Best Reno Dining on a Budget

by Michael Stevens
on February 24, 2017

Forget Las Vegas! Plan your next trip to Reno and enjoy great entertainment, gambling, and fine dining on a budget. We’ve found the top places to eat in Reno, Nevada without spending a fortune.

About Reno

Reno is in the northern part of Nevada. This city has been a place where people have gone for many years with the hopes of striking it rich. In the early to mid 1800’s pioneer’s made their way into Reno, which at the time was a stopping point for travelers on the California trail. This gave the town its first real settlers who in the following years found gold and then silver. Once silver was discovered the mining rush began.

Through the years Reno has grown and become one of the most notable entertainment cities in the United States. Known as “The Biggest Little City in the World”, it’s now famous for its casinos and world class entertainment and dining.

For people who find Las Vegas to be just a bit too much for them Reno is the way to go. You still have all the glitz and glamour of a casino with a little bit less of the hustle and bustle of Vegas. Reno is the home to many gaming corporations and is noted as the birthplace of Caesars Entertainment Corp, one of the leading corporations in the industry.

Reno isn’t limited to its casinos and gaming for entertainment. With its close proximity to Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Nevada Mountains there’s a great deal for visitors to do while in Reno. One of the best things about a trip to Reno is the dining. With a great selection of food available you’ll never go hungry, but deciding where to eat might be a problem

Finding a great place to eat with great food and a reasonable price is difficult no matter where you go but Reno has some of the best inexpensive food on the plant. From home cooking to the high end gourmet cooking, it’s all available and affordable. So let’s start from least expensive and go from there.

1. Sierra St Kitchen & Cocktails

Owner Bret Rosselli returned to Reno where he has previously owned restaurants in the past to bring the highly popular Sierra St. Kitchen & Cocktails to the people. Brett studied the restaurant business at Cornell University and has many years of experience under his belt.

Brett and fiancée Nicole have a hands on way of running the restaurant. They’re there every day and are interested in the customers input. They encourage the customers to speak to them about their concerns, problems, or to let them know when everything is great.

Brett believes this is the best way to learn what’s working right and what needs to be fixed. This restaurant gives the customer a great selection to choose from for a reasonable price. The menu not only includes great food but drinks as well.

This restaurant provides small plates that fill you up with the best tasting combinations anywhere. From Hummus, to Prime Filet Medallions there’s a wonderful selection that will make everyone happy. They also have available fresh fish daily so you know it’s fresh and cooked to perfection.

The drink menu is extensive and with Brett’s history in the wine business this is no surprise. French, Italian, and Napa wines are always available. Along with the ability to get your Martini and good food every day of the week this place is easy on the wallet.

Customers love the selection and the atmosphere. They say they feel right at home and really find that Brett and Nicole care about the business, the town, and their customers. It’s no wonder it has started off great and looks to be headed into the future with a great deal of potential.

2. La Vecchia

This eatery is named for the town the owner grew up in, La Vecchia Varese. The owner Alberto Gazzola developed his love for Italian cuisine in the town of Varese, where he worked as a chef. The customers have since dropped the Varese so the restaurant is known now as just La Vecchia.

The Chef and owner Alberto Gazzola is a born and raised Italian who brings to Reno the traditional style Italian food he loved growing up in Italy. He brings the essence of his heritage from Northern Italy to his customers on a daily basis.

The menu includes fresh house made pasta and seafood dishes along with classic desserts just waiting for you to fall in love with them. The restaurant is open for both lunch and dinner and serves some of the best Italian food in the area.

You can come with a family, have a great meal, and leave without feeling like you just got robbed. The food price per person is going to average $15 for lunch and $20 to25 for dinner. This is reasonable when you take into consideration this includes your main dish and either a salad or appetizer.

This restaurant not only provides the customers with the food of a very high end establishment but the view as well. With its panoramic view of the city you can enjoy your food while examining your surroundings and deciding what to do when you’re finished eating.

Before you go make sure you have a piece of the famous cheesecakes that Alberto has on the menu. We hear that the tiramisu cheesecake is the best.

3. Flavors of India

If you’re in the mood for some spice and have a fondness for Indian cuisine Flavors of India is the place for you. The founder of Flavors of India strives to serve his customers with food that touches the soul.

At the restaurant, every meal is delicious and gives the customer a feel of traditional Indian cuisine. As you enter the restaurant you’ll be overcome with the smells of the traditional Indian spices infused with a flare from Latin, American, and Caribbean twists.

One great thing about the spices and herbs used at Flavor of India is the numerous health benefits they possess. Many of the ingredients used in the meals they provide have the ability to lower cholesterol and increase vitality.

For those who don’t enjoy food that’s super spicy they have options for you as well. Flavors of India cater to all different palates. Your experience will start with you building your own dinner by choosing from their many different flavorful ingredients.

Don’t forget to give the traditional desserts a try. These are flavorful options to finish off a great experience at a wonderful restaurant.

