From High-end to Value-Priced, here's The Ultimate Guide to South Lake Tahoe's Best Eats
Where are The Best Places to Eat in South Tahoe?
South Lake Tahoe’s dining scene spans an uncommonly broad spectrum, from fifty-cent tacos to hundred dollar steaks. No matter the budget, this is a destination that rewards hungry skiers and snowboarders willing to explore. And because the conjoined commercial districts of South Lake Tahoe, CA and Stateline, NV span a miles-long sprawl, it helps to have a car.
Sure, the compact Heavenly Village at the foot of the Heavenly Mountain Gondola dishes a tasty array, from fresh-made mini-donuts topped with chocolate sauce (at Heavenly Donuts, outside the gondola) to Hawaiian-inspired high-end seafood (at neighboring Kalani’s). But some of Tahoe South’s best fine dining (like epicurean new American at Evans and classic fine Italian at Café Fiore) hides in small spaces off the beaten path. Excellent ethnic fare (like Verde for Mexican rotisserie and Nikki’s Chaat for Indian) tucks into strip malls and odd spots. Great coffee and craft beer are dappled hither and yon. Food finds scatter across the state line. And, yes, the big casinos hold some foodie jackpots, too.
Our recommendations on where to eat in South Lake Tahoe cover all price points, from fine dining with picture postcard views to good eats that are unpretentious, fast and cheap. Our Tahoe South restaurant guide (and handy map, at the bottom of this story) can help you find it all.
Tahoe South Restaurant Guide
Top Fine Dining
Ciera Steak + Chophouse (at MontBleu Resort Casino) – From lobster tempura to Wagyu tomahawk, Ciera’s menu doesn’t hold back, garnering this casino-hotel restaurant the Tahoe basin’s only 4 Diamond rating from AAA. Filet mignon with foie gras and black truffles? You’ve got it – and in a private dining booth with secrecy curtains, if you like.
Edgewood Restaurant – Located in a handsome lakefront clubhouse with cathedral windows and terraced seating, the Edgewood property’s original elegant dining room (not to be confused with the Bistro in the new Lodge at Edgewood Tahoe, located elsewhere on the historic lakefront acreage) serves fine seafood and game with contemporary California culinary styling.
Evans American Gourmet Café – Classical French meets flavor-forward Pacific Rim fare in a 1930s cottage with 35 seats. Now in its 31st year, Evans frequently tops the Tahoe basin’s best restaurant lists. Reserve well in advance.
More fine dining & upscale casual
19 Kitchen (atop Harveys Lake Tahoe Hotel and Casino) – Panoramic 19th floor lake views pair with a diverse roster of both upscale casual and fine fare. Great for oysters + martinis while watching the sun set over Lake Tahoe.
The Bistro (at the Lodge at Edgewood Tahoe) – Tahoe South’s newest dining destination serves breakfast, lunch and dinner on the lakefront in a stylish, contemporary space with big views. Located in the gorgeous Lodge at Edgewood Tahoe, which opened in 2017 (and was named Travel + Leisure’s #1 Resort Hotel in the US in 2018), the Bistro’s fare ranges from brick-oven pizza to fine steak and chops, with a focus on regional and seasonal ingredients.
Café Fiore – This little ristorante is a ski town classic, serving traditional fine Italian fare in a cozy mountain cabin tucked onto a back street. A South Lake Tahoe signature, since 1994.
Friday’s Station (atop Harrah’s) – The locals’ pick for casino fine dining serves a menu of classic fine steaks and seafood with bird’s eye vistas of Lake Tahoe.
Kalani’s – Aloha meets the mountains at this lively and contemporary Heavenly Village restaurant serving Hawaiian-inspired seafood and other Pacific Rim fusion fare.
The Loft – Where else can you get magic shows and Italian food steps from the ski slopes? The Loft hides upstairs in Heavenly Village, serving quality mid-priced Italian fare (with frequent happy hour deals) in a hip lounge and dining area accented with steampunk styling. Magic shows (very cool ones) run daily in a plush little theater in the back of the house.
Sage Room (at Harveys Lake Tahoe) – This historic steakhouse (since 1947) is beloved for its Wild West décor (including a bar, ceiling beams and Native American-crafted light fixtures from the original 1944 log Harveys building) and its menu of fine dining classics like Black Angus steaks, beef Wellington, bananas foster and cherries jubilee.
Samurai – The locals’ favorite, for good reason. Superb fish, classic preparations, excellent sushi.
Harumi – Best sushi on the Nevada side. In Zephyr Cove.
Naked Fish – Popular westernized-style Japanese in a lively space, with a big menu and lots of saucy rolls.
BURGERS, deli, bratwurst, PIZZA
AleWorX – Wood-fired pizza and sandwiches. Salads. Craft beer on tap. Frequent live music. Two locations, one down at the Y and one in Stateline (with cocktails and DJs, too.)
Base Camp Pizza Co. – Pizza, beer and happy hour deals. Craft on draft and in bottles. In the Heavenly Village, near the base of the gondola. Popular with groups, families and for après-ski.
Burger Lounge – Burgers, soft serve ice cream, daily specials.
The Cork & More – Excellent hot and cold deli sandwiches. (Also great potato salad.) Cheese platters. Wine tastings. Happy hour deals.
Jalisco Grill – Tasty, filling and cheap.
Taqueria Jaliscos – Delicious Mexican street-style eats at a little hole-in-the-wall. Cash only!
Verde – Contemporary Mexican rotisserie. Very good. Located in a shopping center “at the Y” (the intersection of Highway 89 and Highway 50, on the south end of South Lake Tahoe.)
Indian, Italian + Thai
Capisce? – Contemporary, handmade, family-friendly, Italian food. On the Nevada side. Yes, it’s spelled with a question mark.
My Thai & Noodle – Tahoe South’s best Thai food. Located on the Nevada side. (Not the same as the My Thai located on the California side.)
Nikki’s Chaat – Good Indian food at a value price in an unlikely location.
Freshies – This faux tiki room in a small strip mall maintains a cult following among locals for its fish tacos, over-the-top desserts (like Butterfinger ice cream pie), and free soup on days with a foot or more of fresh snow.
Coffee and Baked Goods
Alpina Coffee Café – A favorite among locals. Espresso drinks, house-made pastries, quiches, sandwiches, mimosas.
Black Cabin Coffee – Small batch, sustainable coffee is roasted in house, with tasty light bites on the side.
Clydes Coffee Roasting Company – Daily fresh roasts at Clydes include third wave-style light roasts showcasing the signature flavors of direct sourced, hand-picked coffee beans attained through sustainable farming practices. Don’t miss the croissant. On the Nevada side.
The Coachman Hotel Coffee Bar – You don’t have to be staying at The Coachman (although you might want to be) to get your morning hit of delicious San Francisco-style joe from its cool lobby coffee bar.
Free Bird Café – Espresso, homemade chai, smoothies and green drinks.
Revive Coffee & Wine – Nitro on draft, pour-over, pastries, breakfast bagels and more (including small plates for lunch and light dinner – and a wine bar!)
Heavenly Donuts – Fresh-made mini-donuts. Yes, they can be topped with chocolate sauce.
VEGAN and GLUTEN-FREE
Simple Bliss – Vegan café with a big menu of breakfasts, juices, smoothies, salads, wraps, sandwiches, burgers, bowls and more. Many gluten-free options. Open daily from 8 to 8.
Did our South Lake Tahoe dining guide help you make new discoveries?
Have helpful feedback, or a restaurant to add? Reach out and let us know.
***Click on any photo on this page to see details and photo credits.***