As you can probably piece together from the posts around here, I am clearly not a vegan. However, I do know a lot of vegans and vegetarians, including most of my extended family, and I wholeheartedly support and respect their choice to be so.
I recently got the news that my brother, his wife and their newborn baby girl are coming to visit us in Summerland. I am more excited than words can describe, but I knew that the fact that they’re vegan might make dining out while they’re here a bit of a challenge. My brother is every bit of a foodie as I am and I knew he’d want to hit some yummy spots while he’s here, so I had to get on the Googler and do some research.
What I found, was that there are actually way more vegan options in the South Okanagan that I had originally thought. I was so surprised at how many choices there were, I decided I had to share it with you. I’m highlighting 24 here, but there are so many more to choose from. Post your own favourites in the comments!
So, here it is, 24 vegan options in the South Okanagan, Part 1:
1. Sushi Kojo – Recently, my husband and I have been on a serious ramen kick, even hitting up the Asian supermarkets in Kelowna for the ingredients to make our own proper ramen at home. One day, while we were in Penticton, we were on the prowl for a good bowl of ramen and came across Sushi Kojo. What ensued was the single most glorious ramen experience of my life. At some point, in the middle of broth-borne-bliss, I noticed that there was vegan ramen on the menu. Apparently, the noodles are made from kale and the broth is veggie-based. It sounded equally as delicious as the ramen I’d just consumed.
It’s called the Vegan Creamy Ramen and is described as,
Vegetable Broth, Cilantro, Smoked Tofu, Fried Onions, Seaweed, Bean Sprouts On Top
It’ll run you $12.50 for a belly-satisfying bowl-full.
Sushi Kojo also offers vegan sushi and other vegan treats. Check out their menu here.
Check them out on Facebook: facebook.com/sushikojo/
2. Balance Vegetarian Shop & Tea Room – If you’re into soups and chillis and anything that comes in bowls, really, this place is amazing for lunch. While the name says vegetarian, many of the options on their menu are vegan and most are gluten-free as well. It’s open from 10-5pm every day, which makes it the perfect lunch stop for vegans, vegetarians and those of us who enjoy exploring plant-based dishes. You can also grab sandwiches and avocado toast and they even have their own homemade vegan coleslaw. Customers rave about the food here and they seem to really adore the staff. The best part, though, is that it’s also a specialty grocery store where you can grab your vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free ingredients to cook at home with.
Check out their colourful Bangkok bowl:
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Say hello to our Bangkok bowl! Today’s feature bowl is made with #glutenfree rice noodles, #purple cabbage, roasted yam, broccoli, mushrooms, spinach, radish @wearevegilante chickpea tempeh and a Thai sesame dressing! It’s #vegan and #delicious join us for #lunch today! #veganfood #veganfoodshare #foodstagram #plantbased #eatlocal #supportlocal #penticton #okanagan #tearoom #restaurant #vegetarian
Follow Balance Vegetarian Shop & Tea Room on Facebook: facebook.com/Balancetearoom
3. Angry Vegan Juice Bar & Vegan Food – Facing Skaha Lake, just near the airport, the Angry Vegan Juice Bar boasts numerous plant-based dishes to eat in or take out. They serve salads and sandwiches, Buddha bowls and shepherd’s pie and even cook up delicious vegan pizzas in the evening. You can also grab some juice from their enticing juice menu.
Follow Angry Vegan on Facebook, here.
4. The Dream Cafe – Not only can you stuff your belly full of wonderful plant-based food here at the Dream Cafe, but you can join them for one of their many shows from local artists and musicians from all over the world. Acts like Elliot BROOD and Great Lake Swimmers have graced the stage. The menu includes items like the Vegan Chickpea Curry, described as:
fresh chickpeas cooked in a mild house-made curry ~ served on a bed of coconut rice ~ with herbed naan bread
and Oven Roasted Vegetable Medley, which is,
roasted brussels sprouts. broccoli, carrots & onion ~ tossed in herbed olive oil ~ with a rich maple-dijon dip
Everything is reasonably priced, including the tickets to their live shows. Just look at this delicious food:
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Starting THIS Monday June 18th we are open for lunch Monday to Friday, 11am till 2pm. Come try out our delicious lunch menu! You’ll find some old favourites, some new dishes and Neon Wolfe Creations #vegan and #glutenfree pasta! . Dream tasted. Dream approved! . #openforlunch #thedreamcafepenticton #penticton #pentictonfood #thingstodopenticton #healthyliving #okanagan #neonwolfecreations #yum #deliciousfood #okanaganfoodie #okanaganfood #pentictonfoodies #yougottaeatthis #nwc #colourfulfrontstreet #penticton #vegetarian
and see their website for their menu:
Follow the Dream Cafe on Facebook: facebook.com/thedreamcafepenticton/
5. Wild Scallion – this cozy little restaurant on Front Street in Penticton has tons of vegan options as well as raw food options. You can grab yourself the raw pizza or try the vegan alfredo, which sounds drool-worthy. It is described as,
Coconut cream, onions, shallots, garlic, nutmeg and paprika over rice noodles
Personally, I think I would dive into the vegan brie served with poppy seed crisps.
