Lake & Mountain Views: 10Best Tahoe City Restaurants

Charming Tahoe City is popular for its easy access to West Shore of Lake Tahoe and its close proximity to the ski areas of Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows and Homewood. Tahoe City also known for having some of the best restaurants in the area. These 10Best choices range from elegant restaurants and bars with a great lake view (like Christy Hill) to cafés that serve some darn good breakfasts and coffee.

For breakfast, start out at the Fire Sign Café for their large servings of Eggs Benedict or waffles. For lunch visit Bridgetender or Jake's on the Lake, which are both good for people watching or being by the water. For an afternoon pick-me-up, get a tea or coffee from the Dam Café and stick around to watch the people on Fanny Bridge. For dinner, head over to the West Shore Cafe in nearby Homewood for their small plates or delicious cioppino or to Montagna at the Resort at Squaw Creek for amazing mountain views and light Italian favorites.


Moe's Original BBQ, originating in Alabama, has come to Tahoe City�and you can't beat the location. This BBQ joint, known for its daily smoked meats and multitude of sides, is located right on the Grove Street Pier in Tahoe City and offers great views of the lake along with its Southern style BBQ. Various dishes including pulled pork and ribs, seafood, chicken and children's plates are available as an ala carte or platter option. Daily sides include lima beans, collar greens, coleslaw and sweet potato casserole. The restaurant offers outdoor seating, a bar and several to-go options including a cooler meal for boat owners who use the pier.

Recommended for Tahoe City's Best Restaurants because: You can bring your dog to the huge deck and pier outside Moe's.

Christina's expert tip: The platters come with cornbread and two sides.

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Jake's On The Lake is a mainstay on the West Shore. Serving both locals and visitors since 1978, Jake's features a casual yet delicious menu that reflects its waterfront atmosphere. The menu features seafood appetizers such as Dungeness Crab Cakes ($18) and entrees such as Seared Diver Scallops ($32). Turf-inspired dishes are also available such as short ribs and filet mignon tacos. Salads, soups (such as their decadent clam chowder), and several desserts are on hand to round out your meal. A kids' menu ensures that families leave happy. If you're making an afternoon of it, the full bar has its own menu, along with specialty cocktails, wines, and draft and bottled beers.

Recommended for Tahoe City's Best Restaurants because: Jake's deck and pier is also a great place to hang out and enjoy the water.

Christina's expert tip: Jake's has one of the best views on the lake.

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Fat Cat Cafe
Photo courtesy of Fat Cat Cafe

This small cafe in Tahoe City is a mix of everything: sports bar meets lunch place meets gathering area meets live music venue. It is a beautiful, little place with comfy places to sit and plenty of parking. The decor is a mix of dark wood, nice stained glass and local artwork as well as big screen TVs. The friendly, quick staff serves up tasty sandwiches, soups and salads and has a generous happy hour. The Fat Cat Cafe is a cool and laid back restaurant, bar, artists space and performance area for local and regional bands. Come here during the day for great sandwiches and salads and stay into the night for appetizers, a fun bar and live entertainment.

Recommended for Tahoe City's Best Restaurants because: The Fat Cat has a nice menu and some great local music.

Christina's expert tip: The Fat Cat's chicken tortilla soup is wonderful on a cold day.

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With rave reviews from locals and visitors and lines often out the door on busy weekend mornings, the Fire Sign Cafe is surely one of Tahoe's most popular breakfast spots. A quick glance at the menu shows why a dill and artichoke omelet, veggie eggs Benedict, a gouda scramble, and buckwheat pancakes topped with hot, freshly-made blueberry and raspberry sauce are representative of the ante meridiem treats that await. Lunch is served and contains menu items like soups, sandwiches, burgers and burritos, but for late-risers, breakfast is available all day. An attractive deck is open seasonally. The restaurant was featured on Rachel Rays "Tasty Travels" on the Food Network.

Recommended for Tahoe City's Best Restaurants because: The Fire Sign has a friendly staff and a huge menu.

Christina's expert tip: The Fire Sign is in between Tahoe City and Homewood, so it's away from most of the town crowds.

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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 Tahoe City's Best Restaurants because: Wolfdale's consistently wins both local and national dining awards, including one for OpenTable.

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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Part of charming Sunnyside Lodge, this lakeside restaurant delivers wonderful views and straightforward, filling lunchtime eats. You'll find burgers, fish, and chicken sandwiches, as well as pasta dishes, salads, and soups. The lodge's dock staff can assist you if you arrive by water, but show up on the early side if you want to secure a seat on the deck. The wood-paneled, rustic dining room provides atmosphere to spare if it's chilly outside. Dinner sees an emphasis on well-prepared American favorites, including seafood and steaks. Typical Sunnyside menu items include Black Sesame Seared Ahi, Sunnyside's Famous Fish Taco and allergy-free items.

Recommended for Tahoe City's Best Restaurants because: The Sunnyside appeals to both families and couples who come to stay at the lodge.

Christina's expert tip: The view from the deck is awesome!

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Hacienda del Lago is known for both its margaritas as well as it's great view of the Tahoe City marina and the lake beyond. Their menu is not too bad either. The Hacienda serves up traditional Mexican food like Chile Colorado with juicy cubed beef in red chile sauce, Carne Asada, Tacos and Enchiladas served with fresh guacamole, rice and your choice of beans. Check out the sizzling Fajitas del Lago. For only $13 you get marinated strips of beef or chicken sauteed with bell peppers and onions.The signature margaritas include the Silly Pepper with Gran Centenario Reposado mixed with house made simple syrup, lime juice, freshly chopped cilantro and jalapeño.

Recommended for Tahoe City's Best Restaurants because: Hacienda del Lago serves up a over a dozen different margaritas.

Christina's expert tip: The "Sneaky Bandito" margarita is 46 ounces. Get a designated driver.

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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 Tahoe City's Best Restaurants because: Christy Hill has one of the best views and decks on the entire lake.

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 →

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 Tahoe City's Best Restaurants because: The West Shore Cafe has one of the best views of the lake in Tahoe City.

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

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Located at the beautiful Resort at Squaw Creek, Montagna has stellar views of the mountains it is named after. Montagna features a contemporary approach to classic Italian dishes and uses locally sourced and sustainable ingredients. Start off with a classic salad of Squaw Caprese ($16) with fresh mozzarella or the buttery Parisian Gnocchi topped with herbs grown on the resort's rooftop garden ($14). The wood fired oven dishes out fresh garlic bread, Pacific swordfish ($26) and even beef tenderloin ($39) and the pasta (like the bucatini with shrimp) is made fresh in-house. Don't forget to order a glass of wine from the extensive list of Italian and California vintages.

Recommended for Tahoe City's Best Restaurants because: Montagna features classic Italian dishes with a contemporary flair.

Christina's expert tip: Montagna has amazing view of the Squaw Valley and a beautiful outdoor deck.

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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