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An activity hub and tourist magnet, South Lake Tahoe is a few hours’ drive from San Francisco. The alpine lake town is a place with winter sports, water sports, bike trails and a vibrant night life with about 300 days of sunshine per year. A great place with easy access to Heavenly Village, the ski destination attracts tourists from far and wide. In a destination with so much foot fall, there are bound to be people in search of good, vegetarian food. And South Lake Tahoe doesn’t disappoint, with ample places offering vegetarian and vegan meal choices. Here are 5 Best Restaurants in South Lake Tahoe, for Great Vegan and Vegetarian Meals, that find favour with food lovers. (And if you’re on a Californian Trip and visiting San Francisco and Los Angeles, we’ve got you covered there too with 11 Top Vegetarian and Vegan Restaurants in San Francisco and 11 Veg Eats in Los Angeles.
1. Blue Angel Café
Blue Angel Café does amazing international cuisine with a laid-back vibe. Highly recommended here is the Coconut Crusted Tofu (US$ 11.50) that is apparently light and crispy on the outside, silky on the inside and comes with a sweet and hot sauce. However, I do not like Tofu, so I went for the vegan & gluten free Sesame Kale Salad, which was extremely good. Blue Angel is famous for massaging their Kale, which breaks up the cell structure and releases glorious nutrients. The salad is tossed with shredded carrots, toasted almonds, cauliflower & cranberries, ginger & toasted-sesame dressing. We also tried the Thai Curry (US$ 15), which again is vegan & gluten free, and is, interestingly, served with quinoa – delicious! The Fresh Mozzarella Sandwich (with Buffalo mozzarella, avocado, lettuce & sun-dried tomato pesto spread on a fresh, warm baguette) was a bit dry and rated average. The kids enjoyed the Marinara Pasta from the Kids’ Menu which was lapped up fast enough.
Blue Angel Cafe: 1132 Ski Run Blvd, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150. P: +1 (530) 544-6544
2. Sprouts Natural Foods Café
If fresh, clean, organic and wholesome is your thing, Sprouts Café is your kind of place. It has one of the best fresh juices around. Though the place is not strictly vegetarian, they have great options for those looking for vegetarian food. Their Tempeh Burger (US$ 8.95, with toppings like melted Monterey Jack cheese, crunchy vegetables, sprouts, avocado, sunflower seeds and stone-ground mustard) is highly recommended, as are the Ugly Gooey Excellent Nachos (US$ 9.25). The portions are generous and so are the flavours. Give the Blueberry Smoothie (US$ 5.50) a go and you won’t regret it. Be ready to wait in line for a place during rush hours on weekends or holidays.
Sprouts Café: 3123 Harrison Ave, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150. P: +1 (530) 541-6969
3. Cold Water Brewery and Grill
Cold Water Brewery and Grill boasts of freshly brewed, hand crafted, all grain beer with delicious comfort food. A wonderful place to hang out with your meat loving friends, it will spoil even the choosiest vegetarian with variety and sumptuousness. Catch a game while you enjoy fresh beer in the jovial vibe of the place. Don’t forget to order their yummy Pretzel Bites (US$7.50, Served with Cheddar Beer Fondue). Tuck in the Veggie Rice Bowl (US$ 15, Wild Rice, Bell Pepper, Broccoli, Carrot, Cashew, Jicama, Mushroom) or the creative Green Grape Salad (Almond, Apple, Bacon, Brussel Sprout, Cranberry, Ricotta, Turnip, Green Grape Vinaigrette) for a delicious meal.
Cold Water Brewery and Grill: 2544 Lake Tahoe Blvd, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150.
4. Base Camp Pizza
Doesn’t this picture just make you drool? Located at the base of the picturesque Heavenly Ski Resort, Base Camp Pizza is the hub for pizza lovers. Their Fire Roasted Medley and Pear & Gorgonzola are popular pizza choices or go for the Pear and Walnut Salad for a healthier meal. All of their pizzas can be made Gluten-Free. Remember to drop by way before you are hungry as the wait times can be quite long.
Base Camp Pizza: 1001 Heavenly Village Way, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150.
5. Azul Latin Kitchen
Another gem in Heavenly Village, Azul Latin Kitchen is a sister concern of Base Camp Pizza Co. Everything here is light, fresh and healthy with a variety of Mexican and South and Central American dishes on offer. All produce used is local and organic, wherever possible, and their drinks use fresh juices instead of ready-mixes. They also prepare gluten-free food on order. They do a wonderful Quinoa Kale Salad (US$ 13.5) and delicious Azul Burrito Bowl (US$16.5). With wonderfully attentive waiting staff, the food experience here is very special.
Azul Latin Kitchen: 1001 Heavenly Village Way, Ste 4, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150.