17 best restaurants in Truckee, California.

17 Best Restaurants in Truckee, California: Must-Try Places To Eat

Looking for the best restaurants in Truckee, California?

Truckee, California, is a small mountain town in the Sierra Nevada Mountains just 20 minutes north of Lake Tahoe. It’s known for beautiful hiking, Donner Lake, historic Old Western museums, and lots of winter skiing opportunities. 

But the food scene is also a big reason people love traveling to Truckee. Many quality restaurants in town have raving reviews, and there are restaurants for every occasion, from casual family restaurants and fine dining and everything in between. 

Here are 17 of the top restaurants in Truckee that should be on your list when visiting this beautiful mountain town in California.

Best Casual & Family Restaurants In Truckee

One of the best things about Truckee is the wide variety of casual restaurants that offer great food and affordable prices for families traveling to Truckee. 

There are tons of casual and family restaurants in Truckee.

1. Jax @ the Trax

Jax @ the Trax is a classic 1940’s American diner with a retro atmosphere and an upscale take on comfort food. The restaurant is well-known by locals, but it got put on tourists’ radar after being featured on Season 9 of Food Network’s Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives.

This diner is located just next to the historic train station and serves delicious traditional American fare like burgers, pulled pork sandwiches, and milkshakes. Their specialty, however, is the Kobe beef meatloaf.

Jax @ the Trax is one of the most popular restaurants in Truckee, but they do not take reservations, so make sure that you and your family get there before the lunch/dinner rush.

  • Opening hours – 7:00 am – 9:00 pm (9:30 on the weekend)
  • Average Price (meal for 2) – $40-50
  • Google Maps Pin

2. Moody Bistro Bar & Beats

Moody’s Bistro Bar & Beats is a beloved destination for locals and visitors to Truckee, California, boasting an atmosphere reminiscent of classic supper clubs from the 1950s. 

Visitors will find a seasonal menu of farm-to-table eats like fresh seafood, pork chops, lamb shank, and burgers. But you can also get more unique dishes like scallops, elk, venison, and even duck (these dishes are a bit more expensive, though).

Moody’s has live music every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evening, usually featuring local Jazz, Americana, Blues, or Soul musicians. 

  • Opening hours – 11:30-3:00 pm / 5:00-9:00 pm
  • Average Price (meal for 2) – $80-100
  • Google Maps Pin

3. Cottonwood Restaurant

The Cottonwood Restaurant is a Truckee staple, serving eclectic dishes, drinks, and desserts. It’s located on a small hilltop in downtown Truckee, and from the patio, guests have a beautiful sunset view of the Truckee River. 

During the week, Cottonwood Restaurant is only open for dinner. The menu consists of soups, salads, meat dishes (seafood, pork, and steak), and vegan options like vegan meatloaf. 

On the weekends, they are open from 11:00 am – 3:30 pm and add specialty brunch options to the menu, like Table Mountain Hash or the Sautéed Verlasso Salmon.

  • Opening hours – Monday – Friday (4 pm – 9 pm) Sat & Sunday, brunch is served from 11-3:30 and dinner from 3:30 – 9:30
  • Average Price (meal for 2) – $50-80
  • Google Maps Pin

4. Smokey’s Restaurant

Smokey’s Kitchen is a classic BBQ joint close to Donner Lake and State Park. This family-friendly eatery offers burgers, pulled pork, pulled chicken, brisket sliders, salmon filets, and ribs.

They are also considered one of the best breakfast restaurants in Truckee, with egg platters, omelets, Mexican breakfast burritos, and a unique BBQ breakfast.

The restaurant has a lovely patio with views of the nearby mountains, which makes it an excellent spot for an outdoor meal during warmer months.

Smokey’s is one of the more affordable casual places to eat in Truckee, so if you are trying to save some money, but aren’t in the mood for fast food, then Smokey’s is worth checking out!

  • Opening hours – Monday (8:00 am – 3:00 pm), Tuesday (Closed), Wed-Sun (8:00 am – 9:00 pm)
  • Average Price (meal for 2) – $40-60
  • Google Maps Pin

5. Bar of America

Bar of America is a casual bar & grill on the corner of Donner Pass Rd. and Bridge St. in Old town Truckee. They offer classic American food like burgers, fish & chips, wings, tacos, and appetizers.

It’s known for excellent service, and a signature dish of jalapeño poppers stuffed with chorizo, Italian sausage, cheddar cheese, bacon, and habanero aioli.

