The Hidden Petting Zoo In The City: Scatter Joy Acres

There’s a 26-acre ranch that has long been Omaha’s best-kept secret. Scatter Joy Acres is a working farm and petting zoo tucked among trees in the middle of Omaha. I’ve only recently “discovered” it, but it turns out, many of my friends have already known about it and loved it.

Petting emus at Scatter Joy Acres in Omaha Nebraska

What is Scatter Joy Acres

Joy Bartling started Scatter Joy Acres in 2005/2006 as a rescue for abused and neglected animals. Its original name was Soby Ranch Ministries. It grew and relocated to its current location in north Omaha.

Scatter Joy Acres is now a working ranch with more than 100 animals including pigs, horses, goats, alpacas, peafowl, cows, emu, sheep, and a pretty interesting camel. Animals are kept in pins that visitors are allowed to let themselves into (except for a few areas that are well-marked).

While you’ll encounter most of those animals at the petting zoo, some are involved in therapy sessions for developmentally-disabled, seniors, at-risk children, and veterans.

Porcupine at Scatter Joy Acres in Omaha, Neb.

We talked with a volunteer at the farm who introduced us to the porcupine who is often used in teaching kids. The porcupine looked pretty intimidating, but it turns out, she’s rather friendly. She might even crawl into your lap!

I didn’t cuddle a porcupine during our visit, alas. But she did eat a turnip out of my hand, so that was a win.

Why go to Scatter Joy Acres?

The last few months have been stressful for everyone, so the idea of visiting a farm, with its wide open spaces and cute baby animals, really really appealed to me. It turned out, it was the prescription my whole family needed.

A donkey eats at Scatter Joy Acres

We finally felt at ease. There was room to roam. There were animals to pet.

I can think of many reasons to go to Scatter Joy on top of just needing a break from pandemic hysteria:

  • It’s educational. Think of it as a field trip.
  • It’s therapeutic. Just try not to smile back when a camel grins at you.
  • It’s supporting a good cause. Many of these animals are rescue animals that get a new life now as therapy animals.

Is there food available at the farm?

The main reason my family left before we felt totally ready to leave was that we were hungry (OK, the main reason was they were closing for the day and ready to kick us out, but the second reason was that we were hungry).

This place is more farm than attraction, so you won’t find a snack shack or concession stand. There is a vending machine.

We were pretty thirsty by the end of our visit and the water fountain wasn’t working, so I’d suggest bringing a bottle of water or being prepared to buy one.

A barn at Scatter Joy Acres in Omaha, Nebraska

The farm during COVID-19

Here’s is Scatter Joy’s statement in regards to the pandemic:

“Scatter Joy Acres is proactively working to protect the health of our guests and our animals. We remain open and events are continuing as scheduled. SJA will modify our response to the situation as needed. Our plan regarding Coronavirus includes closely monitoring national, state, and local health authorities for recommendations regarding safe operations.

Donkeys at Scatter Joy Acres

“SJA will follow the recommendations regarding safety and precautionary measures issued by the CDC, Douglas County Health Department, Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. All volunteers have been asked to help prevent the spread of disease by taking steps to reduce the transmission of infectious disease in the workplace.

  • “The best strategy remains common sense; frequent hand washing with warm, soapy water for a minimum of 30 seconds; covering your mouth whenever you sneeze or cough; and discarding used tissues in wastebaskets.
  • “SJA has always provided hand sanitizer for volunteers and guests and will continue that practice.”
  • “SJA volunteers are asked not report to work while they are ill.

“Guests are asked not to come while they are ill.”

A volunteer at Scatter Joy Acres holds a baby emu

Volunteers do not wear masks at Scatter Joy, so if that concerns you, it would be best to wait to visit.

The acreage is spacious so it’s pretty easy to practice social-distancing, as long as you are patient entering and leaving a pen. A few spaces are narrow, especially in the barn near the rabbits, so it’s harder to practice social distancing if someone is already in that space.

Just have patience.

Hours and admission

For the general public, you’ll want to keep tabs on tithe petting zoo hours. For the spring and summer (March 1 to Aug. 31), the hours are Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 3 p.m.

Goats at Scatter Joy Acres, a petting zoo in Omaha

Tip: Spring is a good time to visit because of all the baby animals. When we were there, we saw baby emu and puppies.

The fall petting zoo hours (Sept. 1 to Oct. 31) are Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 3 p.m.

Winter Hours (Nov. 1 to Feb. 28 or 29) and Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

We went on a Sunday and had no problem seeing all of the animals in about two hours. Of course, we could’ve spent more time there, so I’d recommend planning to spend three or four hours there.

We left only because we were hungry and had missed lunch…and well, they were trying to close.

An up-close look at a tortoise at Scatter Joy Acres in Omaha, Nebraska

Admission is $7 per person on weekdays and $10 per person on the weekend. Children younger than 2 are admitted FREE.

Where is Scatter Joy?

