One of the many benefits of living in the Tahoe area is the availability of AUTHENTIC Mexican food restaurants. Many of us were raised on tamales and habanero salsa, so we know the difference between the real thing and the fake stuff that is popular throughout the rest of the US! Caliente, Spanish for hot, is one of those authentic spots that will spoil you against all other Mexican food! Serving dishes in all price ranges, and a variety of specialty tequila cocktails, Caliente Lake Tahoe is open for dinner every night of the week. If you appreciate good food, you will put this spicy cantina at the top of your vacation bucket list!
Located at 8791 North Lake Boulevard in Kings Beach
Its Latin heritage is not immediately apparent from first glance. The exterior is cabin-like, with dark wood, generously sized windows, and a large patio framed with glass rails that takes over the entire rooftop area. Once inside, however, Caliente cannot be mistaken for anything other than what it is. Intricately carved wood chairs, chandeliers that resemble prickly pear cacti, and various and assorted Mexican tchotchkes adorn the walls, creating a casually elegant Mexican restaurant ambiance.
Starting with the Tequila
Caliente in Tahoe features an extensive tequila menu where each option tastes just as good on its own as it does in a margarita; in fact, some would say it would be a shame to dilute the wonder of the tequila with anything more than some salt and a slice of lime! If you’re not sure which tequila goes best with your chips and salsa, hand your keys to your designated driver and start sampling the tequila flights! Also serving wine by the glass or by the bottle, beers on tap, and a selection of specialty cocktails that do not involve tequila, Caliente Lake Tahoe makes sure they have a flavor for every taste!
When you are raised on quesadillas instead of grilled cheese sandwiches, you become pretty picky about the quality of the Mexican food you are served, and Caliente Restaurant in Lake Tahoe meets the challenge! If we had to choose one meal that stands out from all the rest, would you consider it cheating if we chose the Caliente Combo? Featuring a sampling of everything mouthwatering, the combo comes with chicken tinga, cheese burrito, roasted green chile sauce, and two cheese enchiladas topped with crema and green onions and served with refried beans and house made guacamole; this dish fills our dreams and can become habit forming!
Other restaurants in Lake Tahoe:
Being situated right in Kings Beach, there’s a wealth of attractions to experience before or after your meal, from lovely parks to classic pastimes. Check out these attractions nearby that we’ve compiled below!
Kings Beach State Recreation Area
Spend a day at the lake before a dinner at Caliente or have lunch and then set out to explore. This beautiful recreation area has hundreds of feet of stretching sand beach and offers up picnic tables beneath pine trees. Other facilities include restrooms and a playground. Water sports are plentiful and range from swimming to fishing. Day use rates are $10 May-September and $5 October-April!
Kings Beach Miniature Golf
Long an icon of the American family beach or lake vacation, you won’t be surprised to find that Kings Beach boasts its own miniature golf course. Perfect after a family dinner or as the first part of a date night, this adorable course is just up the street from Caliente. You’ll find it open Monday to Thursday from 10 AM to 6 PM, Fridays 10 AM to 8 PM, Saturday 10AM to 8PM, and Sundays 10 AM to 6 PM. Admission $9 for the first round, and $5 for the second! You can also buy a day pass for $20, or a season pass for just $100!
Things to Do Nearby
There are quite a few activities to do nearby when planning to dine at Caliente, especially because of its central Kings Beach location. Check out our list below!
Explore the Shops of Kings Beach
Caliente enjoys a great spot along North Lake Boulevard, and you can explore the nearby shops on foot or by car before or after you dine! Just up the street you’ll find Sierra Shirts and Shades, where you can buy a souvenir to take home or a new pair of sunglasses for your day on the lake. Or try the Robins Nest for more unique gifts. You’ll have a blast wandering along the shops that have that perfect combination of individuality and charming mountain town feel.
Go for a Local Ice Cream
There are two local ice cream shops right near Caliente and can make for a perfect after-dinner treat with the family! Sweet Tahoe Time Ice Cream and Log Cabin Ice Cream are within easy reach and offer up a variety of delicious selections that you can enjoy across the street from the lake. There’s also Shave Ice, a tropical shaved ice store!