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Reno Is the Ideal Neighborhood Go-To Brunch

Wood-fired bagels in a totally welcoming environment.

Sidewalk seating at Reno   Photo: Carrie Schedler

The shtick: The unofficial meeting spot for Logan Square.

The vibe: Every neighborhood has that corner place where you can get dependably good food throughout the day without a lot of effort or expense. That place for Logan Square residents is Reno, which, regardless of when you visit, is filled with hip types splitting charred-crust pizzas and crushing tallboys of Stiegl Radler, nodding along to whatever’s being played from the restaurant’s impressive vinyl collection (Bruce Springsteen one day, the Smiths the next). It’s just easy-going all around. (Except if you forget to bring cash, as the place doesn’t accept plastic. There’s an ATM inside, however.) 8 out of 10

The drinks: A serviceable Bloody Mary ($9) comes with lots of accoutrements but could use a little more kick in the mix. We found ourselves sucking down the extra-strong, smooth cold brew ($3.25) a lot quicker than the cocktails. 7 out of 10

The food: Another week, another excellent breakfast pizza ($14), this time a bacon-scrambled egg-green onion combo. It’s somehow the lightest of all the ones we’ve tasted so far—credit goes to Reno’s excellent Neapolitan-style crust and a drenching in sriracha that seems to cut through all the fat.

If you’re not at Reno for the pies, you’re likely there for the breakfast sandwiches on one of their chewy wood-fired bagels. In a city where great bagels are hard to come by, these sandwiches are a bit of a godsend. We’re fondest of the Nando ($6.50), a chorizo, scrambled egg, and cheddar pairing on an everything bagel, which seems to be blessed with the mythical ability of absorbing your hangover as you demolish it. (Pro tip: If you’re not the bagel type, all the sandwiches can be made on one of their towering and properly craggy English muffins.) 8.5 out of 10

The service: There’s a reason why Reno attracts so many regulars. The informal, friendly servers make you feel welcome right away, even if they occasionally neglect your table after the food comes. 8 out of 10

Overall: Exactly the kind of place you want to have as a solid go-to. 8 out of 10

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