Interestingly enough, I lived fairly near Scatter Joy Acres for years without knowing it. I moved this spring and only after I moved further away from it did I finally visit. You don’t have to be like me.

Address: 4966 Newport Ave., Omaha

There’s plenty of parking, though I imagine once the secret gets out, that might not always be the case.

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Where to find more animals in Nebraska

Can’t get enough of animals with a single visit to a farm? Here are more places to find animals throughout Nebraska:

OmahaOmaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium. While there isn’t a petting zoo per se, there are places with animal encounters, including goats at the Children’s Adventure Trails, sting rays at Sting Ray Bay, and starfish and other sea creatures at the aquarium.

Ashland – The Nebraska Wildlife Safari is primarily a drive-through safari, but there is a chance to stop and visit a petting zoo with goats and chickens (though, it is temporarily closed due to COVID-19).

LincolnLincoln Children’s Zoo has many opportunities to see animals up-close. This zoo is made with kids in mind.

You don't have to venture too far in Nebraska to find a working farm! Here's a guide to Scatter Joy Acres in Omaha, Nebraska. Learn about the animals, mission, and when to visit this unique petting zoo at a ranch. #Nebraska #FamilyTravel #Farm #PettingZoo #Animals

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Looking for an off-the-beaten-path fun outing in Omaha? Scatter Joy Acres may be Omaha's best-kept secret. Learn about this petting zoo and working ranch and the rescue animals that live there. #Omaha #Nebraska #FamilyTime #FamilyTravel #FarmLife

17 Omaha Craft Breweries You Should Try

In a few short years (or so it seems), Omaha has grown into a booming craft brewery scene. I’ve had a few years to explore the industry (ahem, perhaps a more than a few years), so I thought I’d share my favorite brews from all of the breweries.

Beer on the patio of Upstream Brewing Co. in Downtown Omaha

Be sure to comment with your favorites! If I missed a brewery (or another one opened up), let me know.

Background on Kim’s beer picks

I’m by no means a beer snob or connoisseur. In fact, if you look over the list, you’ll see I tend to just favor a few kinds of beers (brown ales, saisons). However, I do love trying new beers. So, that’s why I made this post.

A flight of beers at Benson Brewery

I started learning about the Nebraska microbrewery scene in 2008, when my then-fiance and I held a beer tasting fundraiser for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Back then, there weren’t many Omaha breweries, so we sought brewers throughout the state.

It was a fun and successful fundraiser, and we got to know the friendly and generous people behind some of the state’s longest-running breweries.

A saison at Farnam House Brewing Co. in Midtown Omaha

It’s awesome to see the brewers grow over the past 10+ years! Some of those early brewers eventually opened a taproom in Omaha, like Thunderhead and Empyrean.

Omaha Craft Breweries

Benson Brewery

Found on the main drag of the Benson neighborhood, Benson Brewery is a great spot for food and drinks before a night out. The brewery opened in 2013.

This is one of the few brewpubs that are family-friendly, and even has a kid's menu with things like burgers and mac and cheese.

COVID-19 Update: The brewery offers curbside pickup, online ordering and delivery, with operating hours being Monday through Saturday, 4 to 9 p.m. (you can start calling in orders at 3 p.m.). The dining room is closed for the foreseeable future.

Try: The Blonde Bunny is a good, light ale.

Where: 6059 Maple St.

Brickway Brewery and Distillery

With a taproom in the Old Market, Brickway Brewery and Distillery is a prime spot to grab a beer and people-watch the afternoon away.

Brickway is also a distillery, so if you're thirsty for something a little stronger, they distill their own gin, whiskey, vodka, bourbon and rum.

COVID-19 Update: Beer and spirits are available to-go. The creative guys at Brickway also started making hand-sanitizer and now have made enough to offer it for free. Every Friday, you can get 64oz (BYOB). The rest of the week, you can get a free 10-oz bottle, one per person.

Try: I'm partial to their Red Lager.

Where: 1116 Jackstom St.

Farnam House Brewing Company

This spacious brewery in Midtown Omaha offers both food and beers. The basement is where the brewing magic happens. Farnam House's typical lineup on tap includes farmhouse ales, German Lager, Bock, Stout, and sours, as well as some pretty creative brews.

COVID-19 Update: They offer delivery through GrubHub. Beer is available in cans and growlers.

Try: Give the Rye Peppercorn Saison a try.

Where: 3558 Farnam St.

Infusion Brewing Co. 

Infusion is steadily becoming a favorite of mine, especially since our pool carries my favorite beer on tap. The original location in Benson is in the former Olson's Meat Market, and has an awesome restored, vintage look to it. The brewery has opened additional taprooms in West Omaha and in Little Bohemia in downtown Omaha.

COVID-19 Update: All taprooms are open for to-go orders only.

Try: You'll want to try the Vanilla Bean Blonde.

Where: 6115 Maple St.; 6271 S. 118th St.; and 1406 S. 13th St.

Jaipur Brewing Company and Restaurant

Jaipur is first and foremost a restaurant serving delicious Indin food. However, they also brew their own beer.

