What To Eat in Nevada
Las Vegas has some of everything, from high-dollar celebrity chef cuisine to affordable soul food, but Nevada’s personality north of Vegas takes on a distinct Basque accent. Meaty, garlicky, hotel banquet meals once enjoyed by shepherds when they came to town still are the highlight of a road trip across Interstate 80.
Three questions: 1. Are you extremely hungry? 2. Do you like garlic? 3. Do you really like garlic? If you answer yes to all of the above, you need to sit down for a traditional Basque dinner in northern Nevada. Legacy of shepherds who came to the American west in the late 19th century, they are big feeds designed to satisfy hungry men who have spent months living solitary lives and eating off the land. When these guys came to town, they brought formidable appetites.
There are chicken-fried steaks throughout the West. Most are bad. When we come across a good one, we shout hallelujah. That is why we list it as a Nevada specialty, which it isn't. But tuck into one at the Cracker Box in Carson City and you will understand. Flavorful chuck steak, hand-cut and pounded tender, is battered and griddle-fried and served with from-scratch gravy. A meal to remember!
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Eat is an inventive café in the heart of Downtown Las Vegas serving breakfast comfort classics reinvented by an ambitious chef.
When this deer processor and butcher started a BBQ stand, it caused a sensation. John Mull's beef ribs are worth driving out of town for.
Las Vegas' Curry Zen offers vegetarian comfort food, Japanese style, but also makes expertly fried cutlets for meat eaters.
Chicago Joe's is a rough-around-the-edges Las Vegas cottage that has been serving intimate Italian dinners for decades.
Jammed into the corner of a Las Vegas service-station convenience store, Chile Verde Express is a little counter serving sensationally good Mexican food.
Mochiko is a locally spun teriyaki bowl concept where Hawaiian fried chicken and char-broiled teriyaki combine with homemade sauces to fill rice bowls.
Battista’s is cheesy (in both senses) and charming: mid-20th century, old-Las Vegas Italian. Bring your appetite and a tip for the accordion player.
Southwest diner provides hearty dishes with regional identity, including Santa Fe pancakes & chiles rellenos. Plus hefty pies and giant mason jar cocktails.
Tucked behind a gas station, Luv-It is a little Las Vegas custard stand that has been churning silk since 1973.