the local shops, such as Olive & Elle (457 Bernard Ave) for stylish home decor, or Milkcrate Records (527 Lawrence Ave) for vinyl records and CDs. Late Afternoon: For a late afternoon snack, stop by Sandrine French Pastry & Chocolate (1865 Dilworth Dr #105), which offers delicious pastries and chocolates.
Afternoon exploration of the local shops is a decent suggestion with Olive & Elle, a home and kitchen store that is a local designers heaven with beautiful items like placemats, dishes, glassware, bedding and more.
As a local I do suggest the Lakeshore Store, The Okanagan Table, Perseval & Young in addition to ChatGPTs suggestions for true foodie stops to bring home the most Okanagan-esque souvenirs for foodies.
Late afternoon, we are doing another U-turn and heading back to the location of the Kelowna Farmers’ Market for a stop at Sandrine’s French Pastry & Chocolate. Oh there’s so much wrong with this suggestion. I am a huge fan of Sandrine’s and highly suggest a stop to anyone looking for authentic French pastries and chocolates – pro tip use your Kelowna Foodie Card for a discount!
But it’s late afternoon! We were just here this morning! So not only are we doubling back but we arrived at a time when Sandrine’s is sold out of most things!
While AI was failing in recommending solid choices that were open, it did manage to recommend two stops that I found to be sound; BNA and Waterfront Wines. My only issue was the lack of information regarding what to book at BNA. With its bowling option I find it a great stop for entertainment but as a local I know how difficult it can be to secure a lane time. We recommend booking at least 2-4 weeks in advance.
As for Waterfront Wines, it is my first suggestion for one of the best fine dining restaurants in the city. If you’re looking for a classic Kelowna dining option that helped establish the food scene back in 2010. Waterfront is also the only restaurant in the Okanagan to appear in the first edition of Where Chef’s Eat.
Tell us if you have used AI to plan an itinerary in the comments below!