Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth At These Tasty Bakeries In Omaha

What’s your vice? Cupcakes? Donuts? Freshly baked croissant that remind you of Paris? Or, how about a taste of Lithuania? Whatever your preference, it seems Omaha has the bakery for you. From Orsi’s to Le Petit, here’s a look at a baker’s dozen of Omaha’s amazing bakeries. 

Wondering if these bakeries deliver or offer curbside pick-up during the COVID-19 pandemic? Read on, I have a section at the post where you can find out how to get your sweet fix.

Hungry in Omaha? Here are 13 must-try bakeries in Omaha. See what local pastry chefs and mom & pop shops are making, from tortes and cakes to donuts, cupcakes and French pastries. #Omaha #Nebraska #MidwestIsBest #eatlocal #resturants

Orsi’s Italian Bakery & Pizzeria

Where: Little Italy at 621 Pacific St.

Omaha’s oldest Italian bakery, Orsi’s opened its doors in 1919. The bakery has made fresh bread and rolls without preservatives almost daily for more than 100 years. The Italian twist loaves are perfect for dipping with marinara sauce. The store also bakes fresh rye bread, pumpernickel, and garlic bread.

Orsi's Italian Bakery & Pizzeria can be found just outside of the Old Market, in a neighborhood that was once a bustling Little Italy.

Orsi’s has long been a stalwart of the Little Italy neighborhood. When the bakery was destroyed by fire in the late 1990s, locals rallied to help the owners rebuild. The home of Omaha’s Sicilian pizza, as well as other Italians goods, such as fresh olives, authentic pasta, and a deli, Orsi’s is a popular stop for Omahans from all neighborhoods.

You’ll want to take your goodies home, as the bakery has limited seating.

Related post: Old School Omaha – A Review Of The Pizza At Orsi’s

Olsen Bake Shop

Where: South Omaha at 1708 S. 10th St.

Olsen Bake Shop is your typical neighborhood bakery. Located in a small building, The bakery features two cases showing off the daily offerings – kolaches (pastries with fruit filling, jams, and other treats in the middle), donuts, other pastries, and cookies.

Donuts from Olsen Bake Shop

The South Omaha staple has been offering delicious pastries since 1942. 

Related post: Olsen tops the list of the 13 best donut shops in Omaha

Lithuanian Bakery

Where: South Omaha at 5217 S. 33rd Ave.

Open for nearly 50 years ago, the Lithuanian Bakery was created by Lithuanian immigrants and continues to be a family-owned bakery. Famous for its torte, the dessert takes three days to make and consists of eight layers of wafers, each coated with vanilla buttercream and lemon extract, with a layer of apricot in the middle.

The popular dessert has people arriving early and willing to stand in line every Saturday, when the torte is available. Try their chocolate torte for a change of taste.

The bakery also creates delicious bread, such as sourdough rye and country rye. The “Kommis Brot,” a thinly-sliced pumpernickel, is made in the old country tradition.

The bakery has a second location, Lithuanian Bakery and Kafe at 7427 Pacific St., which features “old country” recipes and the bakery’s treats. 

Omaha Bakery

Where: 608 S. 72nd St.

Known in its early days as Alotta Brownies in Fremont, Michelle Kaiser rolled the dice and moved the bakery to Omaha, changing its name to Omaha Bakery. Located about a block north of the world-famous Nebraska Furniture Mart, Omaha Bakery is known of its delicious brownies and cheesecakes.

Interior of The Omaha Bakery in Midtown Omaha

The baker also makes cakes, including wedding cakes, as well as bread. Omaha Bakery has also added a keto menu.

International Bakery

Where: South Omaha at 5106 S. 24th St.

Deep in the heart of 24th Street, the South Omaha stronghold has been a fan favorite for nearly 20 years. A visit to International Bakery offers a fun experience, as donuts and pastries have Spanish names.

Even if you don’t speak the language, part of the fun is choosing a delicious-looking treat. Your taste buds will commend your choice.

Take your order to go and enjoy eating at a nearby plaza, where you can enjoy people watching, as well as the beauty and colors of the neighborhood. While a second International Bakery is located on Vinton Street, it is owned by relatives but isn’t associated with the original bakery.

Culprit Café

Where: Downtown at 1603 Farnam  St.

The original Culprit Café, along Farnam Street, features an open kitchen, where you can watch the staff create everything form cookies and pastries to the lunch specials.

Chocolate cake at Culprit Cafe

Known for its homemade bread and cannoli, the café often changes its menus, so you may find new treats during your visit. Order a flavorful coffee to enjoy alongside your pastry. You can also treat yourself to breakfast or lunch, and then enjoy a pastry as dessert.

A second location opened at Midtown Crossing in 2018, which features a separate menu from the original.

Jones Bros.

Where: Aksarben Village at 2121 S. 67th St.

It started with a family chat at the kitchen table. Bill and Brad Jones, along with family members, created Jones Bros. Cupcakes, as a “dessert restaurant.” They opened their first location in Aksarben Village in 2010.

Jones Bros. quickly established itself as one of Omaha’s best places to go for great desserts, including cupcakes and cakes, even cheesecake. Made from scratch, cupcakes include fan favorites red velvet, vanilla, and strawberries and cream. From giant-sized treats, which require a fork, their cupcakes have earned them having been named as the best in Omaha several times.

Cupcakes from Jones Bros. Cupcakes

The eatery has also been featured on national television programs, including Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars.” With competition from local restaurants, Jones Bros. Cupcakes added sandwiches, soups, and salad to its menu.

While the original location continues to anchor the franchise, Jones Bros. Cupcakes also expanded to two more locations in Omaha – Lakeside and Westroads’ Flagship Commons.

Pettit’s Pastry

Where: North Downtown at 502 N. 16th St.

Not far from the campus of Creighton University, Pettit’s Pastry has called the North Downtown area home since 1954. Located in the neighborhood long before it became a trendy development area, Pettit’s Pastry adds an old-school touch to the modern buildings going up around it.

Home to old-fashioned pastry treats, such as rolls, donuts, and fruit-filled turnovers, order a flavored coffee, cappuccino, or latte, and you can mix old-guard bakery treats with a modern take on coffee. Take your order to go and enjoy it during a stroll around Creighton University’s beautiful campus.

