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A website about recipes and family, by Jamie Gates.

Omaha Eats

As many of you know I live in Omaha. I love this city for so many reasons one of them being the diverse restaurants and groceries stores. Recently I got asked “what should I do while in Omaha” which quickly evolved into a conversation about “where you should eat while in Omaha”. Over the years I have gotten several emails/comments/Facebook messages asking “where should I eat in Omaha.” My friend said I should do a post about places to eat while in Omaha and I thought to myself “Of course! I can’t believe I haven’t thought of that before!”

There are so many restaurants in Omaha, I am certain I could eat at a different place everyday for a year and still not have eaten at them all. I do dine out occasionally but not nearly enough to create a good list so I have asked my hungry friends to chip in with their restaurant recommendations.

I hope to add to the list often so keep checking back! The restaurants listed are going to be (to the best of my knowledge) restaurants you won’t find in every other city. After all, if you are visiting a city shouldn’t the goal be to eat somewhere new? I mean there are thousands of Applebee’s, Cheesecake Factories, and Famous Dave’s across the country and I pretty sure the menu would be the same, the crap up on the walls may be totally regional though. So if you are visiting Omaha I encourage you to live a little and step out of the *Old Market bubble. Check out our other great neighborhoods including BensonDundeeMidtown, and Aksarben.

I have tried to categorize them and provide links to their websites. So grab your GPS and get ready to drive beyond the Old Market (for the most part).

Uncinch your belt and get ready to eat!

Barbecue
Hartland Bar-B-Que -EVERYTHING here is awesome!

Bar & Grille
Mantra -Delicious brunch too
Jams -Located right on Dodge their burgers are so juicy and delicious
Stella’s -Some of the best burgers ever! Located in Bellevue but totally worth the short drive!

Breakfast/Brunch
Summer Kitchen Cafe  -I have never been disappointed with my order here
The Farmhouse  -Great pancakes
Wheatfields  -GIANT cinnamon rolls -need I say more?
Dixie Quicks -moved across the river to Council Bluffs but totally worth the short drive. Make a reservation!
Lisa’s Radial Cafe -a classic American style diner Chicken Fried Steak and Eggs for the win
11-Worth Cafe -I heard they have the best sausage gravy ever

Cafe
Dario’s Brasserie -Located in Dundee. An informal French Cafe
M’s Pub -Located in the Old Market (currently closed due to a fire). Black bean cakes, Thai Chicken Lavosh, and Chocolate Torte come recommended.

Chinese Food
Canton House -they offer the best dim sum. It takes awhile but worth the wait!
Golden Palace -this is now our go-to

Cupcakes
Jones Bros. Cupcakes -2 locations. These guys know cupcakes. Food Network Cupcakes Wars winners. Also has a cafe attached. They offer a cupcake of the day for FREE. Also provide a few daily selections of GLUTEN FREE cupcakes.

Deli
Star Deli -Two locations. Great sandwiches. I recommend the peach & pork with bacon jam. Mmm!

Diner
B&G Tasty Foods -Home of the Loose Meat sandwich and delicious Frenchee’s.
Bronco’s -An Omaha staple. Been around for 50+ years. Some amazing burgers and fries served here.

Donuts
Lamar’s -way out west but worth the drive for some of the consistently good donuts
Olsen Bake Shop -good donuts for cheap and located downtown
Pettit’s Pastry -great local donuts with five locations across the metro. Apple fritter is my favorite

Farm-to-Table
The Grey Plume -Located in Midtown. A fancier restaurant with an ever changing menu. Ingredients come from many local farmers.
The Boiler Room -Located near the Old Market. Menu changes frequently with the seasons. Many of the ingredients come from our great local farmers
Kitchen Table -their motto is slow food fast. Hop over to their Instagram to see daily drool worthy menu items

Fried Chicken
Time Out Foods -their claim to be Omaha’s best fried chicken is true! So good!

Greek
Greek Islands  –warning the website plays music 

Indian
Jaipur -Indian food and brewery. I know the spinach dip stuffed naan isn’t very Indian but damn is it good.
Kurry Xpress -Don’t judge them on their spelling, the food is good.
Mother India -Limited seating here. Perfect for carry out or sitting on a picnic table outside.

Ice Cream
Ted & Wally’s -They have expanded outside of the Old Market and now have a location in Benson. As far as ice cream goes you won’t find better in town. They have a constant new flavors throughout the week, sometimes throughout the day. And their vegan ice cream is always tops!

