August 27, 2013

Kid-Friendly Breakfast Spots In Omaha

Updated July 30, 2015

A friend of mine recently asked me for some breakfast and brunch places in Omaha that are healthy, possibly featuring organic foods, and most importantly, kid-friendly. Perhaps you caught that Facebook exchange and offered some ideas (thank you, friends!). That question spurred this post.

Here are the suggestions that came from that post, as well as some of my family’s favorites. I’ll admit, we mainly frequent breakfast spots that offer heaping pancakes because of this kid.

Farley is in heaven. A pancake bigger than his head, courtesy of Leo's Diner in Benson.

Farley is in heaven. A pancake bigger than his head at Leo’s Diner in Benson.

Breakfast and brunch picks in Omaha

Healthy or Organic

Hey, Mom! I left a Mother's Day present for you in my diaper! Good luck changing it.

Hey, Mom! I left a Mother’s Day present for you in my diaper! Good luck changing it.

Whole Foods Omaha (opens at 8 a.m.) – Where best to find organic fresh fruit than a grocery store known for it? The dining area is near the deli and various salad bars (and important to me, very near the coffee stand), and it has a small kids table with some pretend food to keep your little one entertained while you finish your meal. Warning: The baked goods will be more tempting than the colorful fruit.

Jason’s Deli: We love this place for dinner, but you can get here around brunch time and enjoy their offerings. I love the salad bar, as well as many of their vegetarian offerings; the kids dig the mac n cheese, surprise surprise. Want to know more about its healthy and organic offerings? Check out the Food Babe’s investigation, who pointed out that they are the first major restaurant chain to eliminate transfat and high fructose corn syrup, and about 20% of Jason’s Deli menu is organic (plus they also do not use any artificial colors).

We try to offer the kids healthy food options while we're eating out, but Mooch still wanted half her brother's mac n cheese at Jason's Deli. The nickname suits her well.

We try to offer the kids healthy food options while we’re eating out, but Mooch still wanted half her brother’s mac n cheese at Jason’s Deli. The nickname suits her well.

McFosters Natural Kind Cafe (opens at 11 a.m. most days, 10 a.m. on Sundays) – Check out their menu to see what this veg-friendly places offers. Kid’s entrees include organic gluten-free blueberry pancakes and an interesting toasted sandwich concoction with peanut and cashew butters, apples, bananas, dates and raisins. Warning: I learned the hard way, this restaurant does not have a good place to change diapers. I’ve dealt with using the floor, but the bathroom is too tiny for even that. Update July 30, 2015: CLOSED

Blue Planet Natural Grill (opens at 10:30 a.m.) – This place is on the lunch side of brunch. I wouldn’t go so far as to describe the kids options as healthy, but it is one of the rare places with veggie nuggets. Better to order a la carte and get some sort of combo like the homemade hummus and pita chips with fruit cup or edamame and sweet potato fries.  Update Aug. 5, 2014: CLOSED

Good But Not Always Good For You

Here are some of my family’s favorite places for breakfast (we get up way too early to wait until brunch):

Bailey’s (opens at 7 a.m. daily) – There is an abundance of temptations on the menu. Their claim to fame is the egg benedict (six to choose from). You can still customize your order for a more nutritious meal if you want.

Leo’s Diner (opens at 6 a.m. most days, 7 a.m. on Sundays) – This Benson staple is in no way going to give you health food – check out the well-known “islands” served there. If that’s how you like it, definitely visit this diner. The staff is friendly, the pancakes are my son’s favorite and Rotella bread they serve with breakfast is mighty tasty.

It's starting to a become a tradition that we celebrate Farley's birthday with pancakes somewhere. For his third birthday, the little guy blew out candles at Lisa's Radial Cafe.

It’s starting to a become a tradition that we celebrate Farley’s birthday with pancakes somewhere. For his third birthday, the little guy blew out candles at Lisa’s Radial Cafe.

Lisa’s Radial Cafe (open 6 a.m. M-F, 7 a.m. Saturday and Sunday) – A midtown staple where you can expect to wait on the weekends. Expect huge portions for not much money. Seating leaves little room in the aisle, so chasing speedy little ones can be tough. Also, no changing table (I keep learning these lessons the hard way).

