Ten Places for Tahoe Outdoor Dining

Food, Things to Do — By christinanellemann on July 26, 2010 at 8:00 am

The summer season at Lake Tahoe is short but sweet. Because of the wonderful moderate temperature, sunny skies and lack of insects in the summer months, most meals can be eaten outside. Whether it’s a picnic on the beach or a gourmet meal at a restaurant, visitors to the lake can enjoy their food, and the view, well into the evenings.

Here are ten great places to eat outdoors around Lake Tahoe.

1. Cottonwood

This restaurant is on a hill overlooking old downtown Truckee. Patio dining is available and serves Cajun style food and live music.

2. Caliente

Hot and spicy, with a cool view. This Mexican restaurant in King’s Beach on the North Shore is hopping with great margaritas and zesty food on a large rooftop patio.

3. Bridgetender

A local’s and visitors favorite for years, the Bridgetender on the West Shore has a view of the Truckee river. You can enjoy burgers, pasta and steaks on an outdoor patio overlooking the water.

4. The Heavenly Gondola

The ski lift to the Heavenly ski area runs all year long, so start out with your own picnic on the observation deck overlooking the lake. You will need to purchase a ticket to take the lift up, but once you are there, your picnic can be on your own budget.

5. The Cantina

This Mexican restaurant, located in South Lake Tahoe is about 20 minutes from Emerald Bay. The outdoor patio is enclosed with a fence, but is underneath a grove of fresh-smelling pine trees. Both dinner and lunch is served outdoors or indoors.

6. Freshies

The colorful rooftop patio of Freshies offers a view of the lake and is perfect for summer dining. They serve Hawaiian style BBQ, fish tacos, vegan and vegetarian fare and organic wine and beer.


This fun and lively restaurant at Heavenly in South Lake Tahoe has an outdoor patio with several firepits where you can enjoy a drink or appetizer before heading indoors to their teppanyaki grill.

8. Blue Water Bistro

This beautiful restaurant in South Lake Tahoe boasts the only “over the water” dining in Tahoe. The restaurant serves both lunch and dinner dinners such as seafood, steak and vegan and vegetarian food.

9. Jake’s on the Lake

A longtime favorite at the lake, Jake’s has one of the best views around. Their island themed menu and cocktails will have you thinking you’ve landed in the tropics…with pine trees.

10. Plumpjack

If you would rather have a view of the mountains than blue water, then visit this restaurant at Squaw Valley. With a view of the cliffs that lead to High Camp you can dine on steak, seafood, pasta and salads on a poolside deck.

Photo courtesy of [heyjohngreen]

Tags: balcony, dining, eat, Food, outdoor, patio, restaurant, tahoe, view