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Reno's Rocking Midtown District

The center of Reno, Nev., is crammed with unique shops and hearty fare.

  • Washoe baskets made by Louisa Keyser at Nevada Museum of Art, image
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    Washoe baskets by Louisa Keyser are part of the Nevada Museum of Art's exhibit Tahoe: A Visual History.
  • Sundance Books exterior Reno, image
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    The welcoming exterior of Sundance Books and Music.
  • Natural Selection, a shop in Reno's Midtown District, Reno, Nev., image
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    Unusual wares feature at Natural Selection in Reno's Midtown District.
  • Creme cafe Reno, image
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    Créme is a local favorite for breakfast and lunch.
  • bar at Death & Taxes Reno, image
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    Death & Taxes, opened by the couple behind the nearby restaurant Midtown Eats, specializes in craft cocktails.


Stretching south from the excellent Nevada Museum of Art, the once sketchy district is now the heart of Reno’s revival, a creative corridor of shops, eateries, and colorful murals.

Open for breakfast and lunch, this cheery, modern café deals a winning combo of sweet and savory crepes and French press coffee. Order what the locals have: Ask for the banana bread French toast off the secret menu.

Natural Selection
The animal specimens, carnivorous plants, nautilus shells, delicate butterflies, and other oddities at this curiosity shop are as carefully curated as the 1920s music playing in the background. Learn about taxidermy or get tips on potting plants in the back studio.

Sundance Books and Music
The owners have filled every nook of the 100-year-old Levy Mansion with new and used books, CDs, vinyl, magazines, and more. With chairs in each room and a self-service espresso machine, the place encourages customers to curl up and relax.

Brasserie St. James
Southern and Old World flavors mix freely at this gastropub where favorites include buttermilk Dixie chicken and duck confit cassoulet with pork belly. Pair them with one of the award-winning brews, best quaffed on the rooftop deck at sunset.

Death & Taxes
At a stylish speakeasy, “spirits educator” Michael Moberly crafts an outrageously good cocktail and then explains why your mouth loves it. Sign up for a bartending class and learn how to mix your own concoctions. 

Photography by Asa Gilmore (Natural Selection); Dan Earl (Sundance Books and Music); Elizabeth Carter (Crème); Underwood Photography (bar at Death & Taxes); courtesy of Nevada Museum of Art (baskets)


This article was first published in Fall 2015 and updated in February 2019. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.