Tahoe’s Top Outdoor Restaurants and Bars


As we approach the longest day of the year, the daylight hours extend later and later and give us even more time to enjoy a refreshing adult beverage outdoors with a view. For me, there is something extra enjoyable about drinking a cocktail outside, lakefront. Beverages just taste better when I’m under the sun, in the fresh air with a view of brilliant blue waters lapping up on the shores of Lake Tahoe.

In honor of one of my favorite summer activities, I’d like to share with you my top 10 outdoor, lakefront, drinking establishments around Lake Tahoe (Oh, and you can eat there too).

10. Riva Grill, 900 Ski Run Blvd, South Lake Tahoe, CA 
Popular with tourists and locals alike, this restaurant has a great outdoor patio that looks out onto the marina. There is no lack of specialty drinks at this place but they are famous for their delicious Rum concoction, the Wet Woody.

9. Live at Lakeview Commons, El Dorado Beach, South Lake Tahoe, CA
Ok, this isn’t an actual bar or restaurant but I have to mention this one because it is a free concert series every Thursday night during the summer with a beer garden. What could be better than sitting on the beach listening to live music while you sip a tasty brew.

8. Sunnyside Restaurant, 1850 W Lake Blvd, Tahoe City, CA 
Sunnyside has an extremely loyal following of guests who return year after year to enjoy the breathtaking views. Their deck opening party takes place on May 24th starting at 11:30.

7. Boathouse on the Pier, 3411 Lake Tahoe Blvd, South Lake Tahoe, CA 
As one yelper so aptly wrote “This place is amazing. You go because of the view. Let’s be clear. It’s as good as it gets. You are essentially floating over lake tahoe, surrounded by the amazing lake and mountains.”

6. West Shore Café, 5160 West Lake Blvd, Homewood, CA
Some argue “West Shore, Best Shore” and this dining establishment is certainly one of the most picturesque lakefront dining venues in all of Lake Tahoe. Check out their deck opening party on Saturday, May 25th with live music from 12 pm – 3 pm and 6 pm – 9:30 pm

5. Pier 111 Bar at the Hyatt Lake Tahoe, 111 Country Club Drive, Incline Village, NV
What’s not to like about this North Shore favorite located on the pier at the beautiful Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe; friendly bartenders, a relaxed vibe, and “Sunset on the Pier Party” Thursday nights with live music.

4. Brooks Bar, 100 Lake Parkway, Stateline, NV
On the deck at Brooks Bar, you get double the view with lake and golf course vistas. Selected by Golf Digest as one of the “Best 19th Holes in America” this place has a great lodge atmosphere without being stuffy. And you still fit in even if you didn’t roll in after playing 18.

3. Garwoods, 5000 North Lake Boulevard, Carnelian Bay, CA
This is Riva Grill’s sister restaurant on the North Shore and in my opinion, has better views. The famous Wet Woody can be enjoyed here too and for those of you lucky enough to have a boat, there is a restaurant pier for diners to dock at.

2. Beacon Bar & Grill, 1900 Jameson Beach Road, South Lake Tahoe, CA
Located at Camp Richardson Resort, the Beacon is a must do when visiting Tahoe. They are known for their Rum Runners and you can enjoy one for just $5 every Wednesday. They also feature live music every Friday and Saturday evening and similar to Garwoods, boat parking is available.

1. Rum Bar at Round Hill Pines Beach, Zephyr Cove, NV
If Jimmy Buffet came to Tahoe, this is where you would find him. The beachfront hut has a thatched roof and an extremely laid back vibe. The bartenders are super friendly and there is always a crowd of locals mixed with wedding goers. Prices are very reasonable too.

Did I forget to mention your favorite lakefront watering hole? If so, let us know about it…

~Kelly Campbell



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