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Table of Contents for Civilized Explorer or Burning Man or Reno Pages

This page is http://civilizedexplorer.pbwiki.com/index.php?wiki=stayingInReno

It is maintained by Louise Johnson. Feel free to drop her an email if you have any suggestions or additions. This page was last updated on December 5, 2011.



The Civilized Explorer Reno Stayover Page


We are in the habit of staying at least one night in Reno both before and after Burning Man. Especially for those who fly to Reno over great distances, it can be very convenient to spend a night before the final drive out to Black Rock. Here are our recommendations for a few places to eat (non-casino primarily) and sleep. Check out live video of  Virginia St. in downtown Reno, the Reno Skyline, and Pyramid Lake.


Area Code -- The area code for Reno is 775.

Prices -- Prices were current when this was written. Expect increases since then.


Just Passing Through?


Truck Stops

Reno is a major re-supply city for truckers, and there are several huge truck stops along Route 80. Two are near Sparks, visible from the highway and easily accessible. We've stopped at both and availed ourselves of some of the facilities. We know of several people who have used the showers and laundromats at truck stops - just be sure to use the truckers entrance if you'd rather not lug your playa-dust ridden clothes through the store.

Alamo Travel Center Reached from Exit 20 or 21 at 1950 E. Greg St. , it features 8 diesel islands, 8 gas lanes, a Super 8 motel, barber shop, a Petro convenience store, showers, laundry, CB radio repair (open 11 am - 5 pm Mon-Fri 775-359-4841), business center, security patrolled parking, and casino. 355-8888 Petro Shopping Center 353-8600

Sierra Sid's TA Travel Center has several billboards along Route 80, so you may recognize the name. It is easily accessible at Exit 19 at 200 N. McCarran Blvd 359-0550. Features double showers, self-serve laundry, 24 hour Travel Mart, 24 hour restaurant, casino, ATM, FAX, and security patrolled parking. Of particular note, Sierra Sid's also has an Elvis Gun collection which also includes spurs once owned by John Wayne.

There are also 3 truck stops in Fernley, all at Exit 48. The Truck Inn has a motel, food and showers open 24/7, the Unocal Truck Stop (575-1990) has a convenience store, and the Pilot Travel Center is on 465 Highway 95 Alternate (575-5115).

Love's Travel Stop in Fernley is reported to have reasonable prices on diesel fuel. 825 Commerce Center Dr., Exit 46 575-2200


Staying in Reno?




The Bonanza Inn 215 W. 4th and the Desert Rose Inn (previously Travelodge) 329-3451 655 W. 4th are on W. 4th Street, within 4 blocks of almost all the casinos.

There are also four Motel 6s. I guess the most "centrally located" one is 666 N. Wells Ave. (I am not kidding about the address) 329-8681 - but no pool. Others are at 1901 S Virginia Street 827-0255, 1400 Stardust St 747-7390, and 2405 Victorian Ave in Sparks, 358-1080.

We have found 3 different booklets at fast-food restaurants and shopping centers with coupons for discounts on rooms at several motels. Roomsaver, Hotel Coupon Guide, and HotelCoupons.com also have coupons available on-line.


Bed & Breakfast


Wildflower Village is an artists' enclave just off Route 80 west of Reno. We have not stayed here, but they say they offer a cozy retreat. "Each room has a private entrance, full bath and cooking facilities. Designer linens, french lace from Sauverne and tiffany-style lamps bring comfort in an informal setting. Enjoy a view of the Truckee River from your porch and wake to a delicious gourmet champagne breakfast delivered right to your door." 4275 - 4395 W. Fourth St. 747-8848 From Rt. 80, take Exit 10, W. McCarran Blvd • keep right at the fork, follow signs for S McCarran Blvd and merge onto S McCarran Blvd • left onto W. 4th st., and it's a half mile down.


Casino Hotels

Casino hotels can offer rates competitive with motels on slow days, typically Sundays - Thursdays. It's worth it to check their websites if you prefer a hotel to a motel. However, I recently found a lower rate on Orbitz than on the Sands website, so you may want to check Orbitz as well.


