Kiss Me at the Lake: 10Best Romantic Restaurants in Tahoe

These 10Best romantic restaurants in the Lake Tahoe area have one thing in common: you won't want to leave. Each of these places have cozy and warm atmospheres, amazing food (some of it locally sourced) and excellent wine and drinks lists. They are just what you need for a romantic night out.

Café Fiore only has seven intimate tables and at Nephele's you can get book both an intimate hot tub for wine and a table for dinner. Other restaurants with a romantic atmosphere include Manzanita at the Ritz-Carlton, Pianeta in Truckee and Jimmy's at the Landing Resort & Spa.

For some excellent dishes, visit The Soule Domain for French Country dishes that include pan-roasted chicken or rabbit. The West Shore Cafe & Inn offers fine dining and a romantic place to stay the night. The Truckee Tavern has an open fire grill and some great side dishes. For amazing views, head to the Lone Eagle Grille where you can eat right on the shore of Lake Tahoe or enjoy an outdoor fire pit.


Right in the middle of downtown Truckee sits this charming northern Italian restaurant. Outfitted with a full bar on the lower level and a dining room on the mezzanine, Pianeta offers several dinner options. For a more casual meal, dine on appetizers like eggplant bruschetta at the bar; alternatively, the main dining area offers upscale atmosphere and entrees like linguine with shrimp, mussels, and clams, or double-cut lamb chops in a minty pesto sauce. The wine menu is excellent and the menu includes an amazing selection of Double Malt Scotch and Bourbon. Lots of exposed brick and stone lend a comfy, rustic feel.

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Located in Homewood on the West Shore, the West Shore Cafe and Inn is defined by its long, beautiful pier and buoys that welcome both boaters and non-boaters to dine. The cafe serves lunch, dinner and cocktails as well as some excellent dessert. Try the Warm Lobster Dip as a starter, add on the Cauliflower and Pomegranate Salad with crispy prosciutto and mustard-pomegranate vinaigrette. For a romantic dinner order the Pan Seared Salmon with white beans and yams. The West Shore cocktails include classics with a twist like the West Shore Old Fashion with cointreau aged for one month in an oak barrel.

Recommended for Romantic Dining because: The West Shore Cafe has romantic dining both inside and outside on the deck.

Christina's expert tip: The West Shore Cafe is an OpenTable Diners' Choice Award winner.

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Located in the center of Tahoe City, this restaurant offers excellent food and one of the best views on the lake. It's a small restaurant and reservations may be required during the high seasons, but the staff is friendly and very accommodating. They serve up a nice selection of wines by the glass and the bottle and the menu is small but it revolves around the changing seasons and the availability of fresh ingredients. The entrees include pork, lamb, seafood and pasta using fresh, local ingredients. For a starter the Caesar Salad is huge and very delicious and the various Ravioli dishes are a great entree. For dessert, try the Affogato with cranberry biscotti.

Recommended for Romantic Dining because: Christy Hill offers great views of the West Shore from both inside and on the spacious deck.

Christina's expert tip: Christy Hill has earned rave reviews by the Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal and Bon Appetit.

Read more about Christy Hill Lakeside Bistro →


Sophisticated and stylish, Restaurant Trokay strives to create beautiful food from fresh, local ingredients. This hip downtown Truckee resturant serves dinners which includes unusual items like Baby Corn, Fresno Chili, Celery, Maryland Soft Shell Crab Tempura, Salt Cured Torchon of Humanely-Raised Foie Gras, House Brioche and California Peach Ice or the Lousiana Crawfish Salad with Nasturtium, Celeriac Mousse and Horseradish. Desserts can be ordered with international coffee and teas and include Coffee and Ice Cream Affogato, Buttermilk Panna Cotta, Coconut Pavlova, and Bourbon Maple Pecan Tartlet. The presentation of each dish is a work of art that needs to be photographed by each customer.

Recommended for Romantic Dining because: Trokay is for romantic foodies who love to experiment.

Christina's expert tip: Trokay is best for couples or singles. Families may find it crowded and there are not too many items for children.

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The Manzanita restaurant at the Ritz-Carlton at the Northstar ski resort not only embraces the natural surroundings with its name (a manzanita is an evergreen shrub that graces the Tahoe mountains), but it brings the beauty of nature into its dishes. The stylish restaurant sources many of its food from local farms and ranches and displays them in a natural and beautiful way. Start off a romantic dinner with a Beet & Burratta salad with local beets, apples, celery, hazelnuts and honey-rosemary vinaigrette, choose from 12-Hour Bordeaux Braised Shortrib or Hand-Made Tagliatelle with heirloom eggplant and fresh ricotta and finish up with a Pumpkin Souffle with spiced anglaise and butter pecan ice cream. Manzanita also serves breakfast and lunch and has an extensive wine, beer and cocktail menu. If you are not hungry enough for a full dinner, the restaurant offers a bar menu with items like Pomme Frites, the Durham Ranch Burger and the Drunken Goat Cheese and Prosciutto Pizza with rocket greens.

