My trip to Penticton in February 2020 (dun dun dun) stands as one of my last memories of pre-COVID life—and what a glorious, food-filled memory it is. While the weather outside was truly frightful, the offerings at these restaurants were more than enough reason to brave the snow. Here are the meals I’m still dreaming about.

For the Pizza Freak

Pizzeria Tratto
256 Westminster Ave. W.

Confession: I have put honey on every pizza I’ve made since trying Tratto’s Bee Sting pie (see photo on the right). It’s topped with tomato sauce, fior di latte, gorgonzola, prosciutto, honey and chili, and it’s the ultimate savoury/sweet/spicy combo. There are plenty of classic options as well (margherita, Napoletana, quattro formaggi, you get it) but the Bee Sting is the real queen. 

Pizzeria Tratto

For the Cocktail (or Mocktail) Enthusiast

The Black Antler
215 Winnipeg St.

Husband-and-wife team Dan Prokosh and Lynn Pepin first opened this Penticton bar in 2019, and while the interior is unfussy, the mixed drink offerings are pretty over-the-top. The extensive cocktail list includes a smoky peach paloma and vodka lavender lemonade (plus an extra-wintery drink with whipped vodka, Baileys, Frangelico and butter ripple), along with eight mocktail options.

For the Impulse Buyer

The Bench Market
368 Vancouver Ave.

This charming little spot has all-day breakfasts big and small (from house-made granola to smoked salmon bennies) and a drool-worthy bakery spread, but don’t sleep on the market itself. Grocery shelves are lined with locally made organic jellies, salsas, salad dressings and snacks—edible souvenirs galore.

Bench Market

For the Designophile

994 Lakeshore Dr. W.

Scientists say it’s impossible to not photograph this Turkish eatery. Calgary’s Frank Architecture and Interiors brought the two-storey restaurant to life in a big way—think bold botanical wallpaper, intricate tile detailing, neon signage and a stunning modern bar. The food is just as impressive. Owners Ayse and Mike Barluk serve up elevated takes on classic dishes like pide (Turkish flatbread) and kebabs, and the muhammara is the sort of thing people write love songs about.


READ MORE: 5 More Awesome Places to Visit in B.C. This Winter