The Depot Craft Brewery Distillery is an understated hot spot brimming with charm and historical context. It’s a chic place to take someone you want to impress, both for knowing about the gem, which doesn’t seem to garner as much attention as it should, and for the style that oozes from every corner of the three-story brick eatery situated on Reno’s slowly-gentrifying East Fourth Street.
The towering brick walls, the craft cocktails, the long bar for gathering (when it’s allowed) … it looks like one of those places that hipsters hang out. However, it’s not exclusively for them either. With its collection of drool-worthy small plates and hearty full-size entrees, The Depot truly has something to offer everyone from intimate date nights to an after-work happy hour with coworkers.
The history of this place only lends to its cool factor. Housed in a former railway headquarters, fully operational from 1910-1937, it’s easy to see where the stately brick building got its name. Inside, casual service provides food as well as beer and spirits made onsite since it opened as The Depot in late 2014.
For the past six years, The Depot has stayed true to its vision—unparalleled drinks and unprecedented fare. Essentially, it’s all just a little unexpected. I’ve been here a couple times now but on my most recent trip I opted for a collection of appetizers to share with a (small) table of friends.
From the buffalo-doused chicken wings with a surprising kick to the saccharine Brussel sprouts served with apple and caramel vinaigrette, not a single dish was disappointing.
A sucker for sweet potato fries, that was the first thing we all agreed on. Crispy and cooked to perfection, the fries are served with BBQ sauce for a little twist. The salmon cakes, however, stole the show. With flavors and presentation similar to a crab cake, the flaky breading crumbled around the soft salmon as we dug in with forks. Served as a two-some, I easily could have put this appetizer away on my own, complete with the bed of cabbage slaw and citrus aioli it rested upon.
The last shareable plate we chose were the tacos of the day—a teriyaki chicken. However, these tacos du jour are constantly changing, so you never know what you’ll get when you step in. The trio of street-style tacos (served with French fries) was set up for sharing but the flavors didn’t make you want to hand any of them over.
Browsing the menu, everything sounded good. The only hard part about ordering was narrowing down just how many items I wanted to stuff into my face. The butternut squash soup, cornbread fritters, and cheese plate are all on my radar for next time.
Unsurprisingly, the drink list here is also impressive. Seasonal sips made with house spirits give it an edge over other craft cocktail spots. A Fall Fashion made with pumpkin spice as well as the list of proprietary beers were both good choices for the whole crew—and the wine list, which also offered some unexpected gems (including an Old World Barbera), rounded out the offerings.
In person: 325 East Fourth Street, Reno
Call: (775) 737-4330
Hours: Monday 3 to 10 p.m.; Tuesday – Thursday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday – Saturday 11 a.m. to close; Sunday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Nora Heston Tarte is a long-time Reno resident living on the southside of town. In addition to food, her hobbies include wine, hiking, yoga and travel. She is also the managing editor of a regional, lifestyle publication and freelances for other publications most frequently in the travel space. Nora received her bachelor’s in Journalism from California State University, Sacramento before graduating from University of Nebraska, Lincoln with a master’s in Professional Journalism. You can follow her travel adventures, and local exploits, on her Instagram account @wanderlust_n_wine.