10 Best Restaurants in Reno: Local Ingredients and an Ethnic Mix
By Christina Nellemann
Reno and Tahoe Local Expert
Many visitors to the Reno area are surprised by the amount choices in restaurants. 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, have also found their way into many of the eating establishments in the area.
For those looking to save some money and still get a great deal, visit the India Kabab and Curry restaurant in Midtown. They have an excellent lunch buffet and authentic Indian food. Just down the street is Bangkok Cuisine, which has been voted some of the best Thai in town.
Reno has become a hot bed of all-you-can-eat sushi. For around $20 for lunch you can get fresh and excellent sushi at restaurants like Hiroba Sushi and Reef Sushi & Sake. Other medium priced places include the Old Granite Street eatery where you can get some nice appetizers during their happy hour or visit Dish or Midtown Eats for some local soups, salads and sandwiches.
For a splurge, visit the 4th Street Bistro or the 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.
Head to the Little Nugget downtown where you can indulge in one of the most famous burgers in the world: the Awful Awful. It has been featured on several FoodTV shows and comes with a giant basket of fries.
10 Ichiban Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Bar
Ichiban at the Harrah's hotel and resort has been "The Best Tasting Show in Town" for year as well as a local favorite for Teppanyaki and their excellent all-you-can-eat sushi bar and tempura bar. The skilled chefs create sizzling steak, lobster, shrimp, scallops, chicken and vegetable dishes right at your table. Or you can sit at the sushi bar and enjoy more than 20 varieties of Nigiri Sushi and 40 Maki Sushi rolls, including several cooked and vegetarian options. The tempura, mussels and miso soup are also included in the price. Lunches run about $16 per person and dinners about $25. (1 775 323 5550)
9 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)
8 Old Granite Street Eatery
This charming little place is located in a refurbished building in the court area of Reno. The decor is clean and inspired by the farm and the food is unusual and most of it is from local farms. The menu features items such as the delicious Devils on Horseback which is dates wrapped in bacon and grilled and the Linguine with Blue Cheese Cream Sauce. The beer and cocktails feature names like the Dark n' Stormy and the Blood & Sand. The food is fresh and excellent and the staff is fast and friendly, but the prices are not cheap. Most appetizers go for about $6 to $12 and most entrees are around $20. However, they do have a great happy hour on the weekdays where you get appetizers for a special price and half off all draft beer and wine by the glass. The Granite Street Eatery features a weekend brunch on Saturdays and Sundays served from 10:00 am-4:00 pm. Granite Street is open at 11:00 am Monday-Friday, the kitchen remains open until 10:00 pm Monday-Thursday and stays open until Midnight on Friday and Saturday. A handful of small party reservations will be taken daily, with a large community table and bar available strictly for walk-in dining and/or imbibing. ((775) 622-3222)
7 Kimmie's Coffee Cup
Kimmie's Coffee Cup is a far cry from your typical coffee shop. This warm and welcoming place has some of the best breakfast and lunch food in the area and it's served by the lovely ladies of Kimmie's. Everything is made to order and they offer several signature dishes including country style sausage patties. The breakfasts include items like Polish Sausage and Eggs, Chicken Fried Steak, Cowboy Steak and Eggs and Eggs Benedict. They also serve up excellent pancakes and waffles including Blueberry and Chocolate Chip Pancakes and a tasty Cinnamon Vanilla French Toast. For lunch they serve sandwiches like the Dijon Chicken Breast Sandwich, Southwestern French Dip and a Grilled Ham and Cheese Stack. Their salads are huge and include a great Cobb Salad with diced chicken breast, avocado, bleu cheese, eggs and tomatoes on greens with your choice of dressing. ((775) 853-4952)
6 4th Street Bistro
The 4th Street Bistro near the railroad and the Truckee River has made a name for itself by serving some of the best, freshest and most organic food in the area. Really, no matter what you order, it will be delicious. Some of their dishes include appetizers like Artisan Cheeses with White Truffle Honey and Petite Tagine of Louisiana Shrimp, main courses such as Pan Roasted Alaskan Halibut, Grilled Pork Tenderloin with White Polenta and Duck Confit with Wilted Spinach. Most main dishes will cost around $35. Their extensive wine list runs the gamut from sparkling wine to Sauvignon Blanc from France, Chardonnay from Sonoma Valley, Pinot Noir from Oregon and Merlot from Italy. Most bottles will run you about $35-$40 and there is a $20 corkage fee. The desserts and coffee are elegant and feature items like Tirimisu, Creme Brulee and fresh local cheese. The atmosphere is elegant, but low-ley with white tablecloths, low lighting and candles and French bistro posters on the wall. This is a popular place and can get noisy at night. They are closed on Sunday and Monday, but the restaurant opens at 5:00 pm Tuesday through Saturday. They take their last reservation at 8:30 pm. ((775) 323-3200)
5 Bangkok Cuisine
An elegant and classic Thai decor will welcome you to this local favorite. This family run restaurant in Midtown serves authentic and delicious Thai food. They have the classics like Pad Thai and some excellent red, yell and green curry dishes. Their appetizers ilke Coconut Prawns, Shrimp Rangoons and Spring Rolls are excellent. Their Thai Salad with the peanut dressing is delicious with a hint of honey and spice. Their popular entrees include their soups like Mixed Vegetable Coconut Soup and Tom Kha soup. Their noodles include Spicy Basil and Wide Noodles with Chili Sauce. You can also get a variety of stir fry veggies and meat with your choice of sauce. The Bangkok Seafood Pot is also good with Fresh Crab, Cod fillets, Large Shrimp, Scallops, Calamari, pineapples and mushrooms, cooked with a chili sauce, coconut milk, lemon grass and kefir leaves. Save some room for dessert and get the Sticky Rice and Mango or Green Tea Ice Cream. ((775) 322-0299)
4 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)
3 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)
2 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)
This Italian restaurant in downtown Reno (near the movie theater) is an affordable eatery that serves wood-fired pizza, fresh pasta, light Italian breakfasts and grab-and-go lunches. Owner Mark Estee and Chef Tommy Linnett liven up classical Italian ingredients with local produce, meats and cheeses and work with local businesses and co-ops for their foods. The menu is changed daily and includes items like Shrimp and Polenta with eggs and Pancake French Toast for breakfast and brunch. Margherita Pizza, Pappardelle with Wild Boar Bolognese and Pecorino, and Muffaleta with House Salumi is served for lunch along with various salads and soups. Dinner features items like Braised Pork Shank with Cannelini Beans and Roasted Onions, Tombo Tuna with Green Beans and Balsamic Caramel and the Camp Burger with Tomato Chutney, Aioli, Rucola and Focaccia. The antipasti menu consists of breads, meatballs, herbed potatoes, bruschetta, spicy Italian sausage, polenta and marinated olives. ((775) 737-9555)
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.
Read more about Christina Nellemann here.