Dubbed ‘The Biggest Little City in the World’, Reno, Nevada
, boasts numerous casinos in close proximity to the rugged beauty of the Sierra Nevada mountains and Lake Tahoe’s ski fields. With a thriving dining scene, great steakhouses and burger places rich in American West tradition, Reno is also a great culinary destination. These are 10 of our favorite cultural restaurants in the city.
Old Granite Street Eatery
With a menu that reflects a strong desire to provide familiar, comforting dishes with an emphasis on quality local ingredients, Old Granite Street Eatery is a local hotspot with an impressive wooden bar perfect for imbibing artisanal cocktails and craft beers. Designed as an everyday option for both locals and visitors to share in great food and drink, this is a relaxed place to meet locals. Choose from a lengthy seasonal menu featuring dishes such as crab cake salad with vegetable succotash, arugula and remoulade dressing and hearty butterscotch pudding with chocolate graham cracker, whisky whipped cream and lace cookie. All local farms and ranches that provide produce are prominently credited on the menu.
Old Granite Street Eatery, 243 S. Sierra St, Reno, NV, USA, +1 775 622 3222
Harrah’s Steak House
Harrah’s Steak House, located in Harrah’s Casino, is a Reno fine dining legend, with an ambiance of old-fashioned elegance and exceptional service. The first restaurant in Northern Nevada to be elected into the Fine Dining Hall of Fame, Harrah’s has also been voted Reno’s top steakhouse. Find out why by tucking into traditional favorites such as prime New York steak with pepper crust and brandy green peppercorn sauce, the filet mignon or the chateau briand for two with béarnaise sauce. For a spectacular conclusion to your meal, order a Café Diablo, skilfully prepared at your table with flaming Cointreau running down a spiral of orange peel and into your coffee.
Harrah’s Steak House, Harrah’s Reno Casino, 219 North Center St, Reno, NV, USA, +1 775 786 3232
Wild River Grille
With a great location right on the Truckee River, Wild River Grille becomes the culinary epicenter of the arts in Reno each July as part of the annual Artown festival, holding special events such as an evening of special dishes inspired by artistic masterpieces. The menu leans towards seafood and steaks. Try the plum chipotle salmon or jerk chicken, followed by Truckee River mud brownies or fried zeppolis (ricotta-filled donut holes) with three different dipping sauces. There are also daily bourbon tastings and wine, food and jazz events every Sunday.
Wild River Grille, 17 S. Virginia St on the Riverwalk, Reno, NV, USA, +1 775 284 7455
Diner, Vegetarian, $$$
Had enough steaks and burgers already? This tiny, tucked away vegetarian diner is the place to go for meat-relief. Locally owned and run since 1987, the Pneumatic Diner is a small space tucked away in an apartment building and decked out with local art, event flyers and touches of casino kitsch. Pneumatic Diner offers fresh and delicious raw foods, fresh juices and vegan treats. Healthy and hearty dishes on offer include a falafel plate, salads, pasta dishes, burritos and tacos followed by fruit-filled pies and classic cookies. The Sunday brunch pecan waffles made on-site in old-fashioned waffle makers are a highlight.
Pneumatic Diner, 501 W. 1st St, Reno, NV, USA, +1 775 786 8888
Peg’s Glorified Ham n Eggs
Family-owned and operated since 1999, Pegs Glorified Ham n Eggs has been voted ‘Best Breakfast’ place in Northern Nevada for the past 11 years. Touted as the ‘Home of Glorified Food and Egg-cellent Service’, Peg’s offers hearty American breakfast treats, from Peg’s Glorified huevos rancheros to eight variations on eggs Benedict served with a choice of hash browns or grits. There are also pancakes by the stack, triple-decker French toast, burgers, breakfast burritos, bagels and lox, Belgian waffles, omelets and sandwiches to choose from. Servings are on the generous side, but salads are also on the menu. Order a coffee, tea or soft drink and get free refills.
