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North Lake Tahoe Favorites?

Dear Hubby and I are going to North Lake Tahoe for a week in early March. In the past we've stayed in SLT, so don't know much about NLT (other than Moody's in Truckee, which is one of our favorites!) What are your favorites in the area?

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  1. I don't know if Christy Hill is still there but we used to love it. It's right on the water in Tahoe City and the sunsets are incredible. Great wine list too as I recall.

    1. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/541185

      Above is a link to an article that appeared in our little local paper last spring. Not sure about its accuracy as to HH deals and such but it is a pretty comprehensive list. Sol y Lago has closed and Fiamma may or may not be open. In winter some of the places are open for dinner only.

      Christy Hill is still here. It's been several years since I've been but it is good although not expensive.

      One of our favorites for a nicer dinner is Soule Domain that almost right on the CA/NV line. Darling little log cabin, great food. Speaking of logs cabins, there's a great breakfast place in Kings Beach - the Log Cabin. On the west shore is Sunnyside which has certainly the best view of the lake. But I'm almost positive it's not open for lunch so view is probably irrelevant. Good fish tacos, seared ahi --- not a fish place; those are just two that I can remember :) In Tahoe City across my the Safeway and up on the little hill is Sawtooth Ridge Cafe. Open for breakfast, lunch and some dinners. Really good with some different dishes than usual and really good sweet potato fries at lunch. In Boatworks Mall is Jakes on the Lake. A great view, open for lunch and dinner. We usually eat in the bar. In Kings Beach is Jason's - also on the lake. We've never had dinner there but good burgers for lunch. In Truckee right across the street from Moodys (where Paul McCartney "jams" when he's in town!) is Bar of America/Pacific Crest. I've liked everything I've ever eaten there especially the fish and chips which are golf ball sized nuggets with perfect batter. At the Hyatt at Incline Village (has a casino since it's in NV) there's the Lone Eagle Grille for fine dining --- although with people coming off the slopes you'll see plenty of jeans and sweaters and nothing dressy. It's really super, right on the lake and has a big wine list. Across the street from the Hyatt on Country Club Drive is Austin's. Great burgers, HUGE salads (they toss at the table) and THE best buttermilk fries with aioli you ever tasted. Oh, yeah, and you want a really good burrito, there'a little hole in the wall in Kings Beach, La Mexicana. They just have a few stools at the counter so we always take ours home. They microwave great. About $6 for one big enough to feed 2 normal people!

      I hope that gets you started. If you have any specific questions, don't hesitate to post back. We don't get a lot of requests :)

      1. We recently had a great meal at the River Ranch. If you go, ask for a table looking over the river. A good place for lunch or a casual dinner are 50/50 Brewing Company in Truckee. Their beer is quite good and so is the food. The Irish bar at Squaw is also fun and the food is good. I think that they occasonally have live music.

        2 Replies
        1. re: baseballfan

          I never made it back home this summer, but I really wanted to try big water grill after reading this post: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/525735. Lone Eagle Grill is another family fave. Will you head into Truckee? Dragonfly and Plumpjack are our faves up there. Will you be heading to South Shore at all?

          1. re: enbell

            We love Moody's in Truckee, but we're getting lots of other good suggestions for there, too. We probably will circle the lake at least once and could end up in South Shore.

        2. Oh, I forgot about the Bridgetender. It's on Hwy 89, just after you cross Fanny Bridge. We've like everything we've had there but the rib basket with cross-cut fries is the best. Mmm. Oops, re Christy Hill, I should have typed it is expensive.

          1. Moody's is still great and one of my favorite restaurants in Lake Tahoe. Also in Truckee, Dragonfly has great fusion cuisine. I love Plumpjack Cafe in Squaw. River Ranch has a beautiful setting on the river. They cook game particularly well.

            Christy Hill and Wolfdale's have wonderful settings on the lake in Tahoe City and serve very good food.

            Tahoe Vista has Spindleshank, for American, and Old Range, for the top steakhouse around.

