CLOSED: Pneumatic Diner

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 25 reviews )



501 W 1st St, Reno, Nevada, USA, 89503

Small vegetarian restaurant, often busy. Confirmed closed, Jan 2015.

Categories: Vegan-friendly, Lacto, Ovo

25 Reviews

First Review by kilat1

vegan diner grub - Edit

I got a vegan meatball sub with cheeze & pesto as well as a eel river porter ice cream float. Dankest meal I've had in a while

Pros: good food, great service

Cons: needs a veggie burger

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Reno's diamond in the rough - Edit

My friends and I went to Reno for three days and on our last day we found this awesome diner. We ate at brunch time and all tried the Vegan options which are plentiful. Their menus give an explanation of their ideals and their food options that I found useful and informative. Two of us being Vegan one vegetarian and the other a carnivore all found our meals to be really good. The atmosphere has new, different kind of feel that is bright and fun to be in. Although the seating is on the cramped side it just adds to the charm of a small diner. The staff is friendly and helpful. We will all be going back and next time for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!

Pros: Atmosphere, VEGAN FOOD, cute staff

Cons: location a bit off the beaten path, I don't have two stomachs

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

The God's Aren't Crazy - Edit

But the negators sure are. Take it from a true vegan, great food and lots of it at a reasonable price. Fresh and muy delicioso!
Updated from previous review on Thursday July 25, 2013

Pros: Funky, Creative, Vegantastic

Cons: None, Worth, Mentioning

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

OK food, but not so great service or atmosphere - Edit

The Pneumatic Diner has been in Reno for quite a few years, fighting the good fight as one of or maybe the only fully vegetarian restaurant in town. The food is Ok, but not special. The service can be very slow. The seating is also very cramped. But what I like the least is the overabundance of neon light signs in the place. There are lots of them, and you can feel the EMFs like you were under a high voltage line in a power substation. You can almost reach out and touch the crackling electrical charge in the air. It just can't be healthy. Get rid of the neon signs and that would make me want to come over and eat more often.

Pros: Ok food

Cons: Slow/poor service, Neon signs

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Reviewer Avatar

  Contributions +17

Real veg food, long long wait - Edit

I was a tourist in Reno longing for some real vegetetarian food - microwaved or not. The food I ordered was good, but there were only two employees: a cook and a cashier/bus boy. The cook had to do everything including making some apparently complicated shakes and juices. I waited about 45 minutes to get my food. When I left there was a party of five waiting outside. Having been a cook, I felt sorry for the guy behind the counter. He was working his butt off to get the food out, but there wasn't enough space behind the counter for two cooks.

I would go back if I were in town but only if I wasn't pressed for time.

Pros: Vegetarian/hippie vibe, Tasty clean food, Walking distance to downtown

Cons: Long wait, Stool seating not accessible to all, Not appropriate for groups >3

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Reviewer Avatar

  Contributions +36

Happy as a Pig in Sunshine - Edit

Gee, a place in Reno offering non-meat sandwiches? I tried this for the first time as I am leaving Reno in order to live in California. Reno's attitude towards Vegetarians is one of the reasons; I'm Vegan, which makes this city more complicated. My sandwich made me feel good just eating it; and, the service was much better than most cafes in this city. The tortilla chips served with my sandwich were probably not Vegan, but they worked. I went there for lunch, I don't know if they serve dinner or not.

The location is off the "Beaten Path" in Reno which is probably the reason I never stopped by before; I do not drive.

I'd love to visit again, but I'm leaving.

Pros: Choices, Service, Decor

Cons: Location

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Disgusting - Edit

This place was awful. I have never written a review but felt I had to warn other people. It was dirty, the staff was dirty, and the food was gross! Don't waste your time. Not very many healthy options anyway.

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Has it's own great vibe, great for the laid back - Edit

Wasn't sure what to expect after so many bad reviews, but I was pleasantly surprised. I was greeted right away, told them that it was my first time in, and one of the guys spent 5 minutes telling me his favorites and giving me recommendations. He told showed me the "parts" on the menu and told me we could pretty much do any combo. I got the Vegan Bubba (which tasted GREAT and was on really yummy bread) and the Squirrel Suit juice, which was also great. The art was interesting, the staff were super sweet, and the food was delicious! Sure, the place was small, but that also makes it intimate. I was totally comfortable hanging out there. I hope to go again.

