Omaha is enjoying an explosion of great, locally-owned restaurants opening up. The food is creative and delicious. But it’s not always easy to know which Omaha restaurants are kid-friendly and which are not.
I’ve learned how to spot the restaurants that welcome families AND have good food. Here’s my list of the best Omaha restaurants for families, where you’ll find good food and a kid-friendly environment. I’ve asked a couple of friends who dine at far better places than I typically go to with kids, and they’ve added their recommendations to the list. Bon appetite!
Kid-friendly Omaha restaurants for breakfast
Where: 3824 Farnam St.
Why: What kid is going to resist the chance to order an Oreo donut or one topped with cereal? Not even a big kid. But, creative flavors aside, Bob’s Donuts is on this list because they also serve chicken sandwiches. For breakfast. I love them.
I may have my favorite donut shop elsewhere in Omaha, but Bob’s is great for my family because the kids can have their donuts, and I can force a little protein into them by having them split a chicken sammie, too.
FarmHouse Cafe & Bakery
Where: 3461 S. 84th St.
Why: This is my extended family’s go-to place for breakfast out with a large group. They also offer lunch and dinner, but breakfast is my jam there.
The variety of food is great (portions are ginormous) and there are usually coloring pages offered to occupy kids. Even with the large portions, you may want to order a pecan roll to split with the rest of the table.
The only downside to the restaurant is that on the weekends, there will likely be a wait. But, the good news is that FarmHouse is connected to Mangelsen’s, a craft shop that’s fun to explore while you wait. You’ve got to check out the Halloween and Christmas sections.
Where: 2419 Leavenworth St.
Why: 11-Worth Cafe is the quintessential greasy spoon on an unappealing street, yet, people love it. They’re doing something right. This is a good place for breakfast near the Old Market, where the service is quick, the food is good, and sometimes, your kid leaves with a balloon.
It’s also the last of the Caniglia-owned restaurants, which probably means something only to those who’ve lived in Omaha for decades. If you’re looking for healthy breakfast options, this isn’t going to be your place.
Omaha Restaurants with kid-friendly lunch and dinner options
Big Green Q & Ted & Wally’s
Where: 6023 Maple St.
Why: It’s no secret that I have an undying allegiance to Ted & Wally’s – they have the world’s best Dutch chocolate ice cream. If you venture to the ice cream shop’s Benson location, you’ll find Big Green Q sharing the building.
The barbecue place has a following from its food truck days. The food is pretty good, the kid’s meals are reasonable, and then you have to get ice cream for dessert, right? One thing that makes Big Green stand out is that its effort at sourcing ingredients locally AND everything is compostable. And the tots are good too.
Blatt Table + Beer
Where: 610 N. 12th St.; 2835 S. 170th Plaza; inside Westroads Mall at Flagship Commons, 10000 California St.
Why: Blatt is on just about every restaurant list I make. The food is just that good, plus they have a great craft beer selection. But, for the purpose of this post, I’ve been a fan of the restaurant since my early parenting days when I discovered the original NoDo location had a changing table in the bathroom. The kid’s menu offers substantial servings, similar to what adults can order.
Related post: Looking for more downtown Omaha restaurants that are kid-friendly? Check out this list of 8 Great Downtown Omaha Restaurants For Families.
Where: 5352 S. 72nd St., Ralston, Neb.
Why: So one of my friends is Korean and I trust her taste in food, so if she says a Korean restaurant is good, I’m going to believe it. And, knowing she’ll take her three kids there means it has a spot on this list. And as a bonus, Korean Garden has tabletop grilling there. My kids will eat anything if they’re allowed to cook it themselves.
Where: 4422 Cass St.
Why: If you have adventurous eaters, head to Lalibela. It’s an Ethiopian restaurant where traditionally, you eat from shared plates (and you eat with your hands).
If you’ve never experienced it, basically, you’ve got injera, the bread, and you tear off a piece and scoop up the food. Some kids are going to love it (mine did not). The food is fantastic and the service is prompt.
Louie M’s Burger Lust
Where: 1718 Vinton St.
Why: This is a meat eaters’s kind of place, where you’ll find more creative burger options than you thought possible. The real reason we go here, though, is that it’s one of the closest restaurants to Omaha’s zoo. There are closer restaurants, but the food at Louie M’s is better.
