Grub on the Greens
Tahoe’s best golf course restaurants serve hearty meals in scenic mountain settings
We’ll let you in on a little secret: Golf course restaurants aren’t just for golfers. Tahoe’s public—and even some private—course eateries are open to anyone in search of a meal with a side of expansive views, towering pines, rolling greens, plus plenty of outdoor deck space and menus that often go above and beyond the basic burgers, brats and buns.
Whether you’re capping off a round or just plain hungry for a scenic nosh, here are a few inviting “19th” holes to add to your scorecard this season. Reservations are recommended, and, as always, check for the latest operating hours before heading out.
Schaffer’s Mill | Truckee, CA | www.schaffersmill.com/dining
You don’t need to be a member at Schaffer Mill’s Miller–Harbottle-designed course to enjoy a winning meal in a top-notch setting. With forest and peak views of Northstar’s Lookout Mountain, this year-round, coolly architected restaurant boasts plentiful indoor and outdoor seating on an expansive terrace where heaters, fire pits and live entertainment keep diners coming back for chef Corey Kelso’s wide-ranging all-day menu. Popular dishes here include crispy brussels sprouts, cast iron meatballs, tonkotsu ramen, fried chicken sandwiches, wood-fired thin-crust pizzas and braised short ribs; save room for the chocolate chip cookie skillet. Reservations required for non-members.
Tee Nine and the Lodge Restaurant & Pub
Tahoe Donner Golf Course | Truckee, CA | www.tahoedonner.com
Tahoe Donner’s recently renovated golf course tucked amidst 7,300 forested acres offers a pair of eateries at its welcoming clubhouse and lodge, expanded to include additional outdoor dining space. The Tee Nine Grill sells counter-service breakfast, lunch and dinner options such as egg-stuffed burritos, the Mulligan made with grilled ham, fontina, arugula, tomato and basil mayo on Truckee Sourdough, and cocktails like a grapefruit hibiscus paloma. For dinner, head upstairs to the well-regarded Lodge Restaurant & Pub, where a seasonal bistro-style menu features favorites such as steamed shrimp and pork dumplings, a Thai curry noodle bowl, braised short ribs, and turkey and shiitake meatloaf, all made with organic and locally produced ingredients when possible. For sipping, there are craft beers, cocktails and a solid selection of wines by the bottle and glass.
The Bar & Grill
Coyote Moon Golf Course | Truckee, CA | www.coyotemoongolf.com
Located on 250 acres of rolling hills near the entrance to Tahoe Donner, Coyote Moon’s Brad Bell–designed course boasts views of the Pacific Crest and the town of Truckee from its well-lit Bar & Grill. With some 50 seats on the deck and another 75 inside, this counter-service spot at the turn features a simple comfort food menu with salads, sandwiches, brats, quesadillas and pizza, plus specials from 4 to 6 p.m.
Gray’s Crossing | Truckee, CA | www.tahoemountainclub.com/dining
Named for Gray’s Crossing golf course designer Peter Jacobsen, this seasonal spot operated by Tahoe Mountain Club features views of the 18th hole and Mount Rose in the distance. The mountain-modern building opens out to a patio, fire pit and lawn where live music is staged on Tuesday nights. The menu might include items like grilled shrimp and watermelon skewers, hamachi crudo, tri-tip bruschetta, roasted beet and arugula salad, a katsu chicken sandwich plus poke or grilled chicken bowls. A full bar mixes a mean spicy watermelon margarita, and wine and beer are available by the bottle and glass.
Old Greenwood | Truckee, CA | www.tahoemountainclub.com/dining
Tahoe Mountain Club also operates this counter-service spot overlooking the 18th hole of its 600-acre Jack Nicholas–designed Old Greenwood Golf Course. The day here starts with a pair of breakfast burritos as well as a fried egg and chipotle aioli sando atop a Truckee Sourdough English muffin. Later, look for lunch items like chicken Caesar, roasted turkey or hummus wraps rolled on garlic tortillas, a grilled chicken sandwich with house-made barbecue sauce, plus burger and dog options. There’s also a full bar.
Tahoe City Golf Course | Tahoe City, CA | www.cafezenon.com
Suzanne Nguyen, chef-owner of the former Zia Lina in Tahoe City, launched this Tahoe City Golf Course eatery named after the Eugene, Oregon, cafe where she started her culinary training. Global comfort food focused on her Vietnamese heritage includes vegan or chicken pho with all the fixins and a French dip doused with onions, hoisin, sriracha and cilantro; both pair well with the cafe’s craft cocktails and local beers. In the winter, the cafe serves the winter sports park.
Old Brockway Golf Course | Kings Beach, CA | www.spindleshankstahoe.com
Celebrities such as Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Bob Hope once strolled historic Old Brockway Golf Course. Today you can feel pretty special at its year-round restaurant with a wrap-around deck overlooking the putting green, bocce court and first tee. Hearty breakfasts here include chilaquiles as well as chicken and waffles with sausage gravy, steak and eggs. For lunch, look for crispy hoisin ribs, battered mahi mahi tacos, and sandwiches such as seared ahi, pastrami and club. The dinner menu features steamed mussels in white wine, ginger lemongrass brick chicken, roasted butternut squash ravioli, griddled rainbow trout and pork schnitzel. The full bar boasts a wide-ranging wine list with some 25 pours by the glass.
The Grill at the Chateau
Championship Golf Course | Incline Village, NV | www.thegrilleatthechateau.com
This award-winning Robert Trent Jones Sr.–designed course operated by the Incline Village General Improvement District boasts a popular seasonal lunch spot at the community’s comfortable “Chateau” clubhouse, where large windows and a deck overlooking the 10th tee and 18th green offer sweeping mountain, forest and lake views. Popular items on executive chef “Wild Bill” Vandenberg’s menu include the ahi poketini, calamari fritti with Vietnamese dipping sauce, the colorful sunset salad and Reuben sandwich, along with daily specials and a happy hour.
Brooks Bar & Deck
Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course | Stateline, NV | www.edgewoodtahoe.com
Home to the annual American Century Championship, this lakefront course designed by George Fazio boasts Brooks Bar & Deck, which Golf Digest named one of its “Best Golf Pubs in the World.” Lunch and dinner are served year-round amidst the vaulted wood-beam ceilings and walls of long-paned glass windows filled with mountain, lake and course views; in warmer weather the sprawling deck beckons. Order from popular dishes such as the ahi thimble stack, signature Brooks’ B.L.T.A. salad (Nueske’s bacon, baby lettuce, marinated heirloom tomatoes and avocado), salmon fish and chips, French dip and fish or tri-tip tacos. Toast or roast your round with the Brooks’ Bloody Mary made with Tahoe Blue Vodka and peppered bacon.
TQ Food & Wine editor Susan D. Rock usually scores best on the 19th hole.