Bertha Miranda’s is a Reno staple. As many eateries come and go, and we commonly cover the newcomers to hit the scene, Bertha Miranda’s has been serving the community since 1984, admittedly since before I was born.
In that time there have been changes, but Bertha Miranda’s has largely stayed true to its roots. Locally owned and family operated, the restaurant did undergo an ownership switcheroo in late 2021 when the business’ matriarch decided to retire and sell.
Lucky for many of us who have come to consider Bertha Miranda’s a mainstay in the community, the business sold to two employees who took over the building and the brand.
Over the years and coming from humble beginnings, Bertha Miranda’s (named for the restaurant’s owner) moved from Sparks to Mill Street in Reno in 1991. The stone house has since become an important part of the restaurant’s history, offering an inviting space for locals to gather for breakfast, lunch, dinner or just drinks.
Until the sale of her business in 2021, Miranda worked there with her children and created a space for families across Reno and Sparks to enjoy authentic Mexican food. And when we say authentic, it’s not a toss away word. The fare at Bertha Miranda’s has roots in Northern Mexico, specifically Chihuahua, where Miranda and her family are originally from.
Even with the changing of hands, Miranda’s original recipes are still part of the menu, which feels never-ending but is fairly straight forward. You can taste homemade tamales, enchiladas, tacos and burritos. There is also a chicken mole that diners go ga-ga over.
Every item is cooked to perfection and undeniably delicious.
Bertha Miranda’s prides itself on the extensive seafood menu as well. Shrimp lovers will enjoy the shrimp enchiladas. Tilapia, a white fish, makes up the base for many of the seafood classics including chipotle tilapia, prepared with zesty Mexican seasonings and covered in chipotle salsa (mild or spicy, it’s up to you) and garlic tilapia, alive with flavors of fresh minced garlic and savory olive oil.
The cantina part of the business offers something livelier with mariachi music and cocktail service. Brunch is a can’t-miss experience at the Mexican restaurant, served 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on weekdays and all day on weekends. Here, diners can dive into steak and eggs with flair, flavored with Mexican seasonings and best paired with a bloody Mary from the bar.
While there are several cocktails on Bertha’s bar menu, I find it hard to order anything other than a margarita, whether it’s date night, girls night out or happy hour with coworkers. Even on a quiet evening, a margarita at Bertha Miranda’s just feels right. And since they’re available by the pitcher, it shouldn’t be hard to convince your friends to join in on the festivities. I recommend giving the fruit flavors a try—strawberry, mango, peach or banana and guava.
While the food is undeniably wonderful, the atmosphere gives it a run for its money. Regardless of where you are seated—and there are several areas across the multi-story building to be seated—the mood is always up-beat, the service is warm and it feels cozy just slipping in on a chilly day in Reno. Part of it is, of course, due to the old-school stone building that houses Bertha Miranda’s. But the je-ne-sais-quoi comes from Miranda’s own special recipe of harmony and hospitality that seems to have continued on in her spirit, despite her physical absence.