Pros: Vegan Bubba, Juice, Staff

Cons: small, microwave, cash only

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Good if you're passing through - Edit

Pneumatic is a good place to stop in Reno if you're passing through, but I always get the ratatouille sandwich. Everything else on their menu is just kind of meh. They also don't always have vegan desserts.

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Good desserts but... - Edit

I'm not thoroughly impressed with this place. I'm not a picky person, so I'll eat anything (that is vegan), but I am going to be honest and say that I haven't really enjoyed the food that I've tried here. The first time I went to Pneumatic, I tried the vegan lasagna. It was just kind of boring, and the "cheese" sauce was like watered down hummus or something. Another time, I ordered a pita falafel sandwich, and while the falafel was pretty good, the rest of the sandwich was goopy and didn't look or taste too appetizing - so I just ate the falafel and threw the rest away.

I want to like this place, I really do - seeing as how it is the only place in Reno that doesn't serve meat. The setting is cool and contemporary, the service is alright, but kind of slow. I think they microwave everything - and you can definitely tell. I do have to say that the vegan desserts are pretty tasty, especially the pie; and so is the vegan garlic "cheese" bread, but other than that, I would not want to take my non-veg friends here because it would confirm their beliefs that veg food is weird and bland (which it doesn't have to be!)

I say, go try it for yourself - you might like it. I'm sure I'll go again. Maybe there is something there that is delicious that I just haven't tried yet.

It's cash only, so bring cash if you decide to go!!

Just wanted to offer my honest opinion!

Pros: Desserts, No meat, Atmosphere

Cons: Food is mediocre, Location

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Tasty Food, Friendly Service - Edit

Note: Entrance is on Ralston St. between 1st & 2nd.
Food was fresh and tasty. Server and staff were helpful and friendly. I started with a carrot and ginger juice, delicious. Followed by the #1 Burrito which had just enough spice and a small salad, fresh and crisp. Plenty of dressings. Ended with a fresh Oatmeal cookie. They had a nice beer and wine selection to boot. It's a very interesting space with neon and original artwork, I'll be back the next time I am in Reno for sure.

Pros: Good value, Vegan options, Friendly staff

Cons: Most cooking is Microwaved

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Great atmosphere, mediocre food. - Edit

I pretty much go here annually when I'm in town to visit my sister, because it's the only vegetarian restaurant in town. The service flat sucks. The place is pretty low-budget, as well as IMPOSSIBLE to find!! The food is decent, but I can and do make much better vegan food at home.

Pros: Atmosphere, decorations

Cons: Hard to find, Small space, Service

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Not Punk Rock Enough - Edit

Us, apparently. My wife and I have been here on 5 occasions despite various annoyances each time. It's just hard to find restaurants we can dine at. The main problem is that many of the staff have a very stuck up, "I'm more vegan than you" type attitude. On one occasion, I stopped in with a friend on a sunday morning on the way to work to grab some food. I glanced at the menu, found exactly what i wanted (a veggie breakfast burrito) and waited to order. Upon seeing how quickly I returned the menu the girl working accusingly comments, "What?, Couldn't find your bacon?" I refrained from outstretching my arm and smacking her, but barely. (Just kidding of course) After dealing with this attitude time and time again and then realizing they microwave many of the hot dishes anyway we've decided to never go back. If anyone in an ownership/management position reads this: I like what you're trying to do, but please encourage the staff to the get the **** over themselves. Just because I lack tattoos and dress differently doesn't mean that I am not as commited to the vegan lifestyle as them or anyone else. -Sorry for this long review. If you've read this far I'm not saying don't try it for yourself, by all means do. Then come back here and post your experience.

Pros: vegan options, downtown, local business

Cons: rude staff, microwave, rude staff

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Alright - Edit

This place is alright, have to say it's overrated, especially in the way of vegan dishes. Some of their stuff is alright and some of it is just bland and uninspired.
The elegant carrot shake is probably the best thing on the menu (available vegan also)
Good coffee, fruit juices, faux meatball sandwich.

