Where to go for local, seasonal and veggie fare in Reno
So now that you’ve gotten into the university here, how are you going to feed your vegetarian/vegan/local food self? Don’t worry. Though the state is known for cattle ranching and epic burgers of massive proportions, Reno is a veg-friendly city. We’ve got local restaurants with vegetarian and even vegan options, a few great local food stores, and farmers who work hard every day to keep you and me happy, healthy, and full of tasty Nevada-grown produce.
Since this is your first year of college, let’s face it, you may have neither the time nor the resources to cook your own veggies. Reno has a few local eateries specializing in vegetarian and vegan cuisine.
One local darling, the Pneumatic Diner, is an all-vegetarian diner near the river. With favorites like the “elegant carrot shake” and the “shredder-bazooka,” you might be a bit perplexed. Just know that whatever you order from the chill servers off the “home-made” menus will be just that: homemade, and as healthy and delicious as it gets.
Down the road from school on Wells Ave., is a Reno icon among vegans: Anthony’s Dandelion Deli. With so many vegetarian and vegan options here, you won’t leave hungry, and the vegan brownies are to die for. Check the cooler case for a bunch of bottled bevs, or try the home-brewed iced tea. There’s always a vegan soup, sandwich and salad, and the wait staff can help you decide when you sidle up to the counter with no clue what to order, as the choices are extra plentiful.
Another great option is the vegetarian dinner for two at India Kabab &Curry. For under $25 you get two veggie samosas, raita, naan, rice, two curries and dessert. You probably won’t be able to eat it all, and the Bollywood music videos on the big screen will keep you giggling over your aloo gobi for at least an hour.
Be sure to check out the local coffee scene at Bibo Coffee Company, buying local and serving happy java in three locations.
Not vegetarian or vegan? Into local food? Reno’s got a few great places serving up local produce. Dish Cafe buys from local farmers, and all their meats is certified humane. And delicious but on the spendy side are Daughters Café, Old Granite Street Eatery, Sezmu, 4th St. Bistro, Beaujolais Bistro and 275 Hill.
Shop it up
If you’re into low maintenance, sign up for a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) with an individual farmer or the Great Basin Basket. You pay a set fee and pick up a box of in-season local produce once per week. These folks offer a great variety of basket options, and there’s almost always enough to split with a friend.
Maybe you’re not living in the dorms and have a kitchen to work with. You’re ready for the next step: shop and chop. The place to start is the Great Basin Community Food Co-op, as much for their array of local and bulk deliciousness as for their vast knowledge of the local food scene. Amber Sallaberry and the gang are a steadfast bastion of local food knowledge and know all the local farmers by name and by heart. The member-workers can advise you on how to cook that rhubarb you just bought from the produce cooler, or give you great ideas about vegan culinary delights, as well as put you to work. This little hot spot puts community into food, just like their name says.
Once you’ve gotten to know the co-op, take a few minutes to check out NevadaGrown, and familiarize yourself with the farmers in Northern Nevada. These people keep you fed and healthy, supply the co-op and set up booths at the farmers’ markets. Nevadagrown.com has a comprehensive list of farmers’ markets scattered throughout town and the week, as does Edible Reno-Tahoe magazine at www.ediblecommunities.com/renotahoe. There is a time and a place that will work for you. Ask the growers if they’re organic or from Nevada, and make sure they know how much you appreciate them.
If you’re looking for an immersion field trip and some local eggs to buy, take a bike ride along the Truckee to the River School. Tom Stille, director and local food and community man extraordinaire, might even take you on a personal tour of the sustainable compound before letting you pick out your own eggs from the chicken coop. The school also supplies the co-op and a few local restaurants.
Locavore friendly and near campus
275 Hill St., 322-2710
• 4th St. Bistro
3065 W. Fourth St., 323-3200
• Anthony’s Dandelion Deli & Café
1170 S. Wells Ave., 322-6100
• Beaujolais Bistro
130 West St., 323-2227
• Bibo Coffee Company
351 E. Ninth St., 348-8087
and two more downtown locations,
• Daughters Café
97 Bell St., 324-3447
• Dish Café and Catering
855 Mill St., 348-8264
• Great Basin Basket
• Great Basin Community Food Co-op
542 1/2 Plumas St., 324-6133
• India Kabab & Curry
1091 S. Virginia St., 348-6222
• Old Granite Street Eatery
243 S. Sierra St., 622-3222
• Pneumatic Diner
501 W. First Street, 786-8888
• River School
7777 White Fir St., 747-3910
670 Mount Rose St., 327-4448