Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > California >
Jan 18, 2011 03:17 PM

Driving to Lake Tahoe

Was hoping for some suggestions on good places to eat right off I-80. Driving up to Lake Tahoe and usually we just stop at In-n-Out in Auburn, but wanted to try some new places.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Better to post this on the California board.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Tripeler

      Thanks Tripeler for the advice. First time posting and didn't even see the general California board.

    2. Where are you starting from and when are you leaving, when do you want to arrive, going to North Shore or South Shore Tahoe, and when do you think you want to stop to eat? Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, tea time break?

      2 Replies
      1. re: glbtrtr

        I'm starting from San Francisco on a Saturday and coming back Sunday, so a one day trip. Plan to leave in the morning around 8am, so hoping to stop somewhere for brunch on the way. Probably around Sacramento or Auburn, since that is around the halfway point. I will have a 1 year old with me, so hoping somewhere children friendly. Also want a place that is close to the freeway, as I don't want to make a too long detour. On the way back, hoping to grab an early dinner, probably around the same area. Thanks in advance for any advice.

        1. re: guru533

          Thanks for providing more details. That will really help others to give you their best advice. BTW: Lucky you to go to Tahoe and have it only four hours away. This brings back memories about having chains put on outside Auburn once which is pretty low on Hwy 80 to close it down to chains only traffic. Hope someone recommends just the right spot for you though my own recollections are now very out-dated and when driving that distance it was always a MacDonalds drive thru and my favorite Fishwich sandwich with fries and a coke for that route. I wanted to get there and not stop too long along the way.

          In searching Auburn, this crepe place Le Bilig Kitchen got some recommendations but I have no personal experience with it:

      2. Great breakfasts and lunches.

        Katrina's Cafe
        456 Grass Valley Highway
        Auburn, CA 95603
        (530) 888-1166

        7 Replies
        1. re: PolarBear

          2nd Katrina's. It's small and parking is best down the street in a discreet corner of the shopping center, but food is copious and very good, lots of inspired daily specials. Kid frinedly? Tt's a tight cafe, but everybody is very friendly. A local's place. Open for breakfast and lunch only, closed Mon I think.

          1. re: toodie jane

            I LOVE Katrina's! If you are a pancake person the lemon yogurt pancakes are a MUST!

            Note: Unless things have changed it was cash only when I last ate there a year ago.

            1. re: gmk1322

              4th Katrinas, but at Auburn you're so close to Truckee and there's lots of great places there, too. Search the board for Truckee - you'll find lots.

              1. re: nancyhudson

                No, from Auburn, you're still pretty far away from Truckee, especially depending on weather and traffic (and kids). Best to food up in Auburn...

                1. re: Sarah

                  Agree, after Auburn the driving can get slow and treacherous in the winter. Have food also in the car with you as well as in your tummy.

                  1. re: glbtrtr

                    Yes, Auburn to Truckee can be as little as an hour, or as long as a day. It mostly depends on the weather. When there is snow, be sure to carry chains.

                    1. re: Tripeler

                      Thanks for the replies all. Will definitely try Katrinas and hope there is not a wait that day. Didn't know about the cash only policy, really good to know. Unfortunately our last planned trip had to be postponed because my daughter got sick, so planning to go up in a couple of weeks.

        2. Ikeda's, in Auburn, may be a fun stop. It's a fruit stand and burger bar. They have good produce and some interesting prepared foods. You can purchase some stuff to stock the Tahoe larder, and enjoy a burger and fruit shake at the same time.

          1. That's one of the reasons why I love living in the Bay Area so much. We got Lake Tahoe and Yosemite in a less than half day drive away.

            Thanks for all the tips. Le Bilig Kitchen does look pretty good. Looks like its not open for lunch on the weekends, so I might try to go on the way back for an early dinner.

            I checked out Katrina's Cafe on Yelp and it looks pretty good. Will probably do that for brunch on the way there, hopefully its not too crowded.

            I have been Ikeda's a couple of times already, sorry forgot to mention that. In and Out and Ikeda's are the only places I have been in my 20 or so trips up there, so was hoping to check out some new places. These suggestions sound great, thanks all.

            2 Replies
            1. re: guru533

              Please come back and tell us what you learn and take one extra deep whiff of that heavy pine scented air for me when you open your car door after arrival in Tahoe- that is always my best memory.

              1. re: guru533

                Le Bilig Kitchen closed last summer. The owners went back to France.
                I also would like to point out that for those of us in the Sacramento area,
                going to Lake Tahoe does not necessarily mean following I80 to go to
                North Tahoe/Truckee. If you follow Hway 50 towards South Tahoe
                you could stop in Placerville and the Apple Hill area. In Placerville,
                Zachary Jacques is a reasonably good restaurant.