Italian
Nicola’s -Old Market favorite
Salt 88 -great Italian flare I have heard great things about the cotton candy for dessert from everyone that mentions this restaurant

Mexican
Abelardo’s -Good Mexican food fast. Taco John’s or Taco Bell can’t hold a candle to these guys. Have locations in other states as well. Their breakfast burritos and tortas are muy bueno! Plus open 24/7
California Taco -Tacos of course! Also seen on Dinners, Drive-Ins, and Dives
Cilantros -Two locations. The Cilantro Special Fajitas are my favorite

Microbrewery
Nebraska Brewing Company -Located in Papillion which is practically Omaha.
Upstream Brewing Company -I really liked the Smoked Gouda & Ale Soup, other recommendations pork schnitzle
Infusion Brewery -Vanilla Bean Blonde is my current jam

Pizza and Wings
Oscar’s Pizza and Sports Grill -Get the wings! And get them char-buffed and double dipped you won’t regret it. The pizza is secondary to the wings.
Pitch Pizzeria -Located in Dundee. Coal fire pizza. Get the roasted brussels sprouts appetizer. Bianca Verde and Marsala pizzas are wonderful. It is also said Pitch has some of the best quality filet in town.
GLUTEN FREE: Bring in your own gluten free crust and they will make your pizza on it
Frank’s Pizzaria -Located in the Linden Market off 132/West Dodge Road. This is my current favorite pizza in Omaha. This family started cranking out pizzas in New York City and brought their secrets to Omaha. Try the Margherita pizza. The thin crispy crust is perfect.
Dante Pizzeria -Wood fire pizza. It is awesome! They use some local ingredients.
Pudgy’s Pizza -Chicago style pizza in West Omaha. I’m told it is totally worth the drive and most of it is interstate.
Spin Pizza -In Papillion but worth the drive! The perfect thin and chewy crust and fresh toppings. AMAZING salads (the Caesar was the best I’ve ever had!) and thick and creamy gelato round out the best dining experience. GLUTEN FREE: great tasting gluten free crust option too!
Pizzaria Davlo -Chicago style deep dish. Get the Der Bamgerg. They offer a thin crust gluten free pizza which is one of the best gluten free crusts I’ve had

Pub Fare
Crescent Moon –Home of the Reuben. If you also like beer this is the place for you. Nicknamed Beer Corner USA (an alehouse, a bar, a tavern, and a craft beer store) with 60+ beers on tap. It is just off Dodge on 36 & Farnam St.
Blatt Beer & Table -A newer restaurant located downtown near TD Ameritrade Stadium. Burgers + Beer = YUM!
Benson Brewery -tons of great beers + pub food

Seafood
Plank -Oyster bar and seafood restaurant in the heart of cow country. A Good happy hour too
Shuck’s Fish House and Oyster Bar -another wonderful oyster/seafood option
Taita -sushi and seafood in the adorable Benson neighborhood

Steak**
The Drover -Known for their Whiskey Steaks. Make sure you make a reservation.
Omaha Prime -Located Downtown and serving only USDA Prime Steaks.

Sushi
Blue Sushi -They have three locations including one in the Old Market. So good I get hardcore cravings! Plus they have a great $10 lunch special. Offers a great reverse happy hour
Hiro 88 -2 Omaha locations

Thai
Thai Spice -Great and affordable lunch. Yellow curry and pad thai come recommended.
Bangkok Cuisine -Near the Old Market
Laos Thai Market -Some of the best Thai food in the city. Bring cash! Service is a little slow but worth the wait!
Mai Thai -Two locations in the city

Tapas
Espana -Located in Benson. I’ve never had a bad dish here. Everything is wonderful. warning website plays music

Vegan/Vegetarian Friendly
Modern Love -“Swanky vegan comfort food in Omaha” opened by vegan goddess Isa Chandra Moskowitz Mac & Shews are they local fave

Vietnamese
Saigon Surface -This is located downtown and comes highly recommended. Try the pork bahn mi and the combo chicken/pork vermicelli bowl.

Wine Bar and Food
Lot 2  -Located in Benson. They serve many items from local farmers. Make sure to have a reservation
Block 16 -Farm to table street food –what’s not to love?

Grocery Stores
Jacobo’s -Mexican Grocer, the best fresh salsas, tamales, enchiladas, and refried beans at the deli counter. Bring cash!
Asian Market -so many varieties of rice, noodles, soy sauce, etc. It is an experience.

 

Something for everyone
Are you with a group and people just can’t decide what they want? Then you NEED to head on over to Westroads Mall. The mall, you say?! YES! Westroads Mall is home to Flagship Commons, An Uncommon Food Hall. You can find a coffee shop, a bar, pizza, burgers, falafel, tacos, giant salads, ramen, and sushi all under one roof. It certainly is a MUST if you’re in town.

 

If you have an Omaha favorite that is a local restaurant and want it added let me know! Leave a comment below or email me at jamie(at)thekitchenarium.com

*There are a lot of really great restaurants in the Old Market so I’m not knocking it. It just seems that most visitors to Omaha are familiar with the Old Market area and need to explore the other wonderful restaurants our city has to offer

**A friend of ours has started an informal Steak Quest looking for the best steak in Omaha.  Here is a document  with the questers ratings and comments.

I recently wrote up about a few of my favorite Old Market restaurants. Check that post out here.