9 Can’t-Miss Tahoe Brunch Restaurants
Adventure abounds in Northern California’s renowned Lake Tahoe area. The winter season casts its spell of snow-filled magic, and the summer months are full of sunshine and clear blue waters. When you’re staying at our own Northstar Lodge or One Village Place, a meal cooked in the cozy comfort of your own luxurious kitchen might do just the trick before a day on the slopes or lake. But for times when you’re looking to venture out and explore, you’ll want to put these incredible Tahoe brunch spots on your to-do (or shall we say, to-eat) list.
On Lake Tahoe’s North Shore, you’ll find the year-round playground that is Tahoe City. Whether you’re in the area for summer kayaking or winter skiing, it’s safe to say you’ll need plenty of food-fuel to get you through your adventures. Check out these four fabulous places to enjoy a Tahoe brunch.
For a classic breakfast with a unique twist (and a beautiful view) pay a visit to Spindleshanks Restaurant. Come hungry for popular options like the Greek Goddess that includes scrambled eggs, tomato, spinach, feta cheese, garlic yogurt, and country potatoes, or the Huevos Con Camarones made of scrambled eggs, bay shrimp, and pico de gallo.
The Dam Cafe is a quaint cottage with outdoor picnic tables that make it a great option during warmer months. This spot is loved by the locals and tourists alike. Their delicious egg sandwiches are made with ingredients like crispy bacon and the fully-loaded breakfast burritos are a true Tahoe treat. They offer options like The Dam-Burly Ritto with Costa Rican-style beans and rice, sour cream, and melted cheddar cheese—and the Vegan-Rito which includes avocado and Goddess dressing. Wash your fantastic Tahoe brunch down with a selection of coffee like Organic Peruvian or Hawaiian Hazelnut or a Tropical Tahoe smoothie for something fruity. And if you’re feeling like catching a morning sugar buzz—go for a Tiger Spice Chai Milkshake.
Fire Sign Cafe
The Fire Sign Cafe in Tahoe City is known for its homemade food and its iconic “mugmosas.” Served in a beer mug or by the pitcher, the mimosas are made with high-quality champagne and fresh squeezed carrot, orange, and grapefruit juices. Everything at this hotspot, from the chorizo sausage to the hollandaise sauce to the coconut oil-infused chocolate sauce, is made from scratch. Menu items are adaptable for different eating styles as well, so it’s a nice Tahoe brunch spot for any vegetarians, vegans, or gluten-free folks in the group.
Tahoe Fat Cat
If it’s a bloody mary and late burger brunch you’re in the mood for on the weekend, Tahoe Fat Cat serves 100% grass-fed, handcrafted burgers. Burgers are served a la carte with butter lettuce, tomato, red onion, and locally made buns (or as a low-carb version in a salad bowl on fresh greens). Beyond Burger Veggie Patties are also available, if you still want that burger feel without the beef. And if you find yourself at the Fat Cat on Saturday or Sunday, you can even opt for the extra indulgent Glazed Donut Burger served between two house-glazed donuts. Some delicious sweet potato fries with gorgonzola mushroom sauce can seal the deal—just make sure you have a cozy place to curl up and take a post-meal nap when you’re finished.
North of Tahoe City is Truckee, a fun town filled with plenty of places to play outside and a vibrant dining scene to explore. Here are some can’t-miss spots in Truckee to put on your Tahoe brunch bucket list.
On a small backstreet in downtown Truckee, you’ll find an industrial garage-meets-art gallery known as Coffee Bar. Pastries and breads are baked daily, coffee is hand-roasted, and fresh milk is provided from the local San Hill Dairy. There is a selection of teas and tea lattes, home-brewed kombucha, and beautiful breakfast paninis on house-made focaccia. If you’re in the mood for something lighter, the organic granola, hot oats with chia seeds and goji berries, or quinoa bowl with pea shoots and sunflower seeds are nutritious yet decadent options.
Across from the Amtrak train station, you’ll find Squeeze In—a funky and famous Tahoe brunch spot known for their massive omelette selection. With a slogan that reads “Best Omelettes on the Planet” the gigantic menu boasts items like The Spanish Flay, a tribute to Food Network’s Bobby Flay, and the Hawaiian Aikine with ham and pineapples. If you become a fan (which we think you will) you can even join the “Egghead Club” for free food next time you’re in Truckee.
Zuri Coffee is the gourmet place to go for a simple bagel and a wild assortment of both sweet and savory crepes. There’s lemon, raspberry, and blueberry on the sweet side as well as caramelized onion, brie, and goat cheese on the savory side. The coffee, espresso, and speciality drinks feature everything from white mochas to cold brew. Spruce them up with lavender and coconut syrups and make sure to take a vegan banana chocolate chip muffin for the road.
South Lake Tahoe
If you’re looking for the best breakfast in South Lake Tahoe, Bert’s and Ernie’s take the cake (the pancake, that is). Plus, with restaurant names that — once combined — are reminiscent of some of your favorite Sesame Street characters, you know you’ll never forget them.
Bert’s Cafe is a well-loved Tahoe brunch restaurant, in part, because of their commitment to homemade, from-scratch items. Whether it’s the strawberry or blueberry compote on your fluffy pancakes, or the salsa on your eggs, Bert’s prides themselves on making their items fresh every day. The Pigs in a Blanket with Jimmy Dean links will take you back to childhood — as will the extra whipped cream on your mug of piping hot coffee.
Ernie’s Coffee Shop
Ernie's Coffee Shop, another spot known for having the best breakfast in South Lake Tahoe, is a log cabin that is filled with bright sunlight and offers some of the best fresh squeezed orange juice mimosas. They also serve coffee roasted from their neighbor, Alpine Sierra Coffee Roasting Company, who creates a special roast exclusively for the restaurant called Ernie’s Mountainlands. Whether you’re craving Belgian waffles, a Loco-Moco, or vegan banana French toast, breakfast is served all day and can be paired with whatever your heart desires—from hot apple cider, to a rootbeer float, to a protein smoothie.
From Tahoe City, to Truckee, to South Lake Tahoe, there’s plenty of great places to get out there, fuel-up with good food, and start your day’s adventure. To dive into a memorable, food-filled vacation, book your stay at Northstar Lodge or One Village Place. Our resorts offer you a luxurious home away from home near all the tasty treats and brunch bites.
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