Best Happy Hour in Tahoe

10Best Happy Hour Bars and Pubs in Lake Tahoe

One of the best ways to get a great drink and food deal in Lake Tahoe is to visit one of the local bars during Happy Hour. Many bars and pubs in the area will offer specials on wine and beer and sometimes even a signature cocktail like the Wet Woody at Gar Woods. There are also specials on small plates of food and appetizers. Happy hour is also a great place to meet locals just off work or other skiers, boarders and hikers just off the slopes.

Head to the River Grill in Tahoe City after a day of hiking to enjoy their daily afternoon happy hour. If the weather is nice, you can also sit on their deck by the Truckee River. Tahoe Mountain Brewing Company (also in Tahoe City) is a fun local hangout that features Tahoe inspired brews. If you are in the South Shore, head to The Brewery for their $3 handcrafted brewery pints and $4 house wines. Also in South Lake Tahoe is the Blue Angel Cafe, Try their organic food or hot coffee bar. If you are in Truckee, head to the Cottonwood for their wonderful bar and classic Tahoe ambiance.


The Tahoe Mountain Brewing Company is located right in the heart of Tahoe City, near the Cobbleworks Mall and across the street from Commons Beach. This new brew pub has been created to features the craft beers from the brewery in Truckee, California. The restaurant has an outdoor deck where you can eat right on the street. The service is open and friendly and they play laid back reggae and other music. If you want to eat inside, the interior is decorated in a rustic, classic Tahoe design. The menu includes small plate items like their Pulled Pork Sliders (with cheese!) for $8 and Mountain Nachos with pork or chicken, jack cheese, olives, beans, sour cream, guacamole and Pico de Gallo for $12. Their salads include the House Salad for $5 and the Grilled Polenta on Greens with grilled veggies for $10. Their flat bread pizzas are hand-made fresh daily and include the Brewers Flatbread with pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms and black olives with marinara sauce and three different cheeses for $13. Their entrees include burgers and sandwiches, fish tacos and even a Pretzel Encrusted Pork Schnitzel with seared pork loin with roasted shallot mustard, garlic mashed potato & market vegetables for $21. Their beers are locally made and they offer seasonal and rotating beers. Try the Belgian pale ale, Saison D'Croquette, or the Whit Rabbit with New Zealand Pacific Jade Hops. The Paddleboard Pale Ale and the Sugar Pine Porter are Tahoe classics.

Recommended for Happy Hour because: The TMBC's happy hour features 50% off appetizers and $1 off beer.

Christina's expert tip: The Tahoe Mountain Brewing Company beers are unique to the Tahoe area.

Read more about Tahoe Mountain Brewing Company →

The Cottonwood Restaurant and Bar in Truckee is located on a small hillside overlooking downtown Truckee, the Truckee River and the railroad that runs through town. This might be one of the reasons why this is such a popular night spot in both summer and winter. The other reasons might be because of the warm and intimate ambience with great lighting, log cabin styling and the great food and bar. The restaurant serves various entrees featuring sustainable seafood along with the best organic produce and grass-fed meat from the foothills and the nearby Sierra Valley. They include favorites like the Niman Ranch New York Steak, Pine Nut Crusted Southeast Asian Basa, and Butternut Squash Enchiladas (vegetarian), Dave also lets his creative juices flow with up to five different nightly specials. The bar serves a small selection of beers and wines and some great cocktails including the Frenchy Margarita. Happy Hour is daily from 4:30-6:30 daily and all day on Winter/Storm Watch days. The bar can get loud and crowded farther into the evening. The Cottonwood features live acoustic music on Thursday and Friday evenings.

Recommended for Happy Hour because: Cottonwood's Happy Hour offers $1 off draft beer and desserts.

Christina's expert tip: Reservations for the live music nights are recommended.

