Scusa Italian Ristorante has been serving authentic Italian to the Tahoe are 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, Cappelini 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 Restaurants with Gluten-Free Menus because: Many of Scusa's items are vegetarian and their pasta's are available as gluten-free.
Christina's expert tip: Scusa also has an al fresco dining area with live Jazz on the weekends.
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 Restaurants with Gluten-Free Menus because: The River Grill has gluten-free items pointed out on their menu.
Christina's expert tip: The portions at the River Grill are large.
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 Restaurants with Gluten-Free Menus because: All the Blue Dog Pizza's crusts are available as gluten-free.
Christina's expert tip: The $3 Happy Hour, Monday through Friday, has $3 slices and $3 pints.
For nearly 25 years, Sprouts Cafe in South Lake Tahoe has been serving healthful, wholesome meals for affordable prices. Sprouts serves large salads like their house salad which is piled with sprouts (of course) avocado, tomatoes, red onions and fresh lettuce. It's served with their house dressing. This cute cafe offers gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian sandwiches, soups, salads and sides like rice, chips, salsa, guacamole, hummus and tempeh. Their specialties include the Tempeh Burro, a large spinach tortilla stuffed with brown rice, tempeh, tomato, red onions, tahini and jack cheese topped with salsa and guacamole, served with sesame tortilla chips; the Hummus Melt with a toasted bagel, red onion, tomato, zesty homemade, low fat hummus, avocado, melted monterey jack cheese, green onions.served with sesame tortilla chips. Their Ugly Gooey Excellent Nachos are only $7.50 and the ATOM Bagel with avocado, onion, tomato, cheese and green onions is an affordable $5.25. Sprouts also serves a huge selection of smoothies including Mango Lime, Funky Monkey with soy protein powder and low fat granola and the Bee Sting with Strawberries, apple juice, banana, bee pollen and Vitamin B complex.
Recommended for Restaurants with Gluten-Free Menus because: Many of Sprouts Cafe's vegan options, like their sandwiches, are also gluten-free.
Christina's expert tip: Everything on the Sprouts menu is under $10.
The Keys Cafe is located on the South Shore, just off the main road. This small, yellow house serves up breakfast, lunch, beer wine and their famous smoothies. The atmosphere is fun and funky with local art on the walls and fresh, local eggs served in their omlettes, breakfast sandwiches and breakfast burritos. Their smoothies include the typical fruit smoothies like the Go Mango with mango, raspberry, banana and orange juice and the Castaway with Coconut, mango and pineapple juice as well as granola smoothies that are great for breakfast. The Keys Cafe also has Chai Tea smoothes, Espresso smoothies and Super Smoothies like the 911 with Emergen-C, banana, mango and orange juice. Their lunches consist of turkey, ham and swiss, roast beef, Reuben and cheese sandwiches. They also serve a sweet potato sandwich with baked sweet potato, fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, marinated onions, organic mixed greens, balsamic vinaigrette dressing, on a ciabatta roll.
Recommended for Restaurants with Gluten-Free Menus because: All the sandwiches and bowls are available as gluten-free-options.
Christina's expert tip: Try their Acai Bowl (served all day) with Acai berries, blueberries, banana, strawberry, and soy milk blended into a yummy frozen delight, topped with granola and bananas.
Himmel Haus is a German restaurant and bierhaus featuring a wide variety of German and Belgian biers and wines with a simple menu of Bavarian-inspired food with a local California twist. The menu includes locally made and sustainably harvested ingredients. The bier menu includes Pilsner, Helles, Hefe Weizen, Dunkel Marzen, Bock and Doppelbock as well as Belgian biers like Lambic, Blond, Wit, Ale and Trappist biers like Chimay and Rochefort Ale. Himmel Haus has special events all week including movies nights, live music, open mic night and trivia night. Their summer BierFest is popular as well as their Oktoberfest celebration.
Recommended for Restaurants with Gluten-Free Menus because: The Himmel Haus serves several gluten-free beirs along with their sustainably harvested menu items.
Christina's expert tip: The Warm Braided Br�tchen will take you back to northern Germany.
Simple Bliss is South Lake Tahoe's only vegan restaurant and serves locally grown organic produce. They are located in the Swiss Chalet Village and are open daily from 6 a.m.to 4 p.m. The caf� is knowledgable about vegan diets and offers a wide variety of items to choose from in her menu. The breakfast burritos for $13 include roasted potatoes, tofu or grilled eggplant and the $8 Blissful Breakfast Bagel has garlic hummus, avocado, tomato, red onion and spinach. For lunch the Grilled Eggplant Panini for $13 with sourdough bread, grilled eggplant, roasted red peppers, onions, tomatoes, and garlic hummus. The Homemade Lentil Burger for $13 is served on a multi-grain bun w/veganaise, mustard, lettuce mix, tomato, and onions. Simple Bliss serves various beverages like coffee, lattes, cappuccinos and chai. They also serve Italian sodas and organic carrot juice.
Recommended for Restaurants with Gluten-Free Menus because: Try the light and fluffy gluten-free pecan pancakes at Simple Bliss.
Christina's expert tip: The Budget Bowl with organic beans, rice, tomatoes and onions only costs $4.
No only does Freshies have a great patio with a view of Lake Tahoe, but they have one of the freshest menus on the lake. Freshies uses organic items in their menu as much as possible including rice bran oil. Their items are vegan/vegetarian friendly and they offer gluten free, wheat free and celiac diet options. They also make all their pasta and desserts in-house. Their menu includes appetizers like Seaweed Salad, Peel n' Eat Shrimp and Grilled Portobello Mushrooms topped with red curry, pesto, carrots and coconut. Their main items include tacos, organic salads, homemade soups including fresh Gazpacho and dinner items like Red Curry with Ahi, Noodle Bowls and the Mana Meal which includes beans, peas and grain loaf grilled with mushrooms and vegan gravy. Freshies also has a large selection of draft beers from breweries like Russian River, Snowshoe Brewing and Mammoth Brewing. Other beverages include homemade Tahitian Coconut Limeade for $3.25 and teas and juices.
Recommended for Restaurants with Gluten-Free Menus because: The vegetarian and gluten-free list at Freshies is huge.
Christina's expert tip: Their desserts like the Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse Pie are out of the world.
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 Restaurants with Gluten-Free Menus because: The Sugar Pine Cakery specializes in organic, vegan and gluten free baked goods.
Christina's expert tip: The SugarPine also sells wonderful breakfast breads like challah, focaccia and cinnamon raisin.
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 Restaurants with Gluten-Free Menus because: Primo's offers gluten-free options and pasta made from scratch.
Christina's expert tip: The Blue Angel happy hour is from 4-6 p.m. every day.