Best restaurants in Omaha
What is it: A modern European eatery serving locally sourced, innovative, finely crafted small plates and entrées, plus craft cocktails.
Why go: Chef Benjamin Maides is always changing the menu at Au Courant but one thing remains the same: his satisfying seasonal cuisine never disappoints. One dish, Chovie’s egg, is always on the menu, but it’s constantly evolving, prepared in a variety of different ways each night; don’t skip it.
What is it: An Italian restaurant dishing house-made pasta and Neapolitan-style pizza, along with a long list of Italian wine.
Why go: Dante takes pizza and pasta seriously, and it also takes supporting local farmers seriously. Almost all the ingredients used by the kitchen crew, including the toppings on the Italian-style pies and sauces on the well-made pastas, are sourced from Nebraska farmers. The butterscotch budino is one of the best desserts anywhere in the city. Make sure to order it.
Price: Average to pricey
What is it: This supper club is an upscale burger and fries joint that happens to host high-end weekend dinner specials appreciated by foodies of all kinds.
Why go: Poutine burrito? Yes, please. Block 16 serves some seriously insane food specials on the daily. if you’re not in the mood for something over the top, the classic Block burger is one of the best in the city.
What is it: Focusing on cuisine of the upper northwest made with local ingredients, Twisted Cork Bistro also offers a great wine list.
Why go: Twisted Cork serves some of the best seafood in Omaha, paired with an Oregon-focused, pinot-filled wine list. Bonus points: the popular brunch service and excellent burger.
What is it: A modern take on classic Japanese sushi spots (and cooking technique) serving regular omakase service.
Why go: Chef and owner Dave Utterback loves to play with classic techniques and making them his own. Don’t miss the hamachos, his take on nachos, or the aburi wagyu, made with seared beef.
What is it: A Michelin-starred New York City transplant bringing excellent sushi to the city.
Why go: Keen Zheng left Sushi Nakazawa for suburban Omaha. His striking fish dishes, gorgeously presented, taste as good as they look. Ask your server what’s fresh that day as the staff brings in new selections regularly.
What is it: Among the city’s best barbecue, Tired Texan offers diners a succinct menu focused on quality.
Why go: Despite its proximity to Kansas City, Omaha is notoriously not that great at barbecue… but Tired Texan is changing that, one piece of brisket and smoked rib at a time. Get ready to delight your taste buds.
What is it: High on atmosphere and technique, it is one of the city’s most dynamic dining experiences.
Why go: Chef Tim Nicholson has twice made the shortlist as a semifinalist on the James Beard Rising Star Chef list. He creates some of the most singular plates anywhere in Omaha, hitting the right note between unusual and delicious, and you are sure to delight in all his attempts.
What is it: A restaurant serving Parisian-inspired small plates and oysters in the heart of the Old Market.
Why go: The oyster happy hour, for one. But their take on high end toast, the Sunday brunch and the adjacent wine shop, Howard Street Wine Merchants, are all good reasons to run here, too.
What is it: “Swanky vegan comfort food” from well-known vegan chef and author Isa Chandra Moskowitz.
Why go: When you think vegan, you might not think Omaha. But think again. Moskowitz serves comfort food staples like veggie burgers, mac and “shews” and an excellent vegan niçoise salad that will leave you satisfied.
What is it: A restaurant serving upscale diner classics refreshed for a contemporary audience in a hip atmosphere.
Why go: The banana pancake, the perfect balance of savory and sweet, is reason enough to go. But don’t skimp out on the homemade lox, excellent locally brewed diner coffee (no, really) and extra crispy hash brown, either.
What is it: The spot for some of the best baguette and pastries in Omaha, plus solid sandwich selections for breakfast and lunch.
Why go: Pastry chef Ellie Pegler returned to Nebraska after a stint baking at Marea, in New York, among other spots. She’s also a sommelier and plans to soon add wine, cheese and charcuterie to the menu.
What is it: Old-school Omaha at its best, dipped in whiskey marinade.
Why go: You can’t come to Omaha without eating at least one steak, and the one at the Drover is one of the best anywhere in the country. Make sure not to skip on the salad bar, with its chilled metal plates and pickled beets that will complement your meat cravings.
What is it: The city’s latest update on steak, with a fancy, house-dry aging program.
Why go: The interior of Monarch is sexy, perfect for a special occasion. The steaks are great, but so are the desserts and the restaurant’s versions of classic cocktails. Have we convinced you yet?
More of the best in Omaha
Known for the pretty great zoo that calls the city home, life in Omaha is about much more, including great patios made for people watching and old neighborhoods that have been transformed into cool hangout spots