Best Steakhouses in Tahoe

10Best Steakhouses in Lake Tahoe and Truckee

The Lake Tahoe and Truckee area has a wide range of steakhouses that include the peanut-shells-on-the-floor restaurants to four- and five-star restaurants that have been written up in gourmet magazines. No matter what you are craving (even if it's a little seafood with your steak) you can find it at these 10Best Steakhouses at the lake. For a more casual night out, head to Gar Woods on the West Shore of Lake Tahoe. The food is great, the bar is lively and the views off the balcony and the pier of the lake and the mountains are wonderful. Another casual location is the Old Range Steakhouse in Tahoe Vista or the very fun Red's Old 395 Grill down the hill in Carson City. For something a little more dressy (but no requiring high heels or a tie) head to the Cottonwood in Truckee where you can also get a view of the railroad town from their large windows. Another great view can be had from Friday's Station at Harrah's. The restaurant is located on the 18th floor of the hotel and has amazing views of the lake. The Lone Eagle Grille at the Hyatt in Incline Village is another place to get a fantastic view of the lake.


Gar Woods Grill and Pier Restaurant
Photo courtesy of Gar Woods

Gar Woods on Tahoe's West Shore is best known for it's wonderful pier and wooden boats, but it also has a great menu and a fun bar. The floor to ceiling windows, large deck and balconies provide breath taking views of Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Mountains. The menu highlights mainly California cuisine, hand cut steaks, fresh pacific seafood, pizzas, pastas and salads. The wine list is a collection of California's best and best known vintners featuring more than one dozen wines by the glass. The menu includes items such as Pomegranate Glazed Pork Ribs, Shrimp & Lobster Bisque, Filet and Scampi, Australian Lamb Chops, Seafood Tagliarini and desserts like White Chocolate Snickers Cheesecake and Butterscotch Creme Brulee. Gar Woods serves signature cocktails such as their famous Wet Woody with with Rum, Peach Schnapps, Cranberry Juice, Orange Juice, Pineapple Juice and Sweet and Sour mix.

Recommended for Steakhouses because: The Gar Wood Grill serves up a tasty Bacon-Wrapped Filet Mignon.

Christina's expert tip: In the summer, the deck at Gar Woods is a great place to hang out.

Read more about Gar Woods Grill and Pier Restaurant →

Nestled halfway up the mountain just minutes from the bustling casinos of downtown Stateline and the Heavenly ski resort, this cliffside restaurant offers a spectacular view of the entire Lake Tahoe basin. The Chart House has been in the Lake Tahoe area since 1961 and serves excellent seafood, succulent steaks, salads,soups and decadent desserts as well as elegant cocktails and wine. Several entrees include Snapper Hemingway, Shrimp Fresca and the slow roasted Prime Rib. They also offer a daily selection of fresh fish, an extensive collection of fine wines and whiskies, and decadent desserts like our famous Hot Chocolate Lava Cake.

Recommended for Steakhouses because: The Chart House has a huge seafood menu, but their WaFu Flat Iron Steak ($28) with garlic and ponzu citrus sauce is excellent.

Christina's expert tip: The Chart House is one of the best places to go for a special occasion.

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Friday's Station at the Harrah's Hotel & Casino offers some stellar views of Lake Tahoe from its 18th floor location. This steak and seafood restaurant is dress casual and includes a 1,000-bottle display wine cellar, certified Angus and USDA Choice beef, ocean-fresh seafood specials and tantalizing desserts. Menu items include appetizers like Escargot and Oysters Rockefeller, entrees like Filet Mignon and Lobster, Prime Rib and their famous Double Cut Lamp Chops marinated in mango chutney with garlic and honey. Special desserts are included nightly. Friday's Station is open Sunday thru Friday from 5:30 to 9:00pm and Saturday from 5:30 to 9:30.

Recommended for Steakhouses because: Harrah's knows steak and their Smoked Cowboy Rib Steak with chipotle honey BBQ sauce takes the cake.

Christina's expert tip: On busy weekends, it's best to book a table online through the Friday's Station website.

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Red's Old 395 Grill
Photo courtesy of Red's Old 395 Grill

This restaurant in the center of Carson City (the capital of Nevada) is one of the best places to eat in Carson City. This popular and lively restaurant and bar serves excellent BBQ, pizza, salads and steaks. Try the Q for Two, a massive platter of sausages, ribs, cornbread and coleslaw for two people. Join the Fellowship of the 101 if you think you can taste all 101 bottles of their stellar beer selection. If you are a martini lover, this is also your place. What Red's is best known for is their decor. It looks like an antique shop exploded all over the restaurant and you could be dining under a 16 foot oil painting, a 19th century horse carriage, a wagon wheel chandelier or a huge set of elk antlers.

Recommended for Steakhouses because: Red's Flat Iron Steak is drizzled with a three peppercorn cognac sauce.

Christina's expert tip: Red's accommodates large groups very well with several large tables and separate rooms that can be rented out. The decor is a hoot!

