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.
Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows: Après All Day
The Chalet at Alpine Meadows.
(Trevor Clark/Squaw Valley-Alpine Meadows)
When it comes to après-ski options, two resorts are better than one, and you'll find plenty opportunities to booze it up at Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows.
Regulars to Squaw Valley 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.
New to Squaw's après scene is the Tram Car Bar (11am to 4pm weekends, happy hour 3pm), 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.
At neighboring Alpine Meadows, The Chalet (9:30am to 3:30pm daily) has been transformed into 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 the Ice Bar (9:30pm to 3:30pm daily), located at the base of the Sherwood Chair. Meanwhile, at Alpine's Main Lodge, Last Chair Bar (10am to 6pm weekdays, 9:30am to 5:30pm weekends) 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. // squawalpine.com
Iconic Après-Ski Spots at Sugar Bowl
Sugar Bowl's Mid-Mountain Lodge.
The Palisades Bar (11am to 2:30pm, Friday through Monday), upstairs at the newly remodeled Mid-Mountain Lodge, is a prime spot for après at the base of the fast and fun Lincoln run. Downstairs, the Mid-Mountain Cafe (11am to 2:30pm daily) 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 après scene Tahoe, 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 (11am to 3pm daily). Easily one of the region's most scenic après-ski stops, just a few turns away from the new Foundation Bowl Terrain Park. This spot has local DJs spinning outside on Saturdays afternoon 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.
Sierra-at-Tahoe's 360 Smokehouse BBQ (10:30am to 3pm daily), 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's California's stylish Zephyr Lodge (10am to // 2:30pm Monday through Thursday, until 3pm Friday through Sunday) 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. // northstarcalifornia.com
Après-Ski Parties at Heavenly's Tamarack Lodge
Heavenly's Tamarack Lodge.
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. // skiheavenly.com