Run by a New Jersey couple, this small place next to the river in Tahoe City 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 ($27, large) with artichokes and garlic and the Carnivore ($27, large) 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. Also check out the Spicy Thai Chicken ($28, large) with sweet chili sauce, covered with grilled chicken, fresh mozzarella and onion then drizzled with peanut sauce and finished with a touch of cilantro is a nice surprise.
Recommended for Pizza because: Front Street Station Pizza Company also has a second location in Truckee.
Christina's expert tip: Front Street Station is located right on the Truckee River in Tahoe City. Sit on the porch with your pizza and enjoy the sound of water.
The Lake Tahoe Pizza Company in South Lake Tahoe is located in a cute, alpine-inspired building decorated with interesting antiques. The pizzas are just as eccentric. With names like Gut Buster, the Barnyard Massacre and the Green Giant, you will have to try out several of them. The Barnyard Massacre is all meat: pepperoni, salami, sausage, Canadian bacon, linguica are all topped with cheddar cheese. The Mogul Masher is the classic pepperoni, salami, olives and mushrooms and the Mean Greek is topped with sun-dried tomatoes, saut�ed spinach, garlic, feta cheese, red onions and pepperoncini. The LTPC also serves appetizers and salads and pasta. Their calzones are full to bursting and are served with a pasta salad.
Recommended for Pizza because: The Lake Tahoe Pizza Company is not afraid to pile on the toppings. They have some of the thickest pizzas around.
Christina's expert tip: All the Lake Tahoe Pizza Company sauces such as their "Old Country Style", pesto and alfredo are homemade.
Fireside Pizza at Squaw Valley is perfect for a tasty, satisfying lunch, this casual restaurant at Squaw Valley serves pizzas that are a cut above, courtesy of fresh, unusual toppings and a delicious blend of cheeses. Try the Smoky BBQ Chicken with oven-roasted chicken, crisp bacon, red onions, hickory BBQ sauce, topped with creamy smoked gouda cheese and garnished with cilantro or the delicious Big Mountain pizza with Italian sausage, bacon, pepperoni, and Canadian bacon. Toppings like portobello mushrooms, artichoke hearts, and sun-dried tomatoes add zest and flavor. Sit outside at an umbrella-shaded table for great views and people-watching.
Recommended for Pizza because: The children's menu at Fireside is good and affordable and they have gluten-free options.
Christina's expert tip: Since they are owned by the same company, Fireside Pizza and Base Camp Pizza at Heavenly have nearly identical menus. So you can get the same pizza on the West Shore or the East Shore.
This fun pizza restaurant is an affordable alternative to Tahoe's expensive tourist spots and ski resorts. This little place, tucked away in the Christmas Village of Incline Village on the North Shore, has excellent pizza, pasta, salads and beer. Their pizzas are hand-tossed and you can get them to-go if you want. Their specialties include Spinach and Garlic Pizza with no red sauces, the Firenze with pesto, feta, salami, Kalamata olives, artichoke hearts, tomatoes and garlic and the Mighty Mo with Pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, onions and olives. A mini pizza costs $7.00, the Small is $12.95, the Medium is $14.95 and the Large is $16.95. Mofo's also has a salad bar, garlic bread, fried zucchini, garlic chips, pasta and calzones.
Recommended for Pizza because: Mofo's also has a great salad bar to go along with their pizza menu.
Christina's expert tip: For something lighter at Mofo's try the Western Comfort pizza with fresh basil and light pepperoni.
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 Pizza because: The Blue Dog is a friendly, local pizza joint. They also offer delivery and online orders.
Christina's expert tip: Blue Dog Gourmet Pizza has a $3 Happy Hour, Monday through Friday with $3 slices and $3 pints.
Scusa Italian Ristorante has been serving authentic Italian to the Tahoe area for years. The restaurant has a large selection of appetizers (including the dynamite Lobster Ravioli), salads, fish and pasta dishes and classic regional and coastal Italian food like Lasagne, Salmon Scaloppine with lemon-caper butter, Calamari and Scampi. The bread and desserts are baked in-house daily. Scusa also has many vegetarian options and whole wheat or gluten-free pasta dishes. Their pasta dishes include Seafood Fettuccine, Sausage Linguine Bolognese, Cappellini with homemade sauce and Spinach Pasta Mediterranean with eggplant, artichoke hearts, peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, feta cheese. Most of the dinner dishes start at around $16 to $18 and most appetizers like the Fresh Baked Mozzarella and the Frito Misto Scusa are under $10. Scusa also has a huge wine list featuring regional and Italian favorites as well as domestic and imported beer.
