I’m occasionally asked why I so rarely do reviews for The Reader. It’s a
good question. If your food were paid for in exchange for you simply
saying you liked or didn’t like a meal, you’d cash in, right? But as
someone who shifted from food-phobic in the first two decades of my
life to loudly cheering on the guy who burned my grilled cheese at my
favorite food truck, I can’t call myself unbiased. The grownup me is
100% rooting for anyone trying to make Omaha a more delicious place.
Even when their kimchi isn’t my cup of tea.
What I can offer in terms of a review is situational superlatives. In this
case, I won’t tell you who has the best brunch. Best is subjective, and
while some will roll their eyes as you mention your favorite chain, others
will grimace as you rave about the latest hip place for mimosas with the
ladies. There’s a time and a place for everything. Village Inn’s waffles
with strawberries and whipped cream? Two in the morning after a night
out with your favorite theater nerds. Lobster bisque at an upscale
bistro? Proving to your parents that becoming an online influencer is not
only legitimate, but lucrative. Read on for the best circumstantial
brunches Omaha has to offer.
Brunch With the Boys
Crescent Moon Ale House
10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays
Sink your teeth into dishes like sweet and savory, apple-wood-smoked
candied bacon and a thin crust pizza with sausage gravy, scrambled
eggs and bacon. Add a tour of Crescent’s extensive beer menu and
bottomless mimosas to make brunch your team’s favorite meal of the
week. There’s nothing precious or delicate about Crescent’s brunch.
This weekly event is suited to the brews and bros crowd with a childlike
appetite for life, but a fully grown-up appetite for delicious dishes. Enjoy
special trivia, bingo, singalongs and drag events, and take advantage of
Service Industry Specials every Sunday.
Let the Good Times Roll
1934 S 67th St.
10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays
You can make Mardi Gras happen any time of the year, and bananas
foster beignets are a weekly reason to celebrate. For a savory flavor,
dig into the crawfish etouffee scramble with pecan smoked bacon, or
enjoy the shrimp and grits Sardou with any of the clever cocktails on the
Follow the Crowd
6913 Maple St.
9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays
An always-packed event, Mantra offers an inventive menu and inviting
atmosphere to ensure a positively charged experience every time you dine. Despite the crowd, the accommodating hosts never pressure or rush their guests, and you’ll feel welcomed and wanted while you take your time over a plate of Grand Marnier French Toast and bottomless mimosas.
Small Venue, Satisfying Menu
Saddle Creek Breakfast Club
1540 N Saddle Creek
7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday
Officially a breakfast and lunch spot, but when your Friday calls for
French toast, SCBC has you covered. The chef-driven menu is
seasonal and inspired and includes vegan options. While the small spot
is eyeing a larger location in the near future, the Breakfast Club won our
hearts on a shoestring budget in the smallest of spaces. We can’t wait
to see what they show us as they continue to grow.
Puts the Art in Culinary Arts
9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays
With cocktails that bring childlike whimsy to decidedly adult drinks, and
a rotating menu of inspired dishes, Stirnella finds a way to dazzle even
the most loyal diner. For an omelet that proves there’s more than one
way to crack an egg, try the Taleggio pork belly with pecorino and
shaved truffles. The meals at Stirnella are both familiar and surprising,
remaining accessible even when they reach peak elegance.
Classic Meets Creativity
1822 N 120th St.
11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday
Taxi’s has been serving one of Omaha’s favorite brunches for more than
two decades, and still manages to throw in surprising touches and
signature style. Enjoy Chef Brian’s Benedicts and bottomless mimosas
indoors, or a pile of waffles on the patio.
A More Mature Menu
Timber Wood Fire Bistro
8702 Pacific St.
9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays
Mature doesn’t mean boring, but you’re less likely to encounter a loud
crowd or wild weekend warriors over your braised Brussels and
Benedicts. Find a cozy place on the patio for your perfect plate and a
(hopefully perfect) date.
514 S 11th St.
10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays
A game on the big screen, billiards with your buds, and a brunch buffet
that simply won’t quit. Upstream is about atmosphere, and it doesn’t
work in half measures. A broad menu of brews to choose from means
you’ll find the perfect pairing for whatever finds itself on your plate.
While buffets are almost unheard of these days, this isn’t a buffet for the
sake of gluttony. Rather, this choose-your-own adventure is a treat on