Rocky J’s Beach Hut’s cooks and owners, Don and Joanne, bring their vision for a relaxed, beach-inspired eatery to life with omelettes, burgers, and sandwiches made with locally sourced ingredients. Breakfast fare wakes up appetites all day, ideal for revivifying mouths with homestyle pancakes and bacon for dinner after all-day tongue-twister competitions. To sate post-meridian-style cravings, pesto and homemade honey mustard enliven whole-grain paninis, toasted herb-and-garlic buns cushion burgers, and inventive salads borrow from the land and sea.
Patrons lounge amid red walls decorated with bright wooden masks and model boats as they unwind with a beer or soak in views of Okanagan Lake from the expansive porch. From May to October, the porch’s bamboo-and-thatch stage hosts live music from myriad genres, and karaoke on Friday nights lets singers serenade stars and send up siren songs to UFOs.
Chronic Tacos, whose tacos and burritos were voted some of the best in Vancouver in 2012 by readers of Georgia Straight, culls its recipes from the salsa-splattered pages of a family recipe book filled with three generations of Mexican delicacies. Chefs marinate and grill juicy morsels of steak, chicken, and pork several times a day, then tenderly tuck them into preservative-free corn and flour tortillas. To add extra zest, dollops of housemade salsa and sour cream perch atop tacos and, in the event of an emergency, rain from sprinkler systems.
Staff members fold quesadillas and plate steamy servings of chicken souvlaki from the menu, blending influences from the Mediterranean, Canada, and Latin America. In the background, espresso machines sputter bold brews with coffees from ReSiprocate, an organic, fair-trade company. Glasses chirp together in toasts before the full bar, which is stocked with wines from Wild Goose Vineyard, a British Columbia winery, and preservative-free craft beers from nearby Cannery Brewing. Inside the dining area, strains from occasional live jazz drift across wood tables the colour of melting caramel, and the scents from poutine and gyros drift up toward soaring timber ceilings and agoraphobic kites. Leather couches covered with cushions huddle against the goldenrod walls and hug patrons sipping mugs of coffee.