Lake Tahoe Restaurants


120 Country Club Drive #24, Incline Village, NV
(775) 832-7778

If you’re hungry and in the mood for some fresh, home-cooked comfort food, Austin’s might be the place for you. Their Signature Salads alone, like the Doug’s Favorite, are a meal in themselves – or two. Try their sandwiches, burgers, meatloaf or specialties like the Chicken Fried Chicken, Pesto Pasta Primavera or Mountain Rainbow Trout. Home-style side dishes include coleslaw, mac and cheese, chicken fried bacon, buttermilk fries and their fresh-baked cornbread. Can’t decide? You can skip an entree altogether and get the Sideboard Special with your choice of four sides. The bar serves specialty martinis, winter warmers and they've got happy hour food specials during the week. Did I mention the homemade pie? Austin’s has a cozy log cabin dining room as well as outside tables on their dog-friendly patio. Prices are reasonable considering the large portions. Across the street from the Hyatt in the Country Club Centre, Austin’s is open daily for lunch and dinner, serving comfort food for the soul.

Big Water Grille

341 Ski Way, Incline Village, NV
(775) 833-0606

“Big water” is one meaning attributed to the Washoe name for the lake, Tahoe. You can see just how big that water is when you take in the panoramic views from the spacious dining room of the Big Water Grille. Serving seasonal selections of California bistro cuisine, there’s a great list of starters like the ahi poke or pan-roasted quail plus fresh vegetable sides and some serious steak burgers. The hearty main courses include pan-seared duck breast, a smoked rib eye and nightly fresh seafood specials. They have a wrap-around bar with a separate food menu, signature martinis, craft cocktails and beer. The wine list is extensive with more than 200 international selections. Appetizer and drink specials occur Wednesdays in the spring and fall. Just down the road from Diamond Peak, the Big Water Grille is a great place to stop in after a day on the slopes to warm yourself by the fire. Whenever you go, get there early enough to catch an amazing Sierra sunset over the big water of Lake Tahoe. They're open for dinner Wednesday through Monday.

Blue Angel Café

1132 Ski Run Boulevard, South Lake Tahoe, CA
(530) 544-6544

In some ways, Ski Run Boulevard could be considered the heart of South Lake Tahoe. And at the heart of Ski Run is the Blue Angel Café. The cafe was opened in 2003 by Rosie Cowen, and she and her husband, Jeff, have turned the restaurant into an authentic Tahoe institution. There is a bit of everything on their menu, from burgers and pizza to Asian and Indian fusion dishes and almost anything in between as well as espresso, beer and wine. Perhaps due to Jeff’s past experience guiding fishing expeditions on the Lake, the Blue Angel Café will also prepare your freshly caught fish for you, making for an extra-special dinner. Inside the cafe, in addition to traditional table seating, you can also enjoy seating at the bar, on big comfortable couches or alongside the fireplace, and there is outdoor seating available in the warmer months. They also operate an award-winning catering service, available for off-site events or on-site in the banquet loft above the main dining room. The Blue Angel Café is open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Boathouse on the Pier

Beach Retreat & Lodge at Lake Tahoe
3411 Lake Tahoe Boulevard, South Lake Tahoe, CA
(530) 541-6722

The Boathouse on the Pier dining experience is considered to be one of the best sunset-watching restaurants in all of Lake Tahoe. A Top 10 finisher by USA Today as a Lake Tahoe waterfront restaurant, the views of the lake and surrounding mountains are exceptional. Located on a 1,000-foot-long pier that hangs over the turquoise water of Lake Tahoe, the tables are all situated to give guests an optimum viewing experience. The atmosphere of the Boathouse on the Pier is casual yet with a sparkle of fine dining. Favorite meals include their elephant garlic-crusted wild salmon and their crab cake appetizer. If enjoying your meal with some music sounds enticing, the Boathouse on the Pier provides live entertainment on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 4 until 8 p.m.

Cha Fine Teas of Truckee

12030 Donner Pass Road, Truckee, CA
(530) 536-5043

There are legions of coffee lovers out there and places for them to gather in Truckee and beyond. But thanks to Cha Fine Teas, lovers of loose-leaf tea now have a place of their own in town. And while there are more than 60 teas available, the offerings don’t end there. Shoppers can sample teas or sit down with a hot cup of tea or chai as well as a cold glass of tea — shaken or sparkling. The menu also includes green tea smoothies with various flavors like Raz-Berry blend, butternut squash or carrot apple. Have a friend or family member who is a tea lover? Cha Fine Teas has gift baskets and accessories as well as spices, essential oils and items from local bakers. Look for classes too, like Tea 101. And, yes, coffee is available.

