Restaurants in RenoA relatively quiet casino town located in the high desert of northern Nevada, Reno offers a wealth of dining delights to visitors and locals who are willing to head away from the Old Downtown casino strip. Diners looking for the best Reno has to offer are well served by checking out the many small, ethnic restaurants that dot Virginia Street south of the main casino strip. Heading north on Virginia, diners will find upscale restaurants that offer the latest in gastronomic cuisine. Not-to-Be Missed Regional Cuisine: BasqueBasque cuisine is among the most popular and unique of the dining offerings in Reno. The Basque people originally came to northern Nevada as sheep herders and stayed put to participate in the rich agricultural community. Basque food is a unique blend of Spanish and French cuisine with an emphasis on slow-cooked, artfully prepared meat dishes and family style dining. Beef, lamb and seafood are the standard in Basque cuisine. A homemade hard cheese comparable to manchego is offered as a dessert course at many Basque restaurants.Louis' Basque Corner and Santa Fe Basque Restaurant are favored by Reno diners who want to enjoy an authentic Basque experience. The family style meals at most Basque restaurants include soup, salad, Basque beans, spaghetti, french fries, a main dish and ice cream. Those who enjoy drinks before or with dinner can partake in a classic Picon Punch or a sweet, homemade red wine that is prevalent in the Basque region. Those diners looking for an upscale Basque experience can head to Restaurante Orozko at John Ascuaga's Nugget Hotel and Casino, which offers a mix of traditional steakhouse fare and upscale basque delights. On-Trend: Gastro-Centric CuisineIn recent years, trendy restaurants with a focus on gastronomic cuisine have opened just north of the casino strip on Virginia and close to the centrally located River Walk. These restaurants tend to offer new American cuisine and tapas made from locally grown and sourced ingredients. Trout and other local, freshwater fish are offered seasonally at these high-end restaurants. Reno's gastro-centric restaurants also offer a wide range of local microbrews and craft beers. The blocks immediately surrounding the downtown courthouse are also a haven for high-end, gastro-centric restaurants. Most of the restaurants close to the courthouse offer both light lunches and a full dinner menu. Lunch menus in this area often feature locally made sourdough and artisan breads paired with cheeses, fresh fruit and homemade relishes. Almost all of the gastro-centric restaurants in Reno offer an after-work happy hour with great deals on drinks, appetizers and light desserts. South of The Border: Regional Mexican CuisineThanks to a growing population of first- and second-generation Mexican immigrants, Reno diners can partake in a variety of regional Mexican cuisines. While standard Tex-Mex cuisine is available, many eaters head to small restaurants located in strip malls to get a taste of authentic Mexican cuisine. Some restaurants specialize in seafood dishes while others offer classics such as chicharones and chile verde. Many of Reno's Mexican restaurants are located east of Virginia Street or adjacent to Wells Avenue. Fresh tortillas, horchata and salsa bars feature prominently in the majority of these restaurants. Bertha Miranda's Mexican Restaurant is a favorite of long-time Reno residents. Featuring northern Mexican cuisine in a family atmosphere, the restaurant offers a welcome break from the hustle and bustle of busy Virginia Street.Adventurous Cuisine: Asian, Indian and Thai DiningVisitors to Reno may be surprised by the variety of Asian, Indian and Thai restaurants located throughout the city. While there are several chain Asian restaurants in Reno, many of the Chinese, Korean and Japanese spots are owned by immigrants who are passionate about sharing their national cuisines with curious diners. Asian restaurants are scattered all over Reno and can be found in almost every neighborhood. Reno's Indian and Thai restaurants are concentrated south of the casino strip on Virginia Street. Almost all of the Indian restaurants offer a full lunch buffet along with an extensive dinner menu. These restaurants are a favorite among the workday crowd who want a quick, affordable and tasty alternative to sandwich shops. While Reno's Thai restaurants do not feature a buffet format, they do offer a decent selection of popular Thai dishes. The Old Stand-By: Casino Buffets and Coffee ShopsOf course, no discussion of the Reno dining scene would be complete without mention of the many buffets and coffee shops located along the casino strip. Eager to compete with Las Vegas for business, many Reno casinos have upped the ante and expanded their buffets. Friday night seafood buffets and Sunday morning brunch buffets are offered at almost all the casinos. In addition to the standard buffet fare and carving stations, many casinos now feature regional Asian cuisine crafted by local chefs.Those diners who are looking for restaurants that are open around the clock can visit the coffee shops located in every casino. Most of these restaurants serve scaled-down versions of the dishes offered in upscale casino restaurants. They may also feature dishes that can be found at the buffet. While lunch and dinner can be hit and miss at most of the casino coffee shops, breakfast is always a safe bet. Casino coffee shops serve up big portion of classic American breakfast favorites at decent prices. Classic Cuisine: The Steakhouse SceneReno's restaurant offerings are rounded out by high-end steakhouses located throughout the casino strip and at the few casinos located off the strip. Most Reno steakhouses offer locally raised beef and lamb. They offer standard steakhouse fare with modern, gastro-centric twists. The steakhouse scene is favored for serious business meetings and formal get-togethers. As they are located in casinos, the majority of Reno steakhouses do not have a dress code.Though it is significantly smaller than Las Vegas, Reno offers a wide variety of restaurant options to diners. The cuisine ranges from exotic to simple with an emphasis on fresh, local ingredients. Diners who want to find hidden gems should remember to wonder away from the casino strip and onto Reno's side streets.
Reno, Nevada Restaurants