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Good food at (or near) South Lake Tahoe

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Our family needs some suggestions for dinner at (or near) South Lake Tahoe. On this particular evening we aren't looking for anything fancy..................just good food. A casual, clean restaurant would be fine, but, just to clarify, we AREN'T looking for anything like a Denny's or Applebee's. In the past we have had extreme difficulty finding any good places in the area. There will be 6 adults and a 2 year old in our group. Most any type of food will do, just as long as it's good. We also like most ethnic food, but Asian wouldn't be my first choice. (One person in our group is somewhere between vegetarian and vegan.) If there are not many places in the area we can drive to another part of the Lake, so please add those suggestions as well. Thank you for any help you can offer.

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  1. Check out Cafe Fiore, it is an excellent Italian restaurant, make reservations in advance, it is a small venue. :)

    1. Cafe Fiore is excellent, but might be on the expensive side if you're looking for casual. A party that big would also take up half the dining room.

      A good place, but a bit of a drive, is also the Kirkwood in on highway 88 across from the Kirkwood ski resort. In business since before the Civil War, good food, good drinks, and good prices.

      Cafe Fiore
      66 California Street, Ventura, CA 93001

      1. Orchids Authentic Thai Food is so yummy! You will not be disappointed. The restaurant at Zephyr Cove Resort is always good. Sprouts Natural Foods Cafe is a locals favorite. Hope you have an awesome time! :)

        1. we really like freshies- kind of hawaiin style and they have alot of vegetarian choices and blue water bistro is really good. right on the lake. we like womacks for bbq right at stateline too, not fancy but good!

          1. We have a place in South Lake Tahoe, and I have to say the dining scene is not great depending on where you are coming from.

            Freshies would be my first suggestion. It is fairly diverse, less expensive and casual. not everything there is a homerun, but they do have good dishes. Lots of veggie options too. They do get busy and don't take reservations though.

            I am not a fan of sprouts. It is fine, but I can put together the same thing in my condo for much less and just as fast. It is very casual counter service type of place.

            Freshies Restaurant & Bar
            3330 Lake Tahoe Blvd Ste 3, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150

            1. Our favorite SLT dining experience (outside of cooking at the cabin with stuff we buy in Berkeley before the trip up) is Nikki's Chaat Cafe. The food reminds us of Vik's in Berkeley. They have a nice little patio out front (albeit in the less than scenic parking lot) where we can lounge in good weather and they even let us bring our dog. The indian food is well prepared and the staff are super friendly. Lots of meatless options as well as more fleshy fare. During the day they serve American diner food too for the less adventurous eaters. This quirky spot hides in plain sight in a drab strip mall so look for it and you will be happy indeed with the discovery.

              Nikki's Chaat Cafe
              3469 Lake Tahoe Blvd, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150

              1 Reply
              1. re: flavorenhancer

                I have had some good food at Nikki's and some less than stellar - similar to Freshies in consistency for me. But I live in Indian food mecca, so my bar is pretty high. One thing to note is that they are kind of strange about preparing soem of their South Indian food. Sometimes they won't make their dosas but they will usually make uttapam.

                Freshies Restaurant & Bar
                3330 Lake Tahoe Blvd Ste 3, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150

              2. The Red Hut used to be our little local secret, but alas...the secret is out.
                Basic pancakes, waffles (my favorite), and eggs for breakfast, and sandwiches and burgers for lunch. Nothing fancy, but pretty good.