Reno Food Stories: The Best of the Best

Posted by Brooke Sullivan on Tuesday, December 27th, 2016 at 9:57am

2016 was a great year for dining in the Biggest Little City, from national recognition to multiple exciting firsts, the Reno-Gazette Journal highlights the top twelve foodie movements.


Clint Jolly

In January 2016, Clint Jolly owner of Great Thyme Catering, went on to win first place on Chopped: Impossible Restaurant Challenge. Jolly bested 400 other U.S. chefs on the national Food Network channel, causing people to question if he would be the next chef to break out from Northern Nevada.

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Acclaimed Campo Opens a 2nd Location

Esquire Magazine named Campo one of the Best New Restaurants of 2012. Since then, it’s success had been exponential. Recently under new ownership and just seven months after it was purchased, Campo Sparks opened in July 2016. Campo’s Italian-inspired food consists of seasonal menus featuring locally grown products – a trend that will continue to flourish in 2017.

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Meat Science Discovers the Bonanza Cut

Amilton de Mello is the assistant professor of meat science at the University of Nevada, Reno. Late this summer, he announced the discovery of the bonanza cut. The bonanza cut is a tender piece of the flat-iron that’s currently used for ground beef. Could it be the new tri-tip?

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GourMelt Goes Brick-and-Mortar

A beloved local favorite, Jessie Watness and Haley Wood make themselves infamous with their GourMelt Grilled Cheese Truck. As of August in 2016, the truck got permanent digs with the GourMelt Grilled Cheese Shop on University Terrace. Let the lines begin!

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Morgan’s Lobster Shack

Who doesn’t love lobster? Shawn and Heather Whitney brought the first Morgan’s Lobster Shack to Truckee and have just opened their second location in Reno’s Midtown in November. Enjoy classic seafood dishes like they eat in the Northeast. Think fresh lobster rolls and seafood bisque that will drive your taste buds wild.

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Gold ‘N’ Silver Turns 60

The Gold ‘N’ Silver Inn and Restaurant first opened its iconic coffee shop in 1956, the year Eisenhower was in the White House. The dishes are still at 1950s prices sixty years later. Locals enjoy the late-night grub and classic breakfast dishes from omelets to biscuits and gravy.

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Kauboi Izakaya a.k.a. Cowboy Tavern

Owners of fine dining establishment LuLou’s, Chef Troy and Coleen Cannan opened up the Cowboy Tavern in the late spring. This Japanese tavern serves up grilled foods and other small plates. This is a spot that is the first of its kind in Reno.

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Pizza That Makes a Difference

Smiling with Hope Pizza is giving back to the community in a very unique way. They pay people with learning disabilities as they train to help make thin-crust pies, calzones, pizza rolls and other delectable dishes. The pizzeria opened early this year by Walter and Judy Gloshinski.

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Lavish Buffet

In March, after 11 weeks of extreme renovation, the Atlantis has revealed the multi-million-dollar refurbishment of Toucan Charlie’s Buffet. Reminiscent of a Vegas-style buffet, the new digs are sleek and snazzy with marble, soft leather, a custom pho bar, cotton candy and 38 wines by the glass.

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Korean BBQ at Ijji

The owners of Ijji decided to flip its fourth location from all you can eat sushi for an AYCE Korean barbeque experience. Ijji 4 is the first restaurant in Northern Nevada to serve mainly Korean BBQ. The bar area is set up attractively and is definitely worth a visit.

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