Lake Tahoe's Best On-Mountain Bars for Après Ski
(Courtesy of Palisades Tahoe)

Lake Tahoe's Best On-Mountain Bars for Après Ski

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You've been having a blast, cutting hard turns for hours—your face is chilled, your thighs are burning, and your dogs are barking. It's time for an après-ski break.

Hightail (or highball) it to Tahoe's best on-mountain bars where you'll find supremely satisfying cocktails, craft beers, and comfort food that'll revitalize your inner Lindsey Vonn or Jonny Moseley.


Palisades Tahoe: Après All Day

Grab a beer and a melty raclette sandwich the Bavarian-style Chalet at Alpine Meadows.

(Trevor Clark)

When it comes to après-ski options, two resorts are better than one, and you'll find plenty opportunities to booze it up at Palisades Tahoe, home to Alpine Meadows and the area formerly known as Squaw Valley.

Regulars have no doubt reported to High Camp, which though it looks a bit like a Siberian military outpost from a distance is, on the inside, home to the comfy Granite Bistro(11am to 3pm daily). Here at 8,200 feet, you can pair a view of the slopes with a cold Sierra Nevada on draft or warm up with a Tahoe Toddy (Jameson, honey, lemon juice, hot water). When the weather is good, sequester yourself on the bistro's scenic sun deck overlooking the pool and hot tub.

The Tram Car Bar(11am to 5pm daily) is a restored 1970s-era tram cabin retrofitted to serve drinks—PBR on draft, wine, bubbles, and cocktails—just beneath the aerial tram. Order up the Backscratcher, a spicy take on the Moscow Mule. Psst: Happy hour is at 3pm each day—the first 100 guests get a free drink.

At neighboring Alpine Meadows, The Chalet(9:30am to 3:30pm daily) is a Bavarian-style beer garden where you can choose from six different craft brews on tap and then team your beer with a melty raclette or pressed sandwich.

Skiers and riders making turns on Alpine's backside can kick back with a cold beverage and a bratwurst at theIce Bar(9am to 3pm weekends), located at the base of the Sherwood Chair. Meanwhile, at Alpine's Main Lodge, Last Chair Bar(10am to 4:30pm daily) serves a wide variety of après-ski favorites. Don't miss out on their Mug Club, which includes a custom pint glass and a free glass of beer. // palisadestahoe.com

Iconic Après-Ski Spots at Sugar Bowl

Sugar Bowl's Mid-Mountain Lodge.

(Ben Davidson)

The grande dame of the Donner Summit ski areas, Sugar Bowl has several on-mountain drinking spots.

While the Palisades Bar remains temporarily closed due to staffing issued, the downstairs Mid-Mountain Cafe & BBQ(open weekends and holidays) serves variations on mac and cheese with such hearty toppings as brisket (the Cowboy mac) and chili (Nacho mac). An outdoor barbecue kiosk located on the lodge's wide sunny deck is a perfect spot to hang out and enjoy views of Disney's East Face.

For a classic Tahoe après scene, the go-to spot is Belt Room Bar(10:30am to 9pm daily), set at the base of the Nob Hill and Mt. Disney chairs in the Sugar Bowl Lodge. The Belt Room has been a hideaway since 1939 for Bay Area skiers who come for the bloody mary and an atmosphere that is pure coziness with vintage black-and-white ski photos and intimate seating nooks.

DJs + Vistas at Homewood's Big Blue View Bar

The Big Blue View Bar at Homewood.

(Courtesy of Homewood)

On Lake Tahoe's sublime West Shore, you'll find Homewood, along with its mid-mountain Big Blue View Bar(hours vary, winter only). Easily one of the region's most scenic après-ski stops, just a few turns away from the Foundation Bowl Terrain Park. This spot has local DJs spinning outside on Saturday afternoons during the winter, a full bar, and a few snacks like falafel fritters and scrambled eggs. // skihomewood.com

Barbecue + Beach Fare at Sierra-at-Tahoe

Sierra-at-Tahoe's Baja Grill.

(Emily Tidwell)

Sierra-at-Tahoe's 360 Smokehouse BBQ(temporarily closed due to Covid-19), at the top of Grandview Express, offers spectacular panoramic views of Lake Tahoe and the Sierra from nearly 9,000 feet. After tearing up the slopes, refuel on tri-tip, pulled pork, smoked brisket, jalapeño maple cornbread, and kale slaw.

At the base of the West Bowl, Baja Grill(10:30am to 3pm daily) serves a taste of the beach in the snow. Pull up an Adirondack chair and order fresh fish tacos, quesadillas, burritos, tacos, and not-to-be-missed Tijuana Dogs, along with Coronas and margaritas. // sierraattahoe.com

Bacon Bloodies at Northstar's Zephyr Lodge

Northstar California's Zephyr Lodge.

(Courtesy of Northstar)


Perched at 8,610 feet at the top of the Zephyr Express, Northstar California's stylish Zephyr Lodge(9:30am to 3pm, hours may vary) promises broad views of the Sierra Nevada through its floor-to-ceiling windows. Don't miss the signature bloody mary (with bacon!), apple fries with homemade marshmallow whipped cream, and the make-your-own noodle bar. Reservations are available through Tock. // northstarcalifornia.com

Après-Ski Parties at Heavenly's Tamarack Lodge

Heavenly's Tamarack Lodge.

(Taylor Kern)

Heavenly's Tamarack Lodge(9am to 5:30pm daily, happy hour 3-5pm) is consistently named among the best après-ski parties around—expect DJs, live bands, dancing and, of course, drinks. Plan ahead for themed events surrounding key holidays like Mardi Gras and spring break. Newer to the scene here is LAT38, on the California Lodge's rooftop (3-5pm Friday through Sunday). // skiheavenly.com

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