Omaha is a city that loves food. There are a lot of great, locally-owned restaurants producing creative dishes. If you’re short on time and wondering what the best restaurants in Omaha are, you’re in luck. I’ve already sought out the answer.
Note: This post was first published in January 2018 and was updated in February 2020 to reflect closings and address changes. If you see an error, please comment or email me.
I can’t tell you what’s my favorite restaurant in Omaha is, because it’s like picking a favorite child. Can’t be done. So, here are my favorites, the ones I’d tell you are the best of the best.
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Best Omaha restaurants for breakfast
Want the trendy breakfast or brunch spot? You’re going to want to go to the Saddle Creek Breakfast Club in the Dundee neighborhood or Early Bird in Blackstone. Just want a good donut? The best are at Olsen Bake Shop, not too far north of Omaha’s zoo. There are quite a few donuts shops I’d recommend, though, so read my Omaha donuts post if you want to visit a few to compare (call it research).
Update: Saddle Creek Breakfast Club is closed for the month of February 2020. The owner promises to re-open in March.
For even more breakfast ideas, read 19+ Best Places To Get Breakfast In Omaha.
Best Omaha restaurants for lunch & dinner
For a bit more casual, pub or gastro-pub options, I’m partial to Crescent Moon near the Blackstone and Blatt Bar + Table (there are several locations, I like the original near TD Ameritrade Park). Side note: The Crescent Moon also has a fun German bar downstairs and a Belgian bar off the main room.
If you’re dining with kids, Blatt would be my go-to pick on this list. If your family is staying downtown, you’ll want to read 8 Great Kid-Friendly Restaurants In Downtown Omaha.
Best ice cream in Omaha
I can’t make an Omaha restaurant list without including ice cream. It’s big here. The three heavy hitters in Omaha are Ted and Wally’s (with Old Market and Benson locations), Coneflower Creamery in Blackstone and eCreamery in Dundee. Coneflower will almost always have a wait, so I tend to stick with Ted and Wally’s. Little tip about Ted and Wally’s: The Benson location never has a line quite like the Old Market location. If you want more ideas, read 8 Great Ice Cream Shops In Omaha.
Tip: There’s a great book out called “Unique Eats and Eateries of Omaha,” and it includes many of these top restaurants!
Top readers’ favorite restaurants
Oh My! Omaha Facebook page followers are pretty opinionated about food and loyal to local restaurants. So, I decided to find out what everyone’s must-try restaurant is in Omaha. I’ve included some Omaha bloggers who have some great recommendations, too. See the original Facebook post here!
Au Courant Regional Kitchen, Benson
Recommended by Jordan B. and Adam P.
It took me a few years to first visit this Benson neighborhood hot spot. It’s a great date night spot, especially the tasting menu.
Block 16, downtown Omaha
Our Next Adventure recommends the block burger and duck duck goose fries. There’s a reason why there’s nearly always a line at Block 16. It’s that good. I’m partial to the Croque Carcon burger, and not just because Alton Brown deemed it one of the best in the world (though, I do feel like his opinion means something).
I do love the restaurant, but I rarely go because of the wait.
Related post: Want to try all of Omaha’s best burgers? There’s a post for that.
Dante Pizzeria Napoletana, West Omaha
“I have a lifelong love of Italy and a meal at Dante really does feel like a meal in Campagna. The pizza is amazing, of course, but what I love even better are Chef Nick Strawhecker’s inventive entrées. Nearly all the food is locally produced, but with authentic Italian preparation, the wine all comes from sustainable vineyards and the service is top-tier. I bring everyone who visits me in Omaha to Dante and they all love it as much as I do.” Jenna G., who wrote about the restaurant on her blog, The Beaspora
Yep, I’m not the only one who like Dante. Jenna says it much more eloquently than I can, but I concur with her. Dante is the real deal.
Dinker’s Bar & Grill, downtown Omaha
“Dinker’s is the best!” – Katie T.
I’ve visited my share of burger places around Omaha to figure out who has the best. I haven’t settled on a verdict, yet, but Dinker’s is right up there. It’s a bit of a hole in the wall, but don’t be scared off by the exterior. It’s popular, been around for more than 50 years, and will likely to be very busy when you go.
The Grey Plume, Midtown Crossing
“I always recommend The Grey Plume.” Rebecca H.
“Be sure to order the duck fat fries for an appetizer!” – Patty N.
I’m not the only one who recommends this restaurant – I’ve got readers who stand by it. The Grey Plume is inventive and has one of the most celebrated chefs in Omaha. This one’s better without the kids, if it wasn’t obvious.
La Casa Pizzaria, Midtown (original location) and West Omaha
“For pizza, La Casa.” – Marlys N.
Marlys and I have similar tastes, apparently. La Casa is my all-time favorite pizza in Omaha. The crust. The crust is unforgettable. It’s thin, for sure, so if you don’t like that kind of pizza, don’t go to La Casa. Look at this list for other great pizza joints in Omaha.
Lo Sole Mio Ristorante, downtown Omaha
Recommended by Christina S. and Brian A.
Come hungry. The portions are huge at this wonderful Italian restaurant. My family has been going here for years.
Mangia Italiana, northwest Omaha
This summer, I held a months-long March Madness-style tournament to figure out the best pizzeria in the Omaha metro area. The winner? Mangia. Mangia Italiana beat out 31 other pizzerias to be named the best. See the brackets and who won each round in this post.