Pros: variety? , pretty affordable , hosts art shows in restaurant

Cons: not great food

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

OK - Edit

Pneumatic Diner's food is just ok. They are not very creative with their dishes and the food is not impressive. My husband loves their nachos though.

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

An alright diner - Edit

I was not impressed by the food. There is not much healthy cuisine on the menu except for maybe a salad. And there many exciting vegan options. I had the meatball sandwich, and the bread was white and not tasty. They put hummus and pesto on my sandwich. I loved the pesto, but they didn't put enough, and the hummus did not go well with the meatballs. The meatballs were pretty good though. I guess all of it together was not my favorite combination though. They use food that they can prepare as easily and little as possible. Thus, the food isn't high quality, and it's overpriced if you ask me.

Pros: friendly staff, fun atmosphere, breakfast all day!

Cons: low quality food, small, sketchy location

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

The Kitchen - Edit

I have been coming to the Pneumatic Diner since '91 and have finally broadened my dining options. I swear I didn't order anything but the All Star Burrito for 7 years! Then they introduced the Thebian Wrap and I was hooked once again - 5 years. I'm happy to report that I finally started eating more options from the menu and have allowed the cook to make suggestions and I am thrilled once again.
I love that I can make additions and substitutions and build myself the best possible meal.
My current favorite is the Vegan Bubba on Pita with Avocado. Or 1/2 order of the BVA on a bed of greens, no mushroom, no zucchini. Try the Grilled Slab Tacos with Avocado, good grief! so delicious. Love it! I used to order strictly the IVE for kicks but have now fallen for the Godzilla 666. Blended Frozen Espresso with not too much milk, I hate milk so I get a touch of soy.
When it's busy, my tip is to grab a menu, sit patiently in the hall, and Read it! jokes and helpful tidbits sprinkled throughout. Read the parts menu - you might find a new ingredient you can't live without. I was a die hard Cucumber Dill on a Basic Salad my entire life until I finally tasted the Lummox (a balsamic with carrots).
I call this place the kitchen because when I don't feel like cooking I can arrive solo, sit at the bar, order up my parts to make a dinner and take in the show!
The 3 man staff is buzzing around you to serve 7 tiny tables, it's just FUN here. The artwork changes monthly lately and I've been introduced to two 'new to me' artists I adore. Over the years I've seen the eb and flow and yeah, with a staff of 3, when you get a newbie - you order will take time, might look strange, not arrive as ordered, etc... but I must admit, I've never had a dish not taste utterly delicious. Don't like Microwaves? Tell them! They write NO WAVE on the ticket and Voila! Like a veggie dish but wish it was Vegan? Done! A circle and a V on the ticket and you are in good hands. It's not the best place for big parties (> 4) but they do their best to accommodate when they can. It blows my mind that a restaurant can be so flexible and accommodating but I guess that's how the Pneumatic Diner has lasted this long. That and because I keep coming back.

Pros: Fresh Organic, Fair Prices, Non Smoking

Cons: Not for big parties, Often busy/slow food, Hipster Central

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

LOVE EM - Edit

My friends and I love the Pneumatic Diner! Great food, drink, dessert, and atmosphere! My kids are not vegan, but they have eatin there with me and they love it too. They told me that they can't tell the difference and really enjoy the fizzy drinks!

1 Response
Read More

Jeffrey 03 Nov 2009 - Hi Brattt2, I found your review helpful. It is always a good sign when meat eaters hardly notice that they are eating vegan.  

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

it's the dope ish - Edit

nachos splotchos are the bomb...princess erin; the shit, good beers on tap, art on the walls is rad, if you aren't a douche the staff are sweeties

Pros: unique flavors, tastey flavors, flavoricious

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Leaves Much to be Desired - Edit

I admit: I live in San Francisco and I am completely spoiled by vegan food.

That being said: this It's not good. Sure, about 10% of the menu is "decent," but the other half is just sad. Not very much of the menu is vegan, either, and since this is one of the VERY few places to find such food in Reno.

I got a calzone. Let me make this clear: a calzone is NOT mushed up fake meatballs and sauce in a wheat tortilla wrap.

I got a shake. It was almost as watery as soymilk - although the taste was fantastic.

The boy got his "regular" (he lives there): a meatball sub. It was an open-faced sandwich that didn't look very appealing.

