Where and what to eat at Squaw Valley, from people who eat there a lot. Not comprehensive; not from the marketing department; not unbiased. If you don't see something listed, it's probably not recommended.
Wildflour - cookies, sandwiches - downstairs in Olympic House
Mountain Nectar - deli, smoothies - in the Village
Soupa - soups, sandwiches - in the Village
Fireside Pizza - pizza, pasta - in the Village
Mamasake - sushi, Japanese - in the Village
Practically speaking, the restaurants at Squaw Valley tend to be either lunch places or dinner places. There are exceptions, of course, but it's useful to divide them up.
Wildflour - downstairs in Olympic House - Those in the know go here--at least when they're not skipping lunch. Their chocolate chip cookies are legendary. You'll often see throngs of ski-team kids here for cookies and cocoa. This place has a local following, whether for breakfast, lunch or snack. They bake their stuff fresh, use quality ingredients, and serve with a smile.
Mountain Nectar - in the Village, near the Events Plaza - They have smoothies, fresh squeezed OJ, sandwiches, wraps, etc. It's a small place with a kind of hippy health-food store vibe.
Soupa - in the Village, in the Fountain Plaza - As the name implies, they have soups. In addition, they have sandwiches, salads and some baked goods. Rasta vibe. This place can be quicker for lunch than some of the seemingly convenient eateries provided for tourists. It's likely better, too.
Cornice Cantina - Far East Center - General reports are good. Quick affordable (at least for a ski resort) eats.
The Arc - Gold Coast Lodge - It's a cafeteria. It's probably better than your high school had, but it's still a cafeteria. When they do BBQ outside, that's not a bad option.
Fireside Pizza Company - in the Village, between Main St. & Events Plaza - As you might guess, they have pizza and pasta. They also have hummus and salads. The quality is good and the stuff is a little on the artisan side. Dine-in or take-out.
The Auld Dubliner - in the Village, middle of Main St. - It's a pub, but it's also a restaurant. A family can have a good dinner here. The food is hearty, including burgers, stews, and fish & chips. They have a kids menu.
Mamasake - in the Village, near the arch - Quality sushi far from the ocean. Prices reflect that. Menu is more creative than traditional. The rolls marked with double black diamonds are worth considering. They also have Teriyaki, etc.
Bistro 22 - in the Village, near the funitel - Says alexzn: "The most refined high-end food at Squaw, that would be my choice for an expense account lunch or dinner in the Village."
Plumpjack - near the Cable Car - Perhaps the most rarified cuisine within walking distance of the slopes. Great wine list. Great appetizers. Delicious entrees and desserts. Service is a good blend of mountain casual and fine dining. Easy to drop $100/head on dinner here.
Le Chamois - behind Olympic House - This is "the" classic apres ski spot at Squaw. Beer and pizza. Save the Chammy!
Starbucks - (1) in the Village, near the Cable Car and (2) Gold Coast Lodge - The base area location is standard. The on-mountain location is the first ski-in/ski-out Starbucks. Remarks alexzn: "Please DO NOT SKI on the Mountain run with your venti mocha. There are plenty of kids there and no one enjoys being scalded. Also, be careful with your hot drink when you see the prices for this Starbucks menu. I've seen people choke when they saw the price list. Remember, it is the mountains. Otherwise its a cool place to get a hot drink on the slope."
Euro Snack - by the funitel building - While not cheap, these sugar waffles are a better deal than the crepes at sister operation Euro Crepe. A great little pick-me-up after a hard day of skiing, especially for kids.
Uncorked - in the Village, on First St. - Best wine shop at Squaw. Seriously, it's better and cheaper than expected for the location.
If you want to know what Squaw's marketing department says about dining, check here.
In Tahoe City:
115 Grove St
Tahoe City, CA 96145
Tahoe City, CA 96145
Tahoe City, CA 96145
Downtown Truckee across from the train station
Truckee, California 96161
10825 Pioneer Trl
Truckee, California 96161
The sandwiches start with fresh bread baked in-house daily, with choices such as jalapeno cheese, bleu cheese, and parmesan oregano in addition to traditional styles. Add meats from the Carson City Sausage Factory and locally-sourced (when possible) vegetables and cheeses, and you’ve got a sandwich that almost looks too good to eat.
Truckee Hotel in Downtown Truckee
Considered by many to be the best restaurant in Truckee (at least before Stella came to the scene). This is a place where I would not hesitate to go for a special occasion (and did a number of times). Good creative locally-sourced food prepared by a talented chef. Good wine list. This restaurant would not be out of place in a tony San Francisco neighborhood. Prices reflect the quality. My second choice for a great meal in Truckee (after Stella), but certainly worth a trip out from the Village.
10918 Brockway Road, Truckee CA 96161
This a real gem- this place would be booked solid in San Francisco. The crew running it is young, skilled, ambitious and hungry for success. The restaurant is about three years old, off-the beaten path, but seems to have found its stride. They cooked us an amazing meal: Everything used fresh in-season ingredients, every dish was tasty, inventive, and beautifully arranged, and the food managed to look artful yet not stuffy or pretentious. $60 4-course tasting menu is actually a real bargain and easily filled up two hungry adults (who skipped lunch). The wine list is quite good too and they take it seriously. The only problem with this place should be finding a table when the word gets out. It is pretty tiny (10 tables or so) and reservations are definitely recommended. Overall, best food in Truckee and quite likely in the whole North Tahoe. The place is a little hard to find- they are located in the Cedar House Hotel, and there is no sign off the highway. Definitely worth the trip out from Squaw.
A house restaurant for Tahoe Donner Golf course, open in winter as well. The food and setting is a bit pretentious but surprisingly good. Does not quite have the cosmopolitain feel of Moody's, but also well worth a visit. If you are staying in Tahoe Donner it is close by, otherwise it is a bit out of the way.
This is the third of "nice" places in Truckee, and arguably has the best location, in a historic building high on the hill overlooking downtown. The food is good and the portion sizes are generous, but the sophistication is a notch behind Moody's (and in a totally different league from Stella). If you are accustomed to culinary sophistication of Bay Area or New York, you will be disappointed, otherwise, the meal will be adequate (if expensive).
Other choices (says TheDad):
River Ranch Lodge (89 at Alpine Meadows Road):
Nice fancy dining, but we usually eat in the bar instead (ordering off the bar menu or the full dinner menu), take advantage of the happy hour specials, and rub elbows with off-duty Alpine patrollers.http://www.riverranchlodge.com/events
Bridgetender (89 in Tahoe City, just south of the 28 split):
Good burgers, sandwiches, and such. <http://www.tahoebridgetender.com>
Tahoe House Bakery (89 south of Tahoe City):
Great baked goods, good place for breakfast or lunch. <http://www.tahoe-house.com/>
Fire Sign Cafe (89 south of Tahoe City):
Best breakfast burrito in the world. <http://www.firesigncafe.com/>
Burger Me (downtown Tahoe City):
Awesome burgers for everyone (including vegetarians), excellent sides and shakes, good draft beer too. <http://burgermetruckee.com/>