Atlantis Casino 3800 S. Virginia St. (800) 723-6500 or 825-4700. Lots of surface parking.

Cal Neva Casino W. Second & N. Virginia Streets 877-777-7303 One of the older downtown casinos - nice, cheap place.

Eldorado Casino 345 N. Virginia St. (800) 648-5966 or 786-5700

Harrah's 219 N. Center Street 786-3232

Nugget 1100 Nugget Ave. in Sparks (800) 648-1177 or 356-3300. An indoor spa is available.

Peppermill Casino 2707 S. Virginia St. (800) 648-6992 (information) (800) 282-2444 (reservations) or 826-2121 phone 826-5205 FAX Having completed the new Tuscan tower, they are now renovating the old tower. Surface parking is still available on the north side of the casino. An easy entrance for the parking garage is just south of the main entrance with the big sign. We're not using the main entrance anymore - it's now meant for taxis and limos so it is difficult to get to parking.

Silver Legacy 407 N. Virginia St. 800-687-8733 The parking garage is a beast. Clearance is only 7 feet, so if you have bicycles on top of your vehicle, you'll have to take them off to get into the garage. The parking spaces are very small - with all the SUVs and pick-up trucks, pulling into a space is difficult. Plus the lanes are narrow with tight turns as you circle up to higher levels.

Grand Sierra Resort (previously the Reno Hilton) 2500 E. 2nd St. 789-2000 They have recently completed their grand plan for renovations to become a trendy casino, resort, beach club, etc. Lots of surface parking, but the isolation from the rest of Reno makes it a tough sell to me.


Rooms with Jacuzzis and Spa Suites


Atlantis Casino This casino has jacuzzi suites, a pool, spa, sauna; indoor waterfalls, thatched huts, and palm trees in the lobby. It is across from the Convention Center (for what that's worth). Rates were $180 for 2006. 3800 S. Virginia St. (800) 723-6500 or 825-4700.


Eldorado Casino Suites with spas, outdoor pool and a whirlpool. Prices are $114 for a small spa suite as of April 2010. 345 N. Virginia St. (800) 648-5966 or 786-5700


Nugget They list spa suites on their website, but I could not figure out how to reserve one. On the phone, they gave a rate of $296 in 2006. An indoor spa is available. 1100 Nugget Ave. in Sparks. (800) 648-1177 or 356-3300.


Peppermill Casino has over 185 jacuzzi suites, a pool, a spa, and a sauna. 2707 S. Virginia St. (800) 648-6992 (information) (800) 282-2444 (reservations) or 826-2121 phone 826-5205 FAX Spa suites are $110 in the old tower for 2010. These suites sell out fast - suits for Labor Day itself are usually already gone by July.


Silver Legacy Resort 407 N. Virginia St. The superior spa suite is spacious and the view from the spa is nice, but the spas are smaller than the Peppermill's. Rates are $175 and $200 a night for 2010.


At the Airport


Best Western Airport Plaza Hotel 1981 Terminal Way, 348-6370. Reservations - 800-648-3525  Adjacent to the airport, on the northwestern end.


Hyatt Place 1790 E. Plumb Lane 826-2500  Adjacent to the airport, on the left as you take the main exit.


If someone you know is particularly unlucky


The Washoe County Detention Facility is close to the Bonanza Casino. 911 Parr Blvd. 328-3001 Take Exit 71 off Route 395 (north of town), left onto E. Parr. It's about a quarter mile down.



Many of the casino restaurants are open 24 hours a day, and the prices are very reasonable. However, we suggest eating elsewhere because the food, service, and ambience are much better. We do not list chain restaurants since they're boring and you know what to expect anyway.  The Reno News and Review has an archive of restaurant reviews.


We have eaten at the following restaurants.


