Tasting Carson Valley: Some of Our Favorite Spots
…to Eat, Drink and Be Merry
Carson Valley’s dining scene is much like the valley itself: a unique blend of rich history, deep-rooted culture, and genuine people who strive to cultivate the best products from beloved local sources. As a result, there is a smorgasbord of food and beverage options in the valley ready and waiting for you!
When it comes to recommending a few of our favorites, we’ll start here. You’ll quickly find that no two places are alike and there is something for every taste bud. So, get ready to munch, swig and get a little taste of Carson Valley.
1862 David Walley’s Restaurant and Saloon is a blend of rustic elegance, delivering the warm atmosphere of an upscale lodge with gorgeous mountain views. Located in historic Genoa, this is the perfect spot for fine American dining. The menu includes options like steak, fish and prime rib. Pair your meal with a glass from the extensive wine list or signature cocktails from the bar, a rustic Old World-style lounge of hardwood, leather and good vibes. Contact them at 775-782-8155 for reservations and follow along on their Facebook page!
Insider Tip: In the warmer months, sit out back by the fire pit and breathe in the view. It never gets old.
Big Daddy’s Bike & Brew is a unique blend of hobbies and libations that is an experience all to itself. From bicycles for sale/repair and ski rentals/repairs to six full-time beers on tap as well as their very own brewed Double IPA, there is no shortage of intrigue here! Grab a drink from their iconic Big Daddy’s fire truck turned giant beer tap, yep, you read that right! With five tap handles, a full 20-person bar, seating area and booming sound system, the fire truck is just another incredible element to experience at Big Daddy’s (and is even available for special event rentals!). They also often host a food truck and have live music. Patio seating available. Hours vary by season, so be sure to follow them on Facebook to stay in the know!
Insider Tip: Keep your eye out for more selections from Carson River Brewing – Big Daddy’s original beers!
The Chocolate Shoppe, a favorite by locals and visitors alike, creates heavenly confections for any occasion – including a random sweet tooth! You won’t find mass production lines here; everything is made by hand in small batches by people who truly have a passion for their product. The only thing that matches the quality of the chocolate is the creativity in the presentation. Indulgence is a must at the Chocolate Shoppe, and you can expect to be greeted with samples and smiles as soon as you walk through the door. Find unique gifts, seasonal treats, or create a custom order. Visit their website (you can even order their treats online!) or find them on Facebook.
Insider Tip: If you can dream it, the Chocolate team can create it. They can even put a personalized image on your sweets or maybe an image of your sweets on your sweets! You catch our drift.
Coffee on Main is a must stop in Carson Valley. A family owned and operated drive-through and walk-up shop, Coffee on Main features locally roasted Alpen Sierra Coffee as well as smoothies, teas, energy drinks, and the classics like lattes and cappuccinos, to name a few. They also feature a variety of fresh baked goods like scones, croissants, muffins, bagels and pastries – perfect for those on the go! You can’t miss Coffee on Main, conveniently located in the heart of Minden just off Highway 395.
Insider Tip: Coffee on Main is a great wake-up call but can also be perfect for an afternoon pick-me-up; and the line is often shorter in the afternoon!
Cook’d is all about variety: the perfect place for date night, family get-togethers, or to watch the game with your buddies. Check out its full-service sports bar with 14 beers on tap, gaming, and dining area with an intimate vibe. Patio seating is offered in the warmer months, and they also feature a small, enclosed room for private parties up to 16. Menu items include everything from tacos and cheeseburgers to rib eyes or our personal favorite: chicken and bacon stuffed waffles. Everything is fresh and made from scratch. Visit their website for more information.
Insider Tip: Frozen Tumbleweed and tater-tots; the perfect Friday night does exist!
CV Steak, located inside the Carson Valley Inn, is an elegant yet comfortable Nevada-style steakhouse. Signature dishes are beautifully presented and feature a generous selection of choices like New York strips, filet mignon and rib eyes, as well as seafood, chicken and pasta dishes. Sip on a specialty martini or a choose a bottle or glass from the large selection of wines. Save room to treat yourself to an order of creme brulee or homemade cheesecake for dessert! CV Steak is perfect for a special occasion or a let’s-not-cook-tonight escape! View their menu or make reservations on their website.
Insider Tip: If you are into spuds, the Au Gratin potatoes are to die for!
Daniel’s, located in the heart of Genoa, is the newest addition to Carson Valley’s flourishing dining scene, and what an addition it is! A Country- French fine dining experience, Daniel’s offers gorgeous presentation of high-end signature dishes like filet mignon, hot-smoked Chilean sea bass, spinach pesto ravioli, and grilled salmon. Dine by the stone fireplace or grab a drink at one of two bars; the historic ice-house adjacent to the building or the gorgeous deep wood and stained glass adorned bar inside of Daniel’s itself. Either way, you can’t go wrong with a visit to Daniel’s! Patio seating under romantic string lights is available in the summer months. Make reservations on their website today and follow them on Instagram.
Insider Tip: If you are looking for a cocktail that will knock your socks off in the best way, try the Serrano Ancho Jalapeno!
