Best Dessert in Tahoe

Sugar Time in Tahoe: 10Best Desserts, Pastries & Cakes

There's no need to travel far for a sugar rush in Tahoe. These 10Best restaurants, cafes and bakeries in Tahoe have everything from cookies and cakes to pastries that go great with a fresh cup of coffee or tea. For something a little more health-conscious Head to The Free Bird in South Lake Tahoe for some organic coffee and vegan pastries.

For the ultimate in sweetness, Glazed and Confused (also in South Tahoe) has a fun range of donuts with names like "Freak Show" and "Cookie Monster". Alpina Coffee on the South Shore also have great coffee along with free WiFi and Cornerstone Bakery serves coffee from Sacramento with their desserts. For a hot summer's day, head to Susie Scoops in Incline for locally made ice cream. If you need something with a few more calories, the Sugar Pine Cakery in South Lake Tahoe will fit the bill with their brownies, tarts, cookies and their notorious cinnamon rolls.


Susie Scoops is located on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe in Incline Village. Their handmade, and locally made, ice cream comes in over 25 flavors and they also serve milkshakes, sundaes and smoothies. Open all year long, the flavors of this small, sweet shop include Mud Pie, Peppermint, Black Raspberry, Coconut, Espresso Chip and Batter's Up. Susie Scoops also serves non-dairy sorbets, seasonal flavors and will cater special events. You can order a combination in either a cup or a cone or you can take home a hand-created pint of ice cream to enjoy on the beach or on the slopes.

Recommended for Dessert because: Susie Scoops is a great option for a post-meal dessert or a just-because treat. Both adults and kids alike enjoy the unique flavor combinations.

Christina's expert tip: Craving ice cream even in the winter? Susie Scoops is open all year long.

Read more about Susie Scoops →

Locals count on this little coffee shop for a caffeine buzz in the early morning hours and a tempting selection of sandwiches, wraps, salads, and smoothies throughout the day. Hearty bagel sandwiches, a popular menu option, keep you going all day. Wild Cherries also offers a wide variety of freshly baked goods, baked fresh daily, including pies, cakes, cookies, bread and more. All of Wild Cherries coffees are roasted locally 100% Arabica green beans. They serve organic and fair trade coffees and offer a selection of 8-10 fresh brewed varieties daily. Wild Cherries is a supporter of local businesses and sporting events.

Recommended for Dessert because: Wild Cherries' dessert menu is expansive and there are about 10 coffee types to choose from.

Christina's expert tip: Wild Cherries has a rotating wall of local swag and art for purchase including Tahoe-inspired t-shirts and locally made wall hangings.

Read more about Wild Cherries Coffee House →

This cozy, local coffee shop serves Alpen Sierra coffee, espresso, various teas and much more. Located in South Lake Tahoe on the way to Emerald Bay, Alpina is a comfy caf�, tucked into the pine trees and adored by the locals. The Cafe has three computers with internet for customers to use, a kids' corner, and picnic tables in a sunny garden area for spring and summer. The Alpina has free WiFi and 3G. Try their house coffee or lattes (with great foam) or their great Mexican hot chocolate. The Alpina does serve basic food items like muffins, sandwiches and bagels.

Recommended for Dessert because: Alpina has both indoor and outdoor seating with a fireplace for winter days.

Christina's expert tip: Is there anything worse than a watered down iced coffee? For their iced coffees, Alpina uses coffee ice cubes.

Read more about Alpina Coffee Cafe →

South Lake Tahoe

The Free Bird Cafe in South Lake Tahoe serves up some of the best organic food in the area. Their menu includes coffee, tea, smoothies, homemade chai tea, baked goods, superfoods and more. Try the Humming Bird Smoothie with Yogurt, Mango (or Strawberry), OJ, Banana, Agave Nectar for $4.75 or the Dirty Chai (Chai Latte with Espresso) for $4.50. Their "light bites" include items like the Special Bagel which is a locally made bagel with house herb cream cheese and fresh tomato slices for $4.00 or the Potato Samosas with curry, mango chutney, cilantro salsa and a house salad for $6.

Recommended for Dessert because: The Free Bird is vegetarian and vegan-friendly and even serves vegan ice cream.

Christina's expert tip: The Free Bird serves only fair trade coffee that supports sustainable farming practices, and their chai is made in-house from spices rather than from commercial powder.

Read more about The Free Bird →

Swiss and American influences collide at this cozy bakery that has been in the Tahoe area for decades. Open early, Tahoe House Bakery delivers delicious cups of coffee and espressos made to order, as well as a handsome spread of pastries, bread, cookies, cakes, fruit tarts, bagels, and more. Try the ham and cheese croissants. While you're waiting for your order, peruse the bottled sauces, dressings, and other gourmet items available for purchase. Regulars assert the spot is always reliable for delicious treats, whether you're grabbing a bite on the go or have time to spend in the comfortable dining room.

