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Best of Omaha Dining

Best Bagel Shop

  • Reader’s Choice Best of the Big O: Bagel Bin, Panera Bread
  • Reader’s Choice: Bruegger’s Bagels
  • Reader’s Refer: Hy-Vee, Karma Koffee

Best Bakery

  • Reader’s Choice Best of the Big O: Sweet Magnolias Bake Shop
  • Reader’s Choice: The Cake Gallery, Pettit’s Pastry, Baked After Dark, The Omaha Bakery, Olsen Bake Shop
  • Reader’s Recommend: Le Quartier Bakery & Cafe – Dundee, Culprit Cafe & Bakery, Great Harvest Bread Co.
  • Reader’s Refer: Hardy Coffee, Shandy’s Bakery, Uptown Bakery, Cupcake Omaha / Chris Janicek’s Cake Box, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Orsi’s Italian Bakery, WheatFields Eatery & Bakery

Best Breakfast Joint

  • Reader’s Choice Best of the Big O: Lisa’s Radial Cafe
  • Reader’s Choice: First Watch, Saddle Creek Breakfast Club
  • Reader’s Recommend: Early Bird Brunch / Hurry Bird (formerly Eat Bob’s Donuts), Le Peep Omaha, Summer Kitchen Cafe, Sunnyside on Center
  • Reader’s Refer: Over Easy, The Sojourn Cafe, Good Lookin’, Homestyle Cafe, The Special Restaurant, Bailey’s Breakfast and Lunch, Stories Coffee Company, Jimmy’s Egg, Lula B’s Breakfast, Brunch, and Bar, Vidlak’s Brookside Café

Best Brunch Spot

  • Reader’s Choice Best of the Big O: Early Bird Brunch / Hurry Bird (formerly Eat Bob’s Donuts), Lisa’s Radial Cafe
  • Reader’s Choice: Saddle Creek Breakfast Club, Le Peep Omaha, Jams Old Market
  • Reader’s Recommend: The Sojourn Cafe
  • Reader’s Refer: Bailey’s Breakfast and Lunch, Stories Coffee Company, First Watch, Good Lookin’, Dario’s Brasserie, Jimmy’s Egg, Lula B’s Breakfast, Brunch, and Bar, Mantra Bar & Grille, Modern Love, Ollie & Hobbes Craft Kitchen, Railcar Modern American Kitchen, Tavern 180, Vidlak’s Brookside Café

Best Buffet

  • Reader’s Choice Best of the Big O: HuHot Mongolian Grill
  • Reader’s Choice: China Buffet, Pizza Ranch, Valentino’s, Ameristar Heritage Buffet,

Best Burger Joint

  • Reader’s Choice Best of the Big O: Stella’s Bar & Grill
  • Reader’s Choice: Block 16, Dinker’s Bar and Grill
  • Reader’s Recommend: Five Guys, Winchester Bar & Grill
  • Reader’s Refer: Don & Millie’s, Louie M’s Burger Lust, Smitty’s Garage Burgers and Beer, Sickies Garage Burgers & Brews, Copps Pizza Company, Cheeseburgers- A Take-Out Joint, Angus Burgers and Shakes, Big Red Restaurant And Sports Bar / Big Red Keno, Burger Theory, Omaha Tap House, Blatt Beer & Table, Bronco’s, Charred Burger + Bar

Best Café/Diner

  • Reader’s Choice Best of the Big O: Shirley’s Diner
  • Reader’s Choice: Lisa’s Radial Cafe, Louie M’s Burger Lust, Vidlak’s Brookside Café
  • Reader’s Recommend: The Sojourn Cafe, Jim & Jennie’s Greek Village, Culprit Cafe & Bakery
  • Reader’s Refer: Jimmy’s Egg

Best Chicken Restaurant

  • Reader’s Choice Best of the Big O: Alpine Inn
  • Reader’s Choice: Dirty Birds, Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers, Time Out Foods, Chick-fil-A Bellevue
  • Reader’s Recommend: Pizza Ranch, Quick Bites Soul Food

Best Chinese Restaurant

  • Reader’s Choice Best of the Big O: Three Happiness Express
  • Reader’s Choice: Jade Garden    
  • Reader’s Recommend: Ming’s Restaurant, Rice Bowl, Bo Bo China, Hunan Fusion, Blue & Fly Asian Kitchen, Crystal Jade Restaurant, Hunan Palace
  • Reader’s Refer: Dragon Wok, Taste of China, China Palace Restaurant, Five Spice, Gold Mountain Restaurant, Golden Bowl Chinese Restaurant, *Hong Hing (Google search shows it’s permanently closed, not in ZOHO), Copal, Sechwan Sunrise, Szechuan Express Chinese