Gus' Open Pit Barbecue

930 Tahoe Boulevard, Incline Village, NV
(775) 831-4487

Born out of a mobile catering grill, Gus’ Open Pit Barbecue is not your usual barbecue joint. While most types of grilling originated in the south, Gus’ employs a California style that came from the central coast around the town of Santa Maria. Tri-tip, seasoned with a dry rub, is slow grilled over an open fire of red oak. It’s served straight, without sauce, so you can enjoy the full flavor of the meat. Sides of green salad, garlic bread and pinquito beans – shipped specially up from the central coast – complete the Santa Maria experience. Chicken, pulled pork, hot links, St. Louis ribs as well as sandwiches, sides and appetizers (don’t pass on the pickle fries) round out the menu. Upstairs there’s an open dining space with a vaulted ceiling and lots of wood, a sunken bar serving craft cocktails and a wide selection of beers and a 140-inch video wall for watching sports. The downstairs is more intimate, with two smaller dining rooms and outside tables on the deck. They’ve got Happy Hour deals and specials during NFL games. Gus’ is open Thursday through Monday for dinner, Friday and Sunday for lunch. And they’ve still got that mobile griller for all your catering needs.

Hard Rock Cafe

18 U.S. Highway 50, Stateline, NV
(775) 588-6200

Before the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino moved in down the street, there was the Hard Rock Cafe inside Harveys Resort. In fact, the Hard Rock has been serving up rock ‘n’ roll food at this location for more than 15 years. The restaurant and gift shop, oddly enough, are designed to look like a rustic log cabin instead of something more related to a head-bangin’ lifestyle. The food, though, is in the vein of great rock music: strong, loud and a lot of it, from burgers, barbecue and steaks to salads, sides and sandwiches. For the BBQ lover, check out the Smokehouse menu. There is also a full bar with video poker here, and a drink like their Tequila Sunrise is so good that it makes you realize the difference between a good cocktail and the free beverages provided to the gamblers out on the casino floor. And since this is, after all, the Hard Rock Cafe, be prepared for rock videos and music memorabilia.  

Indu’s Asian Noodles and Curries

868 Tahoe Boulevard, #19, Incline Village, NV
(775) 831-8317

Indu’s Asian takes you on a journey to the other side of the globe with a cornucopia of cross-cultural cuisines from China, Vietnam and Sri Lanka. Start with an appetizer such as pot stickers or crab Rangoon. Then delve into their array of soups and noodles – pho, wonton, chow mein, or chow fun. Move on to an authentic Sri Lankan curry or a traditional Vietnamese charbroiled beef, pork or chicken plate. There are also plenty of seafood and vegetarian dishes to choose from. For an interactive dining experience have a cauldron of simmering stock delivered to your table and cook your own meat and vegetables in the Chinese hot pot. Indu’s Asian, located in Christmas Tree Village, is open for lunch and dinner, closed on Tuesdays. Stop in for Happy Hour Monday through Friday for discounted drinks. The portions are big and shareable and the prices are affordable. Don’t forget a mango lassie to wash it all down!

Kings Cafe

8421 North Lake Boulevard, Kings Beach, CA
(530) 546-3663

Kings Cafe is housed in the historic brick flatiron wedged in between Brook Avenue and North Lake Boulevard. It’s a convenient spot to grab breakfast or lunch in the heart of Kings Beach. Order your coffee, espresso or tea and grab a bagel or muffin to go with it. Fuel up on a breakfast taco, burrito or egg sandwich such as the White Sando filled with egg white, turkey, pepper jack, avocado and pesto aioli. Get a burger like the Chipotle Bacon Ranch or a sandwich, taco, wrap or a salad made fresh to order. Check the sandwich board for changing specials such as coconut shrimp with chipotle slaw. Enjoy your meal on the patio out front as you watch traffic circle through the roundabout.

