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

Omaha's Oldest Restaurants You Need To Try Today

With so many restaurants to choose from, Omahans may seem spoiled when it comes to selecting a place to dine. From local mom and pop eateries to national chains, Omaha’s dining scene features more than 500 restaurants. That can make choosing the perfect dining spot very difficult.

One way to explore the culinary landscape is by visiting Omaha’s oldest restaurants. Only a handful of restaurants can say they’ve served Omahans dinner for more than 50 years.

Unique restaurants in Omaha - Omaha's longest-running restaurants to get breakfast, lunch and dinner. This list features Omaha's oldest restaurants that continue to run, including steakhouses, a greasy spoon, and century-old pizzeria. #Omaha #Nebraska #Restaurants

Even fewer can say they’ve been around for nearly a century.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking the link, I receive a small referral stipend.

Omaha's Oldest Restaurants

Omaha restaurant history

I consider restaurants to be a part of Omaha history, so I can be pretty passionate when recommending people eat local in order to help preserve Omaha’s history.

Why?

I wrote a book about well-known restaurants and hidden gems throughout Omaha’s history that have since closed. While writing the book, I learned about how restaurants played a role in the Civil Rights movement, Prohibition (and the repeal of it), and how the city fared during wars, recessions, and changing tastes.

Lest Restaurants of Omaha book cover

Regrettably, I hadn’t been to most that were open at one point in my life. In an attempt to change that, I’ve started dining at some of the oldest restaurants in Omaha. I hope you’ll do the same!

Truth be told, the food has been hit or miss at the restaurants. But I’m glad I patronized a local restaurant each and every time. There’s no mistaking how these restaurants played a role in Omaha history.

Looking for Omaha's oldest restaurants? Here are a few that are still open, including classic steakhouses, a pizzeria, popular burger joints. #Omaha #Nebraska #Midwest #Restaurants #Local

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Guide To 35+ Old Market Restaurants

Exterior of Old Market Candy Shop in Omaha, Nebraska

Omaha’s Old Market is a historic neighborhood with brick streets, quirky shops, and an abundance of restaurants. If you’re new to Omaha, or rarely visit the Old Market, it’s not always the easiest decision on figuring out where to eat. Since I love food and the Old Market, I’ve made this guide to help you pick a good restaurant.

Update: This post was updated in February 2020 to reflect a restaurant closure.

Omaha has a lot of great restaurants, especially in the history Old Market! Here's a guide from a local on the best places to eat and drink in the Old Market, including tips on kid-friendly restaurants and places the fit large groups. #Omaha #restaurants #Nebraska #Midwest #food

Where is the Old Market in Omaha?

The Old Market is located in downtown Omaha, Neb. It runs from Farnam Street on the north side to Jones Street on the south side, and from 10th Street on the east side to 13th Street on the west side. The main intersection is 11th and Howard – head there to get an iconic photo for Instagram.

Driving & Parking in the Old Market

Old Market can be a headache for drivers, but if you go in prepared, you’ll do just fine. 

Old Market driving tips:

  • – Most of the main streets of the Old Market are two-way. HOWEVER, many of the streets around those main streets are one-way…and some just stop being two-way. Pay close attention to street signs! The main drag, Howard Street, is two-way.

Old Market parking tips:

  • – Just expect to pay for parking. You’ll get very frustrated trying to find that elusive free parking spot. (Tip: Head to the 10th Street bridge heading south from the Old Market toward The Durham Museum.)
  • – Parking meters are everywhere. Meters run until 9 p.m. Time limits vary, but if you download the app, you should be able to add to it at least once if you’re dinner runs long. 
  • – You do not need to pay meters after 9 p.m., Sundays, or federal holidays. 
  • – Meter maids are quick to ticket cars. I used to live in the Old Market. They get you every time. I don’t care to share how many tickets I’ve gotten due to expired meters. Just make sure you keep track of time.  
  • – Meters aren’t your only option. There are parking lots in the Old Market – some with rates as low as a $1/hour. See all the downtown parking options here

Guide to Old Market restaurants

I’ve made recommendations below based on living and working near the Old Market for more than 10 years. While I try to make recommendations for locally-owned restaurants, I have to sprinkle in a few chains just because. I’ll let you know which ones are chains, though. 

Exterior of the Candy Shop in the Old Market historical neighborhood in Omaha.

