One night, while playing a hand of poker at the Blackstone Hotel, Reuben Kulakofsky told a waiter he desired something new for dinner. Back in the kitchen, a chef searched for the ingredients to create a dish the Omaha businessman would approve. He cooked some corned beef, adding sauerkraut, and a unique dressing between two slices of toast. Thus, was born the Reuben sandwich. While New York delis may lay claim to its invention, Omahans are comfortable claiming the invention.
Since Omaha is the home of the Reuben, it begs the question of where is the best Reuben in Omaha? Fans of the sandwich are pretty loyal in their support. For years, Crescent Moon, located across the street from the Blackstone Hotel – now known as the Cottonwood Hotel – was the hands-down winner. Is the Moon still the champ? Or, have other restaurants surpassed the legend? It’s time for a look at the best Reubens in Omaha. Here’s a menu of some of the best Reubens across the Metro area.
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Where: 3578 Farnam St. (Midtown Omaha)
Long considered the best Reuben in Omaha, Crescent Moon’s Reuben Melt is a delicious sandwich, with corned beef, sauerkraut, and Swiss cheese, topped with Thousand Island sauce and shared between two slices of grilled marble rye bread.
Ordering its corned beef through Omaha Steaks, Crescent Moon sources locally. The combination of flavors, based on the original Reuben invented across the street, practically create a party with your taste buds. And, if you’re in the mood for more Reubenliciousness, order the Reuben egg rolls as an appetizer, with a side of Thousand Island dip.
Want to enjoy more Reuben flavors at Crescent Moon? You’re in luck, as the restaurant, along with its beer side of the house – Beer Corners USA – hosts Reubenfest in early November, a weeklong exploration of once-in-a lifetime (or once a year) tasty Reuben-based menu options, such as Reuben soup.
Goldbergs in Dundee
Where: 5008 Dodge St. (Dundee neighborhood)
Whether you’re in the mood for a traditional Reuben sandwich or a twist on the Omaha legend, Goldbergs in Dundee can help you out with that. The traditional Reuben, made with corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, Thousand Island dressing on rye bread, is the perfect deli food. Add a cup of hot soup and you have the makings for an impressive Midwest meal.
However, if you’re looking for a unique spin on the sandwich, try the Montana Reuben. Oven-roasted turkey, creamy coleslaw, and Swiss cheese on rye bread offer taste buds a new dining experience.
The Committee Chophouse
Where: 302 S. 36th St. (Blackstone District)
When you’re located at the very spot where the sandwich was created, you better be worthy of being mentioned in the same breath as the original Reuben. The Blackstone Reuben scores as one of the outstanding Reubens in Omaha.
Served as an option on the lunch menu at The Committee Chophouse in the Cottonwood Hotel – the former Blackstone Hotel – the Blackstone Reuben features corned beef, gruyere cheese, sauerkraut, Thousand Island dressing, and a splash of spicy mustard on pumpernickel rye. The ingredients combine to create a taste that challenges to be the best Reuben in Omaha.
Where: 6059 Maple St. (Benson neighborhood)
Situated among the art galleries, vintage secondhand stores, and clubs and bars, the Benson Brewery may be home to the best Reuben in Omaha. The Smoked Reuben offers a unique twist on the Omaha standard by adding white cheddar cheese and spicy Thousand Island dressing to the corned beef and sauerkraut on marble rye. Enjoy a side of freshly cut fries and a beverage of your choice with the meal.
Afterwards, adventure out among the murals located around the neighborhood for another unique experience.
Where: 2121 S. 73rd St. (near Aksarben Village)
Replacing corned beef with shaved prime rib, The Drover provides a cowpoke take on the Reuben. Along with the Thousand Island dressing, sauerkraut, and Swiss cheese, the sandwich on rye tastes a tad different from the original. And who doesn’t like prime rib?
Offered on its lunch menu, along with its traditional whiskey-marinated steak and other dishes, The Drover’s Reuben is definitely a game changer.
Barrett’s Barleycorn Pub & Grill
Where: 4322 Leavenworth St. (Midtown)
Barrett’s Barleycorn Pub & Grill may be known for its St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, but it’s also home to an outstanding Reuben sandwich. Keeping it simple, the sandwich includes corned beef, sauerkraut, Thousand Island dressing, and melted Swiss cheese on marble rye.
You’ll want to let your taste buds vote for this version.
Swartz’s Delicatessen and Bagels
Where: 8718 Pacific St. (Country Side Village)
Imagine enjoying your Reuben as a quarter pounder, half pounder, or even as three-quarters of a pound. Topped with the Thousand Island dressing, sauerkraut, and Swiss cheese on your favorite rye, the sandwich is truly a meal unto itself at Swartz’s Delicatessen and Bagels. Add a side dish or hot soup, and you’re set for a New York-style deli experience with an Omaha favorite.
Brazen Head Irish Pub
Where: 319 N. 78th St. (Central Omaha)
Brazen Head Irish Pub has brought a taste of Ireland to 78th and Dodge for almost a quarter of a century. While enjoying an Irish beverage of your choice, order a Reuben featuring corned beef, Havarti cheese, sauerkraut, and Thousand Island dressing served on toasted marble rye.
Wilson and Washburn
Where: 1407 Harney St. (Downtown Omaha)
Located less than a block from the Orpheum Theater, Wilson and Washburn prides itself on being a neighborhood bar that serves food. Among its scratch kitchen menu options, Wilson and Washburn features a twist on the recipe with house smoked corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and beet horseradish dressing on Russian rye.
Keep the beet theme going with a side of beet chips that top a lot of house cooked potato chips.
Louie M’s Burger Lust
Where: 1718 Vinton St. (Vinton District)
Louie M’s Burger Lust may best be known for its burgers – it has a mural that says so – but its sandwich menu is also appetizing. Omaha’s Own Classic Reuben tops the list, with corned beef, Thousand Island dressing, Swiss cheese, and sauerkraut on rye. A side of fries adds to a delicious dining experience.
While in Vinton, check out the galleries and local shops giving the older Omaha neighborhood its identity.
Where: 1611 Farnam St. (Downtown Omaha)
You won’t see the Reuben on Block 16’s daily menu. But, when they have it, the fabric is automatically one of the best in Omaha. Nearly everything they create ranks among the best in the city. When it’s on the menu as a special, you’ll find unique ingredients such as smoked corned beef, chocolate, Muenster cheese, and pickled beets on different rye bread.
Whether you’re a Reuben traditionalist or seek out new twists on the original, Omaha’s restaurants have you covered. What’s your favorite Reuben restaurant?