Kava, 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 kava) 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 or The Rack, both 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.



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 black light 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.

This popular bar is located right on the Truckee River and offers sidewalk seating, great beers on tap and a lively atmosphere. This place is buzzing during Reno summer events like Artown and the River Festival. They feature a rotating selection of 11 draft beers from the Sierra Nevada Brewery, located in Chico, CA. Outdoor seating is available on the River Walk which gives you a front row seat to enjoy all the Downtown Festivals, Concerts, and Events without ever leaving the bar. Their selection of beers include Torpedo Extra IPA, Kellerweis Hefeweizen, Pale Ale, Life & Limb 2011 and the Northern Hemisphere Harvest Ale. Every Wednesday night is trivial night and every Tuesday is the Taste of Reno night where local musical groups, poets and artists perform.

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.


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.

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.

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.


The Rack is a bit difficult to find at first (being underneath Virginia Street), but once you find it you will want to stay the rest of the night. This stylish bowling alley is not only great for night owls, but also for families. The Rack has several classic wood bowling alleys, ping pong, darts and arcade games for all ages. For the adults, the bar offers cocktails, wine and beer and a huge menu. Build your own pizza, burger or slider or order from finger foods like sweet potato fries, pickle chips or the Gutter Ball Nachos ($10) with corn, black beans, salsa and sour cream. The Rack also offers salads, desserts and a child's menu.

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.


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.


Located in the popular Riverwalk District in the West Street Market, Sol Kava is a warm and friendly bar to try spicy and relaxing kava kava. Widely used in places like Fiji, Sol keeps the drink pure with traditional kava or a variety of mixes and teas. Sol Kava's menu features consciously sourced and plant based kava, tea, tonics and elixirs. The teas will leave you relaxed and chill—just like the atmosphere of this earthy, yet contemporary bar. A shot of kava costs $4, but talk to the "Kavatender" about one of their daily concoctions for $5 each or $20 for five shots. If you fall in love, their shop features dry kava and tea mixes for sale.


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