Also, I will admit, this is not a comprehensive list of all restaurants, cafes, and bars in the Old Market. There are some places I just won’t recommend, either because I’ve never been there and I’m unsure of its reputation for service, or I’ve been and I don’t like it.

You’ll just have to guess why I left a place off. 🙂 

Related post: 33+ Must-Try Restaurants In Omaha

Best restaurant for large groups

I’ve hosted a few gatherings for large groups in my lifetime, and they were held in the Old Market. My top recommendation is Upstream Brewing Co., which can accommodate a large group and, if you plan ahead, you can have a large part of the second floor for your group. 

I held my husband’s surprise 30th birthday party there. While it is a brewery, it’s more of a brew pub-restaurant, and it’s family-friendly.

Best restaurants for a family

It might surprise you, but Upstream Brewing Co. is a pretty family-friendly restaurant. Besides a great kid’s menu, there is weekly entertainment. We love catching the magic show on Tuesdays.

Magician at Upstream Brewing Co. in Omaha, Nebraska.

If you go for weekend brunch, though, there is no kid’s menu. If the weather’s nice, try to snag sidewalk seating to people watch.

Other options:

Plank Seafood Provisions – If your kids will eat fish, this is a good pace to go! 

Zio’s Pizzeria – Ask for some pizza dough while you wait. It’s the best make-shift playdough you can find.

Related post: 8 Kid-Friendly Restaurants In Downtown Omaha

Best date night restaurants

La Buvette Wine & Grocery will always have a special place in my heart. This charming French restaurant & wine shop is comfortable and cozy. You can easily pretend you’re in a small wine bar somewhere in France. It’s first come, first serve so hover by the table you want to snag.

Outside seating at La Buvette, a French restaurant in the Old Market

Le Buillon is another great French restaurant, and a bit more upscale than La Buvette. They specialize in farm-to-table cuisine. 

Other options:

Jams American Grill – Contemporary American food

Monarch Prime & Bar – You can get really decadent here.

M’s Pub – This is one of the oldest and more respected restaurants in the Old Market. I haven’t been there since it reopened after a devastating fire, but I hear it’s as good as ever.

Nicola’s Italian Wine & Faire – This place has the best outdoor patio. This is a small restaurant, so make reservations.

The Boilerroom Restaurant – The creativity in the kitchen will impress you.

The Oven – Cuisine from northern India and Bhutan

V. Mertz – The romantic atmosphere at V. Mertz is second to none.

Related post: 25+ Omaha Date Night Ideas

Breakfast in the Old Market

I’m a sucker for brunch at Upstream Brewing Co. It seems at least once a year, we go there on a Saturday in the summer, right after we’ve shopped the farmer’s market. 

Brunch with a mimosa at Upstream Brewing Co.

You bet I get a mimosa when I have brunch at Upstream.

Other options:

Billy Frogg’s Grill & Bar – I know! It’s a bar. Word is that the breakfast is pretty good, though. I’ve been here for lunch with my kids – this quirky place is pretty family-friendly in the daytime.

Scooters Coffeehouse – This is a local chain with pretty good coffee and pastries.

WheatFields Express – This is a pretty good option for breakfast, though the menu will overwhelm you.

Casual restaurants in the Old Market

Stokes Grill & Bar has never had a dud of a dish. This Tex-Mex restaurant has some scrumptious enchiladas (Sharon, what do you put in them??), filling salads (Koko’s Harvest Salad), and the best tortilla chicken soup I’ve ever had.

If the weather’s nice, be sure to ask to sit outside.

Other options:

Craft Sliders + Beer – I like the beer selection here.

Poke Boba House – Fresh, healthful food served up in a cute little restaurant.

The Monster Club – This is a horror movie-themed restaurant. I haven’t been to it yet, but it has its fans. It’s also one of Omaha’s quirkiest restaurants.

Roja Mexican Grill – The salsa is addicting at Roja.

Trini’s Mexican Restaurant – I love the atmosphere at this restaurant and the salsa is so good.

Urban Abbey – More bookstore with a cafe, this is a place to get a light snack or coffee.

Best Old Market restaurants for sushi

I’m a fan of Matsu Sushi Japanese Restaurant. The sushi is top-notch and pretty reasonable.

Exterior of Matsu Sushi Japanese Restaurant in Omaha

Other options:

Blue Sushi Old Market – Head here if you want sake bombs. Go during their Happy Hour; it’s held daily but time vary.

Hiro 88 – The Happy Hour specials on Sundays are great here.

