Reno - Downtown
View Reno - Downtown and Midtowne in a larger map
Downtown. Land of a burgeoning burner and arts community amid lots of shopping and entertainment, blinky lights, casino-hotels, and plenty of tourists.
Downtown Reno is radically transforming. Home to a bubbling innovative arts community as well as most of our mega hotel-casino resorts, downtown is an experience in itself apart from the rest of Reno, offering a variety of attractions amid old and modern, but currently one requiring the patience and sharpness of the experienced traveler.
Below is a brief travel narrative from exiting I-80, pointing out some of the highlights to help guide you a through Downtown Reno.
But for specific locations in and around Downtown, or to see the very many worthwhile resources, please be sure to scroll down to the listings.
A few helpful notes on navigation:
* Wherever you plan to park downtown, please be sure to remember to lock your vehicles.
* Less and less of Reno’s parking is free, so be sure to have change available for parking.
* As with many places off the playa, we recommend some caution before cruising around with your burner props and esprit. Security at the casinos for example is something to be mindful about.
* Virginia Street is the heart of Downtown Reno. However, Virginia Street is NOT the street to use to access or travel through Downtown. It is designed mostly for pedestrian tourists. Sierra and Center Streets – which are one-way streets – lie on either side of Virginia Street, and these are the streets to use. Use Sierra Street to access and travel south through Downtown; use Center Street to return north to I-80. But once you get to Midtowne, then yes, Virginia Street will be your travelthrough.
* Finally, many streets divide into east and west on either side of Virginia Street (for example, West 2nd Street travels west of Virginia Street). And Virginia Street, and streets parallel to it, divide into north and south on either side of the Truckee River in Downtown Reno (for example, North Center Street travels north of the Truckee River).
To the journey Downtown…
Coming off Interstate-80, if you take the first right, you will be on Sierra Street. This is the best street to access and travel through downtown.
In need of EMERGENCY MEDICAL attention, St. Mary’s Hospital is a block over to your right.
Continuing down Sierra Street you will pass through the several casino-hotel complexes of Circus Circus, Silver Legacy, and the El Dorado.
Crossing the RR tracks at Third Street, to your left, a block over at Virginia Street, is the legendary Reno “The Biggest Little City in the World” Arch.
Continuing down Sierra Street to First Street, this is where Reno's burgeoning arts center begins along the Truckee River. There are several shops, galleries, museums, and restaurants in the area, and walks or hang-outs along the river are also highly recommended.
Most notably in this area is a permanent, big, and beautiful Burning Man art installation. Guardian of Eden by Kate Raudenbush is in front of the Nevada Museum of Art. See below for locations and details.
Right off Sierra along 1st Street: Westwards you will soon find Java Jungle-Vino, and down a few blocks further, the Greyhound Bus Station on Stevenson Lane. To your right a block further at Ralston Street, in the Truckee River Lodge, you will find Reno’s only vegetarian/vegan restaurant, and with style, the Pneumatic Diner.
Left off Sierra on 1st Street: East of Sierra at 1st Street is the best place to access Virginia Street and south of Downtown.
At First and Virginia Streets you will find the world-famous Bruka Theatre — one of our favorite local theaters.
South on Virginia Street, across the Truckee River, about 1/4 mile you will soon be entering what has lately come to be known as the Midtown District. A loose band of largely burner-owned, operated, or supportive businesses that have come to be the center of much of the local burning man community. World-Famous The Melting Pot World Emporium, Polyesther’s Costume Boutique, and Junkee Clothing Exchange are the most notable highlights to check out, along with The Doll House, Great Basin Community Food Co-Op, Ace’s Tattoo, Black Hole Body Piercing, Romantic Sensations, 1099 Club, Chocolate Walrus Boutique, and Carter Brothers Ace Hardware, along a 1/2 mile stretch of Virginia Street.
If you wish to continue southwards beyond Midtowne — or alternately, if you are coming to Midtowne and Downtown from the south up Virginia Street — look to the Plumb Lane hub.
Need to return to I-80 from anywhere in Downtown? Remember that Center Street, the street one block east of Virginia Street, is the street that will get you back to I-80.
And this concludes our brief narrative through Downtown. Thank you and please come again!
Okay. But let’s say that you are or wish to be car-less around Downtown Reno. Lookout and catch the FREE Sierra Spirit Citifare bus that tours around the downtown core. A map is posted at each bus stop. Buses arrive every 10 minutes to whisk you away. You can also access the regional bus-system close by, at Center and Fourth streets, to venture around the entire region.
