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hidden tahoe spots

Hounders. Heading to Lake Tahoe over Fourth of July weekend (I know, I know), and am dying to find some hidden treasures. I have read all of the posts on Tahoe below, but just thought I'd throw another feeler out there, just in case. Will be staying a day in the north as well, so if there's anything up there. Thanks...

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  1. In Incline Village (North Shore) try Sunshine Pastry and Provisions for lunch, takeout dinners and great sweets. New sandwiches, wraps, salads every week, and the sweets are always wonderful! You can also pick up some Sunshine Granola or Muesli to take home.

    1. Don't know if this is all that "hidden", but there was a time when "Le Petit Pier" in Tahoe Vista, near Kings Beach (North Shore near the Nevada line) was the ultimate in fine dining - almost anywhere. French and expensive.


      1. Last time through the north end of the lake, we ate lunch next to the boat storage barns, at Garwoods, and it was a big dissapointment.

        Lukewarm food served in the bar area, took forever, and my quesadilla could've been better made by a third grader. Flabby (microwaved?) flour tortilla, cold half-melted cheese and no sauce at all. Hubby's med burger came well-done. Oops, somebody forgot about the grill for awhile. Fries OK, but the whole experinence was a frustration. Nice location, but my feeling is erratic quality. It is a "popular place" but I'd pass on it.

        I wish I could recall the place we had some very good burgers (a little farther to the east, closer to Incline, in an old brick building on a sharp triangular corner). Not much seating, but a couple small tables outside, right at the tip of the corner. Outrageous casual food and good beer list. Boy, a lot of help I am. Maybe someone recognizes the location/description? Seems like a real locals spot.

        It's gonna be a zoo, maybe take a picnic to Sand Point (?) and relax there.

        Tip: inlaws live in Carson and are going to Genoa to watch fireworks. Might be less hectic, and some good chow there too.

        1 Reply
        1. re: toodie jane

          From the description you've given, I don't think this is the burgerplace you are talking about, but did you check this out:


          Bridgetender Tavern: sounds like it is worth going to (if Cynsa and nja say the burgers are good, that is good enough for me to want to try it, and I've got it on my list).

        2. I agree with you on Garwoods....ate there last summer once. Dinner on the deck was nice, but the food was overpriced and mediocre. Don't know the burger place you're talking about. And Sand Harbor (I assume this is the picnic place you're talking about) will have full parking lots by noon, so be warned. Unfortunately, North Lake Tahoe is not known for its food.....its kind of the ultimate example of the old adage that the better the view, the worse the food. I'm heading up there Sunday for a wedding...and I have a feeling that we'll be eating out when we come back late that evening.....(The Hyatt is REALLY not known for its food; although I can't think of a more beautiful wedding setting....)

          1. Janet, I'm sorry but I beg to differ about the food in North Lake Tahoe. On the contrary, if you want terrific restaurants, stay north, and if you want to gamble and have the cuisine that usually follows, head south. I will not go into detail, but the following restaurants could hold their own with anything you'll find in the big city(I don't count Reno as the big city)-The Bistro, Blue Water Grille, Frederick's, Spindleshank's, Sol y Lago, Chrisy Hill, Wolfdale's, River Ranch, Plumpjack, Moody's Bistro, and Dragonfly. On south shore you have Evans followed by Chevy's, etc., and all the steakhouses in the casinos. Now that Ciao has opened in Reno, maybe more will follow. And of course the Indian cuisine can't be beat, but that's by invite only. And by the way, the food at Lone Eagle Grill on the water at the Hyatt is very good now. Of course, none of this is personal :=)

            1 Reply
            1. re: RevrendAndy

              See my note elsewhere about Lone Eagle Grill; it does seem to be on the upswing. And I confess I really haven't eaten at many of the restaurants you mention...I was thinking more of Garwood's and places like that. I do really like River Ranch for lunch (never had dinner there) Before the summer is over my goal is to eat at Sol y Lago. Care to join us for a mini-chowdown? (tapas are always better with a group so you can sample more, no?)

