Coming up with a fun, romantic or chill Valentine’s Day date can be hard. Where should we go? What should we do? What gift is just right? And so on. To help alleviate some of the choice paralysis you may be facing this year, we put together some of the best places to pick up gifts, go on a date, get a drink and have a fun experience in downtown Reno. You can pick and choose, mix and match or do one mega four-day weekend with them all.
First, let’s start with the basics. Feb. 14, 2019 should be a little warmer than the weekends, with a high of 44 degrees and low of 28 degrees, according to AccuWeather. So dress accordingly if you plan to park in one spot and walk around the area.
Parking in downtown after business hours is pretty easy, with the Parking Gallery on First and Sierra streets making a nice home base or parking in any metered parking spot after 6 p.m. ($1.50 an hour before that).
First you need a gift
The old Post Office on Virginia Street holds numerous Valentine’s Day treasures in the West Elm and in The Basement below.
Sugar Love Chocolates is selling the classic chocolate heart box for Valentine’s Day, but with an important difference from the usual drugstore brand. Sugar Love Chocolates uses only high-quality real cocoa butter to create its base. Chocolate lovers will taste the difference. This box comes with 30 chocolates in a specially designed box for $54.
At Micah Blank Jewelry in The Basement, you can find handmade jewelry for that special someone if Valentine’s Day is about to become a more memorable holiday. Pieces made from recycled gold to vintage-styled sapphire or garnet and diamond set bands can range from $240 to $1,640.
For a more low key gift, go to Nordik in The Basement to find quirky
Scandinavian style mugs, cards, jewelry and tableware.
The Basement is full of other great shops for creative gift hunters. And, depending on how far along you are in your relationship, head upstairs to West Elm and look for realistic looking faux house plants or a new statement piece for the living room.
Elsewhere in downtown, Derby Supply Co. on First and West streets offers a whole new range of male-grooming products and services. Pick up beard-care kit or a gift card for the handsome man in your life and he’ll only look and feel better.
Bumblebee Blooms Flower Boutique under the Parking Gallery on Sierra Street has a huge selection of real plants, cards and flowers. Go for a non-traditional choice with the Lucky Bamboo pot this year. With proper care, these can last virtually forever, just like your love.
Then pick a dining option
Whether you found your date on Tinder today or have been in a long-term relationship for years, downtown Reno has something for everyone.
The new Sizzle Pie Pizza on Pine and Center streets will be cutting out all their pepperonis in the shape of hearts for Valentine’s Day. Their thin, crunchy crust and vegetarian and vegan options would make a great date for anyone who hasn’t broached the deep dietary preferences conversation yet.
Campo, Wild River Grill, Sierra Street Kitchen and Cocktail on the Truckee River, La Famiglia near the Pioneer Center and Roundabout Grill in Whitney Peak Hotel are all offering prix-fixe menus and specials this year. Reservations highly recommended.
Bonus: Chez Louie at the Nevada Museum of Art is also serving a prix-fixe menu and the museum is open late on Thursdays. It’s a veritable twofer.
Inside The ROW casinos (Eldorado, Silver Legacy and Circus Circus), Roxy, La Strada, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Pearl Oyster Bar and Grill are all doing special multi-course meals Feb. 14 – 17. Pair these with an experience below for an all-day date. Reservations also highly recommended.
For a choose your own adventure within a choose your own adventure, head over to West Street Market on West and First streets. The Pizza Collective, Thali and Maya’s Indian food, The DeLuxe and Sabrina’s West Street Kitchen all offer multiple choices for different dietary concerns (vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and dairy free). These medium-priced options are great for people who want to mix and match a date.
After-dinner drinks? Yes, please.
All of the above dinner options serve beer, wine and cocktails. But it might be fun to take a romantic, completely-bundled-up-with-scarves-and-a-hat walk to a bar nearby for intimate ambiance.
If you started at Sizzle Pie, La Famiglia or Wild River Grille, sneak down to The Basement (you may remember this place from gift time) to try the locally-distilled whiskey cocktails at the Seven Troughs Speakeasy until 9 p.m. (look for the green light outside above The Basement entrance to see if they’re open). For a later night, head over to the non-smoking Foxy Olive diver bar on Mill Street or into the fancy-pants Royce bar on Ridge Street.
If you started at West Street Market, change seats to West Street Wine Bar or walk one block in any direction for Our Bar, Imperial Bar & Lounge, Sierra Tap House, Ole Bridge Pub, Virginia Street Brewhouse or Faces NV among many others.
Or pick an experience
If the dinner and a drink date is old hat and you want something completely different, we’ve got that too.
Once again, The ROW has your back with a selection of things to do. The Spa at Silver Legacy put together a couple’s massage that includes a glass of Champagne, access to a steam room, sauna, salt inhalation chamber and three relaxation lounges. Couples sit side-by-side in a luxury treatment room. Instant gift certificates designed specifically for your Valentine are also available online or in person.
Two-for-one tickets are available at The Laugh Factory Comedy Club inside the Silver Legacy where comedian Tim Gaither will appear on Valentine’s Day at 7:30 p.m. Gaither is hilarious to all ages and is a heckler’s nightmare. Enjoy his quick wit and a wide range of original characters and stories all spun together with Midwestern charm.
Relive your childhood (or bring your child) to Circus Circus Carnival Midway that was recently remodeled and expanded with shows, arcade and carnival games.
Combine your date night with another couple or two and find out who among you are truly meant to be together at the Puzzle Room Reno. Plenty of spaces still open for afternoon and evening Valentine’s Day adventures. Book online and see if you all can communicate and work together to complete and escape complex puzzle rooms in one hour.
Pignic Pub and Patio is hosting the “Better Than Sax, Spaghetti Valentine’s Dinner” with jazz music by Chris Gillette, $12 spaghetti, $2 wine or regular priced cocktails. Sneak upstairs to the new Revision Taproom for a huge beer selection and vintage cocktails.
Head to The Shore at Renaissance Reno Downtown Hotel for Mediterranean dinner, drinks at The Shore bar and ski ball or bocce at Bundox Bocce. Throw in a room and morning brunch for an extra special staycation.
We’re confident this epic list will get you started in the right direction if not complete your perfect night. Let us know what we missed in the comments and how you like to plan your date nights in downtown Reno.
Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone.