Tacos and margaritas just hit differently. When you’re jonesing for street tacos with a modern edge, you have a lot of options. Reno is teeming with taco joints worthy of our hard-earned dollars.
Tucked inside of the Jesse Hotel, opened in August 2019, Estella is a chic yet humble little spot that serves up a menu of street-style tacos with a little something extra. Choose between al pastor, carnitas, chicken chirmol, smoked oyster mushroom, tacos de mariscos or a seasonal vegetarian offering.
Like many taco spots in town, you’ll likely want to order two to three tacos to satisfy the average appetite. Each one is $5.50-$7 and all tacos are served on the eatery’s fresh-pressed, non-GMO, organic corn tortillas.
Here, they are a little fancy—more than your standard pico de gallo and cilantro toppings. The al pastor boasts flavors of pineapple and guajillo pepper for a little heat but not too much spice. On our visit, the seasonal vegetarian featured soft and juicy summer squash.
Many of the options are served a little spicy, but if you ask, sauces and salsa can often be served on the side.
A precursor to your meal is always a good idea. While the appetizers are good—the chips and guacamole come with two salsa offerings and the elote is perfectly charred and delicious with an optional spicy topping—a margarita is better. Choose from tequila or mezcal, regular or spicy. If that doesn’t tickle your fancy, a slew of other tequila- and mezcal-based cocktails are at the ready.
If you’re here to get wild, or just enjoy sipping on tequila, tastings are available, too.
While the food will certainly keep us coming back to Estella Tacos y Mezcal, the ambiance is another big draw. In the gentrifying Fourth Street area of Reno, the Jesse Hotel is a six-room boutique establishment with a trendy bar that regularly serves more than just the hotel’s inhabitants.
In a shared courtyard, tables, chairs and cozy couches are open seating. Order your fare at the Jesse bar or in the detached building on the other side of the courtyard (previously home of Hub Roasters). All orders are taken at the counter before you’re given a number. Then, food is brought right to you as it comes from the kitchen.
When it’s cold, a few stools are available inside to seek refuge. When it’s warm enough, the twinkling lights only add to the delightful atmosphere shared by younger 20-somethings ready for a night on the town and groups of friends that have made Estella the destination for their night.
Correction: Estella opened in August 2019, not August of this year.