Reno - Food and Drink
Reno has a lot to offer in terms of food and drink. On this part of the site we have brought together an introduction to eating in Reno; restaurant listings - including our own fannish favorites; information on local beers and breweries; and a full rundown of the eating options around the convention site itself.
Eating in Reno - A Brief Introduction
Reno has a lot to offer when it comes to eating. There are special and unusual destinations for those memorable off-site dinners with friends, and fast, convenient choices when you want something quick and easy. To give you some idea of the variety available from this city of 350,000 people, TripAdvisor alone lists over 480 restaurants.
Obviously, with this number of restaurants, there will be something for everyone, but what are the key cuisines to look out for? Well, apart from American, the two things to look out for are, surprisingly, Basque and sushi!
Basque in Reno
The Basques settled in Northern Nevada in the 19th and early 20th century. They came from France and Spain, from the region around the Pyrenees, to herd sheep in the high desert open range of the state. These immigrants spent much of their time alone in the vast wilderness, but when they came to town, they stayed in Basque hotels, and these hotels almost always had a restaurant attached, where the men could find the food they craved from their homelands. Most Basque restaurants you find today have their roots in these early Basque hotels, and many have been located in the same buildings for decades or more.
Basque food is hearty, and uses fresh, wholesome ingredients. The Basques believe in good food, good red wine, and good times, and much of their culture centers around food, cooking, family, and wine making. When you visit a Basque restaurant, be prepared to eat plenty, enjoy the company, and pass the food along to your neighbor. You'll eat family style at a large common table in most restaurants, but some do offer single tables for private dining. Half the fun is meeting new friends, so when you sit down to dinner at a Basque restaurant, you may walk away with some new acquaintances too!.
Sushi in Reno
Reno has a good number of sushi restaurants, from the quick service variety to top quality restaurants where you will need to book in advance. Several are of course associated with the major resort hotels, but there are also some specialist independents. A useful listing can be found on renotahoe.about.com.
If you enjoy sushi or seafood in general, you may of course want to start with the options most convenient to the convention. Oceano at the Peppermill offers a good range but is most memorable for the decor - check out the virtual tour which you can access from our page on eating at the Peppermill. The Atlantis of course has those magic words All You Can Eat Sushi bar - presumably we don't need to say any more than that here!
Off-site options worth considering are the Sushi Club (again with an All You Can Eat option) and Sushi Pier, which has a range of good reviews.
So What's Recommended?
Reno has a full range of cuisines available in the resort hotels and through independent and chain restaurants. You can find some listings in the next section below. To give you a taste, these are currently the 10 most popular restaurants in Reno, according to TripAdvisor:
- Fourth Street Bistro (French, Contemporary)
- Cactus Creek Steakhouse (American, Southwestern, Seafood, Steakhouse)
- Daughter's Cafe (Family owned and operated - great breakfasts!)
- Silver Peak Restaurant and Brewery (American)
- La Vecchia (Italian)
- Red Lobster (American, Seafood)
- LuLou's Restaurant (Italian, Contemporary)
- Peg's Glorified Ham and Eggs (Spanish)
- Olive Garden (Italian)
- Zozo's Ristorante (Italian).
Of course, it takes fans to know fans, so we're grateful to Arthur and Sherri Chenin for putting together Reno in 2011's own list of recommendations, with everything from the unusual to the best options for breakfast.
Here are some more useful links to help you explore what's on offer for eating in Reno for yourself. We know that many fans have their own preferred review sites when travelling so have included a number of the most common in the list for your convenience.
- Convention bureau's official restaurant listing at www.visitrenotahoe.com
- List of 482 Reno restaurants at www.tripadvisor.com
- www.renocuisine.com listing of over 300 Reno restaurants, with price guide, ratings and reviews
- Reno restaurant listing on www.activediner.com
- Reno restaurant listing on www.mytravelguide.com
- Reno restaurant listing at DiscoverOurTown.com.
There are over 70 eating options within a mile of the Convention Center. This includes 21 restaurants on-site at our two main convention hotels - 12 at the Peppermill and 9 at the Atlantis. We've provided a full list of all the others here.
Getting a Beer in Reno
Reno has some good local breweries and some excellent local beers. Interesting brewers and brewpubs to look out for include:
- Great Basin Brewing Company, located in Sparks
- Brew Brothers
- Buckbean Beer opened in Reno in 2008 - check out their website for some handy recipes including beer!. (Note: brewery is based in Reno, no main pub outlet)
- The Record Street Brewing Co. is another new arrival which also opened in 2008
- Union Brewery is a little further afield, being based in Virginia City.