Fuel a day of adventures by starting off on the right foot — with the best breakfast in South Lake Tahoe. Whether you’re heading to the beach or skiing the region’s famed slopes, begin with a morning meal at both new and storied breakfast hot spots. From hearty stacks of pancakes to grab-and-go smoothies and sandwiches, we’ve found a.m. favorites for every kind of Tahoe traveler.
California classic Heidi’s Pancake House has been serving breakfast from its yellow South Shore chalet for more than 55 years. Their signature dishes include pancakes topped with fresh fruit or crispy bacon, golden waffles and inventive yogurt-stuffed crepes. You’ll love Heidi’s homey vibes and convenient location close to the lake, Heavenly Ski Resort, Lake Tahoe Vacation Resort and Tahoe Beach & Ski Club.
Down the road from Heidi’s, find another longtime South Lake Tahoe favorite: Ernie’s Coffee Shop. The shop’s been making morning meals since 1968, and is as old-school as cafes come — but that doesn’t mean it’s dated.
Fill up with Ernie’s Protein Pancake Breakfast — two egg-white cakes mixed with pineapple, oatmeal, applesauce and protein powder — or the Big Mountain Meal, which features three eggs any style, six sausages or bacon slices, home fries and a biscuit. Try custom-roasted Alpen Sierra Coffee Roasting Company brews in a one-of-a-kind Ernie’s Mountainlands blend.
If you’re planning to cruise north to Carnelian Bay, stop by the Old Post Office Cafe. It’s housed — unsurprisingly — in an old post office and offers made-from-scratch waffles and pancakes (try the banana walnut), fluffy omelets and home-fried potato plates topped with sautéed veggies.
Trendy Tahoe Breakfast Joints
When you’re not craving a greasy spoon experience, start the day at South Lake Tahoe’s hip and healthy breakfast cafes. Both Revive Coffee and Wine and The Morning After are minutes from Heavenly’s slopes, just 1.3 miles away from Diamond’s Lake Tahoe Vacation Resort and Tahoe Beach & Ski Club, and three miles from Tahoe Seasons Resort.
During warmer months, dine on Revive’s beautiful forested patio, tasting specialties such as avocado toast, hearty breakfast bowls, creative panini sandwiches and artisan drip or pour-over coffees. The Morning After is the South Shore’s newest breakfast cafe, featuring stuffed bagel sandwiches, fruit-topped açaí bowls, organic waffles and a rooftop seating area. But we’re here for the inventive seasonal lattes in flavors like marigold mocha and rose cardamom.
Fuel up before you hit the slopes or head for a hike at Heavenly Village’s Creative Crepes. Its upstairs location is near the gondola, but feels removed from the crowds and offers 25 combinations for crepes of both the sweet and savory variety. Their sweet crepes are crowd favorites — including the classic Nutella and fruit, and pineapple upside-down options — but the savory Caprese crepe is equally satisfying when you’re craving something salty.
Clean, Fresh Cafes
Seeking healthy fare or on a special diet? South Lake Tahoe is home to morning options for any kind of eater. To find the town’s best smoothies when cruising down Lake Tahoe Boulevard, just look for a tiny, bright green shack to find Free Bird. The small pull-over-spot serves organic coffee, spicy homemade chai lattes and nutrient-packed smoothies with inventive names like Kale Yeah and Sea Bird. Just a block from the beach, Free Bird is an amazing on-the-go option for busy mornings.
A quick drive from Diamond’s properties, find another clean-fare favorite called Sprouts. This counter-service, vegetarian restaurant is open all year and known for its breakfast burritos and hot cereals prepared daily with organic ingredients. Coffee refills are free when dining in, and portions are generous for their quality and cost.
Try Sprouts’ Breakfast Special, an open-faced bagel sandwich topped with egg salad, cheese, veggies and guacamole and paired with fresh juice. Or, choose the Mexican-inspired Huevo Verduras, which replaces meat with slow-cooked beans and partners it with steamed eggs and fresh veggies covered with cheese, salsa and avocado.
Before you jump in the lake or ride a gondola to the slopes, cast your vote for the best breakfast in Lake Tahoe at these unique eateries.
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