  • Gold 'N Silver Inn 790 W. 4th St. 323-2696 Two blocks from the downtown Travelodge, we have breakfast here every morning before heading out to the playa. Open 24/7, with a good mix of gamblers, police, and Burners. It's downright homey. 
  • Louis' Basque Corner - 301 E. Fourth St. (at Evans), phone 323-7203. Providing family- style dining, this restaurant is 1 block east of the National Bowling Stadium. We shared a table with a retired Caterpillar salesman who has spent his career eating at Basque restaurants in norther Nevada and California. While he picked another restaurant as his all-time favorite, he still recommended this place. This is a very nice way to ease back into the real world after Burning Man since you can still talk to strangers without them wondering what you want. 
  • Beaujolais Bistro A delightful French bistro close to the Arts District and the Truckee River. 130 West St. 323-2227 Open for lunch Tuesday - Friday and dinner Tuesday - Sunday.
  • Wild River Grille on the Truckee River with pleasant outdoor dining. 17 S.  Virginia St.
  • Great Basin Brewing Company on Victorian Square in Sparks; phone 355-7711. A microbrewery with an outdoor stage. Live jazz on Wednesday.
  • Black Rock Pizza - Run by Burners, this pizza place has gourmet pizzas, salads, and sandwiches. They have pizza with Thai peanut sauce, olive oil/garlic sauce, pesto, and BBQ sauce. Salads include chipotle fajita, Tex Mex, and spinach salad with prosciutto, pine nuts, and basil. BBQ smoked pork sandwich, aahhh. 2855 N. McCarran Blvd. (at Pyramid Way) 356-1771 Open Sun - Thu 11 am - 9 pm, Fri - Sat 11 am - 10 pm.
  • Peg's Glorified Ham & Eggs serves huge omelets. Voted the best breakfast in Reno 2007. 420 S. Sierra St. (329-2600).  This place has a line out the door on weekends.  We were a little disappointed with this place, since our hopes were so high based on the reviews.  It was good, but not worth the wait.


Al Fresco Dining


  • Cafe de Thai is in the southern section of Reno at 7499 Longley Lane 829-8424 From Rt. 80, take Exit 15 to merge onto Rt. 395, go 6.5 miles to take Exit 61, S. Virginia St. • at the end of the off-ramp, turn left onto S. Virginia • go 1/2 mile to turn right onto Longley Lane • it's on the corner of the first intersection (E. Patriot Blvd.) If you are approaching from the south, you will turn right onto S. Virginia St. and then the directions are the same.
  • LuLou's Restaurant is close to Rad Betty's Fresh Thrift at 1470 S. Virginia St. 329-9979 From Rt. 80, take Exit 13, Virginia St./Downtown Reno • turn right onto N. Virginia St. • it's 1.8 miles down the street on the left. From Rt. 395, take Exit 64, Moana Lane • at the end of the off-ramp, turn left onto E. Moana Lane • go 0.7 miles and turn right onto S. Virginia St. • it's 1.4 miles down the street on the right.
  • Scruples Bar and Grill is open 24/7, has live music on Saturdays, and has a patio in back.  It's also pretty cheap.  91 W. Plumb Lane  322-7171  From Rt. 80, take Exit 13, Virginia St./Downtown Reno • turn right onto N. Virginia St. • go 2.1 miles and turn right onto W. Plumb Lane and it's half a block down the street on the right in the shopping  center.
  • Silver Peak has two restaurants in Reno. The Silver Peak Grill and Taproom is downtown, a block from the Truckee River. 135 N. Sierra St. 284-3300 From Rt. 80, take Exit 13, Virginia St./Downtown Reno • turn right onto N. Virginia St. • turn right onto N. Sierra • it's 0.6 miles down the street on the right.
  • The Silver Peak Restaurant and Brewery is their original location and has a covered porch on the second floor. It is close to Rad Betty's Fresh Thrift at 124 Wonder St. 324-1864 From Rt. 80, take Exit 13, Virginia St./Downtown Reno • turn right onto N. Virginia St. • go 1.6 miles and turn left onto Vassar St. • IMMEDIATELY turn left onto Holcomb Ave. (it's 171 feet from S. Virginia) • turn right onto the first street (Wonder St.) and you're there! From Rt. 395, take Exit 64, Moana Lane • at the end of the off-ramp, turn left onto W. Moana Lane • go 0.7 miles and turn right onto S. Virginia St. • go 1.6 miles and turn right onto Vassar St. • IMMEDIATELY turn left onto Holcomb Ave. (it's 171 feet from S. Virginia) • turn right onto the first street (Wonder St.) and you're there!
  • Stone House Cafe is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 1907 S. Arlington Ave. 284-3895 From Rt. 80, take Exit 12, Keystone Ave. • at the end of the off-ramp, turn right onto Keystone Ave. • go 2 blocks and turn left onto 4th St. • go 1/2 mile and turn right onto N. Arlington Ave. • it's 1.7 miles down the street. From Rt. 395, take Exit 64, Moana Lane • at the end of the off-ramp, turn left onto E. Moana Lane • go 0.7 mile and turn right onto S. Virginia St. • go 1 mile and turn left onto W. Plumb Lane • go 0.7 mile and turn left onto S. Arlington • you're there! 