Latin Soul

Lakeside Inn and Casino
168 U.S. Highway 50, Stateline, NV
(775) 588-7777

The Latin Soul Restaurant in the Lakeside Inn and Casino is an exotic counterpoint to the Tahoe lodge atmosphere that the rest of the property wears so well. Executive Chef Alvaro Ochoa, a native of Guadalajara and a Lakeside veteran since 1986, has built a menu that is referred to as Latin Fusion, with influences from Mexico, Central America, South America and even the Caribbean. Specialty cocktails continue the theme, as does a wine list that highlights selections from Latin America. The showstopper of the restaurant is the the all-you-can-eat main event that consists of endless portions of slow-roasted meats. To top it off, the meats are carved right at your table. Latin Soul offers plenty of other exciting dining options too, whether for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Lone Eagle Grille

Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, Spa and Casino
111 Country Club Drive, Incline Village, NV
(775) 886-6899

Grab a table next to the wall of windows at the Lone Eagle Grille and sip a glass of California Cabernet as you gaze out over Lake Tahoe’s Crystal Bay and the snow-capped Sierra Nevada beyond. Come evening, pull a chair up to one of their outdoor fire pits and light a cigar from their humidor as you listen to the waves slapping the shore and the mellow licks of a wandering guitarist. If the night is cold, cozy up inside to their giant stone fireplace with a single malt scotch, or sidle up to the copper-topped bar for a craft cocktail like the Sicilian Widow, Mexican Firing Squad or their signature, the Golden Eagle Margarita. Wherever you chose to settle in at the Lone Eagle Lounge, don’t fail to order food, at least one of their tapas-style offerings – some seared foie gras, kale salad or a thin-crust pizza. The Lone Eagle is a grand lodge with lots of wood, a wall full of old books and scissor-truss vaulted ceilings. Attached to the lounge is the Lone Eagle Grille with a more extensive menu, an open show kitchen and a 600-bottle enoteca, a five-time Wine Spectator Award of Excellence winner. The Lone Eagle is owned and operated by the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe just up the road.

Lupita’s Mexican Restaurant & Bar

754 Mays Boulevard #1, Incline Village, NV
(775) 833-4141

Lupita’s Mexican Restaurant & Bar in the Village Center serves up authentic Mexican food in a brightly painted, low-key setting decorated with sombreros, lassoes and other Mexican artifacts. The bar has a good selection of Mexican cervezas and tequilas, and they pour a true margarita called the Natural. They’ve got a full menu of tacos, tostadas, burritos, enchiladas, quesadillas, seafood, vegetarian and large combination plates. Specialties include several ceviches, chili relleno and the deep-fried Tacos Presidente. They’ve got a weekday lunch special and happy hour. The portions are always large and affordable making Lupita’s popular with locals and visitors alike. They are open daily for lunch and dinner.

Mikuni Sushi

Northstar California Resort
5001 Northstar Drive Suite 5101, Truckee, CA
(530) 562-2188

For nearly 30 years Mikuni Sushi has served customers around Sacramento at a half-dozen restaurants. The NorCal sushi fixture also has a location open all year at Northstar California near the resort village’s ice rink. The atmosphere at Mikuni Northstar is as vibrant as the food. The bar is located in the middle of the restaurant, but diners can also find booth and table service as sushi and other items are prepared in the kitchen or at the sushi bar. With hundreds of menu items available, the selection if vast, but you can’t go wrong choosing the Pepperfin plate from the sushi bar with thin-sliced salmon, tuna or hamachi and jalapeno seasoning, sesame oil and lemon. Another winner is the seared Hokkaido scallops and snow crab. Hit happy hour Thursday and Friday from 3 to 5 p.m. There are also gluten-free and to-go menus.

Moe's Original Bar B Que

120 Grove Street, Tahoe City, CA
(530) 583-4227

If you are craving some Southern cooking, then Tahoe City has got your fix. For the best in Southern comfort food, Moe's Original Bar B Que is your best bet, serving all of the tasty dishes found in the south of the United States such as Southern fried catfish, St. Louis-style ribs and sides like cornbread and baked beans. Located on the shores of Lake Tahoe, the restaurant has great views of the water and surrounding mountains as well as being situated next to the bike path that takes you all around the Lake. This is an excellent spot to take in the sunset as well. Moe's offers live music on weekends.

Moody’s Bistro, Bar & Beats

10007 Bridge Street, Truckee, CA
(530) 587-8688

Moody’s in downtown Truckee is all about the three B’s — bistro, bar and beats. In fact that’s the popular establishment’s formal name: Moody’s Bistro, Bar & Beats (but locals just call it Moody’s). Occupying the lower half of the historic (and maybe haunted?) Truckee Hotel, you can hit Moody’s any time: lunch, happy hour, dinner or late-night grooving to live jazz. Not hungry enough for a full meal? Grab a place at the bar with a friend, order a craft beer or custom cocktail and share a selection or two off the small-plate menu. If a full dinner is the plan for the night, Moody’s dining room can accommodate larger groups of diners yet retains a cozy feel. Moody’s has emphasized farm-to-fork ingredients before it was a thing. And just like its food, the live music is tastefully curated and presented in the bar-and-lounge. 

