The Lake Tahoe Cafe Crawl


Which cafes in town are the best?

The quest to seek out the top few cafes in town is daunting one, if not seemingly impossible.  The options are plentiful, with locations spread out between Myers and Roundhill.

But Fear not! We here at TTJ decided to take it upon ourselves to scour our noble town in search of our favorite five.  Indeed, after a few hours we were shaky, cracked out, and on the verge of submitting ourselves to the nearest rehab.

But we survived!

And it was most certainly worth the virtuous cause of filling YOU in with the caffeinated deets!


#1: Tahoe Keys Cafe



A long-time local favorite, Tahoe Keys cafe could be considered the ‘hip’ coffee joint in town. Adorned with graffiti, various forms of modern art, and a disco ball, Keys Cafe seems to transport you, if only for an hour, from South Lake to the Mission District of San Francisco.

  • Drink of choice: Almond milk pumpkin latte.  Comparable to a million tiny unicorns frolicking upon your tastebuds.
  • Ambiance: The social hipster. This cafe seems to be more of a social destination rather than a workspace. Make sure you get a photo with that sweet painting behind you so everyone on Facebook can see how cultured you are!
  • Art/decor: Banksy meets the high school welding class.
  • Environmentally friendly features: Organic coffee. Recycled cups.
  • Service: Friendly but busy enough to get you in and out.



 #2: Freel Perk


Freel Perk is a relatively new cafe located in Myers.  A quiet, quaint cafe with high ceilings and large tables and an awesome front patio area in the summer, the Perk is a great place to caffeinate, concentrate, and finish that damn paper you’ve been putting off all week!

  • Drink of choice: Almond milk latte. Brewed to perfection using organic, free-trade coffee!
  • Ambiance: Quiet and concentrated. If you love to carry loud conversations regarding taboo topics like ourselves it’s probably best you take it to patio seating!
  • Art/decor: Local creations are hung on the walls, along with prices should you decide to support!
  • Environmentally friendly features: Alpen Sierra Roasting Company carries organic, free-trade beans!
  • Service: Very personable.  The owner is more than happy to share a friendly chat with you over the counter!



#3.  Alpine Coffee


Alpine Coffee is a cozy coffeehouse with plenty of workspace – both indoors and out!  That’s right – Alpine offers free outdoor wi-fi for those outdoor enthusiasts who experience sharp pangs of guilt whenever forced to work indoors for sake of wi-fi access!

  • Drink of choice: Almond milk latte.  An incredibly tasty beverage, and potent!  Can’t seem to muster the motivation to organize your attic or file your book collection by color and alphabetical order?  Alpine’s liquid crack should do it!
  • Ambiance: Laid-back, studious, and really into music. The cafe tends to be crowded with Tahoe’s most ambitious, all who seem to be carried away by their respective projects and the beats blasting from their headphones.
  • Art/Decor: Grandma would approve.
  • Environmentally friendly features: More organic/free-trade Alpen Sierra Company coffee beans!
  • Service: Very friendly and helpful!  So much so I suspected the coffee beans of being laced with something more. Perhaps smiling emoticons?




#4: Freebird


If you’re looking for a quick coffee to pick-up and go, Freebird cafe is your spot!  A teeny-tiny stand-alone cafe conveniently located right of the 50.  It’s also the best spot in town to purchase the sickest hand-made coffee mugs!

  • Drink of choice: Freebird is best known for their amazing Chai, so we were essentially obliged.  The tastebuds were definitely smiling for at least a solid hour after the final drop had disappeared!
  • Ambiance: Grab-n-go.  However, if you do care to hang around there picnic benches are provided outside.
  • Art/decor: A mini-fireplace and the adorable mason jars filled with all kinds of exotic ingrediants makes up for the tight squeeze inside.
  • Environmentally friendly features: Coffee is directly sourced and farm fresh!
  • Service: Like their coffee, smiles and laughs are generally dished from the source!




#5. Rude Brothers



Don’t be fooled by the name, Rude Brothers is anything but!  The place is always popping off, making it the spot to see and be seen by everyone you know in town. If not while waiting in line inside (there’s always a line), then most certainly while seated out front in full view of the 50!  Be sure to snag a delicious bagel while you’re grabbing your high-powered mojo!

  • Drink of choice – A regular coffee.  There is so much variety available in terms of coffee, creamers, sweeteners, and flavors, you can practically turn a basic cup of coffee into a red velvet double cinnamon coco low-fat almond milk machiatto.  We just hope you know what you’re doing.
  • Ambiance – Friendly factory farm.  You’re crammed in there, but everybody is in a great mood none-the-less.
  • Art/Decor – Plenty of great local art/photography on display for you to enjoy during your wait.
  • Environmentally friendly features – Not entirely sure.
  • Service – Turn and burn.  Remember, they have a factory farm to manage.



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