After a day of skiing, snowboarding, biking or boating in adventure-filled Lake Tahoe, all you want to do is relax in a cozy atmosphere enjoying scrumptious food. On the North Shore in California, amazing food and vibe is everywhere, and even after being here for five weeks, I haven’t run out of satisfying options. Here’s the low-down.
Rosie’s Cafe, Tahoe City. Cluttered with vintage and antique pieces right up to the rafters, Rosie’s exudes character and history. They offer excellent food for reasonable prices – create your own three-egg omelet for $8.50. Rosie’s also has a diverse and comprehensive lunch and dinner menu.
Mountain Nectar, Olympic Village at Squaw Valley. Create your own fresh smoothie from their huge list of ingredients, or order one of their tried-and-true recipes. They also make a killer bacon, egg and cheese on a croissant. Give them a tip and they’ll return in kind with good karma, “Thank you for the tip! You get good karma today – perfect lines and perfect turns all day long!” It makes me smile every time I stop in. I wonder what kind of karma they offer in the summer months?
Poppy’s, Tahoe City. This little stop on Lake Boulevard makes amazing fresh juices and smoothies. They also have a small menu of sandwiches and frozen yogurt. Great for breakfast, lunch or snack.
Soupa, Olympic Village. Tucked away in a corner of Squaw’s Olympic Village, it’s easy to miss this place. But I’m so thankful I found it. Offering healthy squashed sandwiches, soups, salads and quinoa bowls, Soupa is perfect for a light lunch. My teriyaki chicken quinoa bowl was layered with fresh spinach, red quinoa, perfectly roasted onions, carrots, and zucchini, and the sauce was so tasty, my kids were eating down to the spinach at the bottom.
Squaw Valley is our home mountain and I haven’t had a bad meal in any of their restaurants. But these three rise to the top.
Rocker. My favorite place to eat in Olympic Village. They have a way of putting a slightly unique spin on some classic dishes that makes their food interesting, but still completely friendly. My family loves the kale chips, brisket fries, bacon jalapeno mac-n-cheese, chicken avocado sandwich, shot ribs and chicken noodle soup – which my kids crave and say is the “best soup ever.”
Fireside Pizza. My kids ask to go here for the salad. That’s right… the salad. They don’t eat a lot of salad, but something about the flavorful house dressing, the thinly-shaved onions, and the crispy croutons has them asking for this salad again and again. The pizzas are also excellent – order one of their specialties or choose from whatever toppings your like for your own personal pizza. I love the ham and pineapple!
The Auld Dubliner. This authentic Irish pub (“imported directly from Dublin, Ireland”) has awesome comfort food sure to warm your belly after a day on the slopes. If their Irish Stew – rich beef stew over mashed potatoes – isn’t comfort food, I don’t know what is. Their traditional boxty dishes are delicious, and their corned beef sandwich – served with melted swiss, apple-onion relish, horseradish mayonnaise on grilled rye – is absolutely out of this world.
Caliente, Kings Beach. Caliente is at the top of my list of favorite places to eat. The food is outstanding, the drinks aren’t watered down, and the portions are big. Even the non-Mexican entrees (such as ribeye steak and short ribs) are phenomenal. Don’t miss the Spicy Jalapeno Shooters, stuffed with bacon and cheese and served in a shot glass. And save room for churros for dessert, drizzled with chocolate and served with ice cream. We’ve visited on quieter evenings, but for the young and rowdy crowd they have plenty of happy hour specials and tequila tastings. And they have a good sense of humor: The bottom of their menu reads, “Children’s menu – goes well with tequila – on request.”
Jake’s on the Lake, Tahoe City. Jake’s is fine dining right on the lake. The view is amazing and so is the food. I started with a warm brie wedge with bacon marmalade and a sliced baguette. I’m actually kinda drooling now thinking about that bacon marmalade.
As you can see, there’s no shortage of culinary options in North Lake Tahoe. And I probably haven’t even experienced half of them. I’m looking forward to a few more weeks of good eating on the North Shore, and now you can, too.