North Lake Tahoe’s breathtaking views, vast waterscape, and endless recreational activities are famously awe-inspiring. What you may not know is that the crown jewel of the Sierra Nevada is also home to some of the tastiest culinary delights in the region, with dozens of home-grown restaurants, celebrated restaurateurs, plus bites and sips from every cuisine you could think of.
If you’re looking for a good time to explore this culinary haven, November is a perfect time. The California Restaurant Foundation (CRF), a nonprofit that invests in and empowers California’s restaurant workforce, has invited all Californians to participate in its second annual The Grateful Table Dine Out initiative. The campaign will drive awareness of the importance of supporting local restaurants and restaurant workers throughout the month of November. It’s a win-win for your appetite and the community.
We’ve rounded up some of the most delicious and unique dining opportunities in the region. That way, while you work up a hefty appetite, you can plan your tour of Tahoe’s best bites as part of your North Lake Tahoe adventure.
Break Your Fast With A Big Brunch
Start your day off right with the perfect breakfast—or brunch—in North Lake Tahoe.
Mimosas, Bloody Marys. Fluffy eggs. Warm waffles. Bacon, bursting with flavor. What isn’t there to love about brunch? Whether you’re waking up in Tahoe or starting your day trip there, Tahoe is the perfect setting to start your day with a feast.
Regional favorites include:
- Carnelian Bay’s Old Post Office Café: A breakfast and lunch staple on the north shore, this restaurant recently underwent a full remodel including the addition of a new outdoor seating section, but you’ll still find their friendly staff and heaping helpings that they’re known for. Here, you build your own breakfast from a series of staples or try one of their specialties (like the famed Hangover Helper). While you’re at it, consider washing your meal down with their freshly-squeezed juices or indulge in a refreshing morning mimosa.
- Tahoe City’s Fireside Café: A cozily appointed joint serving breakfast and lunch each day of the week, the Fireside Café is popular among residents and visitors alike—with good reason. Diners can enjoy the restaurant’s fresh-made juices, vegan-friendly and gluten-free options, or their signature West Shore Special either in the comfort of the homestyle cafe, or surrounded by Tahoe’s gorgeous alpine trees on their spacious patio.
- Olympic Valley’s Coffeebar: Looking to energize, socialize and tap into that amazing “first thing in the morning energy”? Tahoe’s take on Coffeebar is certainly the place to be. Start your day with a variety of vertically-sourced coffee beverages, or step out of your comfort zone and try something new, like the vegan-friendly Turmeric Latte. While you’re at it, snag some chow. The breakfast burritos and house-made pastries are the perfect treats for Tahoe adventurers on the go.
Drink In Lake and Riverside Views While You Imbibe Lakeside
Jake’s on the Lake is one of many classic lakeside dining choices in North Lake Tahoe. Photo courtesy of Mikolaj Walczuk.
What’s better than a delicious meal? A delicious meal served in a beautiful location. In North Lake Tahoe, that isn’t hard to find—especially when you’re dining over the turquoise and sapphire shades of one of America’s largest, most beautiful lakes.
Regional favorites include:
- Tahoe City’s Jake’s On The Lake: Satisfy your craving for Hawaii and California-style chow at Jake’s, where you can dine with an expansive lake view as your palate cleaners on its bi-level deck. With fresh seafood, killer cocktails and a farm-to-fork special for everyone (including the vegans in the house), this is a dining experience you won’t want to miss. And make sure to end your evening with the famous Hula Pie dessert.
- Incline Village’s Big Water Grille: Breathtaking views match the breathtaking cuisine at the Big Water Grille. Executive Chef Evan Roa showcases California cuisine as a Lake Tahoe native, but infuses the menu with worldly flavors. Dishes are best part with their selection of over 100 wines from around the globe.
- Alpine Meadow’s River Ranch Lodge: The lake isn’t the only breathtaking waterfront site to behold in Tahoe. There’s also the gorgeous Truckee River, which spans much of the region. The River Ranch Lodge, which has a massive patio situated beside the said river, makes for the perfect place to take in burgers, sweet potato fries and the sounds of a rushing river all at once.
Feast Your Eyes On Tahoe With An Elevated Dining Experience
Al Fresco Dining is made simple in the fresh mountain air of North Lake Tahoe. Photo courtesy of Ryan Salm.
Forget those jokes about airplane food—dining at great heights is an experience worth having again and again in North Lake Tahoe. At North Lake Tahoe’s mountainside restaurants, you can bite into sumptuous cuisine from around the world while taking in region-spanning views of the Sierra Nevada, the Truckee River and the lake itself. Talk about dinner and a show!
Regional favorites include:
- Northstar California’s Zephyr Lodge: Famous for a “healthy taste of mountain culinary,” the Zephyr Lodge at Northstar features California-style pizzas and more. Visitors can warm up with their comfort food selections or a hot drink. The floor-to-ceiling views of the Sierra Nevadas also make it an irresistible spot to stop and take in the best of North Lake Tahoe.
- Palisades Tahoe’s Terrace Restaurant & Bar: Enjoy fine-dining at High Camp—accessible via the tram, which climbs thousands of feet above the natural sea level. This restaurant offers top-notch views of Palisades Tahoe and features innovative California cuisine like portobello strips, mountain chili and red-wine braised short ribs.
- The Resort at Squaw Creek’s Six Peaks Grille: Enjoy specialty cuisine masterminded by the executive chef who sources sustainable seafood, meats and more from throughout the Reno-Tahoe region for a truly remarkable farm-to-table experience. Don’t miss out on a meal featuring the resort’s on-site hydroponic garden, from which salads, herbs and a variety of spices are developed to astonishing effect.
We don’t know about you, but we’re getting hungry. Why not satisfy your appetite for something uniquely Tahoe and book your stay in North Lake Tahoe today?