Dixie Quicks (open 11 a.m. Tuesday through Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 9 a.m.) – You’ll have to head over to Council Bluffs for this one, but the food is worth it. I’m a fan of the Dixie Scramble, but check out their ever-changing chalkboard menu first. I’ve never been disappointed. It’s one of the few on this list without a kids menu or kids option, but we’ve brought kids here before, so I’ve included it. Make a reservation.

Update:

Since this was posted a year ago, we’ve gotten some new restaurants in town, and readers have offered some old standbys that didn’t make the first list. Here are some additions to our list:

Over Easy (open 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily; drive-thru opens at 6 a.m.) – I knew I had to go to this West O eatery as soon as I read about their homemade Nutella poptarts. Turns out the strawberry poptarts are just as tasty. The kids weren’t thrilled with their creative takes on old standbys like pancakes and oatmeal, but I enjoyed my meal. I’d go for the poptarts alone. And the atmosphere is charming.

Le Peep (open 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily ) – A lovely national chain restaurant with three locations in Omaha, Le Peep was also recommended by Katie at Yellow Mango Life long ago and I just now got around to adding it (sorry!). I love the fresh fruit included in a lot of the meals. Their site said they were voted best for breakfast in Omaha, so how ’bout that?

Farmhouse Café (open daily, Mondays through Saturdays, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sundays, 6 a.m. to 3 p.m.) – When my mom gets to pick a breakfast spot for the whole family to meet at, quite often, Farmhouse is suggested. They can handle our large group, plus they offer delicious (and huge) portions. Sweet tooth? Try the pecan roll. Reader Erica reminded me via Facebook of this spot that I neglected to include earlier.

Petrows (Mondays through Thursdays, 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays, 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; closed on Sunday) – Petrows has been around for more than 50 years and yet somehow, I haven’t had breakfast there yet (my guess is I keep trying to go on Sundays). Reader Susi recommended this spot on Facebook recently.

First Watch (daily, 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.) – We’ve been to this new-to-Omaha chain restaurant several times since this list was first published. Creative food, healthy options and kid-friendly staff make this a favorite with my family and in-laws. Alissa over at Planet of the Apels recommended adding this to the list, and I wholeheartedly agree it’s a great spot for families.

Vidlaks Brookside Café was reader Missy’s suggestion on Facebook.  It’s one I haven’t been to, but I’m familiar with. It’s highly ranked on foodie sites like Yelp and Urbanspoon, so there you go. Hours not posted on their site.

11worth Café (daily, 6 a.m. to 3 p.m.) reader Erica suggested 11worth Café and it totally brought me back to my 20s. Ah, now this place is an Omaha staple with a lot of character. Kids will not tire of taking in the scenery here.

Kitchen Table (Sunday brunch, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) was suggested by reader Katie, who recommended it for its locally-sourced ingredients and kid-friendly items on the menu. Check it out here. I was all set to go here with my parents and kids one morning when my mom had a change of heart. We’ll make it there one of these days!

Your turn now! What is your favorite Omaha breakfast spot for kids?

Comments

  1. I have to add Le Peep to this list….have never been disappointed with their food and the servers are always ooh’ing and ahh’ing over Cruz which makes him feel like a king, while letting mama and dada get a few moments to eat using both hands instead of grabbing crayons from being shoved up his nose!

  2. I like Dixie Quicks! It’s cool there is a gallery right next door. I love the design of the place as well. Dave Nelson at Secret Penguin and his crew did a great job on the place.

    Any more I can take my boys pretty much anywhere. I get the boys 1 adult meal, and split it up. The adult meals are sometime healthier than the kids meals. Less fries, and more veggies.

    • Yay! A fellow Dixie Quicks fan! The gallery is a great place to wander through while you’re waiting for your meal to arrive, isn’t?!

  3. Anne DeVries says:

    Can’t WAIT to make the rounds!! Since I edit everything (even did a menu once at the manager’s suggestion), it’s “your” turn, not “you’re”. :-/ Love the blog, looking forward to checking out more if it.

    • Thanks! Hope you find some more interesting thing to read here! And I’m with you, always editing things in my head, but I never seem to see my own mistakes. Good catch.

  4. Dixie quicks and duggers cafe are our favorites! We especially like that duggers cafe has gluten free pancakes and gluten free French toast!

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