COVID-19 Update: Jaipur offers carry-out and delivery for the food menu only.

Try: The Jalapeno Ale is delicious but has a kick to it.

Where: 10922 Elm St. in Rockbrook Village

Jukes Ale Works

One of the newer breweries in the metro area, Jukes Ale House opened in the fall of 2019.

COVID-19 Update: Jukes offers food and crowlers curbside to-go.

Try: Jukes is a brewery I have yet to visit, so looking over their menu, I'd go with the Little Lady Grisette, one of their core beers. The beer is made with a simple grain bill of pilsner and wheat and a blend of French Strisselspalt and German Perle hops. What sells me on it, though, is that it's made with a special strain of saison yeast. I love Saisons.

Where: 20560 Elkhorn Drive, Elkhorn, Neb.

Kros Strain Brewing Co.

The interestingly named Kros Strain Brewing Co. is a La Vista brewery formed by two beer lovers, Bobby Kros and Scott Strain. Their style of brewing is to always tinker with flavors, so you'll always find something wholly unique on tap there.

COVID-19 Update: Kros Strain beers are avaialble for pick-up only at the brewery. It's 20% off for now and can be ordered online.

Try: Fairy Nectar London Double Dry Hop, my husband's favorite local beer. It's a tad too hoppy for me, but the beer did earn second place at that 2018 Juicy Hazy IPA category at the Great American Beer Festival.

Where: 10411 Portal Road, La Vista, Neb.

Lazlo's Brewery and Grill and Empryrean Brewing Co.

The first location of Lazlo's Brewery and Grill, Lincoln’s Historic Haymarket District, opened in 1991, making it Nebraska's first brewpub. There are now three locations, including one in West Omaha.

Their in-house brewery is called Empyrean Brewing Co.

COVID-19 Update: Lazlo's offers curbside pick-up and delivery of food as well as beer, wine, cocktails and gift cards.

Try: My favorite Empyrean beer is Third Stone Brown Ale.

Where: 2425 S. 192nd Ave.

Lucky Bucket Brewing Co.

My first introduction to Lucky Bucket was right after the brewery opened in 2008. Raising money for Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team in Training, my then-fiance and I decided to have a beer tasting fundraiser and Lucky Bucket was the first enthusiastic brewery to donate beer for it. I've been grateful to them ever since.

They've branched out and added a distillery (Cut Spike), but the beer is what we're talking about here. Lucky Bucket offers brewery tours once a month.

COVID-19 Update: The brewery offers pick-up on its beers, as well as discounted growler refills. The distillery recently started making hand sanitizer for first responders but may have it available to the public later in April.

Try: You've got to try the brewery's first beer, Lucky Bucket Pre-Prohibition Lager.

Where: 11941 Centennial Rd, La Vista, Neb.

Nebraska Brewing Co.

Nebraska Brewing Co. formed in 1997, is the state's most award-winning brewer. I've rarely encountered a dud there.

I haven't been to the new taproom, but they say it's kid-friendly, just like their old the old brewpub used to be.

They offer brewery tours.

COVID-19 Update: Nebraska Brewing Co. offers custom can ordering for pickup, plus some nifty mixed drinks in a can, like margaritas.

Try: Brunette Nut Ale, an English-style beer that's not too hoppy, but just right.

Where: 6950 S. 108th St., La Vista, Neb.

Pint Nine Brewing Co.

One of the newer breweries in the Omaha area, Pint Nine has a devoted following. Popular Omaha food trucks are often parked in front of the brewery.

This brewery offers tours.

COVID-19 Update: They offer to-go orders via email, phone or text.

Try: Give the Session Red a try.

Where: 10411 Portal Road, suite 104, La Vista, Neb.

Scriptown Brewing Co.

The Scriptown brewery is located in the trendy Blackstone District. Scriptown does a great job partnering with other Omaha small businesses, offering Noli's pizza deals, a Kathmandu Momo Station, and they've been known to do beer floats using Coneflower Creamery ice cream.

COVID-19 Update: You can order online for pick-up.

Try: Nut Job Brown Ale is a smooth beer to try.

Where: 3922 Farnam St.

Soaring Wings Vineyard & Brewery

Yes, Soaring Wings is a winery and vineyard, first and foremost. And while the whites there are pretty nice on a warm summer day, I've taken to their beers even more.

While it's a bit more of a drive to Soaring Wings versus others on this list, it's worth it to enjoy the view.

COVID-19 Update: They offer takeout and local deliveries.

Try: Pegasus Pilsner, a German-style pilsner.

Where: 17111 S. 138th St., Springfield, Neb.

Thunderhead Brewing

Thunderhead Brewing started in Kearney, Neb., but they've opened three more locations, including two in Omaha. The West Omaha location is beer-only, but you can bring your own food and kids are welcome. The downtown Omaha location is also beer-only, and kids and fur babies are welcome.

In April 2020, the folks behind Thunderhead opened Nebraska's largest liquor store in Omaha, Wine, Beer, and Spirits.