Groceries and Water
Great Basin Community Food Co-Op
240 Court Street – 775-324-6133 – map
Open daily 8am-9pm. At new, beautiful location! The wonderful people of Reno’s only community-owned food co-op are committed to supporting and providing local, sustainable, as well as organic products to the fullest extent possible. Providing a wide variety of produce from currently 56 local farms, bulk foods, dried foods, cereals, protein bars, seeds, grains, legumes, frozen items, juices, coconut water, great craft beers and organic wines, as well as lotions, toiletries, and other bodily care items. They’ll even fill up your large containers with water for you! Great Basin also welcomes and encourages burners to special-order for their bulk supplies for the playa. Check out their special ordering website for further information. In the special order section of the website you can view order catalogs and forms, deadlines, pick up dates. Call or email email@example.com for any questions or help.
Spring Water Depot
895 South Center Street – 775-843-7852 – map
24-hour vending-machine service available with spring and distilled water at 50 cents per gallon. Well-lit at night. Easy access to fill your own portable containers. Must have your own containers — no containers available for sale. Bulk distilled available to fill up larger quantities than 1, 3 and 5 gallon bottles — call and set up an appointment.
The Melting Pot World Emporium
1049 South Virginia Street – 775-322-9445 – map
Regular hours: Mon-Sat 10am-8pm, Sat 11am-8pm, Sun 11am-6pm. Around the time of Burning Man, open earlier and as late as 9pm. Call ahead for special hours. Family-owned and operated by burners Monique, Eric, and Kaz, this wonderful place is also a year-round and longtime favorite of the local and world burner community. Lots and lots of great, exotic, ethnic, futuristic, retro, steampunk, eastern, and other fashionable costuming, clothing, lingerie, tutus, booty shorts, belts, boots, shoes, leg warmers, goggles, bags, jewelry, masks, hats, pasties, capes, wings, hoola hoops, playa-safe boas, parasols, a large variety of fire tools, ready-to-go el-wire kits, light toys, flags, tapestries, playa gifts, backpacks, camel-bags, belts, poi, body paints and latex, body and eco-friendly lotions and oils, lip balms, smoking tools, portable ashtrays, books and dvd’s about Burning Man, Burning Man calendars, and other curiosities. Also a section of fun clothing just for kids too! All-in-all, a great place to meetup with other burners and for local info.
Junkees Clothing Exchange
960 South Virginia Street – 775-322-5868 – map
Open every day, 11am-8pm. Open later during Burning Man, call ahead for special hours. Owned and operated by burners Jessica and Troy and crew, Junkee Clothing Exchange is a wonderful journey backwards and forwards in time and space to find a HUGE and MASSIVE variety of very affordable vintage recycled, upcycled, custom, and one-of-a-kind clothing for women and men, including exotic and fun costumes, dresses, hats, scarves, corsets, tutus, vests, purses, shoes, suits, jumpsuits, glasses, jewelry, masks, glasses, el-wire kits, and other accessories for the funkee life on the playa. Also a place to sell or trade back, recycle your playawear! Just can’t rave enough about this place!
Polyesther’s Costume Boutique
655 South Virginia Street – 775-420-5050 – map
Burning Man hours: Open daily 10am-9pm, but call ahead for after-hours possibilities. Polyesther’s is unique for it’s custom-made line of wild fun fashion-ware, unique to the life of Black Rock City and beyond. Here you can find unique, wild, and fun upcycled as well as brand-new clothing and costumes ranging from vintage to Renaissance to Victorian to faux to industrial to disco to fishnet to chain-malle and to sexy, for both women and men. Designs by Esther and other designers. You can find a wide variety of coats, mini-coats, dresses, pants, shirts, vests, suits, tutus, corsets, lingerie, leggings, gloves, belts, ponchos, boot toppers and covers, vests, pants, hats, wigs, halos, wings, bikini-wear, el-wired and weighted hoola-hoops, el-wire kits, LED toys and hokey spokes (for bikes), hand-painted parasols, wigs, masks, and jewelry. And perhaps best of all, you can get your hands on their own “Lightning Fur” line of LED-lit and patterned faux fur clothing. Esther will also make something custom just for you, contact her by August 12 to get in your order.
