Five South Lake Tahoe countertop stops
South Lake Tahoe has always had a casual, laid-back atmosphere to it. This feeling extends to the food scene as well. Eating out is often a casual affair in South Lake Tahoe, whether it’s at a sit-down, high-end restaurant or a favorite burger spot. However, a lot of people want to skip the routine of sitting down and get straight to ordering the meal. South Lake Tahoe has plenty of choices on the menu, so this is just a sampler.
Verde Mexican Rotisserie
3141 U.S. Highway 50, Meyers
Dishing out: Mexican
Recommended: Verde Burrito (for vegetarians) or the Chicken Plate
Verde (“green’ in Spanish) puts a refined twist on Mexican cuisine, using fresh, quality ingredients with an eye toward sustainability. Domi and Katy Chavarria opened the restaurant in December 2014. Everything from tacos, burritos and quesadillas to full plates are prepared in generous proportions for what chef Jeremy Sherman calls “casual gourmet.” Verde’s exterior has the classic Meyers mountain town feel, with ample seating inside and a shared patio outside.
3123 Harrison Ave., South Lake Tahoe
Dishing out: Mostly vegetarian
Recommended: Santa Fe Burger or Volcano Salad and any smoothie
A vegetarian or health-conscious eater’s paradise, Sprouts redefines what it means to eat healthy. Since 1990, owners Tyler and Cheryl Cannon have provided locals and visitors a diverse selection of salads, burgers and smoothies, and even gooey nacho plates. Health-conscious carnivores have some options too, with a few turkey choices. A bright interior, gorgeous patio and short walk to the lake make it an ideal place for lunch or dinner. Dog-friendly is a plus. The only hitch: carry cash or local check since Sprouts doesn’t accept credit or debit. An ATM is on-site.
Izzy’s Burger Spa
2591 Lake Tahoe Blvd., South Lake Tahoe
Dishing out: Burgers, fries and more
Recommended: Izzy’s Special or Calamari Sandwich
The smoke signals coming from Izzy’s Burger Spa make it hard to miss when travelling down Lake Tahoe Boulevard. If you have a burger craving, Izzy’s is a great place to be pampered. Walking in, you’re assaulted with the aroma of beef on the grill. Family-owned since 1982, the burger shack dishes out American classics and its signature Izzy’s Special — a patty mixed with peppers and onions served up on a french roll. Don’t forget the order of Frings, one half fries and one half onion rings. While it’s cozy on the inside, the backyard patio’s a perfect spot for a summer meal.
3079 Harrison Ave., South Lake Tahoe
Dishing out: Classic Mexican
Recommended: Super Burrito or tacos
A small, laid-back atmosphere with plenty of seating, Jalisco evokes a classic Mexican taqueria where one can enjoy a good cerveza. It’s a place that provides a quick bite to eat at a bargain price. We’re talking small tacos at $1.50 a piece with a choice of pastor, carne asada, beef, chicken and lengua for meat or a super burrito for $6.50 and a variety of plates. A $20 bill can easily feed two people. An old-school eatery, they accept only cash.
Tahoe Keys Café
2279 Lake Tahoe Blvd. #2, South Lake Tahoe
Dishing out: Breakfast sandwiches, burritos and sandwiches
Recommended: Breakfast burrito in the morning, Pastrami Rueben for lunch
Keys Café has an eclectic feel to it, embracing a combined mountain-cabin and coffee-house style. A breakfast burrito and a cup of joe or espresso can fill you up at breakfast. Treats are stationed at the front door for customers’ canine companions, and computers are available in the back for paying customers.
Correction: This version corrects the name of Verde’s chef.