Reno Journals

Shopping and Dining in Reno

Best of IgoUgo

A travel journal to Reno by food&fun

The new Reno Arch Photo, Reno, Nevada More Photos
Quote: Take it from a local, there are places to eat and shop that don't involve gambling. Looking for a break from the tables or the ski slopes? Give this journal a try.

Shopping and Dining in Reno

Overview

The new Reno Arch Photo, Reno, Nevada
Quote:
Reno is known as 'The Biggest Little City in the World' and it's getting bigger by the day as the housing boom explodes. It was voted the 'Quirkiest City in the U.S.' and is trying hard to live up to the title. While many people flock to Reno for its casinos (though they can hardly compare with the mega-hotels in Las Vegas) or for its proximity to the world-class ski resorts around Lake Tahoe, there are two large shopping malls and some restaurants that offer something more unusual than the plastic chain restaurants (although there are plenty of those too).Quick Tips: Best Way To Get Around: Reno has an interational airport. The major hotels offer limited shuttle service. There ...Read More

Woo Chong

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Restaurant

Quote:
This storefront restaurant is tucked into a corner of the shopping center across McCarran from Meadowwood Mall. (It's the same shopping center as Trader Joe's, Long's Drugs and McFrugal's.) The booths and tables are not fancy, but the servers are friendly and helpful. The food is simple and good, featuring Japanese and Korean specialties. The lunch specials are served in a bento box (Japanese-style compartmentalized tray) which contains the main course, rice and shredded cabbage salad. Several types of kim chee accompany the Korean dishes. The bulgoghee beef (thinly sliced beef in a sweet soy sauce and garlic marinade) was good, although a little sweeter than I like. The tempura udon (noo...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on February 19, 2001

Woo Chong
5085 McCarran Boulevard
Reno, Nevada 89502
(775) 825-2552

Sushi Club

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Restaurant

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My hairdresser recommended this place to me. He lived in Hawaii for a few years and is a party-hearty kinda guy, so I guessed he probably knew his sushi bars. I guessed right. It was terrific. He told me that even at lunch, he has to wait for a place at the sushi bar, so I decided to arrive just as it opened, at 11:30. When I arrived, there were about 15 people lined up waiting to get in -- on a Wednesday! By noon, every seat at the sushi bar was filled, as were most of the tables. The draw is the all-you-can-eat deal. For $12.95 at lunch or $17.95 at dinner (starting at 4 p.m.) you can order as much of any sushi on the menu as you like. (For lunch, only a handful of the most expensive items ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 16, 2001

Sushi Club
294 E. Moana Lane
Reno, Nevada 89502
775-828-7311

Pho 777

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Restaurant | "Pho 777 Vietnamese Noodle Restaurant"

Pho 777 Photo, Reno, Nevada
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I almost hate to list this tiny restaurant because it is already too popular! This can only be called a hole-in-the-wall. It is a tiny restaurant in a storefront. The floors are linoleum and the tables are formica. The kitchen is probably 5' x 5' and there are perhaps 10 tables and a counter that seats 4 people. Don't be put off by the appearance -- the soup is great! Pho is the traditional Vietnamese noodle soup. It is beef broth served in a big bowl with a generous ball of thin noodles. The menu lists perhaps 15 different combinations of meats (for example, rare beef, brisket, tripe, meatballs -- singly or in combination) that you order in the soup. Accompanying the soup are raw bean...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 29, 2000

Pho 777
201 East Second St
Reno, Nevada 89501
+1 775 323 7777

Boomtown Lobster Buffet

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Restaurant

Boomtown Lobster Buffet Photo, Reno, Nevada
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On Friday through Sundays, Boomtown's Buffet turns into an all-you-can-eat-lobster extravaganza. You really can get as much lobster as you want. The hitch is, you probably won't want much. I did not think these lobsters had much taste; I thought perhaps they had been cooked, frozen, and re-steamed. The drawn butter served with them had an artificial taste, though I was told it was 'real butter.' The buffet also had mussels, which were pretty good. They were a little strong-tasting but otherwise tender and flavored from the cooking broth. Fried popcorn shrimp was more fried batter than shrimp, but isn't that what you usually get with popcorn shrimp? The fried shrimp reminded me of my childhood....Read More

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on October 29, 2000

Boomtown Lobster Buffet
I 80
Reno, Nevada 89501
800-648-3790

Austin's of Tahoe

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Restaurant

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Austin's has had a restaurant at Incline Village for several eyars and it has been popular. Now they have opened a branch in Reno, about a mile down Virginia past McCarran and Meadowwood Mall. They serve what can best be described as large portions of good quality 'American Comfort Food.' They are open for lunch and dinner. The menu features such items as meatloaf with mashed potatoes and fresh roasted turkey (none of that fake stuff) with dressing. They also have a selection of pizzas. (Like everything else, the 'individual' pizzas are king-sized -- about 18' in diameter.) I had a barbecued beef sandwich with cole slaw for lunch recently. The sliced beef was plentiful, spilling out over the ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 31, 2000