COVID-19 Update: Omaha taprooms are closed. They offered carry-out in March.

Try: I'm partial to the wheat beer, Golden Frau.

Where: 1037 Jones St. (downtown) and 13304 West Center Road, suite 126 (West Omaha)

Upstream Brewing Co.

Omaha's oldest brewpub, Upstream has been around since 1996. The large restaurant/brewery in the Old Market is surprisingly kid-friendly - every Tuesday there's a hilarious roving magician.

COVID-19 Update: Upstream Brewing Co. announced plans to reopen with a socially-distant floor plan sometime in mid-May.

Try: I usually order the Dundee Export Scotch Ale.

Where: 514 S. 11th St.

Vis Major Brewing Co.

Consider Vis Major your friendly, Omaha neighborhood brewery. They offer food along with beer and cocktails, including the pretty interesting specialty pizza, The Goonie.

Free tours are available on select days.

COVID-19 Update: You can order food and beers online for carryout or curbside pick-up.

Try: Taste the Highland Brown Ale.

Where: 3501 Center St.

Zipline Brewing Co.

Zipline Brewing has grown over the years, expanding from Lincoln into Omaha with two locations, a NoDo taproom in downtown Omaha (conveniently by Film Streams and The Slowdown), and a lounge in West Omaha.

COVID-19 Update: Zipline offers no-contact pick-up of its beers at both Omaha locations. You must place your order online.

Zipline started Workforce Wednesday, where every Wednesday in May, furloughed members of the restaurant and bar industry can get a free glass growler. You must purchase the growler to be filled with the beer of your choice or bring a Zipline growler you've already purchased. *must be pre-ordered online!

Try: Copper Alt is a must-try.

Where: 721 N. 14th St. (downtown) and 3808 S. 203rd Plaza (West Omaha)

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A guide to the best microbreweries in Omaha, Nebraska - Including which brewpubs welcome pets and families. #Omaha #beers #Nebraska #brewery #Midwest

15+ Omaha Organizations Who Rock Virtual Experiences For All Ages

I don’t know about you, but I’m about to throw out the remaining month of schoolwork for my kids. Is it worth the battles getting it done? Especially when I’ve discovered an abundance of educational, creative, and fun activities online created by Omahan organizations! They can learn science, history, art, biology and more…plus they can get some physical activity in there as well!

My kids watching a virtual history lesson through a Zoom session hosted by The Durham Museum.

My kids have enjoyed tinkering challenges from Omaha Children’s Museum, learning about Omaha history with The Durham Museum, and creative movement lessons with The Rose. How about your kids? Need some ideas? Here are a few of the Omaha groups putting on fantastic classes, sessions, and videos online:

American Midwest Ballet

  • They’re sharing online dance classes for different ability levels on their Youtube page. Classes include ballet and other forms of dance and conditioning.

Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts

  • The Bemis Center’s Facebook page frequently has live videos featuring lectures, studio tours, and dance parties. They also started sharing “Liv Schulman: The Gobernment,” a six-episode video installation, on Vimeo. Each episode is online for only seven days.

City Sprouts

  • Visit City Sprouts’ Facebook page every Friday at 10 a.m. to catch Little Sprouts Live, featuring kid-friendly, virtual lessons on food, gardening, and the natural world. The supply list is posted

Do Space

  • Do Space is offering several different webinars for various age groups, including Little’s Lab, Junior Makers, and Kid Coders. Keep track of when these free webinars occur by viewing Do Space’s online calendar.

The Durham Museum 

  • Digital Learning at home every weekday morning at 10 a.m. Sign up for the Zoom session at the museum’s website. It’s free, but you need to register to get the Zoom meeting invite.
  • STEAM Storytime every Monday at 10:30 a.m. on their Facebook page.

Fontenelle Forest

  • Visit the forest’s Facebook page for educational virtual talks, some live, and some you’ll have to register to attend via Zoom (it’s free but you need to pre-register), like the upcoming one about American beavers.

Don’t forget to show your support for the organizations you follow and watch. Donate to show your appreciation! The museums and organizations on this list are all nonprofits.

Joslyn Art Museum

  • Art Adventures Live! Is held every Friday at 10:30 a.m. on their Facebook page.
  • The museum offers a lot of short, virtual classes online, curator talks, and family-oriented art prompts. See all of their offerings on their website.

Kaneko

Kerfuffle 

  • Kerfuffle is theater for the really young. They’re holding weekly donation-based, interactive movement classes on Zoom for children under the age of 6. Register by searching Kerfuffle on Eventbrite or email kerfuffletvy@gmail.com
  • They also have daily storytimes on their Facebook page.

Omaha Children’s Museum

  • Every morning at 8:30ish, the museum posts a new video on their Facebook page featuring either a Tinker Challenge, Kitchen ABCs recipe, storytime, or a game. 

Omaha Community Playhouse

  • The community theater’s Henry Fonda Theatre Academy will hold its spring session online. Children attending a class during the spring session earn a scholarship to attend a class during the fall session.

