Don’t let Loops’ small-town vibe fool you—its food scene rivals that of bigger cities in British Columbia
We just couldn’t keep this one to ourselves. While cities like Vancouver and Victoria often hog the spotlight as British Columbia's culinary capitals, some of the province's most exciting food experiences can be found off the beaten path.
Kamloops, once considered a mere pit stop en-route from Vancouver to the Okanagan, has marinated into a must-visit destination for foodies.
The city boasts a diverse array of international eateries, each serving up delicious and innovative dishes. Whether you're craving spicy curries or a melt-in-your-mouth Bannock-wich, Kamloops eateries are sure to satisfy your taste buds with their tantalizing flavours and ingredients sourced from across the globe.
And thanks to the area’s long growing season, you can expect an incredible range of delicious local dishes made with seasonal ingredients, too.
We did the tough job of stuffing our faces with delicious food to find the hottest spots. Be warned, after trying out our recommendations, you'll be planning your next visit to Kamloops before you can even say, "cheque, please!
Looking for some truly authentic Mexican grub? Look no further than Casa Azul! The vibrant decor is totally authentic and will have you feeling like you're chilling in a cool cantina. In the springtime, soak up some rays and enjoy the colourful patio area, which will transport you right to the heart of Mexico. The owners, César and Monica, draw inspiration from their hometown to create a menu of dishes made with only the freshest ingredients.
Must-Try: Tacos Para Dos. You get eight tacos (2 of each) of your choice so you can try all their greatest hits, like the carnitas and cochinita pibil. This dish comes with rice and beans, and you can pick your heat level depending on your tolerance. Top Tip: The Habanero and Chile de Arbol salsas are best reserved for hardcore spice fans, while the Pico de Gallo and Tomatillo are recommended for those with a more delicate palette. Courtesy @heybethtaylor
Welcome to a slice of Jamaican heaven right in the heart of Kamloops! Jamaican Kitchen is a family-owned restaurant specializing in authentic home-style Jamaican dishes. Owners Kamau and Denese Metsimela hail from the island and bring their expert knowledge to every dish. As a Red Seal chef and restaurant owner for 20+ years, you know you're in good hands with Kamau’s creations. Whether you're in the mood for breakfast or lunch, their Jamaican dishes come with tantalizing twists on classic Canadian favourites.
Must-Try: Jamaican Sunshine eggs benny. The poached eggs come with smoked jerk pulled pork, rum hollandaise and spinach piled on top of fluffy Jamaican Johnny cakes, served with a side of sweet potatoes. Pair it with an imported Jamaican soda like Pink Ting and Cola Champagne, or finish it off with a cup of Marley Coffee.Courtesy: Dylan Sherrard
JACOB’S NOODLE & CUTLET
If you’re craving authentic traditional Korean and Japanese food, Jacob’s Noodle & Cutlet is the place to be. Foodies from all over B.C. make a trip to Jacob's Noodle & Cutlet for their famous Sundubu-jjigae. It's a spicy Korean stew served in a hot pot with seafood, tofu, egg and rice—a rare find inland. And if that's not enough to tempt your taste buds, their specialty Katsu (or cutlet) is a must. The staff are super friendly and treat every guest like they're family.
Must-Try: Other than the Sundubu-jjigae and Katsu, the Deep-fried Downtown Roll. Stuffed with prawn tempura, crab meat, cucumber, spicy cream cheese and yam crunchies on top, this is the perfect harmony of textures and tastes that will leave you wanting another round.
Kekuli Café is the brainchild of Indigenous owners Sharon Bond-Hogg and Darren Hogg. Their mission was simple: to create a warm and inviting space filled with traditional music that would make anyone who walks through the door feel right at home. Showcasing the incredible bounty of local and Indigenous ingredients, you will find juicy cuts of deer and moose bursting with flavour, and sweet, tangy berries that will take your taste buds on a journey. Every ingredient is used with the utmost respect for the land.
Must-Try: PowWow Power Bowl. Take your pick from Saskatoon BBQ Chicken, Scrambled Beef, or Blueberry Venison. These bowls come loaded with fresh homemade salsa, rice, lettuce and a medley of corn, black beans and chickpeas. Top Tip: Try their handmade Bannock! Vegetarian and non-vegetarian Bannock-wiches are available for breakfast. And for those with a sweet tooth, indulge in various sweet Bannock flavours, including Skor, Maple Glaze, Berry Scones and Lemon Butterhorn. You won't be disappointed!Courtesy: @pnwwanderingwoman
DORIAN GREEK HOUSE
Serving the best Greek food in Kamloops since 2003, Dorian Greek House boasts a beautiful Greek alleyway ambiance with its rustic decor. For a more intimate dining experience, the second floor offers a romantic bistro-style setting, or, if you prefer, you can sit outside in the summer and enjoy the bustling outdoor patio while taking in the stunning Kamloops sunsets. Highly skilled chefs use traditional Greek cooking methods, ensuring an authentic meal. Portions are generous, so come with an empty stomach!
