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Where to Eat and Drink in South Lake Tahoe

The best restaurants and bars in the land of beaches, mountains, and casinos

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If you like to spend as much time at the blackjack table as you do sunbathing or skiing, South Lake Tahoe is your perfect vacation destination. It’s less laid-back than the more quaint North Lake scene, but still offers the chill mountain town vibe — just with a few more tourists and places to gamble. Plus, while North Lake tends to shut down pretty early (save for a few late night bars), the party at South Lake doesn’t stop until you decide it does.

That means you can spend your days taking advantage of the mountains and beaches, and your nights trying to win big at one of the many casinos on the Nevada side of town. In between all of the adrenaline-and-money chasing, be sure to check out these 16 spots, all of which have great food, good drinks, and many of which also offer awesome views of the lake.

Check out North Lake’s best eating and drinking options here.

Due to COVID-19, some of these spots may be temporarily closed and/or only offer takeout. Please check before you go. Many of these restaurants offer dine-in service both outdoors and, in some cases, indoors. However, this should not be taken as endorsement for dining in, as there are still safety concerns. Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Zephyr Cove Resort

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760 US Highway 50
Zephyr Cove, NV

This year-round resort has snowmobiling, horseback riding, a beach and a marina, and two solid dining options. From late spring to early fall, the spot to be at is the very popular Sunset Bar & Grille. Just find a home base under one of the palm-style umbrellas, and your server will bring you whatever your heart desires (as long as that is a frozen drink and pub fare). There is also a deck with umbrellas that feels like a 24/7 beach party. If you need a break from the sun, but still want the fun, the Zephyr Cove Restaurant (open year-round, currently with 25% capacity) still has lake views, but in a quaint space with a stone fireplace, a full bar, and a menu of casual American classics.

2. Edgewood Restaurant

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180 Lake Pkwy
Stateline, NV 89449
(855) 681-0119
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Don’t wait for a special occasion to make a reservation at this magical fine dining restaurant (that is the closest to the lake you’ll find in South Lake since it was built before new laws when into place). Floor-to-ceiling windows show off stunning views of the lake and mountains, and the meat-centric entrees, as well as the wine selection are fantastic. Be sure to book your reservation with the timing of the sunset in mind; it will help take the sting out of your bill. And right now, since it’s only open at 25% capacity, you’ll almost feel like you have the place to yourself.

3. Ciera Steak and Chophouse

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55 US-50
Stateline, NV 89449
(775) 588-3515
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This chop and steakhouse inside of the Montbleu Resort and Casino is the only choice in South Lake when you want to splurge on steak, seafood, and wine. Ordering from the a la carte menu will run you a couple hundred bucks for two, but if you’re on a “budget,” there is also a $50 and $60 three-course prix fixe with options that include some of the restaurant’s most popular dishes.

4. South of North Brewing Co.

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932 Stateline Ave Suite B
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150
(530) 494-9805
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This spot is as much about the amenities as the beer. During the day, play cornhole or ping pong in the beer garden. At night, gather around one of the outdoor fire pits to listen to live music or find a spot inside of the barn to play a board game. All while drinking beer (order a flight to find one you like best) and snacking on pizza and sandwiches. 

5. The Coachman

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4100 Pine Blvd
South Lake Tahoe, CA
(530) 545-6460
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Even if you’re not staying at this super chic hotel, you can still enjoy the friendly and welcoming vibe thanks to a lobby bar that serves coffee, beer, and wine. Take your drink outside where you can sit around the fire pits and play cornhole or snuggle up under blankets and gaze at the stars.

6. Base Camp Pizza Co.

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1001 Heavenly Village Way #25a
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150
(530) 544-2273
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Located at the base of Heavenly Ski Resort (hence the name), this family-friendly spot with indoor and outdoor dining serves up tasty pies and craft beer to hungry tourists and locals, but … mostly tourists. Expect long waits during the high season (summer and winter).