Recommended for Dessert because: The Tahoe House's chocolate croissants are flaky and made with dense, dark chocolate.

Christina's expert tip: In the winter, the Tahoe House Bakery has a roaring fire in the fireplace, so try and snag a seat.

Read more about Tahoe House Bakery & Gourmet →

South Lake Tahoe

Many visitors to the Tahoe City area rave about the Sugar Pine Cakery and its sweet baked goods. The owner is an organic baker who specializes in vegan, gluten-free and organic baked goods. Items on the menu include not only cupcakes, cakes and cookies but also sandwiches, salads, quiche, paninis and seasonal soups. The chocolate croissant is a popular pick as well as the cherry tarts, home-baked cookies, macaroons and cupcakes. The cinnamon rolls are a must for breakfast or dessert. If you're in the mood for something rich, get the rocky road brownie for an explosion of chocolate, almond and marshmallow goodness. The service in this small bakery is awesome and they specialize in birthdays and weddings. Orders can be placed ahead of time or that day.

Recommended for Dessert because: The Sugar Pine Cakery also offers gluten-free items on their menu.

Christina's expert tip: The Sugar Pine Cakery also sells wonderful breakfast bread like challah, focaccia and cinnamon raisin.

Read more about Sugar Pine Cakery →

This stylish little coffee bar in Truckee is just off the main road on Jibboom Street in downtown Truckee. They serve up Italian-style cappuccinos, espressos and latt�s as well as some unusual drinks like Lemon Chiffon Latte and Caffe Marocchino. The Coffeebar also serves paninis, salads, homemade crepes, filo purses filled with sweet or savory ingredients and other drinks like Italian sodas, teas and fresh juice. The Coffeebar has a great outdoor patio and plenty of seating in their well-lit space. This is a great place to meet clients or family and is away from the main street through downtown Truckee.

Recommended for Dessert because: Coffeebar has a cool, relaxed vibe with reggae music. Try their daily macarons.

Christina's expert tip: Coffeebar strives to be more environmentally friendly and uses dried pasta as stir sticks instead of wood or plastic.

Read more about Coffeebar →

The Baked Bear serves up delectable, massive ice cream sandwiches, ice cream in cones and cookies, brownies and donuts. Each sandwich or ice cream treat is custom made for each customer with a variety of flavors and homemade sandwich cookies. Toppings can also be added and the entire concoction can be heated up to get that great, melty flavor. Baked Bear cookie flavors include Peanut Butter, Red Velvet, Oatmeal Cinnamon, and other flavors. Ice creams include Espresso Bean, Blackberry Crumble, and even some soy-based flavors. The Baked Bear also serves fun drinks like root bear float and sundaes. You can also cut the sugar with a cup of their coffee.

Recommended for Dessert because: At the Baked Bear, you can essentially create your own unique dessert.

Christina's expert tip: The Baked Bear is a fun place to experiment with different flavor combinations such as peanut butter cookie with fudge ice cream topped with coconut.

Read more about The Baked Bear →

Located at the Tahoe Beach Retreat resort on the shore of Lake Tahoe, Glazed and Confused Tahoe Donut serves a wild assortment of experimental donuts. Some of them include the colorful Maui Waui with vanilla frosting topped with pecans, diced pineapple, papaya, mango and coconut and the psychedelic S'Moral Kombat with chocolate icing topped with graham crackers and glittery marshmallows. Most of the donuts are under $3 and with them you can add a cup of "Jitter Juice" (plain coffee) or an assortment of flavored lattes and other coffee drinks. For a nice complement to the donuts, try the delicious Lavender Flavored Latte or the R2-TEA-2, Tiger Spice Chai Tea Latte.

Recommended for Dessert because: Glazed and Confused has both delicious and odd flavor combinations that are great for both children and adults.

Christina's expert tip: Look for Glazed and Confused's mascot, Floyd the Donut, in social media tags.

Read more about Glazed and Confused Tahoe Donut →

Cornerstone Bakery is located in the historic section of the railroad town of Truckee. Bright and airy, the bakery serves a wide range of baked-from-scratch goods including croissants, challah and other bread, cookies and wedding cakes. The bakery also has small treats such as truffles and candies for special events. Cornerstone has gluten-free options such as its indulgent chocolate peanut butter bar. The bakery has a pleasant seating area where you can pick up a pastry or cookie and enjoy freshly brewed coffee from Temple Coffee Roasters in Sacramento. If you want something a little sweeter, Cornerstone serves house-made Felchlin hot chocolate as well.

Recommended for Dessert because: While their desserts are divine, Cornerstone Bakery's homemade, buttery croissants are even better.

Christina's expert tip: Cornerstone Bakery is located in a walkable part of Truckee, so it's easy to head down for a morning pastry and coffee.

Read more about Cornerstone Bakery →


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