Modern Love, Midtown Crossing
Suggested by Jennifer K.
Omaha has become known for its steaks, but we do venture away from meat from time to time. Modern Love is a vegan restaurant that is top notch, and will impress even the biggest meat eater in your group. It’s seasonally-based, so I’m not sure which dish to recommend (I was impressed with the mac and cheese).
M’s Pub, Old Market
Becky W. suggested trying the Thai lavosh, lamb burger or the brie en croute. M’s is also recommended by Diane T. and So Yun G.
M’s Pub is the Old Market darling that suffered a terrible fire, was closed for ages, and is now back open and, from the reviews, as good as ever. I haven’t been back since the fire, but it was a gem before it, so I trust the reviews.
Nicola’s Italian Wine & Fare, Old Market
Recommended by Carrie M.
I’m pretty partial to this tiny Italian restaurant on the edge of the Old Market. The food is so fresh and so good. Reservations are a must, and if the weather is nice, sit out on the patio.
Be sure to download the app Together A Great Good so you can do good while dining out! Some of these restaurants will donate a percentage of your bill to the charity of your choice. Restaurants on this page that contribute include: Au Courant, Block 16, Hiro 88, J. Coco, Railcar Modern American Kitchen, and V. Mertz.
More recommended Omaha restaurants
Want more restaurant suggestions? Some of the recommendations from readers aren’t necessarily my favorite restaurants in Omaha, but I figure, my tastes aren’t for everyone. So, here’s are more restaurants locals suggest you try:
Anthony’s Steakhouse, South Central Omaha
Recommended by Kathy B.
There are a couple old school Omaha steakhouses on this list, and Anthony’s may be the most recognizable on the exterior because of the giant steer on the rooftop. I’ll be honest, it’s not my favorite of the old school steakhouses, but it’s been around for decades, and it has its fans.
Related post: Where to get the best steaks in Omaha
Brother Sebastian’s Steak House & Winery, West Omaha
Recommended by Steven W.
This is another great old school restaurant in Omaha, though unlike the others on this list, I can say I’ve been here. It looks and feels like a monastery inside, and the wine list is superb. It’s a memorable restaurant to celebrate a special occasion.
Cascio’s Steakhouse, downtown Omaha
“Cascio’s, for one of the last remaining ‘Omaha Italian Steakhouse’ experiences.” – Mark W.
I’ve been on a kick visiting some of Omaha’s oldest restaurants, and Cascio’s is on my list to visit. I’ll be honest with you all, I have not had the best experiences at our venerable Italian steakhouses, but they are still open for a reason.
Cilantros Mexican Bar & Grill, West Omaha
“Cilantro’s – specifically the tomatillo cream sauce chicken enchiladas.” – Abby K.
Cilantros surprised me – I thought it was chain, but it’s not. It’s just more polished than your average local joint. Anyway, I’ve been there. The food is better than average.
The Drover Restaurant & Lounge, Midtown
Recommended by Taylor S.
The Drover is another classic Omaha steakhouse that I have yet to visit. It’s on my list (and actually, at the top of my list). Please note: The restaurant is temporarily closed due to a fire. Owners have stated it will re-open in mid-2019 but as of June 8, it has not re-opened.
Early Bird, Blackstone
“For brunch – Early Bird brunch! Soooo gooood and different!” – Kaila W.
Early Bird has its fans, which is why it’s also on this locals’ recommended list. Early Bird is one of the newest restaurants to open in the trendy Blackstone District. It’s a fun (and Instagrammable) restaurant, but expect a wait.
Golden Bowl Chinese Restaurant
Where: 513 Fort Crook Road N, Bellevue, Neb,
Recommended by Nichole M.
I’ll be honest, I haven’t been to this Chinese restaurant. However, I have a foodie friend, Danell, and he is always eating there (here’s his review), so I’ve got to assume it’s pretty good.
Hiro 88, Old Market and West Omaha
Recommended by Sarah G.
Hiro 88 doesn’t disappoint with its sushi. Time it to coincide with Happy Hour, and you’ll have a happier wallet, too.
Ika Ramen and Izakaya, Benson
Recommended by Katrina L.
This is a newer dining spot in Benson that I haven’t made it to yet, but I’ve heard nothing but good things about it.
J. Coco, Midtown
Recommended by Allyson H.
I ventured to J.Coco during Restaurant Week one year and enjoyed the dinner tremendously. This is a good date night spot.
Netties Fine Mexican Food, Bellevue
Recommended by Marcy S.
I’m not too familiar with Nettie’s but word on the street, it’s great Mexican food in Bellevue.
Related post: Where To Find The Best Mexican Restaurants In Omaha
Railcar Modern American Kitchen, West Omaha
Recommended by Lauri C.
This was a nice date night for me and Mr. Wonderful a few years ago. I wish I had a better memory to tell you what order.
Runza, various locations
Recommended by Mallory B.
Though technically a chain fast food restaurant, Runza has its roots here in Nebraska. When you go, just order a Runza sandwich. You won’t find it anywhere else in the world.
Stokes, Old Market and West Omaha
Recommended by Kristi M.
Stokes (the Old Market location on Howard Street) is pretty great. Try Sharon’s enchiladas if you go. Delish!
This post was first published in January 2018 and was updated 2019 to reflect closings and address changes.
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