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Tahoe Life

There’s nothing better than a relaxing dinner. But top that off with toe-tapping live music and gorgeous scenery and you’ve got a recipe for many of the best restaurants in Tahoe. Winter is a time for food, family, and festivities, so go ahead and make a reservation at some of these great eateries for a fun night out.


Moody’s Bistro Bar & Beats: This Truckee bistro right on the main drag features craft-cocktails, farm-to-table food, and great music. There’s pizza, pasta, some great meat entrees, and creative appetizers, to name a few. Plus, there’s live music Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights with bands like Marty O’Reilly and The Old Soul Orchestra, a full band featuring guitar, vocals, violin, keyboard, upright bass, and drums, playing roots music full of creative lyrics. A wide variety of music is offered and changes each week, so check the calendar to stay up to date.

Cottonwood Restaurant and Bar: Set in one of the nation’s oldest ski lodges, the restaurant offers fine dining overlooking Truckee. The menu features organic, local ingredients in some stellar meat entrees from the grill and great fresh salads. They offer live music Thursday and Saturday Nights at 7 p.m., and food discounts on what they call “Acoustic Thursdays” with bands such as The Moon and You, featuring cello, guitar, and voices from Asheville, NC. 

Alibi Ale Works - Truckee Public House: This a great place with a casual atmosphere, featuring over two dozen craft beers made at their Incline Village taproom. The menu features upscale appetizers to complement your beverage as well as a delicious array of nachos. There’s live music here often with tons of room to dance, too. The exciting event calendar features a live bluegrass jam open to all Mondays at 6 p.m., as well as live music Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturdays. Various local and nationally recognized bands perform here, including Everyday Outlaw! who play country music with swing flair.

Tahoe City 

Sunnyside Restaurant & Lodge: Enjoy delicious American and Asian inspired food, including great fish Tacos, at this lakeside Tahoe City staple, with incredible views from the lake’s West Shore just out the window. Sunnyside hosts a variety of special events including “Martinis & Music” on Saturdays with specialty martinis and entertainment by local musician Chi McClean.

Jake’s on the Lake: This long-standing North Lake favorite has been around since 1978, featuring Californian and Hawaiian flavors such as grilled seafood, providing what they call “mountain aloha”. Jake’s is a great location for waterfront dining, with second-story views across the lake. Local musicians  entertain guests Fridays from 6-9 p.m.

Fat Cat Bar and Grill: Fat Cat offers casual ambience yet great food with upscale flair. The menu is full of locally sourced burgers and creative American cuisine. Located on Tahoe City’s main drag, it’s also a great choice for those wanting to take a stroll around town before dinner. They offer live music Friday and Saturday nights by bands and musicians such as Panda, a singer-songwriter playing a unique mix of folk, blues, and soul.

Carnelian Bay

Gar Woods Grill & Pier: This lakefront restaurant is well known in Tahoe for its signature cocktail, the “wet woody” and lakefront views, as well as the private pier that offers drive-up parking for boats in the summer. In winter, floor-to-ceiling windows provide amazing views from the North side of the lake. The menu consists of some great “deck favorite” seafood dishes and grilled meat entrees including, lamb, filet mignon, and lobster. On the calendar, there’s live music Fridays and Saturdays with local band Rustler’s Moon playing upbeat country and American folk classics.

Incline Village

Crystal Bay Casino: This historical North Lake casino features two great music venues and was voted the best music venue by residents of Tahoe and Truckee for 2016. The Steak and Lobster House features an upscale selection of hearty meat entrees. In the casino, live music is showcased in both the Red Room and the Casino Crown Room by both local and nationally recognized musicians. A wide variety of acts come through this venue, so it’s best to check the event calendar to stay up to date. This is a great choice for dinner and an entertaining show.