Lake Tahoe Restaurants

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.

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.

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, however, is the Brazilian Barbeque on Friday and Saturday evenings. It consists of your choice of appetizer, soup, salad or a side dish, and then the all-you-can-eat main event is endless portions of slow-roasted meats. To top it off, the meats are carved right at your table. If your schedule doesn’t bring you to Latin Soul when the Caribbean Barbeque is on the menu, there are still plenty of exciting dining options, whether for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

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. 

Pizza on the Hill

Tahoe Donner
11509 Northwoods Boulevard, Truckee, CA
(530) 582-9669

For visitors renting a place in Tahoe Donner or those hungry after hiking, biking or skiing, Pizza on the Hill in the Northwoods Clubhouse is the perfect place for tasty, convenient and reasonably priced food. Got kids? Even better, as Pizza on the Hill has plenty to keep them entertained in the game room. And while pizza is the star of the menu, there is a wide selection of menu items, including soups, sandwiches, pastas and salad bar. If you have a house full of hungry people but don’t want to traipse to a restaurant, you can order take-n-bake pizzas to slide into the oven at home. Order any of the pizza selections off the menu or create your own masterpiece. You can either call in your request or go into Pizza on the Hill, order your pie and then enjoy a draft beer or wine at the bar while waiting. Take-n-bake pizzas get $3 taken off the regular price. Happy hour specials include discounts on food and drink Thursday through Monday from 5 to 6 p.m. Pizza on the Hill also hosts fun evenings like trivia night.

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.

The Lodge Restaurant & Pub

Tahoe Donner
12850 Northwoods Boulevard, Truckee, CA
(530) 587-9455

If you’re looking for the quintessential Tahoe lodge with vaulted ceilings, natural wood and stone interiors and expansive windows looking out over mountain evergreens, the Lodge Restaurant & Pub in Tahoe Donner is the place. The Lodge has paired perfectly the Tahoe look and feel with classic menu offerings along with a fun pub atmosphere. Depending on the season and one’s mood, the evening could be spent with a dinner inspired by French and Pacific Rim cuisine or with one of 30 fine wines next to the fireplace. If catching a game on TV, a few beers and pub grub is the plan, then you’re covered as well. The Lodge Restaurant & Pub serves nightly specials, has a children’s menu and serves lunch in the pub. Guests can also sample creative selections from a seasonal drink menu. Happy Hour draws them in Thursday through Sunday from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

The Timbers

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

Known to old-timers as the Timberhouse, this restaurant’s namesake (both past and present) is immediately evident in its open-beam wooden ceilings. In classic Nevada style, the Timbers is open 24 hours, seven days a week, with a late-night menu and breakfast served around the clock. But classic doesn’t mean outdated. The makeover that brought a new name to the site included a fresh, contemporary décor to match its high-end dining options. Executive Chef Alvaro Ochoa has been at the Lakeside for nearly 30 years, and in addition to steak and seafood he enjoys bringing fresh fish and daily specials to the menu. Round this out with a wide selection of traditional favorites such as specialty burgers, pizza, ribs, soups and more, plus a great list of wines, beers and cocktails, and you can see why the Timbers is justifiably proud of being called a favorite restaurant for Tahoe locals.

The Village at Squaw Valley

1750 Village East Road, Olympic Valley, CA
(800) 403-0206

The Village at Squaw Valley is northern California's example of a ski hamlet, offering a little bit for everyone. The rooms all have views of the mountains and are located a few steps from the various base area ski lifts. Rooms are situated above the plethora of shops and restaurants with balconies looking out over the hustle and bustle below. The variety of restaurants and shops is created to connect with the needs and wants of the variety of guests that visit the area. For example, for the 20-somethings there are three different bars that are busy on weekends and holidays. For couples, there are romantic restaurants and couples activities like sleigh rides to inspire connection. For families, there are a variety of restaurants and shops that keep all ages occupied plus a museum highlighting the area's ski heritage, miniature golf, climbing walls, the Trilogy Spa, Sky Jump (an acrobatic bungee play gym for all ages) and the Wanderlust Yoga Studio. The Village is also the launching place for the aerial tram, which flies another 2,000 vertical feet up, to High Camp located at 8,200 feet. Here you will find hiking, disc golf, the High Camp Pool & Hot Tub as well as dining and bar options. In February, the Village is host to a week-long, kids-focused event, Kid-O-Rama. The non-stop fun that focuses on youngsters offers fire trucks, snowplows and grooming equipment plus dancing to street concerts and children-centric concerts, or they can get artistic at the craft and game room. The entire Village becomes a virtual ghost town during mid-October to early-November. If quiet doesn't bother you, this is an excellent time to get incredible discounts on rooms.