7. Riva Grill On the Lake

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900 Ski Run Blvd Ste 3
South Lake Tahoe, CA
(530) 542-2600
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The two-story interior of this sister restaurant to Gar Woods in North Lake is a great option for chilly days and nights, but if the temps permit (or indoor seating isn’t allowed), ask the host to walk you right by all of that to a seat on the outdoor (heated in the winter) patio. There, you’ll be able to watch boats pulling in and out of the marina while you eat a Dungeness Crab sandwich and sip on boozy cocktails, like the signature (and slightly dangerous) Wet Woody.

8. Artemis Lakefront Cafe

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Ski Run Marina
South Lake Tahoe, CA

There are two Artemis Cafes in Tahoe, but the one you want is the one in Ski Run Marina because that’s the one where you can sit outside with your dog friend, while eating tasty Greek and Mediterranean food and taking in the views of the lake and the Sierras. Everything is good, but you can’t go wrong with the falafel or veggie pita, both of which are fresh and filling.

9. Boathouse on the Pier

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3411 Lake Tahoe Blvd
South Lake Tahoe, CA

The key to maximizing your enjoyment at The Boathouse on the Pier in the summer is to get there for the afternoon happy hour (daily, from 3 to 6 p.m.). Then you can sip discounted drinks on a picnic table on the longest pier in Tahoe while watching people boat, kayak, and paddle board around the lake. If you go for dinner, be sure to arrive well before the sun goes down and grab a seat on the top deck for maximum romance (or by a window during cold weather). Like almost every restaurant with a view in Tahoe, the prices aren’t cheap, but the fish tacos are reasonable, though it’s worth it to shell out a little more for the Cajun shrimp boil pasta, “a Tahoe twist on the Southern classic”.

10. Freshies Restaurant & Bar

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3330 Lake Tahoe Blvd
South Lake Tahoe, CA
(530) 542-3630
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The locals love this restaurant that specializes in innovative vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free food, as well as a great selection of craft beer (including Pliny the Elder). The servings are huge, the service is super friendly, and even better: from Memorial Day to Labor Day, there’s a second-story deck with lake views. Right now, Freshies is only offering takeout, which includes the entire menu, as well as wine, beer, and cocktails.

11. Cafe Fiore

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1169 Ski Run Blvd
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150
(530) 541-2908
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Nestled in a tiny gingerbread cabin in the woods is a romantic restaurant where you’ll find the best Italian food in South Lake, exceptional service, and a wine list with over 350 wines. The lobster fettuccine is swoon-worthy, but be sure to ask your server about the off-menu specials. There are only seven indoor tables (and five more in the summer when the patio opens), so this is a meal you’ll need to plan ahead and make reservations for (which will be available again at the beginning of March 2021).

12. Sprouts Cafe

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3123 Harrison Ave
South Lake Tahoe, CA
(530) 541-6969
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This counter-service café is the best place to go in South Lake when you’re craving something healthy and satisfying. The sandwiches are filling (get the Vegetable Crunch with turkey), as are all of the bowls. This is also the place to get fresh-squeezed juices, like a Kale Refresher or a Tahoe Turmeric. But don’t worry, there are also a couple of beers on tap if that’s more your scene. Order it to stay and enjoy your food at a table (indoors or out) or, weather permitting, get it to go and have a picnic on the nearby beach.

13. Taqueria Jalisco

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972 Tallac Ave
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150
(530) 541-6516
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It’s easy to put aside the fact that this cash-only taqueria is located in a strip mall once you get a taste of the authentic and affordable Mexican food, as well as the friendly service. The three taco combo with beans and rice is especially satisfying after working up an appetite during a long day on the mountain. During COVID, you’ll just have to get it to go.

14. Burger Lounge

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717 Emerald Bay Rd
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150
(530) 542-2010
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Burger Lounge has all kinds of chicken sandwiches, hot dogs, and salads on the menu, but you’re going here for one thing: yup, you guessed it: the burger. There are 16 to choose from (plus six veggie burger options), but the classic Cheese Deluxe never disappoints. Depending on your hunger level, you can opt for a 1/2 lb. or 1/4 lb. patty. Add a side of cheesy fries and a shake; there are over 40 flavors, including litchi, Nerds (yes, the candy), and cheesecake, but when it comes to eating a burger, sometimes a classic vanilla, chocolate, or strawberry is the best pairing.

