This simple, family-run restaurant has been in the area for over 20 years and is the go-to place for quick, but healthy and tasty rotisserie meats with a Latin flair. T's serves chicken, pork and beef tri-tip rotisserie plates served with various salsas, sauces and tortillas. They also have the classic tacos and burritos as well as pulled pork with a mess of sauces to add to your sandwich. To wash it all down, the ice tea and lemonade is perfect. Be prepared to stand in line to order and eat either in the basic seating area or take your food outside or even on the road.
Recommended for Take Out because: T's Mesquites meats go great with some to-go salsa and guacamole.
Christina's expert tip: T's Mesquite is a cash-only establishment.
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 Take Out because: In-house and to-go items are served on recycled plates and boxes.
Christina's expert tip: The Budget Bowl with organic beans, rice, tomatoes and onions only costs $4.
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 Take Out because: Keys Cafe has some cute picnic tables if you want to sit outside.
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.
Rated one of the best burger places in Lake Tahoe Area and featured on the Food Networks "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives", Burger Me is located in the old town section of Truckee with a nice place to sit outside and watch the trains go by. Their burgers are made with all natural ingredients. No growth hormones or chemicals in these beauties! The burgers and drinks are served in corn-based packaging and everything is recyclable. The refurbished building with retro styling is great to hang out in, but you can also get your burger to go and eat outside in the fresh mountain air.
Recommended for Take Out because: Take Burger Me burgers outside to the picnic tables or over to Donner Lake.
Christina's expert tip: Order the excellent sweet potato fries with your burger. The lemonade is also excellent.
This little coffee shop is right across from the Truckee River outlet and Fanny Bridge right on the "Y" of highway 89 and 28. They serve sandwiches and burritos like the Dam Burly-rito and the Tasty Turkey, soups like Brazillian Black Bean, Illy coffee and quality teas. The owners cater to vegetarians and vegans with their sandwiches and burritos and any item can be replaced with a vegetarian option. This is a local favorite and can get a little full. The Dam Cafe has a parking and outdoor seating on their front and back decks that overlook the Truckee River.
Recommended for Take Out because: The outside deck at the Dam Cafe has a great view of the Truckee River.
Christina's expert tip: If you are a tea lover, you are in luck. When presented with your hot water you get a choice of about 20 different teas in their "tea drawer".
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 Take Out because: Sprouts is a good place to stop before a hiking trip into the mountains.
Christina's expert tip: Everything on the Sprouts menu is under $10.
Run by a couple from New Jersey, this small place next to the river 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 with artichokes and garlic and the Carnivore 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. Front Street is located close to the Truckee River and you can eat your pie overlooking the river or walk it down to Commons Beach and eat overlooking the lake.
Recommended for Take Out because: The Front Street Station makes smaller pizzas to take and eat on the road.
Christina's expert tip: Sit on the porch with your pizza and enjoy the Truckee River.
Not 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 Take Out because: Freshies is located right on the lakeshore...so a picnic is inevitable.
Christina's expert tip: Their desserts like the Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse Pie are out of the world.
Base Camp Pizza is located in the Heavenly Village and serves up pizza, pasta, soups and appetizers like Crispy Clamari 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 with pepperoni, Italian sausage, roasted peppers, onions, and portabella mushrooms; the Thai Curry Chicken with yellow bell peppers, tomatoes, onions and marscapone cheese topped with fresh lime, basil and cilantro; and the Pear & Gorgonzola with sweet Bosc pears, gorgonzola cheese and red onion and garlic cream sauce. Base Camp also has pasta ilke Italian Herb Shrimp Penne, Four Cheese Ravioli and Gouda Mac & Cheese with Ham. Their salads teeter between gourmet and classic with the Base Camp House with the signature balsamic dressing and the Pear and Walnut with savory Gorgonzola cheese.
Recommended for Take Out because: Base Camp will deliver to various hotels in the North Tahoe area.
Christina's expert tip: The Garlic Chips are free if you show your hotel card or check in with Yelp!