Also: what kinda joint that caters to vegans lacks simple basics (that are NOT hard to prepare); tofu scramble, for example.

Service was pretty shoddy, too, and we waited for about 45 minutes on a Saturday morning to eat here. There was no system, really, besides pure honesty by those waiting to be seated.

We had to wait forever for a glass of water. Eventually, we just got it ourself from the bar.

The joint is tiny and everything is cooked in the morning downstairs and then microwaved to order upstairs.

Sadly, this is the ONLY place of it's kind in Reno. If I lived here, I would probably (begrudgingly) be there frequently.

If you have no other options, by all means: go.

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Just okay - Edit

As a long-time vegan, I'm always up for supporting vegetarian restaurants. Have to say, though, that Pneumatic could do better. They have a lot of yummy-looking creations for vegetarians, but the vegan stuff is just not very tasty. And I always end up leaving there with some intestinal disturbances.

The ONLY time I've been completely 100% satisfied is during their raw nights -- their raw food is always very excellent and TASTY. But I do love the vibe there, which is very laid back. Service isn't overly friendly, but that's part of the charm. Food takes a long time to make. I hope Pneumatic will add more DELICIOUS vegan food to their menu -- it would be nice to be catered to that way since it's the only vegetarian restaurant in town now.

I think if there was another vegetarian restaurant in town, it might force them to make some needed changes to their vegan food, but as it is it's REALLY the only game in town. Except for Dandelion Deli, which I adore but which isn't completely vegetarian.

Pros: Delicious shakes, Great beer selection, Hip

Cons: Vegan food is not very flavorful, Not enough vegan selections

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

from a non-vegatarian - Edit

In case you have family or friends who are not "into" vegatarian foods...this is a review from a meatasaurus family. My family of 5, and once including my in-laws, have eaten here. It is a tiny place, so getting a table, or pushing 2 together for our family of 7, can be a challenge. We have just been lucky and never had to wait...but yes this place is cramped and you may have to wait for a table. But it is worth the wait! YUMMY food, even my daughters (ages 15,13,7) cleaned their veggy plates! We all order something different and pass plates around to sample...and we haven't found anything that we didn't like! And really good prices-I stopped at the cash register to ask if they were sure they had the total right! I thought they had forgotten to add something...
From a non-vegatarian: two thumbs UP!!

Pros: yummy food, good prices, feel-good food

Cons: lack of space

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Okay food, okay service - Edit

I came to the restaurant for late dinner with 5 friends. We were seated right away which was surprising considering how small the place was. Our drink orders were taken but not filled for another 15-20 minutes. We ordered an appetizer of chips and beany dip, a hummus dip that was flavorful when the drinks arrived. We then waited another 30 minutes for the dip. My entre was the slab tacos. Perhaps it was a bad choice? The tofu or "slab" looked like it had just come raw out of the package and been cut into strips. It was served with a pile of hard stale-ish corn chips.

Pros: Super cool location, Beautiful decor, Intimate

Cons: Very small, Appathetic service

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Dinner - Edit

Diner was very nice but I have just a couple of things to say about it in general. Very small sitting area so you may end up waiting around for awhile, service is usually very friendly but a little over worked as they forgot a portion of my order (the vegan chocolate shake, but maybe that was a good thing for me :) ) The positives are the portion size and price .... I had the raw special of the night which consisted of a squash type raw pasta with alfredo nut sauce, side salad, and small cup of soup. Everything was amazing and I walked away feeling full and content.

Pros: Portions, great value, variety

Cons: Hard to Find, Small, Wait time

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

favorite veg place in Reno - Edit

A nice, big menu of really, really tasty veg food -- many more options than you generally get. Great drinks and coffee too!

Pros: great selection, good prices, cool atmosphere

Cons: very few tables, occasional long waits

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Link to this page from your site. .
Return to Reno Vegetarian Restaurants & Health Food Store Listings
Business Owners, if you see an unfair review, read this.
Why was my review removed? - details / Review guidelines
Reviews are not endorsed by HappyCow - review terms
Has CLOSED: Pneumatic Diner closed, shut down, moved, or changed? Please use the Update Form.
This page has been viewed 8465 times.

Keep HappyCow Growing Strong!

I would like to support