Penticton-based writer Roslyne Buchanan explores local cuisine from around the world...
Are you craving borscht like Baba made, Scotch eggs, Bao, tacos, strudel, or some other ethnic cuisine at a dine-in restaurant? In Penticton, our culinary choices are diversifying and your options to satiate those cravings are expanding.
Most recently added to the scene is the Polish Bistro, where Walter Hrynkiewicz and his wife Alicja are offering borscht, cabbage rolls, perogies and other comfort food based on their Warsaw heritage, and just next door, Martyn Lewis (who hails from Liverpool), has opened Brexit; he describes it as a “British pub for Canadian people”. Here you’ll find that Scotch egg, fish & chips, bangers & mash, and other English fare including the outrageously decadent, deep fried Mars Bar.
To feel like you’re dining in France without an airplane ticket, grab a seat at Front Street Brasserie. Here Chef/Owner John Burke and co-owners, his wife Lisa Baxter-Burke and friend Kathy Malone, have created an atmosphere in which to savour offerings such as duck confit, Prawns Provencal and crepes. Continuing with those European sensibilities is The Prague Café. Michal Gjurisic and wife Daniela Lojkova, Warsaw originals, present Czech Republic delicacies like cake and strudel with periodic specials of goulash and schnitzel.
Since 1976, Theo and Mary Theodasakis (and now son Nikos), fashioned a Greek island in Theo’s Restaurant. Think avgolemono and bean soups, Greek salads, dips and pita bread, moussaka, Cretan-style family platters highlighting local produce and so much more. To slake those Greek cravings, there’s also Spiros Cubby Hole, and Mykonos Pizza & Spaghetti House. Plus, the Portalakis family present Greek and Italian food at La Casa Ouzeria with budget-friendly themed specials like souvlaki and ribs.
Did someone mention Italian? For a lively atmosphere and great daily deals, try the Pasta Factory. Knowing Penticton is such a sports-minded town, it even offers special Team Dinners for groups of 12 people or more. For an elegant take on Italian cuisine, Villa Rosa Ristorante has been offering a classic upscale Italian menu since 1996. While you’re there, buy owner Nicole Gable’s cookbook, Cibo Okanagan to try to mimic her dishes at home.
In Asian-influenced cuisine, there are many Penticton options. Stix Bao and Bubble Tea for Korean; Iyara Thai, Cambo Beach Restaurant, and Saigon on Main. Japanese and sushi choices such as Sushi Genki, Kojo Sushi & Catering, Isshin Sushi Bar & Asian Dining, and Lee’s Overseas. Specializing in Indian cuisine are Ashoka, or Lachi, while Chinese food is available at Beijing Restaurant, China Palace, and Penticton Buffet.
Mexican? Vallarta Grill since 2002, Taquila Vallarta Mexicano, and tiny space while tasty Tacos del Norte. In addition, Mexican-born Abul Adame at The Kitchen at Da Silva Winery presents Portuguese tapas with Mexican flair during peak wine touring season.
Truly, Penticton’s ethnic food choices are growing more diverse with future hot spots on the way.