The menu is crammed full of salads with several vegan dressing options and none of it will break the bank.
Check out Wild Scallion on Facebook: facebook.com/Wild-Scallion-144694868960945/
6. Theo’s – This is one of the most popular restaurants in Penticton and for good reason. The food served here is Greek and their vegan menu reflects that as well. That’s right, they have a whole vegan menu with starters and salads and mains and even vegan desserts. Each item on the vegan menu celebrates the flavours we love the most in Greek food. Take their YIGANTES for example. They are,
Giant white beans soaked overnight, baked with tomatoes, onions, red wine vinegar, fresh dill and maple syrup.
or the VEGAN DOLMATHES:
Tender grape leaves stuffed with rice, currents, pine nuts, mint, dill, cinnamon and onions.
With impeccable reviews on all the big review websites, Theo’s is a favourite for vegans and non-vegans alike. It’s the perfect place to visit with friends and family who don’t share your diet.
Follow Theo’s on Facebook: facebook.com/theospenticton
7. Hooded Merganser – Here’s a higher-end option for those of you who live a vegan lifestyle. The Hooded Merganser is an institution in Penticton, serving seasonal dishes that complement our region and offering many vegan options. The fact that it’s on stilts out over the lake and the view is breathtaking is just a bonus. The food here is amazing and the vegan options are no different.
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Salad central 🥗 Did you know that most salads are a fantastic source of fibre, can lower blood pressure, and help regulate your intake of healthy fats? Add in a few slices of avacado, and boom! You’ll have a salad bursting with healthy fats and nutrients. . . . . #healthyeating #freshfoods #instafood #foodie #foodgram #welovesalad #salads #yum #mmm #healthydiet #goodeating #avacado
Check out their menu:
and follow them on Facebook: facebook.com/HoodedMerganser/
8. The Nest & Nectar – This Penticton eatery has loads of vegan options. Located just around the corner from Rona, in the Cannery Trade Center on Fairview Ave, The Nest & Nectar offers breakfast, lunch and dinner and all of their dishes look to-die-for. Okanagan wines are highly celebrated here and on Sundays, this place offers a mouth-wateringly delicious brunch. While there are not a ton of vegan options, the ones that are there sound like it’s worth the trip. Just listen to the Jamaica Bowl:
Rice vermicelli, black bean and corn, jerk marinade, and coconut lime reduction. Topped with roasted pepper and pineapple chutney
The coolest thing about this place is the fact that it offers classes! Yep, you can have your little ones learn to cook here with their junior cooking classes and you can learn to serve better drinks with their cocktail classes!
Check out the Nest & Nectar on Facebook: facebook.com/TheNestandNectar/
9. Lachi – Yes! Everyone’s favourite Indian restaurant in Penticton is vegan-friendly. This is my family’s go-to spot for special occasion dinners because the flavours that come from the dishes they serve are nothing short of heavenly. You will walk away from this place satisfied to the max. Check out their menu here.
10. Spice Magic – Just across and down the street from Lachi is Spice Magic. The dishes have similar flavour profiles, with that drool-worthy South Asian knack for spice. Spice Magic also offers a buffet for those of you who love to sit down to a good smorg. Spice Magic is very vegan-friendly with delectable plant-based options that don’t scrimp on the flavour.
Check out Spice Magic on Facebook: facebook.com/spicemagicpenticton/
11. Purple Hemp Co. – Located in the heart of Summerland, the Purple Hemp Co. has been promoting wellness through hemp and cannabis products to Okanagan residents for almost two years, now. Not only can you get your alternative wellness products here, but you can enjoy delicious specialty drinks and baked treats. Their drinks always have a vegan option!
Check out Purple Hemp Co. on Facebook: facebook.com/purplehempco/
12. Maple Roch – Maple Roch is also located in Summerland and is a must-visit if you’re a fan of maple syrup. Maple Roch sells organic, Canadian maple syrup bottled in Summerland, BC. On top of the pure syrup, they also sell all sorts of food products with maple in them. They have maple mustards, maple sugar, maple caramel and so much more. At Maple Roch, you can satisfy your ice cream cravings as well, with vegan ice cream options available.
Check out Maple Roch on Facebook: facebook.com/maplerochsyrup/
There you have it, vegan Noggins! Get out there and try these first twelve vegan options in the South Okanagan and read part two here!