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Arcade games, bocce & drag queens: 10Best Reno nightlife hotspots



For a relatively small city, Reno has a wide range of nightlife choices. The Biggest Little City is seeing a surge in hotspots that serve up games, local brews, craft cocktails (and craft hookahs) and delicious food. A night in downtown and Midtown Reno can be filled with dinner, drinks, music and special events.

Visit the burgeoning mixology and game scene in the Biggest Little City and head to Bundox Bocce in Downtown Reno. For some local brews and lively trivia night crowds the Sierra Tap House or Ceol Irish Pub are also spots to enjoy a late-night out.

The local casinos have a wide range of lounges and dance clubs. For some dancing and people watching (and an excuse to dress up) visit the LEX Nightclub at the Grand Sierra Resort. If you like live music, visit the Cargo Concert Hall or enjoy some bluegrass and blues at the Mountain Music Parlor, which is just south of downtown.


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Downtown


Located in a historic hotel in Downtown Reno, Faces NV is Reno's newest gay bar and music venue. From the friendly bouncers and bartenders to the fun staff and patrons, a night out in this elegantly designed club with black chandeliers is a nice change from the typical bar. Faces NV features regular live and DJ performances as well as drag queen shows, dancing, costume parties and blacklight parties. The cocktails are well drinks are decently priced and some nights feature all-night happy hour. The bar mainly features club and EDM type performances, but here you can dance smoke-free.

Recommended for Best Nightlife because: Sierra Taphouse is located right on the Truckee River with great views of special events at Wingfield Park.

Christina's expert tip: Special events (besides the popular drag shows) at Faces NV include karaoke, Studio 54 night, and all-night happy hour. Check out the event schedule on their Facebook page.

Read more about Faces NV →




The Mountain Music Parlor in Midtown is dedicated to keeping the classic sounds of Bluegrass, Blues, American Roots, Appalachian and Celtic alive. Located in a restored home in the heart of the arts district, the venue features a 50 seat music hall as well as classes on instruments like the banjo, mandolin and guitar and even Native American flute. Vocal lessons are also held. The Parlor features music and events from local and regional bands as well as world-renowned musicians and tickets can be purchased on the Parlor's website. The store features acoustic music and instruments and fun western gear and toys.

Recommended for Best Nightlife because: For lovers of bluegrass, Mountain Music Parlor is a classy addition to a casino town.

Christina's expert tip: The Mountain Music Parlor features regular events with nationally known touring musicians such as Andy Hedges and Athena McIntyre.

Read more about Mountain Music Parlor →




With Reno's interesting mixture of cowboys, cannibus, tattoos and Burning Man, there's no question as to why the BlueBird Nightclub is one of the more popular stops on a night out. Located in the up-and-coming Distillery District, The BlueBird Nightclub is both a club and music venue that specializes in quality sound, comfortable seating and a large bar with a multitude of creative drinks. They even have a free water station. Along with house, reggae and '80s music from local and regional bands, The BlueBird also features aerial yoga acts, costume nights, local art, light shows and special holiday events.

Recommended for Best Nightlife because: The BlueBird Nightclub is a non-exclusive, friendly music venue with great prices on drinks.

Christina's expert tip: Check out The BlueBird Nightclub's homemade kombucha on tap. The flavors change every few weeks.

Read more about The BlueBird Nightclub →


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Airport Area


LEX Nightclub is the premier nightclub in Northern Nevada. Located in the Grand Sierra Resort near Downtown Reno, the club offers upscale concerts, dancing, networking and themed parties. The club has several bar locations, private VIP booths and excellent servers who provide bottle service. There are also security guards for the entrances and the restrooms. Various celebrity DJs like Steve Aoki, ENFO, perform regularly and the music changes every night. LEX also celebrates holidays like Halloween and New Year's with giant dance parties. Reservations are encouraged for special event nights and you can sign up ahead of time for VIP service.

Recommended for Best Nightlife because: LEX Nightclub has three bars and special DJ nights on Friday and Saturday.

Christina's expert tip: LEX has an upscale dress code. This is your chance to wear your party clothes.

Read more about LEX Nightclub →




Located in the Whitney Peak Hotel in Downtown Reno, Cargo features a wide range of local, regional and international acts, bands, musicians and album release parties. The industrial style concert hall is intimate but large enough for dancing and groups of friends to party into the night. Visitors can purchase drinks at the Cargo bar or at the Heritage bar and restaurant at the front of the hotel. Cargo has featured acts by Reel Big Fish, The Airborne Toxic Event, The Saddle Tramps and the hilarious March Fourth Band of Portland. Cargo's ticket prices range around $20 for most events.

Recommended for Best Nightlife because: Cargo features an intimate live music experience in the middle of Downtown Reno.