Best Coffeeshop

  • Reader’s Choice Best of the Big O: Scooter’s Coffee
  • Reader’s Choice: Zen Coffee Company, Stories Coffee Company, Archetype Coffee
  • Reader’s Recommend: Edge of the Universe, The Beanery, Hardy Coffee
  • Reader’s Refer: Blue Line Coffee, Amateur Coffee, Karma Koffee, Myrtle & Cypress Coffeehouse, Green Beans Coffee, Urban Abbey, Dripped + Draped, The Table Coffee Co., Bad Seed Coffee & Supply (formerly Muglife Coffee), Dundee Double Shot Coffee, Harold’s Koffee House

Best Doughnut Shop

  • Reader’s Choice Best of the Big O: Hurts Donut Co.
  • Reader’s Choice: Olsen Bake Shop, Pettit’s Pastry, Square Donut
  • Reader’s Recommend: Winchell’s Donut House, LaMar’s Donuts
  • Reader’s Refer: Dunkin’ Donuts, Sunrize Donuts, Early Bird Brunch / Hurry Bird (formerly Eat Bob’s Donuts), The Omaha Bakery, Stories Coffee Company, Donut Run Gretna, NE

Best Drive-Thru Restaurant

  • Reader’s Choice Best of the Big O: Runza Restaurant
  • Reader’s Choice: Abelardo’s Authentic Mexican Food/ Abelardo’s Mexican Fresh, Bronco’s, Chick-fil-A Bellevue
  • Reader’s Recommend: Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers, Curry in a Hurry, Pickleman’s Gourmet Café
  • Reader’s Refer: Harrison Beijing Gate, Panda Express, Taco Bell, Feta’s Greek Restaurant / Feta’s Gyros & Catering, Lil’ Burro, Popeyes – Eat Out Now, Inc, Amigo’s Restaurant, Don & Millie’s

Best Falafel Restaurant

  • Reader’s Choice Best of the Big O: Amsterdam Falafel & Kabob
  • Reader’s Choice: El Basha Mediterranean Grill, Oasis Falafel of Omaha
  • Reader’s Refer: Ahmad’s Persian Cuisine

Best Food Truck

  • Reader’s Choice Best of the Big O: Javi’s Tacos
  • Reader’s Choice: El Churro Spot/The Churro Truck, 402 BBQ, The Cheese Life
  • Reader’s Refer: Dos de Oros Taco Truck, Wonton Jon’s / Loaded Bowls, Best Burger. Omaha, The Corndog Company Omaha, The Dire Lion Grille and Chippy

Best French Restaurant

  • Reader’s Choice Best of the Big O: La Buvette Wine & Grocery
  • Reader’s Choice: Le Voltaire French Restaurant, Le Bouillon, Dario’s Brasserie, V Mertz

Best Greek Restaurant

  • Reader’s Choice Best of the Big O: Greek Islands Restaurant
  • Reader’s Choice: Jim & Jennie’s Greek Village, Feta’s Greek Restaurant/Feta’s Gyros & Catering
  • Reader’s Recommend: King Kong Gyro
  • Reader’s Refer: Grecian Gyros, John’s Grecian Delight, Mediterranean Bistro

Best Gyro Shop

  • Reader’s Choice Best of the Big O: Greek Islands Restaurant
  • Reader’s Choice: King Kong Gyro, Amsterdam Falafel & Kabob, El Basha Mediterranean Grill
  • Reader’s Recommend: Feta’s Greek Restaurant/Feta’s Gyros & Catering, Jim & Jennie’s Greek Village
  • Reader’s Refer: Sam’s Gyros, Grecian Gyros, Izmir Gyro House

Best Ice Cream Shop

  • Reader’s Choice Best of the Big O: Ted & Wally’s Ultra-Premium Ice Cream
  • Reader’s Choice: Coneflower Creamery, Dairy Chef, eCreamery
  • Reader’s Recommend: Graley’s Creamery & Confections
  • Reader’s Refer: Dolci Old Market, Christy Creme, Dairy Queen Grill & Chill, Goodrich Dairy Ice Cream, Zesto Shoppe / Zesto Ice Cream and Grill

Best Indian Restaurant

  • Reader’s Choice Best of the Big O: The Jaipur
  • Reader’s Choice: Curry in a Hurry, Kinaara
  • Reader’s Recommend: Flavors Indian Cuisine, Curri Fine Indian Cuisine
  • Reader’s Refer: Shahi India Grill, T O 5 Bollywood Grill

