Outer North Valleys – Reno, NV

As the city of Reno continues to grow, suburbs north and south of the city attract more transplants hoping to find affordable living in Nevada. North Valleys, a neighborhood north of Reno’s downtown along Highway 395, provides true Nevada living for Renoites who appreciate open space and proximity to downtown. A 20-minute drive south from North Valleys brings most locals to the center of Reno, where they can watch shows and walk along the Truckee River before returning to home in the northern suburbs. North Valleys residents like the feel of living in their own community close to the bright lights and entertainment of Reno. Families looking to buy a home in a safe area with schools like North Valleys for its amenities and comfort.

Schools in Outer North Valleys

School data provided by GreatSchools

Restaurants & Nightlife

Most North Valleys locals drive to Reno or Sparks for nightlife, but residents can stay in town to dine at a few local favorites in the neighborhood. Though chain restaurants dominate the area along Highway 395, people can find a few mom-and-pop places, mostly diners and Mexican restaurants, scattered about North Valleys on Stead Boulevard and other main roads. Fiesta Mexicana, a neighborhood Mexican restaurant, serves many classic Mexican menu items. Customers can order large, tasty burritos and quesadillas with plenty of cheese, peppers and onions. Others prefer the steak taco combo, a favorite among the combination plates. Locals generally order a margarita to help wash down their meal, and most say they're some of the best drinks in North Valleys. Breakfast fans head to Lemmon Valley to dine at the small Hometown Cafe, one of North Valleys' only choices for local breakfast joints. This small western diner serves up biscuits and gravy, large omelets and plenty of sandwiches. Get the thinly-sliced potato chips for a savory side with a Reuben sandwich or a turkey club. Hometown Cafe proves to be the perfect place for North Valleys residents who love the good old days of small-town diners. People in North Valleys looking for more than just local places in their neighborhood can head over to northern Sparks, which houses many different restaurants just off Los Altos Parkway. Tha Joint Sushi & Grill, located in this area, gives North Valleys inhabitants the opportunity to dine on Reno's famous All-You-Can-Eat sushi deals. Order the Five-O roll or the Jailbait roll for a homemade sushi delight. If you have room for dessert, try the tasty tempura banana to top off their All-You-Can-Eat meal. North Valleys folk who need a beer have a few dive bar choices. Sneakers Bar & Grill makes typical pub fare and attracts locals who want a place to hang out after work or on the weekends. Similarly, Air Base Inn in Stead attracts residents for after-work drinks and company. For music and dancing, most locals go to Reno and Sparks to watch shows.

History & Culture

Miners first moved to Reno in the 19th century to take advantage of the Gold Rush and the mining boom throughout the West. Once the University of Nevada moved to Reno from Elko, students began moving to town. In recent years, Reno has attracted more travelers to town due to its relative affordability and its growing urban and suburban delights. North Valleys, among other suburbs, popped up as a place for families and professionals to live in a community removed from the commotion of downtown Reno. For a closer look at the area’s arts and history, check out the Sparks Heritage Museum, and car enthusiasts adore the National Automobile Museum for its extensive collection of classic and rare models. Art fans can check out Reno’s burgeoning art scene downtown at a few local galleries. North Valleys locals get their own major event as well — the Reno Air Races, a weeklong event that features stunt flying and aerobatics as well as racing.


Since North Valleys has a spread-out footprint, most people find it much easier to get around by driving than on foot or bicycle. While Highway 395 provides access to both downtown and to the northern parts of Nevada and California, the location north of Reno makes it difficult to get to the center of town without a car. The layout of North Valleys makes it easy for most people to park at strip malls and other commercial centers. The RTC Ride system of Washoe County provides minimal public transit to North Valleys via the Route 7 Stead line. The bus travels along the major roads only. Reno taxis can get up to North Valleys to give people a ride, but large ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft do not operate in the Reno/Sparks area. The flat terrain of North Valleys makes it ideal for some bicyclists, but only the main roads have bike lanes.


Locals in Reno pay slightly more for everyday needs than the national average. North Valleys, however, can be affordable for many people, as the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment costs $732 a month. An average glass of beer at a dive bar in North Valleys costs $3.50. Residents pay 6 percent more for a tank of gas in North Valleys than the national average. Commuters or others who prefer public transit can pay $2 for a one-way trip on RTC Ride from Stead down to the center of Reno.


North Valleys' residents may not have a shopping mall of their own in the neighborhood, but Meadowood Mall in central Reno or Outlets at Legends in Sparks provide plenty of opportunities for bargain hunters. Meadowood Mall houses retailers like Macy's and JCPenney, and the outlets in Sparks feature more high-end retailers such as Ann Taylor. For gift shops and boutiques with a local flair, North Valleys' shoppers go to Sparks and Reno. The Niche Boutique in Sparks displays trendy clothes for women, as well as a few home decor items for aspiring decorators or those looking for something unique. People searching for local jewelry enjoy shopping at Michael & Sons on East Second Street in Reno, where they can commission engagement rings and view Native American jewelry. Raley's, Walmart, Smith's and other large grocery stores give North Valleys residents a range of choices for everyday grocery needs, and La Barca Mexican Store on Stead Boulevard sells authentic Mexican ingredients and products. The nearest farmers market, Lazy 5 Saturday Farmers Market in Spanish Springs, hosts a small number of booths and vendors that sell cheese, lamb jerky and more homemade goods.


North Valleys locals have access to a few small parks in their neighborhoods. Highlands Ranch out in Sun Valley is popular with children, who can play on the playground or on other athletic sites. Adults can get their exercise in by playing volleyball, basketball or other sports on the multi-purpose field. Admission is free, and families often get together to walk their dogs or play a leisurely game of horseshoe at the horseshoe pits. HIghlands Ranch offers little in the way of annual events, but Rancho San Rafael Regional Park to the south holds a variety of community gatherings. In the fall, keep your eyes to the skies for the Great Balloon Races festival, where locals celebrate hot-air balloons with events and food vendors.
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6018 Plumas St, Reno, NV 89519
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