15. Lake Tahoe AleWorX

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2050 Lake Tahoe Blvd Suite #2050
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150
(530) 600-0442
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There’s an AleWorx on both ends of South Lake Tahoe’s main drag, so you never have to go too far for wood-fired pizza, hearty salads, and pour-your-own beer. Both spots have indoor and outdoor seating (with firepits) and live music much of the time, but only the Stateline location has a full bar and late night DJs and silent disco parties.

1. Zephyr Cove Resort

760 US Highway 50, Zephyr Cove, NV

This year-round resort has snowmobiling, horseback riding, a beach and a marina, and two solid dining options. From late spring to early fall, the spot to be at is the very popular Sunset Bar & Grille. Just find a home base under one of the palm-style umbrellas, and your server will bring you whatever your heart desires (as long as that is a frozen drink and pub fare). There is also a deck with umbrellas that feels like a 24/7 beach party. If you need a break from the sun, but still want the fun, the Zephyr Cove Restaurant (open year-round, currently with 25% capacity) still has lake views, but in a quaint space with a stone fireplace, a full bar, and a menu of casual American classics.

760 US Highway 50
Zephyr Cove, NV

2. Edgewood Restaurant

180 Lake Pkwy, Stateline, NV 89449

Don’t wait for a special occasion to make a reservation at this magical fine dining restaurant (that is the closest to the lake you’ll find in South Lake since it was built before new laws when into place). Floor-to-ceiling windows show off stunning views of the lake and mountains, and the meat-centric entrees, as well as the wine selection are fantastic. Be sure to book your reservation with the timing of the sunset in mind; it will help take the sting out of your bill. And right now, since it’s only open at 25% capacity, you’ll almost feel like you have the place to yourself.

180 Lake Pkwy
Stateline, NV 89449

3. Ciera Steak and Chophouse

55 US-50, Stateline, NV 89449

This chop and steakhouse inside of the Montbleu Resort and Casino is the only choice in South Lake when you want to splurge on steak, seafood, and wine. Ordering from the a la carte menu will run you a couple hundred bucks for two, but if you’re on a “budget,” there is also a $50 and $60 three-course prix fixe with options that include some of the restaurant’s most popular dishes.

55 US-50
Stateline, NV 89449

4. South of North Brewing Co.

932 Stateline Ave Suite B, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150

This spot is as much about the amenities as the beer. During the day, play cornhole or ping pong in the beer garden. At night, gather around one of the outdoor fire pits to listen to live music or find a spot inside of the barn to play a board game. All while drinking beer (order a flight to find one you like best) and snacking on pizza and sandwiches. 

932 Stateline Ave Suite B
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150

5. The Coachman

4100 Pine Blvd, South Lake Tahoe, CA

Even if you’re not staying at this super chic hotel, you can still enjoy the friendly and welcoming vibe thanks to a lobby bar that serves coffee, beer, and wine. Take your drink outside where you can sit around the fire pits and play cornhole or snuggle up under blankets and gaze at the stars.

4100 Pine Blvd
South Lake Tahoe, CA

6. Base Camp Pizza Co.

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

Located at the base of Heavenly Ski Resort (hence the name), this family-friendly spot with indoor and outdoor dining serves up tasty pies and craft beer to hungry tourists and locals, but … mostly tourists. Expect long waits during the high season (summer and winter).

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

7. Riva Grill On the Lake

900 Ski Run Blvd Ste 3, South Lake Tahoe, CA

The two-story interior of this sister restaurant to Gar Woods in North Lake is a great option for chilly days and nights, but if the temps permit (or indoor seating isn’t allowed), ask the host to walk you right by all of that to a seat on the outdoor (heated in the winter) patio. There, you’ll be able to watch boats pulling in and out of the marina while you eat a Dungeness Crab sandwich and sip on boozy cocktails, like the signature (and slightly dangerous) Wet Woody.

900 Ski Run Blvd Ste 3
South Lake Tahoe, CA

8. Artemis Lakefront Cafe

Ski Run Marina, South Lake Tahoe, CA

There are two Artemis Cafes in Tahoe, but the one you want is the one in Ski Run Marina because that’s the one where you can sit outside with your dog friend, while eating tasty Greek and Mediterranean food and taking in the views of the lake and the Sierras. Everything is good, but you can’t go wrong with the falafel or veggie pita, both of which are fresh and filling.

