Hodge’s yearly best-of Kelowna and area list

Winners are based on my observations as well as those of Tez and a few close friends

On a regular basis each year I run three columns: Charlie’s Angels Christmas List, Podge’s Tourist Guide of Where to (and not) to Go, and this week’s Best-of list.

Winners are based on my observations as well as those of Tez and a few close friends. They are not named because of anything to do with advertisers nor because of anything but the fact that I think they deserve the pat on the back. So here are the highlights of those from the past year:

Best combination view/food Kelowna – Earls on Top, Cactus Club on Water St., Pyramid Winery.

Best combination view/food rural – Ancient Hills Winery, Quails Gate.

Best Kelowna restaurant for dinner – Kelly O’Bryan’s, Memphis House of Blues, The Grand Hotel, Montana’s.

Best Kept Secret (funky place to eat) – Central (Central Kitchen and Bar – CPH).

Best Waterfront Pub/Food – Rosie’s, Cactus Club on Water, The Eldorado, Manteo’s Resort.

Best Regional Waterfront Food – Gasthaus on the Lake (Peachland), Blue Rooster (Peachland).

Best Kelowna lunch – Grateful Fed, Brown’s Social House, Brown Bag.

Best Breakfast – Perkins, Cafe Soleil, Rickey’s, IHOP.

Best Chinese Food – Yum Yum Tree at Capri Centre.

Best Soup – Grateful Fed.

Best Italian – Momma Rosa.

Best pizza – Olympia Greek Taverna in Rutland.

Best Kelowna pub (small) – McCullough Station, The Exchange.

Best Kelowna pub (large) – BNA, Original Joes, Rosie’s.

Best regional pub – Turtle Bay Marina – Lake Country.

Best Social Pub or hangout – Browne’s Social House.

Best sports pub – Sturgeon Hall, Dakota’s, Baxter’s.

Friendliest restaurant staff – Grateful Fed, Ricky’s, Yum Yum.

Friendliest sales staff Kelowna – IDA (Capri Mall), Home Depot.

Best Bakery – Nesters.

Best Butcher – Johnny’s Meats, Nesters.

Best Book Store – Robbie’s Rare Books, Mosaic Books.

Best Music Store – Wentworth Music.

Best Clothing Store – Moore’s, Robertson’s Clothing.

Best live Music – Grateful Fed, Blue Gator, O’Flannigans.

Best rural live music – Blue Rooster (Peachland).

Best Concert Facility – Kelowna Community Theatre.

Best Jam night – Riley’s Pub with the Green Room Riders, anything hosted by Jim LeGuilloux.

Favourite Bands – Linus, Jimmy LeGuilloux Band, Dirt Road Opera, Sherman Doucette.

Solo Musician – Keith (Papa) Thom, Rick Halisheff.

Best Local Magazine – Okanagan Life.

Best Free Outdoor Concerts – Music in the Park– listing on City web site.

Best Roofer – Mike Pearce. He might be an east-coaster and just a tad too much fun, but Mike can fix a roof quick and efficiently. He is not crazy about it but if you whine enough he may just help you.

Best Electrician/Handyman – Robert (Bob) McKinnon claims to be retired but he keeps pretty busy and for good reason.

Best Oral Surgeon team – Dr. Russell Naito, Dr. Bell, RN Deb Naito, and CDA Kathy Truant at Okanagan Oral Surgery. Amazing and accommodating.

New Dentist in Town – Jeff Kozak at Bernard Dental.

Best Respiratory Nurse – Robin Carter.

Best Financial Consultant – Charlie Peet.

Best walk/dog walk – Mission Creek Greenway.

Best Place to People Watch – Rosie’s Waterfront Pub, The Sails, Wings.

Intersections to Avoid – Highway 97 and Spall, 97 and Gordon.

Favourite Hideaway – Echo Lake with Curtis and my canoe, Bear Creek Canyon, Maud Roxby bird sanctuary, my back yard.

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