Will Work for Delicious Food

Summer 2024

We’re not trying to brag, but as a group, the staff of Travel Nevada really gets around the Silver State. We log countless miles each year traversing the state in search of all the best Nevada has to offer so we can share it with you. During our travels, we’ve had our fair share of meals and decided to spill the tea on some of our favorite places. What follows is by no means all our favorites or meant to be a comprehensive list of Nevada’s great dining options. Without further ado, we present the places Travel Nevada and Nevada Magazine & Visitor Guide staff love to eat! 

Gettin’ Saucy

Spring 2024

The origin of barbecue in America has been oft debated, with the South claiming dominion over the tasty style of cooking meat and even how it’s seasoned, but one thing is for sure: Barbecue is as close to being our national food as apple pie. Every state, heck, every restaurant puts its own spin on grilling, smoking, and slow cooking tasty cuts of meat, and Nevada’s barbecue restaurants are no different. You’d be hard pressed to travel to any city and not find barbecue on the menu, but we’ve got a sample of the delicious delights that await your visit. 

Dinner With a Side of History

Winter 2023

Combine a tour of the city’s historic buildings with some of its hippest restaurants and watering holes. These establishments often boast up to a century (or more) of civic pride, but their menus keep it fresh, innovative,
and mouthwatering!

Comfort Cuisine

Fall 2023

Whether you know them as cafés, diners, hash houses, or greasy spoons, rural restaurants are the oases of the highway. Yes, they provide essential, good-mood-food for road trippers, but that’s not the only reason they’re beloved. The fact is that diners are a universal part of American culture. Everything from the white mugs to the laminated menus and breakfast counter chatter is welcomingly familiar no matter how far from home we are. So, as you make your way across the Silver State, keep these excellent options in mind: Your stomach and your spirit will thank you.

A Moveable Feast

Summer 2023

Food tourism has grown steadily in the last decade, and now entire vacations are planned around culinary pleasures. Sampling local foods and beverages is a great way to truly dive into a new destination, and while once that meant trying new restaurants, today it includes farmers markets; foodie tours; brewery, winery, and distillery events; and exploring the food truck scene. 

Sushi: Roll Call

Spring 2023

Sushi is something of a Nevada specialty. This might sound surprising, given that the nearest wharf is some 150 miles away, but it’s true. The Silver State is home to some of the best sushi around with daily offerings as fresh as you’d find in any oceanside community. Best of all, amazing sushi restaurants are found all across Nevada, not just in our metropolitan areas.   

The Final Word: Ashley Frey

Spring 2023

Read our chat with Ashley Frey, cofounder (along with her husband Colby) and chief storyteller of Frey Ranch Farmers + Distillers in Fallon.   

Hamburger Heaven

Winter 2022-2023

America’s favorite food was born in the mid-1800s when vendors started serving “steak in the Hamburg style,” which meant lower-quality beef that was ground, spiced, cooked, and served between bread. First popular
with immigrants and sailors, hamburgers soon swept the nation as a meal for the common folk that was cheap, tasty, and portable.

Today, hamburgers are ubiquitous: a culinary staple nearly guaranteed on every restaurant menu in the country (and many abroad). Despite this proliferation, burger tourism is a rewarding venture because every region offers a unique spin on the classic. Such is the experience across Nevada, and while every community has at least one great burger option, we HIGHLY recommend these.

Sweet Treats & Cool Eats

Fall 2022

Savor the sweet delights life brings you—now that’s some solid advice. If you agree, we’ve got some goodies to share. No matter where your travels take you in the Silver State, there’s a delicious treat awaiting you. 

Find Your Fresh

Summer 2022

Nevada’s desert landscape is well known, so it may surprise some to learn that the state is also home to organic farming operations and a robust farm-to-fresh dining scene. Restaurants all over the state—and increasingly in rural areas—are offering locally grown foods with a focus on vegetarian and/or vegan-oriented menus. Here are a few tasty offerings you’ll find.  

A Taste of Life On The Rails

Fall 2021

While journeying Nevada’s highways, it’s easy to get distracted by options; each road shooting off into the desert holds the promise of adventure. However, when it comes to getting a bite to eat, choices are at a premium and travelers are often resigned to a take-what-you-can-get diet. We’ve all been there: gas station sandwiches, fast food fries, bags of trail mix.

