Vernon Food Trails: Downtown Eats & Drinks

In this third part of the series of where you can eat in downtown Vernon, we lead you to even more fantastic treats, eats, and beverages! Meet local business owners and support them by referencing this guide when you’re out and about in the city’s core. Watch for more segments to come that feature more of Vernon’s burgeoning food scene!


The Roxy Café

Tucked around the corner from the main downtown Vernon thoroughfare, there is a cozy award-winning café. Owners and long-time pals, Linda and Carolyn, call The Roxy Café a “Veggie Forward Bruncheteria & Sourdough Breadery.” You’ll find that The Roxy lives up to this description when eating their delicious veggie and sourdough-based food for breakfast and lunch. While they do offer some non-plant foods, the spotlight is on vegan or vegetarian friendly eats, a lot of which can be made gluten free or dairy free.

to-go meal

Roxy’s signature Ramen Bowl – a gluten-free umami-rich bowl with millet noodles, sesame tofu, vegetables, peanuts, and a sauce with a kick – is just a sample of a vast list of bowls, salads, “sammies” and more that even meat lovers relish. But let’s not stop there… Carolyn’s pride and joy is using sourdough in most of the baked goods, with a starter that she lovingly feeds so that the bake goes on!

Carolyn and Linda continue to look for ways to serve the community. They are forward thinkers dedicated to creating a place to belong with good food. We can’t wait to see what else they dream up.

Remember to come early for the best selection of breads, pastries, cruffins and more.

Samosa Joe’s

Come meet Joe, an unmistakably friendly local fellow who makes tantalizing bundles of goodness in the first samosa bakery in the Okanagan! You may wonder how these triangular flavour-packed morsels are not greasy. According to Joe, passionate master of the samosa, they are cooked, not deep fried.

The samosa list is wide-ranging, offering savoury potato vegetable, butter chicken, paneer, beef… no matter what you choose, Joe likes to say “try one and you’ll be hooked!”

Each samosa is filled generously, and the house-made sauce pairs perfectly. Admittedly, it’s hard to not eat your entire order before exiting Samosa Joe’s


But wait, there’s more! Have you ever tried a truly authentic pakora? A favourite of South Asian street finger food fare, these crispy and lightly fried (vegetable, chicken, fish) fritters are all created in house too.

We highly recommend you order ahead so you can grab and go.

Keep in mind Joe and team can custom create fresh platters with your choice of samosas and pakoras for your next gathering. We like that we can party with Samosa Joe’s at home too.

Teassential Teas

This delightful top-reviewed little tea shoppe in downtown Vernon is owned and operated by local couple Alysia and Tyrone. The Teassential Teas team has worked hard to offer a comfortable experience for folks to learn about the world of tea. Educating people is one of their passions; they encourage you to ask them questions. Come prepared to sniff! You are invited to smell the tea assortments and suggest selections based on your preferences.

Teassential Teas has a wonderful collection of interesting tea ware as well as some more unusual tea blends. There are over 140 types of tea for every tea lover’s pleasure. Here you’ll find rooibos, white, oolong, black, green… and another featured product, bubble tea. You haven’t had? Do join the adventure and try one.

tea shop

While most of the gifts and products Teassential sells are for take away, you can buy a freshly made in-house sip-and-go beverage like bubble tea, White Chocolate Chai to warm on the cooler days, or a Northern Lights Tea Lemonade to quench your thirst on a hot Okanagan day. But you might find any drink is perfect no matter the season or weather!

Expect to find favourite and new tea treasures every time you’re at Teassential.

Station BBQ Smokehouse

There is an authentic, slow-smoked southern barbeque right here in Vernon! Can you say tender, juicy and mouth-watering? Chefs and owners Tanya (“The Boss”) and Eric (“Not The Boss”) ensure all dishes are made in-house and from scratch, including all sauces and dressings. Located in Vernon’s iconic train station, Station BBQ has served thousands of meals to happy customers since they first opened their doors in 2014.

The Station BBQ Smokehouse team are constantly looking for ways to bring the authentic taste of the deep south to Vernon, with a twist. How about catfish and shrimp, gumbo, frickles, moutine, or candy bacon? They have the best chili around, and they have the hardware (awards) to prove it: Station BBQ has won the Vernon Winter Carnival chili cookoff multiple years in a row.

bbq meal

Be prepared to get messy; but messy is good. Not to worry. There are plenty of napkins and lemon water for handwashing to help clean yo’self. Try saving room for one of their decadent desserts too! 

As Tanya and Eric say, Station BBQ is dedicated to “continue smoking, drinking up good stories and serving passionate, wholesome food to incredible people from around the world.” Sounds like a great plan!

 Article and images by Loretta Friedrich