Best Family Friendly Restaurants in Tahoe

10 Best Family- and Kid-Friendly Restaurants in Lake Tahoe

These 10Best restaurants in the Lake Tahoe area have a few things in common: the food is hearty and plentiful and there is something for everyone on their menus. They include cafés, coffee shops, burger and pizza places. You can't go wrong there, no matter how picky your family is about their food.

Start off your day on the lake right with breakfast at either Heidi's Pancake House in South Lake Tahoe or the Log Cabin Café in Kings Beach. Each restaurant has massive menus that include not only pancakes but eggs and bacon, crepes, waffles and lots of hot coffee. Other breakfast places on the lake include the two Red Hut Coffee Shops in South Lake Tahoe and Bert's Cafe which serves breakfast all day long.

For a quick lunch, head for a pizza at the Front Street Station in Tahoe City or some very popular barbeque and rotisserie meats and sandwiches at T's Mesquite in Incline Village. Both will be a hit with the picky younger crowd. Of course, for either lunch or dinner, you can't go wrong with a great all-natural burger at the award-winning Burger Me in Truckee. Go for the sweet potato fries alone and you won't be disappointed.


Run by a couple from New Jersey, this small place next to the river serves 100 percent natural, hand-tossed New York style thin crust pizza as take-n'-bake, by the slice or by the pie. The Californian with artichokes and garlic and the Carnivore with a load of pepperoni, sausage, Canadian bacon and salami are some local favorites. The sauce is nice and spicy and everything can be washed down with a draft beer or soda. Front Street is located close to the Truckee River and you can eat your pie overlooking the river or walk it down to Commons Beach and eat overlooking the lake.

Recommended for Family Friendly because: This pizza is quick and easy to take on a picnic by the river or to Common's Beach.

Christina's expert tip: Sit on the porch with your pizza and enjoy the Truckee River.

Read more about Front Street Station Pizza Company →

There are actually two Red Huts in South Lake Tahoe. The newer building with the soda shop is right in the middle of town in South Lake Tahoe, while the older Red Hut is just West of the newer building, also in South Lake Tahoe. Each restaurant has great diner breakfasts and lunches, shakes, burgers and sandwiches. However, most locals go to the original Red Hut Cafe for their popular waffles like the Pecan or Coconut Waffle, omelets (like the Western Omelet with Ham, Cheese, Onion, and Bell Peppers), their short stacks, fresh eggs, hash browns and hot oatmeal with brown sugar.

Read more about Red Hut Cafe →

South Lake Tahoe

Burt's Cafe in South Lake Tahoe is a classic greasy spoon that is open for breakfast and lunch and features homemade from scratch items like Pancakes. Eggs Benedict, Biscuits and Gravey, Chicken Fried Steak and Crepes. Other items include Huevos Rancheros, Cheese Blintzes and Club Sandwiches and salads. All the dishes at Bert's are hearty and the service is great, but sometimes there is a wait on holiday or summer weekends. Drinks like coffee, tea, soda and iced tea are served all day long and most of the prices for the dishes range around $8-$12 with plenty of refills on the drinks.

Recommended for Family Friendly because: Bert's has some great pancake stacks like bacon and walnut.

Christina's expert tip: There may be a wait for this diner on weekends.

Read more about Bert's Cafe →

T's Mesquite Rotisserie
Photo courtesy of Christina Nellemann

This simple, family-run restaurant has been in the area for over 20 years and is the go-to place for quick, but healthy and tasty rotisserie meats with a Latin flair. T's serves chicken, pork and beef tri-tip rotisserie plates served with various salsas, sauces and tortillas. They also have the classic tacos and burritos as well as pulled pork with a mess of sauces to add to your sandwich. To wash it all down, the ice tea and lemonade is perfect. Be prepared to stand in line to order and eat either in the basic seating area or take your food outside or even on the road.

Recommended for Family Friendly because: Kids and adults will love the simple, but tasty BBQ and rotisserie at T's Mesquite.

Christina's expert tip: T's Mesquite is a cash-only establishment.

