Kings Beach is a quirky, little beach community on Lake Tahoe’s northern beaches, California, with a laid-back alpine vibe. There are no casinos here, only beautiful vistas of this crystal blue body of water surrounded by the Sierra Nevada mountains, with its own unique scene of excellent sites to visit and things to enjoy in both summer and winter. And the Kings Beach restaurants continue this magnificent tradition by serving a wide variety of cuisine to suit a wide range of tastes.
This is an area that is primarily owned and maintained by locals, which is refreshing. It’s relaxed, unpretentious, and family-friendly. Main Street (CA State Road 28) runs through town, through restaurants, beach shops, art galleries, and numerous charming, eccentric family-run motels and cottages with a 1950s and 1960s Americana vibe.
There is a fantastic local gastronomic scene. Expect Tahoe natives to be dressed casually. From fluffy French breakfast to Mexican, burgers and ribs, inventive pizzas, dive bars, and exquisite dining, there is something for everyone.
A brief history of the neighborhood: The Washoe people have lived in the Lake Tahoe Basin for thousands of years. They lost all of their lands and were forced out during the gold and silver rushes of the mid-1800s, which drew flocks of immigrants from Europe and throughout the globe to mine and log. Members of the Washoe Tribe of California and Nevada reside on tiny colonies and other sites today, attempting to establish a land base in the Tahoe Basin.
It is one of the world’s most magnificent alpine lake areas, and Lake Tahoe hosted the 1960 Olympics. Significant portions have been conserved as a result of the efforts of several non-profit, government, and private actors, woods have grown back after being clear-cut, and much of the purity of this lake’s deep waters has been regained.
Dine and play amid towering Jeffrey and Sierra lodgepole pines and dazzling aspens at Kings Beach. Dip your toes into sparkling seas on rocky beaches while marveling at the surrounding mountains, or go on a winter wonderland trip. Its unique habitat is a lovely visit in any season.
Today, here are seven of our must-try Kings Beach eateries.
Not in the mood to dine out tonight? Click here to have Grubhub deliver right to your door from the greatest restaurants in town.
Visiting other California cities? See our other gourmet guides:
- The Best Restaurants in Tustin, California
- Where to Eat in Ft. Bragg
- The Best Oceanside, CA Restaurants
- Top Restaurants in Costa Mesa
- Top Places to Eat in Cambria, CA
7 Must-Try Restaurants in Kings Beach
The Kings Café
North Lake Boulevard, +1-530-546-36638421 North Lake Boulevard
Kings Caf is a nice informal restaurant. It is open for breakfast and lunch and is situated on the corner of one of the town’s many roundabouts. You’ll be pleased you stopped with Lake Tahoe as a background. Alfredo Perez, the restaurant’s manager and chef, creates each meal to order, and the ingredients are always fresh. They are one of the few establishments in town that open at 7:00 a.m.
The French toast, studded with strawberries and whipped cream, was as lovely as it was tasty. A crunchy chunk of bacon added a salty bite, and the bread was particularly thick, fluffy, and light.
The tasty breakfast tacos were stuffed with eggs, sausage, onions, peppers, and guacamole, and the warm and toasty tortillas.
We also tried the Vegetable King sandwich. The wheat bread stood up well to the crisp mixed greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, roasted red peppers, onions, and avocados, as well as a piece of pepper jack and pesto aioli.
Delicious burgers, large salads, and excellent tacos and wraps are all on the menu. Check out the daily specials board!
Kings is king for your Kings Beach breakfast.
La Mexicana Taqueria
Brook Avenue, +1-530-546-03108515
This small hole provides true border town-style Mexican cuisine and has a complete Mexican carniceria and bakery if you’re searching for a take-out restaurant. A neighborhood favorite that serves breakfast, lunch, and supper on a side street accessible by a round-about.
Taqueria La Mexicana’s menu features typical breakfast favorites such as Chilaquiles with Huevos, Machaca and Eggs, and Huevos Rancheros.
