This is a family-run local spot that Tony and I hit up for lunch every time we are in South Lake Tahoe. The food is fresh, the staff is hopping, and the people keep on coming! Sprouts is a mostly vegetarian restaurant, but they offer turkey and tuna (not dairy-free) for their sandwiches, rice bowls, salads, and burritos, too. They have a plethora of vegan and dairy-free options, and can easily make most menu items dairy-free and gluten-free upon request (they do offer gluten-free bread for a small surcharge). The daily soups are almost always vegan.
Sprouts also offers a big list of fresh juices and smoothies, all squeezed and blended right when you order. For the smoothies, Sprouts has soy protein powder and dairy-free milk alternative on the menu. They also have a good selection of breakfast items – from bagels to egg dishes that can be ordered sans cheese or with vegan cheese for a small surcharge.
If you get the chance, the Crunch sandwiches (vegetarian or turkey without cheese or upgraded with vegan cheese) are a favorite at Sprouts – they are loaded with fresh sprouts, carrots, cabbage, and avocado for an amazing garden delight! This one comes with a honey mustard dressing, but you can request another delicious dressing if vegan is needed.
Just a warning: Sprouts isn’t the best at managing their line, so ordering ahead can be wise on busy weekends. However, they always seem to have enough seating for eating onsite, or on a good day, you can enjoy your lunch at the park next door. Also, they do not take credit; bring bills!
Sprouts Natural Foods Cafe is located next to the popular South Lake Tahoe-El Dorado Recreation Area on the main drag (highway 50), right by the lake.
Location: 3123 Harrison Ave, South Lake Tahoe, CA
Phone: (530) 541-6969