A walking guide to the restaurants around campus
For students who don’t have a car or know the area, dining around campus can seem limited. But a deeper look at dining within one block of the University of Nevada, Reno reveals that a short walk can result in a variety of meals 24 hours a day.
801 N. Virginia St.
Jimboys offers a great fish taco that doesn’t require you to head for Tijuana. Instead, go south of campus on Virginia Street. Jimboys’ fish tacos consist of grilled cod with lettuce and sauce, and they come with a side of tortilla chips. Top the tacos with green salsa and a squeeze of lime for a superior taco. To quench your thirst, forego the regular soda machine—the best drink, horchata, is behind the counter. Horchata is a sweet, rice-based Mexican drink that looks like a watered-down piña colada. If you aren’t a fish-lover, beef and chicken tacos are also available. For a fairly large lunch, get a combination meal. One of the best combos includes enchiladas, rice and beans, a drink and a taco. Another option, the bean burritos are big and delicious. Prices aren’t too steep but are more than, say, Taco Bell. Around lunchtime, the tiny restaurant is buzzing with people on their breaks vying to order and find a seat. A few tables occupy the corner of the restaurant, and a counter with stools has a view of the bustling midday traffic entering and exiting the freeway. Three outdoor tables are available, but traffic noise can be annoying. Jimboys is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. everyday.
58 E. Ninth St.
Jimmy John’s is the only place to go for fast and savory sub sandwiches. On a hot day, walk into the ultra air-conditioned restaurant, and the smell of sandwiches swirls through the air. The walls are tiled, and the sub-making area has stainless steel siding. With the Ikea-like tables and chairs, the restaurant has a very clean atmosphere. It’s decorated with a bunch of assorted little signs such as “hippies use side door” and “spitting prohibited.” But the best part is the sandwich selection. The regular 8-inch subs come with all kinds of toppings including applewood-smoked ham, beef, tuna, turkey, salami and vegetables. For a bigger serving, get the clubs, which have twice the meat and cheese. You could go supersized from there with the J.J. Gargantuan, but for those who don’t want to become gargantuan, the JJ Unwich, a low-carb lettuce wrap, may be a better choice. Value meals with chips and a drink are an option, and don’t forget a cookie for dessert. Plan on spending at least $5, but for those who are really lacking cash, day-old bread is available for 50 cents a loaf. Jimmy John’s also delivers seven days a week, if walking seems too strenuous. JJ’s is open 10:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. daily.
Record St. Café
945 Record St.
Record Street café is a great place to stay awhile and read or use free wireless Internet. Their indoor dining room is comfortable and designed to convince you to hang around—games and books occupy wooden cupboards near the ceiling. Contemporary art lines the walls, and copper ceiling lights shine onto the large bar area, creating a modern feel. The best asset in the summer is the patio decked with corrugated iron tables and a retractable awning. Record Street’s menu offers some great grilled sandwiches such as My Big Fat Grilled Greek. The Greek combines artichoke hearts, pepperoncini, olives, fresh tomato, mozzarella, provolone and feta seasoned with basil and garlic. All of the ingredients are put into fresh-baked focaccia bread and grilled to perfection. Other menu items include an array of salads, pizzas (after 4 p.m.) and house specialties like the Fat Kid Special “an artery clogging” mix of chicken, bacon and cheese. Drinks range from wine and beer to coffee and fresh-squeezed lemonade. Record Street also hosts an eclectic mix of musicians throughout the year. The café is open from 7:30 a.m. and serves breakfast items like breakfast burritos and scramblers in the morning. Record Street is open until 7 p.m. during the summer and 9 p.m. during the school year. Closing times can vary based on special events.
1305 N. Virginia St.
Fritz’s is across Virginia Street from campus. As soon as classes start to get out for the day, the patio fills with people downing beers and munching on burgers. Inside, the walls are decorated with skate and ski posters, and a large skylight is painted blue with clouds. The menu includes a variety of dishes, but burgers and fries are the best bet. Fritz’s offers the college burger, designed for poor students, for $4.99, but it doesn’t come with fries. Fritz’s has food specials throughout the week, such as chicken sandwiches, burritos, teriyaki bowls and Philly wraps that generally get discounted from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The real fun starts at night. In the summer, Fritz has live music and DJs. There has even been an inflatable pool for parties. Fritz’s has a large patio, but crowds often flow into the parking lot, where more tables have been set up. The restaurant is oriented toward the snowboard and skate culture and sponsors local snowboarders. Various boarding movies are screened. The restaurant even has its own rail in the corner of the parking lot where competitions occasionally are held. Hours are 11 a.m. to 1 a.m., but it will stay open as long as the party requires.
10 E. Ninth St.
Breakaway is open 24 hours every day. A cook is always there on the weekends, and on weekdays, the kitchen is only closed for the few wee hours of the morning. The Breakaway has a dark atmosphere, as the blinds are usually drawn during the day. UNR sports memorabilia is tacked onto the walls. The menu has a good selection of breakfast items, which are served as long as the cook is available. Breakfast choices include make-your-own omelets, breakfast calzones, pancakes, eggs, bacon and more. The regular menu has pizzas, burgers and appetizers. The biggest burger, the Old Smoothie, has a double patty smothered with cheese, mushrooms and bacon. Breakaway is a great place for a late-night snack like mozzarella sticks. Pool, foosball and video games keep patrons well entertained. The price for all-hours convenience is, well, the price of the food, which can be high for a student.
1661 N. Virginia St.
The Lil Wal is the classic UNR hangout, but it changes styles with every new owner. Tenth-year seniors will remember the days when there were more stuffed animal heads on these walls than at the Wilbur May Museum. More recently, it took on the personality of a sports bar. Who knows what the next incarnation will be when the current major remodel is complete, but judging by the giant logs in the outdoor seating area, it’ll be a lumberjack theme. Maybe not. The restaurant is known for its sandwiches and other sports-watching type foods like chicken wings and French fries.
Archie’s Famous Grill
2195 N. Virginia St.
Archie’s Grill is another choice for American-style, short-order food. It’s undergoing heavy remodeling this summer. Before the remodel, it was a diner-style restaurant with a selection of burgers, fries and salads. It’s north of the Waldorf at the top of Sierra Street with a bright, inviting décor that seems to attract a good number of instructors and students during the lunch hour. Archie’s has views overlooking the North end of campus and nice outdoor seating. Archie’s serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. We’ll see what it looks like after the remodel.