Where to go for dessert in the Old Market

I’m a die-hard fan of Ted & Wally’s Ice Cream. It’s worth waiting in line to get a scoop. I recommend sampling a few of their creative flavors before settling on a choice. Keep in mind that a “single scoop” is actually, like, two scoops so you can request two flavors.

Exterior of Ted and Wally's in the Old Market

I usually just go for a dish or waffle cone, but this is the place where you can try a choco taco or, sometimes, get a donut sandwich with ice cream in the middle. Wear your stretchy pants.

Other options:

Brownie Bar – This is pretty new, but they dropped off some samples at my office recently and I can’t wait to visit the shop!

Chocolat Abeille – Chocolate that’s almost too pretty to eat. Almost.

Hollywood Candy – If you can make it past the candy aisles, there is an old-fashioned soda fountain in there.

Old Market Candy Shop – I go here for my truffles fix.

Best Old Market bars for drinks

I highly recommend getting a drink and sitting outdoors at Mr. Toad’s – it’s fun and a prime location for people watching. You’ll love it! They string up lights and you can people watch all day long. The interior is pretty cozy too.

Outdoor seating at Mr. Toad's in the Old Market

Other options:

Brickway Brewery & Distillery – Another Omaha brewery you should check out.

Dubliner Pub – It always feels like St. Patrick’s Day here. There’s often live music on weekend nights.

Laka Lono Rum Club – I haven’t been to this tiki bar yet, but I’ve heard it’s a fun place to go. They have flaming drinks, y’all.

The Berry & Rye – This is the craft cocktail lounge you’ve been looking for.

Thunderhead Brewing Taproom – One more microbrewery to add to your list.

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Everything you need to know about Old Market restaurants in the historic district of Omaha, Nebraska. This guide includes tips on where to dine with kids, large groups, and the best date night options, as well as suggestions on which bars to go to if you just want a great drink. #Omaha #Nebraska #restaurants #bars #Midwest

Guide To Omaha Food Halls

Omaha has a brag-worthy culinary scene. And now, in recent years, Omaha diners have embraced the food hall scene. Here’s what you can expect at each of the city’s food halls, including which local Omaha restaurants have a location at a food hall. Plus, I share tips on what to order and which restaurants have kid-friendly grub.

Looking for a new restaurant in Omaha to try? Head to one of Omaha's popular dining halls to try foods from both locally-owned restaurants and new concept quick-service restaurants. Use this guide to find out where to go, what to order, and which restaurants have kid's meals or specials. #Omaha #Restaurant #Nebraska #Breakfast #Lunch #Brunch #Dinner

What’s a food hall

Think of a food hall as an upscale food court, typically with a focus on locally-owned restaurants with a few new-to-the-city concepts. I call them hipster food courts. And I mean that affectionately.

Where are Omaha’s food halls?

Omaha’s first food hall, Flagship Commons, opened at Westroads Mall in late 2015. Westroads is a pretty conveniently located mall near busy Dodge Street, as well as near Interstate 680.

It’s definitely not like any mall food court you may have encountered. Flagship was the first of its kind in the entire state.

Interior of Flagship Commons, Nebraska's first food hall located at Westeroads Mall

Most of Flagship’s seating is in a common area, with a mix of typical table seating, bar seating, and my favorite spot, couch seating by a fireplace. Most seating is indoors, though if you dine at The Blatt, you can snag a table outside.

In 2019, Inner Rail Food Hall opened at Aksarben Village. Unlike Westroads, this isn’t a mall setting in the traditional sense. Aksarben Village is an entertainment district with a mix of shops, restaurants, apartments and businesses, as well as a large green space and playground. Inner Rail is within that development in its own space with indoor and outdoor seating.

Things to know about the Inner Rail

Inner Rail Food Hall is all quick-service restaurants with a definite world flavor appeal to it. Located at the ever-growing Aksarben Village, it’s in Midtown Omaha and not nearly as easily accessible to get to as Westroads.

(If you’ve ever driven 72nd Street during rush hour in hopes of reaching Aksarben Village, you’ll understand my rage.)

Exterior of Inner Rail Food Hall, a collection of restaurants at Aksarben Village in Omaha

Being the new kid on the scene, you can expect a wait to order at most counters at Inner Rail. You’ll find some counter seats, and a lot of traditional table seating. 

Inner Rail has a great outdoor space with two firepits and a lot of seating. When the weather’s nice, you might see a giant Jenga and bean bag games set up.