Omaha Conservatory of Music

  • Kids can keep up with practicing their instruments or learn a new one through virtual lessons through Omaha Conservatory of Music. Hourly sessions are available.

Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium

  • Offering small, $10 virtual classes for different age groups. Register on the zoo’s website.
  • Keepers are sharing videos on the zoo’s Facebook page, offering up-close looks at different animals and lots of great learning.

Omaha Performing Arts

  • Omaha Performing Arts has movement warm-ups led by Disney Musicals in Schools Teaching Artist, Aaron Derell Gregory, every Wednesday at 10 a.m. The virtual sessions are on YouTube
  • Each Saturday at 11 a.m., tune to O-pa’s YouTube channel for Jazz Academy Teaching Artist, Shawn Bell, who leads short video lessons for students of all ages on different concepts behind jazz improvisation. 

Omaha Symphony

  • Omaha Symphony offers a vast Virtual Classroom, featuring downloadable packets, and informative videos on instruments, techniques, and helpful tips.

Opera Omaha

  • Check the Opera Omaha Facebook page for daily creativity prompts including drawing, creating music inspired by something like the weather, and more.

Pottawattamie Arts, Culture and Entertainment

  • The Pottawattamie County arts organization in Council Bluffs shares #ArtFromHome videos on their Facebook page featuring fun art projects.

The Rose Theater

  • Follow their Youtube channel for brief acting workshops, theater craft workshops, and movement workshops for kids. There are also videos of readings of stories.

Union Pacific Railroad Museum

  • The museum holds free Zoom sessions occasionally, teaching historical lessons connected to the railroad. An upcoming one explores the railroad’s connection to National Parks. Register so you can get the free invite to the Zoom meeting.
  • UPRM also holds virtual family events in place of their usual month First Friday events. During these events, the staff will share history, activities, and other fun stuff virtually on Facebook. The next two themes are “Under The Big Top” and “Celebrate Summer.”
Virtual lessons, workshops and activities are fun ways to keep kids connected with their community. Here are the Omaha organizations who are doing a great job creating virtual experiences for kids (and adults) at home!

Sample Weekly Schedule Of Virtual Classes

It is possible to plan a fun virtual activity each day of the week. Here’s one possible weekly schedule:

  • Monday – Watch The Durham Museum’s STEAM Storytime at 10:30 a.m. Find it on their Facebook page.
  • Tuesday – Visit Omaha Children’s Museum’s Facebook page after 8:30 a.m. to see what fun activity they have planned for kids today. It could be a tinker challenge, craft, or a game.
  • Wednesday – Do a 10-minute movement warm-up at 10 a.m. on Omaha Performing Arts’ Youtube Channel. It’s led by a Disney Musicals in Schools Teaching Artist.
  • Thursday – Let’s see what is today’s creative prompt on the Opera Omaha Facebook page.
  • Friday – Make some art with Joslyn Art Museum during Art Adventures Live! at 10:30 a.m. on their Facebook page.
  • Saturday – Sign the kids up for Little’s Lab through Do Space. The webinar is in the morning.
  • Sunday – Feeling limber? Let’s take a beginner dance lesson on the American Midwest Ballet YouTube page.

Get ideas for more virtual experiences around the state of Nebraska!

Stay connected to the Omaha creative community with virtual experiences! Here are 15+ organizations who offer fun workshops, dance lessons, and informative Zoom sessions for kids and adults. It's a great way to keep learning and stay involved with your favorite Omaha nonprofits and organizations!

35+ Food Trucks You’ve Gotta Try In Omaha

Food trucks in Omaha have been growing in numbers and popularity in recent years. Many have legions of fans who follow social media feeds to find out where they’ll park next, or they venture to downtown Omaha for Food Truck Thursdays. When I first published an intro to Omaha food trucks, the count for food trucks was around 15ish. Now, Omaha has nearly twice that (probably even more flying under the radar).

I’ve categorized food trucks by cuisine. Most likely, whatever you’re craving, there’s a food truck for that. I didn’t include all the members of the Omaha Food Truck Association, only because it was hard to determine if a few were still operating.

Please double-check that the food truck is still in operation before going. Some operate only on a seasonal basis.

Omaha's food truck scene keeps growing! Here's a list of 35+ food trucks to seek out in the Omaha metro area, including BBQ, pizza, Thai, and Mexican. #Omaha #foodtrucks #guide #eatloca

American cuisine

The Cheese Life

Where to find them: Omaha and nearby communities

What they serve: All things cheesy. They have a variety of grilled cheeses, as well as mac & cheese, cheese curds, cheese tots and whatever else the can be dipped in cheese.

Chicago Dawg House

Where to find them: Once a storefront at Midtown Crossing, Chicago Dawg is now a mobile food truck called the Weenie Wagon. I’ve seen them at Jazz on the Green at Midtown Crossing.

What they serve: Chicago-style hot dogs, of course. Plus brats, sausages, Italian beef sandwiches, and fries.