Peg’s Glorified Ham n Eggs, 420 S. Sierra St, Reno, NV, USA, +1 775 329 2600
The bright orange façade and discreet signage of Lulou’s Restaurant signal you have arrived somewhere out of the ordinary. An arty gourmet establishment, Lulou’s Restaurant features bold canvases on the brick walls and an open kitchen where diners can watch creative chefs at work artfully plating up dishes with a modern American and Eurasian twist. Chef Troy Canaan sets his standards high and seeks out the best ingredients from around the US, while wife Coleen is the perfect hostess. With fine food and a romantic ambiance, Lulou’s is perfect for special occasion dining.
Lulou’s Restaurant, 1470 S. Virginia St, Reno, NV, USA, +1 775 329 9979
Louis’ Basque Corner
The Basque people of the Pyrenees have a long history in the American West, with a great many Basques immigrating from Spain and France to tend sheep in the Sierras and the Rockies. Opened by Basque immigrants Louis and Lorraine Erreguible in 1967, Louis’ Basque Corner is now owned by Chris Shanks and Brian Elcano, who continue the Basque traditions of hearty food served family-style around large communal tables, with plenty of Picon Punch flowing. Picon Punch is a Basque-American concoction usually made by mixing grenadine, club soda, brandy and Amer Picon, a bitter aperitif made with herbs and burnt orange peel. Authentic specialties on the menu include rabbit stew, paella, tongue Basquaise, oxtails, tripas callos and lamb dishes. There are daily special set-course menus and the atmosphere is convivial.
Louis’ Basque Corner, 301 E. 4th St, Reno, NV, USA, +1 775 323 7203
Silver Peak Restaurant and Brewery
Set on a rooftop with mountain views, Silver Peak Restaurant and Brewery is a casual locale offering good food and microbrews from its own adjoining brewery. Start with panko-crusted shrimp cakes with basil lime aioli and fresh corn salsa followed by mains including wild boar and porcini mushroom pappardelle pasta. There’s also a range of gourmet pizzas crafted using a special dough made with grains from the brewery. Finish up with freshly baked peanut butter cookies served warm with chocolate peanut butter ice-cream and a delicious liqueur coffee or hot cocoa. A tour of the brewery is a must before or after a filling meal.
Silver Peak Restaurant and Brewery, 124 Wonder St, Reno, NV, USA, +1 775 324 1864
The Squeeze In is a classic diner with a fun ambiance, colorful graffiti-covered walls and decor flashbacks reminiscent of the 1960s. Specialising in gourmet omelets, Squeeze In offers over 60 specialty varieties. For the brave, there is even a peanut butter, honey and banana omelet. Each omelet comes with spuds, bottomless Truckee Sourdough toast and homemade mushroom sauce, tomato pesto or cheese sauce. All omelets can also be made as a scramble. To top it all off, there are plenty of creative sandwiches, burgers, burritos, homemade soups and salads to choose from. Wash it all down with a ‘flammable’ bloody Mary, a huge goblet of champagne or a shared pitcher of mimosas.
Squeeze In, 5020 Las Brisas Blvd, Ste 5, Reno, NV, USA, +1 775 787 2700
Toucan Charlie’s Buffet
No visit to a Nevada casino would be complete without sampling an all-you-can-eat buffet meal. One of the best can be found at the Atlantis Casino and Spa. With its jungle-themed decor and almost inexhaustible choice of food, just looking at the amazing spread laid out on the buffet tables is entertaining in itself. There are also made-to-order items like omelets and sizzling Mongolian barbecue in addition to traditional favorites such as roasted and fried chicken and hand-carved prime rib. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Toucan Charlie’s has daily theme dinners with a huge assortment of desserts, and famous Sunday Champagne brunches that are very popular with the locals.
Toucan Charlie’s Buffet, Atlantis Casino and Spa, 3800 S. Virginia St, Reno, NV, USA, +1 800 723 6500