Fun side note for all of you youngsters or out-of-towners: Inner Rail is a racing term that references the former life of the area where Aksarben Village is located. It was once Aksarben Race Track and Colosseum, a horse race track.

Restaurants at Inner Rail include:

The Bánh Mì Shop – This restaurant has a devout following at its Bellevue location, so no doubt, Midtown people love to have a close location now. The quick service restaurant here serves up the most popular sandwich in Vietnam, the Bánh Mì. It’s a baguette served with mayo, sweet carrot and daikon pickles, cucumber and cilantro. (LOCAL)

Noli’s Pizzeria – Noli’s original location is in the hip Blackstone neighborhood. These guys take their New York-style pizza seriously, even getting the water filtered to mimic the granite filtered qualities of New York’s water. (LOCAL)

Maharani Indian Kitchen – Indian cuisine with a few good options for vegetarians out there.

Sofra Creperie – This place serves savory and sweet crepes. I have one word for you all: Nutella. They have Nutella. I had the savory So Cal and it was pretty good, though maybe it’s more of a testament to my appetite, I was still hungry afterward.

ACTQ – This is the third taqueria to be opened by Brooklyn chef and restaurant Akhtar Nawab. It stands for Alta Calidad Taqueria and the food is defined as Mexican-inspired (and it’s yummy).

B Squared Burger – What could be better than burgers and tater tots?

Briggs Bean – Here’s where you go to get your caffeine fix, including nitro cold brew. They also happen to serve pastries from the local pastry shop, Sweet Magnolias.

Kathmandu Momo Station – These guys were the popular as a pop up and now they have this great little space in Inner Rail. Kathmandu serves up Nepalese street food including momos (stuffed dumplings) and Burmese ramen. (LOCAL)

Ela’s Creamery – Serves up soft-serve ice cream in two flavors that rotate each week. I had the luck of sampling Cinnamon Toast Crunch when I was there. If that’s ever an option for you, get it!

Backstretch Bar – The bar! What more need I say? OK, I can say more. The perk of Inner Rail is that you can order a drink at Backstretch and take it outside with you to sit by a firepit.

Best food to order at Inner Rail Food Hall

I’ve eaten at Inner Rail an impressive amount of times since it’s only been open like a month and I don’t even work near there. 

Busy night inside Inner Rail Food Hall in Omaha

The surprise winner was the roti at ACTQ. It’s a flat bread that’s great for sharing. I had the vegetarian roti, which had queso and avocado.

I also highly recommend getting the naan with whatever entree you order at Maharani. It’s top notch.

SO MANY people told me to try the momos at Kathmandu. I tried both the fried and the traditional steamed ones. I preferred the steamed dumplings, though truth be told, good luck trying to get your kids to try one.

What’s kid-friendly at Inner Rail

Since Inner Rail is so new, we haven’t had many chances to test places out on our kids just yet. However, they are fans of the Noli pizza slice.

I didn’t notice many kid’s menu options at the restaurants, so unless your kid has a big appetite, just plan on sharing with him or her.

I’ll tell you what, my kids want nothing to do with momos. There. I said it.

Related food: Best Omaha Restaurants For Families

Things to know about Flagship Commons

Flagship has mostly quick dining restaurants, as well as a bar, coffeehouse and one full-service eatery. A few Omaha favorites have opened a location there, including my favorite, Blatt Beer & Table. 

Entrance to Flagship Commons, a food hall in Omaha

Restaurants at Flagship Commons include:

Blatt Beer & Table – Blatt makes every “best of” restaurant list I ever write. I love the Blatt, and so does my family. It’s the only full-service restaurant at Flagship. The drink specials here are pretty good. (LOCAL)

Amsterdam Falafel & Kabob – Small menu, big tastes. I can’t get my kids to like the falafel here, but if I’m dining without them, it’s a solid choice. (LOCAL)

Aromas Coffeehouse – This is the place to go for your caffeine fix, or if you’re so inclined, dessert. I personally like the baked goods there more than the coffee.  (LOCAL)

Yum Roll – Run by Blue Sushi Sake Grill, this is your sushi joint, if that’s what you’re craving.

Yoshi-Ya Ramen – Classic ramen quick service. Some people swear this place is the best. I’ve never embraced the whole ramen scene, though, so I’ve got nothin’.

Weirdough Pizza Co. – Weirdough serves Roman-style pizza al taglio. Surprisingly, my kids won’t eat this pizza.

