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A Skier’s Guide to the Best Lake Tahoe Restaurants

A turnkey list of the best places to eat during your Lake Tahoe ski vacation, from breakfast to brew pubs.

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From the planning perspective, the Tahoe area is one of the most confusing spots to figure out when it comes to amenities and time spent off the slopes. With 15 ski areas between the north and south lake regions and a handful of towns, there are an overwhelming number of dining options to choose from. Which is exactly why doing a little advance planning is a good call when vacationing here.

Related: Get Lost—or Found—at Lake Tahoe’s Mega Resorts and Quirky Mom-and-Pop Hills

We asked folks who call this place home where they love to eat, and where they take their own out-of-town guests. Here’s a shortlist of spots that will take the guesswork out of where to dine on your next Tahoe ski trip. In other word, bookmark this page for when you need it next winter.

Fine Dining

Great spots with incredible views and the cuisine to match the ambience.

Edgewater Tahoe
Killer lake views and a menu to match at Edgewood Restaurant. Photo: Courtesy of Edgewood Tahoe

Edgewood Restaurant

  • Shore: South
  • Closest Resort: Heavenly

The Edgewood Tahoe is an amazing property with the region’s only lakefront golf course and a restaurant that’s fittingly elegant and delicious. With incredible lake views and a menu that changes appropriately with the season, Edgewood is well-suited for a special occasion dinner.

Cafe Fiore

  • Shore: South
  • Closest Resort: Heavenly

Tucked away in a small cabin on the south shore of the lake, Cafe Fiore oozes with charm and is complemented by a thoroughly authentic Italian menu with specialities such as eggplant crepes (Fiore’s signature dish), excellent calamari, and several classic pastas.

Christy Hill

  • Shore: North
  • Closest Resort: Palisades Tahoe

Every ingredient on the menu at Christy Hill is carefully selected to offer an urban-caliber dining experience in Tahoe City. The small plates are divine and the entrees include such diverse offerings as Moroccan-spice lamb loin and pan-roasted day boat scallops. 

Casual Eats

Where to go after a day on the slopes when you just want to kick back and relax in a laid-back environment.

Truckee Tavern

  • Shore: North
  • Closest Resort: Northstar

This roomy, two-story establishment on the north shore serves lake views, a chill vibe, and a large menu heavy on wood-fired meats in the form of steaks and burgers plus small plates, salads, and sides such as the delicious white cheddar mac and cheese with toasted Panko breadcrumb (pro tip: add bacon for $3).

Base Camp Pizza Co.

  • Shore: South
  • Closest Resort: Heavenly

Located in Heavenly’s village, Base Camp is popular for a reason. The large menu features all kinds of creative pies, from Thai Chicken Curry to Pear Gorgonzola made with Base Camp’s signature cheese blend. They also have an extensive drink menu with great cocktails and daily specials.

Lanza’s

  • Shore: North
  • Closest Resort: Diamond Peak

Stop by this Kings Beach spot for Italian cuisine served on red-checkered tablecloths surrounded by hand-painted murals. Lanza’s peddles generous pasta dishes such as lasagna, ravioli, and eggplant parmesan served with bread and salad. Order a half-liter of the red or white house wine to complete the experience.

Brew Pubs

This region is known for its quality craft beer brewed on-site at the many regional breweries. These picks also have great menus to complement your drink of choice.

Fiftyfifty Brewing
Great beers to wash down a fun and delicious dinner at Fiftyfifty. Photo: Courtesy of Fiftyfifty

Fiftyfifty Brewing Company

  • Shore: North
  • Closest Resort: Northstar

Visit this brew pub known for its barrel-aged beers for an easy night out with the friends; Fiftyfifty is like Tahoe’s living room. The menu is just what you’d expect from an authentic brew pub—things like wings, tacos, and a great pulled-pork sandwich. On the libations side, this Great American Beer Festival 2018 Brewery of the Year has a flavor profile for everyone.

Old Town Tap

  • Shore: North
  • Closest Resort: Sugar Bowl

With 16 beers and 12 wines on tap, Old Town is the perfect compromise for groups who can’t agree on what they want to drink. Bonus: There’s also a great menu with casual eats like pizza and mac and cheese but also bone marrow and a cheese plate.

South of North Brewing Co.

  • Shore: South
  • Closest Resort: Heavenly

Cornhole, ping pong, outdoor fire pit … South of North is all about the ambience, which is super-welcoming. Try a flight of beer to narrow down what you’re in the mood for, and start with pretzels with beer cheese and see where the night goes from there.

Breakfast

Fuel up before your ski day with a hearty breakfast at these classic Tahoe-area joints.

Firesign Cafe
The Firesign is a locally owned gem. Photo: Courtesy of Firesign Cafe

Firesign Cafe

  • Shore: North
  • Closest Resort: Alpine Meadows

This Tahoe City mainstay is a must for its from-scratch pastries and its huge breakfast menu featuring everything from crepes and breakfast burritos to waffles and pancakes. The kielbasa scramble is a staff favorite.

The Getaway Cafe

  • Shore: South
  • Closest Resort: Sierra at Tahoe

Just 10 minutes south of South Lake Tahoe in Meyers, The Getaway Cafe is worth leaving the bubble for. This mom-and-pop joint serves made-from-scratch French toast, flavorful huevos rancheros, and the best chilaquiles around.

The Red Hut

  • Shore: South
  • Closest Resort: Heavenly

It’s a chain of sorts—there are locations in Reno and Carson City—but The Red Hut is legit. It opened in the 1950s as a waffle house and still serves the most amazing waffles—try the pecan—but also great pancakes and omelets, too.

On-Mountain

Tasty and filling lunchtime grub to keep you skiing bell to bell.

Chalet Alpine Meadows
Raclette at The Chalet is a must when skiing the Alpine Meadows side at Palisades Tahoe. Photo: Courtesy of Palisades Tahoe

The Chalet

  • Shore: North
  • Resort: Alpine Meadows

Drop by this on-mountain beer garden at Alpine Meadows for authentic raclette or pressed sandwiches. The Chalet has six beers on tap and a sunny deck on which to enjoy one.

360 Smokehouse BBQ

  • Shore: South
  • Resort: Sierra at Tahoe

Ribs, brisket, pulled pork sandwiches, all with views of Lake Tahoe in the backdrop, are on the menu at this mountaintop eatery at Sierra. Leave room for the hearty sides, especially the sweet potato fries.

Steins Beers & Brats

  • Shore: South
  • Resort: Heavenly

Hit up this umbrella bar at the base of Patsy’s and Powderbowl Express for just what the name says: cold beers and juicy brats, plus soups, chili, and what this spot is really known for: its signature burger dog. You’ll have to visit to find out.

More Lake Tahoe Intel From SKI

Destination Guide: Where to Sleep, Eat, Drink, and Play in Palisades Tahoe
Skier’s Guide to Heavenly, Calif.
There Are More Flights to Ski-Town Airports Than Ever. Here’s Where You Can Fly.