Whisk + Measure

Where: 2505 S. 133rd Plaza

Whisk + Measure isn’t your typical bakery. Home to all types of baking, they pride themselves on creating cakes and treats that include vegan, paleo, and keto diets. They also offer gluten-free and dairy-free options.

While cakes, cupcakes, and cheesecakes are among the most popular items at the bakery, its menu includes muffins, scones, cookies, and bear claws. Enjoy a fresh cup of coffee – they use local distributor Reboot – with your treat in the comfortable seating area.

Farine + Four

Where: Midtown at 3020 Leavenworth St.

Home is where the heart is, they say. But, after some time in New York, a Nebraska woman returned home to open her own bakery. Farine + Four is the vision created from the days in New York for Ellie Pegler.

Coffee cake and coffee at Farine + Four, a bakery in Midtown Omaha

Today, the Omaha bakery creates outstanding pastries, bread, croissants, and bagels, using organic flour and no preservatives. Along with breakfast sandwiches and freshly-brewed coffee, a visit to Farine + Four provides a worldly experience. Grab an order of chocolates to enjoy at home. 

Sweet Magnolias Bake Shop

Where: Cathedral Neighborhood at 813 N. 40th St.

Located in the Cathedral neighborhood, Sweet Magnolias is a boutique bakery, whose menu features delicious cinnamon rolls, scones, cookies, and more.

Known for its cardamom cake, Sweet Magnolias is owned and operated by a Nebraska native, who grew up learning to cook and bake from her parents and grandparents.

Located next door to Lisa’s Radial Café, grab your treats to go and take a walk around the area, taking in the views of St. Cecelia Cathedral and Joslyn Castle.

Cupcake Island

Where: 1314 S. 119th St.

Omaha’s original cupcake shop, Cupcake Island opened in 2006, offering a unique take on cupcakes. With flavors like Pink Champagne, Strawberry Shortcake, and Devil’s Food Among Us, there is no shortage of cupcakes to satisfy your sweet tooth. It’s been my family’s go-to spot for birthday cakes for years, too.

Pirate ship cake from Cupcake Island

When Ed LeFebvre decided it was time to sell the bakery and head off to retirement, he sold Cupcake Island to sisters Melany Dean and Crystal Ryczko in 2018. They’ve added to Ed’s original concept – why mess with success? – with their own specialties. Melany is a chocolate connoisseur, while Rachel enjoys making cheesecakes.

Cupcake Island annually competes for “Best in Omaha” honors.

Le Petit Paris Bakery

Where: Pepperwood Village at 567 N. 155th Plaza

Travel to Paris without leaving Omaha with a visit to Le Petit Paris Bakery. Like its neighbor, Le Voltaire French Restaurant, the bakery is also owned by world-renowned Chef Cedric.

The bakery features croissants made with pure butter, handmade eclairs, and macarons, as well as bread, pastries, and other sweets.

Imagine life along the Champs-Elysees by adding a cup of rich coffee and enjoying your croissant or other treat at an outdoor table, just like in Paris. The bakery is closed on Monday.

Which Omaha bakeries open during the pandemic?

This post was written before we had heard much about COVID-19, so it’s totally fine to wonder if they’re open “business as usual” these days. So, here’s my update on each business’s situation*:

  • Orsi’s – Business as usual, since it is mainly a take-out operation anyway. Call (402) 345-3438 to place an order.
  • Olsen Bake Shop – Closed until further notice.
  • Lithuanian Bakery – The 74th street store is still serving lunch with limited seating. They take to-go orders, so call ahead to order at (402) 391-3503. 
  • Omaha Bakery – They do take-out and curbside pick-up. Call (402) 991-9200.
  • Culprit – Both locations are closed until further notice.
  • Jones Bros. – Takeout is available to order online here for the Aksarben and West Center locations, or you can place a phone order for Askarben at (402) 884-2253 or West Center at (402) 905-9701. The West Center location also has a drive-thru.
  • Pettit’s – Pettit’s downtown location is still open. You can come in the small lobby to order or pre-order over the phone at (402) 345-1111.
Cupcakes from Jones Bros. Cupcakes
  • Whisk + Measure – You can order your coffee, pastries, Dough-to-Go and special orders at their website: whiskandmeasure.com/menu. To-go orders are available from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday curbside pickup available with over the phone payment.
  • Farine + Four – The bakery offers carry-out, curbside and neighborhood delivery from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Call (402) 905-2432 or for advanced orders, you can email hello@farineandfour.com.
  • Sweet Magnolia’s – The bakery is closed until further notice, but you can still support the bakery by ordering a gift card to use when they reopen.
  • Cupcake Island – The bakery is open and will bring your order out to the car. You can place an order by calling at (402) 334-6800.
  • Le Petit Paris – The bakery remains open and you can place your order over the phone at (402) 934-9374.

*Businesses update their hours and modes of operation daily (or even faster) during this unprecedented time. Please have patience and call ahead before going to any of the bakeries, just in case.

Which Omaha bakery is for you?

Looking for Omaha desserts and sweet treats? Here are 13 of Omaha's best bakeries, offering tasty pastries, breads, donuts, and more specialities! These are locally-owned shops. #Omaha #localrestaurants #desserts #cupcakes

Whether you’re looking to pick up a dozen donuts for home or enjoying a true dining experience, Omaha’s bakeries offer the best of all worlds. Whether you want a good old-fashioned donut or maybe a classically-designed cupcake or pastry, you can travel around the world for the best treats, all without leaving Omaha.

From Omaha’s oldest Italian bakery celebrating more than 100 years in business to new owners of local classics, enjoy visiting the city’s best bakeries.

Link to more stories about Omaha restaurants

10 Of The Tastiest Italian Restaurants In Omaha

“All in the Famiglia” can be the name of most Italian restaurants in the Omaha area. Locally-owned ristorantes seem to be family affairs, with everyone from Nonno or Nonna to children barely able to see over the counter. There’s a role for everyone in the family. And with that family connection comes some of the best Italian cuisine you will ever enjoy. We wanted to sample a bit of the menu in Omaha, and here are some of the best Italian restaurants in the Omaha Metro area.

