Café and Deli
For an unusual combination of hardcore health food and budget dining, check out Sprouts Cafe (3123 Harrison Ave., South Lake Tahoe, 530/541-6969, daily 8 a.m.–9 p.m., $8–15) in town at South Lake Tahoe. This cute, casual walk-up eatery offers an array of ultra-healthy dishes make with all-fresh, mostly organic produce and ingredients.
Despite the wheatgrass growing on purpose-built shelves and the giant juicer on the rear counter, Sprouts has a pleasantly surprising number of items that appeal to non-health-food nuts. Breakfast is served all day, and the lunch and dinner menus run on for pages. Choose from salads, burritos, rice bowls, and even tasty vegetarian and vegan desserts.
If you’re truly brave, start your day with the legendary Hot Shot. You’ll take your order to one of the rough-hewn tables and spice it yourself from the array of condiments over to the side of the restaurant. From there, sit back and linger over your tasty guilt-free grub, herbal tea, or organic, fair-trade coffee.
Rude Brothers Bagel & Coffee Haus (3117 Harrison Ave., Ste. B, 530/541-8195) looks and feels just about right for an indie coffee shop and sandwich bar. It’s got a big open room for hanging out, and a tasty array of lunch goodies on tap for hungry visitors. They’ve also got all the usual espresso drinks available at the counter. This is definitely a locals’ hangout.
© Liz Hamill Scott from Moon California, 2nd Edition