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A cabin nestled among tall pine trees with a view of Big Bear Lake is a perfect vacation spot in Fan
A cabin nestled among tall pine trees with a view of Big Bear Lake
Photo by Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

12 Springtime Getaway Restaurants to Try in Nearby LA Mountain Destinations

From Big Bear to Idyllwild, where to eat when on vacation

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A cabin nestled among tall pine trees with a view of Big Bear Lake
| Photo by Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Southern California is blessed with many wonderful things, among them the ability to venture from Pacific Ocean surf to several feet of snow in as little as two hours’ time. Perhaps most charming is greater Los Angeles’s access to so many different mountain towns in the national forests and parks that surround the Southland, including Big Bear, Lake Arrowhead, Pine Mountain, and Idyllwild. But the big question is: Where does one eat when hiding out in some cozy grizzly bear-themed cabin?

Here now are twelve great options for restaurants that can be found in various mountain communities across Southern California. The list ranges from lesser-known Frazier Park, the popular Big Bear, part of the Tejon Pass region, Crestline, and down on to Idyllwild proper. From crepes to vegetarian fare and Nepalese specialities, each small mountain town has something great to offer.

Removed: Newcomb’s Ranch (temporarily closed), Top Of The Notch

Added: BJ’s Restaurant & Sandwich Shop, Crepe Cafe, La Llena Mexican Restaurant, LouEddie’s Pizza, Silverwood Sushi, Teddy Bear Restaurant

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. La Lena Mexican Restaurant

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16236 Pine Valley Ln
Frazier Park, CA 93222
(661) 242-2327
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Whether snow is on the ground or during deep summer months, La Lena Mexican restaurant has a cozy spot with delicious food with albondigas soup, tacos, or the occasional barbecued ribs.

2. The Red Dot Vegetarian kitchen

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3221 Mt Pinos Way
Frazier Park, CA 93225
(661) 245-4733
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Frazier Park and nearby Pine Mountain Club are two lesser-known mountain communities near greater Los Angeles, each situated inside the Los Padres National Forest. The sleepiness of the two towns means more local flavor, like the kind found at clean-eating restaurant The Red Dot. The meatless restaurant offers everything from Indian dishes to standard American salads to fish-free tacos, served daily from the morning through dinner.

Crispy cauliflower
Red Dot Kitchen

3. Grizzly Cafe

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1455 California Hwy 2, P.O. Box 2887
Wrightwood, CA 92397
(760) 249-6733
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There is no busier restaurant in Wrightwood than the Grizzly Cafe. The hearty-eating American spot turns out a mean weekend breakfast before transitioning into burgers and other fare for lunch, all meant to satisfy Pacific Crest Trail through-hikers and wintertime skiers alike.

4. Silverwood Sushi and Grill

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13910 CA-138
Hesperia, CA 92345
(760) 389-2200

This Hesperia spot specializes in Korean barbecue and sushi. The husband and wife owners both specialized in these specific cuisines, making it possible to order sashimi or banchan in one spot.

5. Hortencia's at the Cliffhanger

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25187 CA-18
Crestline, CA 92325
(909) 338-4466

Crestline may not see the same influx of visitors as nearby Lake Arrowhead or Big Bear, but the tight-knit community still has mountain views and crisp summer air to spare. Both are in abundance at Hortencia’s, a laid-back Mexican restaurant with a cliffhanging patio that provides impeccable looks at the mountains below.

6. The Lakefront Tap Room Bar and Kitchen

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28200 CA-189 E-200
Lake Arrowhead, CA 92352
(909) 744-8887
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Much of Lake Arrowhead’s waterfront property is squeezed by private land and homes, making the Lakefront Tap Room all the more appealing for part-time visitors. Stop through for burgers, fries, pretzels, and a surprisingly robust craft beer list to go along with the stunning lake view.

7. LouEddies Pizza

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28561 CA-18
Skyforest, CA 92385
(909) 336-4931
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There’s some amazing things to visit when in Skyforest. An essential stop is at LouEddies Pizza located right next to the historic venue and log cabin spot, Willow Woods Park. LouEddies pizzas are packed high with toppings, but don’t skip the soup and hot, fresh garlic knots.

