The Cup Café is a small-town staple, bringing the whimsy of a charming corner eatery to a city that’s quickly growing. For years it has occupied the space on South Virginia Street that was once home to a rotating collection of restaurants before The Cup moved in and stole locals’ hearts.
Now, The Cup is where Renoites go to capture some of that quaint, home-cooked feel that can be hard to come by with the influx of hip, new eateries in the city. But the setting feels like home, or a place carefully plucked from a 90s TV show in a more remote setting, and the food has comfort written all over it.
The menu doesn’t get too creative, but that’s the point. This is the place where you can come for the staples—a plate of eggs cooked how you like and a side of satisfyingly greasy bacon, a stack of old-fashioned buttermilk pancakes or a platter of southern biscuits and gravy.
The eatery’s best twists are a section of the menu dedicated to fare perfected south of the border and a lineup of eggs benedict and scrambles that’ll make your mouth water.
My personal go-to when dining at The Cup is the breakfast burrito. Large enough to share when you’re feeling peckish – and especially if you order a side of bacon – the dish features a flour tortilla stuffed with breakfast favorites (scrambled eggs, cheddar cheese and hash browns) before it’s finished with your choice of ham, bacon or sausage. If you like, order it smothered; for an extra $1.59, cooks will top your burrito with red or green sauce and sour cream.
Another favorite is the simple two egg breakfast. A guarantee on any menu, you start with two large farm-fresh eggs and add in the sides with either home fried potatoes with bell peppers and onion or hash browns, a side of toast or a homemade biscuit and gravy, at an every-day low price.
While the fare is simple, it’s also from scratch and done right. There’s little room for error when you’re working with the classics, and everything is cooked well and sure to leave you feeling full.
Next to the food, there’s another reason this place features a full lobby every weekend during breakfast and brunch hours. Something about the staff of friendly faces, the giant pastel cups of steaming hot coffee (hot cocoa prepped with whipped cream for the kids) and the close tables fitted with tablecloths and frilly curtains that look like they came out of grandma’s house, reminds those who frequent the establishment of simpler times in a simpler place with the simple menu to match.
6770 S. Virginia St., Reno, Nev. 89511
Daily 6 a.m. to 2 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.