When it’s time to take a break, grab a cup of coffee with a friend, or catch up over a mocha with a colleague, Penticton has a number of shops to warm you in winter or for an iced cappuccino in summer. Since it’s December as we tally this list of a few suggested spots, hopefully the thought of a warm mug is enticing.

Just across the street from the construction underway at the Penticton Regional Hospital, a warm fireplace, bright windows, and all-day Belgian waffles greet you at Dolce Melli, not to mention slices of fresh banana bread big enough to share. Plenty of space to chat over an espresso as a stream of take-out customers pops in. The patio in summer would be a nice spot for a break for ice cream.

In warm weather, the outdoor seating right next to Okanagan Lake at the Prague Cafe allows you to park your bike (special treats are available for cyclists) and enjoy the outdoors, but in winter, the bounty of European pastries will beckon you to come inside for strudel, babovka, carrot cake, or the bluest blueberry muffins. And, of course, coffee, or a ginger tea.

Further afield, a short and scenic journey to the village of Naramata will take you to the Village Grounds or the Grape Leaf (check both for seasonal hours) for a longer break away from your laptop, perhaps stopping in at a winery on the way back to town to pick up a bottle to pair with dinner. Drop by the Bench Market on your way in for an extra shot of caffeine and to raid the takeout fridge.

Just a half a block from the iconic peach concession stand is the Hideaway Bakery and Cafe, where you’ll be tempted by an array of baked goods — try the apple/cheese/bacon scone — and pick up some fresh buns before grabbing a latte to take the long way back to work for a walk along the shore of the lake.

Further into downtown Penticton, counter or table service can be found at the Bellevue Cafe or the Saint-Germaine Cafe and Gallery, both with many choices for quench your coffee fix or sweet tooth, and both adorn their walls with art, the Saint-Germaine sometimes hosting an occasional performance.

And if you’re heading south for a change of view, the KJ Coffee Bar in Okanagan Falls is just a short walk to the shores of Skaha Lake. Reflect on the tasks done for today while enjoying a salted caramel latte, waving back to Penticton on the opposite shore.

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