Recommended for Pizza because: Scusa's pizza dough is available as gluten-free and they have several vegetarian options.
Christina's expert tip: Scusa also has an alfresco dining area with live Jazz on the weekends.
Whitecaps Pizza not only has some great views of the North Shore of Tahoe, but it has an extensive menu for both lunch and dinner dining. This locally-owned pizza and sandwich restaurant makes all their pizzas by hand and tries to feature local produce in all their dishes. The top choices on the menu include small plates like gluten-free Gazpacho ($6) with chilled heirloom tomato, peach, cucumber and sweet corn and warm castelvetrano olives ($5). The pizzas include the divine Arugula Bacon Peach ($19/$27) with applewood bacon, summer peaches, fresh arugula, gorgonzola, whole milk mozzarella, balsamic drizzle, house-made white sauce. Also try the Thai Shrimp ($20/$28) with jumbo shrimp, carrots and fresh cilantro.
Recommended for Pizza because: Whitecaps makes excellent thin-crust pizza. If you can't eat a lot, check out their monster single slice for less than $6.
Christina's expert tip: Whitecaps Pizza is right on the beach with views of the North Shore.
Base Camp Pizza is located in the Heavenly Village and serves up pizza, pasta, soups and appetizers like crispy calamari and their popular garlic chips which are a thin layer of fresh pizza dough covered in garlic butter, topped with a four-cheese blend and served with ranch dressing. Base Camp's various pizzas include the Base Camp ($26, large) with pepperoni, Italian sausage, roasted peppers, onions, and portabella mushrooms; the Thai Curry Chicken ($26, large) with yellow bell peppers, tomatoes, onions and mascarpone cheese topped with fresh lime, basil and cilantro; and the Pear & Gorgonzola ($25, large) with sweet Bosc pears, gorgonzola cheese and red onion and garlic cream sauce.
Recommended for Pizza because: The Thai Curry Chicken with the fresh lime is perfect for summer.
Christina's expert tip: Base Camp Pizza also has an every day happy hour from 2:00 to 5:00 with both food and drink specials.
Best Pies pizzeria and restaurant is located in old downtown Truckee and features massive thin-crust pizzas, Italian dishes and a lively atmosphere and affordable prices. Their specialty pies include the Garbage Pie with sausage, pepperoni, Canadian bacon, mushroom, olives, bell peppers, and onions. The Pesto Pie with Sausage and fresh tomatoes and the Filetto Di Pomodoro Pie with sausage and basil celebrate the birthplace of pizza. Each of these pies is around $23 for the thin crust version. You can also order items like their popular Garlic Knots, Cheese Calzone, Chicken Parmigiana and Spinach and Goat Cheese Rolls or Pasta with a side salad. Best Pies has a kid's menu and a full beer list and some excellent signature cocktails.
Recommended for Pizza because: This popular restaurant in Truckee serves giant pizzas and fun cocktails. Try their whiskey flight.
Christina's expert tip: The Best Pies Signature Pie with the cherry peppers, mushroom, pepperoni, garlic and parsley sauce is awesome.
Build a better pizza at Lake Tahoe AleWorX. This Stateline-based pizza and drinks restaurant not only serves great wood-fired pizzas, but you can build your own with several bases. Choose from various red and white sauces to fresh pesto. Add on ingredients such as applewood ham, shrimp, Proscuitto, pine nuts and arugula. Along with various pies, Lake Tahoe AleWorX also offers salads, small plates such as beer cheese nachos ($16) and menu items for kids. There is also no shortage of great drinks to go with your pizza. AleWorx pours their own signature cocktails such as the Tahoe Mule with locally made vodka and fresh lime ($12) and a selection of local and regional beers. Weekends and summers feature outdoor live entertainment.
Recommended for Pizza because: Lake Tahoe AleWorX serves signature wood-fired pizzas with interesting ingredients such as the Pera with honey, gorgonzola and pears.
Christina's expert tip: When paying for your AleWorX pizza and drinks, you will be given a wristband electronically connected to your credit card. Choose your items directly from your table.