Pack lunch

A student’s guide to close-to-campus dining

Many students at the University of Nevada, Reno campus have large workloads or study schedules that can cause them to choose snacks over real food, or forgo a meal entirely. There are options close to campus, though, that can easily satisfy the needs of students and are only a short walk from any building. With the amount of time the average UNR student has to spend studying, completing assignments or, hey, occasionally blowing off some steam, the restaurants below all provide easy and affordable options for any student in a rush.


2195 N. Virginia St.


Open 24 hours

Archie’s has been a Reno mainstay and a go-to restaurant for UNR students since its opening in 1995. Home of the famous Giant Hamburger, Archie’s appeals to college students because of its inexpensive dining options and 24-hour service, meaning students can stay as long as they need in order to get their work done—compliments of the building’s free wifi—or just hang out with friends while enjoying daily happy hour deals for food and drinks. Archie’s is only a 10-minute walk from the Joe Crowley Student Union, and for future health care workers, a field that could easily include long nights and many hours of work, Archie’s is an even shorter walk as it’s only right across the street from the School of Medicine building. Archie’s also serves breakfast 24/7, meaning even if students miss the most important meal of the day due to early classes or an all-night study session, they can partake of their favorite breakfast grub at whatever hour they choose.

Roberto’s Taco Shop

4455 S. Virginia St.


Open 24 hours

Roberto’s is the perfect place for UNR students looking for a quick bite after a late night—either after studying or partying. With its 24-hour service, it may even be more popular after midnight than during typical eating hours. Anyone visiting Roberto’s around midnight, or even later, will see lines nearly going out the door and the drive-thru so backed up it almost makes it impossible to park in the lot. This is why most students make the quick walk to Roberto’s, or “Berto’s” as its sometimes called, as it is close to the residence halls on campus. Especially with the new Wolf Pack Tower established this semester at the Circus Circus Casino, Roberto’s is an easy—and more importantly safe, as it’s equidistant from downtown and campus—option for students who were forced to move after the explosions at Nye and Argenta Hall. It’s a simple choice for students looking for solid Mexican staples like burritos or quesadillas at any time of the day or night.

Little Waldorf Saloon

1661 N. Virginia St.


Open 11 a.m.-2 a.m.

“Backing the Pack” since before most of the grandparents of current UNR students were born, the Little Waldorf Saloon is the place to go for a night out close to campus. Located nearly right across from the PBS television station at UNR, the Wal has been in operation since 1922, when Red Waldorf found a fortune cookie telling him to head west for fame and fortune. He left New York to come to Reno and opened what is now a landmark not only for UNR students, but for the entire city of Reno as well. Students who are over the age of 21 can select from a choice of 45 drafts as well as spirits while also enjoying nightly specials such as College Night or Two for Tuesday, where the purchase of one drink comes with a free second choice. On weekends, the Wal’s already decently sized parking lot becomes jammed with a flock of college kids lining up at the door trying to get into the roomy establishment. How only two or three security guards successfully manage 500 college students continues to be a mystery. The Wal also offers many different food options such as burgers, traditional Nevada barbecue and pizza cooked on the grill or smoker, as well as a few surprises like native American fry bread in either its sweet or savory incarnations.

Laughing Planet

941 N. Virginia St.


Open 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

Home to many different vegan options and located just outside of Sierra Hall, Laughing Planet is a good choice for students needing to focus on schoolwork or who want to get a study group together. The restaurant serves as a social spot due to the open layout of the downstairs setup, which includes a room-length table and small nook for group meetings of different sizes. If students would prefer to study and eat in quiet, the upstairs seating area is full of individual tables where they can study in peace. The restaurant likes to keep the atmosphere playful and light by having small features like dinosaur figurines on each table and neon colors that pop right near the entrance, a nice change-up to the many darker bar and restaurant atmospheres around campus. Laughing Planet sources its food from local growers to ensure all of the options are fresh and healthy—a sometimes rare find for college students rushing from one meal to another.

The Union

10 E. Ninth St.


Open Monday and Tuesday noon-midnight, Wednesday-Friday noon-2 a.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-2 a.m., Sunday 10 a.m.-12 a.m.

The Union is the newest bar near the UNR campus, and it’s a quintessential college bar with good music that stays open late. While students under the age of 21 can find bar food classics like pizza and wings or have non-alcoholic drinks, “The U”—as it’s known to most students on campus—is a safe place to go right across the street from campus if students want to hang out with friends or just relax and have a drink after a long day of classes. The full-service kitchen helps as well. Also, since the bar is typically full of college students, it’s a good place to meet up with friends or make a few new ones, and the free wifi makes it a decent study spot. With new scanners implemented to catch fake IDs as well, The U takes every step in guaranteeing everyone has a fun—but responsible—time while partying.

Raising Cane’s

2175 N. Virginia St.


Open 9 a.m.-midnight

Known for its famous Cane’s sauce and heavy helping of chicken and Texas toast, this national chain opened across the street from Lawlor Events Center in the summer of 2017, almost immediately becoming the place to go for any UNR student who forgets to eat dinner during a late night. Cane’s offers a simple menu of only a few items: chicken finger meals and a chicken sandwich, with Texas toast, coleslaw and fries to go along with each order. Known for big portions, students can get a large meal that will keep them full for just over $12. Cane’s has become integrated in the Wolf Pack culture on campus, cutting advertisement deals with UNR and cultivating a presence at Mackay Stadium during football games. Cane’s is located next to Ike’s Love & Sandwiches, another quick option, and down the road slightly from Little Waldorf and Archie’s, meaning hungry students can find their fill of options—and work up an appetite—with a quick walk up the Virginia Street hill.