You’ll find that the menu is vast and covers the whole spectrum of Indian cuisine at a reasonable price. You’ll find yourself spending around $20.00 per person but the food, flavor, and atmosphere make it worth every dime.

4. Bistro 7

An integral part of Reno’s food renovation lies just inside the doors of Bistro 7. With its menu that is seductive and innovative it brings the best to the table.

The cuisine is centered on the wood oven that is Bistro 7’s claim to fame. You can find something for everyone here from fresh seafood, to homemade pastas for the adults, and an imaginative children’s menu.

Bistro 7 not only offers the large plates and sit down service but also includes a variety of appetizers that can be mixed and matched to fulfill the needs for those who just don’t have the room for a huge meal. They also offer box lunches and take out services for those on the go.

The décor is modern and sophisticated with high ceilings and warm colors to make you feel comfortable while you eat. They also have rooms available for large parties that can either be semi private or a private space with its own fire place and water sculpture at the center.

The chef at Bistro 7 is none other than Michael Woodallteh. Michael was raised in California and attended the Indiana University of Pennsylvania Academy of Culinary Arts along with the Culinary Institute of America. He worked at other restaurants from California and Reno before coming to Bistro 7.

He uses his vast knowledge of cuisine to bring to life a menu that combines the classics of French cuisine with the contemporary American cuisine. This creates a menu full of fun and interesting combinations to appeal to all tastes.

Although this restaurant is a little pricier than some it’s well worth the money. Being able to choose from fresh seafood, wood fire pizza, and favorites such as rib eye steak makes it a perfect place to go and be able to feed everyone no matter what type of food they like.

Give Bistro 7 a try whether during lunch or dinner; you’ll be guaranteed to find something you’ll love and will keep you coming back.

5. Hussong’s Cantina

If you’re looking for some good old Mexican food Hussong’s is the place for you. Hussong’s is said to be the home of the margarita and have some of the best authenticate Mexican food in Reno.

With dishes ranging from mild to extra spicy this place has something for every palate. They have mainstays such as enchilada, and quesadillas along with a vegetarian menu, so they’re able to cover the whole spectrum of customers that walk through the door.

They also provide catering for parties, host events, and have group dining options available. So if you and all your friends are out and about and want to stop in give them a heads up so they can be ready for you when you’re hungry.

With customer oriented staff, great food, and drinks it’s no wonder that Hussong’s has been around Reno for many years and will continue to be one of the best restaurants in the area.

6. Old Granite Street Eatery

The Eatery boasts of providing a familiar atmosphere that includes comforting dishes made with locally grown and raised quality ingredients. They also offer a rotating craft beer selection, along with great wine selection, and hand crafted cocktails.

The Eatery offers Happy Hour deals from 3 to 6 pm Monday thru Friday. They also have menus that are specially designed to have the best options for all occasions. Come see them for brunch, lunch, and dinner to be able to appreciate the different options they have available.

The price of the food is reasonable which can make it an even better option after a night of hard gambling. You’ll probably still have enough to get some good food if you stop by.

7. Louis Basque Corner

Founded in 1967 by Louis and Lorraine Erreguible, this restaurant has brought the Basque heritage to Reno. Lorraine was an immigrant from France and Louis was a WWII veteran who wanted to share their love of the traditional Basque food with the world.

They renovated the Lincoln Hotel that had been built in 1906 into what has now become a wonderful family oriented Reno restaurant.

The restaurant is themed after the old Basque hotels of the American west which felt like a home away from home for newly immigrated Basques from the Pyrenees Mountains. This is still the idea the restaurant is centered around. Homemade family style hearty meals are what you’ll find at Louis’s no matter the time or day.

Traditional meals such as sweetbreads, oxtail, tongue, and tripe can still be found on the menu today. The new owners Chris Shanks and Brian Elcano have done a wonderful job of continuing Louis and Lorraine’s ideas and great food.

The menus differ from lunch to dinner but the best thing about it is that the no matter what you order you’re guaranteed to get your money’s worth. Each meal is served in the traditional Basque family style that includes all of the following: soup of the day, French bread, Basque beans, salad, French fries, first course, main entree, dessert, and a glass of house wine or soda.

So you get everything for one price; and this is still quite reasonable for the amount of food you‘re receiving. During lunch you can look to spend about $20 per person with dessert and around $35.00 per person for dinner.

You really can’t find a better deal anywhere that will fill you up and give you the feeling of eating with family you never knew you had. Come and enjoy a great time of family fun at Louis Basque Corner.


Reno may be smaller than Las Vegas but what it lacks in size it makes up for in great food. The restaurants we talked about above all fall under the heading of great food at affordable prices. With the different variety available there’s sure to be something you either love or something new for you to try. Give these places a chance the next time you’re in Reno.

Michael Stevens

Michael Stevens has been researching and writing topics involving the gambling industry for well over a decade now and is considered an expert on all things casino and sports betting. Michael has been writing for since early 2016.

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