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Looking for the best restaurants in South Lake Tahoe? I’ve put together the ultimate local’s guide. Growing up an in nearby Auburn, we’ve been visiting Lake Tahoe year-round my entire life and I’m excited to share some of my favorite spots.

Lake Tahoe’s South Shore is a lively and eclectic mix of beaches, ski resorts, casinos, and nightlife venues, and its dining scene is just as varied. There’s something for every type of traveler here, whether you’re seeking woodsy fine dining or simple lakeside eats before a long day on the slopes.

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South Tahoe’s restaurants don’t stop at standout food, either. Around town, you’ll find restaurants offering up to 300 premium wines and extensively researched and curated tap lists that bring California’s best beers under one roof.

The 18 Best Restaurants in South Lake Tahoe

Despite their range of cuisine types and price points, one thing unites the restaurants on this list: unbeatable settings. In this area, you’ll never be far from an astonishing view of the lake or surrounding mountains, making your dining experience that much more memorable.

Here are my picks for the best South Lake Tahoe restaurants.

Planning a Trip to South Lake Tahoe? Here Are My Top Picks for the Best Hotels in South Lake Tahoe:

  1. The Coachman Hotel, for the best overall hotel
  2. Edgewood Tahoe Resort, for the best lakefront hotel
  3. Basecamp Tahoe South, for the best design for dollar hotel

If you’re looking for more Tahoe content, check out my summer guide, roundups of winter cabins and Airbnbs, and list of best hotels and cabins.

The 18 Best Restaurants in South Lake Tahoe

1. Riva Grill On The Lake

A laid-back lakefront atmosphere and seafood-heavy menu make up the experience at Riva’s. Dishes are interesting yet unfussy—think seared scallops with blood orange beurre blanc or cashew-crusted salmon with mango marmalade. Don’t miss the restaurant’s famous “Wet Woody” cocktail, which comes in several different varieties.

Address: 900 Ski Run Blvd, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150

2. The Hangar Taproom & Bottle Shop

“Come for the lake, stay for the beer” is the motto at the Hangar, which has painstakingly curated a beer list that’s earned it the distinction of the best beer in Lake Tahoe for the last three years. Casual and passionate beer drinkers will find something on tap to suit their taste year-round, as well as food trucks on-site and a huge outdoor space.

Address: 2401 Lake Tahoe Blvd suite b, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150

3. Artemis Lakefront Café

Fresh, high-quality ingredients shine in the Greek and Mediterranean dishes at Artemis Lakefront Café. Located in the Ski Run Marina, the restaurant is steps from the beach and affords beautiful views from its patio and front dining room. It also offers a full espresso bar and plenty of beer, wine, and cocktail options.

Address: 900 Ski Run Blvd Ste. 111, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150

4. Jimmy’s at The Landing Resort & Spa

Stunning lake views, an intimate dining room, and a firepit-lined patio are all hallmark features of Jimmy’s, the restaurant within The Landing Resort & Spa. The menu is studded with seasonal dishes inspired by Lake Tahoe, and the beverage options include selections from a 1,500-bottle wine vault.

Address: 4104 Lakeshore Blvd, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150

5. Sprouts Natural Café

If you’re looking for a healthy eatery, Sprouts is a great option. Its mission is to serve the cleanest, freshest, and most wholesome food it can, meaning many ingredients are organic. Juices, smoothies, sandwiches, salads, and burritos are prevalent on the menu, and many items are perfect to take with you for on-the-go breakfasts or lunches.

Address: 3123 Harrison Ave, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150

6. Edgewood Restaurant at Edgewood Tahoe

Edgewood Restaurant, part of Edgewood Tahoe, has been a fine-dining favorite among locals and visitors alike for decades. Thanks to floor-to-ceiling windows, guests can enjoy views from the restaurant’s dining room that look like a painting over entrees like pinecone-smoked elk loin and espresso-dusted veal chop. Dishes are pricey, but the experience is worth it.

Address: 180 Lake Pkwy, Stateline, NV 89449

7. Maggie’s Restaurant at Desolation Hotel

Maggie’s is the Goldilocks of restaurants—not too casual and not too upscale, featuring homey classics with a sophisticated twist. Chilaquiles, for example, comes topped with slow-braised osso bucco, while shoestring fries get a drizzle of truffle oil and confit garlic. The restaurant sits within the Desolation Hotel, a property inspired by preservationist Joh Muir.

Address: 933 Poplar St, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150

8. Burger Lounge

For the biggest—and, according to the restaurant, the best—burgers in the area, Burger Lounge is your best bet. The menu is extensive, featuring not only burgers but a wide variety of chicken sandwiches and hot dogs as well, along with plenty of veggie burgers, salads, and soups. Outdoor picnic seating is ample.