            Caliente, in King's Beach has authentic Mexican food, not your typical tacos and burritos and smothered cheese. Great drinks. Fun place.

            Incline Village also has some of the best restaurants on the lake, including Big Water Grille, Le Bistro, and Fredericks. Crust is a nice casual place serving American tapas.
            I have found Soule Domaine to be inconsistent.

            6 Replies
            1. re: RevrendAndy

              I forgot about Le Bistro - it's been a few years but we always have had excellent meals there with service and a wine list to match.

              1. re: RevrendAndy

                I haven't been to Caliente since no one I've spoken to thought it was worth it. With $14 cocktails, a couple we know went to dinner there and it was $100. Not what *I* call "authentic Mexican food." It's owned by the Gar Woods guy and I've not been impressed with their food either.

                Sorry you've had inconsistent results at Soule Domaine. You're the first person I've ever heard who didn't just love it. Poor you.

                1. re: c oliver

                  My SO and I went to Soule Domaine last year and had a less than stellar experience. I'm not sure if it's because we went early in the evening, but the place had 4 tables seated on top of eachother and it was so quiet anyone at any of the 4 tables that spoke was heard. Our waiter had that pompous I am culinary or local attitude. My SO couldn't take it, so we ended up taking our entrees to go and heading back to our house to eat. The food was really top notch but the atmosphere and waitstaff were not inviting.

                  1. re: runningforfood

                    I'm SO sorry and SO surprised. When we and others that we know have been there the service was a nice part of the great dining experience. Do you live in the area? I'd sure encourage you to contact the owners (brothers) and tell them about this. They've had this restaurant for a long time. I'm sure they'd appreciate the feedback.

                    1. re: c oliver

                      Agreed. (I have a place around the corner, and find their establishment to be most gentile, and smart.)

                      Every once in a while, something fails, but Soule Domain is normally spot-on.

                      1. re: Brent Courier

                        We have a friend who pet sat for us last summer. A number of her friends joined her and Soule Domain was their best meal --- and they live in SF so aren't pushovers. They're coming back this summer and will repeat, I'm sure. As you say, anyone can have an off night but that too bad when it DOES happen. I too have found their service to be the perfect mix of welcoming but not over the top. BTW, we live in Cedar Flat between Kings Beach and Tahoe City. Do the Biltmore breakfast regularly although their prices have gone way up. But we use points so who cares???

              2. I forgot to mention the Squeeze Inn in downtown Truckee for great breakfasts and delicious sandwiches. Not open for dinner though.

                5 Replies
                1. re: baseballfan

                  I'm not 100% positive but I think that Squeeze Inn closed last year.

                  1. re: c oliver

                    Actually, we just had a delicious breakfast there over the holidays and it seemed as if everything was business as usual.

                    1. re: baseballfan

                      Before seeing this, I was thinking perhaps it was OBs (is that the name of it?) Sorry for the confusion. We live at the lake and don't get to Truckee all the often.

                      1. re: c oliver

                        It is OB's that closed. The space is still empty. Although the food was mediocre there, it wasn't a bad place to bring the kids. I was surprised when it closed since it had been there for so long and always seemed fairly crowded.

                    2. re: c oliver

                      i'm pretty sure it was open last fall when we there and haven't read of it's closing

                  2. Definitely Fredrick's Bistro in Incline Village. Wonderful!! Hard to find the website since everyone seems to spell it wrong:


                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Ian F

                      We are staying at Hyatt 5 nights on Feb 15th with company sponsored trip. Any places within walking distance that are casual and not expensive. Thanks

                      1. re: SAnativegirl

                        Austin's which is right across from the Hyatt is really good and not expensive. There's not a whole lot in the area in walking distance.

                    2. My favorite restaurants, all nearby, are Big Water Grille, Le Bistro, and Fredericks. They are all a bit pricey. Less expensive but good, is Crust, which serves American tapas.

                      4 Replies
                        1. re: nancyhudson

                          Sorry, the restaurant is called Bite, not Crust. My bad!