            2. Ernie's Coffee Shop
              1146 Emerald Bay Road
              South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150

              - try a "scram" (scramble).

              1. Hey, has anyone been to the "Petit Pier" near Kings Beach lately - it WAS really wonderful when it opened years ago, but no one mentions it today. Wot happened?

                1 Reply
                1. re: glbtrtr

                  Every summer we spend 5 nights in Tahoe Vista and every summer I check every posted menu at every remotely possible place to dine.

                  For my taste and money, Le Bistro can hold its own with any restaurant anywhere, for about half or a third the price. But, since it's closed Sun. & Mon., we usually go only once during our minivacation. But it's always the highlight. (Those who had the life-altering privilege of dining at its predecesssor, La Cheminee, probably share our nostalgia for that inimitable cottage of superb dining!)

                  Last year, the menu at Petit Pier offended both my minimum requirements for sustainability and my desire to eat at least reasonably heart-healthy dishes, even on vacation. If my memory is accurate, there was Atlantic salmon right in the middle of fresh wild salmon season, just for one example.

                  Spindleshank is where we generally end up our first night (Sunday)--it varies in quality from year to year. Moo(n?)d?)y's in Truckee is not the most visually appealing place and tends to gild its dishes a bit more than I like, but it's fairly serious and has something for most tastes.

                  The spot very near Spindleshank--tiny place opposite side from lake--somewhat high-priced, was, I think, closed last summer.

                  I no longer eat nonorganic beef or huge steaks at all, but the Range(?)on the bend in Tahoe Vista used to have reasonably good beef and accouterments in a pleasant, log-cabiny atmosphere.

                  The smoke at the frat-boy place on the hill in Incline--Big Water, I think--makes it impossible for me to dine there, and the food has a bit of a high-end chain feel. Pretty place though, and decent wine list.

                  There's a new, expensive spot in TV on the lake: Someone told me it was going to be a private club for owners of homes in a new development, but I never verified that. We ate there once--a bit pretentious, a bit rough around the edges, but not too bad foodwise.

                  We used to go to Christy Hill, but it kept getting a little worse each year till we gave it up.

                  Wolfdale's has always been well liked by many food enthusiasts, but it never spoke to me.

                  The original owners/chefs of Petit Pier retired or passed on years ago; in recent years I've gotten the impression that no one cared a whole lot when I've gone in to question staff about menu.

                  Last year we ended up one night in a weird little place in a minimall in Incline along the main drag; if I can think of the name or dig up the menu, I'll post it. It was a bare bones spot--Cajun? Greek? Sorry. Food was not bad--zero atmosphere.

                  We actually got desperate enough to return to the German-accented spot on the west shore that' s been there FOREVER. Owner keeps saying he's selling, but it was still there. If anyone wants to relive the 50s, with an upgrade or two, just recalled name--Swiss Lakewood, if it's still there.

                  It's even truer in resorts than most places that an on-premises chef/owner makes the difference. (Which somewhat contradicts the above paragraph, except that in its day, where the owner resides, it was a sort of "ethnic" but unthreatening experience.)

                2. my hubby and I love blue water bistro out on the pier. We make it a point to go there when we are up in south lake... the views are unbeatable, the food is great. We have never been disappointed with a meal there, and the staff is very helpful and does not rush you through dinner. I am looking forward to going in two weeks.

                  1. I think the burger place mentioned by toodiejane is Jason's in KB. I used live live in KB during grad school and Jason's was a total local draw, as was Steamers and (I think the name is) China Express. Jim Kelly's Nugget had a good burger but had a limited gambling license so was only open a few months of year. My husband and I were up in the N Shore for a wedding about a year ago and I convinced him to try the takeout at the China Express. It wasn't as good as I remembered but was still very decent for being the only chinese place on the north shore of Tahoe. And the best dive of a drinking spot is still the tradewinds!