The Best Natural Foods Cafe for South Lake Tahoe Après Ski

It is an unassuming place, located just around the bend of Lake Tahoe Blvd and at the end a small shopping complex on Alameda Ave. However, the line for lunch inside is a sign that people are not here for the atmosphere or the location; they are here for a healthy alternative to the greasy fast food joints that form the majority of the tourist-centric eateries in the nearby town center. Professional and avid skiers alike know that after many hours on the hill the body is craving nutrition, and Sprouts has just the ticket for that.

Sprouts is a walk-in, seat yourself, over-the-counter service cafe with an alternative vibe. It is not a hole in the wall, but it does have that worn-in feeling like it has been in business for a while. Observing the kitchen area with fresh vegetables spread out and a pile of carrots in the back, it almost feels like walking into the cafe at a health food store.

Started as a juice bar in the 1970’s, the juice portion of the menu is still going strong, offering an array of healthy and surprisingly good tasting smoothies. Various protein add-ons can be thrown into the mix, the names of some you will definitely not find at your local Jamba Juice.

Those that favor a full array of tofu options will find themselves at home here.
The menu here is mostly vegetarian, although not exclusively. The popular real turkey sandwich is a healthy delight that hits the spot.  Also, the turkey rice bowl is a simple but very tasty collection of spices, grains, vegetables and turkey.

As no natural food cafe is complete without vegan options, Sprouts offers dairy and meat free soups, salads and more. Most often, someone behind the counter will be well versed in the particulars of accommodating this diet.

For those who aren’t vegan, however, the breakfast portion of the menu is quite creative. For example, you can order eggs that have been prepared through the espresso machine rather than fried with oils. There is also the breakfast burrito, prepared with the type of fresh and tasty materials you won’t find at the local greasy-spoon diner.

Sprouts also offers their attempts at making healthier versions of unhealthy snacks, such as their ‘gooey nachos.’ Don’t walk away thinking you haven’t consumed too many calories on this one though. However, after burning probably five times this meal on the slopes, you’ve probably earned it. In addition, you can know that all of those calories at least have a little more nutritional value than the alternative down the street.

The benefit of eating at Sprouts is that the food is nutritious and tasty. After you have stuffed away their generous portions, you won’t be leaving with that nasty feeling that comes after overeating at the local chinese buffet. This time, your body might actually thank you for the re-charge, and the rewards will come the next day with another extended ski or snowboard session at your favorite Tahoe Ski Resort. Sprouts offers it’s unique take on après ski, one that skiers and snowboarders alike have found to be a good fit after a long day on the mountain. If you really want a beer instead of a smoothie, just ask someone behind the counter for a tasty, healthy root beer.