Tacos & Tortas, Burritos and Quesadillas are made from family recipes and use a variety of meats such as Carne Asada, Chicken, Carnitas, Al Pastor, Buche (pig gut), and more. There are also vegetarian choices.
I ordered two tacos loaded with pieces of pork marinated in a rich, fragrant al pastor sauce. They were a little oily, but this is a border town. The freshness was enhanced by the addition of chopped onions and cilantro on top. The platter was completed with Mexican rice and a dab of refried beans topped with shredded queso fresco.
The bakery specializes in Mexican bread and creates Pasteles Tres Leches, Choco Flan, Vanilla Cake, and other sweets on-site every day. This Kings Beach Mexican staple is perfect for a south-of-the-border flare in a north-of-the-border state.
Jason’s Beachfront Grille
+1-530-546-33158338 North Lake Blvd.
Over the last 36 years, Jasons Beachside Grille has been located on a parcel with large trees dispersed throughout. Housed in the original building and restaurant erected in the 1940s, it is in a wonderful position, directly on the beach with beachfront access, and they feature live music outdoors at night during non-pandemic summers.
Its signature dishes include baby back ribs, steaks, burgers, and handmade French onion soup.
Jasons is an excellent choice for a sunny lunch or to unwind after a day on the lake. It has a typical beach atmosphere, with rock music playing, a full bar, and Adrift Tahoe, a Polynesian-inspired stand-up paddle and kayak business next door. The service is excellent, and everyone we interacted with praised the owner, Monte Webb.
The baby back ribs were soft and flavorful, having been slow-roasted for six to seven hours each day.
My burger was juicy and grilled to medium-rare on the inside, with melted Swiss cheese and mushrooms on top. The French fries were chopped into little pieces, crispy on the exterior and tender on the inside. You’ll need those thick brown and beige square checkered napkins.
I ordered the French onion soup, and it was just what I expected: a thick, oniony, peppery broth covered in a covering of melted Gruyere cheese and scallions. The accompanying French bread is made by Truckee Sourdough Bread Company and is surprisingly light while yet having that crispy, crunchy surface.
Jasons’ menu is pure old-fashioned comfort food. Fresh and well-cooked, not too seasoned. There are several appetizer options as well as a number of excellent sandwich options. Entrees include filet of Pacific salmon, Prime Rib, and herb-roasted chicken. It’s one of the greatest places to dine in Kings Beach for American cuisine in a relaxed seaside setting.
+1-530-546-22008290 North Lake Blvd.
Whitecaps Pizza, located in a charming old wooden home that backs up to the lake’s coast, offers breathtaking views of Lake Tahoe. Take a seat on the beach bar, or arrive early to get a table on their lower or upper deck, all of which have fantastic views and are great for sunsets. All of this before you’ve even touched your meal.
The appetizer selection at Whitecaps is amazing. Large, green Castelvetrana olives cooked in the oven with oil, garlic, and spices are one of their specialities. They have a delicious taste and keep their heat for an unusually long period due to their pits. With a cold brew in hand, this is ideal.
The tastes of the kale salad are deceptively complex. In a mild lemon vinaigrette, shredded curly kale, pine nuts, and Brussels sprouts. There’s a good mix of tastes here, with dried cranberries cutting through the acidity of the lemon.
Pizza lovers will like this hand-crafted restaurant’s dishes, which are produced with quality meats, local veggies, and house-made tomato sauce. They provide a wonderful selection of traditional and artisan pizzas, including a Margarita, a Pepperoni Pineapple Jalapeo, and a classic Vegetarian.
Craft Mushroom and Soppressata Honey Drizzle were two of their pies that we tasted. Our lips began to thirst as soon as they came. The meaty soppressata flavor reaches your nose and taste senses first, followed by the subtle sweetness of the honey drizzle. It’s a winning combination. Add jalapeo, goat cheese, and their house-made sauce for really delicious, nuanced tastes that linger on your palette. It’s something that every foodie would enjoy.