Read more about Cottonwood Restaurant and Bar →

Lucky Beaver, Bar & Burger
Photo courtesy of Christina Nellemann

The Lucky Beaver is a 24 hours sports bar on the Nevada side of the lake that also offers video poker and a large menu full of great burgers, sandwiches, salads and an appetizer menu with chicken wings and the famous Tower of Onion Rings. All of the Lucky Beaver's 1/2 lb. burgers are made with a combination of short ribs and chuck roast and are tall and juicy. The classic Beaver Burger is only $12 with all the fixings and the Gambler with applewood smoked bacon, beer battered onion rings, smoky BBQ sauce and cheddar cheese is $14. The Lucky Beaver bar features popular beers on tap as well as in the bottle and serves up signature cocktails, wine and beer. The bar has video poker and large screen TVs that show various sports and special events and the bar is hopping on Super Bowl Sunday and during other local and regional football events.

Recommended for Happy Hour because: Try the Korean Ribs and Ghost Pepper Sliders on the Happy Hour Menu

Christina's expert tip: The Lucky Beaver Bar & Burger also serves steak dinners all night long.

Read more about Lucky Beaver, Bar & Burger →


7800 Bar & Grill is the only family owned restaurant and bar in the Kirkwood area and it shows. The place is packed on winter ski weekends and at night�especially during one of their many special events which includes free live bands, wine and beer dinners, karaoke night and Pray for Snow bonfires. The menu might be another reason so many people flock to this out of the way bar and grill. The lunch and dinner menu feature comfort food like gourmet Mac 'n Cheese, Grandma's Pot Pie, Fish Tacos, Chili, Clam Chowder and a great kid's menu. Their dinner items include several fish dishes and an amazing Cacao and Espresso Rubbed Filet Mignon.

Recommended for Happy Hour because: The 7800 bar features various beers on tap, local and regional wines and numerous themed cocktails.

Christina's expert tip: 7800's Happy Hour is Monday-Thursday from from 3-5:30 p.m. and offers a $4 cocktail special.

Read more about 7800 Bar & Grill →

Olympic Valley

A hip place to eat and be seen, Mamasake in the beautiful Squaw Valley prepares sashimi, sushi (maki and nigiri), Japanese-style tapas, and an array of bowls and plates. Take in extreme skiing movies on the big-screen TV as you nibble on delicacies like the New York bagel roll (smoked salmon, cream cheese, red onions, capers, and tomatoes) and the Surf and Turf, featuring ahi tuna and beef. If raw is not your thing, try spicy coconut noodles, flavored with peanut, cilantro, lime, and sprouts. Green tea ice cream is the perfect combination of bitter and sweet to conclude your meal.

Recommended for Happy Hour because: Mamasake has an Apr├ęs Ski Happy Hour from 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm.

Christina's expert tip: For happy hour you can get a spicy tuna or salmon roll or the famous mama's balls and a can of Budweiser for $5.

Read more about Mamasake →

Gar Woods Grill and Pier Restaurant
Photo courtesy of Gar Woods

Gar Woods on Tahoe's West Shore is best known for it's wonderful pier and wooden boats, but it also has a great menu and a fun bar. The floor to ceiling windows, large deck and balconies provide breath taking views of Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Mountains. The menu highlights mainly California cuisine, hand cut steaks, fresh pacific seafood, pizzas, pastas and salads. The wine list is a collection of California's best and best known vintners featuring more than one dozen wines by the glass. The menu includes items such as Pomegranate Glazed Pork Ribs, Shrimp & Lobster Bisque, Filet and Scampi, Australian Lamb Chops, Seafood Tagliarini and desserts like White Chocolate Snickers Cheesecake and Butterscotch Creme Brulee. Gar Woods serves signature cocktails such as their famous Wet Woody with with Rum, Peach Schnapps, Cranberry Juice, Orange Juice, Pineapple Juice and Sweet and Sour mix.

Recommended for Happy Hour because: Gar Woods' Happy Hour serves $5.25 House Wine, Margaritas & Wet Woodys.

Christina's expert tip: In the summer, the deck at Gar Woods is a great place to hang out.

