Best Dining In Lake Tahoe
Restaurants of varying types can be found all around Lake Tahoe and there’s sure to be something to satisfy everyone’s taste. Whether you’re looking for fancy or economical, there’s something to suit each traveler’s budget.
Of course, “best” is a very subjective word, especially when it comes to dining. Keep that in mind as you read online reviews and talk to locals. Also consider the proximity of restaurants to your accommodations and check menus in advance if there are dietary restrictions you or your traveling companions must adhere to.
With that being said, here are a few of the best places to dine on Lake Tahoe’s South, West and North shores. The eastern shore isn’t mentioned because it’s largely undeveloped.
One of the more interesting restaurants in South Lake Tahoe is Nepheles California Cuisine. Hot tubs can be rented there by the hour, which is unusual in itself. Even showers and towels are provided, along with cocktail service. In addition to an extensive alcohol list, Nepheles has a list of decedent menu items.
For an appetizer, try Nepheles’ Asian kung pao chicken wraps, which contain sautéed spiced chicken with peppers and chilies in a lettuce cup with peanut dipping sauce.
Seafood enthusiasts should order the Hawaiian-style crab cakes with mango, tomato and a sweet wasabi ginger dressing and slivered almonds. The skillet roasted shrimp with lemon garlic sauce is sure to be a hit with the shellfish lover. Landlubbers might like the New Zealand rack of lamb with rosemary pomegranate glaze. Don’t forget to check out the nightly specials as well.
Head a short distance into Stateline, Nev. to experience the Chart House. Make reservations in advance if you want a table with outstanding views of the Lake Tahoe area. If the restaurant’s name sounds familiar, it’s because it has 26 locations nationwide. But don’t let that stop you from dining there as each site and menu is unique.
Tasty appetizers at the Chart House include—but certainly aren’t limited to—the chilled lobster and shrimp spring rolls and the Mediterranean hummus with grilled pita and plantain chips.
For the main course, prime rib, filet mignon and the steak and pesto pasta are always a hit. The more adventurous can try the grilled Japanese-style flat iron steak marinated in soy and garlic with citrus sauce.
Those in the mood for seafood might want to try the grilled lemon-laced tandoori mahi or the grilled cider house king salmon with thyme and sage butter. Chart House’s signature desert is the hot chocolate lava cake made with Godiva liqueur and topped with chocolate sauce, heath bar crunch and ice cream.
Also in Stateline is the Lucky Beaver Bar & Burger, which offers a laid-back atmosphere and economically-priced menu. Opt for Cajun spices or garlic parmesan on your French fries, sweet potato fries or tater tots.
Lucky Beaver’s main courses are named for what makes Nevada stand out, so reviewing its menu might be just as fun as dining there. A conglomerate of steak burgers to pick from include the black jack, gold rush and jackpot burgers. Chicken sandwiches include the blazing 777s, full house and Texas hold ‘em, among others. Hot dogs and salads are also available, along with beer, wine and specialty drinks.
Accommodations in Stateline are the Lodge at Kingsbury Crossing and Ridge Sierra Resort in Stateline. Chart House is 1.3 miles (2.1 km) from the Lodge and 2.5 miles (4 km) from Ridge Sierra. Both resorts have fully-stocked kitchens so any leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator and re-heated the next day.
Lucky Beaver is less than 1 mile (
Nepheles is about 6 miles (9.7 km) from Ridge Sierra and 3 miles (4.8 km) from Lodge at Kingsbury Crossing.
While dining at Lake Tahoe, it makes sense to enjoy the scenery and Jake’s on the Lake in Tahoe City is one of the best places to do this. This family-owned restaurant has been operating since 1978 and its chef opts for locally-grown, sustainable ingredients.
Starters at Jake’s range from Dungeness crab cakes and flash-fried ahi poke rolls to hearts of palm or quinoa salads. Main courses include filet mignon tacos, king crab legs by the pound and Maine lobster tails.
Consider making a reservation at Jake’s, as it’s one of Lake Tahoe’s biggest draws.
Another option in Tahoe City is Rosies Café, which has extensive breakfast, lunch and dinner menus ideal for those on a budget. Its interior is decorated to the hilt and sure to entertain you with its surroundings. This restaurant also will accommodate customers with specific dietary requests, such as substituting tofu for meat and serving egg whites in place of traditional eggs.
Some of the tastiest food at Rosies includes its “Eggs New Orleans” dish, which has fried crab cakes, poached eggs, hash browns and choice of hollandaise or Florentine sauce. There’s also the Swedish oatmeal pancakes topped with applesauce, sour cream and lingonberries. Don’t forget to ask about the quiche of the day.
If Rosies is your choice lunch or dinner, there are loads of appetizers, sandwiches, burgers, salads, pizzas and desserts from which to pick. Tasty options include the horseradish-crusted baked Alaskan salmon, portabella ravioli and meatloaf.
For a more secluded location, head to Gar Woods Grill & Pier in Carnelian Bay. This restaurant is also on the water and offers spectacular views. Before or after dining, walk along the pier that jets into the water and admire the beauty that’s uniquely Tahoe.
Gar Woods has tasty appetizers that include beer-battered coconut prawns with mango-mustard marmalade and barbequed chicken quesadillas made with corn, pepper jack cheese, chili pesto sauce and chipotle sour cream.
Main courses at Gar Woods include pistachio-crusted halibut and Hawaiian swordfish. There are also a host of beef, chicken, pasta and other seafood options.
Big Water Grille in Incline Village has lake views and a menu that ranges from steaks and seafood to organic pressed coffee, signature drinks and a wine list that spans the world.
To start, try Big Water Grille’s wild mushroom tart or seared jumbo lump crab cake. For a main course, consider the braised short ribs with creamy polenta and rainbow chard, seared roasted mahi with cranberry almond quinoa and pineapple vinaigrette or the butternut squash risotto with sage, parmesan cheese or wild mushrooms. Those preferring to hang out in the bar can pick from items such as fried fish tacos and fish n’ chips.
After dinner, sip on come Guatemalan medium roast, Sumatran dark roast or decaffeinated French roast coffee, all which come with shortbread cookies.
Lone Eagle Grille is another Incline Village restaurant that offers lake views and delicious food.
Baby kale salad and saffron-steamed mussels are among appetizers at Lone Eagle. Farm duck breast with balsamic glazed onions and lavender rosemary vinaigrette makes a delicious main course, as does the trout with black rice, wild arugula, pickled daikon and miso glaze. Several vegetarian menu options and a lounge menu are also available.
Those dining at Lone Eagle might want to consider a pre-dinner cruise of Tahoe’s north and east shores on the Sierra Cloud Catamaran, a 55-foot (16.8 meter) boat that conducts 2-hour trips three times daily from the beach by this restaurant.
Guests staying at North Lake Lodges & Villas and Tahoe Chaparral resorts in Incline Village can build a package deal that includes a ride on the Sierra Cloud. It’s departure point is less than 1 mile (
For something more reasonably priced, try Austin’s Restaurant for some home-cooked comfort food in a log cabin-style rustic dining room. Lunch items include the tuna melt with cheddar cheese on sourdough bread, bacon-lettuce-tomato-avocado-garlic aioli sandwich and meatloaf sliders. Dinner items consist of pesto pasta, blackened ahi and a chicken fried bacon burger, among other options.
Tahoe Chaparral is 1.7 miles (2.7 km) from Austin’s and North Lake Lodges is less than a mile. Both resorts have fully-equipped kitchens. So store leftovers in the refrigerator and re-heat them to enjoy the following day.
QM Resorts also offers our vacationers the ability to create their own custom package! See package builder for more information!