Part of the Great Plains and Midwest, Nebraska is a large state with plenty of open land, making it a prime location for farms and ranches. With talented chefs from Scottsbluff to Omaha, local ingredients are transformed into delectable dishes sure to please foodies. We’ve made a list of some of the tasty restaurants peppered throughout Nebraska.
Nestled in what was once the boiler room of the historic Bemis Bag Building in Omaha, the Boiler Room serves up New American and French cuisine for dinner Monday through Saturday. The beautiful interior reflects its history, blending the old with the new. Procuring the best ingredients from local sources, the menu changes daily to reflect the freshest items like the Rhode Island scallops (which are seared and accompanied by crème fraîche spätzle, bok choy, poached shrimp, langoustine cream, and hazelnut crumble). Luscious desserts, handcrafted drinks, and an extensive wine list featuring over 500 bottles, are also available.
Located in the state’s capital, Lincoln, Dish is an upscale restaurant featuring classic American dishes with a twist. This downtown space offers guests a comfortable ambiance, a friendly staff committed to providing excellent service, and the freshest ingredients available making it an exceptional place to dine for anyone, including vegetarians and gluten-free guests. For a flavorsome dining experience, guests can start with sweet chili chicken wings followed by steak au poivre with apple glaze accompanied by pumpkin and apple risotto, cranberries, and kale. A host of adult beverages, including cocktails, wine, beer round out the offerings at Dish.
Touted as ‘Omaha’s ultimate steakhouse’, Spencer’s is an upscale establishment specializing in USDA prime steaks. Striving to provide the best of everything, including food, service, and ambiance, this venue is a prime location for enjoying a romantic evening out with a loved one. While the restaurant places an emphasis on steaks, guests will find succulent seafood dishes as well. Visitors may start with French onion soup followed by a 12 oz. bone-in filet with sides, including creamy bleu spinach and loaded baked potato; or pan-seared Scottish salmon with leek fondue, potato purée, and truffle butter. Pair the meal with a complementary wine from the award-winning wine list and finish with a scrumptious dessert, such as lemon crème brûlée, for a complete culinary experience at Spencer’s.
Stella’s, is a well-loved institution, voted as having the best burger in Omaha year after year. Even though it has changed hands over the years but stayed within the family, the hamburger recipe has always remained the same: fresh hand-pressed burgers served on napkins. Burger connoisseurs have an array of choices from creating their own burger to special varieties, including the pastrami burger with lettuce: a hamburger patty, five slices of pastrami, Swiss cheese, and stone ground mustard all on a toasted onion bun. For the truly ravenous, the Stellanator challenge is available where a diner has 45 minutes to eat a massive six-patty burger layered with six fried eggs, six pieces of cheese, 12 pieces of bacon and more.
Located in Scottsbluff, The Emporium serves as a coffeehouse during the day and a fine-dining restaurant, featuring New American cuisine imbued with international flavors, at night. Frequenting the farmers market each week, the culinary team has access to the freshest organic ingredients available. Notable dinner options include chicken with glazed root vegetables and carrot purée; gnocchi with a whiskey-apple sauce and center-cut sirloin served with a beer-battered blue cheese fritter and house-cut French fries. With art pieces adorning the space, live entertainment in the summer, adds to an already artsy environment.
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The Flatiron Cafe is a fine-dining venue popular with locals and tourists alike, especially the theater crowd. Located in the historic Flatiron building, the ambiance is cozy with soft lighting. Featuring an array of exquisite New American cuisine, the menu leans towards meat and seafood options; however, vegetarians are not left out. Discerning diners can feast upon poached lobster with king crab and truffle risotto and roasted cauliflower; chorizo stuffed Berkshire pork chop with bacon-parsley fingerling potatoes and roasted poblano cream; and root vegetable gnocchi. A large wine list and desserts complete the offerings at this gem.
The Flippin Sweet is a casual restaurant specializing in mouthwatering pizza. A cozy mom-and-pop joint, this eclectic pizzeria is the place to go to for a great time where there’s sure to be a lot of laughter, (Cards Against Humanity sets are readily available for entertainment). It also serves delicious food made with the freshest locally sourced ingredients available. In addition to the ‘Midwest’ pies, the menu also offers sandwiches, pasta, salads, sweet treats, craft beer, and wine. Pizza lovers can make their own creation or choose one of the artisan pies, including The Dude, which comes topped with spicy arrabbiata sauce, smoked elk sausage, smoked buffalo sausage, curry smoked onions, and smoked cheese; or The Little Green Bag with pesto, artichokes, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, pistachios, and mushrooms.
The Grey Plume is a welcoming farm-to-table restaurant serving contemporary American cuisine, and the first Green Restaurant Association 4-Star ‘Sustainabuild’ restaurant in the USA. The interior features reclaimed materials from the barn wood floor to bread plates made from old wine bottles. Sustainability flows into the kitchen where the culinary team uses the freshest locally sourced products available. Mouthwatering dishes guests may find on the menu include Plum Creek Farm‘s chicken roulade with carrots, baby onions, potato gnocchi, and shitake and foraged mushrooms and truffles with wheat berry, ramp, and breakfast radish. Reservations are recommended at this Omaha gem.
V. Mertz is a fine-dining restaurant specializing in New American cuisine and features an extensive international wine list. A cozy space with exposed brick walls, the ambiance is perfect for a night out with friends or an intimate date. Located in Omaha’s Old Market Passageway, this locally-owned restaurant is open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday and offers discerning diners à la carte, five and eight course, and prix fixe menus, which change frequently to reflect the freshest produce available. Vegetarian and gluten-free options are always available making this a restaurant anyone can enjoy.
Located in Grand Island, Wasabi Bistro is a modern restaurant featuring Asian cuisine with culinary influences from Japan, China, and Thailand and a full bar. The restaurant has fresh fish delivered daily, procures herbs and spices from around the world, seeks out the freshest products available, and makes all of their sauces from scratch. An extensive menu from sushi to house specialties to vegetarian and gluten-free dishes ensures everyone is catered for. West lake beef, which is stir-fried filet mignon with red and green peppers, onions, and bamboo shoots in a spicy sauce, and the tiger sushi roll with jumbo shrimp tempura in a mild sauce rolled with lettuce, avocado and smelt roe, are two excellent choices.