The other shop I enjoy stopping by when I am on the west shore of Tahoe is Girasole. This shop, which technically is on the west shore because it is south of the "Y", but is still in Tahoe City, specializes in Northern Italian country dinner ware, kitchen items, cookbooks, bath items and home furnishings.
The owner travels regularly to Rome, Tuscany and Umbria, and brings back all kinds of merchandise from Italy that are hard to find in the US. I stopped by the shop during my most recent trip to Homewood and bought some beautiful unglazed tile coasters and a matching hot plate painted with scenes from Tuscany and Umbria, along with a cookbook containing authentic recipes from Umbria.
Now I can recreate (or maybe I should say "try to recreate") some of the fabulous dishes we had in Umbria last summer, and at the same time protect my coffee table from those unsightly rings while sipping a Sagrantino from the Montefalco district in Umbria.
What to pay: Not cheap, but the merchandise is very high quality
The west shore of Lake Tahoe is not a shopping mecca by any stretch of the imagination. Two places, however, are standouts, and would be even if they were located in a more populated area.
The first worth mentioning is Tahoe House Bakery and Gourmet Store.
What to buy: We go here when we don't want to fuss too much about dinner. Or one of us will make a breakfast run early in the morning while the kids are still in bed. This place has delicious breads, pastries, deli lunches, cookies, desserts, pastas, salads, sauces and takeout meals.
I like their slogan -- "While you sleep, we loaf." About 10 years ago, the owners expanded their bakery operations by baking all of their own bread during the night so that it would be fresh when the doors opened at 6am.
Hours are 6am to 6pm. By early morning, the small parking lot is already packed with people stopping by for takeout breakfast, breads and pastries.