The wild mushroom pizza was deliciously umami, with a white sauce that didn’t compete but rather complimented the earthy, meaty tastes. Caramelized onions, fresh basil, and garlic filled out the taste profile, while gruyere, goat, and whole mozzarella cheeses created a rich, really foodgasmic experience. The crust was neither too thin nor too thick, and it was wonderfully crispy on the bottom.
Whitecaps is a fantastic Kings Beach pizza restaurant with a terrific ambiance, excellent cuisine, and friendly, educated service. They provide a unique selection of tiny craft beers and wine on tap, as well as beers in cans and bottles. They also serve spritzers and a changing assortment of hard kombucha for those looking for non-alcoholic drinks.
North Lake Boulevard, +1-530-546-45398345 North Lake Boulevard
After a vigorous hour-and-a-half stroll on the Lake Tahoe Rim Trail, we stumbled onto Las Panchitas, the only full-service Mexican restaurant in town. We were starving, and this restaurant delivered. It is family-owned and has been operational since 1982, like so many other Kings Beach eateries. Maria, our waitress, has been with us for 32 years!
Warm, thick, and crispy tortilla chips coupled by freshly-made salsa with a little spice were an instant positive indicator. The cuisine includes traditional Northern Mexican fare, excellent and substantial, with dishes such as Fajitas, Machaca, Chiles Verde and Colorado, and, of course, Burritos.
In the mood for a snack, I ordered a Tostada de Refried Beans and a Cadillac Margarita. The tostada was crisp (and remained that way), the lettuce was crispy, and the beans were thick and creamy. The Chili Colorado had a terrific depth of taste, with juicy bits of beef in a smokey, flavorful sauce that had a gorgeous deep red hue. It was perfect with rice, beans, and corn tortillas.
You’ll adore their happy hoursit on their patio so you can soak in the views. They’re open for lunch and supper. Las Panchitas is a must-try in Kings Beach for a relaxed, genuine Mexican lunch. After eating up at this Kings Beach Mexican eatery, you’ll surely need a siesta.
400 Brassie Avenue, Suite B +1-530-546-2191
Spindleshanks Tahoe is a hidden treasure. It is one of the most upscale restaurants in Kings Beach, located on the historic Old Brockway Golf Course. Bing Crosby’s inaugural Crosby tournament was held in 1935 at Old Brockway, a sea of greens surrounded by towering Jeffrey pines and Tahoe vistas. It is also a joint Audubon sanctuary.
Spindleshanks is open for breakfast, lunch, and supper, with a daily Happy Hour, and you may get comfy and settle in for hours. They have three large wooden decks available for outside service during nice weather. It has a soothing ambiance and competent and responsive service.
Owner and Chef Steve Marks calls it user-friendly upmarket. If you want a burger, they’re fantastic; otherwise, opt for a traditional Rack of Australian Lamb with Cognac Green Peppercorn Sauce. Each dish is expertly presented in gorgeous ceramic bowls with meticulous attention to detail.
Every Tuesday night, there’s an all-night Happy Hour with $9 small meals and inventive drinks. This is an excellent chance to sample their whole menu. The menu rotates throughout the evening when items run out, and the quantities are large. About 6 p.m., live music begins, and the throng grows, spilling out onto the golf course as the evening gets going.
Spindleshanks Tahoe has an excellent food with global flavors. The Ginger Lemongrass Brick Chicken, Loin of Pork Schnitzel, and Griddled Rainbow Fish are all excellent choices.
The wine and after-dinner cocktail menus are expertly designed. Each bottle has a certain function and pairs wonderfully with the dish.
We started with a tiny serving of Softshell Crab on delicious Hoisin Pork Belly. The tastes and textures were fantastic. The softshell crab was gently battered and crunchy, while the pork belly was delicate and tasty. It was served with a bed of Chipotle Slaw and a drizzle of Curry Aioli.
A dish of PEI Mussels in a White Wine Sauce with Garlic, Shallots, and Tomato followed. The meal is completed with a splash of Pernod, which adds an excellent savory accent.