Read more about Red's Old 395 Grill →

Photo courtesy of Cottonwood

Eat indoors or on the restuarant's beautiful patio. They have all kinds of dishes to seduce your taste buds. Choose between crispy Baby Back Ribs grilled with jerk spice, and served with house made barbecue sauce or Jerk-spiced Fried Rock Prawns with Cajun tartar sauce. Order a Braised free Range Rabbit Cassoulet with Andouille sausage, garlic, rosemary and white beans, or simply opt for a Cheeseburger with waffle fries. Here, the wine and beer lists are extensive. The Cottonwood is filled with skiing and railroad memorabilia from Truckee's days as a railroad town, this casual restaurant, bar, and lounge provides customers with great views of Truckee, charming ambiance, and lovingly-prepared Californian-American fare.

Recommended for Steakhouses because: The Cottonwood's grass-fed beef burgers are pretty divine. Combine one with one of their custom cocktails.

Christina's expert tip: The bar of the Cottonwood can get crowded and rowdy on Friday and Saturday nights. This is not a quiet and romantic restaurant.

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Evan's American Gourmet Cafe in South Lake Tahoe is an intimate, 35 seat restaurant that has made a name for itself in several magazines and newspapers including Bon Appetit. Evan's is also rated Three Stars in Mobil Travel Guide and Three Diamonds in the AAA Guide and is a fourteen year ongoing recipient of The Wine Spectator Award of Excellence. Their eclectic menu features appetizers like Scallop Quenelles with sherry-lobster cream for $13, and Millefeuille of goat cheese-hummus spread layered with spinach, tomato and sweet and salty phyllo layers, topped with truffle honey for $11. The salads include a spinach salad with duck sausage, pancetta,� toasted pine nuts, shaved Asiago cheese and balsamic vinegar dressing for $9 and the main entrees include seared day boat scallops with wild rice-saffron orzo pilaf, served with preserved lemon vinaigrette, arugula and asparagus for $34. Don't miss their desserts like the Chocolate Pots de Creme and the Lemon Napoleon.

Recommended for Steakhouses because: Try the Charbroiled Korean short ribs on a bed of matchstick vegetables with sesame vinaigrette, pickled ginger, wakame and fried rice noodles.

Christina's expert tip: Evan's has been owned by the same local couple for 24 years.

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This is one of Lake Tahoe's premium lakefront 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, 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 Vegetable Purée, Spaghetti Squash Gremolata Style, "Apple Hill" Cider Cream Sauce and Sautéed Chicken, Mascarpone Polenta, Asparagus, Morel Cream Sauce. The Grille has Vegetarian options and dessert like Warm Mascarpone Strudel and Tahitian Vanilla Créme Brûlée. They also serve after-dinner cognacs and ports.

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The Sage Room at Harvey's has been around for 50 years. The rustic, quiet atmosphere is a nice alternative to other casino restaurants. This Western-themed steakhouse is popular with both locals and visitors and gets rave reviews from both. The classic steakhouse menu features unique appetizers like Crab, Artichoke and Cheese Gratinée and salads like Classic Caesar prepared tableside, along with Black Angus steaks, poultry, veal, lamb, Beef Wellington and seafood. The menu also offers a great eared Antelope Tenderloin with peppercorns and Jalapeño Blackberry Demiglace. Dessert specialties include Bananas Foster and Cherries Jubilee, both prepared tableside. Enjoy your meal with one of their chosen wines.

Recommended for Steakhouses because: The Sage Room has one of the best New York Steaks at the lake.

Christina's expert tip: The Sage Room Steak House is closed Tuesday and Wednesday.

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The cuisine at Wolfdale's in Tahoe City is an interesting mixture of California and Japanese. The building in which this restaurant resides was built in 1889 and now houses this semi-casual and very popular restaurant. Chef/Owner Douglas Dale apprenticed at the Seventh Inn in Boston under Chef Hirosi Hayashi. The menu changes often depending on what's in season, but you're likely to find entrees ranging from seared Alaskan halibut in green curry broth to grilled elk chop with braised veggies and elderberry sauce. Other entrees include Thai Seafood Stew, Tagine Braised Lamb Shank and Wolfdale's Cheeseburger with Truffle Fried. Desserts include items such as American Artisan Cheeses and Warm Chocolate Molten Cake. Casual dining can be found at the bar, and a lovely patio opens when the weather's warm.

Recommended for Steakhouses because: Don't let the fish logo turn you off--the Asian Braised Short Ribs make this a great stop for carnivores.

Christina's expert tip: Happy Hour at Wolfdale's is from 5:30 - 6:30 pm Sunday Through Friday (Closed Tuesdays) and includes wine and beer for $3-4 and small plates for around $4.

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The Old Range Steakhouse in Tahoe Vista is one of the most popular steakhouses at the lake and they offer a wide range of aged and fresh steaks, chops, prime rib, King Crab legs and a full bar. For dinner try the Barbecue Ribs and Rotisserie Chicken. The Garlic Mashed Potatoes are very good and the house bread is warm. The restaurant has a great view of the lake, mountains and the forest and the interior is cozy, but can be dark. The restaurant also features a large wine rack where you can choose your own bottle or you can order from the cocktail bar located inside. For dessert, check out their dense cheesecake. This slice of heaven on a plate is one of the best you can find at the lake.

Recommended for Steakhouses because: The steaks at the Old Range are juicy, tender and huge. This is steak-heaven.

Christina's expert tip: There isn't a wine list at the Old Range. You choose your wine from a nearby wine rack and the waiter opens it and serves you.

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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