Need dinner ideas for Omaha? Here are some of the best Italian restaurants in the city! This is a local's guide to Omaha Italian restaurants, and includes restaurants that make their own pasta, use wood-fired ovens, and Italian desserts. #Omaha #Nebraska #BestoftheMidwest #localtourist

Roma Italian Restaurant

Where: Bellevue

Featuring homemade dishes from scratch, Roma Italian Restaurant has been serving huge portions of classic Italian dishes since 2016. From classics such as spaghetti with meatballs and chicken parmigiana to unique combinations such as shrimp and scallop alfredo, dinner at Roma can be shared with a dining partner or you’ll be guaranteed enough leftovers to have a meal or two afterward.

Located in a former La Mesa restaurant building, the Italian eatery is located along Fort Crook Road.

Mangia Italiana

Where: Irvington

You would think that with name like Mangia Italiana, the ristorante would feature an upscale menu with white table cloths and a wine list that may require a second mortgage. Instead, you’ll find a casual family restaurant high on serving great pizza and Italian classic entrees.

The combo pizza is considered the most popular pie, featuring sausage, beef, pepperoni, onion, mushrooms, and black olives. You can go with the specialty pizzas, which also include buffalo chicken and veggie, or you can create your own. No matter which route you choose, you’ll enjoy one of Omaha’s best pizzas.

Mangia Italiana’s classic dishes feature Italian and Sicilian traditions, which feature your choice of pasta (spaghetti, mostacciolli, fettucine, or bow tie) which a variety of sauces, including Sugo, an authentic Sicilian sweet and spicy tomato sauce with meat.

Orsi’s Italian Bakery and Pizzeria

Where: 621 Pacific St. in Little Italy

Omaha’s oldest Italian eatery, Orsi’s Italian Bakery and Pizzeria opened its doors as bakery in 1919. Now, more than 100 years old, Orsi’s may lay claim to “Omaha-style pizza,” with its rectangular pie featuring fresh toppings on top of special sauce.

Exterior of Omaha's oldest restaurant,  Orsi's Italian Bakery and Pizzeria
Orsi’s Italian Bakery & Pizzeria can be found just outside of the Old Market, in a neighborhood that was once a bustling Little Italy.

Pizzas come in three sizes – quarter (six slices), half (12 slices) and full sheet (24 slices). Pizzas are ordered to go, as Orsi’s has little room for dine-in orders. The dough is made fresh daily and you can watch team members toss it as they prepare pizzas. Try the Goudarooni, a double-crusted pizza that will challenge your appetite.

The bakery also supplies fresh rolls to several Italian restaurants around the city. Orsi’s doesn’t use preservatives, so the bread is truly fresh and you won’t find day-old rolls in restaurants. Orsi’s also sells deli meat and a small section of Italian sweet peppers, and more.

The bakery also supplies fresh rolls to several Italian restaurants around the city. Orsi’s doesn’t use preservatives, so the bread is truly fresh and you won’t find day-old rolls in restaurants. Orsi’s also sells deli meat and a small section of Italian sweet peppers, and more.

Tip: This is the longest-running restaurant in Omaha! Find out more about Orsi’s and its history in this restaurant feature.

Vincenzo’s Ristorante

Where: 15701 Pacific St. in West Omaha

Offering the Omaha area great Italian cuisine for more than 25 years, Vincenzo’s Ristorante shares its heritage through dishes such as penne diavolo, with penne pasta, Italian sausage, onion, black olives, mushrooms, and sweet peppers tossed in a roasted red pepper cream sauce.

Baked pasta dishes include lasagna (meatless), ravioli, and manicotti. With a house wine available at each table, Vincenzo’s features a full bar, as well as non-alcoholic drinks. You may want to order cannoli for dessert.

Dante

Where: 16901 Wright Plaza suite 173 at Shops of Legacy

Nick Strawhecker rolled the dice and opened a wood-fired Neapolitan-style pizzeria during the Great Recession. More than 10 years later, his concept not only succeeded but inspired a series of copycat restaurants. None of them came close to the originality, taste, and style that Strawhecker has created with Dante.

Interior of Dante in West Omaha

With a menu that focuses on farm-to-table options, Dante is considered one of the best pizzerias in Omaha. Besides the thin-crust pizzas that are ready within 90 seconds, as they’re baked in a wood-fired oven approaching 800 degrees Fahrenheit, Dante’s menu also features seasonal pasta and chicken dishes. The restaurant features a world-class wine list.

Related post: Looking for a date night restaurant? Dante is one of my top picks for West Omaha!

Malara’s Italian Restaurant

Where: 2123 Pierce St.

Caterina Malara came to America from Italy through Argentina. She and her husband immigrated to the United States to start a new life together. Sadly, her husband died in a work-related accident.

Forced to find a way to provide a good life for her four children, Caterina, then in her early 30s, started selling ravioli out of her home. After several years passed, she found a spot at the former Rotella’s Bakery on the corner of 21st and Pierce streets. She primarily sold sandwiches out of a small window. Later, a friend lent her money to buy the building when Rotella’s decided to sell the building.

Turning the building into a new restaurant, Malara’s Italian Restaurant opened its doors in 1984. Caterina, after more than 35 years, continues to work in the kitchen, overseeing the prep work and kitchen staff. The restaurant still uses the pasta maker that she used in her home when making ravioli. The pasta has a unique texture and the red sauce matches with a special taste of its own.

If you are a fan of trying new things, order the pasta with brascioli, a meatball rolled around bacon stuffing.

Lo Sole Mio Ristorante

Where: 3001 S. 32nd Ave. in South Omaha

A favorite among celebrities and locals alike, Lo Sole Mio is a story of love. Don and Marie Lo Sole opened the South Omaha restaurant in 1992, but it seems like Lo Sole Mio has been around for much longer.

A favorite for special events and family reunions, everything about Lo Sole Mio says classic Italian. From the serving staff’s uniform dress to the dinner salads, soups, and the delicious bread and rolls (you’ll beg for more), it sets the standard for an outstanding dining experience.

With classic dishes such as veal piccata, pasta reggio, and baked lasagna, a visit to Lo Sole Mio creates memories. As you wait for your table (everyone in your party must be present before you’re seated), check out the pictures on the wall of famous diners, such as Tony Bennett, Tom Osborne, and Tony Lasorda.