Other Restaurants 

We have not eaten at these restaurants, but they've been recommended to us or we've seen good reviews.


  • Beto Mexican Food 575 W 5th St 324-0632  Referred to as the best Mexican restaurant for 200 miles.  From Route 80, take Exit 12 (Keystone Ave.) • go south on Keystone 0.2 mile • turn left onto W. 4th St. • go 2 blocks and turn left onto Washington St. • take the first right turn onto W. 5th St. and it's just over a block down on the left side.
  • Coney Island Bar 2644 Prater Way, Sparks 358-6485‎ Apparently the waitresses are on roller skates.  This place has been in Reno forever and gets great reviews.  Open for lunch Monday - Saturday 11:00 am - 2:00 pm and for Wednesday dinner (seatings at 6:00 and 7:30).  From Route 80, take Exit 16 (Victorian Ave./E. 4th St.) • turn right onto E. 4th St./ Prater Way and it's half a block on the right.
  • Daughters Cafe 97 Bell St. 324-3447 Open 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday; open for evening dessert from 7 to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays From Rt 80, take Exit 12, Keystone Ave. • turn right onto Keystone • go 0.4 mile • turn left onto W. 2nd • go 0.3 mile and turn right onto Bell St.
  • Fourth Turn Sports Bar and Grill 2285 Kietzke Lane (1 mile from airport), phone 825-7223. This restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner with a Nascar racing theme - 16 beers on tap.
  • Palais de Jade was voted best Chinese restaurant in 2007. Open 11:00 am - 9:30 pm daily. 960 W. Moana Ln. 827-5233
  • The Sante Fe Hotel has a Basque restaurant - Basque Family Style Dinners.
  • Pirates Gourmet Pizza is reported to have killer deep dish pizzas. 180 W. Peckham Ln#1100 (828-0900).
  • Nu Yalk Pizza  3305 Kietzke Lane at the corner of Kietzke Lane and Moana Lane 826-8508 Owned by Rick Crocitto for over 30 years.  Free wi-fi!  Open daily 11:00 am - 9:00 pm, except Friday and Saturday when it is open until 10:00 pm.  From Rt. 395, take Exit 64 (Moana Lane) • go west on Moana for 0.2 mile • it's one the southwest corner of the first intersection.
  • The Pneumatic Diner offers vegetarian and vegan dining. 501 W. First St. (800) 635-8950 or 786-8888 telephone. 
  • Rosie's Cafe in the Nugget Casino in Sparks is known for its half-pound hamburger called the Awful Awful.  1100 Nugget Ave., Sparks 356-3300  Open all the time, accepts cash only.  From Rt. 80, take Exit 17 (Nugget Ave.) • go  0.8 mile and you're there.
  • Juicy's Giant Hamburgers 301 S. Wells (at Ryland) in Reno and 104 E. Glendale Ave. (at McCarran) in Sparks. Winner of the 1998 Best of Reno Best Hamburger
  • Archie's Giant Hamburgers and Breakfast 2195 N. Virginia St. 322-9595 Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, this is open 7 am to 9 pm. Their menu is the burger, sandwich, salad, pizza type. It overlooks the University of Nevada and Rancho San Rafael Park. 


