There is nothing like a burger and a beer after a day of playing on the water or hiking in the mountains around Lake Tahoe. You could go to a typical fast food restaurant and get an okay burger, or you can stop at one of these local favorites and get an excellent burger for a reasonable price. Several of these Tahoe restaurants use organic meat and fresh, local ingredients in their creations and some pile it high with everything that is bad for you. Some even serve up meatless burgers. Now that your stomach is growling, here are five of the best burgers around the lake.
This cool little place just outside of downtown Truckee has become very popular since being profiled on the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. And for good reason: this place serves up the freshest, healthiest burgers around. The line-up includes a turkey burger and a bison burger, made with locally raised meat. Both can be washed down with Burger Me’s homemade lemonade. My favorite is the Meyer natural beef hamburger with bleu cheese crumble and avocado for around $7. Don’t forget the sweet potato fries served with spicy mayo. They are a must for an extra $3.
Another great burger is the Brew Burger at Stateline Brewery near the Heavenly ski area. This $9.95 burger is a juicy half-pounder with cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, and red onion with the added options of bacon, avocado, grilled onions, or mushrooms. If you want a vegetarian option, try the $9.95 Portabella Veggie Burger with a marinated portabella mushroom, zucchini, roasted red bells, and fresh mozzarella on rosemary foccacia bread. Each of these burgers are served with a choice of beer-battered fries, potato salad, or coleslaw.
For a burger that might make your heart ache just a bit, Izzy’s Burger Spa is a popular stop for locals who need a grease fix. Their cheeseburger for $4.95 is huge and the cheese, fresh lettuce, and tomato slide right off the bun. They also offer a mushroom burger for $5.25 and a Colossal Burger with bacon and triple cheese for $8.25. At Izzy’s you can sit inside, but most people want to be outside in their courtyard under the pine trees.
For another vegetarian option, try the Santa Fe Burger at the popular Sprouts Cafe in South Lake Tahoe for around $9. This is a tempeh burger with beans, avocado, tomato, and carrots. You can wash it down with a homemade juice or smoothie.
For a long-time local favorite, head to The Bridgetender restaurant in Tahoe City. Their BBQ cheeseburger and teriyaki burger with grilled pineapple are popular items for around $8.00, but a lot of visitors come for the Rocky Mountain Elk Burger with Monterey jack cheese and blueberry BBQ sauce for $8.95. For an additional $1.95, add on fries, coleslaw, or a salad.
Photo Courtesy of [justinwdavis/Flickr]