A collage, including photos of Earls, Arigato Sushi, and Casa Azul restaurants.

Whether you grew up in Kamloops or the city is new to you entirely, I’m sure we all struggle sometimes when it comes to picking out the best spots in town. Lucky for you, I love food and I love going out to get food. Especially since it means I don’t have to cook it! Thus, here we have: Abby’s Stars – Restaurant Edition. I’m about to tell you my top 3 favourite places to eat in Kamloops using my favourite star level rating system. Each of these restaurants have a variety of dishes that are sure to attract your tastebuds, while staying in your student budget!

Bronze Star: Casa Azul

A photo of the interior of Casa Azul, a Mexican restaurant.

Casa Azul is like walking into the streets of Mexico. As a child, I spent a lot of time immersed in Mexican culture so I can’t say I’m shocked that this restaurant ended up in my top three list. Casa Azul is located downtown on Victoria Street, right in the heart of the city. It is a vibrant little restaurant that focuses on providing customers with not only authentic Mexican cuisine, but also a mirrored Mexican experience. The food is to die for with options including a variety of tacos, enchiladas, quesadillas, and my personal favourite – empanadas! Additionally, the energy in this restaurant is like no other, especially when they bring in mariachi bands. To top it all off, Casa Azul is also a family owned and operated business, meaning that supporting them is like supporting your neighbour, which I think is super important. Overall, Casa Azul steals my heart because of its experience, food, and local backstory, which I think makes it somewhere you would love.

Silver Star: Earls

A photo of the exterior of Earl's restaurant.

The silver star for restaurants in Kamloops does go to a chain restaurant, but there are solid reasons for this. First off, I enjoy researching businesses before I support them and I was delighted when I read the history of this franchise, learning that Earls is a Canadian born restaurant founded by a father-son duo. There’s a lot of other interesting stuff I found about Earls, but I will save the essay and allow you to look at it on your own time. Rest assured though; the research is what prompted me to allow a chain restaurant on this list. So anyways, Earls in Kamloops took one of my top spots due to the feeling I get when I walk in the doors. I love the versatility of this restaurant, as you will see so many different occasions all in one room. As a result of its fancier vibe, this is often a place for formal celebration, but it still offers a casual atmosphere for your regular lunch date. The menu at Earls is quite impressive with so many food and drink options. One piece of feedback I often hear, and agree with, from my student friends is how great their Happy Hour menu is in terms of quality and cost. The thing that stands out the most to me though is how excellent their gluten free options are. As somebody who avoids gluten and dairy, Earls hits a homerun for their delicious options. I would recommend Earls to anyone and everyone because of this.

Gold Star: Arigato Sushi

A photo of the exterior of the restaurant Arigato Sushi.

Finally, for the grand reveal of Abby’s Gold Star Restaurant, drum roll please – Arigato Sushi! This six-time Kamloops award-winning location in best Japanese and Best Asian Restaurant truly deserves the top spot on everyone’s list. Arigato is the best sushi in Kamloops, said not only by me but also by other Kamloopsians in the takeout waiting area every time I go there. This place never disappoints. The food is extraordinary with so many options. My favourite dish is definitely the seafood sunomono. This restaurant is my go-to whenever I feel like treating myself or really just not cooking. With two locations in Aberdeen and Valleyview, Arigato is super accessible no matter where in Kamloops you live. The prices are also bound to make you a routine customer, especially as a TRU student. Arigato offers TRU Students a 10% discount with the proof of their student id card. I could go on and on about all the reasons why Arigato is the best, but I recommend that you go try it yourself and then you’ll fully understand.

Well, there you have it folks. Kamloops is the place to be for a foodie like me. (The rhyme was totally unintentional). Aside from my top 3, there are many restaurants in Kamloops that are awaiting your reservation, so get ready to explore during your time here! Happy eating!

Future Student Ambassador, Abby – Bachelor of Arts, “Abby’s Stars: Restaurant Edition”, 8 Nov. 2022

Other stories you may like

Back to all news

Search news stories