Basque Restaurants in the Silver State

If the best way to get to know a place is through a specific culinary style, then count us all the way in. Even though there are countless distinctive culinary styles that make up the Silver State’s cuisine scene, Basque food is a definite front runner with hundred-year-old boarding houses throughout northern Nevada, born with and still embodying the spirit and flavor of the old country. 

To get a taste, make sure visiting a Basque restaurant is on the top of your to-do list while you’re here exploring Nevada—you’ll be rewarded with one of the best meals of your life, a history lesson you never saw coming, and you’re sure to depart with a full belly and a whole lotta new friends.


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Get to Know Nevada’s Cuisine Scene with Basque Food

A vibrant culture from Basque country—a region on the northern border between Spain and France—the Basques emigrated to the United States, making the mountain ranges in California, southern Idaho and northern Nevada their new homes. Sheepherding northern Nevada’s rugged mountainous terrain for months at a time, they’d come back to the nearest cities and towns to restock on supplies, and head for the familiarity of a Basque-run boarding house where they could interact with their fellow countrymen by playing games, telling stories, and celebrating their heritage through a damn good, family-style meal.

Today, the Basque culture lives on in Nevada, at Basque restaurants in Reno, Elko, Winnemucca and Gardnerville—still serving up incredible traditional Basque dishes 100 years later.

Though there are some excellent tapas and lighter lunch options, the heart of experiencing Basque cuisine—and culture—is by getting in on a multi-course dinner affair. A true Nevada rite of passage, order up main courses like garlic-loaded steaks or lamb chops (telltale signs of their heritage), followed by a smorgasbord of courses like soup with strong onion and red pepper flavors, fresh green salad, golden french fries, green beans, spaghetti with red tomato sauce, and of course flowing red table wine. The last course are Basque desserts like ice cream or a round of excellent dessert cheeses you can wash right down with the unofficial state drink of Nevada: the legendary Picon Punch. No matter which Basque restaurant you end up at during your time here, you’re sure to go home with a new appreciation for this hearty bunch, and their divine culinary delights.


Whether you’re marveling at how quickly that lamb melts right off the bone, or how your first Picon punch suddenly became your third, be sure to invite us to the table by tagging shots of your Basque dining exploits with #NVEats. If we dig your flavor, you may find yourself featured here.

Road trip! Never pass a Basque restaurant without stopping- closed or not! #basque #nevada #explorenevada #bestfood #basquefood #outwest #sheepherder #bakarra #restaurants #bestchefs
Have you tried the famous Picon Punch at jtbasquenv?
#CarsonValley #CarsonValleyNV #MyCarsonValley #TravelNevada #DFMI #exploreNevada #EasternSierra #EasternSierraLove #EasternSierraNevada #hwy395 #westernstyle #piconpunch #piconpunchdrink
Winnemucca Basque Festival! #winnemuccanevada #travelnevada #bascofiasco #basque
As a guy who tends to forget a hat or coat at restaurants and airports from time to time, it's comforting to know that jtbasquenv would preserve my hat for posterity if I forgot it! 😂

My first time enjoying Basque dining and I gotta say I felt right at home. Delicious waves of food and Marie-Louise serving up Pincon Punch, a pre-meal highball that is a staple for Basque settlers in the US. 
I also tried my hand at tossing a bill to the ceiling... Was I successful after filling my belly and having wine with the meal? Check out Monday's Travel Fuels Life podcast!

#sponsored meal from #WhyCV #CarsonValley
@karenasplindh giving me the boot in Elko Nevada at the @elkostarhotel after an incredible meal and a couple of Picons. 
#BattleBornAdventureReady #AWorldWithinAStateApart #ExploreNevada 
#TravelNevada #NevadaBackroads #NevadaBackcountry
#elkonevada  #discovernevada
This Basque mural depicts James “Toutoun” Ithurralde. He was a native of the Basque Country and immigrated from Lasse,,France, as a 19 year-old. He first worked for several sheep outfits before purchasing two bands of sheep for his own grazing them around the hills of Eureka. He raised his family here. The mural was created by Antone DAmele, who based it off of an old photograph. With the help of local artists Abby Sweet and Adeline Callaghan, the mural was completed summer of 2018.

#Eureka #Nevada #TravelNevada #Travel #Explore #Mining #OldMiningTown #neverstopexploring #EurekaOperaHouse #NevadaMusic #EurekaSentinelMuseum #PonyExpressTrail
Had an incredible time in the Toiyabe Range! We climbed the highest peak, saw some sweet Basque shepherd carvings in the aspens, and explored a cool abandoned ranch. ‘Til next time Toiyabes. ⛰
#toiyabe #toiyabenationalforest #toiyaberange #nevada #explorenevada #meowtains
Enjoying a northern Nevada classic, Picon Punch, at the historic Star Hotel in Elko. The Star was built in 1910 and even served drinks in a private room during prohibition. Picon Punch is considered to be brought to the area by the towns' substantial Basque population around the same time the Star opened.
How do we love thee, Picon Punch? If we tried to count the ways, we’d be here all night.
@vansounds traveled to the state’s most iconic Basque boardinghouses and learned the cocktail’s history and regional differences straight from the experts. We recommend enjoying this podcast (linked in our bio) about Nevada’s unofficial state drink with a Picon in hand!
#NVEats 📷: @sydneymmartinez
📍: @elkostarhotel
#DFMI #TravelNevada #PiconPunch #Basque #NVHistory #Elko #ExploreCulture #DiscoverNV #BeyondVegas
Money stuck to the ceiling jtbasquenv in carsonvalleynevada which began as a bet to score free drinks and is now tradition along with basque, wicked strong Picon Punch and more delicious fun at this unique to travelnevada old school location! Check out the Instagram story highlights to learn more and follow along our adventures this week as we explore more. 💸💸💸💸💸💸
#roadtrip #travel #nature #adventure #photography #travelphotography #wanderlust #travelgram #landscape #explore #love #instatravel #photooftheday #trip #camping #vanlife #mountains #travelblogger #picoftheday #beach #ontheroad #instagood #travelling #road #vacation #traveling #naturephotography #sunset #holiday #money