local food in Reno

Developing Our Own Style: Looking at Food Favorites in Reno

When we visit a new city, there’s always one thing we have to do: try the local food. Eating local favorites is the best way — or at least the tastiest way — to immerse yourself in a culture. With this on our minds, we’ve been thinking about what foods play a defining role in our home of Reno-Tahoe.

Here in the Sierras, we’re sandwiched with the “weirdness” of Portland, the top-tier-ness of the bay area and the over-the-top, showy-ness of Las Vegas. While we don’t quite have city dibs on a certain sandwich or pizza style like some cities, we still have some unique eating habits that are beginning to define us. Our area’s action-packed summers are fueled by brand new pubs, eateries and food-centric community events, and we’re seeing some neat things happening. Let’s take a look at what Reno-Tahoe loves to eat.


Winning Ingredient

Let’s start with a food that we put in everything: onions. They’re a plentiful crop around Northern Nevada, and restaurants definitely take advantage of it. We put them in quite a few of our dishes, we even forage for them. From beer munchies to main entrees, onions always find their way into our meals around here.

Shared Culture, Shared Cuisine

If you didn’t know, Reno is the sister city to San Sebastian, Spain. These two cities share a deep history in basque culture, which puts basque cuisine on our list. With several basque restaurants in town, there’s no shortage of  Chateaubriand or Paella.

The BIG favorites.

So, we may not be Vegas, but we do have our fair share of buffets (thanks, Casinos). Whether you love it or you hate it, we are a tourist town, and buffets serve many of our tourists. For the locals, our indulgence lies with all-you- can-eat Sushi, it’s kinda our thing. It’s a real pastime, if you ask around.

Health Kicker: Juice

Reno-Tahoe is an outdoorsy region that knows how to hydrate adventures the right way. Grocery stores are stocking up on cold press juice,restaurants are selling micro batches of kombucha, and in Midtown Reno there are three juice shops within a 1 mile radius.

We’re Farm Happy

Between our summer farmer’s markets, the Great Basin Co-Op in Midtown, and the expansion of all natural grocers and restaurants, the Reno-Tahoe area is pretty awesome at supporting local farmers, considering we live in a high desert.

Mobile Bites  

Food trucks are taking over! Our food truck scene is getting so big that many of the vendors are expanding to their own restaurant, while existing restaurants are getting food trucks in response to the street food demand. (We should know, we started as a food truck too!)  


Overall, we’re excited to witness and participate in the strong community focus that our food scene has developed. These are just a few of the identifiers of favorite local food in Reno and Tahoe, and there will only be more traits popularizing as our area continues to develop. We want to know, what foods do you think define Reno-Tahoe?