Fuentes Restaurant & Cantina located in Minden, is a fun and lively spot that serves up traditional Mexican cuisine. Dishes include enchiladas, machacas, pozole, chile rellenos, sizzling fajitas and much more. The extensive drink menu equally matches the quality of the food with an array of margarita options, the area’s most delicious sangria and many others, all in Instagram-worthy presentation.
Stay up to date on all the Fuentes fun on Facebook.
Insider Tip: Taco Tuesdays are a must at Fuentes!
Genoa Bar and Saloon is Nevada’s oldest thirst parlor and can’t help but ooze Old West grit and authenticity. Step back in time, 1853 to be exact, and cozy up to the spot where the likes of John Wayne, Teddy Roosevelt, Mark Twain, Clint Eastwood, Johnny Cash, and Raquel Welch (be sure to ask the bartender what she left behind) have enjoyed libations in eras gone by. Enjoy an artesian cocktail with every season, the Hungry Hearts food truck on the weekends, and iconic porch parties and live music throughout the year. Check out their upcoming events on Facebook.
Insider Tip: There is much to see here! Check out the diamond dust mirror on the back of the bar from the 1840s, for one. You’ll likely need to visit several times to take it all in.
JT Basque Bar & Dining Room is a true Nevada institution, embodying Old World Basque culture and serving up savory family style meals that you won’t soon forget. It is impossible not to have a good time with menu options like steak, lamb, chicken or seafood entrees and a bottle of wine at every table. Everything about JT’s breathes family, culture and tradition and its vibrant atmosphere rounds out the experience. Pace yourself, meals are multi-course! Read more about the rich history of the JT Basque Bar & Dining Room on our blog.
Insider Tip: For the full JT experience be sure to try a Picon Punch, throw a dollar on the ceiling, and always agree to add garlic.
Minden Meat and Deli is a local favorite, serving up delicious tri-tip and other made to order sandwiches, burgers, salads and a truly impressive selection of craft beers (31 on tap and hundreds more available). Locally made Hoch Family ice cream is also available for purchase, as are assorted cheeses and other tasty treats. Minden Meat and Deli has both indoor and outdoor seating and their sweet potato fries are second to none! Visit their website or follow them on Facebook to learn more.
Insider Tip: Hosting dinner? Buy their seasoned tri tip to take home and cook for yourself. All hail the Grill King!
The Overland Restaurant & Pub is a cozy, family-friendly eatery located in a historic 1902 building in Gardnerville. The menu is Basque inspired Americana dishes with options like Basque shrimp, freshly made pastas, sausage platters, fish and chips, ribs and steaks. Brick walls and warm wood tones bring a comfortable and welcoming atmosphere that accompanies the friendly staff and delicious food. Visit their website for the full menu and follow them on Facebook for more information.
Insider Tip: Ask to be seated next to a window in the dining room for gorgeous views of Jobs Peak.
Sierra Chef is a little slice of foodie heaven, and it is quite likely your nose will lead you inside when visiting Genoa. They offer freshly made Italian pastas, sauces, breads, pastries, and specialty imported items in the Gourmet Market. It is apparent chef and owner Cynthia Ferris-Bennett has a true love for cooking that translates in everything she does. Sierra Chef offers private cooking classes for kids and adults, making for the perfect and fun activity – which of course, ends in full bellies and smiles all around. Sierra chef also is available for event catering and also hosts a local Farmers Market May-September. Learn more about Sierra Chef in our blog and follow them on Facebook.
Insider Tip: The Sierra Chef Gourmet Market is not only the perfect place to grab a bite, but also a great place to buy gifts!
The Pink House is iconic in Genoa, perfectly pairing history with mouth-watering artisan products. Built in 1855, the Pink House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and feels like just that, a historic home. Wonderfully preserved, this 19th-century gothic style building is a must-stop when visiting Carson Valley. With menu selections like fine cheeses, charcuterie, soups and salads, specialty sandwiches, beer and wine, the Pink House is packed to the brim with charm and high-quality selections for any palate. Visit their website to learn more about the rich history and follow them on Facebook.
Insider Tip: Tell the friendly cheese experts what you like and let them build you a custom charcuterie board. They sure know the best combinations!
Woodett’s Diner is a fan favorite for breakfast and lunch in Gardnerville. A high-quality traditional American diner, Woodett’s now has a French twist! With owners Christelle and Remon professionally trained in French culinary masterpieces, they have added specialty cuisine on Friday and Saturday nights. Whenever you choose to visit Woodett’s, you can expect to find a warm atmosphere, friendly staff and a well-prepared meal packed full of flavor that will surprise you. This is the spot you won’t visit just once, or even twice! Stay tuned for all the fun new things taking place at Woodett’s.
Insider Tip: Two words: huevos rancheros.
Our next suggestion is…foodie’s choice! What would you add to the list? Check out more of Carson Valley’s fare with flare here. You can even download our handy Google Maps List of these places, to be able to find your way. If you are on social media, be sure to tag us with your awesome foodie photos on Instagram and Facebook and use the hashtag #WhyCV.