                          1. re: RevrendAndy

                            Oh good. I've seen Bite and been interested in it. Will check it out. We live between Kings Beach and Tahoe City but make it to Incline for gambling opportunities as well as to shop at Raleys :)

                            1. re: RevrendAndy

                              Had a nice meal at Bite two nights ago -- thanks for the lead. Had an early table for 5 +high chair; service was attentive but not overbearing, even when the restaurant started to fill up (~630-ish on a Monday night). Lamb was recommended and was kind of muttony. Squash soup was very good. White bean dip was simple and tasty, and served with raw purple and yellow carrots and grilled bread. This place isn't afraid to showcase ingredients by using only 3-4 things in a dish, and overall they did a good job. When asked which sliders he'd recommend, server (surprisingly to us) suggested the ahi sliders, and they were good.

                              We also ate at La Mexicana (should I say, took it back to our rental), and it was alright. We haven't had other Mexican food around the Lake, so our only comparators are the good stuff we get in & around Los Angeles.

                              This and other pages have been very helpful in deciding where to eat during our week up here -- thank you! (:

                        2. Thanks to everyone for your reviews! I'll let you know where we go and what we thought. Till then, eat well Chows!

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: labkfoodie

                            Fifty Fifty Brewing in Truckee has very good food, not just your average brewpub fare. Good beer too, if you're looking for that.

                            1. re: jennyo

                              I'm glad to hear that. When they first opened, our daughter didn't think the food was even close to the beer in "goodness."

                          2. Just returned from 5 days in Carnelian Bay (right near Tahoe City) and here are my thoughts:

                            Bridgetender - great bloody mary's, kind of a dive bar / restaurant - didn't eat here as we sat at the bar and the owner sort of hovered in front of us. But a fun vibe.

                            Jake's - great cocktails, loved the pomi-kazi ,a cosmo but w/ pomegranate juice and sugar on the rim - ok there's more to it but it was great. The bartender and wait staff was really nice to us - we went 2x for cocktails and once we had the crab cakes - lots of crab (not lump but good quality) and very little breading. Enjoyable - didn't try dinner too many overpriced and underdeliver comments. Great lake views and music on Sat.

                            Wolfdales - so pleased with this choice after 3 years finally a true winner. We sat at the bar and tried the chicken potstickers, very nice. SO went for the surf and turf, I chose scallops w/ ravioli. Although disappointed the ravioli wasn't created on premise, both dishes were high quality and well prepared loved the creative fusion, flavor profiles unique but solid. Dinner ran over $200 including cocktails, but worth it. Also of note at 36 we were the youngest by 10 or 15 years.... Definitely a repeat, pricey but so far the most creative and the chef came out to meet us and did the rounds - nice to see a chef on premise on a Sat night.

                            Gar Woods - we love the lake view and the cocktails, great happy hour - had some fun beers and enjoyed the ourselves. Food not so great - the sliders were really low grade my so only finished one, the clams were out of a frozen package....my other friend eating the sliders had a chunk of glass - he pulled it out of his mouth with blood, it was a couple of pieces - we think it was in the beef - they much order frozen patties from... anyway he was really low key about the glass and we get the mood lively but later my so and I both felt really bad - he had a cut in his tongue and cheek and you know how that stings when you eat anything acidic. We will return to Gar Wood but only for cocktails. It's up to the kitchen to maintain standards for their products.

                            Still more to try - as we left Tahoe was getting 12 inches or more of snow...

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: runningforfood

                              We LIVE in Carnelian Bay!!! How funny and small this world is, huh? You should come back in the summer some time. Bridgetender has THE best views of the lake from the deck. And we only go to Gar Woods in summer for the deck. Food from regular menu we think is overpriced.

                              And, yes, do we ever have the snow!!! Probably two feet of new in the last 24-36 hours. YAY!

                              1. re: c oliver

                                I MUST correct my glaring mistake. It's not the BT with the view, it's Sunnyside.