Chinese Buffets


  • King Buffet 3650 Kietzke Lane (betwwen Moana and Peckham) 828-7997 Open Sunday - Thursday 11 am to 10 pm, Friday and Saturday 11 am to 10:30 pm.
  • China Star Super Buffet 160 W. Plumb Lane (between Lakeside and S. Virginia) 825-8777 Open 7 days a week. From eastbound Rt. 80, take Exit 13, Virginia St./Downtown Reno, • go south on N. Virginia St. • go 2.2 miles and turn right onto W. Plumb Lane • it's at the end of the block. From westbound Rt. 80, take the exit for Rt. 395 south • go 2.7 miles and take Exit 65A, Villanova Lane towards Plumb Lane • follow the road to E. Plumb Lane (about 0.2 mile) • turn right onto E. Plumb Lane • go 1.3 miles and it's a block past S. Virginia St.


Restaurants That Deliver

One of our friends doesn't like to stay at casino hotels, but still wants the convenience of room service.  So he orders in!  Delivery Diner (828-3463) has over 40 restaurants they pick up from, but you'll need to go online to read the menus or pick up a copy of their menu guide from one of the participating restaurants (since they make you order by number).  Or you can call the following restaurants directly.


For Downtown Reno area:

  • Massimo's Italian Deli  921 W. Moana Lane  827-3860  Open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Saturday
  • Asian Garden Chinese Restaurant 1945 S. Virginia St. 825-5510  Open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.  Asian, Chinese, and Seafood
  • Fusion China  1290 S. Virginia St.  329-8988 Open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Saturday; noon to 9 p.m. Sunday
  • Indian Kabob and Curry Restaurant  1091 S. Virginia St.  348-6222  Open 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily
  • Indian Garden Restaurant  1565 S. Virginia St.  337-8003  Open 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily
  • Chutney Indian Cuisine  1290 E. Plumb Lane  829-4477
  • Napa Sonoma  is moving to 550 W. Plumb Lane, Suite E (at the corner of Arlington and Plumb Lane) 826-0595  With any luck, they will have reopened by the 2010 burn.  Open 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday  American, Salads, Sandwiches, and Soups
  • Pizza Baron 155 W. 4th Street, #113 329-4481 Open 11 a.m. - 2 a.m.  American, Chicken, Pizza, and American Southern
  • Round Table Pizza  801 W. Fourth St.  348-7373  Open 11a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday-Saturday
  • Pizza Reno  26 W. Second St.  322-2002  Open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 11 a.m. to midnight Friday; noon to midnight Saturday; noon to 10 p.m. Sunday  Chicken, Pizza, and Ribs
  • Mountain Mike's Pizza  1601 Vassar Street  323-6060


For Sparks area:

  • SooChow Restaurant 656 E. Prater Way Sparks  359-5207  Open 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday-Saturday; 4:30-9:30 p.m. Sunday Chinese 
  • Pizza Hut  632 Prater Way  358-1400  Open 11am - 10pm daily


Things to Do


Reno has a growing Arts District with an excellent theater, art museum, coffee shops, and great specialty stores.  It is centered on the Truckee River, so it's also a very pleasant walk.  A good starting point is provided in the Truckee Rivers Arts District map.


Tiki Bar


  • Tiki Bar The Nugget in Sparks has a tiki bar/restaurant called Trader Dick's.


Segway Tours


Yes, you can now rent a Segway for a 2 1/2 hour tour of downtown Reno! Starting in the lobby of the Silver Legacy, you will get a guided tour of casinos, hospitals, and the Truckee River.

If you are not from the US and are not familiar with American telephone numbers, take a look at our Assistance Page for travellers.

This is not the official Burning Man site. That Web site is located at Burning Man.

Every Web site for the Burning Man known to Man is listed in The Burning Man Archives. Please browse that site as well.

Copyright © 1997-2009 The Civilized Explorer. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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