To call Walden’s a coffeehouse is a bit of an understatement. This long-standing west Reno establishment (now with locations on Arlington and Wells avenues) is known for serving fresh-baked sweets and gourmet breakfasts and lunches with its fresh and flavorful selection of coffees and teas. The easy, counter-serve style combined with its plastic utensils feels accessible, but the food is above and beyond what your typical coffee shop has on the menu.
At Walden’s, there is an obvious focus on creative meal concoctions, quality coffee and service with a smile.
Stepping into Walden’s feels like stepping into old-town Reno. There is something homey about the small eatery located near Caughlin Ranch on Mayberry. It’s rustic the way corner cafes often are in our favorite Hallmark Christmas movies, which, even if you hate them, you know are set in charming off-the-beaten-path towns where you could easily fall in love—even if it’s only the pancakes you have eyes for.
Step up to the counter and place your order. First, coffee—decaf or regular, espresso or Americano, cream and sugar or served black—and ponder the collection of enticing flavors to enhance the experience. Then, peruse the baked goods case where a cinnamon roll oozing cream cheese frosting will be too tempting to pass up.
Last, select the main course. Most of the town will talk endlessly about Walden’s breakfast burritos, which you can get stuffed with your choice of meat, potatoes, salsa, eggs and cheese inside of a spinach (or gluten-free) tortilla, grilled on the panini for those satisfying grill lines and crispy corners. Then, dare to make it super (with green chilies, sour cream and avocado) before you smother it with more shredded cheese, turkey chili, enchilada sauce and fresh cilantro. The end result is something that looks almost too intimidating to eat but is down-right, over-the-top and delicious as soon as you dig in—fork and knife required.
The rest of the menu features renditions of favorites like bagels and spread or buttermilk pancakes. The house avocado toast comes on toasted squaw bread with hummus, red onion, feta cheese, roasted tomato and pistachios.
The Birdie is my personal favorite, an egg sandwich finished with sharp cheddar and tomatoes (hold mine, please) before it’s doused in a special sauce, which gives off serious Southwestern vibes. Get your egg scrambled or fried and choose from a selection of breads, brushed in herb oil before it’s panini grilled.
Rumor has it if you come back for lunch, the fare is just as delicious and just as fresh, giving you every excuse needed to visit again.
But if that wasn’t enough, it’s important to note Walden’s also carries wine, beer and other adult-y beverages, including mimosas to boost your morning mood. And, fruit smoothies if you’re on a health kick—and capable of saying no to a fresh, warm croissant or muffin.
3940 Mayberry Dr,Reno, 775-787-3307
1170 S. Wells Ave, Reno, 775-322-6100
310 S. Arlington Ave, Reno, 775-432-1178
Monday – Friday 6:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Saturday – Sunday 7 a.m. to 3 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.