Read more about T's Mesquite Rotisserie →


Scusa Italian Ristorante is one of the beloved local restaurants of the South Lake Tahoe area. Creative, traditional Italian and fresh seafood dishes are served in a lively atmosphere. They have an extensive wine list and also are happy to serve large groups and special events like weddings. Their pasta dishes include Seafood Fettucine with shrimp, scallops, clams, mussels, calamari and spicy alfredo sauce and Spinach Pasta Mediterranean with eggplant, artichoke hearts, peppers and sun-dried tomatoes. The specials include Seared Sea Scallops, Grilled Chicken and Ravioli and Eggplant Parmesan Scusa. Other entrees include Veal Marsala and Shrimp Scampi.

Recommended for Family Friendly because: Scusa is great for both an intimate date and a family dinner.

Christina's expert tip: Start off with the Cream of Roasted Garlic Soup.

Read more about Scuza Italian Ristorante →

Skiers and boarders love breakfast and brunch at Log Cabin, claiming their generous portions of eggs, pancakes, and many other breakfast mainstays to be the ideal fuel for a day on the slopes. Cajun eggs Benedict, waffles topped with the fruit of your choice, seafood scrambles, and chocolate pancakes are indicative of the indulgent, appetizing fare. Weekend brunch includes tempting dishes from the breakfast and lunch menus. Convenient call-ahead seating helps you avoid crowds that often gather in the a.m. The Log Cabin Cafe has been featured in various shows and publications including Rachel Ray's Tasty Travels and Brides Magazine.

Recommended for Family Friendly because: The Log Cabin's kid's menu serves fun dishes like a Mickey Mouse pancake.

Christina's expert tip: The Log Cabin feels just how it sounds – cozy and warm.

Read more about Log Cabin Cafe & Ice Cream →

Heidi's Pancake House
Photo courtesy of numb3r/Flickr

Heidi's is known in the South Lake Tahoe area for its delicious pancakes and Swiss-themed breakfast. Locals and skiers stop by this place to munch on some delicious sandwiches and burgers along with steaming hot coffee. For its regular guests, Heidi's is a common place to meet up and chat during the early morning hours. The restaurant is also open for lunch, but locals generally prefer to visit Heidi's for its breakfast. Their most popular items (all served in large portions) are the Country Fried Steak and Eggs, the French Revolution with with fresh fruit and sour cream, the breakfast crepes, four egg omelets and their skillet breakfasts and, of course the pancakes. Each stack can be ordered with your choice of fruit or topping and can include sausage, bacon, and hash browns.

Recommended for Family Friendly because: Heidi's has been a family favorite in SLT for dozens of years.

Christina's expert tip: Try the Bacon Waffle with the bacon baked right into the waffle!

Read more about Heidi's Pancake House →

South Lake Tahoe

With pie names like Hair of the Dog and Walk the Dog, you gotta love the pizza at Blue Dog Pizza in South Lake Tahoe. This small, local pizza joint offers free online ordering, a $3 Happy Hour and other specials. Their menu items also include appetizers, salads, oven-toasted subs and a kid's menu. They also offer gluten-free crusts. For the pizzas with the funny names, the Hair of the Dog has jalape�os, pepperoni, sausage, Canadian bacon, green chili, garlic and mozzarella cheese. The Walk the Dog pizza is a little more tongue-friendly with white sauce, chicken, fresh spinach, bacon, garlic and mozzarella cheese. Other pizzas include the Pesto Chicken, the Primavera and the Supreme.

Recommended for Family Friendly because: The Blue Dog Pizza kid's menu offers a $4 10 inch pizza with $10 spent on other menu items.

Christina's expert tip: The $3 Happy Hour, Monday through Friday, has $3 slices and $3 pints.

Read more about Blue Dog Gourmet Pizza →

Rated one of the best burger places in Lake Tahoe Area and featured on the Food Networks "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives", Burger Me is located in the old town section of Truckee. Their burgers are made with all natural ingredients. No growth hormones or chemicals in these beauties! The burgers and drinks are served in corn-based packaging and everything is recyclable. The refurbished building with retro styling is great to hang out in, but you can also get your burger to go and eat outside in the fresh mountain air. Burger Me offers natural burgers like lamb, bison, bacon and grass fed beef.

Recommended for Family Friendly because: These natural, organic burgers are tasty and healthy and the lemonade is made fresh every day.

Christina's expert tip: Burger Me has the best sweet potato fries in the area.

Read more about Burger Me →

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 Family Friendly because: The Blue Angel Cafe is warm and homey and they have outdoor seating.

Christina's expert tip: The Blue Angel Cafe has a great, healthful kids menu.

Read more about Blue Angel Cafe →


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