I’d take experiences over things any day of the week and fortunately for me, adventures in my own backyard are a real and frequent thing.

Being seriously solar powered, as soon as I see Mr Sun I’m outside. From chasing waterfalls and hiking, to floating in a kayak, reading under a tree or doing a spot of urban foraging, all I can ever think about is what we’re going to eat!

All summer long, it’s been one edible adventure after another. My adventures tend to start way before my hike ever does and in most cases involves taking a little detour to go on a scavenger hunt for local goodies from across Kelowna. If I’m not rustling up my own locally inspired creation(s), I let my artisan friends feed me instead – the problem is narrowing down what to take for each trip. We have everything we need right at our doorstep, and so, supporting local eats means we live each moment, following the seasons as we go along.

My thinking is: if every adventure is different, every picnic should be, too. Here are some of my go-to locally made suggestions to help keep you fuelled:

 

Vice & Virtue:

Vice & Virtue not only has stellar beers, a rotating seasonally inspired menu and a new patio, but they have this deli-style fridge, so you can takeaway skilfully made charcuterie that’s cured in-house. Most restaurant in-town use Two Rivers Meats for their cured meat offerings, but Nelson patiently does it himself and it’s delicious!

 

Kelowna Farmers’ & Crafters’ Market:

From ever-changing organic fruit, greens and vegetables to organic cheeses and yoghurt by Bella Stella or Honey & Garlic Pepperoni by Sterling Springs Chicken, the market is always a great place for your weekly grocery shop, or in my cases, my weekly edible adventure meal planning. Wise Earth Farm, Orchard Hill Farm, Morning Dove Gardens, Green Croft Gardens, Crooked Sky Farm, Sunshine Farm are all tried and trusted farmer friends.

Sprout Bread:

Sprout has been an excellent addition to the K-Town food scene. In the words of Oprah, ‘I LOVE BREAD!’ A proper French-style baguette or any of their sourdoughs is a must for me, but the baguette fits nicely in the side pocket of my backpack – practical and delicious, win-win!

One Big Table:

This co-op grocery stall is located downtown on St Paul’s. Think farmers market but open every day. They have asked the questions about how the produce is grown and raised, so you can definitely trust them. From Okanagan cheeses and your in-season grocery produce to natural pantry items and bacon! They also sell Abeego beeswax wraps to keep any leftovers alive.

 

Sandrine French Pastry & Chocolate:

Try the duck rillettes – actually. Sandrine has a whole savoury section in her shop, which you may have been too distracted by the macarons to see. Macarons, pastries, tartes, she has it all. I’m partial to a macaron for a little sugar kick whilst I’m on trail.

 

Waterfront Cafe

I love everything Mark Filatow does – amazingly awkward food genius (in all the right ways). Their catering arm produces great little things like hummus and spreads if you’re on the go (also sold at Okanagan Grocery). Try the Canelés de Bordeaux on Monday’s – trust me!

 

Codfathers Seafood Market:

Jon is proud member of Slow Food and the Okanagan’s eyes and ears for everything Slow Fish related, which is all about keeping our water based eco-systems well looked after. Smoked Ocean-Friendly Wild Salmon is a top-notch snack here – all sustainably caught then cured.

 

Karat Chocolate:

Julian and Kate make beautiful chocolates and pastries and it’s a little grassroots success story of making it to a brand spanking new downtown location. From an edible adventure perspective, I tend to lean towards their collaborative chocolate bars for a backpack staple (Arlo’s Honey Farm and Okanagan Lavender & Herb Farm are just two examples). {Reflective note: I was once stranded in the Australian outback (otherwise known as the middle of nowhere) for 6.5 hours, which is probably one of the reasons why I need to be well stocked up when I adventure}.

 

I live in a place that has a lot of twists and turns. Kelowna and its surrounding areas have the power of turning even locals into tourists and there are so many things to see, do and explore. Dining out in Kelowna doesn’t have to be fancy and it doesn’t have to be expensive either. Making a reservation at the made-up restaurant in the forest, dining on top of a fallen tree by the side of a lush landscape with the sound of the stream proving ambiance is a pretty epic and accessible way for everyone to experience where we are. For me, the best food memories are created from these sorts of adventures – really digging into living it, working for your lunch, being present and eating the food that tells the story about where we live.

We’re very fortunate to live where we do. Adventures in the fall and winter are a very real thing, too. Happy exploring.

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