Bar of America serves brunch from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm on Saturdays and Sundays, while the bar stays open until 11:30 pm on weekdays and 12:30 am on weekends.

  • Opening hours – M-F (11:00 AM – 9:30 PM), Sat (10:00 AM – 10:00 PM), Sun (10:00 AM – 9:30 PM)
  • Average Price (meal for 2) – $50-70
  • Google Maps Pin

6. Fifty Fifty Brewing Company

Fifty Fifty Brewing Company is an award-winning brewpub founded in 2010, with over 24 beer in-house beer selections and a warm, inviting atmosphere. 

The kitchen at this Brewery is also worth visiting, and why it’s one of the best restaurants in Truckee. The menu features wood-fired pizzas, burgers, and sandwiches that perfectly complement the cold pint of your choice.

  • Opening hours – 11:00 am – 9:00 pm 
  • Average Price (meal for 2) – $40-50
  • Google Maps Pin

Best Fine Dining In Truckee

If you are looking for a fancy date night or want to try some upscale food in Truckee, there are a few places to choose from!

There are tons of date night restaurants in Truckee as well!

Our Favorite: The most popular fine dining restaurant in Truckee is Pianeta, but for those who don’t love Italian Food, Trokay is another fan favorite!

Here is a list of some of Truckee’s fine dining favs:

7. Pianeta Ristorante

Pianeta Ristorante Truckee is an elegantly designed Italian restaurant in Downtown Truckee’s heart.

With a focus on authentic Italian pasta dishes—from classic ragù to vegetarian options like mushroom ravioli—it’s sure to make for a memorable evening. The portions are small but still very filling, and the service is lovely.

Travelers also love the extensive wine list, with both local and international options available.

It’s a good idea to make reservations if you plan on dining with more than two people, as the restaurant has a limited seating capacity. Groups of 2-4 people are able to sit downstairs, but for groups of 4-8, seating is only available in the upstairs loft.

  • Opening hours – Monday – Saturday (5:00 – 9:00 pm), Sunday (Closed)
  • Average Price (meal for 2) – $100 – 120
  • Google Maps Pin

​​Note: If there is no seating at Pianeta Ristorante, another quality Italian Restaurant in Truckee is Great Gold, slightly outside of town on Pioneer Trail. 

8. Stella Restaurant @ Gravity Haus
(Formerly the Cedar House)

Stella Restaurant is an upscale restaurant owned and operated by Gravity Haus Truckee (also one of the best places to stay in Truckee).

They have a commitment to ethically sourcing all meat and produce from within 100 miles of Truckee. This allows them to have a seasonal menu of locally sourced meat used to create internationally inspired dishes with tastes from Mexico, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean.

The place is very intimate, so the max party size at Stella is just six people. Reservations are highly encouraged!

  • Opening hours – Breakfast from 7:00-11:00 am daily / Dinner from 5:00-9:00 pm Wednesday-Sunday.
  • Average Price (meal for 2) – $65-85
  • Google Maps Pin

9. Drunken Monkey Sushi

For visitors to Truckee who love Japanese Food and Sushi, the Drunken Monkey is the best restaurant in Truckee for you!

Drunken Monkey Sushi offers up fresh and delicious sushi, as well as other Japanese dishes. The menu includes udon and ramen, tempura, and calamari.

They also offer an extensive selection of Japanese sake to pair with your meal.

While Drunken Monkey gets almost exclusively 5-star reviews, some customers complain that the plates are a little too salty. So, if you don’t like salty food, ask them to leave the salt on the side.

The interior of the Drunken Monkey is fun and inviting, and they have outdoor seating as well. The restaurant can accommodate larger groups, and the bar area is perfect for smaller parties of two.

  • Opening hours – Tuesday – Sunday (12:00-2:30 pm & 4:00-9:00 pm), Monday (4:00-9:00 pm)
  • Average Price (meal for 2) – $50-70
  • Google Maps Pin

10. Trokay

Trokay is another upscale restaurant in Truckee, offering a fine dining experience similar to any 1-Star Michelin restaurant.

Guests can choose between a 4-course meal or a 10-course meal, both of which offer complex flavors and exquisite presentation. Trokay is great for special occasions such as engagement trips, romantic dates, anniversaries, etc. 

The menu changes seasonally, with vegan and vegetarian options available upon request – all paired with carefully selected wines.

Furthermore, the service at Trokay is excellent, making it the perfect choice for a luxurious evening out on the town.

