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Treat Yourself to Fine Dining in Big Bear, California

Check out our recommendations for breakfast, lunch and dinner near Big Bear Lake

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If you travel a lot, you probably know that restaurants near ski resorts (or water resorts) tend to be pricey, and it is not always the best food you’ve ever had. They often rely on their location to sell them to customers. To my mind, Big Bear has its share of that experience, but we found some lovely places that you should try the next time you head up the mountain.




Breakfast: Teddy Bear Restaurant 

Teddy Bear is right on Pine Knot Avenue in the heart of downtown. Its rustic charm and family-owned feel attract locals and tourists alike. The portions are huge – both Andy and I had to-go boxes and the breakfasts are scrumptious. I went for pancakes, and Andy went for the heartier option (aka The Farmers complete with eggs, sausage and biscuits). The vibe is very casual, and you’ll notice from the conversations that float by that many of the customers are known by name. While Andy cooked most of our breakfasts in the cabin (which were also fantastic), we were both happy that we indulged on our last day in town. One thing to keep in mind– it is a cash only establishment.




Lunch: North Shore Cafe 

Technically, the North Shore Cafe is in Fawnskin and quite close to where we were staying at Quail Cove Lakeside Lodge. It sports indoor and outdoor seating, and the staff is very friendly. Feel free to ask questions about the area – they are great at giving inside tips on things to see and do. We opted to sit outside on the patio and ordered from their healthy food menu. The breeze was blowing, the food was plentiful, and the conversation was lively – we even met a lovely man who gave us a map of the best sites for Jeep off-roading.



Andy celebrating his birthday at The Pines Lakefront Restaurant.


Dinner: The Pines Lakefront 

We wanted to do something special for Andy’s birthday, so we headed for The Pines Lakefront for an evening on the lake. We did not have reservations (it is highly recommended), but when we arrived the co-owner went out of his way to find us a spot on the patio before the dinner rush. It ended up being perfect because the patio has a delightful view of the sun as it sets behind the mountains. They had live jazz inside, and the music flowed out to us as we sipped our birthday champagne. For dinner, I chose pasta, and Andy had a fantastic chicken dish. We really could not have asked for a better evening, as we watched the sun fade and the twinkle lights of the patio brighten. We would definitely come back again (though next time we will make a reservation).





12 Comments on Treat Yourself to Fine Dining in Big Bear, California

  1. I wish I would have seen this post when I went to Big Bear this summer with my sister. We have no idea where to eat. We found a good spot, but if I would have seen this I would have picked North Shore Cafe. I love places that have healthy options 🙂

    • PatriciaSteffy // September 12, 2016 at 4:56 pm // Reply

      Next time! I feel like there is a lot we didn’t get to explore, and I’m definitely ready for a return trip.

  2. I haven’t made the trip to big bear California but I definitely will have to make a stop for all of the great looking food! Do they have many vegetarian options?

    • PatriciaSteffy // September 12, 2016 at 7:55 pm // Reply

      Most of the places we encountered did have vegetarian options (North Shore and The Pines both did), but you definitely have to review menus before heading out so that you aren’t stuck with just getting a simple salad. It also depends on where you stand with fish — there were a lot of fish options at every place we visited.

  3. Oh wow I love that terrace with the fairy lights and view. Can’t beat a restaurant with a view

    • PatriciaSteffy // September 12, 2016 at 8:12 pm // Reply

      It was so pretty! The Pines Lakefront was the perfect place to celebrate Andy’s birthday, and he got his first wish — dinner while watching the sunset. 🙂

  4. Sounds like a nice place! You didn’t include any photos of the food so I’m not drooling like all those other type of posts tend to do haha 😛 Thanks for that!

    • PatriciaSteffy // September 12, 2016 at 11:38 pm // Reply

      LOL!! I must admit, we dove in so quickly that it was often later that I realized I hadn’t taken any photos (except of Andy with the birthday champagne).

  5. Looks like a lot of options for some great food and drink in Big Bear! I’ll be checking these out if I get the opportunity to visit!

    • PatriciaSteffy // September 13, 2016 at 4:29 pm // Reply

      There really are some good ones. Of course, there are some that just bank on location, but we were lucky and found some really great spots!

  6. Seems like Big Bear has a nice ambience. Perfect rendezvous of old friends.I like the view of the sunset.

    • PatriciaSteffy // September 20, 2016 at 1:44 am // Reply

      It really is lovely! We tend to gravitate to places with fewer crowds, so we really enjoyed staying on the “quiet” side and then coming in to town for treats. 🙂

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