The Doll House
1092 South Virginia Street – 775-337-6060 – map
Open Mon-Sat 11am-8pm, Sun 12pm-6pm. During Burning Man, call for after-hours. The Doll House is the place to get some of the sexiest custom-made outfits and costumes for the playa, including spandex pants, booty shorts, mini-pleated skirts, bikinis, tops, fishnet stockings in a wide variety of colors and designs, fur clothing and accessories, feather earrings, pasties, eye lashes, and a large selection in boots and shoes. Some sexy wear such as booty shorts, thongs, and boots for men too. Also carrier of men-magnet lotions and lip gloss. Owner and burner Jeanne specializes in sewing stretch fabrics, including lames and other wild fabrics, and she also carries a large variety from other brands. Custom outfits possible — orders should be placed by no later than August 15!
Nevada Museum of Art
160 West Liberty Street – 775-329-3333 – 775-329-1541 – map
Open Wed-Sun. 10am-5pm, Thur 10am-8pm. Reno’s largest art museum, and bringing a little more of the playa through art exhibitions and installations to Reno every year — most notably Kate Raudenbush’s Guardian of Eden.
99 North Virginia Street – 775-323-3221 – map
One of our favorite theatre and production companies, founded and operated mostly by burners to create and share the experience of innovative theatre. Call ahead or check out the website for shows and times.
Label’s Consignment Boutique
601 West 1st Street – 775-825-6000 – map
Open Mon-Fri 10am-6pm, Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 11am-4pm. A large variety of recycled vintage, classy clothing, including tutus and faux fur coats, designed primarily with women in mind.
1274 South Virginia Street – 775-329-2661 – map
Open daily 10am-4pm, call ahead for special hours. Thrift store carrying lots of used bicycles, as well as bike trailers, vintage wear, goggles, used carpets, tutus, poodle skirts, and knick-knacks. Best to call beforehand to reserve a bike.
Lulu’s Chic Boutique
1298 South Virginia Streat – map
Open Mon-Sat 10am-9pm, Sun noon-6pm. LOTS of classy, upscale vintage wear and accessories for women.
Dressed Like That
711 South Virginia Street – map
Open Tues-Sat, 11am-6pm. Call ahead for special hours. Carrying upscale vintage wear for women, including dresses, rompers, bathing suits, petticoats, shorts, parasols, jewelry, and snoods, as well as providing skin services and products.
Black Hole Body Piercing
912 South Virginia Street – 775-329-6010 – map
Open Sun-Thurs 11am-8pm, Fri-Sat 11am-9pm. A full-service piercing studio owned by a female burner since 1995. The Black Hole carries a huge selection of jewelry for body piercing and stretched ears, and offers clean, private and group-viewing piercing rooms, using only single-piercing needles. The friendly and knowledgeable staff would be pleased to discuss any piercing questions or ideas you may have.
1925 Sutro Street – 775-688-4588 – 775-688-4589 – map
Open 9am-6pm, closed Sundays. Large thrift store.
Carter Bros. Ace Hardware
1215 South Virginia Street – 775-337-1200 – map
Open Mon-Sat 8am-6:30pm, Sun 11am-5pm. Call ahead for later hours during Burning Man. Owned and operated by burners, one of the few hardware stores in town that is independently seeking to meet the shade and camping needs of the burning man participant. Stocking up on a wide variety of playa-specific hardware, camping, and lighting needs. Tents, sleeping bags, tarps, conduit, pvc, wood, tools, solar showers, solar pathway lights, headlamps, water jugs, coolers, and crank flashlights are just some of the items to be found here.
Kiwanis Bike Program
2500 Valley Road – 775-846-7146 – map
Open 9am-9pm during Burning Man. Normally a bike program to benefit kids of all ages in-need in the community, the folks of the Kiwanis Bike Program receive large numbers of bikes left on the playa each year, and end up setting aside good playa bikes for burners to purchase for Burning Man at very fair prices. They also provide bike repairs.
There are exactly only two ways at this date to purchase one of the bikes from these great folks: one way is to stop during the week of Burning Man at their shop; the other way is at the Save Mart supermarket located in the Keystone shopping hub. Get em while they last!
Reno Bike Project
541 East Fourth Street – 775-323-4488 – map
Regular hours are Tue-Fri 10am-6pm, Sat 10am-5pm, but will be open Aug 21-27 from 9am-8pm. Call ahead for possible unusual-hours appointment. A used-bike seller and community bike shop operated by many burners, this is a great place to get a bike at a great price. Get em while they last! They also repair bikes, carry lights and lighting, baskets, racks, and bells, and will take and recycle bikes back post-Burning Man.
New location. Regular hours Tue-Sat 11am-6pm. Burning Man hours: August 23 and 24 8am-8pm, Aug. 25 9am-midnight, Aug. 26 Open 24 hrs, Aug. 27 9am-Midnight, Aug. 28-Sept. 4 9am-9pm.
