ROAD TRIP: Vegan in Tahoe/Reno

Welcome back to my mini road trip to Lake Tahoe for my cousin’s wedding.  What can a vegan get around Lake Tahoe?  I didn’t see much, but might have missed some things.

Besides wedding food, my mom, sister, and I only ate one meal in South Lake Tahoe.  We went to Sprouts Natural Foods Cafe.     All in all, I liked Sprouts.  My sister wasn’t that hungry, so she got some Chips, Salsa, and Guacamole and a side of Beans.  Their guacamole was really good.  The chips, salsa, and beans were just that – tasty, but not much to say.

Sprouts Chips and Salsa

Chips and Salsa

Sprouts Beans

Beans

My mom and I both got the same thing: their Couscous and Hummus Burrito ($6.95).  It came with soup or salad, so we got it with their soup of the day – Tomato Florentine.  I thought this soup was delicious!  One of the best tomato soups I’ve had.   As for the burrito, I got it without cucumbers and loved it.  Basically, it’s just a burrito with couscous and hummus (hence the name).  They topped it with this tahini spread, which I didn’t like and scraped off.  Otherwise, I think I might make this at home – seems easy enough.  I also wanted to try their Tempeh Burger, but found out they switched out their tempeh for some generic non-vegan Gardenburger – bummer.

Sprouts Coucous & Hummus Burrito

Couscous & Hummus Burrito

After a few hours of sightseeing, we went to our hotel in Reno (Tahoe has limited nice hotel availability- sorry Motel 6, I’m a snob).  Reno may be a larger city, but that doesn’t mean there is vegan food aplenty!  The one place that seemed to cater most to vegans was the vegetarian restaurant Pneumatic Diner.  I have to say, this was one of the weirdest restaurant spaces I have ever seen.  It certainly wasn’t ADA compliant, because you had to enter and go up a strange set of stairs, then around the corner to the entrance.  If you accidentally went down the wrong hallway, I think you would have ended up at the doorstep of someone’s apartment.  So weird.

Pneumatic Diner

Pneumatic Diner

Upon looking at the menu, it seemed to be very egg and cheese based – not good for vegans.  My mom went with the Oatmeal and it came out watery and bland (just look at how disgusting it looks in the picture!).  She ended up adding a ton of sugar and cinnamon to make it more palatable.

Pneumatic Diner Oatmeal

Oatmeal

I found out that they can substitute a vegan base in their scrambled eggs, so I got a Vegan Scramble with Spinach, Mushrooms, and Cheese.  The base turned out to be potatoes (c’mon, where’s the tofu?!) and their vegan cheese turned out to be a large scoop of nutritional yeast.  While I wouldn’t go here and order this again, it was a decent breakfast in a not so vegan-friendly town.

Pneumatic Diner Vegan Scramble

Vegan Scramble

And of course I had to try their dessert.  They had some pie and some cookies.  I went with a Cranberry Pear Pie that was way to tart and still needed to bake the peaches a bit more (in my opinion).

Pneumatic Diner Cranberry Peach Pie

Cranberry Peach Pie

Oh and we also got a Falafel Sandwich to-go for my sister who was chilling at the hotel.  She ate it later that day and told me it was good (I suggest going with this sandwich should you venture to this diner).

Pneumatic Diner Falafel Sandwich

Falafel Sandwich

The next morning, we didn’t head out to Pneumatic Diner again and instead went to grab some snacks at Whole Foods.  I love supporting local businesses, but if you’re a vegan looking for good food in Reno – just hit up the Whole Foods.  The Blueberry Muffin was a tasty morning treat, as were the two chicken salads we got: Tarragon Chicken Salad and   Sonoma Chicken Salad.  These were delicious and prepared with the newest fake meat – Beyond Meat.  Beyond Meat is only available at Whole foods in the Pacific Northwest and in NorCal, but I wished they supplied the SoCal locations!  So good!  My mom enjoyed a Vegan Coffee drink by Dr. Chao Foods.   And I also enjoyed an afternoon snack of Whole Foods Spring Rolls and an Apple Streusel Pie by Sweet Earth.

Whole Foods Reno Goodies

Whole Foods Reno Goodies

Phew!  For an area that doesn’t have a lot to offer vegans, that was a lot to say!  If you know of other places with good vegan food in this area, please comment below.  If any travelers stumble upon this blog post, I hope my review (and your comments) help!  Good luck.

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4 responses

  1. Hey, I was just in Lake Tahoe about 3 weeks ago! They actually do have one entirely vegan restaurant, which is Sage Bistro. It’s s coffee shop type place that does vegan breakfast / lunch / dinner and has vegan baked goods. We also ate at a Meditterean places called Artemis, which had many vegan potions, clearly labeled on the menu, and they knew how to veganize non-vegan stuff, like Greek salads. We also ate at Sprouts…. And some other brewery type place that had a few vegan friendly sandwiches, but I forget what that place was called. Honestly, I found Tahoe to be way more vegan friendly than I expected for such a tacky town!

  2. Hi Miki- I’m so bummed I missed Sage Bistro! Do you have a link? I can’t seem to find this place. It’s funny you should say that it’s a tacky town, because we weren’t too impressed with it either! There are some lovely spots elsewhere around Lake Tahoe, but the town of South Lake Tahoe was just too congested and not that pretty.

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