Welcome Back Donner Lake Kitchen!   2 comments

By Michelle Portesi


Donner Kitchen

Donner Lake Kitchen


Whether I’ve lived in a small town or a large city, I’ve always been enamored of the idea of just being able to walk someplace for breakfast. Fortunately for me, that desire is fulfilled, as a block down the street is the re-established Donner Lake Kitchen.

I’ve eaten at the original version of the restaurant, continued to dine at the new reincarnation when it became the Old Hwy 40 Kitchen and Grill, and back again to the Original Donner Lake Kitchen owned by Kelley and Bill Money. I won’t re-create the wheel here by writing about how all of this came about, as The Sierra Sun has already published an excellent article on the whole journey.  To read more about it, go here:



Donner Kitchen 3

Grab a seat by a sunny window



What I will say, is that the food has always been excellent, the portions HUGE, and the prices reasonable…for a resort town anyway.  While the fare at The Old Hwy. 40 version was tasty, their menu was fairly limited.  I suspect as a result, the restaurant suffered from not being able to attract that much needed local population when the tourists had all gone home.

That’s not the case with the Donner Lake Kitchen. The menu is expansive, they serve breakfast all day, and as far as owner Kelley is concerned, should you want something special that isn’t on the menu, if they have the items on hand to make it – within reason, a little deviation from the norm is just fine by her.  From what I’ve seen, the locals have welcomed them back with open arms, and they seem to attract a fairly steady stream of patrons.


Donner kitchen 2

Cinnamon Rolls! Ooey, Gooey, Chewy Goodness!


I’ve had both breakfast and lunch here, met with friends for a lively meal, or just relished a quiet breakfast alone at the counter, newspaper or magazine in one hand, coffee in the other. The atmosphere is Funky Tahoe Casual, the service friendly and the food, always fresh and good.


The Donner Lake Kitchen is located at  13710 Donner Pass Road – behind Sticks Market.

Hours: 7 a.m. – 2 p.m.


Follow them on Facebook: Donner-Lake-Kitchen


Donner Kitchen Menu





2 responses to “Welcome Back Donner Lake Kitchen!

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  1. Hi Lynn, Thanks for the comments about Donner Lake Kitchen. My wife and I ate either there or at Old 40 some time ago, maybe last century, but both are closed now, n’est-ce pas? I tried the 578-3119 number and it’s disconnected. I know of friends coming to Donner Lake for their 10th anniversary. Other friends and I want to treat the love birds to brunch or lunch in Truckee on June 26. The bride suggested “a small place that had good food not far from the train station on the same side of the street. I do not recall it’s name.” I checked tripadvisor.com’s ten-best-restaurant map and see no restaurant on that side of Commercial Row. Any idea what place that might be? Thanks, Joe, Reno, NV


    • Hi Joe. Sorry for the horribly late response to your comment. (We never get any, so tend to forget about them while busy selling real estate!) Donner Lake Kitchen is located at Donner Lake. I’ll double check the phone number to make sure it hasn’t changed, and if so, correct it.
      The Donner Lake Kitchen was there years ago, then they left for a new restaurant in Portola. A new owner opened the Hwy. 40 restaurant in its place and they stayed for a few years. They then sold the place back to the old owners who currently own it. Locals were excited to have them back, and they have been busy ever since. Good food, an extensive menu and reasonable priced for the area.

      If you’re looking for a breakfast/lunch place on commercial row, the Squeeze In is probably the best local favorite. It’s a long, narrow place, so you really do have to ‘Squeeze In’. LOL.


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