Christina's expert tip: Start out with a farm-fresh dinner and cocktails at the Whitney Peak bar right next door to Cargo.

Read more about Cargo Concert Hall →




Located in the stylish Peppermill Resort Hotel, the EDGE nightclub embraces a 1920's style along with futuristic technical music, light shows and beautiful gogo dancers. This loungy club offers VIP seating, hot DJs on the weekends, choreographed dancing and a more dressed up style than any other club in town. Various cocktails, beer, wine and spirits are served at the club including Veuve Clicquot and Maker's Mark. Try the Blood Orange Margarita ($9, $32 pitcher) with Don Julio Reposado and Cointreau and blood orange puree. EDGE has a large dancefloor, two bars and an elegant entryway with a selfie station where you can get your photo taken with your friends. EDGE has some special event nights like Friday's Latin Dance Social with free salsa, bachata or cumbia lessons.

Recommended for Best Nightlife because: The Rack offers not only bowling but also ping pong, darts, air hockey and a huge selection of food.

Christina's expert tip: If you want a break from the dancing, check out the Peppermill Resort Hotel's Terrace Lounge. The Lounge has a view of the mountains and resort pool area.

Read more about EDGE Nightclub →


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Downtown
The Eddy
Photo courtesy of Christina Nellemann


The Eddy is a unique addition to the Reno bar scene. Located in the heart of Downtown by the Truckee River, the Eddy is an open-air bar and social scene surrounded and protected by shipping containers. Several of the containers hold three bars that serve various cocktails and local beers. The bars have minimal wine choices, but the bartenders are friendly. There are several bar seats as well as outdoor tables with shade. What's best about The Eddy is the courtyard with various games like giant Jenga, bocce and cornhole. There are a few interactive Burning Man sculptures, fire pits, bike parking, and some popup shops and galleries. Children and pets are also welcome.

Recommended for Best Nightlife because: The Eddy is centrally located near the Truckee River, the casinos and other downtown nightlife.

Christina's expert tip: The Eddy can fill up rather quickly on Friday and Saturday nights, so stake out your spot before 4:00 in the evening.

Read more about The Eddy →


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Bundox Bocce is one of Reno's newest gathering places. Located inside the Reno Renaissance Downtown Hotel, this adult playground is home to several indoor and outdoor bocce courts, shuffleboard and skee ball. There's no need to know all the rules, the bartenders and servers will teach you how to play. Bundox Bocce also has several bars and a restaurant where you can order wings, fries and even calamari. Sandwiches, burgers, bowls and flatbread are also available. Book a table and court ahead of time to be sure you get a space. Bundox Bocce also has special events and is available to book for weddings and corporate parties.

Recommended for Best Nightlife because: Bundox Bocce is located in the middle of Downtown Reno and you can bring your dog.

Christina's expert tip: Don't worry, if you have never played bocce, any employee will give you both written instructions and directions.

Read more about Bundox Bocce →


Seven Troughs Speakeasy
Photo courtesy of Christina Nellemann


Located in The Basement, a former historic post office converted into retail and restaurant space, Seven Troughs Distilling Company is a craft distillery focused on creating high-quality spirits utilizing local ingredients. The Seven Troughs Speakeasy is an extension of the distillery and features the spirits in a delicious range of cocktails. The speakeasy even offers small plates for covert dining in a cozy space. Try the Chukar Chaser (named after a local bird) with Seven Troughs Straight Bourbon, orange bitters, ginger beer and lime paired with a smoked salmon mac and cheese ($10) or the Pineapple Express with whiskey and pineapple juice along with the charcuterie board ($24). The bar also serves a weekend brunch featuring Monte Cristo sliders ($8) and quiche ($6).

Recommended for Best Nightlife because: For those who like their nightlife chill, Seven Troughs feels like a classic speakeasy tucked away beneath the street.

Christina's expert tip: Seven Troughs Speakeasy offers a spirits sampler for only $8. The sampler includes 1/2 ounce pours of gin, whiskey, rum and bourbon.

Read more about Seven Troughs Speakeasy →




Press Start in Midtown Reno is more than a bar. If you grew up playing arcade games (or wish you did), this bar and gaming space will bring back memories. Press Start features dozens of the most popular arcade and pinball games including Dig Dug, Mortal Kombat and Area 51. There are also some contemporary games like The Walking Dead. The bar features local and regional beer on tap and bottles as well as themed cocktails like the "Ms. PAC-MAN" Margarita, "Raiden" Kamikaze, and "Zelda" Lemondrop. Press Start is also conveniently located near Midtown's restaurants, bars, shops and art galleries.

Recommended for Best Nightlife because: Press Start is a laid back and cool "barcade" featuring old-school arcade games.

Christina's expert tip: Great for an inexpensive date, Press Start's games take both tokens and quarters.

Read more about Press Start →


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Meet 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...  More About Christina

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