Read more about Gar Woods Grill and Pier Restaurant →

River Grill
Photo courtesy of River Grill

Winter or summer, locals flock to River Grill for its picturesque location along the Truckee River and its fresh, seasonal cuisine that makes the most of California's natural bounty. The dining room is outfitted in pine and provides pretty views; the deck, open during warmer months, is shaded by firs and great for lunch on a sunny day. If you arrive early for dinner, stop by the full bar for a beer, cocktail, or glass of wine to whet your appetite. Happily, River Grill forgoes the inflated prices typical of many Tahoe restaurants, ensuring you get the most for your dollar.

Recommended for Happy Hour because: The River Grill's Happy Hour includes $4 glasses of wine and $3 glasses of draft beer.

Christina's expert tip: Happy hour is daily from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Read more about River Grill →

Jake's On The Lake is a mainstay on the West Shore. Serving both locals and visitors since 1978, Jake's features a casual yet delicious menu that reflects its waterfront atmosphere. The menu features seafood appetizers such as Dungeness Crab Cakes ($18) and entrees such as Seared Diver Scallops ($32). Turf-inspired dishes are also available such as short ribs and filet mignon tacos. Salads, soups (such as their decadent clam chowder), and several desserts are on hand to round out your meal. A kids' menu ensures that families leave happy. If you're making an afternoon of it, the full bar has its own menu, along with specialty cocktails, wines, and draft and bottled beers.

Recommended for Happy Hour because: Get a sushi roll and a Sapporo for $8 and half price on well drinks.

Christina's expert tip: Jake's happy hour specials are from 4-6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Read more about Jake's On The Lake →

South Lake Tahoe

The Blue Angel Caf� in South Lake Tahoe offers unique and interesting meat and vegetarian dishes as well as desserts, wine beer and a generous happy hour. This cozy, little restaurant has a view of the lake, a place for eating outside, a nice garden and access to all the South Lake Tahoe fun. Their food includes items like Clam Chowder, Chili Dusted Sweet Potato Fries, Pulled Pork, burgers and vegetarian dishes like the Napolean with eggplant, zucchini, tomato sauce, pesto and polenta. They have a daily happy hour with menu items and drinks for $3 and a nice couch in front of the fireplace to sit and chat with locals and other Tahoe visitors. The Blue Angel also offers catering and special wedding menus.

Recommended for Happy Hour because: The Blue Angel happy hour is from 4-6 p.m. every day.

Christina's expert tip: The Blue Angel will cook up any fish you've caught from Lake Tahoe waters.

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Gunbarrel Tavern & Eatery is located in the Heavenly Village at the base of the gondola in Stateline, California. The menu at Gunbarrel Tavern offers diners classic favorites and seasonal features hand selected by celebrated Executive Chef Billy McCullough. Considered new American cuisine, Gunbarrel Tavern serves up classic cuisine with a unique twist such as the Tuna Tower, an ahi poke-style appetizer paired with fresh avocado, scallions, onion and mango piled high on a tri-level tower of wonton chips. Other signature items include the crispy Berkshire pork belly salad, pulled duck sliders, brie grilled cheese and the PBR beer can chicken. At the bar, adult patrons can enjoy a selection of hand crafted cocktails including the signature Double Barrel Bloody Mary, along with craft beers, wine and seasonal drinks including mojitos and margaritas during warmer weather and snugglers and hot toddys throughout the ski season. Gunbarrel Tavern is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

Recommended for Happy Hour because: Gunbarrel's happy hour is Mon-Fri from 3-6 pm and includes $3 draft beer and well drinks.

Christina's expert tip: The food and drink at Gunbarrel is available late into the night.

Read more about Gunbarrel Tavern & Eatery →


Meet Christina Nellemann

Christina has lived in the Reno/Lake Tahoe area since she was a baby. A first-generation Nevadan, her Danish parents instilled in her an intense love of travel and the wild, rugged outdoors...  More About Christina