Road trippers shall not live by bread alone — at least not in northern Nevada. Fresh, inspired meals are on offer at locally owned restaurants throughout the area. Many are featured during the annual Reno Bites restaurant week — Oct. 9-15, 2017 — but a road trip through northern Nevada also serves up local flavor, history and tradition.
Discover the region’s food culture on TravelNevada’s Reno Bites Road Trip, a loop route from Reno through Fallon, Carson City, Carson Valley, Stateline, Incline Village and back to the Biggest Little City. Besides food and activities, there’s something in it for you: a chance at dinner for two at Zozo’s in Reno and one spot on the Reno Bites Chef Showdown judging panel Oct. 14. From Sept. 11 to Oct. 11, visit any of the cities on the Reno Bites Road Trip, grab a bite to eat and post a photo of your food and drink to Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. Posts/profiles must be public in order to enter. Hashtag your post #RenoBitesRoadTrip, #DFMI and #TravelNevada, and you’ll be entered into a random drawing for our dinner/judging panel giveaway.
Bring it back to Reno for Reno Bites Week, in which dozens of locally owned restaurants offer meals for $10, $20 or $30, and many host creative culinary events, including the Chef Showdown.
MAP: 218 miles/350 kilometers
Sup restaurant in Reno. Photo provided by RSCVA
A quick walk through Reno’s downtown reveals such gems as Campo, known for its locally sourced menu; Noble Pie, where the pizza sauce recipes have been handed down through generations; and Wild River Grille, offering traditional, innovative dishes.
Just south of downtown, Reno’s Midtown District offers locally owned shops and restaurants, Süp among them. Sandwiches, salads and soup — everything from gazpacho to miso — can be found here. Venture into the ‘burbs to Bistro 7 for “new American” fare (think tempura salmon tacos and white truffle shells ‘n’ cheese); SouthCreek Pizza Co. for creative pies; or Zozo’s, where the kitchen turns out classic Italian dishes.
Complement your meal with a visit to a Reno museum — a few are within walking distance of the downtown core. The Nevada Museum of Art is exhibiting “City of Dust: The Evolution of Burning Man” through January 2018; the Discovery science museum is featuring “A T. rex Named Sue” through January 2018; and the National Automobile Museum boasts a collection of 200+ cars. For more on Reno attractions, events and lodging, see TravelNevada.com or VisitRenoTahoe.com.
Menu from the Slanted Porch in Fallon. Photo by Sydney Martinez/TravelNevada
About 60 miles/97 kilometers east of Reno is Fallon, one of Nevada’s agricultural areas. Here, sample local bounty at such restaurants as the Slanted Porch (the New York steak is hand-cut) and the Courtyard Café & Bakery (the Tasteful salad is a mainstay).
See how local produce is grown at Lattin Farms, a family-owned organic farm that has a year-round produce stand (open Monday through Saturday) and a fall festival every Saturday in October. Also check out Frey Ranch, home of the Frey Ranch Distillery and Churchill Vineyards. The distillery produces gin, vodka, bourbon whiskey, absinthe and other spirits using grains grown on-site; grapes for Churchill Vineyard’s selection of white wines also are grown here. The tasting room is open from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturdays.
While in Fallon, check out the petroglyphs — ancient rock art — at Grimes Point Archaeological Site, about 10 miles (16 kilometers) east of Fallon on U.S. 50. Plan your trip to include a free, guided tour of Hidden Cave, about 1.5 miles north of Grimes Point. Tours beginning at the Churchill County Museum are offered on the second and fourth Saturday of the month. For more on Fallon attractions, events and lodging, see TravelNevada.com or VisitFallonNevada.com.
Thai sweet chili prawns from Adele's in Carson City. Photo by Kippy Spilker
Nevada’s capital city, about 32 miles/55 kilometers south of Reno, has time-honored eateries of local provenance, including The Café at Adele’s, dating back to 1977 and serving up everything from duck confit to the classic hamburger.
Joining those august establishments are such newcomers as The Union (menu items include the spiced popcorn starter and pizzas finished in a wood-fired oven), and Shoe Tree Brewing Company (serving up the Shoehorn Double IPA and other suds).
Gain an appreciation for Silver State’s history at Carson City’s museums. The Nevada State Museum has exhibits on the state’s geology and history, including an underground mine. Train buffs may want to check out the Nevada State Railroad Museum, which features railroad artifacts as well as rolling stock. During summer weekends, short train rides are offered on property. For more on Carson City attractions, events and lodging, see TravelNevada.com or VisitCarsonCity.com.
J.T. Basque Bar and Dining Room in Gardnerville. Photo by Sydney Martinez/TravelNevada
Just south of Carson City, and about 49 miles/79 kilometers from Reno, are the Carson Valley communities of Gardnerville, Minden and Genoa. Some of the state’s first non-native settlements were founded here, and that history is reflected in some local restaurants and bars.
J.T. Basque Bar & Dining Room in Gardnerville serves up the hearty meals once enjoyed by the area’s Basque immigrants, and the Genoa Bar offers a visual feast of Wild West ephemera — mounted animal heads, old framed pictures and a freestanding vault inexplicably filled with bras.
After you’ve eaten — or maybe before — check out the Carson Valley and environs from 3,000 feet. The area’s geography makes it one of the best places in the country for glider plane soaring — the art of flying in a motor-less craft. SoaringNV in Minden offers glider plane rides and serves as a base for glider pilots from around the world. For more on Carson Valley attractions, events and lodging, see TravelNevada.com or VisitCarsonValley.org.
Cafe salad at the Red Hut Cafe in Stateline. Photo provided by the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority
On the border of Nevada and California, this Lake Tahoe town is about 60 miles/97 kilometers from Reno. Resort-casinos dominate the cityscape, but there are some locally owned eateries here. Red Hut Café on Kingsbury Grade is one of four Red Huts in the region: these eateries offers all types of waffles (bacon waffle, chicken & waffle, coconut waffle, etc.) and an assortment of burgers, including the peanut butter burger.
New on the block: Bella Tahoe Catering & Deli. The catering part of this business has been around for years, but now Bella Tahoe’s gourmet sandwiches, soups and salads, as well as to-go dinners, are available at the deli.
Once you’ve filled up, head to the beach: Zephyr Cove Resort in Zephyr Cove, four miles north of Stateline, rents watercraft on its beach and offers horseback riding in the summer, among other activities. For more on attractions, events and lodging in Stateline and environs, see TravelNevada.com or VisitingLakeTahoe.com.
Pan-seared Alaskan halibut over sushi rice, topped with a sunomono salad and a shitake mushroom soy reduction at
Jack Rabbit Moon in Incline Village. Publicity photo
This community on the northern tip of Lake Tahoe, just 37 miles/60 kilometers from Reno, is an easy getaway for mountain recreation and dining. Try Jack Rabbit Moon, known for artfully presented seasonal selections; Koi Sushi, serving up nigiri, maki hand rolls and temaki; and Bite American Tapas, featuring small plates of sweet chili-glazed baby back ribs, vegetarian tostada bites and more.
Work off every delicious calorie swimming, paddle boarding or kayaking at Sand Harbor State Park or — if you’re an extreme mountain biker — on the Flume Trail, a high-elevation route that overlooks Lake Tahoe from 7,000 to 8,000 feet above sea level. For more on attractions, events and lodging in Incline Village, see TravelNevada.com or VisitingLakeTahoe.com.