Austin's of Tahoe
7671 S. Virginia
Reno, Nevada 89511
(775) 852-1600

Sushi Boat

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Restaurant

Quote:
Sushi Boat is one of my favorite Reno restaurants. The sushi bar, set in an alcove at the front of the restaurant seats about 20 people, with three sushi chefs, so there is rarely a wait for your next sushi request. The dining room is a casual place, but a step up from coffee shop decor. The best deal is the all-you-can-eat sushi, at $10.95 for lunch. There is a great variety of both nigiri-style and popular rolls. As you would anywhere, think twice about raw shellfish; otherwise, the fish is fresh well prepared. Lunch in the restaurant section is also an especially good value. For less than $7.00, you get a bento box (Japanese compartmentalized tray) with your entree, rice, a selec...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 13, 2002

Sushi Boat
1999 South Virginia Street
Reno, Nevada 89502
(775) 829-2115

4th Street Bistro

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Restaurant

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The folks at 4th Street Bistro really try hard to get it right. The dining rooms are lovely and the wait staff is very professional, friendly and helpful, but unfortunately, the kitchen just doesn't have the skills to make this the top-flight restaurant it aspires to be. The food is good, but not great. On one recent visit, I had an appetizer of fig stuffed with goat cheese, wrapped in proscutto and grilled. It was an interesting combination, but the proscutto didn't add any flavor, and the portion was simply too small to justify the $8 price. My main course was Niman Ranch (very classy beef purveyer) beef shortribs. Although it had obviously been braised a long time, it was just salty, with n...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on November 1, 2002

4th Street Bistro
3065 W. 4th St.
Reno, Nevada 89523
(775) 323-3200

Aloha Sushi

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Restaurant

Quote:
Aloha Sushi is yet another of Reno's popular all-you-can-eat sushi bars. If you can overlook the dark, rather barn-like room, you'll find some good sushi. This place is so popular at lunch that people line up outisde, waiting for it to open (11:30). Instead of one long bar, they have several separate bars, with one or more sushi chefs at each. (If Kim is working, ask for him -- he's the best!) One of the things that separates Aloha Sushi from Sushi Club, also reviewed in this journal, is that you can get everything on the sushi menu at all times. (Sushi Club limits some items to dinner.) Also available on the all-you-can-eat deal are marinated mussels, but you have to ask for them because ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 1, 2002

Aloha Sushi
3338 Kietzke Ln
Reno, Nevada 89502
775-828-9611

Wild Alaskan Fish Company

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Restaurant

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The decor is spare but the food is excellent. Step up to the counter, order, serve yourself a beverage, then wait at your table for your food to be delivered. Nothing could be more simple and casual. As you can tell from the name, this is a fish restaurant, but not the heavy fried stuff one would expect at such an unpretentious cafe. The fish is fresh and prepared with a minimum of fuss. Fish tacos, served with a teriyaki or wasabi cream sauce are great. My absolute favorite is the teriyaki veggie bowl, which you can get with just veggies or topped with fresh, fresh salmon, ahi tuna or big shrimp, all on a generous serving of Japanese style rice. I like this dish so much, I've had it once a wee...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 8, 2002

Wild Alaskan Fish Company
4991 S. Virginia Street
Reno, Nevada 89502
775-829-7979

Meadowood Mall

Attraction | "Meadowwood Mall"

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Meadowwood Mall is the major shopping mall in Reno. Anchor stores are Macy's, Sears and J.C. Penney's. It is a pleasant indoor mall, with a large area for sitting. Smaller stores include Eddie Bauer, Gap, Sephora (a huge French cosmetics and fragrance store), Copeland's Sports, and the usual collection of shoe stores, bookstores, music stores, and other mall regulars. Macy's actually has two stores in the mall; one is the women's store and the other is the men's store combined with home items. (Macy's furniture is in a completely different shopping center.) While there is a food court, there is a shortage of good restaurants in the mall. You'd be better fed at any of the myriad chain restaurant...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on October 29, 2000

Meadowood Mall
5000 Meadowood Circle
Reno, Nevada 89502
+1 775 827 8450

Shopping for a picnic

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Story/Tip

Quote:
Reno has several good spots to fill your picnic basket with interesting foods. My first stop would be Wild Oats Market at 5695 S. Virginia. Prices are a little on the high side, but the variety and quality can't be beat. They have an in-house sushi chef, an extensive deli department, and more exotic cheeses than you'll find probably anywhere else in Reno. There is also a bakery for your bread and dessert. It's an organic market, so you'll also find a large selection of juices and fresh fruit. My next stop would be Trader Joe's at 5035 S. McCarran. Trader Joe's is less expensive than Wild Oats, but also has an excellent selection of cheeses and fresh picnic goodies. You'll also find wine...Read More