Juan Taco – Love fancy tacos? Juan Taco serves food-truck style tacos.

Clever Greens – This is an upscale salad quick-service restaurant.

The Bar – It’s exactly what it sounds like.

Best food to order at Flagship

There are a few places I frequent regularly at Flagship Commons. If you go to Blatt, you have to try the Dirty Bird at least once. It’s a chicken sandwich that’s absolutely horrible for you, which means it tastes delicious.

For something a little quicker, head to Amsterdam Falafel & Kabob. I absolutely love the falafel here, as well as curry fries.

What’s kid-friendly at Flagship Commons

Like I said before, we’re a Blatt family. The kid’s menu has great food, and the staff is typically pretty great with the kids.

Kids was pastries from Aromas, a coffee shop at Flagship Commons Food Hall.

There is also a great discount on Wednesdays at select restaurants. Family Wednesday means ½ price kids meals for ages 12 and younger at Juan Taco, Blatt Beer & Table,

Amsterdam Falafel & Kabob, Clever Greens, Weirdough Pizza Co., Yum Roll and Yoshi-Ya.

Flagship has started Family Bundles at a few restaurants, where you can get a meal for four for $30 (upgrade to feed more mouths). These bundles are offered at Juan Taco, Weirdough, Amsterdam and Yum Roll. Pre-order your bundle and they’ll be available any time from 4 to 7 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.

Happy Hour at Flagship

Like your food and drinks discounted? Of course you do. Two places at Flagship Commons has happy Hour specials: 

The Bar

Fridays, 3 to 6:30 p.m.

Saturdays, 3 to 6:30 p.m.

Sundays, noon – close.

Blatt Beer & Table (dine-in only) 

Mondays through Saturdays, 3 to 6:30 p.m.

Fridays & Saturdays, 8 to 9 p.m.

Sundays, noon to 6 p.m.

If you love food, head to an Omaha food hall! Here's a guide to Flagship Commons and Inner Rail Food Hall, including which restaurants are there, what to order, and where to take the kids. #Omaha #Nebraska #restaurants #foodhall #foodie #guide

Go beyond the Omaha Food Hall

Food halls are great because of the variety of food options paired with high-quality ingredients. However, if you’re looking for something with more service, check out other restaurants in Omaha. Here are a few lists to get you started:

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14 Must Try West Omaha Restaurants

West Omaha is starting to be the spot for great, locally-owned restaurants. There was a time when I struggled to name one perfect West Omaha restaurant. But now, I’ve got a list of favorite West Omaha restaurants .

Read on for my list of the best restaurants in West Omaha, including those that are great for brunch, a few family-friendly options, and the best restaurants for date night. I included my recommendations on what to order, too.

On the hunt for good food in West Omaha? Here's a list of my favorites, including the best places for brunch, date night and a family dinner out! These are the best restaurants in West Omaha. #Omaha #Nebraska #localrestaurants

I’m not done exploring West Omaha, so I have a to-visit list. Share your to-visit list in a comment!

What is considered West Omaha?

Even if you are from Omaha, where exactly is West Omaha is up for debate. Depending on who you ask, West Omaha could have very different boundaries. Is West Omaha anything east of 72nd Street?? Should West Omaha include Elkhorn or La Vista??

Fun fact: Omaha has expanded over the years and annexed cities like Elkhorn and Millard. I’ve grown up always thinking of Millard as part of West Omaha, but not Elkhorn.

Anyway, I had some tough decisions to make, as West Omaha IS different for each person you ask.

For now, here’s the Oh My! Omaha definition of West Omaha: I’m considering restaurants in the area located between 120th and 192nd streets and between Giles Road and State Street. 

Casual dining in West Omaha

Casual here means you won’t need a reservation (though, there may be a wait), and you don’t need to dress up.

Blatt Beer + Burger

It wouldn’t be an Omaha restaurant list if I didn’t include Blatt, now would it? This is one of my top go-to restaurants when we’re out with the kids, because the food is fantastic and there’s a decent kid’s menu.

What to order: If you’re feeling indulgent, get the Dirty Bird. Do not attempt to eat it on a first date.

The best casual dining in West Omaha include The Corner Kick, known for its street tacos.

The Corner Kick Street Tacos & Sports Cantina

For creative Mexican dishes, head to The Corner Kick in Millard. This would be a good go-to spot to watch sports, if you’re looking to dine on something a little more inventive than the traditional sports bar fare.

