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HERO IMAGE Thompson Okanagan

The Thompson Okanagan is a large region in the Interior of British Columbia that boasts a wide range of climates, from shrub-steppe semi-desert in the South to a temperate rainforest in the North. This diverse climate provides the perfect environment for agricultural farming to flourish, making it an ideal destination for foodies. Here, visitors can connect with local farmers and gain a deeper appreciation for the food they consume. They can learn about the history and culture of the region through the food, and savour the flavours and textures of dishes that are made with care and attention to detail. 

The region's abundant farmland and orchards provide fresh and seasonal ingredients to local restaurants. Many establishments follow the farm-to-table philosophy, where chefs create dishes using locally sourced produce, meats, and dairy products. This mindset is reflected in all types of food experiences, from casual eateries to family-friendly restaurants, and upscale fine dining establishments. Along with restaurants being able to purchase local produce, vibrant farmer’s markets can be found throughout the region, offering visitors and locals the chance to shop from local farmers and create their own farm-to-table meals. 

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With 33 Indigenous communities in the region, there are many opportunities to experience traditional Indigenous-inspired cuisine created with a zero waste, Indigenous philosophy in mind. In the Thompson Okanagan, food is not just fuel but an integral part of the community and the environment, where people come together to celebrate the joys of food and drink and where visitors can learn about and appreciate the importance of sustainable and responsible food practices. 

The Thompson Okanagan is home to four wine regions: the Similkameen Valley, the Okanagan Valley, the Thompson Valley, and the Shuswap. Each winery is home to a different climate and terroir, creating the region's diverse wine portfolio. Many wineries are incorporating sustainable practices into their operations to ensure the quality of wine and their grounds remain intact. Many have their own gardens and farms that work together to process waste, fertilize the land and supply their in-house restaurants if they have one, with fresh herbs and produce. 

The region is not solely recognized for its ability to grow grapes; it is well known for the fruit and grains as well. Breweries, cideries, and distilleries have begun to open throughout the region, using locally sourced ingredients to produce delicious beverages. At each of the establishments paired with a restaurant, you will find dedicated staff who are working hard to create tasty, locally-inspired meals, while ensuring your food compliments the beverages perfectly and reflects the land the food is sourced from.

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The Thompson Okanagan hosts numerous events during the year that celebrate the rich agriculture, culinary, and wine scene throughout the region. The Festival of the Grape, hosted in Oliver at the end of every September, celebrates the harvest season with traditions like the stomping of the grapes and excellent food and wine to enjoy. Another yearly event is the Okanagan Wine Festival, which showcases the incredible wines produced up and down the Okanagan Valley. Fall fairs are also frequent throughout the region, showcasing local farmers with their animals and produce raised and grown in the region. 

These celebrations bring communities together and acknowledge the incredible work of local farmers, winemakers, and chefs from throughout the region and acknowledge the rich land it is all produced from. 

Experiences for your tasting

A proud member of the Culinary Tourism Alliance.