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Restaurants in Omaha

Omaha might not be the first city that comes to mind when you think of haute cuisine, but maybe it should. After all, Omaha has more restaurants per capita than any other city in the country… and possibly the world! And Omaha restaurants have a lot more to offer than just quality steaks: here you can find vegan food, trendy sushi spots, and even fresh seafood flown in from the coast. So put on your eatin’ pants and follow along with us as we highlight the best restaurants in Omaha.

Brother Sebastian’s Steakhouse & Winery

With so many prime places to get a quality cut of beef, it can be hard to designate one as the best steakhouse in Omaha. But if we had to choose, it would be this spot, where you can cut into your ribeye or filet oscar in front of a roaring fire, or tucked into a cozy study lined with leather-bound books. The entire place is designed to resemble a monastery, which is fitting, since eating one of their steaks is akin to a religious experience.

 

Honorable Mentions:

 

  • Johnny’s Cafe. This spot has the honor of being the oldest steakhouses in town, not to mention one of the oldest restaurants in Omaha, period. It was originally located right next to the stockyards, and is still one of the freshest steaks you’ll ever eat.
  • Steak and Grapes. In a town of old-school steakhouses, Steak and Grapes is decidedly new school with charcuterie boards, and items that cater to the gluten-free crowd. Bonus: go for lunch, and you’ll be served a complimentary glass of wine with your steak.

Matsu Sushi

 

There are a number of great sushi spots in the Old Market neighborhood, but this one takes the cake thanks to its impeccably fresh fish and tranquil atmosphere. Visit on a weekday for lunch and you can also dig into their all-you-can-eat option, which allows you to sample some of their non-sushi dishes (teriyaki chicken, short ribs, etc.) as well.

 

Honorable Mentions:

 

  • Yoshitomo. A newcomer from veteran chef David Utterback, this Benson spot offers something for everyone, including vegans, who have many options beyond the traditional avocado-stuffed roll.
  • Umami. Before coming to Nebraska, Chef Keen Zheng trained under some of the most acclaimed sushi chefs in New York City. The BIg Apple’s loss is Omaha’s gain judging by this spot, where you can swap out a traditional nori wrap for one made of delicate pink soy paper.
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Avoli Osteria

 

It’s not often you find yelp reviewers commenting on a bread basket that you have to pay for… and not complaining about it. That’s because the $3 charge here gets you a choice of several breads baked right in-house—perfect for sopping up every morsel of pork and veal bolognese. If you have room after your meal, the desserts truly aren’t to be missed and include tiramisu served in a mason jar.

 

Honorable Mentions:

 

  • Enzo’s Italian. There are lots of tempting options at Enzo’s from the fresh pasta carbonara to the excellent oysters rockefeller. But don’t be ashamed to eschew them all for a pizza: Enzo’s boasts a wood-burning brick oven that cranks out some of the best pies in town.
  • Cascio’s Steakhouse. Great Italian restaurants in Omaha and old-school steakhouses in Omaha are often one in the same, as is the case with Cascio’s. Great news for you, since it means you never have to choose between a New York strip and fettuccini alfredo ever again. The atmosphere is total throwback ‘50s—and that’s exactly how you want it.soon-to-be downtown institution.

Reuben at Crescent Moon Ale House

Did you know the iconic reuben sandwich was invented, not in a deli-centric city like New York or Chicago, but in Omaha? It’s true, and, as such, a lot of Omaha restaurants serve a good reuben sandwich. But Crescent Moon’s outshines them all, managing to somehow be deliciously creamy, yet not at all soggy. Plus, it comes served with a side of history—the restaurant is located right across the street from the Blackstone Hotel, where the first reuben was created in the 1920s.

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Stella’s Bar & Grill

 

Technically, Stella’s is located all the way out in Bellevue, but after one bite of its famous Stella Hamburger and you’ll be willing to forgive. Thick and served on a locally-baked bun that’s delivered daily, Stella’s burgers are cooked to well-done and served on napkins, just the way they were when the doors opened back in 1936. But then again, there wasn’t the option to add jalapeno bacon or ranch dressing back then, so if you need to, go ahead and ask for a plate. No one will mind.

 

Honorable Mentions:

 

  • Louie M’s Burger Lust. It’s hard to say exactly what makes one of Louie M’s burgers so great. Some say it’s because the meat is cooked perfectly. Others credit the bun: not to hard, not too pillowy. But you wouldn’t be wrong to give the diner’s atmosphere at least partial credit—the wood paneling behind the counter stools somehow makes the place feel like home, no matter where you’re from.
  • Block 16. Celebrity chef Alton Brown said this was the best burger, not just in Omaha, but the whole country. And if there’s one thing we know, it’s that you shouldn’t argue with Alton Brown. Ever.

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El Basha Mediterranean Grill

 

Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to find good—great, even—Middle Eastern food in the American heartland. For proof, look to the kitchens of this casual Lebanese eatery, where the warm pita, homemade hummus, and beef shawarma are crowd favorites. The star of the menu however, might be the falafel, which are flavored with so many fragrant herbs that the insides of the crispy fritters are bright green.

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