But now, hungry trekkers on Highway 93 can rejoice in a restaurant that puts variety back on the menu. Settled right in the heart of Caliente near the historic train depot, The Side Track restaurant offers classic American cuisine with many dietary choices.  

Urban Cowboy Bar and Grill

Summer 2021

Traveling along the Loneliest Road in America—aka U.S. Route 50 or Highway 50—visitors expect barren landscapes and long periods of solitude. That feeling of emptiness, of vast wide-open spaces, is what most adventurers along this road seek...except when it comes to their stomachs.
There are few towns along Highway 50 which, while being part of the appeal, can also make it hard to find a really good meal. There is, however, a shining beacon for those who experience hunger pains as they are about halfway across the state: the Urban Cowboy Bar and Grill in Eureka.

Wild-Game Cooking Elevated

Spring 2021

Peel open the dusty pages of an old wild-game cookbook, and the recipes may sometimes feel a bit basic and bland: roast duck (salt, pepper), rabbit and gravy (shortening, onion, flour), and even broiled skunk (salt, pepper, onion, nose plugs).

Although some of these recipes are tried and true, gone are the days of cooking duck on a cedar plank, tossing the duck, and eating the cedar plank. That’s because wild-game cooking is evolving; not becoming more complicated, but becoming more understood and respected. Thanks, in part, to modern wild-game chefs understanding their subject matter and exploring new and different recipes—while sticking to everyday ingredients—that challenge traditional cooking methods.

Creating a Home on the Range

Spring 2021

There are a number of words I use sparingly in my writing, with unique landing very near the top of my list of over- and erroneously-used words. The very definition of unique after all, means something singular, the only one of its kind. For Basin and Range Cellars, however, I will bust out this word.  

Esther’s Kitchen

Winter 2021

Walking into Esther’s Kitchen right before dinner service begins in the 18b Arts District of Las Vegas, one is struck immediately with a sense of community. The staff is finishing a wine tasting. They are sampling the latest additions to the ever-changing menu in an affable, almost familial scene. But it’s more than that. Even the walk up to the restaurant along Casino Center Boulevard has a community feel that differs from three years ago when Esther’s Kitchen first opened.

Pinocchio’s Bar & Grill Serves What Northern Nevada Needs

Winter 2021

Family dinners are something many of us have a memory of—a meal where everyone gathers around the table, all talking at once, sharing jokes and stories full of laughter and connection. It’s a meal that is equal parts delicious, engaging, and memorable.

Now, take that meal and locate in an eccentric family member’s house, you know the one who has a crazy fun collection of memorabilia and whimsy lining the walls—with a story for most of it—and you’re getting close to the experience of dining at Pinocchio’s Bar & Grill.

Piazza Invites Carson City To Enjoy Café Culture

Fall 2020

Synergy is the magical outcome of blending two or more things—ingredients, if you will—that when combined, create something even greater than the original components. No matter how wonderful or powerful the ingredients are on their own, when they are blended together, the result is something that transcends the ordinary and becomes extraordinary. 

It was with an impressive number of ingredients that Jenny and Mark Lopiccolo forged Piazza, which they call simply “A place to gather.”

Papa’s Ranch House Restaurant

Fall 2020

Dean Martin serenades me through the stereo speakers as I drool over the menu at Papa’s Ranch House in Wadsworth. The table I’m seated at is surrounded by an eclectic collection of sports memorabilia, historical photographs, and paintings. Aromas of pan-seared artichoke hearts and fresh-baked pizza crust fill the room.

Frozen Treats to Beat the Desert Heat

Summer 2020

No two ways about it: summer in Las Vegas is brutal. Every Nevadan has little tips and tricks for staying cool during the hot summer months, but one of the tastiest ways to beat the heat is definitely with a frozen treat. In recent years, many southern Nevadans have begun to embrace different diets from organic to dairy-free, and the traditional ice cream parlor has needed to adapt with the times.

Rattlesnake Club: A New Spot to Sink Your Teeth Into

March – April 2020

The Rattlesnake Club offers a new vision for elevated dining in northern Nevada. At the helm of the project is pulmonologist and restauranteur Dr. Jeff Bacon. He’s on a mission to bring the best in locally grown, seasonal fare to the region. To facilitate this vision, he’s assembled a winning team which includes Executive Chef Ethan Phelps and Managers Trish Ide and Dave Grayden. 