Braised Short Ribs in a Red Wine Reduction Sauce were served over smooth, creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes to round off the dinner. When the soft flesh comes apart on your fork, the rich, complete beef flavor reaches your taste senses. Everything here is meticulously prepared and presented.
Dessert was a delicious scoop of homemade Coconut Macadamia Nut Gelato and a delectable Apple Tart. We had already departed Spindleshanks to plan our next visit. This restaurant in Kings Beach has something for everyone.
The Soule Estate
Cove Street, +1-530-546-75299983
The Soule Domaine has been a lovely spot for excellent dining since 1985, nestled in a quaint log house amid the pines, right around the corner from the legendary Tahoe Biltmore Inn & Casino and Cal-Neva Resort (which is under renovation). It’s the greatest restaurant in Kings Beach for lingering over a five-course dinner while indulging in fantastic conversation.
Owner and Chef Charlie Soule greets you with a grin as he mingles with guests throughout the evening. Excellent service: attentive and informed.
With nuanced tastes of lemongrass, coconut milk, peanut butter, and cilantro merging with shiitake mushrooms, jalapeos, and sliced almonds, the Thai Curry Scallops appetizer was an immediate favorite. The Lobster Wontons were excellent and soft, with bits of lobster in a delicious shiitake soup. A spicy kick was delivered with a side of Chinese mustard-red chile sauce.
They provide delicious salads. I kept the Organic Mixed Greens with Green Goddess Dressing basic, but the plating was anything but. The bowl was lined with sliced apples, beautiful mixed greens in the center, gorgeous strawberry radishes, smoked almonds, and croutons. A table next to us raved about the Grilled Lamb and Goat Cheese Salad.
The main dish started with a thick cup of Zucchini Ginger Soup, a substantial autumn soup. Entrees include a Vegan Udon Noodle Bowl with Miso Shoyu Ponzu, Fresh Fish of the Day, and Sea Scallops cooked in Champagne with Kiwi and Mango Cream Sauce.
My medium rare and finely sliced Filet Mignon was also pan-roasted with enticing Shafts Bleu Cheese and Shiitake Mushrooms in a traditional French Cognac & Burgundy Butter that was rich but didn’t overpower the deep, meat taste. The potatoes were thickly chopped and well-seasoned, while the carrots contributed just the right amount of sweetness. The dinner was well complemented with a luscious Aerena Red Hills Cabernet Sauvignon from Lake County, California.
Tangy and topped with an intriguing combination of peaches, jalapeo, and ginger, served with Seasonal Vegetables and Rice Pilaf. spicy The Hawaiian Swordfish special was outstanding. It was grilled with a delicious Miso-Ponzu Sauce.
The wine list includes a magnificent variety from the Pacific Coast states of California, Oregon, and Washington, as well as options from France, Italy, and Argentina. The mood is beautiful and relaxed, with energetic Ska and American soft rock favorites interspersed.
The Nightly Homestyle Classic, a four-course dinner that includes a scoop of ice cream and a cookie, is available for $29.
Dessert connoisseurs, take heed. The Queen of Sheba was stunning. This flourless chocolate double torte cake was layered with whipped cream and topped with a chocolate and amaretto ganache sprinkled with crushed almonds. Divine. Bread Pudding with pineapple, raisins, and walnuts drizzled with warm brandy. Both were accompanied by house-made ice cream, an exquisite Vanilla, Cinnamon, and Almond combination.
The Soule Domain is one of those fantastic places that you fall in love with right away. Tahoe casual, a local favorite, implies it’s not only for special events. Bookings are strongly advised for this excellent dining Kings Beach restaurant.
Learn Before You Go
We fell in love with Kings Beach and its great gastronomy scene, which is nestled amid the woods on the beaches of North Lake Tahoe. It’s one of my new favorite spots.
When you come, bear in mind that the Tahoe North Tourist Board and local inhabitants put a high value on conserving the area’s natural resources, and they want you to do the same. The area has a Leave No Trace code that you are expected to obey. By clicking here, you may access a variety of information.