Where to drink in Truckee

Truckee, with its warm and inviting vibe, is a great town to simply grab a quick pint or make it a night of revelry. No matter what your poison is -- craft cocktails, beer, wine, or drinks from a dive -- you'll find options beyond what you’d find in your average ski town. You've got bars that lend themselves to both beverage geeks and casual imbibers, while others are no-fuss bars you can enjoy for a game of pool and divey atmosphere. Still, some will want to go straight to the source, the winery or brewery -- and that’s possible, too. Well look no further, I've got you covered on where to drink in the North Lake Tahoe area ski town of Truckee.

Cocktail Bars

Old Town Tap. The cocktail menu at this new, casual spot, Old Town Tap, wonderfully complements its Italian-Californian cuisine. Cocktails here are equally creative and delicious, such as the Chunky Monkey, made with Irish whiskey, walnut, mole, and bananas. However, you can also simply belly up to the bar to catch a game with a craft beer (they have more than 14 on tap!). Old Town Tap's casual atmosphere, combined with excellent food to enjoy with your drinks, may make it hard for you to drop by for merely drinks, however. But that's a good problem to have.

Barrel-aged Cocktail at Moody's

Moody’s. Enjoy a barrel-aged cocktail at the bar at Moody’s, in full view of the barrels from which it came. The barrels rest on the top shelf of the bar, continuously aging next month’s special. The entire drink menu is solid, however with top-notch bartenders at the ready to modify a drink’s specification exactly to your liking, but also prepared to give you solid suggestions. Live music bounces off the red hued walls to create a special ambiance ripe for relaxing, enjoying times with friends and meeting friendly strangers.

Truckee Tavern. The drinks at Truckee Tavern will raise your level of drinking. The cocktail menu is sophisticated, characterized by a wide selection of spirits and custom craft cocktails you don’t normally see in a ski town watering hole. Those adventurous imbibers will enjoy a dealer’s choice straight from the bartender -- simply select a spirit. But don't forget the wine list, which holds its own and is perfect for pairing with Truckee Tavern’s excellent food.

Craft Beer

Mellow Fellow. Hopheads will rejoice over Mellow Fellow’s 40 taps, which frequently rotate, enabling them to provide a constantly changing variety of craft beers. With such a frequently rotating tap list, most of which are local and regional, there's always a reason to come back. Pair your pints with a variety of locally made sausages, large pretzels and hearty sandwiches from their trim but quality food menu.

Fifty Fifty Brewing Company. There’s nothing like visiting the local ski town brewpub, and in Truckee, Fifty Fifty Brewing Company is just that. Fifty Fifty has a variety of styles, from Belgian tripels to award-winning imperial stouts and barley wines. Enjoy all of these different beer styles inside their restaurant, which is open for lunch and dinner, and with items like soups, pizzas and calzones.

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Tahoe Mountain Brewing. Located off the main thoroughfare of downtown Truckee, Tahoe Mountain Brewing is another award-winning brewery, best known for their unique barrel-aged beers and wild ales. Grab a seat at their tasting room bar to try any number of their interesting beers, such as the barrel-aged Saison or sour dark ale. Or, pick up some bottles or a growler to take home.

Wine

Uncorked Truckee. Vinos will want to check out a little wine bar in downtown Truckee called Uncorked. Wines from all over the world comprise this wine bar's menu, which frequently rotates, for a different flight of wine every time you visit. Uncorked's friendly, helpful staff are equipped to help you find any kind of wine to your liking, while introducing you to varietals you probably haven’t even heard of in the process. They’ve also got live music from time to time -- the perfect accompaniment to your wine and cheese plate. Meanwhile, check out Uncorked's website for wine club membership.

The Pour House. The Pour House is a little off-the-beaten-path wine bar in Truckee for wine lovers of all types. Dean and Christa, the owners, are always helpful and friendly, ready to assist in helping you find a wine you love. Not to mention that many of their wines are incredibly well-priced, so there's always a reason to stop in, even if for just a quick tasting. Their broad, unique selection of wines are the main event, and are complemented further by Pour House's variety of cheese. 

Truckee River Winery. Visit the tasting room at Truckee River Winery (their iconic red barn, pictured below from Truckee River Winery) for a great wine experience right at the source. Here, they also have tapas and deli items to complement your tasting experience. Whether your favorite wine varietal is Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Zinfandel, or Malbec, Truckee River Winery has them all, sourcing their grapes from some of the West Coast's best wine regions. The cozy fireplace is perfect for a winter visit, and they've also got bocce ball courts for the perfect Sunday Funday activity. 

Dives

Pastime Club. For those who just want a glass of beer, wine or a no-nonsense cocktail, head to Pastime Club, a festive dive bar serviced by friendly bartenders. Brimming with locals, this is your spot if blending in with a local vibe is your idea of fun. Put in a few coins to play tunes on the jukebox, watch a game on the HD screen, play pool on one of the tables, or go head-to-head with a friend on shuffleboard. What more can you ask from a ski town dive bar in Truckee?

Tourist Club. Truckee's other dive bar, the Tourist Club, is one of oldest bars in town. The kitschy paraphernalia and dated photos of stars long past only gives it more charm. Again, you'll find locals hanging out here, of whom you'll likely find yourself in a pool match with one. Bartenders are friendly, providing you with your favorite dive drink of choice, before you take the stage for karaoke. 

Esther is a freelance writer, avid snowboarder, food enthusiast, worldwide traveler, and occasional musician based in Los Angeles. Whether on the mountain or off, she is always looking for the best places to eat and drink in the vicinity. Her writing career began with a food blog over ten years ago and she has since contributed to the L.A. Times, Eater, Discover LA, Thrillist, GOOD Magazine, Time Out, and more. Follow Esther on Twitter and Instagram.