Try three South Tahoe coffee hot spots |

Try three South Tahoe coffee hot spots

Jack Barnwell |
Freel Perk offers up coffee treats, including lattes with a hand-crafted touch.
Jack Barnwell / Tahoe Daily Tribune |

Perk up in South Lake Tahoe by visiting one or all these local coffee shops.

Rude Brothers Bagels and Coffee Haus

Where: 3117 Harrison Ave., South Lake Tahoe

Hours: 6 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Sunday

Recommended: Muenster Melt breakfast bagel and Midnight Grasshopper latte


Rude Brothers Bagels and Coffee Haus brews different blends of coffee, including its robust house Ethiopian/Costa Rican cup of joe. The shop also offers signature smoothies, including the Rude Awakening II for $4.95, a mix of strawberries, bananas, ice cream, orange juice, Vitamin C and ginseng.

Since it’s close to the lake, Rude Brothers gets crowded later in the week, especially on the holidays. The interior offers a familiar atmosphere, with walls decorated with local art.

Rude Brothers supplies a wide selection of bagels, too — from jalapeno cheddar to poppy seed — and varieties of cream cheeses. A good selection is the Muenster Melt for $4.95, a bagel topped with tomatoes and Muenster cheese sprinkled with garlic pepper.

Freel Perk

Where: 3141 U.S. Highway 50, Meyers

Hours: 6 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Sunday

Recommended: Any coffee drink and English muffin, or a Genoa Sunrise smoothie


Walk into Freel Perk in Meyers and the aroma of fresh-brewed coffee alone wakes you up. Local real estate agent Barbara Gerland opened the coffee shop because Meyers lacked one of its own.

The cafe’s exterior has a rustic, mountain-town vibe that defines the Meyers Station business plaza. Inside, there’s a splash of artwork and cozy seating arrangements. More seating exists outside in the “Heart of Meyers” plaza.

Freel Perk brews coffee made by Minden-based Alpen Sierra Coffee Company. Bagels and sweets are delivered from Rude Brothers and Sugar Pine Bakery in South Lake Tahoe.

Freel Perk also makes smoothies, like the Genoa Sunrise, a blend of milk, honey, peaches and strawberries for $5.50.

Barista Jennifer Lay started a Kickstarter campaign to help her purchase the cafe and keep it local.

Alpina Cafe Lake Tahoe

Where: 822 Emerald Bay Road, South Lake Tahoe

Hours: 6 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Sunday

Recommended: Cafe Au Lait coffee drink and Alpina Sunrise breakfast sandwich


Alpina Cafe offers it all: a wide selection of coffee drinks, pastries, breakfast sandwiches and light lunches.

Located in a farmhouse spruced up over the decades, Alpina offers a spacious interior the feels like an upscale hole-in-the-wall stopover on the way to and from Camp Richardson.

Try the cafe au lait for $2.75, made from the brew of the day and steamed milk, or the Death Rider for $4.45, a cold Mocha Neve made with chocolate powder, an espresso shot, milk and ice.

Alpina serves up coffee roasted by Alpen Sierra Coffee Company in Gardnerville, and most of its pastries are made locally. The coffee house offers free Wi-Fi and two computer work stations for its customers as well.

Bonus: A ghost apparently haunts the place since its farmhouse days.

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