Mott Canyon Tavern & Grill

259 Kingsbury Grade, Stateline, NV
(775) 588-8989

There are cop bars, there are bars where journalists hang out after work and at Tahoe there are ski bars. Mott Canyon Tavern and Grill is on lower Kingsbury is a ski bar. Pizza, burgers, fries and comfort food joins a full bar with a party attitude. It’s not a large space, although the outdoor patio is a nice addition, but it’s packed with a lot of fun, from the jukebox, video poker and video games to a granite fireplace and a late-night happy hour that runs until 4 a.m.

Neighborhood Burgers

219 Kingsbury Grade #G, Stateline, NV
(775) 580-6200

What if you had a personal burger chef who could whip you up an infinite variety of burgers on demand? That's almost the idea behind Neighborhood Burgers, where they use different breads, meats, spreads, cheeses and toppings to let you design your own culinary masterpiece. Along with the burgers, there is the Special, a non-burger food that changes from time to time, so don't dally if it happens to be a recipe that you want to try. Plus, the restaurant is a root-beer heaven with 40-some types of the drink, and there's even soft-serve ice cream. If you're not familiar with Kingsbury Grade, you may have to search to find the burger joint tucked away near the House of Ski, but once you're there you'll feel right at home in this aptly named eatery.

Rookie's Sports Bar & Grill

930 Tahoe Boulevard #1000, Incline Village, NV
(775) 831-9008

If you’re looking for a place to watch a particular sporting event – obscure or otherwise – Rookie’s is probably showing it on one of their 30 high-definition TVs. They serve breakfast until 11 a.m., and the menu is extensive, from a bagel and cream cheese to burritos, Benedicts, scrambles and omelets. Served late into the night, the rest of the menu has salads, wraps, sandwiches, grinders (a sub doused in marinara sauce) and a long list of gourmet burgers. They feature daily specials like half-price burgers on Tuesdays and Wing Wednesdays. There’s a separate pizza kitchen cooking up some good pies. Rookie’s has a full bar where you can sit and play video poker, or you may want to slip out to the patio to soak up some sun or take in the night stars. There are video and arcade games for kids of all ages. Sports memorabilia covers the walls, and there’s a performance area featuring live music some Thursday nights. Order yourself a pizza, get a cold one and settle down in front of the TV showing that volleyball game from your alma mater you so want to see. Rookie’s is open 24/7. Minors are allowed until 10 p.m.

Sunshine Deli

919 Incline Way #3, Incline Village, NV
(775) 832-2253

Off the beaten path, Sunshine Deli is a great place to grab breakfast or lunch, or pick up your dinner to go. Breakfast starts early and is served all day, from fresh pastries and coffee to breakfast burritos, crepes and omelets. Lunch is a rotating menu of soups, salads, sandwiches and wraps as well as entrees and side dishes. Their dining room sports a cozy fireplace and is open for breakfast and lunch. Too busy to make dinner? You can call ahead and order a cooked and ready-to-eat, four-course family dinner (including dessert) available to pick up in the afternoon. Sunshine also offers a full range of catering options. They are closed Sundays.

Tahoe Central Market

8487 North Lake Boulevard, Kings Beach, CA
(530) 546-8344

The Central Market in Kings Beach isn’t a big place, but it’s packed full of wholesome goodness. Mornings you can stop in for a coffee or tea, bagel, breakfast sandwich or baked goods. At the juice bar they blend up smoothies, tonics, wheatgrass and fresh organic juices. Come lunchtime the deli turns out gourmet sandwiches made with Boar’s Head meats and cheeses on Truckee Sourdough bread. The shelves are stocked with organic dairy products from Sonoma County, a few meat and seafood options, dry goods and organic produce trucked in straight from California’s Central Valley. There’s an exceptional craft beer selection and wines from the Sierra foothills. The Central Market is also host to monthly events such as wine and cheese tastings, juicing demonstrations and book signings. Street parking is limited, but there’s a small lot in back. There are a couple tables inside their sunny front windows and a few out front where you can enjoy your lunch. Or, take your sandwich and carrot juice across the street to the lake and have a picnic on the beach.