The Reno restaurant has overcome numerous road bumps since opening in June 2019, making the club’s hard-won success all the sweeter.


January – February 2020

“A lot of times when you go to a restaurant and you’re a vegan, you are kind of treated as an afterthought,” says Donald Lemperle. “But that’s changing in Las Vegas.” 

He would know. A vegan for 16 years, Donald is chef of VegeNation, a plant-based restaurant with locations in Downtown Las Vegas and Henderson. VegeNation serves flavorful fare that just happens to be meatless—not the other way around. Diners will find sun-dappled spaces that feel industrial and verdant at the same time. The eclectic menu, which contains everything from sushi to tacos to spaghetti, reads like an exceptionally comprehensive answer to the question “What should we have for dinner tonight?” 

The Star Hotel

November – December 2019

In September, Editor Megg Mueller and I, after wrapping up day two of ghost town adventures (see page 62), treated ourselves to one of the most consistently delicious meals in Elko—The Star Hotel.

Sweet Decadence

November – December 2019

This four-hour experience explores the sweet side of Sin City, starting at the iconic M&M’s World on The Strip where four floors of colorful fun await. This location is the only M&M’s World in the western U.S. and one step inside reveals this is someplace special. Visitors can snap colorful photos of the famous M&M’s characters; pose in front of Kyle Busch’s M&M’s-sponsored NASCAR; print a personal message on M&M’s candies; and sample some of the new flavors like Thai coconut or coffee peanut. With more than 28,000 square feet to explore, the time flies by, so make sure to take it all in before the tour’s next stop.

Cottonwood Station Eatery

May – June 2019

It’s dusk in the tiny desert village. Through a canopy of cottonwood trees, crimson mountains turn purple in the falling light. Wild burros cross the parking lot of the gas station, which also serves as the town’s general store and sheriff’s department. Less than 20 miles away, rows of jingling slot machines and miles of concrete are towered over by neon signs. These two worlds are somehow both located in Clark County. The latter is the Las Vegas Strip and the former is Blue Diamond which is home to Cottonwood Station Eatery—a culinary outpost tucked deep inside Red Rock Canyon.

Austin’s Awesome Eateries

January – February 2019

There’s a reason they don’t call it the hungriest road in America. BY MEGG MUELLER Anyone who has survived a roadtrip across the Loneliest Road in America—U.S. Route 50, more commonly known as Highway 50—can probably sympathize with what I’m about to say; the town of Austin may have been where the trip got sketchy if […]

The Angry Butcher

July – August 2018

THE ANGRY BUTCHER STEAKHOUSE Las Vegas eatery fights to make diners completely happy. STORY BY KYLE YOUNG PHOTOS BY BOYD GAMING Just about every major casino in the U.S. has a steakhouse, so what sets The Angry Butcher Steakhouse inside Sam’s Town Hotel & Gambling Hall in Las Vegas apart from the crowd? For starters, it prides itself […]

Kerouac’s Restaurant

May – June 2018

Finding Bliss at Kerouac’s Relish in a delicious path to enlightenment in eastern Nevada. BY ENGRID BARNETT By the time you reach the easternmost edge of U.S. Route 50, affectionately known as The Loneliest Road in America, Kerouac’s restaurant in Baker feels more like a mirage than a reality. The brainchild of chef Jake Cerese […]

Cold Springs Station

March – April 2018

On The Side Of The Road Is The Middle Of Everything Cold Springs Station offers perfect respite from the road. BY MEGG MUELLER “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” — Ferris Bueller The speed at which life appears to move is so […]

Still On Mill is the Real Deal

January-February 2018

Nevada’s newest brewery-distillery blends perfect cocktail of science and talent. STORY BY MEGG MUELLER PHOTOS BY ERIC CACHINERO Homebrew operations generally start from a love of beer, and a desire to concoct new flavors from whatever the kitchen might hold. Take that to the next step, and you might find yourself brewing 350 gallons of […]