Via Farina

Where: 1108 S. 10th St. in Little Italy

Via Farina’s pizza dough is similar to a fine wine, it needs time to age. In this case, the chic pizzeria takes about three days to curate its pizza crust. Using a wood-fired oven, Via Farina bakes its pizza for less than two minutes in temperatures approaching 900 degrees.

Wood-fired pizza at Via Farina in Omaha's Little Italy neighborhood

Open for lunch and dinner, the restaurant on 10th Street features unique pizzas such as patata pizza, with potato confit, black pepper, and oregano, among other toppings, and pasta dishes such as ricotta cavatelli. Via Farina also delivers in the Little Italy via Vespa scooters.

Pasta Amore

Where: 11027 Prairie Brook Road in Rockbrook Village

Lillo “Leo” Fascianella immigrated to Omaha with his parents as a young boy. Calling Omaha home since 1972, the chef has created one of Omaha’s best-known Italian restaurants, opening Pasta Amore in 1986.

With a menu starring traditional Italian fare, such as eggplant parmigiana and lasagna, Chef Leo describes his work as edible paintings. With a wine list to complement each entrée, Pasta Amore ensures it challenges the most-finicky palate.

La Casa Pizzaria

Where: 4432 Leavenworth St.

From the day it opened in 1953, La Casa Pizzaria was popular with diners across Omaha. Using a square pan to make its pizza, La Casa developed its reputation as one of Omaha’s best Italian restaurants with its unique pizza that features a special sauce and Romano cheese. Its pasta dishes, such as spaghetti, lasagna, and mostaciolli, are topped with marinara or spicy rosa sauce.

Square pan pizza at La Casa Pizzaria in Omaha, Nebraska

A visit to La Casa is a throwback to the early days of Omaha’s classic Italian ristorantes.

Omaha’s Italian heritage shines through with its restaurants. From traditional fare to adding a twist to classic dishes, you can find an Italian restaurant that delivers a unique dining experience.

10 great restaurants for Italian food in Omaha! Learn about the charm of restaurants like Dante, La Casa Pizzeria, Via Farina and others. #OmahaRestaurants #Nebraska #NebraskaRestaurants #ItalianFood
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10 Omaha Fish Fries You Gotta Try (In 2020)

Lenten season means two things for Omaha-area residents – a time for personal sacrifice and reflection, as well fish fries. With more than 30 parishes and groups sponsoring fish fries in the Omaha area, you can find great food and fun times from Blair to Plattsmouth. Here’s a look at a few of the Omaha fish fries that you’re likely to enjoy a good meal and company.

Updates: This post contains updates for cancellations. Omaha Archdiocese has recommended all fish fries be canceled to avoid the spread of COVID-19, so any Catholic Church listed below will not be holding fish fries.

For a few months out of the year, thousands flock to fish fries in Omaha on Friday nights. Here where to find the most popular fish fries, so you'll know what to expect if you go to one. #Omaha #Food #fishfry

Why fish fries?

Catholics honor their faith for a six-week period by surrendering something special to them as a way of recognizing the sacrifices made by  Jesus Christ. Each Friday during lent, fish fries provide a sense of community and camaraderie among Catholics. But, don’t think fish fries are just for Catholics; Greek Orthodox Church followers also celebrate the season with a fish fry, as well as community groups.

Holy Name Catholic Church fish fry

A fun thing about fish fries is that everyone is invited to enjoy fish and chips…and maybe an adult beverage or two. Fish fries are always family-friendly. 

Tip: Check the organization’s website or social media to verify times and dinner prices.

2020 Omaha Fish Fry Recommendations

Holy Name Catholic Church Fish Fry

Located at 2901 Fontenelle Blvd., Holy Name hosts its 38th annual “Fryday” fish fry Feb. 21 through April 3. Dinners are served from 4:30 to 9 p.m., with the last ticket sold at 8:30. Bring your own drink if you prefer, but adult beverages will be sold inside the fish fry.

Holy Name Catholic Church fish fry served a typical entree at an Omaha fish fry - fried fish, french fries, coleslaw, and bread.

If you prefer not to wait in line, it’s recommended you arrive early. People arriving at 6 p.m. can expect a substantial wait.

Tickets typically run $12 per adult, $10 for seniors, and $7 for children under 12. Holy Name traditionally serves Alaska pollock.

Considered one of Omaha’s premier fish fries, politicians are known to frequent, looking to shake a few hands and win votes.  

St. Vincent de Paul Church Fish Fry

Call St. Vincent de Paul the Fish and more Fry. With a menu featuring fried and baked fish, macaroni and cheese, and cheese pizza, your family will be challenged not find something for dinner on which everyone will agree. Running each Friday from Feb. 28 to April 3, fish dinners also come with french fries or baked potato, and coleslaw.

The fish fry at 14330 Eagle Run Drive costs $10 per adult, $9 per senior, and $6 for children ages 4-12 (Kim’s note: Thanks to a reader for the heads up that the price increased this year!). Adult beverages and soda are available. Don’t forget to enjoy dessert while you’re there.

St. Gerald’s Knights of Columbus Fish Fry

St. Gerald Parish, near 96th and Q streets, hosts its annual fish fry from 5 to 8 p.m. on Fridays, Feb. 28 through April 3.

Offering a menu of fried cod, baked tilapia, and fried shrimp, dinners come with a side of french fries or baked potato, coleslaw or salad with bread. For non-fish diners, the parish offers cheese pizza and macaroni and cheese. 

Mary Our Queen Catholic Church Fish Fry

UPDATE: Mary Our Queen announced the fish fries planned for March 13 and 20 are canceled.

Named as one of the best fish fries in Omaha (including Best of Omaha in 2017), Mary Our Queen offers a menu of fried and baked fish, french fries or fried spudsters, coleslaw, as well as a mac and cheese option.

The food pick-up counter at Mary Our Queen Fish Fry in Omaha
Photo courtesy Jami Woodling

Serving dinner from 5 to 8 p.m. each Friday, Feb. 28 through April 3, Mary Our Queen is located at 3405 S. 118th St.

St. Patrick Catholic Church Fish Fry

The Elkhorn parish adds entertainment to its fish fry, including a magician, clowns who make balloon animals, and face painting. Families can make a night of it each Friday, Feb. 28 through April 3.

