Columbia Valley Restaurants
Cafes and restaurants are scattered through towns and villages the length of the Columbia Valley. Standards vary considerably, but you will find lots of no frills, homestyle cooking. To make finding your way around easier, we’ve listed our choices below from north (Radium Hot Springs) to south (Cranbrook).
Why is this important? The internet is overflowing with restaurant review sites, most of which are filled with content supplied by the restaurants themselves (although you’re never told that) and then opened to user comments. On this site, at every restaurant you see this symbol, you can be assured our review comes from personal experience. We live here. We dine out here. We have no affiliation with any of these restaurants. They have not paid to be included. We recommend them simply because we feel they are the best places to dine in town.
Springs Course RestaurantAddress: (Stanley Street Phone: 250/347-9311 Open: 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily Apr. to Oct. Prices: dinner mains $15 to $25
The town of Radium Hot Springs holds several good choices for a food break, including breakfast at the Springs Course Restaurant, at the golf course on the west side of the highway. The view from the deck, overlooking the Columbia River and Purcell Mountains, is nothing short of stunning. The food is good and remarkably inexpensive; in the morning, for example, an omelet with three fillings, hash browns, and toast is just $12.Address: Main Street W. Phone: 250/347-0097 Open: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily in summer Prices: lunch and dinner mains $13 to $19
Back in town, Back Country Jack’s is decorated with real antiques and real hard bench seats in private booths. There’s a wide variety of platters to share, including Cowboy Caviar (nachos and baked beans) and a surprisingly good barbecued chicken soup. For a main, the half-chicken, half-ribs, and all the extras for two ($34) is a good deal.
Invermere may hold limited accommodations, but it has plenty of eateries and two major grocery stores. On a Saturday morning in downtown Invermere through summer, you’ll find all sorts of goodies at the outdoor market, which happens right on the main street. Farther down the hill, the Quality Bakery (888/681-9977, 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mon. to Sat., daily in summer) lives up to its name with a huge range of ultrahealthy sandwiches and not-so-healthy cakes and pastries.
Invermere’s most upscale dining room is Strand’s (up the hill from the main street at 818 12th St., 250/342-6344, 5 to 9 p.m. daily, $24 to 38). It’s contained in a restored 1912 heritage house set on landscaped gardens, with diners seated in small, intimate rooms. The immaculately presented seasonal menu often includes delicacies such as trout, salmon, and venison that are served with a wide selection of vegetables.
Bean Tree (295 Spokane St., 250/427-7889, , noon to 3 p.m. and 6 to 10 p.m. daily) is a cozy, small-town café at the north end of the Platzl. Coffee is as good as it gets in town and there’s a few tables in the back room for enjoying light lunches and oversized cinnamon buns.
Kimberley has a couple of Bavarian-themed restaurants on the Platzl,but my favourite is Old Bauernhaus, on the west side of town. It features specialties, such as bratwurst, rheinischer sauerbraten, Wiener schnitzel, and kassler rippchen. It’s in a post-and-beam building originally constructed about 350 years ago in southern Bavaria. The building was taken apart, shipped to Canada, and painstakingly rebuilt.
A local favorite for an inexpensive meal is Hot Shots. Breakfast choices include homemade granola; a Mediterranean breakfast pita; and a prosciutto, egg, and blue cheese Panini. Asian-inspired menu choices at lunch include lemongrass and curried prawn salad, grilled satays, and a Thai coconut noodle bowl.
Allegra is an intimate restaurant with a menu dominated by southern European specialties: think air-dried beef Carpaccio for a starter and rack of lamb roasted in an olive and feta crust as a main, or save a few bucks with one of the deliciously creative pastas. The wine list has lots of Canadian choices sold by the glass or bottle, including from the nearby Skimmerhorn Winery.