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Best of Pemberton 2023

The winds of change blew swiftly through Spud Valley this past year, at least judging by the results of this year’s Best of Pemberton poll.

 In one of the fastest-growing communities in B.C., locals have, historically speaking, favoured the familiar in Pique’s annual reader survey highlighting the best and brightest Pemberton has to offer. Several Best of Pemberton mainstays did return in 2023, however—The Hwy. Cafe once again topped the list of locals’ favourite restaurants, for instance, while other regulars such as perennial Favourite Writer Lisa Richardson and Favourite Band, beloved country rockers, Dakota Pearl, reclaimed their titles. But there were just as many new faces in the crowd this year. Bruce Miller of The Beer Farmers fame narrowly beat out long-time Favourite Pembertonian and local icon Bob Menzel, and we’ve got a three-way tie for Favourite Volunteer after Graham Turner earned that accolade for several years running. 

You’ll also notice a few changes to the poll itself, primarily designed to make it a more manageable size. As always, we are open to suggestions, so if you have any ideas to make next year’s poll even better, don’t hesitate to email features editor Brandon Barrett at [email protected]

So, here’s to you, Pemberton. A tip of the cowboy hat (or bike helmet?) to you and yours for another fantastic year in Spud Valley. - Brandon Barrett 




Favourite Neighbourhood 

1. Pemberton Meadows 

2. The Glen 

3. Birken 

Most Desirable Amenity Missing from Pemberton 

1. Swimming pool 

2. Ice rink 

3. More restaurants 

No. 1 Reason We’re Not Like Whistler 

1. Sense of community 

2. Less people/tourists  

3. Strong local culture 

News Story of the Year 

1. Benchlands development 

2. The Lil’wat Nation’s land-back movement 

3. Municipal election 

Favourite Volunteer 

1. TIE: Claire Fuller, Julie Kelly, Kathy Leverton

Favourite Pembertonian 

1. Bruce Miller 

2. Bob Menzel 

3. Six-way tie for third 


Media, Arts& Culture


Favourite Artist/Artisan 

1. Painter Karen Love 

2. Painter Vanessa Stark 

3. Painter and multimedia artist Levi Nelson 

Favourite Band/Musician 

1. Dakota Pearl 

2. Austin Ross 

3. “Grateful” Greg Reamsbottom of The Hairfarmers 

Favourite Photographer 

1. Kelly Cosgrove 

2. Brittany Andrew 

3. Shane Roy 

Favourite Writer* 

1. Lisa Richardson 

2. Anna Helmer 

*No other candidate received votes. 

Favourite Cultural Event/Initiative 

1. Slow Food Cycle 

2. Lil’wat Rodeo 

3. Pemberton Barn Dance


Food & Drink 

Favourite Overall Restaurant 

1. TIE: The Hwy. Cafe and The Pony Restaurant 

3. Fish and Rice 

Best Service 

1. The Hwy. Cafe

2. Sunstone Bar & Grill 

3. TIE: Fish and Rice and The Pony Restaurant 

Best Value 

1. The Hwy. Cafe 

2. Miller’s Fries 

3. Sunstone Bar & Grill 

Best Breakfast 

1. Town Square 

2. Blackbird Bakery 

3. North Arm Farm 

Best Coffee 

1. Mount Currie Coffee Company 

2. Blackbird Bakery 

3. Lynx Cafe 

Best Plant-based Menu 

1. The Hwy. Cafe 

2. Stay Wild Natural Health 

3. Mile One Eating House 

Best Dessert 

1. Blackbird Bakery 

2. The Pony Restaurant 

3. The Hwy. Cafe

Best Beer Selection 

1. The Beer Farmers 

2. The Pony Restaurant 

3. Pemberton Brewing Company 

Best Patio 

1. Fescues Restaurant 

2. The Beer Farmers 

3. Sunstone Bar & Grill 


Sports & Recreation 

Favourite Golf Course 

1. Big Sky Golf Club 

2. Sunstone Golf Club 

Favourite Bike Trail 

1. Mackenzie 

2. Cream Puff 

3. TIE: Bathtub, Happy Trail and Radio Tower 

Favourite Hiking Trail 

1. Lumpy’s Epic 

2. Nairn Falls 

3. Joffre Lakes 

Favourite Lake 

1. Mosquito Lake 

2. Gates Lake 

3. Birkenhead Lake 

Favourite Summer Adventure Activity 

1. Mountain biking 

2. Backcountry hiking 

3. Horseback riding 

Favourite Winter Adventure Activity 

1. Backcountry skiing and snowboarding 

2. Cross-country skiing 

3. TIE: Snowmobiling and snowshoeing 

Favourite Athlete 

1. TIE: Lucas Cruz and Logan Pehota 

2. Ethan Hess 

3. Trinity Ellis  



Business Services 

Favourite New Business 

1. BAO’s Chinese Restaurant

2. A-Line Tattoo 

3. Dandelion and Clover 

Favourite Farm 

1. North Arm Farm 

2. Laughing Crow Organics 

3. Rootdown Organic Farm 

Favourite Tourism Operator 

1. The Beer Farmers 

2. Copper Cayuse Outfitters 

3. Blackcomb Helicopters 

Favourite Gas Station 

1. AC Gas

2. Lil’wat Gas Station 

3. Pemberton Petro Canada 

Favourite Hotel or Bed & Breakfast 

1. Pemberton Valley Lodge 

2. Pemberton Hotel 

3. The Log House Inn

Favourite Wedding Venue 

1. Riverlands Red Barn

2. North Arm Farm 

3. Big Sky Golf Club 

Favourite Wellness Service 

1. Leaning Cedar Therapy 

2. Ivy Esthetics 

3. Local Motion Therapy 

Favourite Realtor 

1. Danielle Menzel 

2. Katelyn Spink 

3. Lisa Hilton 

Favourite Building/Construction Company 

1. Fitzgerald Building Company 

2. New Leaf Contracting

3. BC Passive House