Truckee's Best Patios and Decks for Dining & Drinks

Truckee's Best Patios and Decks for Dining & Drinks

July 9, 2021

Summer is here and with its heat comes an endless search for the perfect shaded patio—and if you’re anything like me, ambiance is everything. Look no further than these nooks and crannies nestled around Truckee. From artisanal ice cream cones at the lake to butternut squash ravioli on a hill, many of Truckee’s renowned food establishments also serve as impeccable spots to enjoy a view, catch a breeze, and escape the sun’s rays on an intimate patio. Here are just a few favorite spots around town.

Little Truckee Ice Creamery

ice cream

Truckee’s newest handmade ice cream shop, steps away from Donner Lake, is a perfect recipe for those seeking a cold treat on long summer days. Open daily and located near the west end of the lake, this is the perfect spot to cool down in the shade. With a spacious patio, views of Donner Summit and plenty of seating, it’s a great summer into fall spot. Try their original flavors named for Tahoe-Truckee landmarks and organizations! Tacos Herreria parks their taco truck there Mondays and Fridays also. And if you’re downtown, you can grab a scoop at their Downtown Truckee Trailer at Tahoe Dave’s every afternoon.

Morgan’s Lobster Shack

Morgan's Lobster Shack

Morgan’s offers catering, fresh seafood by the pound, and a terrific lunch menu—best enjoyed on their spacious and shaded back patio. Even better? They’re located directly across from the prize jewel of historic downtown Truckee and the Truckee River. Order a lobster quesadilla and enjoy amidst beautiful flowerbeds, the gentle roar of the river, and intimate conversation.

1882 Bar & Grill

1882 bar and grill

The 1882 Bar & Grill (named after the year the building was built) is located behind River Street Inn Bed & Breakfast and is the only riverfront dining in town overlooking the Truckee River. A quaint little treasure, their small intimate patio deck has recently expanded to accommodate more happy customers. Offering a full bar and BBQ style menu, their meats are smoked daily on their authentic Texas smoker.

Moody’s Bistro, Bar & Beats


Moody’s—Truckee Hotel’s gorgeous downstairs bar and restaurant with a killer cocktail menu—has not one, but TWO outside patios and they also have a temporary stage on Bridge St. since the pandemic! You already know about the fire pit seating in the front (my personal favorite après spot after a long day mountain biking or snowboarding) but there’s also a large shaded patio in the back. It’s a fairly private secret gem right in the heart of downtown. Make sure to specify outdoor seating when calling ahead for a reservation.

Cottonwood Restaurant


We can’t say enough good things about Cottonwood, but it’s generally summed up in their beautiful outside patio space. By far the best spot to catch the sunset in town, this picturesque patio is only made better by the historic Hilltop Lodge sign looming above. Now, this is the ambiance I crave! Ask the knowledgeable servers for a wine recommendation, order the butternut squash ravioli, and soak in the view of charming downtown Truckee below. If you’re unable to score patio seating, ask for a window seat inside the back room for equally epic views.