Address: 717 Emerald Bay Rd, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150

9. Cold Water Brewery and Grill

Cold Water Brewery and Grill delivers craft beer brewed on-site as well as a menu of farm-fresh dishes prepared in a scratch kitchen. Beer-wise, Cold Water prides itself on offering something for everyone from its all-grain, seven-barrel brew house. Food-wise, expect to find brewery standards, like burgers and macaroni and cheese, along with some surprises.

Address: 2544 Lake Tahoe Blvd, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150

10. Bert’s Café

A local diner through and through, Bert’s has been operated by a Tahoe family for the last 20 years. The owners love serving the community, and that love comes through in their homemade family recipes, such as corned beef hash and biscuits with gravy. Bert’s serves breakfast and lunch all day, seven days a week.

Address: 1146 Emerald Bay Rd, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150

11. Boathouse on the Pier at Beach Retreat & Lodge at Tahoe

If you’re looking for a restaurant with a view, it’s hard to top Boathouse on the Pier. A favorite spot among locals, the nautical-themed Boathouse is a relaxed spot for grabbing a drink and watching the sunset. Unfussy dishes like tacos, sandwiches, seafood, and shareable appetizers make up the bulk of the menu, and there are options for kiddos as well. The Boathouse is also dog-friendly and sits within the Beach Retreat & Lodge at Tahoe.

Address: 3411 Lake Tahoe Blvd, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150

12. Taqueria Jaliscos

Taqueria Jaliscos is a hidden gem and local favorite. While it may look unassuming from the outside—it’s located within a strip mall—the food is stellar and the service is friendly. Expect to find Mexican restaurant staples including tacos, burritos, enchiladas, and nachos.

Address: 972 Tallac Ave., South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150

13. My Thai Cuisine

South Lake Tahoe’s best spot for authentic Thai food is My Thai, which serves a wide variety of fried rice and noodle dishes, soups, curries, and more. The wood-paneled interior is adorned with Thai décor, and the setting is cozy and fills up quickly. The heart-shaped mango sticky rice is a great pick for dessert!

Address: 2108 Lake Tahoe Blvd, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150

14. Base Camp Pizza Co.

Base Camp is this area’s go-to for great pizza and an upbeat environment, featuring nightly live music. The menu is extensive and includes gluten-free options, and it’s a great family-friendly spot, with lots of choices on the kid’s menu. Generous portions and friendly service complete the experience.

Address: 1001 Heavenly Village Way #25a, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150

15. Cafe Fiore

Longtime favorite Café Fiore serves a lengthy fine-dining menu of handcrafted Italian dishes, but locals and longtime guests know that it also serves some off-menu “special plates,” too. Its cozy, wood-paneled interior is reminiscent of a cabin in the woods, perfect to tuck into during the colder months. The signature eggplant crepes are a standout.

Address: 1169 Ski Run Blvd, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150

16. Ciera Steak Chophouse at Bally’s Lake Tahoe

Set inside the Bally’s Lake Tahoe casino is Ciera Steak Chophouse, which touts itself as the area’s only AAA Four-Diamond restaurant. High-quality cuts of meat receive top billing, but seafood and vegetarian specialties are also on offer, and Ciera’s selection of 300 premium wines and champagnes is impressive, too.

Address: 55 US-50, Stateline, NV 89449

17. Brooks’ Bar & Deck at Edgewood Tahoe

Located on Edgewood Tahoe’s famed golf course, Brooks’ Bar & Deck grants diners pristine views of both the lake and the surrounding mountains. The menu features elevated gastro pub fare, like gochujang cauliflower and Jamaican jerk chicken. At the time of writing, the restaurant is undergoing a remodel and will reopen in Spring 2024.

Address: 180 Lake Pkwy, Stateline, NV 89449

18. The Beacon Bar & Grill at Camp Richardson Resort

When it comes to lakefront dining, you can’t get much closer to the water than The Beacon, an “old Tahoe” establishment that’s been voted Tahoe’s best outdoor patio. The signature Rum Runner cocktail is a great pick for a sunny afternoon or happy hour. Food is casual and approachable—burgers, wings, and homemade clam chowder are on the menu. The grill is part of Camp Richardson Resort & Marina.

Address: 900 Jameson Beach Rd, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150

Frequently Asked Questions: Visiting Lake Tahoe

What is the Prettiest Side of Lake Tahoe?

Lake Tahoe is undeniably gorgeous from all vantage points, and if you have time, making the three-hour drive around the entire lake is unquestionably worth it. However, if you only have time to pick a few points, Emerald Bay—not far from most of these restaurants in South Lake Tahoe—is an iconic stop.

What Food is Lake Tahoe Known For?

Lake Tahoe is a woodsy area known for a variety of game meats. In the summer, it’s also a beachy hangout, with many waterfront restaurants serving laid-back classics like burgers and casual seafood dishes.

Which Side is Better: South or North Lake Tahoe?

North and South Lake Tahoe each have their own distinct personalities, and there’s no consensus favorite. The north side offers a quieter stay and slower, more laid-back atmosphere, while the south side is much more developed and known for its nightlife options.

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The 18 Best Restaurants in South Lake Tahoe

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