  • Opening hours – Thursday-Monday (5:30-8:00 [m
  • Average Price (meal for 2) – $200-250
  • Google Maps Pin

Top Breakfast Restaurants & Coffee Shops In Truckee

Who doesn’t love a delicious breakfast and coffee to start the day? Among this long list of the best places to eat in Truckee, the breakfast restaurants and coffee shops are sure to satisfy all brunch lovers traveling through Truckee, California.

There are tons of breakfast restaurants in Truckee.

Here is a list of the top breakfast cafes and coffee shops in Truckee, California:

11. Squeeze In

Squeeze In is a beloved local breakfast and brunch diner that has been serving delicious dishes in Truckee since 1974. It’s got an intimate and cozy atmosphere with its signature rustic decor – all while being just over 10 feet wide!

The restaurant is perfect for groups of 2-4 people looking to catch some great American food. The place gets increasingly busy at lunchtime, so make sure you go early for the best chance at getting a seat.

The quirky decor and friendly staff only add to this unique experience of enjoying delicious homemade meals at one of Truckee’s most iconic eateries.

Squeeze In is even women-owned, so it’s a great spot to support women business owners in Truckee.

  • Opening hours – 7:30 am – 2:00 pm
  • Average Price (meal for 2) – $30-40
  • Google Maps Pin

12. CoffeeBar

CoffeeBar is a large coffeehouse in Truckee for anyone looking to enjoy coffee with friends over breakfast or simply get some work done while casually sipping on a cappuccino.

The cafe’s atmosphere is always bustling with locals and tourists who are drawn in by its artisanal coffee and community spirit.

They serve up delicious pastries and crepes made from scratch. CoffeeBar is the perfect spot for people looking for healthy, vegan dishes like sandwiches, avocado toast, or smoothie bowls.

You can even find a decent amount of gluten-free options if you have diet restrictions.

  • Opening hours – 6:00 am – 6:00 pm
  • Average Price (meal for 2) – $20-30
  • Google Maps Pin

13. Wild Cherries Coffee

Wild Cherries Coffee is a beloved coffee shop in Central Truckee that has become a daily ritual for many locals. Established in 1997, the cafe offers delicious breakfast bagel sandwiches, lunch paninis, salads, soups, and chili.

With a cozy mountain-town atmosphere and fresh bakery items available, Wild Cherries Coffee is a great spot to hang out with friends or family over brunch. 

There is even a take-away window for customers in a bit of a hurry.

  • Opening hours – 7:30 am to 5 pm daily
  • Average Price (meal for 2)  – $20-$25
  • Google Maps Pin

14. Pacific Crest Coffee Company

The Pacific Crest Coffee Company is a local coffee roaster in downtown Truckee.

With a commitment to quality, the company sources its beans from the best coffee plantations around the world to ensure that each cup is made with love. Every brew method is done with precision and care, from manual pour-over to espresso.

If you are especially into coffee, there is a small tasting room where you can sample unique coffee flavors from all over the globe. The shop also sells whole-bean coffee to take home with you. 

  • Opening hours – Monday-Friday (7:30-2:00 pm), Saturday & Sunday (7:30-1:00 pm )
  • Average Price (meal for 2) – $10-15
  • Google Maps Pin

Cheap Places To Eat In Truckee

It can be challenging to dine on a budget in California, but there are some restaurant options in Truckee where you can get a meal for two while also staying under $30

There are quite a few budget restaurants in Truckee.

These are some of the best budget options:

15. Full Beli Deli 

Full Belly Deli is a famous sandwich shop in Truckee, California, with two additional locations in Reno. Since its inception in 2007, this deli has become a staple in Truckee/Reno region.

Full Belly Deli caters to all dietary needs with sandwiches, subs, wraps, burritos, and salads on offer and gluten-free options available. The signature item on their menu is the biscuits & gravy burrito.

Full Belly Deli offers some great food at affordable prices while still supporting local businesses and charities – making it super popular within the local community.

  • Opening hours – Monday-Friday (7:00 am – 3:00 pm), Saturday (10:00 am – 3:00 pm, Sunday (Closed)
  • Average Price (meal for 2) – $20-25
  • Google Maps Pin

16. Golden Rotisserie

With huge portions and fast service, Golden Rotisserie serves up some of Truckee’s most popular Mexican food among locals and visitors.

The Mexican restaurant is located in a strip mall on Donner Pass Road. You can find delicious quesadillas, burritos, tacos, and tri-tip dishes that blend Mexican cuisine with California staples on the menu.

