Drinks with a view around North Lake Tahoe

Drinks with a view are to summer what après-ski is to winter around Lake Tahoe. And just like there are tons of great après-ski bars during the winter, there are a plethora of great patio bars around North Lake Tahoe for enjoying drinks during the summer. It’s the quintessential Lake Tahoe summer experience, sitting on a patio enjoying a local craft beer, Wet Woody, or glass of wine with a view. So today I’m sharing some of the best places to enjoy drinks with a view around North Lake Tahoe this summer, many of which (the ones on Lake Tahoe) you can even dock your boat at.

Pier 111 Bar at the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort

Nothing says drinks with a view like a floating waterfront bar suspended over Lake Tahoe. And that’s exactly what you’ll find in Pier 111 at the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe, jutting out from the hotel’s private beach. Open only during the summer months, the bar sits at the end of the Hyatt’s 275-foot floating pier, where you can indulge with your favorite drink in hand while looking out over Lake Tahoe. Furthermore, mere feet away is Lone Eagle Grille, where you can enjoy dining, and a great wine menu, with a view beachfront at the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe.

Gar Woods Grill & Pier

We can’t talk drinks with a view on Lake Tahoe and not mention Gar Woods Grill & Pier, featuring its own pier and waterfront dining in Carnelian Bay. However, million-dollar view as it may afford, Gar Woods is actually most known for the Wet Woody, arguably Lake Tahoe’s most famous drink (and not an innuendo). The drink packs a punch, as I detail in this post of what to drink around Lake Tahoe, and as a frozen libation, is best enjoyed on a warm summer day overlooking Lake Tahoe.

 Martis Valley Grille

The view at Northstar’s Martis Grill is unexpected when driving or walking up to it. That is until you walk on the back patio and are greeted with a view overlooking the Northstar California Golf Course, Martis Valley’s open meadow, and further afield, the rolling Sierra Nevadas. Happy Hour at “The 19th Hole” is offered daily during the summer from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., while weekends are known for the Sunday mimosa brunch.

 Cottonwood Restaurant

Located in Truckee, Cottonwood is hard to miss, with its hilltop location perched above the historic town of Truckee. Once an old ski lodge, Cottonwood now sits high above Truckee, where guests can enjoy drinks on the patio overlooking the town and river below. Additionally, it’s one of the best dinner spots in Truckee, and on weekends has live music. Hello, date night.


SandBar at Christy Hill

The name, SandBar, speaks for itself, located in Tahoe City and overlooking Lake Tahoe's sandy shore. Open during the summer months (beginning in June), the SandBar is open from 3 p.m. on for drinks. Its location on the northwest shore affords a beautiful view across Lake Tahoe as the moon comes over the mountains at twilight. Afterward, step inside to Christy Hill for European fine dining with a California twist.

 Sunnyside Restaurant

Also in Tahoe City is the appropriately named Sunnyside Restaurant and Lodge. While Sunnyside features a couple different dining options year-round, this time of year finds the deck opening up for lunch, dinner, and drinks. Grab a margarita or Duke's Mai Tai, and order some tacos and a piece of hula pie to kick back on the waterfront deck overlooking Lake Tahoe. 

Jake’s on the Lake

Jake’s on the Lake is a long-standing lakefront restaurant in Tahoe City. Jake’s is unique in that it’s a fusion of California and Hawaiian culinary culture, which you’ll recognize with menu items like the ahi poke roll and fish tacos. Fittingly, this is also the place for your favorite Hawaiian drinks, like a Mai Tai. Enjoy it all on the back deck overlooking the marina and Lake Tahoe, or snag a seat on the lawn. 

Moe's Original Bar B Que

Moe’s Original Bar B Que, also located in Tahoe City, may just have the best view of any barbecue restaurant, with its location at the Grove Street Pier featuring lakefront views from every table. Known for their Alabama-style barbecue, Moe’s also has a selection of craft beers to enjoy on the patio overlooking Lake Tahoe. Additionally, if you’re boating around Lake Tahoe, this is a great place to stop in to stock up on food, since Moe’s can put together a barbecue picnic for your party.


Dockside 700 Lakefront Grill & Brewery

Dockside 700 is the self-proclaimed “Best View on the Lake,” overlooking the Tahoe City Marina and Lake Tahoe. Grab a table for a dockside lunch or dinner overlooking the marina, or snatch an open seat on the lawn and bask in the sun. Enjoy a selection of craft beer and wine, many of which are local and regional. 

River Ranch Lodge

River Ranch Lodge is unique in that while it features a waterfront patio bar, that waterfront is actually the Truckee River. Located north of Tahoe City, River Ranch Lodge sits perched above a fast-flowing section of the Truckee River. They have a generous happy hour on food and drinks daily, as well as an impressive wine list, predominantly featuring California wines.

Chambers Landing Bar & Restaurant

Chambers Landing is the original Lake Tahoe boat bar, dating back to the 1800s (yes, seriously). Located on the west shore of Lake Tahoe in Homewood, Chambers Landing is a one-of-a-kind experience with its charming tavern at the end of the pier. Enjoy afternoon drinks with a view on the patio overlooking Lake Tahoe before having a nice meal in the restaurant to top off the experience.

West Shore Café

One of Lake Tahoe’s most recognizable waterfront destinations, West Shore Café is an inn and café on the west shore of Lake Tahoe in Homewood. Enjoy a meal and drink on the patio, overlooking Lake Tahoe, or, for the best seat in the house, grab a table on West Shore Café’s private pier. They have a great wine list, as well as a seasonal craft cocktail menu with their own creations.

All photos from the the restaurants and bars unless otherwise noted. 

Southern born and bred, Spencer was bitten by the travel bug at a young age, flying on a plane for the first time at age five and by himself for the first time at seven. While he continues to travel around the world in search for the best whiskey, Spencer now calls Reno home, where his search is for the best cocktail (and first tracks, naturally). He has written about travel, food, and drinks for a number of publications that have included the Los Angeles Times, National Geographic, Outside Magazine, and Travel + Leisure, just to name a few. See a more candid version of Spencer on his website, whiskeytangoglobetrot.com, and follow him on Twitter and Instagram.