Northern Nevada is rich in Basque culture and Reno fully embraces this with restaurants, festivals, monuments, and more. Celebrations of culture are in full swing this month with Artown, so there is no better time than now to immerse yourself in Basque traditions and celebrate some of Reno’s deepest and richest cultural roots.
Louis’ Basque Corner was opened in 1967 by Louis and Lorraine Erreguible and has been a statement of Basque culture in Reno ever since. Louis’ Basque Corner serves authentic Basque fare with servers outfitted in traditional Basque clothing. Upstairs houses a full-service bar where you can experience Louis’ signature drink, The Picon Punch, which is made of grenadine, Picon liqueur, club soda, a splash of brandy and lemon twist on top.
Another place to find fine Basque cuisine is the Santa Fe Hotel in downtown Reno. The Santa Fe opened in 1949 and became a place where Basque immigrants could find a community. While no longer a hotel, the Santa Fe restaurant continues the family-style dinner traditions and serves specials such as beef tongue, oxtail and paella, as well as picon punches
Other Basque restaurants in the area include Villa Basque Café in Carson City and J.T. Basque Bar and Dining Room in Gardnerville. Villa Basque Café is family owned and operated by Pete and Martha Coscarart. Pete first arrived in the Nevada area from the Basque country as a sheepherder at the age of 16. Make sure to try Pete’s world-famous chorizo and many other specialties, such as the paella, for a real taste of Basque culture. J.T. Basque Bar and Dining Room has been in the Gardnerville area for more than 50 years. They serve multi-course family-style meals, traditional Basque fare and have a full bar. J.T.’s has been voted Best Basque Restaurant in the Carson Valley for more than a decade running.
If you have ever driven near the intersection of McCarran Blvd. and North Virginia St. then you’ve probably seen the Basque Monument. The monument represents a sheepherder and the map illustrates the Basque settlement in the United States. Warm summer days are the perfect time to hike to the “N” or visit Rancho San Rafael Park. So the next time you are in the area, check out this testament to the deep-rooted Basque culture in Northern Nevada.
The Basque Library at the University of Nevada, Reno was founded in the late sixties and is considered to be the leading library on Basque topics anywhere outside of the Basque Country. Not only does this library supply researchers of Basque Studies with all necessary documentation and information, but it also provides all English publication on Basque culture, history, and topics. If you feel like sharpening your Basque knowledge be sure to check this place out. It is located on the third floor of the Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center on campus.
Save your favorite pages and visit them here!