What to order: They’re known for their street tacos, which aren’t too big, so you’ll want to order a few. I recommend barbacoa, carnitas and brisket.

Frank’s Pizzeria

Frank’s has some fans who will fight you if you say there is a better place to find New York-style pizza in Omaha. It’s been a while since I’ve had a slice, but I still trust it holds up given how die-hard some people are.

What to order: The last time I was there, I was vegetarian, so I can vouch for the margherita pizza. You can order by the slice, though, so get what you want.

Lazlo’s Brewery & Grill

Emperyean Brewery out of Lincoln opened a second location for its restaurant, Lazlo’s. This is a burger and beer joint, but it’s also family-friendly.

What to order: I’m a sucker for a good burger paired with one of their beers, like Third Stone Brown Ale.

Shucks Fish House & Oyster Bar

If you want seafood in Omaha, you’ll find the freshest seafood at Shucks, the restaurant arm of Absolutely Fresh Seafood. You’ll usually find paper covering the tables, which makes coloring (with or without kids) a fun way to pass the time.

What to order: The New England lobster roll is pretty tasty, but if you like a little spicy kick to your meal, try the jambalaya.

Best West Omaha for fine dining

I use fine dining loosely here. You’d be just as comfortable in a cute pair of jeans and top as you would in a cute black dress at one of these restaurants.

Dante in West Omaha is a fine dining Italian restaurant that focuses in seasonal ingredients.

Dante

Italian food has never had it so good. Dante serves seasonal food in creative Italian dishes. The wine list is extensive.

What to order: The pizza’s delish, but if we’re talking date nights, try one of the fresh pastas so you’re not splattering sauce all over yourself.

Related post: Try one of these Omaha restaurants for your next date night!

Dolce

Dolce is one of those under-the-radar date night places that I never knew about until I was given a gift card there. What a treat! It’s nice enough to impress but not overly fancy. The food is expertly prepared.

What to order: Splurge and get the five-course chef’s tasting menu.

Pitch

The West Omaha location of Pitch not the original, but it maintains the stylish look of the Dundee location…and one ups it with an excellent rooftop patio. I’m always tempted to order a stone-fire pizza there, because they are so good.

What to order: Get the garlic cauliflower appetizer. You’re welcome.

Best sushi in West Omaha, Nebraska? One of my favorites is Hiro 88 Millard.

Hiro 88 Millard

I love sushi, but my kids, they don’t like the stuff. So, I save Hiro 88 for date nights. I’ve never had a bad roll. If you want to save money, go on a Sunday for their all-day reverse Happy Hour.

What to order: If you like rolls, get the Hiro Special.

Best breakfast in West Omaha

Breakfast is where West Omaha really excels. Here are some of my favorite places to get breakfast in West Omaha:

Bailey’s

You kind of have to expect a bit of a wait for this wonderful restaurant (just over the border of 120th Street, so I count it). Fresh and indulgent, I have yet to find a dud on the Bailey’s menu.

What to order: Bailey’s is known for their egg benedicts, all served with a homemade hollandaise dressing. Go for the classic or get a little wild and order one of their specialties like the the Blackstone benedict, which has grilled tomatoes and maple smoked bacon with the poached eggs and sauce.

Green Beans

Passionate about coffee? Then get your caffeine fill at Green Beans, quite possibly the best coffee in all of Omaha. I make special trips just to stop there.

Green Beans does serve food, however, I just order my delicious cup of coffee every single time I’ve been.

What to order: Coffee, of course. But if that’s too boring, go with the spiced chai latte.

The homemade seasonal pop tarts at Over Easy make it a popular breakfast and brunch spot in West Omaha.

Over Easy

Over Easy is a hip breakfast place that puts a creative spin on traditional breakfast foods (which is why my kids don’t like it). Ingredients are seasonal, so the menu is ever-changing.

What to order: Get the homemade pop tart in whatever seasonal stuffing they’ve concocted.

Shirley’s Diner

I grew up going to Shirley’s Diner back when it was a small place decorated with retro kitch. I loved it.

The diner outgrew its old digs, and it’s now in a shiny new space. It still has retro decor, and the same home-style food, though.

What to order: Get a fluffy pancake.

Vidlak’s Brookside Café

Vidlak’s has been around for ages and is a no-frills diner offering the best kind of breakfast comfort food you can imagine.

What to order: If you’re extra hungry, add one of their ginormous cinnamon rolls to your order.

