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26 May 2021
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Tahoe Top Tens

When the days get longer and the sun shines brighter, we all start to get a bit of "spring fever" here in Tahoe. Nothing beats dusting off the patio furniture and enjoying a cold one in the sunshine while looking out at the lake. In honor of the sunny and warm days ahead of us, we thought we'd share our top 10 North Lake Tahoe restaurant patios (for dining and drinking). For more dining and restaurant information, browse our Lake Tahoe Dining Guide.

As California begins to open back up this summer, be sure to always double-check restaurant hours, policies, and reservation requirements before you visit. 

Cottonwood Restaurant

Cottonwood overlooks downtown Truckee from what used to be a turn-of-the-century ski lodge. A year round go-to spot for locals and visitors alike, in the summer, you can sit on the deck and enjoy a view of the whole town. Known for their Whole Leaf Caesar and hearty entrees, Cottonwood is a perfect place for the whole family. Local's Tip: Order the burger and a French Margarita.

Sunnyside Restaurant

Attached to the Sunnyside Lodge, this classic Tahoe restaurant features one of our favorite outdoor decks, right on the water of Lake Tahoe. Whether you arrive by boat or park out front, come early — even though the deck is spacious, it fills up fast in nice weather. Local's Tip: Order the fish tacos.

Chambers Landing

Chambers Landing is the oldest bar on Lake Tahoe! As if being located on a pier between gorgeous sandy beaches and the clear waters of Lake Tahoe weren't enough, Chambers Landing also offers delicious casual lunch options and thirst quenching beverages. Local's Tip: Don't leave without trying a Chamber's Punch.


PJ's Bar & Grill

Named after Gray's Crossing course designer, Peter Jacobsen, PJ's is a great destination for casual dining with expansive mountain and golf course views. Meet friends for after-golf appetizers, or enjoy dinner with the family. 

Local's Tip: Snag a seat around one of the fire pits and watch the sunset.

River Ranch

With a patio right on the Truckee River, this Alpine Meadows staple is a favorite in the summer months. When the river is open for rafting, visitors can float down the Truckee, and climb right out of the river and grab a table for dinner. Local's Tip: Arrive early for happy hour and the best seats.

Jake's on the Lake

Our Business Manager, Cynthia Braga, has lived in Tahoe for years and calls Jake's her favorite patio in the area. Family-owned and operated since 1978, Jake's staff welcomes all of their customers with what they call "mountain aloha." Local's Tip: Try the Hula Pie. You know you want to.

River Grill

Located on the Truckee River, just downstream from Fanny Bridge and just south of downtown Tahoe City, River Grill is the hottest spot for riverfront dining. In the summer, grab a seat on their two level patio and enjoy live music every night! Local's Tip: Go for happy hour to score killer deals — and definitely order the shrimp tacos.

Moe's BBQ

A new edition to the Tahoe City scene, Moe's has an amazing lakefront location that rivals many of its competitors operating at a much higher price point. Moe's traditional style southern BBQ menu offers something for every appetite, and it is a great spot to feed the family after a long day of playing on the lake. Local's Tip: Check out the "specials" board for additional side options.

Gar Woods Grill & Pier

From the restaurant family responsible for Riva Grill, Caliente, and Truckee's Bar of America, Gar Wood's is their fourth Tahoe dining gem. Centrally located in Carnelian Bay, their upper level patio is almost always packed. The menu features something for everyone; traditionally American with a California flair. Local's Tip: Wet Woody anyone?

SandBar Christy Hill

A local's favorite, the SandBar is kind of like upscale Christy Hill kicking off the heels and putting on a pair of sandals. While offering incredible eats, SandBar also features discounted beverages, an incredible view, and fire pits to gather around. Local's Tip: Order the Hamachi Tartare.

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