Welcome to your ultimate guide to Omaha’s newest and most exciting restaurant! In 2024, Omaha’s food scene is buzzing with an incredible array of fresh flavors, innovative concepts, and gastronomic delights that cater to every palate. From the heart of downtown to the expanding horizons of West Omaha, the city is brimming with new eateries that are redefining dining experiences.
The following list are the city’s newest restaurants that opened in 2023 and survived that tough first year. You’ll want to check out and support these new restaurants in 2024! Whether you’re craving the comfort of Southern cuisine, the zest of Asian flavors, or the rustic charm of Italian dishes, there’s something new and exciting waiting for you.
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New downtown Omaha restaurants
If there’s one area in Omaha that’s guaranteed to have fantastic new restaurants open each year, it’s downtown Omaha. Where else do most visitors to the city stay, after all? The area (which includes the Old Market and NoDo), has a rich culinary history to begin with, and it welcomes innovative restaurants that are redefine the local dining landscape year after year. Whether you’re a longtime local or a curious visitor, these new establishments promise an unforgettable culinary adventure right in the heart of the city.
Kim’s Pick: Tupelo Honey Southern Kitchen & Bar opened its first Nebraska location in October 2023 at 830 Harney St., near The RiverFront parks. Having been to the original restaurant in Asheville, N.C., and the new Omaha location, I can confirm that the Omaha location lives up to the brand. The food served is Southern-ish, and they’re known for the fried chicken sandwiches. You’ve got to try a biscuit there with your meal.
Other new restaurants
For those seeking healthy dining options, Untamed Kitchen emerges as a noteworthy choice at 1421 Farnam St. This local gem, opened in October 2023, offers a delightful selection of “on-the-go healthy meals,” catering to all ages with a dedicated kid’s menu. The culinary expertise of owner Alex Harrington, in collaboration with Chef Clayton Chapman of the Grey Plume, infuses each dish with both health and flavor.
A cozy addition to the city’s café scene is Kochava Coffee at 1901 Howard St. Its quaint menu features a variety of savory breakfast items complemented by a selection of pastries. For a unique dining experience, The Brunch Box, which opened its doors in June at 1308 Jackson St., is known for its frozen yogurt and the novel touch of a robot waiter, alongside a range of entrée choices.
Sips on 10th, which opened in March 2023 at 1022 S. 10th St., offers a blend of delectable drinks and food, highlighted by an exceptional Sunday brunch. Another spring arrival is the Italian restaurant Cibo Vino, located at the corner of 10th and Jackson Street, adding a touch of Mediterranean charm to the area. Mio Italiano also graced the spring of 2023 with its opening at 3001 S. 32nd Ave., occupying the storied space of the former Lo Sole Mio, a nod to local history.
A significant addition to downtown Omaha’s dining scene is the high-end sports bar, Let It Fly Sport Bar. Opening its doors in June at 1080 Capitol Ave., just in time for the College World Series, this establishment joins the ranks of its sister locations in South Dakota and Tennessee, bringing a new level of sports dining to the area. Another addition to the Capitol District is Action Burger at 225 N. 12th St. The burger and shake joint opened in mid-November.
New restaurants in Midtown Omaha
Several popular neighborhoods fall under the Midtown Omaha umbrella, including Blackstone District, Benson, and Aksarben Village. Whether you like pizza and hot dogs or vegan food, you’ll find it in this part of the city.
Kim’s pick: My first introduction to Veg.Edible was their delicious pastries sold at the Benson themed cafe, Edge of the Universe. Now, the woman-owned eatery has its own location, at 2740 N. 61st St., also in Benson. They offer food that’s all vegan, gluten-free, and nut-free, and some options that are soy-free. Try any pastry. You can’t go wrong.
Other new restaurants
In the Blackstone area, August witnessed the nostalgic opening of First Round, a sports bar that takes you back to the 1990s with its decor and music. Just a stone’s throw away, the fusion food stand Nice Rollz made its debut in July 2023 inside Kamp Blackstone at 3618 Farnam St., offering an innovative blend of Korean and American flavors.