West Omaha is one of Omaha's largest growing suburbs. Check out this list of the best West Omaha restaurants, featuring locally-owned restaurants that focus on seasonal ingredients or rely on tried-and-true classic dishes. List includes breakfast and brunch options, family-friendly restaurants, and several restaurants that are great for date night. #Omaha #Nebraska #OmahaWeekend #restaurants #eatlocal #localrestaurants #guide

West Omaha restaurants on my to-try list

This list features restaurants that probably should be on the “best of” list of West Omaha restaurants, but I haven’t been to them yet, so I don’t want to include them. However, they have pretty solid reputations, so I feel pretty confident including them.

La Casa Pizzaria West – I’m a huge fan of the original La Casa in Midtown Omaha, so I’m eager to see how the second location compares. La Casa has a thin crust pizza to die for. My personal favorite is the margarita.

Le Voltaire – Mr. Wonderful swears we’ve had a meal at the French restaurant Le  Voltaire. If we have, it happened early on in our dating years, so like, more than a decade ago. It’s time to revisit, sil vous plais.

Wave Bistro – I’ve heard raves about Wave Bistro, an Asian fusion restaurant in West Omaha. I wanted to go there during Omaha Restaurant Week, but alas, they were not open for my Sunday date night.

Whisk and Measure – This bakery keeps getting by my friends, especially those who’ve attended their brownie sundae pairings with Coneflower Creamery. Word is, Whisk and Measure has delicious vegan and gluten-free options, too.

Your turn: What is your favorite West Omaha restaurant?  

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5 Must-Try Food At Vala’s Pumpkin Patch

A trip to Vala’s Pumpkin Patch & Orchard is a family tradition of ours each fall. In addition to picking out pumpkins, feeding the animals and racing each other on carts, we know we’re going to eat while there. The food is a big part of the Vala’s experience!

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Vala’s Pumpkin Patch & Orchard. All thoughts, opinions and typos are my own.

I visited Vala’s on opening weekend so my family could enjoy some of the special entertainment available during the new Honeycrisp Festival (and so I could try food only available during the festival…more on that below). If you want to catch the Honeycrisp Festival, it’s in September.

Things you should know about Vala’s Pumpkin Patch

If you’re not from Nebraska, you should know a few things about Vala’s Pumpkin Patch & Orchard before you go. This pumpkin patch, located just west of Omaha at 12102 S. 180th St. in Gretna, Neb., is not your typical pumpkin patch.

I liken Vala’s to a Disney-fied pumpkin patch full of attractions, photo opportunities and characters (but no rides, though). You need a map or you will get lost. And like Disney, a trip to Vala’s is a full-day affair.

Vala's Pumpkin Patch & Apple Orchard in Gretna, Nebraska is a large attraction near Omaha.

Vala’s Pumpkin Patch hours

Vala’s is open seasonally from mid-September through Oct. 31. The daily hours are Sunday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Friday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Vala’s Pumpkin Patch prices

Admission varies, and it’s cheaper to visit on the weekdays than on the weekends. 2019 prices are:

  • – Mondays through Thursdays, $12.95 per person
  • -September Fridays through Sundays, $16.95 per person
  • -October Fridays through Sundays, $23.95 per person

There’s also the option of buying a season pass.

Parking is free. The parking is on grass and dirt and is a well-orchestrated operation. There are attendants in the lots on busy weekends directing you where to park.

Related post: Try the Vala’s Scavenger Hunt on your next trip to the pumpkin patch!

Things to know about Vala’s food & drinks

Vala’s Pumpkin Patch & Orchard is open daily starting at 9 a.m. and going on into the night, so you have the option of breakfast, lunch, dinner and everything in between for food.

There are 26 different places to purchase food a Vala’s, ranging from sweet shops with ice cream or donuts to more substantial offerings of burgers, pizza and chili. See the current map with all the food options here.

The sign for the Harvest Barn Donuts at Vala's Pumpkin Patch in Nebraska.

Vala’s Pumpkin Patch food prices

For entrees, expect to pay about $6 for kids and about $11 for adults. Ordering à la carte or just snack items will be cheaper.

Tip: You won’t find many water fountains at Vala’s (there’s one by the main restroom). Every food vendor with a soda fountain, though, will kindly fill up your water bottle with ice water, though.

What should you eat at Vala’s if you only want to splurge on one thing? Well, that depends.

