December 2015 | Dining in South Lake Tahoe

Eating South Lake

From early morning fill-ups to late night fuel and everything in between, the south shore has a cornucopia of culinary delights to choose from. Situated on the south shore, Stateline and South Lake Tahoe  are home to the widest selection of dining options on the lake. From breakfast to dinner and into the late night hours, no matter what your palate craves you’re sure to find it here.

Prime Rib at Lakeside Inn copy


They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and when your days are as action packed as they are in Tahoe you definitely need to get started off with a hearty portion of deliciousness, which is exactly what they serve at the Driftwood Cafe in South Lake. This mom and pop diner with a family-friendly atmosphere is near the base of Heavenly Mountain and serves favorites such as huevos rancheros, eggs Benedict, French toast and buttermilk pancakes. Those with a large appetite should browse the Outrageous Omelettes, all made with three eggs and stuffed to the gills. Try the house favorite Herb Cheese Omelette with zucchini and green onions topped with an herb cheese sauce and wash it down with a glass of hand squeezed orange juice.

Hearty Breakfast Sandwich on a BagelFor a quick bite and amazing coffee stroll over to Rude Brothers Bagels. A local hot spot, this small bakery pumps out some amazing breakfast pastries, but as the name indicates the reason to visit is to sample the bagels. Enjoy flavors like sun-dried tomato, roasted garlic and pesto Parmesan with a variety of flavored cream cheeses. Bagel sandwiches with eggs, cheese and a protein are also offered along with a large selection of fair trade coffee and tea. Be sure to stop by before it gets too late as only one batch of each flavor is baked each day and they often run out.


For a healthy lunchtime option check out Sprouts Cafe. For 25 years they have been serving healthy meals made from natural foods and organic ingredients. They also have a menu of gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian dishes. Order one of the large salads made with sprouts or try one of their specialties like the Tempeh Burro, a large spinach tortilla stuffed with brown rice, tempeh, tomato, red onions, tahini and jack cheese topped with salsa and guacamole, served with sesame tortilla chips.

Another great option for lunch is the Basecamp Pizza Company at Heavenly Village next to the gondola. Constantly voted by locals as the best pizza, Basecamp serves traditional favorites alongside new gourmet inspired creations like the Thai curry chicken with yellow bell peppers, tomatoes, onions and marscapone cheese topped with fresh lime, basil and cilantro. Be sure to start with the garlic chips, a thin layer of fresh pizza dough covered in garlic butter, topped with a four cheese blend and served with ranch dressing.


MacDuff's Public House, South Lake Tahoe (4) copyFor a casual night of dining with friends and family head over to South Lake’s MacDuff’s Public House. Located in a quaint cottage setting with a large outdoor sitting area and a full pub atmosphere inside, MacDuff’s serves traditional Scottish and English bar food using only the finest and freshest local ingredients. Traditional favorites include golden fried fish and chips, shepherd’s pie, corned beef and cabbage and Guinness stew. They also dish out a selection of beef or lamb burgers that are to die for and a variety of wood fired pizzas. Of course there are plenty of local craft beers on tap to taste along with a selection of European imports and a full wine list.

Those looking for a romantic evening with a priceless view of the lake need to look no further than The Riva Grill. Located in the Ski Run Marina in South Lake, the Riva Grill features floor to ceiling windows and a large deck that provides breathtaking views of Lake Tahoe and the Sierras. Highlighting Califonia cuisine, the menu includes hand cut steaks and fresh Pacific seafood, wood fired gourmet pizzas, specialty burgers and the best dessert in the area.

Start the evening with a world-famous Wet Woody® cocktail. Popular among patrons, the rum and vodka concoctions come in various combinations. Also be sure to check out the wine list, a collection of California’s best known vintners with more than a dozen wines by the glass available. Enjoy a bowl of homemade soup, a fresh salad or an appetizer like the crab chili relleno while contemplating the main course. Served with Pacific rock crab, roasted corn, hot sauce, avacado-tomato salsa and lime sour cream the crab chili relleno is a can’t miss. For the main course select between top-tier fresh fish like Alaskan king salmon, Hawaiian swordfish, ahi tuna and seared diver scallops or indulge in a succulent char-grilled rib-eye or the bacon-wrapped filet, served with Point Reyes blue cheese butter, red wine demi glaze and garlic mashed potatoes.

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