Mobile Grace Food Truck

Where to find them: Omaha

What they serve: A variety of burgers (both veggie and regular), plus sides like quinoa salad and potato wedges. This is a unique food truck, since they carry the same mission as the bricks and mortar location, Table Grace: “The mission of Table Grace Ministries is to nourish hungry bodies and souls, while fostering a healthy community. This is done by offering tasty, healthy food prepared and served to anyone who walks through the door, regardless of one’s ability to pay.”

On The Hook Fish and Chips

Where to find them: Omaha and surrounding communities

What they serve: This franchise food truck serves wild-caught Alaskan cod with fries (AKA, chips).

Scooter Dogs

Where to find them: Omaha

What they serve: All-beef hot dogs, brats and sausage, though it sounds like in 2020 they’ll be unveiling a beef sandwich.

Streetside Foods

Where to find them: Omaha and surrounding communities. They often share their location on their Facebook page.

What they serve: A variety of food, ranging from cheeseburgers and subs, to chicken tenders, and wraps. The desserts are killer: Cannolis and deep-fried Oreos.

Rude Shrimp Co.

Where to find them: Waterloo, Neb.

What they serve: A lot of shrimp options inspired by the food found on the North Shore of Oahu, as well as mac & cheese, burgers, and hot dogs.

Wonton Jon’s

Where to find them: Omaha and surrounding communities. Keep up to date on their Facebook page.

What they serve: How do you define this? It’s wontons but it’s not really Asian. They serve craft, baked wontons (not fried) with pretty creative fillings.

Food trucks parked on 14th Street in Downtown Omaha.

Barbecue

402 BBQ 

Where to find them: Omaha, Council Bluffs, and surrounding areas. Look them up on Facebook for details. 402BBQ 

What they serve: Ultimate saucy comfort food. Barbecue classics include pulled pork, beef brisket, smoked turkey and smoked sausage. Sides include smoked mac and cheese and bison chili.

LeBlanc’s BBQ, Cajun & More

Where to find them: Omaha and Council Bluffs

What they serve: This is one aptly named food truck. They serve pit barbecue and Cajun food like gumbo, crawfish etoufee and fried stuff.

Sauce Bosses BBQ & More

Where to find them: Omaha and surrounding communities. 

What they serve: Wood-fired smoked meats on sandwiches and ribs. They have several meal deals, though they recommend pre-ordering them via Facebook messenger so it will be ready when you go to the food truck.

Smoke On Arrival BBQ

Where to find them: Kennard, Neb., and communities outside of Omaha (including Tekamah, Arlington and Blair). See where they’ll be on their Facebook page.

What they serve: Baby back ribs, and barbecue standards for sides like coleslaw and cowboy beans.

Tattoo Bob’s Bar-B-Q

Where to find them: Omaha. They announce upcoming locations on their Facebook page.

What they serve: Slabs of ribs, whole smoked chicken, brisket sandwiches and more barbecue fare.

Cajun

Taste of New Orleans

Where to find them: Omaha and surrounding communities

What they serve: Authentic Cajun cuisine, like jambalaya as well as plenty of fried foods like shrimp and fish.

English cuisine

The Dire Lion Grille & Chippy

Where to find them: Omaha, surrounding communities. Check their website for the schedule.

What they serve: Tasty, tasty pub food like fish and chips. The menu is surprisingly vast, though, so you’ll also occasionally find falafel, chicken tikka masala, and kebabs.

Food truck churros in Downtown Omaha

Mexican food

La Cabanita Food Truck

Where to find them: South Omaha

What they serve: Traditional Mexican food like tacos, tortas, burritos and quesadillas.

The Churro Truck

Where to find them: Omaha events, and often they’re at Continental Cellular’s parking lot at 72nd and Farnam streets.

What they serve: Mexican street food like elotes and tamales, and naturally, churros. 

Dos De Oros

Where to find them: O’Reilly’s parking lot, 3310 S. 24th St.

What they serve: Pretty much known for their tacos, you can also order burritos and torta. The burritos, you guys, are HUGE.

For The Love Of Food Truck

Where to find them: Bellevue, Neb.

What they serve: All kinds of burritos, including breakfast burritos.

La Morenita Food Truck

Where to find them: 4420 L St. in Omaha

What they serve: Traditional Mexican food like tacos and burritos. They’re known for tacos al pastor (just see all the Facebook videos and photos of the slowing marinating meat).

Maria Bonita

Where to find them: Omaha. The brightly-colored truck is pretty recognizable at Food Truck Thursdays in downtown Omaha.

What they serve: Traditional Mexican cuisine like tacos, enchiladas and burritos.

Muchachos

Where to find them: While mostly parked somewhere in Lincoln, Neb., occasionally the food truck makes a visit to Omaha.

What they serve: Fusion Mexican, so think “tacos meets barbecue,” with a side of meaty mac & cheese.   

Tacos Villasenor

Where to find them: 305 E. Military Ave., Fremont, Neb.