Read on for my suggestions:

Best new food to try at Vala’s

Each year, Vala’s introduces new foods to rival your annual must-haves.

In 2019, my favorite new food is the apple funnel cake sundae. The warm, crisp funnel cake is tipped with caramel sauce, baked apples and vanilla ice cream. This is a very shareable treat.

New must-try food at Vala's Pumpkin Patch - apple funnel cake sundae.

Other new treats at Vala’s includes an apple cider donut sundae and a new popcorn and cotton candy stand by the Howl at the Moon Stage.

For more substantial food, new options include meatball subs, available in the Country Bakery and vegetable chili (vegan) available at the Country Bakery.

There are a few new foods available only during the Honeycrisp Festival, including ribs, which I highly recommend trying. You can only find them at Time-Out Turkey Legs. There is also a Honeycrisp apple pie available only early in the season.

Vala’s best snack food to try

This topic – the best snack at Vala’s – is highly debatable. I’m going to suggest no trip is complete without kettle corn. 

I have some close friends who will argue vehemently that there are far superior, must-have-every-time snacks, including the cookie cone and the apple cider donut. 

And while not a sweet treat, I’d add roasted corn on the cob makes for a great snack option, too.

Must-try dinner food at Vala’s Pumpkin Patch

I would recommend visiting Vala’s on the weekend during the Honeycrisp Festival to try the ribs. Those would be my top choice if they were available all season. As it is, you have until Sunday, Sept. 22, to try the and even then, they’re only available on a limited basis Saturday and Sunday. Hurry!

Vala's Pumpkin Patch serves ribs on a limited basis during the Honeycrisp Festival in September.

So, besides the ribs, I’d recommend trying the gigantic pork tenderloin sandwich at Pork Chop Annie’s. It’s good if you’ve got a big appetite.

Pork Chop Annie’s is our go-to place for food at Vala’s. Entrees there come with two sides. Having tried all of the sides, I’d say go with the baked beans and then your choice of a second one (psst, get the fries).

Many people will tell you to just buy a turkey leg and call it a day. You could go that route and it would cost you about the same.

Going earlier in the day? I found out that Vala’s serves breakfast! You can get quiche in The Pie Barn, fresh waffles served with apple butter at Cousin’s Chicken, biscuits and gravy at the Country Bakery.

Don’t miss these pies at Vala’s Pie Barn

Kirsten Fong grew up at Vala’s (her parents, Tim and Jan Vala, started the pumpkin patch in 1984) and her one of her sisters, Kelsey, bakes the pies. I asked Kirsten what the best pie to try was and she told the s’mores pie has a devoted following among the staff members and guests in the know.

Head directly to The Pie Barn if you want to try a slice or any of the other flavors like pumpkin or apple.

The Pie Barn at Vala's Pumpkin Patch serves pies and other pastries.

Vala’s has weekly pie specials. In 2019, the schedule is:

Sept. 20 – Lemon Walnut 
Sept. 27 – Kitchen Sink
Oct. 4 – Chocolate Caramel Turtle Pie 
Oct. 11 – Monster Cookie 
Oct. 18 – S’mores 
Oct. 25 – Apple Cranberry

True story: The pies aren’t the best thing available in The Pie Barn! “Kelsey’s apple dumplings are the very best thing to eat on the whole entire farm. Seriously,” said Fong. “They’re not even a pie, but they’re available in The Pie Barn, and on a limited basis, meaning she sometimes runs out.”

While I don’t have pie recipes, or even tasty dumpling recipes, Vala’s was kind enough to share its pumpkin bar recipe found in their cookbook. You can download it here.

Bucket list food item at Vala’s

If you want to ultimate splurge, even more of a splurge than the apple funnel cake sundae, head to Kyla’s Ice Cream Shop & Caramel Apple Barn and get yourself a Freak Shake. The giant shake comes in two flavors: caramel apple and s’mores. 

The Freak Shakes are each $11.99 and are definitely shareable.

A sign at Vala's Pumpkin Patch for two of their Freak Shake flavors.

Trying a shake is on my bucket list because those things are huge! I can’t vouch for it being tasty or not, but I can tell you it’s highly Instagrammable food.

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A trip to Vala's Pumpkin Patch is a fall tradition for families in eastern Nebraska. Find out the best foods to try - including new items like an apple funnel cake sundae! If you're wondering what to budget for food, the post includes what to expect on food prices. #Nebraska #pumpkinpatch #USA #fallfun #familytravel