Everyone has their own way to aprés ski. For some, it’s a tailgate. A cooler, a six-pack and a smushed PBJ. For others, it’s a bar. The most raucous bar, the cheapest bar, the most crowdest bar. (pre-covid times, of course.) A glass of champagne. A live band. A fire pit, perhaps. Personally? We love ‘em all. But that doesn’t mean we don’t have a few favorites. Hence, we give you: the best aprés ski spots in South Lake Tahoe.
To keep things simple, we’re going to make a few assumptions here. First, is that you skied at Heavenly. Second, that you like a deal. Third, is that you are looking for a mellow aprés where a beanie and mismatched winter gear is the outfit of choice. Assuming that at least two of these things are true, there is no question—you will love these aprés spots.
First off, what is aprés?
French for after-ski, aprés-ski is the time honored tradition of celebrating your best turns with a coupla pints. In Europe, where the concept really took root, aprés can mean a banger of a party at the ski lodge. More casually, it’s an anywhere, anytime, let’s-drink-after-skiing vibe. (Fun fact: avant is the French word for before. Consider this the launch of our making-avant-ski-a-thing campaign.)
Tahoe’s Most Heavenly Aprés
Even though all the places on this list are within 15 minutes of each other, the point of aprés is that you show up sweaty, covered in powder and in at least one waterproof clothing item. To make this easier, we’ve organized these South Lake Tahoe aprés ski spots by the Heavenly base they’re closest to.
Aprés Ski Near Stagecoach Lodge
At the top of Kingsbury Grade, and just a mile or so from the chairlift, is Fox & Hound. A sportsbar through and through, there’s massive tv’s on every wall, wings, mozzarella sticks and a massive bar menu to prove it.
There’s a lot of reasons to love this spot as an aprés ski pitstop, but perhaps none more than their barbecue menu. It’s the real deal—their award winning ribs and tri-tip, bacon mac n’cheese and collard greens are well-loved by locals and visitors alike. Paired with decadent burgers, salads and beyond, it’s pretty much exactly the type of grub you’ll be craving post-ski sesh.
Of course, if you’re in the mood for drinking and drinking alone, it’s a great place to do that too. The bar is lined with video poker machines and their Smoky Margaritas never disappoint. Overall, it’s a great place to recharge, recap and maybe even recoup a few bucks on the poker machines if luck’s on your side.
Honestly, this is how you know that we’re friends. Because up until this moment, this has been a closely guarded secret of mine.
There are $1 beers in the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. Everyday.
It’s not exactly a secret considering they openly advertise it, but it is the crown jewel in my deal-loving crown. Now listen closely, because this is very important. The $1 beers are only at the William Hill Sports Bar on the casino floor, near the lobby. You must ask for them specifically, and you can only get Michelob Ultra, Budweiser or Budlight bottles.
Last year, we got a seat at the bar during Super Bowl and had not only a primo location in front of the tv’s but a bottomless $1 beer bonanza. It was, in no uncertain terms, one of the most exciting days of my life. I want this for you.
Oh, and in terms of aprés ski, I mean… if you’re not sold on this one already then I have nothing for you.
Aprés Ski Near The Gondola
Live music, cornhole, shareable pizzas and local beers on draft—Basecamp Pizza is a happy jumble of things we love in an aprés setting. Just steps away from the Gondola, the energy here is always high. So high, in fact, that you might have to throw a few elbows to get a table. People freakin’ love this spot.
Luckily, you can easily hack the system by ordering a pizza to-go and sipping a standing-room-only beer while you wait. There’s almost always some amazing local talent on the outdoor stage, and plenty of benches around the village within listening distance.
Great for groups, great for families, great for meeting other skiers that also hit that micro-jump at the bottom of Big Dipper, this one gets five-stars.
If queso and tequila shots are a part of your aprés dreams, then you have a standing date with Azul Latin Kitchen. Half a block from the Gondola, this feisty California-Mexican spot has an outdoor patio that sprawls across Lake Tahoe Blvd’s busiest corner, complete with massive firepits, live music and the best people watching in town.
From a pitcher of margaritas to a platter of enchiladas, they do everything right here. Keep it light with a shrimp ceviche or get the nachos you deserve—what you order hardly matters. It’s all about scoring a spot in one of their oversized Adirondack chairs and propping those ski boots up by the fire pit.
Although we like many things about Ten Crows BBQ, two things earn extra points: that the chicken wings are sold by the pound and that the massive outdoor patio has tons of fireside seating.
Ten Crows offers great food, great cocktails, and it’s connected to Hotel Becket, which happens to be one of our favorite pet-friendly hotels in South Lake Tahoe. Being across the street from the Gondola, there’s a slightly less chaotic vibe which makes it excellent for big groups. The spacious patio makes it easy to find a seat; perhaps around a fire pit, perhaps with live music in the background, definitely with a delicious aprés drink in hand.
Aprés Ski Near California Lodge
The Himmel Haus, in our humble opinion, offers South Lake Tahoe’s best aprés ski experience. It sits directly across the street from the California Lodge, almost close enough to ski-in, ski-out situation. As the name hints, it’s a German restaurant, delivering major Bavarian vibes with its boots of Pilsner and heaping bratwurst platters.
Apart from actually being in the Alps, the Himmel Haus is pretty much the next best thing. Their beer selection is a carefully curated list of Bavaria’s best, with wine and an herbal digestif—that you should definitely try, although you may not like it—also available.
Whether you’re there for a full meal or just a bite, eating at Himmel Haus is mandatory. Everything on the menu makes us happy, but perhaps no item more so than the pretzel. A) it’s gigantic. I challenge you to not squeal in delight when they bring it to your table. B) it comes with accoutrements, one of which cheese sauce that should not be missed. C) there’s three mustards to eat it with, each of which is better than the last.
Anyway, you’ll love this place and you’ll love the staff. Just make sure there’s a table left for me.
A rising star in the South Lake Tahoe restaurant scene, Yugen Sushi has already made their mark amongst the area’s many tasty sushi spots. Their menu is imaginative with rolls like the Typhoon, complete with a hint of cilantro and ceviche habanero, offering a surprising twist on a traditional sushi offering. Yet, there’s enough classicism—salmon and tuna nigiri, hand rolls and sashimi—to make it familiar.
All of this is great, but what lands Yugen a place on our aprés list is their happy hour. Their happy hour is quite literal. It’s just an hour; from 4pm-5pm. And with $8 deluxe rolls and plenty of appetizer deals, it’s also very happy.
The only catch is that you need to be quick. It fills up fast, so no leisurely taking off those ski boots in the parking lot. You need to get down the mountain at 3:45pm and be ready to aprés by 4:00pm.
There’s a million ways to aprés. Some like a bar; some like a tailgate; some like heading home to melt in front of the fireplace. We’re honestly into them all. But these South Lake Tahoe aprés spots seem to always do the trick.