The best small plates in Reno/Tahoe

by Jen Peng


After a day enjoying the great adventures the area has to offer, there’s nothing better than celebrating your achievements with friends over a few drinks and some tasty bites. Sharing is caring, and here are my favorite picks for some of the best small plates, bites and appetizers in the Sierra.

Tasty tidbits around Lake Tahoe

Enjoy tasty cocktails and small bites at Taste at the Loft Tahoe. Everything is American tapas-style and meant to be shared. My favorite libation is the sim sala bim cocktail, their take on a margarita, which pairs nicely with quite a few dishes: the ceviche with big juicy chunks of yellowtail mixed with mango and avocado salsa; the honey bourbon-glazed pork belly skewers; and the perfectly crispy tamarind duck tacos. For the ultimate in comfort food, elevated, order their gruyere and cheddar grilled cheese dippers with a hearty tomato bisque — cut into wedges for easy sharing. thelofttahoe.com

The Loft (Brian Walker)
The Loft (Brian Walker)

Small culinary gems in Carson City

Part of the farm-to-table movement, Gather is known for elevated comfort food and craft cocktails. I love the tomato and wild mushroom bruschetta, which comes with a side of marinated olives. The deviled eggs are perfect bites of goodness, with black truffle oil and locally made pate. The caprese salad is fresh and delicious, and features locally sourced tomatoes and mozzarella. Be sure to add on an order of homemade meatballs, made with locally sourced beef and pork, and oh so tasty. gathercc.com


Salmon at "Gather"
Gather (Brian Walker)


Visit Battle Born Social, a small plates cocktail bar and tasting room, to eat, drink and be social. A must is their Social cheese fries, smothered in beer cheese sauce, queso fresco, pickled jalapeno and crispy cheese curds. Parmesan calamari is a perfect blend of crispy and tender. Add on sliders (I recommend the locally raised Bentley beef) and an order of battle born brussels with pork belly and balsamic onions; you just might have to order another delicious cocktail or two to wash it down. battlebornsocial.com

Biggest little bites in Reno

South Reno’s Twisted Fork is known for their creative take on traditional favorites. With a big-small plate format, you can easily sample a few. Be sure to order their jalapeno and tequila fondue, a delicious, gooey mix of Manchego, jack and mozzarella, white wine and tequila. The sticky Berkshire pork ribs will have you licking your fingers. For something a bit lighter, ceviche hits the spot — I’m a fan of the tuna ceviche, which is bright and delicious, while vegetarians will dig the cauliflower version. They also have a great happy hour with $6 plates and $4 drinks. twistedforkreno.com

Brian Walker

In the heart of the Riverwalk District, Sierra St. Kitchen & Cocktails serves a delicious assortment of small plates, creative cocktails, wines and beers. I recommend their scallops, seared beautifully with a citrus beurre blanc sauce and celery root salad. Goat cheese fans will love the bacon-wrapped dates, Crimini stuffed mushrooms and mac and cheese, as they all feature the tart, earthy cheese, and are perfect for sharing. Their Sierra Selection also allows you to pick the perfect combination of four small plates. Your taste buds will thank you! sierrastkitchen.com

With so many great options for small bites and drinks in Reno/Tahoe, grab a few friends, pull up some bar stools and share away!