Adding to the culinary diversity, La Guanaca Pupusas Tacos Y Mas recently opened its doors at 7622 Dodge St., inviting patrons to savor the rich tastes of Central American cuisine, particularly from El Salvador.
The Inner Rail Food Hall at Aksarben Village has seen some changes, with a few familiar restaurants closing down. However, new and exciting eateries have filled these spaces. Willie Dogs began serving in fall 2023, and the Mediterranean flavors of Zaytuna graced the hall in June. Another restaurants opened in Aksarben Village, R.U.B. Rotisserie Urban Chicken, serving up slow-cooked meats as well as vegetarian and vegan entrees at 1917 S. 67th St., Suite 110. R.U.B. opened in mid-November 2023.
For pizza aficionados, late summer 2023 brought Mootz to Countryside Village, a beloved pizza truck that transitioned to a permanent spot at 8725 Shamrock. Lyle’s Pizzeria, known for its artisanal hand-stretched sourdough pizzas, opened in the spring of 2023 at 5213 Leavenworth St.
Notably, Dave’s Hot Chicken, a popular chain, made a grand entrance in Midtown Omaha. January 2023 marked the opening of its first Nebraska location at 335 N. Saddle Creek Road, bringing its unique chicken offerings to the local food scene.
New restaurants in West Omaha
Venturing westward, West Omaha welcomed several new eateries, including a few with an emphasis on healthy foods or Mexican flavors.
Kim’s Pick: Williamsburg Pizza opened its first location outside of New York City at 168th and Harrison streets in late May 2023. It is legit New York style pizza, considering its other locations are all in Brooklyn and Manhattan. They keep things simple at Williamsburg, and they credit the long fermentation process to making such delicious dough.
Other new restaurants
Mexican and Latin American flavors are predominant in quite a few of the new restaurants in West Omaha, including El Taco Loco, which opened in May at 13816 P St., and Bomb Taco Taqueria & Cantina, with a focus on Mexican street food, opening a second location in May at 12321 West Maple Road. Ancho & Agave opened a location at Village Pointe Shopping Center, 17110 Davenport St., in September 2023. They’re known for their tacos, as well as house-made salsas and hand-smashed guacamoles. Ancho & Agave have two other locations, one in Illinois and one in Wisconsin.
Salted Edge Modern Kitchen + Bar, 110 S. 243rd St., celebrated its grand opening in early October 2023. The restaurant, which overlooks West Shores Lake, offers a little something for everyone on its menu. Choose from seafood to steak to brick oven pizza. The Clean Eatz franchise opened a location at Regency Landing just northeast of Interstate 680 and Pacific Street in June 2023. It’s a cafe that also offers meal plans.
Kids Cave Play opened in northwest Omaha in the summer of 2023. Located at 2920 N. 118th St., Suite 106, Kids Cave is an indoor play center that sells coffee and pastries.
The people behind the popular food trucks Three Kids Lobster and The Modern Waffle have opened a restaurant serving up New England fare (including some items from the Three Kids Lobster truck). Sand Point opened in mid-October at 655 N. 114th St.
More notable new restaurants around Omaha and nearby
- South Omaha: La Isla Restaurant opened along South Omaha’s historic 24th Street in March 2023 at 4835 S. 24th St. The restaurant specializes in seafood dishes from the coastal state of Nayarit, Mexico. La Isla has other locations in Iowa.
- Papillion: Chirpy’s Play Café, 2063 Creek Side Drive, made a splash with families when it opened in the summer of 2023. It’s a combo coffee shop and indoor play space, catering to the youngest kids. Another cafe, Kasa du Bonbon at 8410 S. 73rd Plaza, opened in 2023. Beyond coffee and tea drinks, Casa du Bonbon serves fruit bubble and milk teas, as well as crepes. The owners of two fabulously inventive restaurants, Twisted Cork Bistro and Pacific Eating House, opened Pine and Black Bistro in the spring of 2023 at 248 Olson Drive in Papillion.