Basque Roadtrip, Revisited

November – December 2017

Annual Basque pilgrimage brings food, fun, and friends together for tasty trek. BY STEVE BASS, LARRY ERREA, AND MARK MESKE Twenty years ago our intrepid group began what has become an annual pilgrimage to the National Basque Festival in Elko. Along the way the intent was, and still is, to sample as many Basque meals […]

Casale’s Halfway Club

July – August 2017

Casale’s Halfway Club Family passes sauce and traditions through five generations. STORY BY ALEZA FREEMAN PHOTOS BY ASA GILMORE   The night “Mama” Inez Casale Stempeck was born at her family’s dairy on the outskirts of Reno, her father, John Casale, also welcomed 11 cows. “He was more excited about the cows,” Inez jokes. Inez […]

Dutch Oven Cooking

May – June 2017

  Nevada’s Dutch Touch Dutch oven cooking seasons the soul. BY ERIC CACHINERO Paper towels and beer. These secret weapons line the arsenal of many experienced Dutch oven cooks. The two components may be as essential to the art of Dutch oven cooking as the actual food that goes in the pot. Beer flavors many dishes […]

4th Street Bistro

March – April 2017

4th Street Bistro Without trend or hype, Reno eatery remains a bold choice. STORY BY ENGRID BARNETT PHOTOS BY KIPPY S. SPILKER As a mainstay of Reno’s culinary culture for close to two decades, 4th Street Bistro continues to flourish. An impressive feat in an industry known for ridiculously high failure rates—around 80 percent within […]

Lip Smacking Foodie Tours

January – February 2017

 A VIP SAMPLING OF THE BEST DISHES LAS VEGAS HAS TO OFFER. BY MEGG MUELLER Adventures of every flavor exist in Las Vegas, but when flavor is the adventure, you’ve got a tasty new ball game. Luckily, Las Vegas has someone who not only knows the game, he’s mastered the rules, knows all the players, […]

Gold ‘N Silver Inn

November – December 2016

Gold ‘N Silver Inn Tasty tradition is the cornerstone of landmark Reno restaurant. STORY BY MEGG MUELLER PHOTOS BY KIPPY S. SPILKER There are many sayings that talk about the importance of sharing mealtime with family, but quotes come and go. If you want to experience the difference a dash of familial love makes to […]

Back-Road Bites

July – August 2016

Back-Road Bites BY MEGG MUELLER There’s one thing Nevada’s lesser-traveled roads reveal: while there may be scenic views for days, there may not always be a place to eat. Some towns have just one restaurant with mercurial hours (think Austin), while others have none (sorry, Ione). Lest you be discouraged, there are plenty of cafes, […]

Nevada Grown: A Year in Local Food

March – April 2016

  Nevada Grown: A Year in Local Food COOKBOOK OFFERS CHANCE TO REDISCOVER THE PLEASURES OF COOKING AND BUYING LOCAL. PHOTOS BY NEVADA MAGAZINE STAFF By Megg Mueller Office environments can be dens of food iniquity; from Girl Scout cookies to leftover holiday candies, baking experiments to potlucks, there always seems to be something to […]

The Pink House

January – February 2016

Serving up history with a slice of cheese. BY REBECCA BROWN Nestled in the small northern Nevada town of Genoa is an unmistakable landmark steeped in history—The Pink House. This beautifully restored building turned cheese-and- charcuterie shop invites further exploration. Expecting to find the typical counters and cases, I’m pleasantly surprised to walk into a […]

Lone Eagle Grill

November – December 2015

Lone Eagle Grill LAKE TAHOE’S CELEBRATED DINING STAPLE IS ANYTHING BUT PREDICTABLE BY MEGG MUELLER Life is short; eat dessert first. — author uncertain Vanilla ice cream laced with toffee chips; a moist, gluten-free buckwheat brownie; and an expertly flambéed secret-recipe merengue towered atop an intricate molasses drizzle. Take a moment to let your brain […]

Savvy Sommelier Uncorks Delicious Adventure

July – August 2015

Savvy Sommelier Uncorks Delicious Adventure CARNEVINO’S KIRK PETERSON PAIRS WINE WITH FOOD…AND PEOPLE. BY MARISA FINETTI It’s well past lunch, yet a seductively plated dish of braised quail in cognac reduction is placed before Kirk Peterson. Along with two other sommeliers, a chef, and a culinary director, he attempts to identify the perfect wine pairing. […]

