San Francisco to Lake Tahoe Road Trip Food Guide



Last Update: 12/22/2022

San Francisco to Lake Tahoe Road Trip Food Guide

Big Ass Pork Chop – Moody’s Truckee

Many of us travel from San Francisco Bay Area to Lake Tahoe for snowboarding or skiing in the Winter or fun and frolic in the summer.  The three hour plus drive is long and requires some breaks. Drive times are often far longer than that. Traffic jams typically occur in the Bay Area, Solano area, and Sacramento. Beating traffic oftens involves driving late at night.

We could not find a listing of possible places to dine at, so here are some standout places on the way that we have found. No need to stop at McDonalds any more.

Please add comments with more suggests. No chain restaurants and the places must be near Highway 50 or 80!

Here is our foodies guide to a great trip.


Lots of great places here.


Lots of great places here too..

Asian Pearl Richmond Beef short rib with Papaya


  • Asian Pearl – Chinese Cantonese Dim Sum and Dinner done right.


  • In N Out – 1417 Fitzgerald Dr

Port Costa:

  • Bull Valley Restaurant – Unique out of the way destination near Carquinez Bridge. Great for a meal on the way back home. Great food and cocktails.


  • Bud’s Burgers – 3849 Sonoma Blvd – Yelp – Pho #1 is right next door.


Black Bear Diner Shasta tri tip


  • Sit down American – Backdoor Bistro and Wine Bar – Yelp
  • American Artery clogging American food – Black Bear Diner
  • American – Ice Cream Fountain – Nut Tree Complex – Fentons
  • In N Out – 170 Nut Tree Parkway
  • Vietnamese Pho – Pho Lee Hoa Phat – 88 Peabody Road – Yelp
  • Rice Barn Thai – Yelp


  • Fruit, snacks, drinks – Pedrick Produce – Yelp


  • Formerly Murder Burger – Redrum Burger – Yelp


  • Pizza Joint – One Speed Pizza – Yelp
  • BBQ – Momos Meat Market – Yelp
  • Korean Food – Oz Korean BBQ – Yelp
  • South – Southern Counter service – Yelp
  • The Waterboy – Best local spot – Yelp
  • Upscale American in Old Sacramento – The Firehouse Restaurant in Old Sacramento
  • Another fancy spot – The Kitchen – Yelp
  • In N Out – 780 Ikea Ct – West Sacramento


  • Burgers, chicken bowls, Pies – Ikeda’s of Auburn (Busy place)
  • Tacos, Nachos, Quesadillas – El Portal Taqueria, Auburn – Across from McDonald’s. Massive Nachos and Quesadillas with real chicken.  Lots of cops come here
  • Pizza – Old Town Pizza – Yelp
  • In N Out – 130 Grass Valley Highway


  • Westfield Galleria has several restaurants and a food court that includes sirloin specialist Buckhorn.
  • Mikuni Sushi – Yelp
  • American Food – Bar 101 Eats and Drinks – Yelp
  • In N Out – 1803 Taylor


  • Pot pies – Z-Pie – Yelp
  • American Food – Bricks – Yelp
  • American Grill – Old Town Grill – Yelp
  • Japanese – Shilla Teriyaki & Sushi Bar – Yelp


  • Pizza – Pizzaiolo – Yelp

Pollock Pines:

  • Burgers – Burger Barn – Yelp

Tahoe City:

  • Spoon – Amazing New American Spot, impressed – Yelp
  • Uncommon Kitchen – Great natural foods store with a to-go counter in the back. Great roast beef and turkey sandwiches, Thai Coconut noodle bowl.  They run out of sushi in the afternoon, so you need to come before then or call ahead. Lots of vegan items.
  • River Ranch Lodge – Near Alpine meadows.  Really bad reviews on Yelp (3 stars), probably because it is so expensive.  At dinner the French Dip for $14 is reasonable.  Their Roasted Elk $33 was fabulous but tiny in portion size.
  • Breakfast – Fire Sign Cafe – Yelp


  • Classic Place with great food – Moodys
  • Typical Brew pub with moderately priced food – Fifty Fifty – Yelp
  • Raleys One – Is a special grocery store that sells more healthy items

North Lake Tahoe:

  • Fancy Ritz Carlton restaurant – Manzanita
  • Squaw Valley Classic – Plumpjack Cafe
  • Moderate Squaw Valley Restaurant – Twenty – Two

South Lake Tahoe:

  • Buffet City – Forest Buffet in Harrahs Lake Tahoe – Not cheap, not great
  • Kalani’s – Expensive Japanese Food.  Stick to the cheaper rolls
  • Base Camp Pizza Co – One of the cheaper bets in the Heavenly Stateline complex
  • My Thai Cuisine – Yelp
  • Breakfast – Red Hut Cafes – Yelp
  • Sprouts Natural Foods Cafe – Yelp
  • Taqueria Jalisco – Yelp
  • Taste of Europe – Yelp


Restaurant Map:

Food Rating: (Good)
Service Rating: (Good)
Atmosphere Rating: (Good)
Value Rating: (Good)

Guide: 0 = poor, 1 = Below/Average, 2 = Good, 2.5 = Very Good, 3 = Excellent , 4 = Extraordinary

Alcohol:Beer, Wine

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