What they serve: Grilled Mexican food like tacos, burritos and torts. They share tempting photos on their Facebook page.

The Three Amigas

Where to find them: Omaha. They announce their location on their Facebook page.

What they serve: Authentic Mexican dishes like tamales, tacos, and horchata.

Boy in front of the La Casa food truck in Omaha

Italian/Pizza

Anthony Piccolo’s

Where to find them: Currently available to visit Omaha neighborhoods upon request.

What they serve: This is the food truck version of the classic Omaha steakhouse, Piccolo’s. Think meatball subs, burgers and food smothered in marinara. 

Hawk’s Pizza

Where to find them: Omaha. They share their location on their Facebook page, usually.

What they serve: Pizza (“so good, your hair will stand on end”), of course, plus salads, wraps, and a few sides.

Johnny Ricco’s Brooklyn Pizza

Where to find them: Omaha and nearby communities. They have a calendar on their website, but they seem to keep social media more frequently.

What they serve: Brooklyn-style pizza, by the slice or whole pies, plus a few other Italian specialties. Pizza toppings are seasonal, though they do carry some standards. And don’t forget dessert: They serve cannoli and fudge. 

La Casa Pizzaria Food Truck

Where to find them: Omaha. I’ve seen them at Omaha events like Taste of Omaha.

What they serve: La Casa is one of my favorite pizzerias in Omaha, serving up this unusual thin-crust rectangular type of pizza that is just divine. It’s served by-the-slice. Menu also includes sandwiches and a few other specialties.

The restaurant location for La Casa will always be dear to my heart, and it’s ranked among the 33 must-try restaurants in Omaha.

Pasta-tively Delicious Food Truck

Where to find them: Omaha and nearby communities

What they serve: Pasta and sliders with a variety of homemade sauces.

Pomodoro Fresh Italian Food Truck

Where to find them: Council Bluffs, Iowa. They’ll announce their location on their Facebook page.

What they serve: Pasta, subs, spicy Italian sausage, and sandwiches. They also offer a couple family meal deals that serve four. 

Prairie Fire Pizza

Where to find them: Omaha, look for them at the downtown Omaha Farmers Market on Saturdays (seasonally). They’re also a regular at Shakespeare on the Green (though the 2020 season has been canceled). 

What they serve: Eight-inch wood-fired pizzas. They’ll serve breakfast pizzas when they’re at the farmers market.

Sweet stuff and coffee

AG&G Concessions

Where to find them: Bellevue, Neb. They’re seasonal so no locations have been announced on their Facebook page.

What they serve: Funnel cakes and other sweet treats you’d typically find at a concession stand at a fair.

Captain Blintz

Where to find them: This Lincoln-based food truck makes appearances in the Omaha metro from time to time. Follow their Facebook page for updates.

What they serve: Sweet and savory crepes, including their popular Monte Cristo.

Java Daddies

Where to find them: They have a bricks and mortar location in the Old Market, but you can find the truck out in about in Omaha and nearby communities. They announce locations on their Facebook page.

What they serve: Gourmet coffee and breakfast pastries.

Maui Wowi 

Where to find them: Omaha

What they serve: This franchise food truck serves two things: Smoothies and coffee.

New Orleans Sneaux

Where to find them: Omaha

What they serve: Snowballs, which are fancy and fluffy snowcones made with shaved ice and topped with exotic or classic flavors. When the weather’s cold, they have hot chocolate.

The Smoothie Truck

Where to find them: 84 Hogan Drive, Papillion, Neb.

What they serve: The biggest list on their menu is, not surprisingly, smoothies. They also serve açaí bowls and a variety of avocado toast. Their menu lists quite a bit of organic ingredients.

Snow Daze

Where to find them: The park is usually parked at the Supermercado and Thrift World parking lot at 2900 Leavenworth St.

What they serve: Snow cones with a 36 different flavors.

Thai food

Sweet Rice Thai Food

Where to find them: Springfield, Neb., and Omaha

What they serve: I think this was Sweet Lime Food Truck back in the day. Now, that bright lime-green truck is Sweet Rice Thai Food. They sell fried rice, pad Thai, and a variety of other Thai deliciousness. They have a brick and mortar location in Springfield, but occasionally, the food truck is out and about.

Venezuelan

El Arepon Venzuela Food Truck

Where to find them: ALDI parking lot at 885 S. 72nd St.

What they serve: Made-to-order Venezuelan food like arepas, empanadas and quesillo.

Where to find the best food trucks in Omaha - This list includes a variety of food trucks from Italian and Mexican, to BBQ and shaved ice. Find out where to find the food trucks' schedules, what's on the menus, and more. #foodtruck #Omaha #Nebraska #midwestisbest #OmahaFood

These Omaha Restaurants Are Killing It On Instagram

Strange times we’re in. I can’t even put into words how much I wish I could gather a group of friends at one of my favorite Omaha restaurants for a relaxing meal and drinks. But, for now, photos are going to have to suffice. And Instagram is the place to find them. I rounded up local restaurants who have brought their A Game to Instagram these days. Give them a follow!

