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The Dam Cafe

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55 West Lake Blvd., Tahoe City, CA. 96145
6 a.m.-3 p.m., Monday-Saturday, 7-3 on Sundays.

At the “Y” in Tahoe City, across from historic “Fanny” bridge and the Truckee river dam, sits a picturesque little cottage (complete with white picket fence, flower boxes, and outdoor benches, tables, and chairs), and one of the most charming coffee houses on the lake (or river). Owners and chefs Jen and Glenn Campbell count twelve years in business at the lake, taking a chance on a passion “started with love; and the finances followed.” If the genuinely cheery and attentive attitude of the staff is any indication, that business ethic has paid off in spades. They love what they do, in this welcoming little café and sandwich shop (18 seats indoors; as many again on the patio). Their excellent homemade fare – healthy, American cuisine, bakery, and vegetarian selections – is made from fresh, local and organic ingredients, whenever possible. Open from 6 a.m.-3 p.m., Monday-Saturday, 7-3 on Sundays (hours extended till 4 in the summertime), The Dam Café features Illy Coffee from Italy, breakfast (and regular) burritos, truly special sandwiches, bagels (locally made in Truckee), seasonal soups, drip and espresso coffee drinks, and bakery treats fresh from their own ovens. The “secret tea drawer” houses Numi, Zhenya Gypsy, and Nevada City Herb and Tea Company specialty teas (truly divine: must check out if you’re a tea buff!). Favorite menu items include the Bacon Burly-Rito (as in, Burrito): Costa Rican style beans and rice, sour cream, avocado, melted cheddar, pepper bacon, and Pico de Galla; and, the Chef’s Special Hummus Avocado Delight sandwich. “Wild granola,” smoothies, milkshakes, a chai shake, ice cream (root beer floats and banana splits!), beer, and wine round out the menu, at a picture-perfect place to sit and savor, or enjoy the hospitality as you grab a quick cup to go.

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