The dinner menu includes fried and baked fish, fried shrimp, French fries, mac and cheese, green beans, and coleslaw. Cheese pizza is also available. St. Patrick Catholic Church, 20500 West Maple Road, also offers drive-thru service.

Millard American Legion Post 374 Fish Fry

Update: Legion 374 now offers drive-up food service for those who do not wish to attend in person. To order food, call 402-895-0405 on Friday between 5:30 and 7:30 p.m.

Located at 13913 S St., the Millard American Legion Post 374 will host its annual fish fry on Friday, Feb. 28, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. With a menu including a variety of fish and shrimp, the legion also offers steaks. Macaroni and cheese is available. Each meal comes with a side of french fries, coleslaw, and bread. Prices vary based on the entrée ordered.

St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church Fish Fry

Update: St. John announced they are canceling fish fries until further notice.

Bringing a Mediterranean flavor to the traditional fish fry, St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church features a menu of fried and baked cod, salmon, shrimp, and spanakopita (spinach pie). Don’t forget to enjoy a tasty Greek dessert.

The fish fry, 602 Park Ave., is open from 4:30 to 8 p.m. each Friday, Feb. 28 through April 3. Admission is $11 per adult and $4 for children 12 and under.

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Croatian Cultural Society of Omaha Fish Fry

Update: The March 13 fish fry went on as planned. No word if future fish fries are canceled.

With a menu of fried and baked fish with fries or baked potato and coleslaw or macaroni and cheese, visitors to the Croatian Cultural Society of Omaha can also learn more about the area’s Croatian heritage.

The fish fry is known for its large portions of fried and baked fish, as well as macaroni and cheese and dessert. The fish fry also features a full bar.

Dinners are $10 per adult and $5 for elementary school students. Children under 5 eat for free. The Croatian Cultural Society does accept credit cards.

Scottish Rite Fish Fry Days

The Scottish Rite Fish Fry-Days run each Friday, March 20 through April 3. Featuring a menu of all-you-can-eat fried fish, french fries, and coleslaw, as well as a drink, dinners are $12 per person. While to-go orders are welcomed, they ask you call ahead so they can have it ready when you arrive.

The fish fry is available over lunch hours from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Scottish Rite, 202 S. 20th St.

Creighton Bluejays Baseball Fish Fry

Update: All NCAA games have been canceled so there will not be baseball fish fries in 2020.

The Creighton Bluejays host an annual fish fry as part of their Big East home baseball schedule for Friday night games at TD Ameritrade Park. Ticket prices include a meal voucher for games against Central Connecticut State (March 13), Boise State (March 27), Seton Hall (April 3), and Wichita State (April 10).  

Whether you want to support your church or local service organizations, the Omaha area offers a variety of fish fries you can attend. There’s something special about standing in line and visiting with your neighbors while you await your turn for a delicious meal and tasty drink. Either way, you’ll enjoy a true Omaha experience.

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What is it about fish fries that Omaha families love so much? Here's a guide to some of the most popular fish fries in Omaha in 2020, with tips on when to go to beat the crowd! #Omaha #dining #Nebraska #Midwest #fish

7 mouth-watering burgers to try in Omaha

Steaks get a lot of attention in Omaha, but you’re missing out if you never order a burger every once in a while. Here are a few of my favorite restaurants and the best burgers I recommend you try there (well, one you can try if you dare).

If you're craving burgers in Omaha, here's a list of the best burgers to try. List includes classic favorites, unique toppings and the ultimate burger challenge. #Omaha #foodie #burgers #midwestisbest #foodtravel

The Midwestern favorite burger

What: Haystack Burger

Where: Dinker’s Bar & Grill, 2368 S. 29th St.

Why: Since 1965, Dinker’s has been serving hand-pressed burgers. The one that helped them make a name for themselves is the Haystack Burger, which Midwest Living ranked it as one of the best in the Midwest. The Haystack is served on a Rotella’s bun (a local bakery) and comes with American, honey smoked ham and a free-range fried egg.

Dinker's is regular winner in the Omaha's best burgers category.

This photo, by the way, is of a different Dinker’s burger. Because I was craving bacon on the day I was taking burger pictures. I’m only human.

The classic burger

What: Backyard Burger

Where: Blatt Bar + Table, 610 N. 12th St.; 2835 S. 170th Plaza; Flagship Commons, 10000 California St.

Why: If you prefer your hamburger to not stray too far from the traditional toppings, the Backyard Burger at Blatt is one to try. Served on a fresh brioche bun, the angus beef is topped with the typical lettuce, tomato, red onions and yellow mustard, with a little pepped up garlic dill pickles and smoked ketchup. It’s cooked to perfect and will not have any hidden flavor surprises.

Tip: Blatt is one of the most kid-friendly restaurants in Omaha, with a great kid’s menu.

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Star-studded favorite burger

What: Croque Garcon Burger

Where: Block 16, 1611 Farnam St.

Why: You can order anything off the farm-to-table menu at Block 16 and love it, but if I had to direct you to one sandwich, it would be the Croque Garcon Burger. It’s messy, but you will not be able to stop eating it. This delectable creation is a ⅓-pound Jon’s Natural burger served on a ciabatta roll and topped with cheese, ham, a sunny-side-up farm egg, mustard and truffle mayonnaise.

I started devouring it before I remembered I had wanted to get a picture of it!

Croque Garcon Burger at Block 16 in Omaha

It’s star-studded because my foodie hero, Alton Brown, loves it. Pretty much, he said Block 16 turned the standard burger into high art.

Related post: Block 16 is also included in the list of 33 Must Try Restaurants In Omaha.

Foodies’ favorite burger

What: Dario’s Cheeseburger

Where: Dario’s Brasserie, 4920 Underwood Ave.

Why: Dario’s is a charming bistro in Dundee, and while most people are going to go with the French cuisine served there, the cheeseburger will be one you’ll remember (and the fries. ooooh the fries). It’s topped with caramelized onions and Gruyère cheese. Foodie critics from the Thrillist to Big Seven Travel rave about it. The burger also happens to be one of the lowest priced items on the menu, and for being so darn good, I say it’s a steal.

But really, I’m just sitting over here still thinking about the fries.

Sorry, I realize this is a post about burgers.

Anyway.

