Everyone’s tastebuds are different. This list isn’t meant to be a comprehensive list of the “best” restaurants in Omaha. Look at it more as a “beginners guide” to eating in Omaha.
Where to Eat
This might get me in a little bit of trouble.
If you are looking for a local restaurant with a unique dining experience and good food, you should probably look for something east of 72nd Street. Don’t get me wrong. There are great, local restaurants west of 72nd but not as many. There are a lot more chain restaurants as you go west.
I wanted to test my theory a bit so I looked at TripAdvisors top 10 restaurants in Omaha (a list I don’t agree with) and 9 out of 10 restaurants were east of 72nd Street.
Downtown, Dundee, Benson, and Blackstone are all vibrant neighborhoods with great local restaurants. If you are visiting and don’t know what to eat, just pick one of those neighborhoods, walk around, and stop into a place that sounds good to you.
Now that I’ve offended everyone west of 72nd Street, let’s take a look at some specific categories of restaurants.
New York City is know for pizza. Texas has barbecue. Omaha is known for steak. Ask ten people where the best steakhouse is and you will probably get 5 different answers.
The Drover – This is my favorite steakhouse. It’s know for it’s whiskey filet. I won’t say it’s the BEST steak in town, but when you add in the atmosphere and iceberg lettuce salad bar, it takes the top spot.
Other popular steakhouses include Brother Sebastian's (rated the best steakhouse by our local newspaper – I don’t agree), Omaha Prime (for more of a fine dining steakhouse experience),
If you love prime rib, give The Pink Poodle in Crescent, IA a chance.
If you ask some people about their favorite steak in Omaha, they will say the one that comes off the grill in their backyard. You can buy a great cut of meat at most grocery stores in Omaha. After you’ve moved here and settled in, give it a shot (and if you start with a great cut of meat, the only seasoning you need is salt and pepper).
Omaha has almost all the the major fast food chains (here’s a link of the ones we don’t have).
Below are a few of the local fast food chains you may have never heard of.
Runza – Known for the “Runza” sandwich. A “Runza® Sandwich features fresh-baked bread stuffed with ground beef, onions, our secret blend of spices, and yes, cabbage.” I really like Runza and the fries are really good as well.
Another thing they are known for is “Temperature Tuesday.” Every Tuesday in January and February, the temperature at 6 a.m. is the price you’ll pay for an Original Runza® Sandwich when you buy medium fries and a drink.
Romantic – Le Bouillon, Boiler Room, Au Courant
Decent Food / Good Atmosphere – M’s Pub (it’s an institution downtown – it opened recently after burning down), Jams (they have two locations), Pitch (Dundee)
Good Food & Belgian Beer – Dario’s
Southern – Kith and Kin
Mediterranean – El Basha
Thai – Salween Thai (a little bit of a dive)
Indian – Jaipur