Black Rock Bicycles offers a variety of new and used bikes for rent or purchase that are specifically designed with burners in mind. There are two different options to getting your hands one one of these great bikes:
You can either rent or purchase a bike from their facility just north of Reno. You will need to contact these fellow burners for reservations ASAP at randy (at) blackrockbicycles (dot) com
The other option is, Black Rock Bicycles will also be cooperating with local stores, selling new cruisers and accessories at some pretty great prices. Check out the Keystone, Plumb, and Pyramid Save Mart locations for further details.
Also! Burners renting/buying bikes are welcome to have items shipped to them and they can store those items for free until pick up for Burning Man. Call for details.
Wild Sierra Adventures
407 North Virginia Street – 775-323-8928 – 866-323-8928 – map
Open daily 9am-5pm. Located inside the Silver Legacy at the Adventures Desk. Taking reservations for bike rentals and shuttle services to the playa.
501 West First Street – 775-786-8888, ext. 106 – map
Open 11am-11pm daily, except Sundays open at 9am for brunch. A long-time favorite hangout of many vegetarians and vegans as well as non-vegetarians, the laid back and cozy atmosphere quickly leads one to forget where one is at in the biggest little city. Seating at times may be hard to come by, as it is a very popular and cozy hole-in-the-wall, but well worth the wait. The entrance is located in the northeast corner of the Truckee River Lodge Building on Ralston St. It’s up the stairs on the back side of the building and is easy to miss if you don’t know it’s there. Oh, and the food is YUMMY with a wide variety of vegan/vegetarian/raw creations!
1170 South Wells, #2 – 775-322-6100 – map
Open Mon-Fri 7am-4pm, Sat 10am-4pm. A very favorite deli among the locals serving vegans/vegetarians as well as carnivores with a wide variety of very, VERY GOOD food at reasonable prices. Also does catering.
Pie Face Pizza Co.
239 West 2nd Street – 775-622-9222 – map
Open Mon-Tue 11am–midnight, Wed 11am-2am, Thu 11am-4am, Fri and Sat 11am–6am, Sun 11am–9pm. The best pizza in town and a very popular hangout for many, providing many options for all tastes — including vegetarians and vegans. Also regularly features art by local artists. Highly recommended!
669 South Virginia Street – 775-329-4787 – map
Open Mon-Sat 11am-9pm. New location. Offers some great soups, salads, and sandwiches for both omnivores and vegetarians/vegans, a favorite spot among the locals.
Blue Moon Pizza
190 California Street – 775-324-2828 – map
Open Mon-Sat 11am-9pm, Sun 1pm-9pm. A local secret, Blue Moon wins accolades from folks in the know. Many vegetarian pizzas, and they stuff the pie to the brim.
Peg’s Glorified Ham & Eggs
420 South Sierra Street – 775-329-2600 – map
Open 6:30am-2pm daily.
Silver Peak Grill and Taproom
135 North Sierra Street – 775-284-3300 – map
124 Wonder Street – 775-324-1864 – map
Open Mon-Thu 11am-midnight, Sat-Sun 11am-1am. Very popular local brewery/restaurant with two locations to serve you: One in the heart of the arts district, and the other is south of downtown, across from the very popular Zephyr Lounge.. Features indoor and outdoor dining, serving imaginative dishes and brews.
India Kabob and Curry
1091 South Virginia Street – 775-348-6222 – map
Open daily 11:30am-10:30pm, with lunch buffet from 11:30 til 3:00. This buffet is better than most, the price is a bargain, and they change the line-up on a regular basis, with plenty of options for vegetarians and non-vegetarians. Good beer selection too. Parking in back is through a narrow alley, but there’s decent street parking in the neighborhood.
Thai Chili Restaurant
1030 South Virginia Street – 775-786-7878 – map
Open 11am-9pm daily.
ElDorado Hotel & Casino
345 North Virginia Street – 800-879-8879 – 775 879-8879 – map
The El Dorado is offering a discount of 20% on room rates from Aug 22-Aug 31 and Sept 2-5. Also receive a complimentary $150 in added value coupons. Taxes also apply on room rate. Call for further info and mention BURN12 for reservation.
219 North Center Street – 888-726-6311 - map
Harrah’s is offering discounted daily room rates at $39 during August 24-30 and Sept 4-6, and $79 on Aug 22-23. Taxes also apply. Call or visit here for further info and use the code “SBMAN12.”
Circus Circus Reno Hotel and Casino
500 North Sierra Street – 800-648-5010 – 775-329-0711 – 775-789-5604 – map
Circus Circus is offering a discount rate of $32 on Aug 26-30, $41 on Sept 3-4, and $53 on Sept 5-6. Taxes also apply. Call for further info and reservations.