8. Himalayan Restaurant

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672 Pine Knot Ave
Big Bear Lake, CA 92315
(909) 878-3068
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Everyone who has ever been to Big Bear knows about Himalayan Restaurant. In a small community ringed with chain restaurants and a few other local gems, Himalayan manages to stand out for its Indian and Nepalese fare, including some particularly delicious momo dumplings on a spacious outdoor patio. The indoor dining room is cozy, with a bar that’s perfect for happy hour.

Masala Thali combination from Himalayan Restaurant in Big Bear, California.
Masala Thali combination from Himalayan Restaurant
Mona Holmes

9. Teddy Bear Restaurant

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583 Pine Knot Ave
Big Bear Lake, CA 92315
(909) 866-5415
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One of Big Bear’s oldest establishments, the 63 year old Teddy Bear Restuarant resides in the central Big Bear Village, where comfort foods like chicken fried steak with sausage gravy and house made biscuits with brown sugar-glazed bacon are popular favorites.

Chicken fried steak from Teddy Bear Restaurant in Big Bear, California.
Teddy Bear Restaurant
Mona Holmes

10. Cafe Crepe

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41003 Big Bear Blvd
Big Bear Lake, CA 92315

Big Bear’s hottest place to eat is drive-thru creperie Cafe Crepe. Open in November 2020, the walk-up/drive-thru spot maintains lengthy line for crepes made-to-order, including vegan options and a buckwheat crepe for those avoiding gluten.

11. BJ's Restaurant and Sandwich Shop

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110 E Big Bear Blvd
Big Bear, CA 92314
(909) 585-2938

Situated slightly away from the central part of Big Bear, BJ’s Restaurant and Sandwich Shop keeps a spacious outdoor patio, cold beer on draft, and well-executed sandwiches. Order the pastrami, tuna melt, or burgers.

BJ’s Restaurant and Sandwich Shop in Big Bear, California.
BJ’s Restaurant and Sandwich Shop
Mona Holmes

12. La Casita Restaurant

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54650 N Circle Dr
Idyllwild, CA 92549
(951) 659-6038
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There’s a small cluster of restaurants and bars that populate the center of town in Idyllwild, and among them is La Casita. The simple lunch and dinner space offers lots of shaded patio seating and simple Mexican and Mexican-American fare, including taco salads, burritos, and big-plate staples like enchiladas.

La Casita
La Casita

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1. La Lena Mexican Restaurant

16236 Pine Valley Ln, Frazier Park, CA 93222

Whether snow is on the ground or during deep summer months, La Lena Mexican restaurant has a cozy spot with delicious food with albondigas soup, tacos, or the occasional barbecued ribs.

16236 Pine Valley Ln
Frazier Park, CA 93222

2. The Red Dot Vegetarian kitchen

3221 Mt Pinos Way, Frazier Park, CA 93225
Crispy cauliflower
Red Dot Kitchen

Frazier Park and nearby Pine Mountain Club are two lesser-known mountain communities near greater Los Angeles, each situated inside the Los Padres National Forest. The sleepiness of the two towns means more local flavor, like the kind found at clean-eating restaurant The Red Dot. The meatless restaurant offers everything from Indian dishes to standard American salads to fish-free tacos, served daily from the morning through dinner.

3221 Mt Pinos Way
Frazier Park, CA 93225

3. Grizzly Cafe

1455 California Hwy 2, P.O. Box 2887, Wrightwood, CA 92397

There is no busier restaurant in Wrightwood than the Grizzly Cafe. The hearty-eating American spot turns out a mean weekend breakfast before transitioning into burgers and other fare for lunch, all meant to satisfy Pacific Crest Trail through-hikers and wintertime skiers alike.

1455 California Hwy 2, P.O. Box 2887
Wrightwood, CA 92397

4. Silverwood Sushi and Grill

13910 CA-138, Hesperia, CA 92345

This Hesperia spot specializes in Korean barbecue and sushi. The husband and wife owners both specialized in these specific cuisines, making it possible to order sashimi or banchan in one spot.