In downtown Papillion, The Papillion Taco Guy opened a brick and mortar location in mid-August 2023 at 110 N. Washington St. The ribbon-cutting was a huge event and they served more than 800 tacos! The Tex-Mex chain On the Border opened its first Nebraska location in July at 8810 S. 71st Plaza.
Fovero Greek & Homestyle Kitchen opened in April 2023 at 839 Tara Plaza. In addition to classic Greek dishes, Fovero serves American comfort food (think: Burgers and Philly cheesesteaks). A former food truck now has a new home: Wilby’s Comfort 2.0 opened in April 2023 at 1449 Papillion Drive in Papillion. Wilby’s serves wings, seafood, and other comfort dishes.
- Bellevue: Head to West Mission in Old Towne Bellevue for a couple of Bellevue’s newest restaurants. Mission Ave BBQ opened at 900 W. Mission Ave. in the Spring of 2023. They’re known for their brisket, which comes on its own, or as the shining ingredient in everything from tacos to Mac and cheese. Light House Café & Coffee opened in the summer of 2023 at 119 W. Mission Ave. You’ll want to get a cinnamon roll. Lunch is also served there.
Traditional Japanese and sushi restaurants, Kaiyo Sushi, opened in June at 3503 Samson Way. Happy Buddha’s Asian Cuisine is one of the more recently opened restaurants in Bellevue, celebrating a ribbon cutting at the end of October 2023. The restaurant is located at 3608 Twin Creek Drive. If you’re lucky, there’ll be some barbecue specials, like pulled pork fried rice, served on the day you visit.
- La Vista: La Vista got a new coffee shop in 2023. Coffee Society Café opened in January 2023 at 10748 Virginia Plaza in La Vista. Cookie shops keep opening up around Omaha. The franchise known for thick and gooey cookies, Dirty Dough opened in October 2023 at 12438 Southport Parkway, in the retail area near Cabela’s and Embassy Suites. Dirty Dough originated in Arizona.
- Ralston: The highly-rated Lemon Tree Café opened in the spring of 2023 at 7614 Main St. While the cafe is open for lunch and dinner, the breakfast/brunch menu often takes all the attention at the cafe. Inventive dishes include Korean-fried chicken served on crunchy corn flake French toast.
- Council Bluffs: A lot of fanfare surrounded the opening of Guy Fieri’s Kitchen + Bar inside Harrah’s Council Bluffs Casino and Hotel in May 2023. It timed out well with the kickoff to summer and the start of the Stir Cancer Cove Series. Being in Iowa, there is a thick-cut pork chop on the menu. Later in the summer of 2023, the Terrace Coffee Shop and Eatery opened in late summer at 4104 Ave. near The River’s Edge. It’s a coffee shop on a mission, partnering with local producers and suppliers for the goods sold in the shop.
The newest restaurants in Omaha
A few restaurants have December 2023 open dates, some not even open when this post first published. A new coffee shop, Yireh’s Cafe, opened in mid-December at 1920 Vinton St. And, the people behind Javi’s Tacos have announced they’ll open an ice cream shop, Helados Locos, at 17330 W. Center Road, sometime between Christmas and New Year’s Eve 2023. Hellos Locos is Spanish for “crazy ice cream.”
Restaurants that have announced early 2024 openings include:
- Burger Detour at 18308 Evans St. (slated to open January 2024)
- Ooh De Lally, 4916 Underwood Ave. (slated to open in January 2024). Ooh De Lally promises to employ formerly incarcerated individuals to work and train at the restaurant.
- Cunningham’s Pub & Grill will open a second location in the Blackstone District at 3814 Farnam St. (slated to open in mid-January 2024)
- The Lincoln-based Koen Japanese BBQ & Sushi announced they’ll open an Omaha location in the Blackstone District sometime in 2024. It will be at 3863 Farnam St.
- The franchise, Le Macaron French Pastries, will open a location at 1917 S. 67th St. (2024 opening date TBA)