The coast of the Golden State may get all the glory for the food scene and rightly so, but that doesn’t mean it stops at the foot of the Sierra Nevada. Here’s just a small bite of the award-winning foodie road trip to be found in the High Sierra!
The famous author Robert A. Heinlein once said, “One should not attend even the end of the world without a good breakfast”, and when it comes to the first meal of the day, the original Squeeze In on Main Street in the historic town of Truckee is a must for all. Featured on the Food Network’s “Throwdown with Bobby Flay”, this cozy breakfast spot has all the normal fixin’s but the star of the show is their omelets. Serving up over 60 different variations including the “Racy Tracy” which was on the show.
Note: As the name dictates this place is a bit tight when it comes to space so be sure to come early or late or you’ll have to wait.
Moe’s Original BBQ
One of the main reasons to visit Lake Tahoe is to take in Big Blue. Moe’s Original BBQ offers up a big plate of waterfront views alongside its savory and flavorful Alabama-style BBQ. You’ll find ribs with meat that melts off the bone and to die for Pulled Pork. Even if you have a Vegetarian palate, they offer up a “Smofu” or a thinly sliced tofu that’s smoked as well as scrumptious mac and cheese for a side that’s tasty. Whatever you do, don’t forget to order their delicious, sweet tea.
When exploring the historic downtown strip of Murphys and the treasure trove of wine tasting rooms, you’ll work up an appetite. If you’re a big fan of sushi, a stop at Doke Sushi is a must. Honoring Japanese cuisine but with a creative twist, you’ll find flavorful miso soup. Unique roll creations such as the Big Trees Special Maki. Even non-sushi lovers will love this place. It’s a good idea to get reservations ahead of time due to its popularity.
Cover’s Apple Ranch
Not just a restaurant, but a destination in and of itself, Cover’s Apple Ranch in Tuolumne is a great pit stop on your way up to Yosemite National Park. Founded in 1949, this is a haven of everything apple. They feature varieties you normally don’t see on your grocer’s aisle like Bisbys, Paragons, Winesap, and Kind Davids. They even sell apple pies, dutch apple, and mile-high versions all chockfull of their delicious tart apples from their property.
Erick Schat’s Bakkery
Around the 1800s immigrants from the Basque country straddling the border of France and Spain arrived in places like Bishop to become shepherds. It was a few of these hardy folks who missed the bread of their homeland began to create what is now known as the Sheepherder’s Bread since 1907 (trademarked since 1938). Still made from scratch, including their baker’s yeast and baked in stone hearth ovens, using no preservatives it’s like no other bread out there. How good is it? Well, they produce over 25,000 loaves per day, outnumbering the population of Bishop by 6. That’s how good it is.
Whoa Nellie Deli
The Eastern Sierra is known for its dramatic scenery and natural wonders. Rugged and remote – arguably one of the best places to take a road trip. As you head north from Bishop on US-395, make it a foodie road trip with a pitstop at the Whoa Nellie Deli. Only twenty miles from the eastern entrance of Yosemite, it’s perched above Mono Lake secretly located inside a gas station. This isn’t your ordinary gas station food. Locals and longtime travelers know that it serves up five-star dining. A culinary oasis amongst the sage brush and tall peaks of the Sierra. Menu items include mouthwatering dishes like grilled pork chops, barbecue baby back ribs, carnitas tacos, and even ahi sashimi.
South Lake Tahoe
The southern shore of Lake Tahoe has really upped their cuisine scene over the last few years and could be a foodie road trip destination in itself. When longtime residents look for an affordable dinner that’s lively, there’s one place that comes to mind – The Himmel Haus. Located mere footsteps from the California Lodge at Heavenly Mountain Resort, it’s a unique American take on authentic German Food. You’ll find classics like the Schweinshaxen (a roasted ham hock), Wurst plate, and even giant Pretzels along with tried-and-true staples like burgers. One thing to note is ask what’s the special for the day because they’re always experimenting with items such as wild game sausages. For a deeper dive into the culinary scene explore Visit Lake Tahoe’s restaurant page.
Stonefly Wood-Fired Restaurant
It is true that Markleeville is a quiet town, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy upscale flavors you’d find in a big city. Owners John and Faith Saletti have more than eighty years of combined experience in the restaurant industry, and their passion for food can be seen in their offerings. With a nod to northern Nevada with a sprinkling of Italian flair, you’ll find farm to table items including wild game, homemade pastas, and even seafood. Taking a scenic drive to have dinner has never looked so scrumptious. Be sure to make a reservation because they’re usually booked days in advance.
Dessert’d Organic Bake Shop
They say cooking is an art, but baking is a science. This is because exact formulas must be followed, or the product can turn into an oven disaster. And to bake at elevation you add another layer of complexity. The owner and staff at Dessert’d Organic Bake Shop are passionate about baking and create unique concoctions that even non-sweet tooth individuals will enjoy. More than just cookies, you’ll find a mad scientist of options to pick from. Old fashioned hot cocoa, homemade marshmallows, French macaroons, cupcakes, and their specialty — Sweet Cream Pies in a Jar. You may come for the skiing or world-class hiking, but you will most certainly stay an extra day to enjoy their award-winning treats.
As you can see it’s time to spoil your inner foodie and make a road trip to try some of the tastiest food not just in the state of California but in the country!
Author: Alex Silgalis
Alex founded Local Freshies® in 2014 to be the #1 website providing the “local scoop” on where to eat, drink & play in mountain towns throughout North America. When he’s not writing and executing marketing strategies for small businesses & agencies, he’s in search of the deepest snow in the winter and tackiest dirt in the summer.