Updated July 26: Two specialty coffee shops in The Row and one new coffee near the courthouse shop were added.
People are always asking the Downtown Reno Partnership ambassadors where to grab a good cup of coffee. Since many of the shops are off the beaten path, we’ll forgive you for not knowing there are 13 local coffee shops that either roast their own coffee or use locally-roasted coffee in downtown Reno. And if you’re looking for a Starbucks, there are five of them, too.
In this comprehensive coffeeshop list, we want to focus on the specialty drinks and take-home bean options each place offers. Many places also serve or sell coffee but this list is for people who want to settle into a coffee shop and get to know their baristas specifically.
Since Starbucks’ menu is standardized across the country, we won’t include them, but they are in the Eldorado Casino, Harrah’s Casino, a free-standing building on Liberty and Virginia streets and in a small retail strip on Fifth and Nevada streets.
For something completely different, venture out to the newly rebuilt East Fourth Street corridor to a newly renovated building that houses a doggy daycare, Pitch Black Printing Co. and Forged Coffee Roasting Co. The coffee shop is inside the printing company’s gallery.
Coffee roaster and owner Kyle Oels turned his passion for precision coffee into a tiny countertop shop. He brings his own mineral-treated, reverse-osmosis water into the shop in order to highlight the coffee he purchases wholesale from Central American farms and roasts himself. He sells those lighter roasted beans online in a subscription format or in the shop and each bag comes with Third Wave Water mineral packet so you can make it the same way at home.
In the shop, Oels put together a small but fun menu. In addition to regular pour-over, he sells cold brew with Mexican Coke, “Gimme the Shakes” cold-brew-coffee shakes with non-dairy ice cream and the “Pitch Black,” a homage to the old Pneumatic Diner. Pitch Black is made of cold brew coffee, two shots of espresso and blended non-dairy ice cream with ground coffee on top.
The Mug Shot Coffee and Eatery
The Mug Shot Coffee and Eatery opened on Sierra and Court streets in June but will have its grand opening at the end of July. This coffee shop takes breakfast and makes it special again. In addition to traditional coffee drinks, Mug Shot added a self-serve waffle and oatmeal bar.
The bar includes sweet treats, cereal, healthy add-ons and fresh fruit. Ditch that boring homemade oatmeal and make a better one here. Or be a 5-year-old again and top your waffles with peanut butter cups, syrups, marshmallows and all the things your family would frown at if they saw you make it at home.
They also serve other breakfast items, breakfast sandwiches, avocado toast, pastries and lunch. Government officials and building tenants get 10% off.
Bibo Coffee Co.
Bibo Coffee was an early specialty coffee shop in Reno that now has five locations. In fact, two of them are in downtown. The Bibo Coffee in West Street Market serves coffee drinks and gelato (vegan gelato, too).
For a midday treat, try an affogato. That’s a shot of espresso with a scoop of gelato. They also sell roasted coffee beans, generally in the darker category. The West Street Market has plenty of seating, so this is a great spot to hang out inside or outside or hold a meeting.
The second Bibo Coffee Co. shop is on California and Sierra streets and is a more traditional walk-in, walk-out coffee stop with smaller seating area outside. It’s a great place to stop after a trip to Sundance Bookstore, the Nevada Museum of Art or just on your way to Midtown.
See See’s Motor Coffee
They sell medium roast blends made by Stumptown Coffee Roasters from Portland, Oregon. We recommend the vegetarian breakfast burrito and a flat white because See See’s add lemon peel garnish. A flat white is a smaller latte with less milk, it’s a perfect middle between cappuccinos and lattes.
See See’s is a great place to hang out and work, hold meetings and people watch. Also they sell oil (seriously, it’s not a pun), for motorcycles if you’re low a quart.
Eldorado Coffee Co.
The Eldorado Casino Resort makes freshly roasted on-site blends. The Eldorado Coffee Company, located just outside of Millies24 on the second floor, has been around since 1992.
The Eldorado was the first hotel in the United States with its own coffee roaster and gourmet coffee program. The menu includes specialty single and double-origin blends you can’t find anywhere else in downtown or in most other coffee shops around town.
They sell the blends to drink or take home.
Homage is in an old house tucked away on Ralston and Fifth streets. Inside you’ll find a long menu of standard coffee drinks, followed by “innovative” coffee drinks, blended drinks and teas, with a collection of delicious baked goods. They also sell white-labeled roasted coffee beans.
The cozy setting invites people to stay a while and chit-chat inside or outside.
Try the turmeric tea latte (turmeric, milk, honey) to start off a spicy day. Or if you need some rocket fuel, pick up the cold brew toddy. Customers can also order full-sized cakes and pies to-go for special events and parties or indulge in smaller sweet treats.
Cafe Capello replaced The Jungle on First Street and Arlington Avenue. The new owners lightly remodeled the space into a brighter, simpler environment. It also has a full-service kitchen that makes breakfast and lunch items.
We recommend checking out the rotating specialty coffee drinks and avocado toast.
Global Coffee Co.
Global Coffee Co. in The Basement of the West Elm creates an impressive array of specialty sweet coffee drinks. You’ll find the industrial coffee bar next door to a speakeasy and chocolate shop with a big common area to work in.
Try one of their candybar-themed drinks or build your own. You can also pick up the Drink Coffee Do Stuff brand beans roasted in Truckee. And, if you can find the hidden Batman action figure (it’s really hard), you can win a prize.
Walden’s Coffeehouse in downtown
A third Walden’s Coffeehouse location opened on Arlington Avenue and Ridge Street near Wingfield Park. Walden’s has been a staple coffeehouse in Reno for decades with a full breakfast and lunch menu and solid coffee choices.
The new location takes over a little house that has rotated through a handful of other businesses over the years. The cozy house is a nice hidden tucked away location for people to escape the daily grind.
Darkshot Coffee shop inside the Renaissance Hotel serves up quick drinks and snacks in the lobby near The Shore Room. Darkshot serves Wood-Fire Roasted Coffee and makes for a quick getaway. Or customers can stick around and lounge in the comfortable seating area between the shop and the bar.
The Jesse Hotel and Bar
The new hotel and bar on Fourth Street also serves coffee early in the morning for hotel guests and passersby. The Jesse makes simple espresso drinks but features three comfortable seating areas, a bar, quiet time and fast Wifi. A great place for casual client meetings or focused work time.
A coffee and breakfast shop by morning, paint and sip by night. This hybrid business sits on First and West streets near the Truckee River. A full breakfast menu from croissants to Croquet Madame and shirred eggs, this little spot will get your morning started.
SIPS coffeehouse in the Silver Legacy Begin your day at SIPS! Located in the hotel lobby, SIPS features a variety of gourmet coffee, teas, cappuccinos, espressos, lattes, mochas and the fresh-baked pastries and desserts. SIPS also has fruit smoothies made with fresh fruit and sells coffee themed gifts and souvenir.