Sands Regency Casino Hotel
345 North Arlington Avenue – 866-386-7829 – map
Sands is offering great room discount rates of $29 for Aug 26-30 and Sept 3-5, and $59 for Aug 24-25 and Aug 31-Sept. 1. Taxes also apply. Call for reservations and further information.
666 North Wells Avenue – 775-329-3125 – map
I-80 at Wells Avenue Exit # 14.
866 North Wells Avenue – 775-786-9852 – 775-786-3162 – map
I-80 at Wells Avenue Exit #14.
701 East 7th Street – 775-786-4070 – map
I-80 at Wells Avenue Exit # 14.
Hospitals/Urgent Care Facilities
Craft Wine & Beer
22 Martin Street – 775-622-4333 – map
Open Mon-Sat 11am-9pm, Sun 10am-5pm. Call ahead for possible later hours. A HUGE (over 300!) and awesome selection of imported and domestic craft beers, imported wines, and some spirits. Notably will be stocking up on canned beers and unique spirits for during the event.
Jub Jub’s Thirst Parlor
71 South Wells Avenue – 775-384-1652 – map
Open daily 2pm-whenever! Look for the giant monkey and “FYD” on the side of the building — Jub Jub’s is located in the back.
Well, seeing how there may be some people who are eager for some local burner scenery mixed with firewater and grit, we just had to include Jub Jub’s here among the areas Hot Stops. Owned and operated by Burners, and known as “The Fucking Classiest Dive Bar in Reno,” if you are wondering if there is any kind of affiliation between this place and the Jub Jub’s Theme Camp in Black Rock City, well, ehhhh…… , you’ll just have to come find out for yourself. Regularly featuring great drink specials, live music, free bad advice, and cheesy jokes, this is the best place in town to stir with other bizarre and fun personalities, events, and games. Oh, and Fuck Your Day.
310 South Arlington Avenue – 775-348-9911 – map
A very popular and fun spot with a cozy style and great local bands and house music.
St. James Infirmary
445 California Avenue – 775-657-8484 – map
Open 3pm-3am daily. A very popular, slightly upscale watering hole most notable for the OUTSTANDING craft beer selection, but also with some nice wines and great cocktails.
Red Rock Studio
241 South Sierra Street – 775-324-2468 – map
One of the more unique lounges in town – clean and cozy, wonderful service, and some class ! Open most all day with espressos.
The 5-Star Saloon
132 West Street – 775-329-2878 – map
Open 24/7. A downtown-Reno gay bar that offers a friendly, sassy place, with pool tables, live shows, live DJs, Internet jukebox, and free WiFi. No cover charge; free parking at the 1st Street Parking Gallery.
600 West 5th Street – 775-323-6565 – map
A very classy, friendly gay bar with mixed crowd, and deluxe pool tables. Mostly women on Friday nights.
248 West 1st Street – 775-329-4484 – map
Open Mon-Thurs 3pm-midnight, Fri 3pm-2am, Sat 12pm-3am, Sun 12pm-midnight. Fine wine and food in an intimate, sophisticated setting. Features a full-service bar, weekly wine tastings, and special events supporting local artists and music.
Recycling and Garbage Disposal
1100 East Commercial Row – 775-329-8822 – map
Open 24/7. Takes plastics, glass, aluminum, tin, and steel cans, cardboard, and paper. No dumping — NO FURNITURE!
490 Valley Road, Reno – 775-331-2267 – map
Open Mon-Fri 7:30am-4:30pm, Sat 8am-3pm. Accepts all metals for recycling.
Reno Salvage Company
301 Montello Street – 775-323-7109 – map
Open Mon-Fri 8am-5pm. Takes scrap metals only.
Reno Transfer Station
1390 East Commercial Row – 775-329-8882 – map
Open Mon-Fri 6am-6pm, Sat and Sun 8am-6pm. Garbage disposal at $6 per cubic yard.
Rankin’s Auto Service
530 Merrill (off Wells near I-80) – 775-329-8433 – map
Open Mon-Fri 8am-5pm.
Please send your feedback and suggestions to renopages(at)burningman(dot)com.
Need more info? Try: Reno-Sparks Convention & Visitors Authority, Reno News and Review, Reno Gazette-Journal, Reno Magazine, Reno Tahoe Tonight, National Traffic and Road Closure Information, PlayReno, NevadaNet, goTahoe.com, Tahoe.com, Fernleynews.com.