Mt. Everest of burgers

What: Stellanator

Where: Stella’s Bar & Grill 106 Galvin Road S, Bellevue, Neb.

Why: Finishing the Stellanator will give you a life-time of bragging rights. What’s on this bad boy? Served on one bun, you’ve got six burger patties, six fried eggs, six pieces of cheese, 12 pieces of bacon, and then all the extra toppings like lettuce, tomato, fried onion, pickles, jalapenos, and peanut butter. Oh, and you have to eat the fries that come with it. In 45 minutes.

I’ve never attempted this, actually. Most people haven’t, actually. Since 1936, Stella’s has made a name for themselves for their burgers (their single patty burgers), and I much rather prefer those.

One of best burgers in the Omaha area is at Stella's Bar & Grill
Photo courtesy Visit Omaha

An under-the-radar good burger

What: Farnam House Burger

Where: Farnam House Brewing Co., 3558 Farnam St.

Why: One of the house specialties, the burger at this low-key brewery is satisfying and pairs great with their beer (take their pairing recommendation seriously). Served on a brioche bun, the meat comes from a local farm (Grass Run Farms), and is topped with Havarti, arugula, house-made pickled red onions and ketchup, as well as a whole grain keller dill mustard.

Best vegetarian burger

What: Beet burger

Where: Wilson & Washburn, 1407 Harney St

Why: Rather than create something that’s meat-like, Wilson & Washburn has created a surprisingly good beet burger that doesn’t pretend to be anything it’s not. And I’m not a fan of beets at all. AT ALL. And this is a burger I enjoy. 

Tip: If you’re looking for the Impossible Burger in Omaha, Stella’s was one of the first ones to put it on their menu. 

I’m curious about your favorite burgers in Omaha so leave a comment with your recommendations!

Button to Omaha food posts archive
Looking for the best burgers and cheeseburgers in Omaha? Here's a list of seven recommended Omaha restaurants serving up great eats. #Omaha #Nebraska #burgers #restaurants #Midwest

15+ Things To Know About Benson (Omaha)

Benson is a popular neighborhood in Omaha, Neb., having a fun vibe without much pretension. You’ll encounter a mix of ages depending on where you choose to dine, drink and/or hang out.

The popular historic Omaha neighborhood, Benson, is known for great restaurants and bars. Find all the fun things to do in Benson with and without kids. #Omaha #Nebraska #thingstodo

I remember moving to the area 10 years ago, pregnant with my firstborn and not worrying about missing much while I sat at home and ate pickles and mac & cheese. And then, one year later, the neighborhood was cool. Like, everyone was going there, and great bars were opening, and breweries, and concert venues, and and and…and I had a baby so I felt like I was missing out.

These days, Benson has evolved into an eclectic neighborhood that’s welcoming to all, with unique nightspots, a stellar concert venue, and a few places that kids will love. I still don’t get to visit as much as I’d like to, but it is one of my go-to places with friends and for date nights. Here’s my guide to Benson.

Where is Benson in Omaha?

Most people refer to the stretch of Maple Street between 60th and 65th streets as Benson, but it actually extends a bit more each way (and extends north and south of Maple into neighborhoods). It’s considered a part of Midtown Omaha.

Sunset in Benson, a neighborhood in Omaha Nebraska

For the purpose of this blog post, I’m focusing on that busy stretch of Maple Street. It’s kinda what you’d call Benson’s downtown area.

Where to park it in Benson

Parking in Benson, as is the case in a few of Omaha’s popular neighborhoods, can be a bit of a headache. However, I’ve never NOT been able to park. Plus, parking is FREE. So relax. We can handle this.

The first parking lot to check is just south of 61st and Maple Street (on the southeast corner of the block). If that’s full, begin checking neighborhood streets south of Maple Street, as well as on-the-street parking along Maple Street.

Very few businesses have (tiny) parking lots, but they exist. Ted and Wally’s has a few spots, for instance. 

Dining options – Benson restaurants

Breakfast, brunch, dinner, dessert. Whatever you want to eat, Benson has it. There are a lot of restaurants to run through so I’ll start with my favovrites and then share the rest.

Rooftop bar at 1912

Breakfast

Where: Leo’s Diner, 6055 Maple St.

Why: This is a greasy spoon at its finest. It’s a small eatery, so it’s possible you’ll have a wait if you show up after about 9 a.m. The only downfall of Leo’s, alas, is that the coffee is not good. But I still have a lot of love for Leo’s.

Related post: 19 Great Places To Get Breakfast In Omaha

Lunch

Where: Star Deli, 6114 Military Ave.

Why: The sandwiches are crave-worthy. I don’t go often since my kids (weirdly) don’t like sandwiches.

Honorable mentions:

Burrito Envy & Tequila Bar, 6113 Maple St., this is a comfy place for Mexican food.

Dinner

Where: Virtuoso Pizzeria by David Losole, 6056 North Maple St.

Why: This casual pizza shop serves up delicious pie by the slice. It’s a quick option if you’re planning on going to a show and it’s low-key enough to want to hang out there with friends for a while.

Slice of pizza at Virtuoso Pizzeria

Honorable mentions:

1912 Benson, 6201 Maple St., casual hangout with burgers and great drinks, plus a nice rooftop bar

Bärchen Beer Garden, 6209 Maple St., pub grub with good German beers plus (as the name implies) they have a beer garden.

Danny’s Bar & Grill, 2007 N. 72nd St., this is a little ways from Maple Street but a solid choice for pub food. There’s also a kid’s menu.

Hartland Bar-B-Que, 5402 Northwest Radial Highway, this is a solid choice for take-out barbecue just east of the main strip of Maple Street. They have a “best of Omaha” award under their belt, too.

Date night

Where: Au Courant Regional Kitchen, 6064 Maple St.

Why: This cozy place purposely has European touches to it. I highly recommend splurging on the chef’s tasting menu. One warning about the menu, though: Creative bites are sometimes exactly that. Bites. If you’re a big eater, a tasting menu like this may not fully satisfy you.

Honorable mentions:

Yoshitomo, 6009 Maple St., this sushi restaurant has a devoted following. I have no complaints about the food, and I found the menu to be creative. But for some inexplicable reason, it’s just never one I recommend to people.

Yoshitomo sushi

Restaurant for dessert & treats

Where: Ted & Wally’s Ultra Premium Ice Cream, 6023 Maple St.

