the griddle restaurant winnemucca nevada

Comfort Cuisine: Small-Town Eateries for Fueling Adventure

Whether you know them as cafés, diners, hash houses, or greasy spoons, rural restaurants are the oases of the highway. Yes, they provide essential, good-mood-food for road trippers, but that’s not the only reason they’re beloved. Diners are a universal part of American culture, and everything from the white mugs to the breakfast counter chatter is welcoming, no matter how far from home you are. As you make your way across the Silver State, keep these options in mind – your stomach and your spirit will thank you.

Roadrunner Café


Any journey across the Loneliest Road in America (Highway 50) deserves a plate of delicious Americana cuisine. With a wide menu featuring everything from chili and burgers to salads and fish and chips, your group is guaranteed to find something they love. After the meal, treat yourself to a stroll because the Café is next to some of the state’s oldest buildings.

Historic Silver Café


The family-run Historic Silver Café has been filling bellies for more than a century. Start the day with fresh-cooked delights like berry-slathered French toast, omelets, and country fried steaks, or grab breakfast burritos to-go for a day of exploring. In the afternoon, gorge on burgers, pulled pork sandwiches, ribeye steaks, and all the comforting fried sides. Got more mouths to feed? Order a few handmade pizzas—they’re a local favorite.

The Griddle


This 1960s-era time capsule might be one of the best diners on Interstate 80. In fact, it is so popular that it even has four locations in Idaho. You’ll find all the breakfast and lunch favorites here, but The Griddle’s menu also offers gourmet dishes that read like a fancy metropolitan bistro. When you sit down to enjoy that plate of raspberry crepes, pecan-crusted French toast with bacon, slow-cooked corned beef Reubens, or quinoa tacos, don’t forget you’re still in the middle of Cowboy Country.

Gema’s Café


Nestled in the heart of quiet Beatty, Gema’s Café offers fresh, made-to-order classics but with a Mexican American twist. As you sip freshly roasted coffee, savor the fact you’re choosing from family recipes passed down from Gema’s abuelita. For breakfast, we recommend you try the Spanish Omelet or enchiladas. If you stop in closer to dinnertime, try the nachos supreme, taco salad, or chicken Diablo.

Golden West Restaurant & Casino


This tiny diner punches well above its weight, offering unbeatable breakfasts and house specials like the New York steak sandwich, clam or popcorn shrimp basket, and Navajo tacos. After your meal, enjoy an ice-cold beer at the full bar, hit the casino floor, or burn off some calories walking around Mesquite’s historic downtown.

Dora’s Smokehouse and BBQ


Dora’s Smokehouse and BBQ is an old-fashioned, country-style restaurant with an inviting atmosphere and plenty to tempt you off the highway for a spell. Their menu offers big breakfast plates, sandwiches, and juicy burgers, but Dora’s also doubles as a smokehouse, so consider having brisket or pulled pork.

Wigwam Restaurant & Casino


At the crossroads of Interstate 80 and Highway 50, this Fernley staple has served all-day breakfast, burgers, towering pasta entrees, and decadent homemade pies and milkshakes for more than 40 years. If you’re not sure what to order, get a local favorite: chicken fried steak served with homemade gravy. While you wait for a table, be sure to check out the on-site gallery of tools, baskets, beads, and arrowhead artifacts from Nevada’s Northern Paiute Tribes.

Hungry yet? Find even more food and drink gems in Nevada’s cuisine scene.