Recommended for Romantic Dining because: The view of the mountains and the ski resort from the restaurant is amazing.

Christina's expert tip: Manzanita sources organic, sustainable and locally grown meat and produce when possible.

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Consistently topping local lists of the area's most romantic restaurants, this family-run Tahoe mainstay has become the go-to place for diners seeking to impress first dates and enjoy a great meal in the bargain. Fresh, organic ingredients heighten the flavors of French-influenced dishes like pan-roasted chicken with mushrooms or champagne-poached sea scallops. Desserts include the decadant Queen of Sheba flourless chocolate double torte cake with fresh whipped cream filling for only $7. An appealing collection of appetizers, salads, and desserts showcases the same dedication to fresh foods and classic preparations. Reservations are requested. The restaurant is Zagat rated and has won several awards for the chef's creations.

Recommended for Romantic Dining because: The Soule Domain is located inside a cozy and warm mountain cabin perfect for romance.

Christina's expert tip: The Soule Domain has been voted the "Best Place to Take a Date" by the North Tahoe Truckee Action Guide for thirteen years running.

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The Lone Eagle Grille is one of Tahoe's premier restaurants. Located at the Hyatt in Incline Village, this impressive alpine lodge restaurant has a large stone fireplace and a pitched roof and is located on its own private beach with access to a pier. Enjoy High Sierra cuisine featuring fresh seafood and locally raised meats, an impressive wine list and breathtaking views of the lake. The seasonal menus use only the finest in fresh local ingredients prepared in the open show kitchen. Lunch and dinner entrees include items such as Furikake Crusted Ahi with Wasabi Mashed Potatoes and Radish Salad, Veal Osso Buco with Root Vegetables, Spaghetti Squash Gremolata Style, "Apple Hill" Cider Cream Sauce and Chicken, Mascarpone Polenta, Asparagus, Morel Cream Sauce. The Grille has Vegetarian options and dessert like Warm Mascarpone Strudel and Baked Tahoe with a torched meringue. The Grille also serves after-dinner cognacs and ports.

Recommended for Romantic Dining because: The Lone Eagle Grille's romantic atmosphere fits perfectly with their steak and seafood menu.

Christina's expert tip: The Lone Eagle Grille has some of the best views of the North Shore.

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South Lake Tahoe

This is the perfect romantic spot for a special dinner. Decorated with white linens and glimmering candles, this cozy Italian restaurant is furnished with only seven tables for an intimate atmosphere. During the summer, you can enjoy your meal outside beneath the towering pines. For a hearty meal, try the Cappellini Bocconcini made with meatballs, fresh tomato and basil. Bistecca alla Veneziana is medallions of filet mignon a green peppercorn cream sauce. For dessert, try the homemade white chocolate ice cream. The Cafe Fiore has been featured in As featured in- The San Francisco Chronicle, The Sacramento Bee and Best Places To Kiss In Northern California book and has been awarded the "Wine Spectator Award of Excellence" since 1992.

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South Lake Tahoe

Jimmy's Restaurant is located at The Landing Resort & Spa in South Lake Tahoe. This contemporary and cozy restaurant serves distinctive, wood-fired Greek seafood and locally sourced California cuisine. They also have an impressive wine list. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served and the fine dining dinner menu features items like Kataifi Wrapped Feta with raisin, oregano, honey ($10), Pulled Lamb Burger with beetroot tzatziki, feta, watercress, brioche ($20) and Berry Limonchello Sabayon for dessert. Jimmy's Restaurant features several private dining alcoves�each with its own fireplace. The restaurant's deck has five outdoor fire pits where guests can enjoy before or after dinner drinks while overlooking the lake.

Recommended for Romantic Dining because: Couples can reserve one of the private dining alcoves with fireplaces for a romantic evening out.

Christina's expert tip: In both winter and summer, get to Jimmy's early to enjoy the patio fire pits.

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Tahoe's Le Bistro offers some of the best dinner deals in the area. They have an a la carte and tasting menu option Tuesday through Saturday. Since the chef uses only fresh, organic ingredients that he finds in the local markets, the menu changes on an almost daily basis. Past dishes have included winter truffle soup en cro�te, grilled artichoke and asparagus in red bell pepper dressing, and braised venison osso buco with port wine and green peppercorns. Le Grand Dessert is an assortment of cheeses served with raisins and glazed walnuts. Servers are friendly, knowledgeable, and able to suggest appropriate wine pairings.

Recommended for Romantic Dining because: Le Bistro's exquisite pairings and presentation are a joy to look at...and eat

Christina's expert tip: Vegetarian and low fat versions of menu items can be requested.

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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