Why: This made-from-scratch ice cream is my favorite. The Benson location is Ted & Wally’s second location and I find that it’s also the one with the least amount of wait no matter the season. Same ice cream, less wait. Score!

Honorable mention:

Baked After Dark, 6103 Maple St., satisfy your sweet tooth with this late-night cookie shop.

Hardy Coffee Co., 6051 Maple St., a coffee shop that often has irresistible baked goods.

Benson restaurants I’ve yet to try

So, I haven’t eaten at every restaurant in Benson (shocking, I know). So the following restaurants I can’t quite tell you whether or not they’re great choices. Yet.

Ika Ramen and Izakaya, 6109 Maple St.

Jojo’s Diner, 6118 Military Ave., word is this new diner is a good place to go for breakfast.

Mantra Bar & Grille, 6913 Maple St.

Mayne St. Market, 6207 Maple St.

TACO CO., 6108 Maple St.

Taqueria Chingon, 6324 Maple St.

Cheers! Bars & breweries in Benson

It’s easy to bar hop in Benson, since there are a lot of unique places in one compact strip of Maple Street.

Interior of Krug Park in Benson
Photo courtesy Visit Omaha

Where: Krug Park, 6205 Maple St.

Why: This is a great bar housed in a restored 1908 building. The craft beer and cocktail selection are superb, and usually, the music is perfection.

Honorable mentions:

If you’re eager to try local beers, head to either The Benson Brewery or Infusion Brewing Co. The Benson Brewery has the bonus addition of serving up good pub food, too. The Benson Brewery, 6059 Maple St., and Infusion, 6115 Maple St.

Barley Street Tavern, 2735 N. 62nd St., go here for live music and a neighborly, convivial atmosphere.

Burke’s Pub, 6117 Maple St., it’s got the neighborhood bar feel to it.

Bars that I just haven’t been to yet

Flavas Margarita Lounge, 6052 Maple St.

Jake’s Cigars & Spirits, 6206 Maple St.

Kaitei, 6109 1/3 Maple St., look for this hidden little Japanese bar below Ika Ramen.

Reverb Lounge, 6121 Military Ave.

St. Andrews Pub, 6102 Maple St.

The Sydney, 5918 Maple St., it’s been so long, I don’t know if I can tell you what The Sydney is like. I do recall it has good acoustics if you can catch a live show there.

Things to do in Benson with friends

Benson is a grown-up’s playground. There are several things to do for nights out with friends or for dates. But first, let’s talk about daytime.

There isn’t an abundance of shops and galleries in Benson (yet), but there are some worthy stops. For thrifty clothes, head to Daisy Jones’ Locker and Lion’s Mane Vintage. For chic home decor, check out Found Vintage Market.

There’s also a lingerie store right on the main street of Benson with window displays that nearly always makes me giggle uncomfortably like a 12-year-old.

Interior of Beercade on Maple Street in Omaha.
Photo courtesy Visit Omaha

For daytime and nighttime, a fun place to go is the Beercade at 6104 Maple St. It’s a classic arcade disguised as a really good craft beer bar. You can play pinball or challenge your friends to the likes of “Mortal Kombat.” You don’t have to have a drink in your hand to play.

If shuffleboard is your thing, head to Musette Bar. This dive bar is not really my scene, and I’ve only been there once. Bring cash.

I’m most likely, though, going to be headed to a concert at The Waiting Room Lounge if I’m in Benson at night. There are some fantastic tours that pass by this venue, as well as popular local vands. And, if craft beer is a priority, this concert venue has a fantastic selection on tap.

Concert at The Waiting Room Lounge in Benson

New to the scene, is Omaha Virtual Reality, a virtual gaming place I’ve yet to visit. It sounds like a fun place to go with friends.

Things to do with kids in Benson

Arguably, Benson is more fun for grown-ups. However, we’ve found many reasons to head to the neighborhood with the kiddos over the years.

Kids at the spray ground at Benson Park in Omaha

When the weather is nice, we’re at Benson Park, 7028 Military Ave. The playground is huge and there’s a great splash park there. There’s a short, paved trail around the lake. It’s where my kids learned to ride their bikes. Even though it gets a tad crowded, it’s one of our favorite Omaha parks.

And when it’s not so nice outside, we tend to spend time at the Omaha Public Library Benson branch, 6015 Binney St., which has a pretty solid kid’s section. They’re known for their annual event with several storybook characters that’s free and really adorable.

The Benson Community Center is also a good spot, though, to be honest, we’ve only ever been in there for the Halloween party.

Which reminds me, Benson businesses LOVE trick-or-treaters and there’s an afternoon each October set aside for kids to stop by stores and get goodies.

Chocolate ice cream in a waffle cone at Ted and Wally's in Benson

If you’re wondering which Benson restaurants are the best for families, the ones that are my family’s favorites include Ted and Wally’s, Leo’s Diner, and Virtuoso.

Events in Benson

Benson’s annual and seasonal events are more in the spirit of neighborhood celebrations, though a few can and do draw large crowds.

Benson First Friday is a free monthly art event in Benson. You can venture into pop-up galleries in businesses and see (and purchase) art by local artists. It’s pretty casual and you’ll likely meet all of the artists.

Benson Days is held in July each year. It’s a neighborhood celebration held on a single day, though the name Days has stuck. There’s typically a parade, live music and other family-friendly activities. There’s also a 5K fun run planned near or on Benson Days.

Benson Boo Bash is held on a Saturday in October and consists of trick-or-treating at various businesses as well activities as at the community center.

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Visiting Omaha and want to explore the historic Benson neighborhood? Here's a list of Benson restaurants and bars to try, shops to visit, and more fun things to do in the area - including where you can go with kids. #Omaha #Nebraska #Benson #Midwest

10 Restaurants To Try In The Blackstone District In Omaha

The Blackstone District wasn’t always the go-to spot for new restaurants and fun bars in Omaha. However, food did play a role in its early days (hint: it involves Reuben sandwiches and butter brickle ice cream).

