Lake Tahoe

More than 100 restaurants circle the lake, but fortunately the often scintillating vistas aren’t the only draws. In recent years, Tahoe's dining scene has branched out from predominantly old-fashioned lakefront bistros, diners, and casino gourmet rooms to an increasingly sophisticated smorgasbord of quality international cuisine ranging from French to New Californian.

Top Restaurants in Lake Tahoe

Bar of America

In Truckee, the rustic Bar of America has served frosty pints for more than three decades, it has undergone many incarnations since 1891, including serving as Truckee's "unofficial town hall" for three decades. The look is Wild Wild West (pictures of famous gunslingers hang everywhere), but the vibe is plain wild, especially when northern California bands blast the joint with everything from folk-funk fusion to acid jazz; you can also partake of the Pacific Crest Grill menu (courtesy of the adjacent nouvelle Mediterranean resto) at the bar.

10042 Donner Pass Road, CA, 530-587-2626,
Tags: moderate | trendy | bar | bar menu | unusual

Baxter's Bistro & Lounge

A spinoff from the owners of Moody’s in Truckee, Baxter’s Bistro & Lounge has a duck-centric menu and live jazz Thursday through Saturday nights. It’s eats like TK the French omelette (with duck eggs) and an intimate atmosphere featuring signature cocktails made with fresh herbs and Tahoe-inspired signature dishes that have locals and tourists calling Baxter’s one of Tahoe’s most unique establishments.

100 Northstar Drive, CA, 530-562-3200,
Tags: seafood | jazz

Blue Water Bistro

In downtown South Lake Tahoe, Blue Water Bistro is a restaurant not to be missed. Located on the water, and called a “hidden gem” by the locals, t the bistro specializes in French and California cuisine with dishes like black sesame ono and bouillabaisse. Make sure to book a table in time to enjoy the fabulous sunset from their upper deck.

3411 Lake Tahoe Blvd, CA, 530-541-0113,
Tags: seafood | bar | french | bar menu | american food

Cafe Fiore

For a more intimate experience, Café Fiore serves great northern Italian fare for only seven tables of guests (alfresco dining doubles the seating in the summer). The house's special: prawns, scallops, and other seafoods sautéed in a cognac and lemon-butter sauce with capers and tossed with linguini.

1169 Ski Run Boulevard #5, CA, 530-541-2908,
Tags: seafood | italian

Hacienda de la Sierra

This fun establishment always corrals "best of" votes in local publications – Best Mexican, Happy Hour, Drinks (margaritas to martinis), Inexpensive Food – and rightfully so.

931 Tahoe Blvd., NV, 775-831-8300
Tags: family | budget | trendy

Mikuni Restaurant and Sushi Bar

Mikuni Japanese Restaurant and Sushi Bar – whose sushi has won Sacramento Magazine’s best in the city honors for 11 consecutive years – brought its signature Train Wreck rolls (shrimp tempura, avocado, crab, and spicy zigzag and unagi sauces) to Northstar in 2007. With a décor that blends contemporary Asian with American hunting lodge, it is easy to get swept in the majesty of the mountains as you sample the unique sushi rolls that Mikuni is known for.

5001 Northstar Dr, Suit 5101, CA, 530-562-2188,
Tags: sushi | japanese


As soon as you enter Mirabelle, you'll feel like you've been transported to a French country inn. Alsatian-born owner/chef Camille Schwartz serves traditional favorites like coq au vin in the light, almost ethereal setting.

290 Kingsbury Grade, NV, 775-586-1007,
Tags: expensive | french

Moody’s Bistro and Lounge

Moody’s Bistro and Lounge, with its red velvet booths and live jazz Wednesday through Saturday, brings a touch of cool to the town’s center. It’s established live-jazz reputation draws a crowd, thanks to past acts such as Mose Allison and Dred Scott; even Paul McCartney occasionally drops for impromptu performances at this retro-hip/speakeasy venue (which also doesn't charge a cover).

10007 Bridge St, CA, 530-587-8688,
Tags: bar menu | brunch | burgers | beer | american food

OB's Pub and Restaurant

This family fave also hops for adults with microbrews, Thursday karaoke cocktail parties, Happy Hour specials, homey historic ambience, terrific lunches, and occasional live bands.

Donner Pass Rd., CA, 530-587-4164,
Tags: family | budget | trendy

Sol y Lago

Here, every seat has stunning lake panoramas. Co-owner/chef Johnny Alamilla brings mountainous Latin ingredients, flavors, and cultures together in dishes like prawn-and-mussel linguine topped with tomato-chili sauce.

60 North Lake Blvd., CA, 530-583-0358,
Tags: moderate | views | latin fusion

Soule Domain

Possibly Tahoe's most romantic eatery – candlelight flickers in the paned windows of this cozy, early 20th-century, lakefront log cabin. Here, chef Charlie Soule infuses French country dishes with Mediterranean and Asian-Pacific-Rim flavors.

9983 Cove Ave., CA, 530-546-7529,
Tags: romance | moderate | french fusion

The Burger Lounge

The Burger Lounge serves 13 different kinds of hamburgers and sandwiches – all are inexpensive and delicious. People come from miles around to savor these beefy treats, which are thought to be Tahoe’s best burgers. The vibe is old-fashioned hometown restaurant, and those not yet sated on snowy delights should try the legendary peanut butter shake.

717 Emerald Bay Rd, CA, 530-542-4060,
Tags: family | burgers | american food

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