If you were to ask your friends and co-workers what the best restaurant in Omaha is, you would have set into motion the argument that starts World War III. There are the obvious contenders, the classics and the ultra-hip, modern choices. Best is broad and subjective, and invites arguments over everything from ambiance to apple pie. If, however, you ask someone where their favorite restaurant is, you’ve started a different conversation altogether. Lively, exciting, and filled with mouth-watering descriptions of foods you didn’t know you were hungry for, favorite is an engaging chat to have. We asked a few of our friends around Omaha this very question, and had a lot of fun in the process!
Do you have a favorite place we should know about? Chime in by Emailing Crumbs@TheReader.Com!
Avoli! I have to start with the ambiance — My art hangs there! It’s classy but not pretentious, so I feel comfortable wearing flip-flops and a t-shirt or something nice. The staff makes it a point to remember us and our favorite drinks and dishes. The owner, Dario, is very charismatic. They make their pasta in house and every dish is delicious. They switch up the menu occasionally, and sometimes I miss something that used to be on the menu, but it gives us something else to try!
Event Coordinator for 5K The Hard Way and Writer for Rolling Stone, SPIN, Thrasher, Village Voice and Boys’ Life
I love fresh shucked oysters on the half shell, and Plank Seafood Provisions has a great daily happy hour where you can cool off and slurp away. The staff will explain everything you need to know about the oysters being served. On the menu board, look for the oyster marked with a star which are usually at least half price.
Professional Mixed Martial Artist and Radio Personality for Power 106.9
The 11-Worth Cafe. Because of the damn breakfast!
Bold Nebraska Founder and Chair of the State Democratic Party
When I am in Omaha, I am often on the go. I always stop at Blue Line downtown for a veggie and hummus sandwich. I’ve tried to recreate it at home and fail every time. They also have crushed ice for their amazing coffee. So it’s a win all around.
Co-Founder of Project Project
I have two. My number one favorite is definitely La Buvette. It’s just a great atmosphere, excellent food, and a nice, slow dining experience. My other favorite is Grand Fortune. It’s a great hidden gem, but the best American-Chinese in Omaha and a great dim-sum menu. I love it.
Bandmember of Rock and Roll Suicide
My favorite place is Dario’s [Brasserie]. The have the best selection of Belgian beers in town and hearty French-style dishes to pair it with. On Tuesdays they have half-off draws, and I love to go in for a croque and fries and a few too many beers with good people. Hands down, my favorite place for a great meal!
Officer Gary Self
Omaha Police Department
For special occasions, we love to eat at Omaha Prime. We request a table that overlooks the Old Market Passageway – you can always hear the fountain and feel a steady breeze. In addition to a nice juicy steak, we love the Brussels sprouts with bacon. And although it’s not on their menu, try their special homemade Bloody Mary made with tequila instead of the customary vodka. We haven’t found the courage to try the tomahawk yet, but we will someday. You’ll know what we mean after you visit.
Financial Advisor and Founder of Ramen Fest
It’s difficult to choose one joint over the many Omaha restaurants that are outstanding. All things considered, I’ve personally had the best experiences at 801 Chophouse. The ambiance is relaxing and stylish; the service is professional; and the prime rib is the closest thing to perfect I’ve ever experienced.
I truly think we get to work with all of my favorite restaurants at SecretPenguin, so I’ll say my favorite restaurant that isn’t a client would be Nicola’s. Always incredible food (I love the lobster ravioli). They always make us feel so special, and the patio is beautiful.
Founder of Proseeds, Bassist with State Disco
My current favorite restaurant is Voodoo Taco. Their Baja Shrimp Taco is delicious, plus they automatically give 5% of my purchases back to my favorite non-profit organizations through Proseeds!
IFPA Figure Pro and Owner of Fitssentials Fitness Studios
It’s really important to me to find food that my entire family enjoys, has healthy options, and most of all, is tasty. We are eating out, after all! Beijing Tokyo meets my needs. This little hidden gem has a variety of Asian dishes, both cooked meals and sushi, that satisfy any Asian craving. My go-to is steamed shrimp and veggies. Delish!
Director of PRISM Paranormal Research and Investigative Studies Midwest
My favorite restaurant is Lina’s Mexican Food. They have a very tasty, very large cheese quesadilla!
Founder and Artistic Director of Ballet Nebraska
With a new baby [Stellan], going out takes a bit more planning, but my husband [Brandon Dickerson] and I love going to Nicola’s in the Old Market. We like to sit outside in nice weather and enjoy the spaghetti aglio e olio with salmon. Our next stop is Ted & Wally’s for ice cream, hoping to see Salty Seahorse on the menu!
General Director of Opera Omaha
Favorite restaurant? Too many to name! Omaha is an incredible food town and I always have a long list of recommendations for visiting artists. Omaha may be a mid-size city but our food ranks among the best in the country.