13910 CA-138
Hesperia, CA 92345

5. Hortencia's at the Cliffhanger

25187 CA-18, Crestline, CA 92325

Crestline may not see the same influx of visitors as nearby Lake Arrowhead or Big Bear, but the tight-knit community still has mountain views and crisp summer air to spare. Both are in abundance at Hortencia’s, a laid-back Mexican restaurant with a cliffhanging patio that provides impeccable looks at the mountains below.

25187 CA-18
Crestline, CA 92325

6. The Lakefront Tap Room Bar and Kitchen

28200 CA-189 E-200, Lake Arrowhead, CA 92352

Much of Lake Arrowhead’s waterfront property is squeezed by private land and homes, making the Lakefront Tap Room all the more appealing for part-time visitors. Stop through for burgers, fries, pretzels, and a surprisingly robust craft beer list to go along with the stunning lake view.

28200 CA-189 E-200
Lake Arrowhead, CA 92352

7. LouEddies Pizza

28561 CA-18, Skyforest, CA 92385

There’s some amazing things to visit when in Skyforest. An essential stop is at LouEddies Pizza located right next to the historic venue and log cabin spot, Willow Woods Park. LouEddies pizzas are packed high with toppings, but don’t skip the soup and hot, fresh garlic knots.

28561 CA-18
Skyforest, CA 92385

8. Himalayan Restaurant

672 Pine Knot Ave, Big Bear Lake, CA 92315
Masala Thali combination from Himalayan Restaurant in Big Bear, California.
Masala Thali combination from Himalayan Restaurant
Mona Holmes

Everyone who has ever been to Big Bear knows about Himalayan Restaurant. In a small community ringed with chain restaurants and a few other local gems, Himalayan manages to stand out for its Indian and Nepalese fare, including some particularly delicious momo dumplings on a spacious outdoor patio. The indoor dining room is cozy, with a bar that’s perfect for happy hour.

672 Pine Knot Ave
Big Bear Lake, CA 92315

9. Teddy Bear Restaurant

583 Pine Knot Ave, Big Bear Lake, CA 92315
Chicken fried steak from Teddy Bear Restaurant in Big Bear, California.
Teddy Bear Restaurant
Mona Holmes

One of Big Bear’s oldest establishments, the 63 year old Teddy Bear Restuarant resides in the central Big Bear Village, where comfort foods like chicken fried steak with sausage gravy and house made biscuits with brown sugar-glazed bacon are popular favorites.

583 Pine Knot Ave
Big Bear Lake, CA 92315

10. Cafe Crepe

41003 Big Bear Blvd, Big Bear Lake, CA 92315

Big Bear’s hottest place to eat is drive-thru creperie Cafe Crepe. Open in November 2020, the walk-up/drive-thru spot maintains lengthy line for crepes made-to-order, including vegan options and a buckwheat crepe for those avoiding gluten.

41003 Big Bear Blvd
Big Bear Lake, CA 92315

11. BJ's Restaurant and Sandwich Shop

110 E Big Bear Blvd, Big Bear, CA 92314
BJ’s Restaurant and Sandwich Shop in Big Bear, California.
BJ’s Restaurant and Sandwich Shop
Mona Holmes

Situated slightly away from the central part of Big Bear, BJ’s Restaurant and Sandwich Shop keeps a spacious outdoor patio, cold beer on draft, and well-executed sandwiches. Order the pastrami, tuna melt, or burgers.

110 E Big Bear Blvd
Big Bear, CA 92314

12. La Casita Restaurant

54650 N Circle Dr, Idyllwild, CA 92549
La Casita
La Casita

There’s a small cluster of restaurants and bars that populate the center of town in Idyllwild, and among them is La Casita. The simple lunch and dinner space offers lots of shaded patio seating and simple Mexican and Mexican-American fare, including taco salads, burritos, and big-plate staples like enchiladas.

54650 N Circle Dr
Idyllwild, CA 92549

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