Love food? Love Omaha restaurants? This is a list of restaurants, bakeries, and ice cream shops in Omaha that have stunning photos on Instagram. If you aren't hungry, you will be. #Omaha #Nebraska #foodphotography #foodie #eatlocal

PS: Please follow me on Instagram, too. I’m @ohmyomaha.

Omaha Restaurants That Rock On Instagram

These restaurants are killing it on Instagram with their drool-inducing photos. If you can't visit your favorite local restaurant (or discover a new favorite), then at the very least, curate an Instagram feed full of good food.

Want to know more about restaurants in Omaha?

If you’re new to the blog, let me fill you in on something: I write about Omaha a lot. And I tend to write A LOT about Omaha restaurants. Use the search tool to lookup type of food found in Omaha (try pizzas, bakeries, hamburgers, donuts, steaks) or neighborhood (I recommend Blackstone, West Omaha or the Old Market).

My daughter enjoying a cone from Coneflower Creamery in the Blackstone District.

I’m a mom, so most of time, dining in Omaha is a chaotic affair with my young kids. But we still dine well. So if you want to know where to go in Omaha where you can enjoy good food AND feel comfortable bringing along kids, read this post about family-friendly Omaha restaurants. I even narrowed down a few good options in the downtown area.

No kids? Try these Omaha date night restaurants.

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There are a lot of restaurants in Omaha with an Instagram account, but these are the restaurants sharing the most amazing photos! Check out which restaurants to follow for beautiful food photography and inspiration for your next dinner out. #Omaha #Nebraska #foodphotos #foodies

How To Help Unemployed Neighbors In Omaha

We all know someone who’s lost their job in the last month, right? And, perhaps you’re like me, and want to offer more than just the suggestion that they file unemployment and read the Omaha Chamber of Commerce’s huge Crisis Response Resource page. There is a way you can help people laid off from popular Omaha restaurants and stores – donate to a fund (donate money and/or time).

Below you’ll find neighborhood funds set up for the following parts of Omaha: Dundee, Blackstone, and Gifford Park & Joslyn Castle neighborhoods. I’d love to add more, so if you know of another fund set up, please let me know!

Dundee neighborhood fund for unemployed workers

Employees who’ve lost their job in the Dundee neighborhood are receiving funds from the Dundee-Memorial Park Association and Dundee Merchants Association. You can donate to the fund here.

Both part-time and full-time employees who’ve been laid off will receive $100 checks every two weeks to unemployed people.

One of my favorite restaurants, Mark’s Bistro, had to lay off 40 people.

Many restaurants in Dundee are still open, as are some shops (to a certain degree). Here’s a list of all Dundee businesses, with phone numbers so you can call in an order for food or maybe other items.

Blackstone District fund for the service industry

The Blackstone District Association has set up a similar fund to provide association member employees in the service industry up to $1,000 every 30 days. You can donate through PayPal to contribute to the fund.

Blackstone has some of the best restaurants in Omaha, as well as bars and Coneflower Creamery. Most are still open to some degree, so you can still order take-out and delivery.

Midtown Mutual Aid Network

This network is a little different set up from the funds mentioned above. Here, residents of Gifford Park and Joslyn Castle neighborhoods can offer to help with different needs including:

  • – Childcare
  • – Cooking
  • – Delivery (buying groceries/supplies and dropping them off for folks)
  • – Petcare/dogwalking
  • – Internet subscriptions
  • – Medical advice (medical professional only)
  • – Storage Space
  • – Art, music, writing
  • – Mental health counseling
  • – Conversation/companionship
  • – Housecleaning
  • – Legal representation/advocacy (specifically labor & housing)
  • – Social services guidance (filing for medicare, unemployment, etc.)

People who live in those two neighborhoods can also volunteer to be a neighborhood point person.

Other Omaha area business associations

There are a lot of business associations out there, and while they didn’t have funds set up at the time of writing this post, they may eventually change. Here’s where you can find the latest updates on some of these associations (these are their Facebook pages, which seem to be updated more frequently than their websites):

Benson Neighborhood Association

Old Market Association

Leavenworth Neighborhood Association

Millard Business Association

North Omaha Neighborhood Alliance

Peony Park Neighborhood Association

South Omaha Neighborhood Alliance

Some of the associations have drives going for food, books, supplies, etc., so if you live in one of the neighborhoods above, go ahead and check out the Facebook page to see how you can help your neighbors. The association in North Omaha was particularly active!

More ways to help Omaha businesses

I want to make sure the small businesses in Omaha survive this crisis, so I created a list of 20+ ways you can help Omaha right now. The list includes locally-owned businesses and nonprofits like:

  • – Shops where you can order toys, puzzles, games, gardening supplies, and clothes online or by phone and pick-up curbside.
  • – Restaurants and bars that have take-out, curbside pick-up, and delivery.
  • – Nonprofits and what their current needs are.