Their specialty Whole Roasted Chicken on the Spit Family Pack is a must-try for anyone looking for good value for money at just $30. 

Customers can also enjoy homemade salsas and guacamole to accompany their meals too!

  • Opening hours – Monday-Saturday (10:30 am – 9:00 pm), Sunday (Closed)
  • Average Price (meal for 2) – $20-30
  • Google Maps Pin

17. Burger Me

Burger Me is a classic burger joint with multiple locations in the Reno/Truckee region. It has an array of burgers to choose from, ranging from chicken, bison, turkey, beef, elk, veggie, and even fish fillet and roast beef burgers.

They also offer four styles of fries as side dishes and serve their burgers on a yummy brioche bun (which can be substituted for wheat or gluten-free buns).

Burger Me offers outdoor seating and is the perfect option for customers looking for a quick bite for an affordable price!

  • Opening hours – 11:00 am – 9:00 pm
  • Average Price (meal for 2) – $20-30
  • Google Maps Pin

Visiting Truckee FAQs

Truckee is a really fun place to spend a long weekend in the Sierra Nevadas. While there are many fantastic restaurants in Truckee, most people visit Truckee for the town’s outdoor activities or historical significance.

Truckee has so many things to do, no matter the season.

Here are some common questions about Truckee, California:

Is Truckee, CA worth visiting?

Truckee, CA is absolutely worth visiting, even if you can only stay for a day.

The town is in one of the most beautiful sections of the Sierra Nevada mountains and offers many things to do in the summer and winter months, like hiking, kayaking, mountain biking, and skiing. 

Downtown Truckee has a vibrant atmosphere with plenty of shops, museums, galleries, and all of these delicious restaurants mentioned above to try.

What is Truckee, California, known for?

Truckee, California, is primarily known for its role in the Gold and Silver Rush and Western exploration in the 1800s.

The Truckee Railroad Museum is dedicated to learning about Truckee’s essential role in America’s first transcontinental railroad. The Emigrant Trail Museum tells the story of the Donner Party and their struggle to cross the Sierra Nevada Mountain range.

These days, Truckee is also renowned for its outdoor activities, such as skiing, snowboarding, rafting, kayaking, and more.

Visitors come to experience the natural beauty of Truckee while participating in outdoor activities like hiking, biking, kayaking, and rafting. In winter months, visitors have access to some of the best and snowiest ski resorts in California.

Which restaurants in Truckee have outdoor seating?

There are a lot of great restaurants in Truckee that offer outdoor seating. This is especially nice in the summer when the weather is almost always warm and dry. 

✔️Moody Bistro Bar & Beats (Limited: 2-3 tables)
✔️Bar of America
✔️Cottonwood Restaurants
✔️Smokey’s Restaurant
✔️Pianeta Ristorante
✔️Drunken Monkey Sushi (Limited Outdoor Seating)
✔️Coffee Bar
✔️Burger Me

Where To Stay In Truckee

When visiting Truckee, it’s best to stay close to downtown, and this will put you within walking distance of most of the best restaurants and things to do in Truckee. There are plenty of places to stay in Truckee, from luxury guesthouses to more affordable, family-friendly hotels.

Truckee, California has tons of cute lodging options.

Here are our top recommendations:

📍Best Luxury Stay – Gravity Haus Truckee-Tahoe

Gravity Haus in Tahoe-Truckee is the perfect luxury stay for visitors traveling not only in Truckee but the entire Lake Tahoe area.

This hotel has a convenient location close to downtown Truckee and only a short bike ride away from Donner Lake. It’s nestled into a thick-wooded area just outside town, providing guests with a quiet, cozy atmosphere. 

➡️ Click Here to Check Prices ⬅️

📍Best Budget Stay – Truckee Donner Lodge

The Truckee Donner Lodge is a great budget option for travelers visiting Truckee. The hotel has complimentary wifi, parking, and breakfast included in the stay. 

It’s within walking distance of downtown and many of the city’s main attractions. Ski resorts such as Northstar and Squaw Valley are also just a short drive away, and the Truckee Donner Lodge offers ski storage and discount lift tickets. 

➡️ Click Here to Check Prices ⬅️

Conclusion: Best Places To Eat In Truckee

Truckee has a lot of great places to eat, whether you’re looking for a luxurious dining experience or more casual cuisine. 

Be sure to plan and make reservations at the busier restaurants on this list so you can make sure to get a seat at the best Truckee restaurants.