Many visitors to the Reno area are surprised by the wide range of restaurants in such a small area. In fact, Reno's best restaurants are putting the city on the locavore map with farm fresh and affordable dishes. Look past the casino buffets and you will find excellent cafes, Italian, Indian, Thai and natural foods. Locally grown produce and meat, like those found at Campo and Centro, take center stage at these 10Best spots to dine in Reno.
For a quick, but hearty lunch India Kabab and Curry restaurant in Midtown serves an authentic Indian buffet. Other popular places for lunch are Reno's AYCE sushi bars. For around $20 for lunch you can get fresh and excellent sushi at restaurants like Hiroba Sushi and Reef Sushi & Sake. Dinners can start out with small plates at Twisted Fork or Roundabout Grill and end up with a sweet Liege Waffle dessert at Great Full Gardens.
For a splurge, visit LuLou's or Beaujolais Bistro where you will find local ingredients in a French atmosphere. Sterlings Restaurant at the Silver Legacy downtown is also a great place to celebrate a special occasion. For a look at old Reno, visit the Harrah's Steakhouse and get one of their flambéed desserts.
This popular restaurant in the Arts District of downtown Reno serves excellent French food in an atmosphere of white tablecloths, brick walls, small, intimate tables and French bistro art prints in a 100 year old building. The service here is excellent and the staff really know their food and wine. For starters they usually suggest Onion Soup with Cave-aged Gruyere or the Croque Monsieur or Croque Madame. Entrees are seasonal and include items like locally raised Leg of Lamb Persillade with Pommes Boulangère and Haricots Verts ($34). Beaujolais Bistro also offers over 100 bottles of wine including Calera Central Coast Pinot Noir, Vouvray Chateau Monfort and of course, fine Beaujolais from France. (775-323-2227)
Sterlings Seafood & Steakhouse
One of the best restaurants in the Big Three casinos downtown: the Silver Legacy, the Eldorado and Circus Circus. Sterlings in the Silver Legacy is a great place to have a special dinner and their Sunday Brunch buffet is probably the best in town. The menu includes items such as Escargot, New England Clam Chowder, French Onion Soup, Porterhouse Steak with Peppercorn Sauce and Desserts like Creme Brulee. The dinners will run about $40-$50 per person.
The restaurant is elegant and the seating is booth style that is very private and great for couples or small groups. The Sunday Brunch is fantastic with seafood, steak and poultry specialties, an omelet station, a wonderful selection of breads and pastries and some wonderful fruit and desserts.The Sunday brunch (non-holiday) is about $25 per person. ((800) 687-8733)
Lulou's is the place in Reno where you take your favorite date or demand to have your birthday dinner. From both locals and visitors, LuLou's is said to serve the best food in town. It is one of the most expensive places in the city, but the dishes are made with fresh, local ingredients and the service is unsurpassed.
Lulou's atmosphere is chic and modern with a hip interior. The building itself stands out in this part of Midtown with its clean lines and bright colors. Their appetizers like the Crab Cakes and the Heirloom Tomato Salad are small, but the main entree such as Filet Mignon, wild game like Boar and Venison are generous. Other main dishes include Quail, Tuna Tartare and Ribeye Steak with Swiss Chard. ((775) 329-9979)
Centro Bar & Kitchen is located in the CalAve District near downtown Reno. This stylish, little restaurant (with a back patio) serves small plates and cocktails with a local twist.
Menu items include the popular Filthy Bastard Fries with cheese sauce made from Arrogant Bastard beer, queso fresco, chorizo, bacon and Calabrian chile, the Daily Tacos and Daily Sliders and the Baby Beet Salad with California grapes, snap peas and yogurt. Appetizers and desserts include the House Hummus and the Bread Pudding Waffle with Bananas Foster.
Centro has a lively bar as well with creative cocktails like the Moonlight Tower with tequila or bourbon, absinthe, strawberries and ginger beer. ((775) 737-9062)
Great Full Gardens
Great Full Gardens Cafe & Eatery in MidTown Reno offers a casual and healthful menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner and a full coffee, beer and wine menu. The restaurant features items from local farms, vendors and their own greenhouse. The menu also caters to vegan, gluten-free and Paleo diets.
