Heavenly — Dining
Evan’s American Gourmet Cafe (530-542-1990; $$$) on Rte. 89 has become one of the best-liked restaurants on the South Shore. The chef prepares California Cuisine with an unusual flair. Expect to pay for his efforts, but they are well worth it.
For a superb meal, great wine list and attentive service—with a beautiful view—head to Friday’s Station (775-588-6611; $$$; above) at the top of Harrah’s casino-hotel.
Other recommendations are Fresh Ketch (530-541-5683; $$$) for fish; Dory’s Oar (530-541-6603; $$$) for steaks and seafood; or ECHO Restaurant & Lounge (530-543-2140; $$–$$$) in the Embassy Suites hotel for its delicious American fusion cuisine.
Beacon (530-541-0630; $$–$$$) at Camp Richardson is known for its blackened prime rib. Nephele’s (530-544-8130; $$) serves California cuisine in a cozy setting. Next door to Nephele’s is an outstanding restaurant called Cafe Fiori (530-541-2908; $$). It doesn’t seat many, so reservations are a must. The food and the wine list are superb.
Several new restaurants have opened in Heavenly Village. The energetic and fun FiRE + iCE (530-542-6650; $–$$) at Marriott’s Timber Lodge next to the gondola is an improvisational grill where you choose the ingredients for the chef to grill.
Cabo Wabo Cantina (775-588-2411; $$) in Harveys Resort Casino is open for lunch and dinner. It specializes in authentic but creative Mexican dishes such as fresh guacamole, ahi tuna tacos, fried ice cream (to die for – really) and frozen margarita cake. Expect excellent service, fresh, fresh, fresh ingredients and large portions of great food. When the clock strikes 10 p.m., it turns into a hopping nightclub.
Good reasonable restaurants include The Cantina Bar and Grill (544-1233; $) for Mexican; Scusa (530-542-0100; $$) for Italian (a local favorite); Sato Japanese Restaurant (530-544-0774 or 775-588-1914; $–$$) in the Horizon Casino for surprisingly good sushi specials; Shoreline Cafe (530-541-7858; $$) for good pasta specials and an extensive kids’ menu; or The Tudor Pub (530-541-6603; $–$$), upstairs from Dory’s Oar, for fish & chips and European beers on tap. And Del Soul (775-588-3515; $$) is a casual Mexican Grill.
Sprouts (530-541-6969; $) is another local favorite. The extensive menu includes rice bowls, hummus melts and lasagna. Don’t miss the smoothies, especially if you’re ailing after a long night. A shot of wheatgrass might cure all. A small eclectic cafe with an island atmosphere (check out the salt and pepper shakers on each table), Freshies (542-3630; $) is another good bet for fresh, healthy food. In keeping with the name, the cafe offers half off soups on powder days.
For great breakfasts head to the Red Hut Waffle Shop (530-541-9024; $), where you can pack into a small room and listen to the talk of the town. Another branch is on Kingsbury Grade (775-588-7488; $), handy for skiers heading to the Nevada side of Heavenly. At Heidi’s (530-544-8113; $), get anything from dozens of types of Belgian waffles to chocolate pancakes. The Horizon’s Four Seasons serves a basic breakfast, and you can pick up a latte at Starbucks in the hotel lobby.
And just in case you crave a malt “so thick it holds the straw up,” go to the Zephyr Cove Resort. Try the banana-chocolate shake. Alpen Sierra Coffee Roasting Company, at Hwy. 50 and Pioneer, is considered one of the area’s best coffeehouses and serves locally roasted mountain coffee.
On the mountains:
At Heavenly, table linen lunch service is offered at Monument Peak Restaurant ($–$$) at the top of the tram. East Peak Lodge ($) and the Sky Deck ($) both have outdoor lunch service and sun-drenched tables, but we recommend bringing your own food. Boulder Lodge ($–$$) has Mexican food.
The best on-mountain lunch we had was at Sierra-at-Tahoe. We had a delicious Thai chicken wrap (kind of like a burrito), washed down with a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale at The Sierra Pub ($) in the day lodge. The pub serves several microbrews and wine by the glass, as well as nonalcoholic beverages. On weekends, there’s live music on the sundeck. Another option is the Grandview Bar & Grille ($) at the summit, where you can chow down on Asian fare such as Kung Pao chicken and lettuce wraps while you drink in the views. Fresh-ground coffee and fresh-baked goods are sold in the day lodge ($).
Dining Legend: $$$$–Entrees $30+; $$$–$$20–$30; $$–$10–$20; $–less than $10