Truckee, California is a beautiful mountain destination no matter the time of year. From the beautiful Sierra Nevada Mountains providing plenty of adventures for outdoor enthusiasts year-round to the lovely boutiques and galleries dotting the street, this town has something for everyone, including foodies. From casual venues to fine dining gems, we’ve curated a list of the best dining destinations in the area.
Bar, Coffee Shop, Coffee, American, Fast Food, Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-free, $$$
Coffeebar is a great Italian-inspired cafe to visit if you would like to savor top-notch coffee and delightful treats. A multiple award-winning outfit, along with its Reno location, this coffee bar is a friendly joint where you’ll feel at home, complete with a warm, inviting interior adorned with local art to provide a feast for the eyes. On the drinks menu, you’ll find traditional espresso-based beverages alongside specialty options, including the caffé marocchino with Nutella, gelato, espresso, whipped cream, and cocoa. To sate your hunger pangs, try a freshly baked pastry, including croissants, scones, muffins, and more, or something more filling like crepes, panini, and salads.
For a fine-dining option with a full bar, along with a spectacular view of downtown Truckee and the breathtaking Sierra Nevada Mountains, be sure to include Cottonwood Restaurant and Bar on your list of dining establishments. Tucked inside one of the oldest ski lodges in the country and serving dinner every evening, this multiple award-winning gem features a menu with mainstay entrées and specials, all brimming with sustainable seafood options, grass-fed beef, and organic produce whenever possible. Try the Tahoe Food Hub butternut squash enchilada with Ancho chili mole, cilantro, white cheddar, and toasted pumpkin seeds, or the grass-fed Durham Ranch cheeseburger with waffle fries. Cottonwood also displays incredible art and features live music Thursdays and Fridays.
Opened in 2007 by Eric Barton and Tom Marrin, Full Belly Deli is guaranteed to make your belly very happy. Specializing in delicious, thick deli sandwiches, along with other tasty highlights, this deli’s team is a friendly one, making sure that everyone who visits feels welcome. The menu features flavorful options such as the veggie press sandwich with a marinated portobello mushroom, roasted red pepper, and pepperoncini all on foccacia, the hot pastrami with cheddar, green chilies, and Dijon mustard, and the build-your-own option. Fully Belly Deli also serves tasty breakfast options, all of which can be sampled Monday to Saturday.
If you’re looking for some good ol’ comfort food, then Marty’s Café is the place to go. Opened in 2012 by Chef Marty Carlton, this downtown cafe’s homey interior is the perfect environment in which to feast upon home-style dishes all made with freshest ingredients — locally sourced when possible. Serving breakfast and lunch seven days a week, Marty’s breakfast menu offers an array of tantalizing options, including Israeli couscous with coconut milk, dried mango, raisins, and almonds, eggs benedict (changes each day), and French toast with bananas and chocolate fondue. The lunch menu is equally impressive, with cold and hot hero sandwiches, burgers, and hot dogs.
For the freshest seafood and fish available, Morgan’s Lobster Shack and Fish Market is a definite must-try. Wanting to offer the folks in Truckee a taste of the East Coast, the owners opened Morgan’s, which offers a variety of tasty dishes that are sure to please any seafood lover. With fish arriving daily, you are guaranteed to enjoy a super fresh meal made in combination with locally sourced, organic products whenever available. The menu offers those feeling creative the ability to flex their muscles by building their own salad, wrap, or sandwich by choosing a fish, cooking style, seasoning, and how they want it served. Diners can also choose a specialty item like the classic lobster roll or lobster grilled cheese. Morgan’s is open daily for lunch and dinner.
Located in the heart of historic downtown, Pianeta is a warm, intimate venue specializing in Italian cuisine that is sure to make mouths water. Within a beautiful warm and cozy space, complete with comfy booths and rustic decor, discerning diners can feast upon a host of Northern Italian specialties. The menu features everything from appetizers to house-made pasta to entrées to tempting desserts. Highlights include the ravioli bolognese with house-made ricotta, parmesan cheese ravioli, a delicious ragu of beef, veal and tomato, spinach, mozzarella and parmesan, and the chicken Marsala with sautéed mushrooms, grilled spinach and orecchiette pasta. Complement the meal with a selection from their impressive wine list. Open for dinner every night, reservations are recommended.
With a food truck and a cafe, Red Truck is tantalizing taste buds all over Truckee. Chef Larry Abney, with over 20 years of experience, is at the helm of this exciting food venture; therefore, you know it is going to be delicious. Located a little off the beaten track at the Truckee Tahoe Airport, this cafe’s menu is sure to satisfy a wide range of tastes. Recent highlights include green curry broccoli soup, the almond chicken samosa with a date chutney dip, the smoked pulled pork sandwich with BBQ sauce and Dijon slaw and the Bombay sandwich with roasted beets, Indian potato, mint chutney, tomato, onion and chaat masala. Be sure to check out their Facebook page for what they’re cooking up today.
A small chain restaurant, Squeeze In has its roots in Truckee. Indeed, it was established here in 1974 and got its name due to its tiny interior. Today, it is owned by the Young family who have turned it into a thriving and growing business, with a total of five locations (so far). A breakfast and lunch joint, this establishment is known for its hearty portions, so be sure to come hungry. Within an eclectic interior where guests can leave their mark on the walls, diners can devour massive omelettes, including the Racy Tracy with bacon, avocado, mushrooms and Monterey jack cheese, egg benedict, French toast and more. As for lunch there are salads, burgers, sandwiches, plus other tasty options. Squeeze In is open every day.
Hotel Restaurant, Diner, American, Vegetarian, Vegan, Asian, Gluten-free
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Not a typical restaurant, Stella is something unique and a definite must-try when in Truckee. Located at The Cedar House Sport Hotel, this restaurant specializes in pop-up dinners, which they offer several times each month. It’s a great way to enjoy something different while meeting new people — diners sit at communal tables. Guests can even walk around the kitchen, making this an experience much different than that of a traditional restaurant. Upcoming themed dinners include ‘English Winter,’ ‘Basque Night,’ and ‘Go Fish!’. As it is a pop-up event, reservations are required, which can be made here.
All the way from NYC, chefs John and Nyna Weatherson are the proud owners of Trokay, located in downtown Truckee. Creating beautifully plated, modern dishes, the chefs produce colorful works of edible art that are brimming with incredible flavors. The lovely interior is equally modern, giving guests a truly wonderful culinary experience they won’t soon forget. Menus include à la carte, prix fixe and Chef’s tasting varieties with delectable highlights from the winter menu being the roasted loin of venison with pommes mousseline, chanterelle and sauce Bordelaise and the Kauai white shrimp, sea urchin, cauliflower and citrus beurre blanc. Guests will also have a selection of beer and wine to choose from to complement the exquisite fare. Trokay is open Friday to Tuesday for dinner.