For breakfast, try one of the Liege Belgian style waffles with fruit or eggs. The Elvis Liege waffle has bacon, sliced bananas and peanut butter drizzled with honey. For lunch or dinner Chef/Owner Gino's Totally Tomato soup goes well with the Paleo Lunch Bowl ($12.99-$14.99) with grilled chicken or wild salmon on a bed of kale, onions, broccoli, mushrooms and cabbage, sauteed in organic coconut oil. Other dishes include Wild Cod Tacos or Pizza ala Bismark. ((775) 324-2013)
India Kabab & Curry Restaurant
India Kabab and Curry has become one of the most popular places for lunch in Reno. It's located just a few miles from downtown in the Midtown area on Virginia Street. Their lunch buffet special is priced at $6.95 and their dinner menu items cost between $3.50 for appetizers and $10.95 for main dishes.
The lunch buffet serves up salad, fresh fruit, rice, various meats in sauce and vegetables. There are some vegetarian options as well as a soup of the day. Some of the most popular items are the Chicken Tandoori, the Chicken Tikka Marsala, and the Murg Vindaloo. Some of the best items include the anise spiced carrots at the salad bar as well as the spicy mint sauce. There is usually a Pakora or a Samosa item as well.
The interior is clean and colorful and the bar is beautifully decorated with warm colors and chic lanterns. The bathroom is one of the nicest of the smaller restaurants in town. ((775) 348-6222)
Reef Sushi & Sake
Another one of Reno's all-you-can-eat sushi ($25 for dinner) spots stands out for both its location and Hawaii themed menu. This fun and lively sushi bar and restaurant is located right on the Truckee River downtown and features fresh nigiri and rolls like the delectable Surf & Turf with tri-tip and lobster or the Mount Fuji with real snow crab and fresh salmon.
Other rolls include the Reef Roll with dill cream cheese, the Lanai with red snapper and vodka sauce and the Duke Roll with goat cheese and real snow crab.
Their appetizers are just as interesting. Try the Coconut Butter Salmon Salad, Crab Cakes or Stuffed Mushrooms. ((775) 800-1388)
Located in the Whitney Peak Hotel in Downtown Reno, Roundabout Grill features comfort food with an elegant, and local twist. Chef Colin Smith built the grill up from his initial catering business and the family atmosphere shows up in the food.
The grill features breakfast and dinner every day and lunch Friday-Sunday. A Sunday four-course brunch ($25) is also available and includes dishes like Hawaiian French Toast with grilled doughnut bread pudding and coconut; and an all-you-can-drink Bloody Mary or Mimosa.
Dinner entrees range from small plates like Tuna Poke ($10) to large plates with the Turkey Burger with apricot chutney ($14) and the Pan Roasted Halibut with Citrus Hollandaise ($26). ((775) 398-5455)
Twisted Fork in South Reno puts a spin on farm fresh cuisine. The restaurant's decor is borrowed from France, but the food has both a European and American flair. The lunch and dinner menu offer small (and shareable) plates like Kurobuta Pork Tacos with caramelized onions and chile morita salsa ($10), or the sumptuous Tiger Shrimp Tamal with garlic cream sauce, and avocado lime cilantro puree ($11). Larger dinner entrees include Cowboy Ribeye with fried egg, asparagus, mushroom & white cheddar mac & cheese with romesco sauce ($28). The delicious Espresso BBQ Burger comes with blue cheese crumbles and a pretzel bun ($12). (775-853-6033)
The Depot Craft Brewery Distillery
The Depot is Reno's first brewery and distillery that serves some excellent pub food with a local twist. The brewery portion serves up a selection of Nevada-inspired beers and the distillery creates spirits for purchase or for use in the bar's numerous cocktails.
The lunch and dinner menu features salads and main dishes like Poutine with oxtail gravy ($8), various burgers and sliders and an excellent beet salad. Their snack dishes are great to share and include items like Shrimp Ceviche ($11) Steamed Cockles ($13) with beer broth and bacon, and a four cheese Mac & Cheese ($7.50) that will remind you of your cool Mom's dish (775-737-4330)
About Christina Nellemann
Christina has lived in the Reno/Lake Tahoe area since she was a baby. A first-generation Nevadan, her Danish parents instilled in her an intense love of travel and the wild, rugged outdoors of the Western U.S. She spends her time hiking, camping, biking and kayaking in the mountains around her home, and snorkeling and boating in Lake Tahoe. Christina loves to visit the neighboring states of California, Oregon, Utah and Arizona but has traveled around the world including to Japan, Fiji, Turkey and Ecuador.
When she's not traveling or living outdoors, Christina is a graphic and web designer, writer and blogger.
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