Ski Run Marina
South Lake Tahoe, CA

9. Boathouse on the Pier

3411 Lake Tahoe Blvd, South Lake Tahoe, CA

The key to maximizing your enjoyment at The Boathouse on the Pier in the summer is to get there for the afternoon happy hour (daily, from 3 to 6 p.m.). Then you can sip discounted drinks on a picnic table on the longest pier in Tahoe while watching people boat, kayak, and paddle board around the lake. If you go for dinner, be sure to arrive well before the sun goes down and grab a seat on the top deck for maximum romance (or by a window during cold weather). Like almost every restaurant with a view in Tahoe, the prices aren’t cheap, but the fish tacos are reasonable, though it’s worth it to shell out a little more for the Cajun shrimp boil pasta, “a Tahoe twist on the Southern classic”.

3411 Lake Tahoe Blvd
South Lake Tahoe, CA

10. Freshies Restaurant & Bar

3330 Lake Tahoe Blvd, South Lake Tahoe, CA

The locals love this restaurant that specializes in innovative vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free food, as well as a great selection of craft beer (including Pliny the Elder). The servings are huge, the service is super friendly, and even better: from Memorial Day to Labor Day, there’s a second-story deck with lake views. Right now, Freshies is only offering takeout, which includes the entire menu, as well as wine, beer, and cocktails.

3330 Lake Tahoe Blvd
South Lake Tahoe, CA

11. Cafe Fiore

1169 Ski Run Blvd, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150

Nestled in a tiny gingerbread cabin in the woods is a romantic restaurant where you’ll find the best Italian food in South Lake, exceptional service, and a wine list with over 350 wines. The lobster fettuccine is swoon-worthy, but be sure to ask your server about the off-menu specials. There are only seven indoor tables (and five more in the summer when the patio opens), so this is a meal you’ll need to plan ahead and make reservations for (which will be available again at the beginning of March 2021).

1169 Ski Run Blvd
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150

12. Sprouts Cafe

3123 Harrison Ave, South Lake Tahoe, CA

This counter-service café is the best place to go in South Lake when you’re craving something healthy and satisfying. The sandwiches are filling (get the Vegetable Crunch with turkey), as are all of the bowls. This is also the place to get fresh-squeezed juices, like a Kale Refresher or a Tahoe Turmeric. But don’t worry, there are also a couple of beers on tap if that’s more your scene. Order it to stay and enjoy your food at a table (indoors or out) or, weather permitting, get it to go and have a picnic on the nearby beach.

3123 Harrison Ave
South Lake Tahoe, CA

13. Taqueria Jalisco

972 Tallac Ave, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150

It’s easy to put aside the fact that this cash-only taqueria is located in a strip mall once you get a taste of the authentic and affordable Mexican food, as well as the friendly service. The three taco combo with beans and rice is especially satisfying after working up an appetite during a long day on the mountain. During COVID, you’ll just have to get it to go.

972 Tallac Ave
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150

14. Burger Lounge

717 Emerald Bay Rd, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150

Burger Lounge has all kinds of chicken sandwiches, hot dogs, and salads on the menu, but you’re going here for one thing: yup, you guessed it: the burger. There are 16 to choose from (plus six veggie burger options), but the classic Cheese Deluxe never disappoints. Depending on your hunger level, you can opt for a 1/2 lb. or 1/4 lb. patty. Add a side of cheesy fries and a shake; there are over 40 flavors, including litchi, Nerds (yes, the candy), and cheesecake, but when it comes to eating a burger, sometimes a classic vanilla, chocolate, or strawberry is the best pairing.

717 Emerald Bay Rd
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150

15. Lake Tahoe AleWorX

2050 Lake Tahoe Blvd Suite #2050, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150

There’s an AleWorx on both ends of South Lake Tahoe’s main drag, so you never have to go too far for wood-fired pizza, hearty salads, and pour-your-own beer. Both spots have indoor and outdoor seating (with firepits) and live music much of the time, but only the Stateline location has a full bar and late night DJs and silent disco parties.

2050 Lake Tahoe Blvd Suite #2050
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150

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