Via magazine
Via magazine - Your AAA Magazine

The Via Blog travel news + notes + tasty tidbits

Laura Read, picture

7 Top North Lake Tahoe Restaurants

Posted by Laura Read on January 13, 2017
  • the Fireside pizza with Italian sausage, pepperoni, onions, peppers and mushrooms at Fireside Pizza Company, picture
    Photo credit
    Photo: Courtesy of Fireside Pizza Company
    Photo caption
    At Fireside Pizza Company, the satisfying pies are piled with flavorful ingredients such as Italian sausage, pepperoni, roasted onions, peppers, and mushrooms, as seen on the restaurant's namesake pizza.
  • the bacon cheeseburger at Bridgetender in Tahoe City, picture
    Photo credit
    Photo: Courtesy Bridgetender
    Photo caption
    Bridgetender in Tahoe City serves up a range of burgers, including a bacon cheeseburger with cheddar cheese.

Whether you’re headed to Tahoe this winter season to ski, snowboard, sled, or just take in the scenery, you’re likely to work up a mighty appetite. Here are seven North Lake Tahoe restaurants for grabbing a bite.

Family Affairs

Café Zenon: While the kids skate on the Tahoe City Winter Sports Park ice rink, adults sip classic whiskey drinks at town hotspot Café Zenon. Chef Suzanne Nguyen puts a Vietnamese spin on lunch and dinner items such as a Vietnamese French dip, which artfully combines brisket, a French baguette, and pho broth, or the oven-roasted chicken with kimchi, arugula, and potato. Look for mac ‘n’ cheese for the kids, fun bar bites, and an eclectic breakfast menu, available on weekends.

Fireside Pizza Company: Squaw Valley skiers warm their toes around fire pits on the patio at Fireside Pizza Company, where the spectrum of pies varies from the Big Mountain—piled with sausage, pepperoni, bacon, and Canadian bacon—to the Pear & Gorgonzola with red onions. Gluten-free eaters in your group? Options are here, along with salads and pasta, with or without gluten.

Bridgetender: Tahoe City’s Bridgetender, the go-to place for mouth-stretching burgers and waffle fries, also serves breakfast on weekends. The menu is no yawn. In addition to traditional ‘cakes and waffles, it boasts the offbeat Shark’s Loco Moco (sticky rice, a burger patty, an egg, and homemade gravy), bacon-wrapped tater tots (served with blueberry maple syrup for dunking), and the Groomer’s Last Pass (a 24-ounce Olympia Tall Boy and two strips of bacon) for "shifters" who groom the slopes all night.

the Thai-flavored seafood stew at Wolfdale's Cuisine Unique in North Tahoe, picture
Photo credit
Photo Courtesy of Shea Evans/Wolfdale's Cuisine Unique
Photo caption
Wolfdale's Cuisine Unique serves Asian-inspired dishes to North Tahoe diners craving different flavors. Try one of the many seafood dishes available such as the rich, Thai-influenced stew.

North Lake Locals Love . . .

Old Town Tap: Truckee’s Old Town Tap shimmers with mountain energy. Chef Jacob Bertheaume's menu reels guests in with bold flavors and satisfying combinations. Sip a Yes Whey, a Ramos gin fizz brightened with rose bitters, prosecco, and whey, a byproduct of the house-made ricotta, and try Brussels sprouts with bacon jam and blue cheese crema and crumbles, or a pizza emblazoned with pork belly, guanciale, and pickled shishito peppers.

Wolfdale's Cuisine Unique: Well before Asian-fusion was a thing, chef Douglas Dale was wizarding up recipes influenced by his young apprenticeship at a hilltop temple in Japan. Serving house-smoked trout, Thai seafood stew flavored with tamarind, and a haute-cuisine burger with a cone of truffle fries, Wolfdale’s Cuisine Unique is still the most exciting fine-dining experience in North Tahoe.

the classic eggs Benedict at Fire Sign Cafe in Tahoe, picture
Photo credit
Photo Courtesy of Fire Sign Cafe
Photo caption
The cozy Fire Sign Cafe serves all manner of delicious breakfast items, including four versions of eggs Benedict.

North Lake Tahoe Comfort Food

Fire Sign Cafe: Since 1978, the Fire Sign Cafe has been the coziest morning place in Tahoe. This quaint spot offers delicious items made from scratch, such as king-size hunks of coffeecake, hot blue-raspberry sauce (on pancakes and waffles), tasty chorizo sausage (huevos rancheros), and hollandaise sauce (four versions of eggs Benedict).

Uncommon Kitchen: If healthy food is your comfort, visit Uncommon Kitchen, an ethnic and fresh-food deli inside New Moon Natural Foods on Tahoe’s West Shore. Chef Douglas Baehr’s menu delivers daily specials such as a coconut curry noodle bowl, pad Thai, falafel, and fish tacos. Eat at the deli’s short bar or order takeout. Hot food is served Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.