Must-Try: Mushroom Chicken. The mushrooms are sauteed in garlic butter and herbs with creamy dill sauce on a bed of linguine noodles and served with a side of delicious garlic toast.
MADRAS MASALA & GRILL
Just off the beaten path is where you will find this authentic South Indian food experience. When craving a taste of home, international students at Thompson Rivers University will often be found at Madras Masala & Grill. Slow-cooked dishes and bread using tandoori clay ovens give the food a unique flavour. The menu caters to gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian diets and its standout dish, the Dosa, is the most authentic version available in the city.
Must-Try: Paneer Masala Dosa. Grated paneer sprinkled on top of rice, a lentil crepe (the dosa) and stuffed with potato masala. It comes with bright and spicy chutney and sambhar, a lentil-based vegetable stew cooked with pigeon pea and tamarind broth. Courtesy: @heybethtaylor
If you're looking for a chill hangout spot in Kamloops, Lemongrass is the locals' top pick, year-round. Indulge in authentic Vietnamese Pho customized to your liking, or try the many delicious Asian fusion dishes made from scratch using fresh, sustainable ingredients. Don't miss their killer Banh Mi sandwich at Lemongrass's new North Shore location in the Yew Street Food Hall. It's seriously amazing!
Must-Try: Laksa Soup. This one is for Pho lovers, like us, who want to try something different. Thicker in texture, this curry flavour soup is made with Laksa paste (which generally contains dried chilies, shallots, turmeric, lemongrass, tamarind, galangal and shrimp paste) and comes with vermicelli noodles, seasonal vegetables, chicken and prawns.
Martin and Bernadette Creutz Lechleitner transported the flavours of their beloved Amsterdam and its delectable Dutch cuisine to Kamloops in 2000. Locally-sourced fresh ingredients and an extensive breakfast, brunch and lunch menu have made the restaurant a community staple. They cater to all dietary needs, offering vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options. Amsterdam Restaurant is the only place in town to get authentic pannenkoeken (Dutch crepes). Be prepared for generous portions—come hungry!
Must Try: Dutch Beef Kroketten. Two small rolls of braised beef and tender vegetable stew, breaded and fried to perfection, topped with garlic dill pickle and accompanied by grainy mustard and Dutch mayonnaise for dipping. Or, for a boost of energy to start the day off right, opt for a traditional breakfast!Courtesy: @heybethtaylor
KROB KRUA THAI
Husband and wife duo, Kamphon and Vipawan Muktier, opened Krob Krua (meaning ‘family’ in Thai) to bring an authentic taste of Thailand to Kamloops. Taking a unique approach, they do not use fish sauce to make the dishes more palatable to Western tastes. This allows them to keep the dishes vegan and vegetarian-forward. Portions focus on flavour rather than size to allow customers to try as many dishes as possible.
Must Try: Tom Yum Goong. A hot and sour gluten-free Thai soup with shrimp, mushroom, tomatoes, lemon grass, lime leaves, Galangal and Cilantro.
This family-owned restaurant first opened in 1986 and today is run by the talented husband and wife team, Barry and Nicole Persaud. Head chef Barry’s passion for traditional Italian cooking and use of fresh, local ingredients results in mouth-watering dishes that transport you to Italy. Meanwhile, Nicole's warm and welcoming personality makes everyone feel like family. Expect a line out the door at Peter’s Pasta, but the wait is definitely worth it.
Must-Try: Seafood Puttanesca. It comes with sautéed prawns, scallops and shrimp with capers and black olives in marinara sauce over a bed of Linguine. You can even order extra pasta or seafood if you’ve got a big appetite after mountain biking or hiking in the area.
Discover more about Kamloops' vibrant and creative food scene that will keep you ‘looping’ back for more! Visit https://www.tourismkamloops.com/ and https://www.tourismkamloops.com/spring/ for more information.
CREATED BY BCLIVING, IN PARTNERSHIP WITH TOURISM KAMLOOPS