It’s not a big place, so you might have a wait. The kid’s menu has some activities on it to help pass the time.
Where: 5021 Underwood Ave.; 17808 Burke St.
Why: Handmade dough and a great Happy Hour? Pitch doesn’t quite sound like a family-friendly place. But it is. I always see kids there, because…pizza. Now this is the type of pizza my kids balk at – it’s what my kids call “Fancy Pizza.” I like it very much, but it’s not your chain restaurant type of pizza.
Related post: Pitch made it onto this list, Where To Find The Best Pizza In Omaha.
Plank Seafood Provisions
Where: 1205 Howard St.
Why: This is one of the few Old Market restaurants where you can get good fish entree, and as a bonus to parents, there’s a kid’s menu. Kid’s meals at Plank come with a little bag of goodies, including tattoos.
Where: 1911 Leavenworth St.; 16901 Wright Plaza; 1218 S. 119th St.
Why: Like Plank Seafood Provisions, Shuck’s is a fish lover’s destination. It’s preferred by my family to Plank (for the price, it can’t be beat).
Tables typically have brown paper on them, making it ideal for kids and adults to color and play tic-tac-toe while you wait. If you go during Lent, expect a wait on Fridays.
Upstream Brewing Co.
Where: 514 S. 11th St.
Why: Rare is a brewpub that welcomes families, but Upstream Brewing Co. is a good one. Kids get little bendy sticks to play with while you wait. If you visit on Tuesday nights, you may encounter Joe Cole, a roving magician who’s highly entertaining.
Kid’s portions are large and they come with a choice of vanilla ice cream or a root beer float for dessert. And, for adults, the standard beer Upstream brews is superb and they have a few seasonal ones that can be pretty creative flavors.
Where: 1109 Howard St., 7834 Dodge St., 12997 West Center Road, and 18110 Wright St.
Why: Zio’s is a favorite of my family’s (but not of mine). However, it’s one of the few places that I know of that you can ask for a ball of dough and they’ll bring it to you. When my kids were younger, this was better than Play-Do to them.
There is a kid’s menu, but we usually order pizza by the slice. The Old Market location on Howard Street is convenient to most tourists visiting Omaha, but if you ask me, the Dodge Street location has better pizza.
Restaurants to go to on off-hours in Omaha
The following are restaurants that aren’t going to snub you if you bring well-behaved kids, but they’re in this category because they may either be typical “date night” places or they’re just a little fancier than the run-of-the-mill family restaurants. Don’t overlook them, just know that the dining experience is a little more formal.
Where: 5013 Underwood Ave.
Why: I’m going to take my foodie friends at the word for Avoli being family-friendly (at off-hours) because I’ve been saving it up for a special date night occasion and haven’t been. I’ve heard it’s “impress-your-date” good.
But my friends have brought their kiddos to this Dundee staple to enjoy the northern Italian cuisine, so at least one family has pulled it off.
Where: 4920 Underwood Ave.
Why: While I have’t brought my kids here–yet–the thought has crossed my mind to do so. (I have gone for date nights and it’s fantastically casual and yet romantic).
Featuring fine Belgian cuisine and the best fries in Omaha, Dario’s a remarkable restaurant that reminds me of charming European cafes I visited in my 20s.
My friends and their kids have gone during quiet hours and can vouch that it’s suitable for families. And, by the way, this place has one of the best beer selection in Omaha, if you love Belgian stuff.
Where: 422 S 11th St.
Why: Introduce your kiddos to an Omaha institution. M’s has had quite a history, being one of the first restaurants to open in the Old Market after it was revitalized decades ago, only to suffer a terrible fire that nearly ended its run. It’s a beloved restaurant by many, and I’ve been there for date nights (pre-fire).
It’s a rather small place, so go during off-hours if you don’t have a reservation.
Where: 1108 S. 10th St.
Why: Via Farina serves wood-fired pizza in an impeccably designed space. If you’re the Instagramming kind of person, you’ll feel at home. I love it for hanging out with friends before a show at the Bluebarn Theatre.
I wouldn’t have thought of it as a place to bring my kids since they usually snub yummy wood-fire pizza, but my friends have brought their kiddos. The pizza here has more adventurous ingredients (by my kids’ standards).
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