The Depot Craft Brewery & Distillery

May – June 2015

The Depot Craft Brewery & Distillery Historic backdrop provides the perfect setting for elegantly innovative, yet classic eatery. BY MEGG MUELLER Reno’s burgeoning craft-food scene gave birth to a new entry, appropriately, on New Year’s Eve. As any parent knows, infancy is not without its trials and tribulations, but The Depot Craft Brewery & Distillery […]

Keeping it Sweet

March – April 2015

Nevada’s chocolatiers and candy makers create a veritable candy land. BY MEGG MUELLER A few words to describe chocolate that I used in the course of one interview include evocative, compelling, rewarding, complex, engaging, decisive…and of course, incredible. Our complex relationship with candy—chocolate in particular—can’t be easily understood, but thankfully, that doesn’t mean you can’t […]

Tonopah Brewing Co.

January – February 2015

Barbecue and brews serve as a tasty toast to the town’s mining heritage. BY MEGG MUELLER Driving between Reno and Las Vegas can be a long, dry trip. The Nevada desert stretches for miles in between major (and even minor) cities along U.S. Route 95, and after a while, even the sight of ghost towns […]

Cactus Creek Prime Steakhouse

November – December 2014

New chef surprises and delights, all thanks to the family. STORY & PHOTOS BY MEGG MUELLER Nevada is a land of contrasts, and nowhere is that more evident than the Cactus Creek Prime Steakhouse at the Bonanza Casino. One of Reno’s smaller local casinos, the Bonanza offers the charm of the city’s rustic edge; no […]

Gunbarrel Tavern

November – December 2013

Gunbarrel Tavern South Tahoe’s newest eatery serves up high-caliber cuisine. BY ERIC CACHINERO Nestled neatly amongst the boutiques and cafes of Heavenly Village on Lake Tahoe’s south shore is a dining experience sure to ignite your powder keg. Complementing perfectly the already stellar reputation of the area, the Gunbarrel Tavern & Eatery, the village’s newest […]

1864 Tavern

September – October 2013

1864 Tavern The Nevada pride flows—literally and figuratively—inside new California Avenue saloon in Reno. BY MATTHEW B. BROWN As Nevada preps for its sesquicentennial celebration of 2014, 1864 Tavern in Reno couldn’t have come at a more appropriate time. “We just really take pride in our state,” says co-owner Shawn Plunket, “and we wanted to […]

Crooner, ESQ.

July – August 2013

Longtime Las Vegan discovers his voice and impresses a Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Famer. BY JANET M. GEARY Currently, with the myriad of information that’s available on the web, getting background information on someone is pretty easy. But when you look up Keith Galliher Jr., you have to go through the first several pages […]


July – August 2013

Zephyr Cove’s family-owned Italian eatery is worth the occasional wait, got it? BY CHARLIE JOHNSTON After several weeks of Nevada Magazine Senior Graphic Designer Danny Miller bragging about how great the handmade “Ravs” at Zephyr Cove’s Capisce? are, I could barely wait for our waitress to set them on the table before digging in to […]

A Taste of Tuscany

May – June 2013

"This is the best part of the whole meal," swoons Julie Mottes between spoonfuls of honey and brittle semifreddo atop Guanaia chocolate fondue. "You should write your story starting with dessert and work backwards."
Considering the out-of-this-world-delicious meal we've been enjoying this particular February evening, Mottes' assertion is a bold one, but our dinner companions—Mottes' friend Shari Weinberger and Editor Matthew B. Brown—and I agree: This ranks among the best desserts we've ever tasted.

License to Distill

March – April 2013

Like many Nevadans, George Racz came to the Silver State in pursuit of the American Dream. The Hungarian-born immigrant saw opportunity in the Las Vegas Valley, though it wasn't gold or a huge jackpot he was after; it was a good cocktail. A fine drink wasn't hard to come by in Sin City, but one made with locally distilled spirits was.

Tahoe Lobster Company

January – February 2013

The story of the Tahoe Lobster Company begins with the first written introduction of signal crayfish in 1895: 19 males and 31 females in Marlette Lake. Since Marlette feeds into Lake Tahoe, the crayfish had no problem getting well established in both Nevada lakes.

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