Everyone knows that Chipotle, Roberto’s and In-N-Out Burger are front-runners for the best munchies in Reno. But if you’re looking for something more than a burrito you could get anywhere else in the country, look no further. As a Reno native and broke college kid, I feel qualified to list off the top five restaurants in the area that you may not have even known existed. Leave the chain restaurants behind and indulge in Reno’s finest instead.

5. Bertha                     Miranda’s                  (Mexican)

Located on Mill Street, you can find some of the town’s best Mexican cuisine here without punishing your wallet. The restaurant’s family feel can be felt as soon as you walk inside. The great customer service adds to even better food. It offers all of your standard Mexican menu items (a variety burritos, tacos, nachos and quesadillas) at a reasonable price.

Recommended Food Choice: The Continental Chimichanga

This deep-fried masterpiece includes your choice of meat wrapped in a homemade flour tortilla, topped with sour cream and guacamole. With a side of rice and beans, the meal price comes out to a reasonable $11.95.

4. Palais de Jade (Chinese)

A highly regarded restaurant locally, Palais de Jade provides great quality with its options. Though the eatery tends to be expensive, it’s all the more reason to take advantage of the luncheon special from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. The luncheon special consists of your choice of entree plus a spring roll, crab rangoon, plain fried rice, steamed rice or brown rice and a salad or soup of the day. The best part? It’s only $8.

Recommended Food Choice: Kung-Pao Chicken Luncheon Special

This savory chicken style is a personal favorite of mine that I can always rely on. Palais de Jade nails it to a T, with a large portion to boot.

3. La Michoacana (Mexican)

This 24/7 restaurant has great prices for all your late-night Mexican food needs. Finally there’s a restaurant that competes with Taco Bell. There are burritos as low as $1.99 and  tacos for just 99 cents. It’s located right passed the Atlantis on Virginia Street.

Recommended Food Choice: The Burrito Supreme

It’s a higher-priced item on the menu, but when they say supreme they mean it. This $6 burrito is the size of my arm and should be considered a work of modern art.

2. Noble Pie Parlor (Pizza)

This wouldn’t be a true list without a pizza joint, now would it? Noble Pie can be found downtown on Second Street. The pizza and wings are safe, delicious options, but the power move is to get a stromboli. These monster-sized Italian delicacies come with a side salad and pickle to total just eight bucks, a meal that could take multiple sittings for some. It’s must-eat for any newcomer to the area.

Recommended Food Choice: The Brick House Classic Stromboli

All the strombolis are tasty, but the Brick House Classic is my pick because it is the most bang for your buck. It’s packed with capicola, pepperoni, sopressata, prosciutto, salami, ham, goat cheese, provolone, marinated artichoke hearts, basil leaves, grape tomato, yellow onion, infused olive oil and balsamic vinegar, mayonnaise, and sun dried tomato spread, pressed overnight with bricks.

1. The Little Nugget (American Diner)

It’s an option that the average freshman isn’t aware of, but the veterans of the university know and love this diner. Famous for its burgers, The Little Nugget can be found downtown across from Harrah’s. It’s open 24/7 and will leave you completely satisfied by the end of your meal.

Recommended Food Choice: The Awful-Awful Burger

This burger is considered one of the best burgers in town among locals and for good reason. The patty is made with over half a pound of beef and topped with cheese, lettuce, tomato and fresh onions. The meal also comes with a mound of crispy fries that are to die for. The price comes out to a clean eight bucks.

Living in Reno we are blessed with quality dining; you just have to know where to look. I, just like every other person, can appreciate animal fries and a double-double. However, there are so many diverse restaurants in the Reno area. Take the time to try out Reno’s hometown gems and leave the basic chain restaurants behind.

Michael Bradley studies journalism. He can be reached at alexandraschultz@unr.edu and on Twitter @TheSagebrush.