                                1850 West Lake Blvd, Tahoe City, CA 96145

                            2. Thanks everyone for your suggestions. Here's where we ate:
                              Le Bistro - very disappointing to us. Overly fussy; not very impressive food. Overpriced.
                              Bite - American tapas. This place was wonderful! Ate there twice and had more menu items we'd love to try. Great dishes included: Ahi sliders, mac and cheese w/ bacon, brussel sprouts w/ bacon, fish tacos, fish fu kung (non-traditional sweet/sour).
                              Baxter's - in Norhtstar. Went for Brunch. By the folks at Moody's, which we love. Less impressed by Baxter's. The cheesy fries with truffle oil were crazy good, though!
                              Moody's - reliably good. Love the pulled pork sandwich and the s'mores for dessert. Also great was the steak sandwich.
                              Blue Agave - sadly mediocre mexican food. Too bad.
                              Big Water Grille - got our order wrong. But the fish special and the spaghetti bolognese were good. Best part was the view at sunset.
                              Log Cabin Caffe - Wonderful for breakfast! Had the bacon waffles w/ a side of creamed spinach - sooooo good! Hubby loved the salmon benedict.
                              New Moon Cafe - Leaving town we went here in Nevada City for lunch. Very good local upscale, but a good value. Had specials off the board - pulled pork southwest tacos and goat cheese ravioli. Nicely inventive.

                              1. Please people, you have left out the BEST breakfast place in North/West Shore Tahoe-
                                Firesign Cafe!
                                They are open for breakfast & lunch only, and those are usually the best places. Try the Firesign Crepes-Yummy!!! They come with scrambled eggs, mushrooms, cheese, avocado if you request it, and the best Hollandaise on top (my family tells me Firesign's is almost as good as mine, so that means great-or so they tell me)! (blush) : )
                                You can get a 1/2 order which I love, not so stuffed that way, and sub the home fries for a delicious fresh fruit cup.. My boys & I have been coming to Tahoe for 11 summers now, and I lived up here for 5 years, Firesign is a staple of our visits.
                                Also- the Char Pit in Kings Beach for a really good char grilled burger-try the mushroom burger without cooked onions and sub swiss cheese for pepper cheese .Oreo Cookie Miklshakes, or all milkshakes too! Yum-O! Bon Appetite!

                                8 Replies
                                1. re: Kate0229

                                  We love the Firesign. Been going there for breakfast for some years. We get the Bakers Benedict, which is like the regular except there's a sausage patty instead of Canadian bacon. And I agree with you and your family --- the Hollandaise is fantastic and I'm not even a big fan of it usually. We're very boring and usually get the BB. If not, we get the nut and seed waffle (I NEVER order waffles anywhere else ever) and a side of sausage. We share that also. In non-winter, we love to sit on the deck.

                                  We live here and I'm ashamed to say I've never been to the Char Pit. Drive past it all the time and say we gotta go there. So thanks for the nudge. If you're up here now, enjoy your stay. Getting some thunder in the Carnelian Bay area right now. Hope we don't have fire(s).

                                  1. re: c oliver

                                    OMG, worked up at Tahoe back in the 1960's. The Firesign is still there?!? Wow. Double wow if they are known for good food which was a contradiction in terms North Lake Tahoe in the 1960's.

                                    1. re: glbtrtr

                                      My husband's mother and aunt built our cabin in '61 but he hadn't been there til a few years back. But he did just get to walk in to all the Olympic events in '60!

                                    2. re: c oliver

                                      If you're near the Char Pit on Tuesdays between 11 and 3 here is a link to a coupon:

                                      1. re: enbell

                                        Thanks, enbell. I have NO excuse now.

                                        1. re: c oliver

                                          Curious if it is good as I remember...please report back :)

                                          1. re: enbell

                                            The Tahoe atmosphere DOES seem to make things taste awfully good:)

                                      2. re: c oliver

                                        We had breakfast there recently and I asked her why the Hollandaise was so much better, IMO, than most. She said they use more lemon juice and a bit of Tabasco. It was really good.