Some of Omaha's most creative restaurants are located in the historic Blackstone District. Here's a guide to 10 must-try restaurants, creameries and donut shops. #Omaha #Nebraska #local #restaurants #Midwest

A brief history of the Blackstone District

In its early days, the Blackstone District was better known as the southern Gold Coast, home to Omaha’s wealthiest residents. With dozens of mansions in what was then west Omaha, only the richest residents were found in the area.

Then, in the early 1900s, the Blackstone Hotel was built and things started to change. The Blackstone was home to wealthy travelers and gamblers. In fact, a poker game led to the creation of the Reuben sandwich. Later, the hotel’s chef was credited with inventing butter brickle ice cream.

Today, the Blackstone District is home to nearly two-dozen restaurants and drinking establishments, businesses and residences. 

Where is Blackstone District in Omaha?

Since 2013, the area from 36th to 42nd streets along between Farnam Street (between Dodge and Harney Streets) has been officially known as the Blackstone District.

Exterior of Bob's in the Blackstone District of Omaha

The seven-block area is a mixture of about a dozen restaurants, bars, and apartments. It’s located immediately west of Midtown Crossing.

Where to park in Omaha’s Blackstone District

Parking is limited in the Blackstone District, so it can seem to come at a premium (unless you’re willing to walking).

Forno has a dedicated parking lot next to the restaurant. But, to park while you visit the other restaurants, you can park on the street or in parking lots throughout the area. Ample parking is available after 5 p.m. near 42nd and Farnam streets, while additional paid parking can be found between 39th and 40th streets, as well as 37th and 38th streets. 

Restaurants in the Blackstone District

Ansel’s Pastrami and Bagels

Located beside its partner, Noli’s, Ansel’s Pastrami and Bagels features beer-boiled bagels, breakfast sandwiches and a variety of lunch goodies.

Using Scriptown Nut Job for a malty flavor, Ansel’s bagels offer a different experience from other bagel joints. Breakfast sandwiches include pastrami, oyster mushroom, and braised pork. The lunch menu features meatball and turkey club, as well as pastrami. 

The Blackstone Meatball

With a menu heavy on locally-sourced ingredients, The Blackstone Meatball asks you to create your own dish. Diners choose the style of meatball they prefer – traditional with a side or sandwich, the flavor of meatball (classic, chicken, pork or vegetarian) and then the sauce.

Butterfish

Butterfish offers a menu sure to satisfy the palate of Asian cuisine enthusiasts. From sushi to small plates, such as cashew chicken, Butterfish is sure to appeal to everyone in your dining party. 

Sushi at Butterfish

Share sake and other drinks from their cocktail menu.

Coneflower

No visit to Blackstone is complete without a stop at Coneflower. Home to “Farm-to-cone” ice cream, Coneflower uses locally-sourced ingredients, such as milk and cream.

Exterior of Coneflower, a creamery in the Blackstone District

Related post: Must-Try Ice Cream Places In Omaha

Crescent Moon Alehouse

The oldest of the Blackstone District restaurants, Crescent Moon Alehouse is a mix of restaurant and bar. 

Opened since 1996, Crescent Moon is considered home to Omaha’s best Reuben sandwich. Located across the street from the Blackstone Hotel, Crescent Moon thought it made for a winning marketing idea to tie its Reuben to the hotel’s history. Made with corned beef provided by Omaha Steaks, the Reuben routinely wins “Best in Omaha” contests.

Interior of Crescent Moon Alehouse in Omaha

During Reubenfest, an annual weeklong celebration, Crescent Moon offers special dishes starring the Reuben.

Huber Haus – an old-fashioned German bier hall – is located in the basement, while a Beertopia is next door.

Early Bird and Bob’s

Home to possibly the most unique brunch in Omaha, Early Bird features an eclectic menu with pancakes mixed with your favorite childhood cereal, such as Fruity Pebbles and Coco Puffs, and chicken and donuts. You can order a flight of pancakes consisting of three pancakes featuring peanut butter and jelly, blueberries and more. Or, go for the more traditional omelet or chicken fried steak. 

Red velvet donut and coffee to-go at Bob's

Located down the hall from Early Bird is Bob’s, home to some of the best and strangest donuts you will ever love. Large enough to be a meal by itself, each artisan donut is a masterpiece. From the Boston crème donut and Fruity Pebbles to Peanut Butter and Jelly and Chocolate X-Treme, a trip to Bob’s is a true foodie experience.

Forno

Italian for oven, Forno is the newest restaurant from Dante owner Nick Strawhecker. Offering an upscale fast-casual Italian menu, Forno features unique dishes such as sticky pork ribs, seasonal salads, and soups and, of course, Dante’s famous wood-fired pizzas. 

With a drink menu offering only the best wine, beer and cocktails, a meal at Forno is memorable.

Mula

Mula looks at its service through two eyes – the food and the drink. Its menu is based on traditional Mexican street cuisine, such as carne asada and chicken mole tacos. 

Mula has been certified as a tequileria, which means that 80 percent of the staff has learned the history and production of the drink. 

Noli’s Pizzeria

Offering fresh made-to-order pizza by the slice, Noli’s Pizzeria quickly became an Omaha favorite. Located near 40th and Farnam streets, Noli’s is located on the western end of Blackstone.

Slice of pizza and a menu at Noli's Pizzeria

Believing water is the key to the perfect pizza dough, Noli’s uses specially-filtered water, which helps create an outstanding dough for its pizza. You can your order by name, such as the Margherita and Capricosa (made with local salami), or create your own. 

While there, try one of the dinner salads. With its house dressing, the salads are worthy of a meal of their own.

Lunchtime can be a challenge for a sitdown meal, as the small dining space is usually full. But, if you have the time, Noli’s pizza is worth waiting in line. 

Tip: Noli’s second location is at Inner Rail Food Hall

Stirnella

Working with local farms and distributors, Stirnella prides itself on a menu using locally-sourced ingredients. While its menu features American comfort food, including fried chicken, the chef puts his own twist on it with sides such as sweet potato puree and sweet and sour onion gravy. 

Interior of Stirnella in the Blackstone District

The restaurant’s name stems from the Meadowlark, the state bird, representing its genus and species.

Looking for an Omaha restaurant? Head to the trendy historic neighborhood, the Blackstone District. See where to get wood-fire pizza, sushi, donuts, and the sandwich the neighborhood is known for, the Reuben. #Omaha #Nebraska #restaurant #OmahaFood #Guide