Best Italian Restaurant

  • Reader’s Choice Best of the Big O: Lo Sole Mio Ristorante
  • Reader’s Choice: Mangia Italiana, Spezia
  • Reader’s Recommend: Roma Italian Restaurant, Sgt Peffers- Omaha, Malara’s Italian Restaurant, Nicola’s Italian Wine & Faire, Via Farina, Vincenzo’s Italian Ristorante
  • Reader’s Refer: Avoli Osteria, Capri, Fazoli’s

Best Japanese Restaurant

  • Reader’s Choice Best of the Big O: Hiro 88
  • Reader’s Choice: Blue Sushi Sake Grill, Yoshitomo
  • Reader’s Recommend: Umami Asian Cuisine, Sakura Bana, *Matsu Sushi (Google search shows it’s permanently closed)

Best Local Food-Serving Restaurant

  • Reader’s Choice Best of the Big O: Block 16
  • Reader’s Choice: Copps Pizza Company
  • Reader’s Recommend: The Benson Brewery, Modern Love, Au Courant Regional Kitchen, Javi’s Tacos, La Buvette Wine & Grocery
  • Reader’s Refer: Kitchen Table, Dante Pizzeria, Stirnella Bar & Kitchen, Table Grace Cafe, The Boiler Room Restaurant, *J. Coco (Google search shows it’s permanently closed), Winchester Bar & Grill[2] , Dinker’s Bar & Grill, Lighthouse Bar & Grill,[3]  WheatFields Eatery & Bakery
  • Editor’s Choice: Block 16, Boiler Room, Dante, Gather, Kitchen Table, Modern Love, Over Easy, Saddle Creek Breakfast Club, Sage Student Bistro,  V Mertz, Via Farina

Best Mexican Restaurant

  • Reader’s Choice Best of the Big O: La Mesa Mexican Restaurant, Maria’s Mexican Restaurant
  • Reader’s Choice: Abelardo’s Authentic Mexican Food/ Abelardo’s Mexican Fresh
  • Reader’s Recommend: Trini’s Mexican Restaurant, Isla del Mar Restaurante, Hook & Lime, Taqueria El Rey
  • Reader’s Refer: Cilantros Mexican Bar & Grill, Javi’s Tacos, Lil’ Burro, Lina’s Mexican Restaurant, Roja Mexican Grill, Copal, Rivera’s Mexican Food, Azteca Mexican Restaurant, El Rancho, El Vallarta, Fernando’s Burritos, Howard’s Charro Café, La Carreta Rosa, Mula, Puerto Vallarta Mexican Restaurant, Ramona’s Mexican Restaurant, Rivera’s Mexican Food, Taqueria Tijuana, Victor’s Mexican Restaurant

Best Middle Eastern Restaurant

  • Reader’s Choice Best of the Big O: El Basha Mediterranean Grill
  • Reader’s Choice: Ahmad’s Persian Cuisine, Amsterdam Falafel & Kabob, Mediterranean Bistro
  • Reader’s Refer: Chaikhana Bar & Shishkabobs, Shahen Afghan Restaurant

Best New Restaurant

  • Editor’s Note:The last two years have been anything but business as usual. This year, we wanted to be sure to include establishments that may have been overlooked for their official “Best New” nomination and open the contest to those who have been making it work through a very tough initiation. The following restaurants have all opened since the start of the pandemic, and have fought hard for their chance to be recognized!
  • Reader’s Choice Best of the Big O: Javi’s Tacos
  • Reader’s Choice: Edge of the Universe, The Switch Beer and Food Hall, Cheeseburgers- A Take-Out Joint, Gather in Omaha, Pacific Eating House
  • Editor’s Choice: Cafe Postale, Cumbia, Everett’s, and Rebel Monkey Pizza

Best Nouveau Cuisine Restaurant

  • Reader’s Choice Best of the Big O: Modern Love
  • Reader’s Choice: Au Courant Regional Kitchen, La Buvette Wine & Grocery, Edge of the Universe, Le Bouillon
  • Reader’s Recommend: The Boiler Room Restaurant
  • Reader’s Refer: Brushi European American Cuisine

Best Pasta Restaurant

  • Reader’s Choice Best of the Big O: Lo Sole Mio Ristorante
  • Reader’s Choice: Spaghetti Works, Pasta Amore, Spezia
  • Reader’s Recommend: Via Farina, Avoli Osteria, Roma Italian Restaurant, Nicola’s Italian Wine & Faire
  • Reader’s Refer: Noodles & Company, Malara’s Italian Restaurant

Best Pizza Parlor

  • Reader’s Choice Best of the Big O: Mama’s Pizza
  • Reader’s Choice: Tasty Pizza
  • Reader’s Recommend: Pitch Pizzeria, Noli’s Pizzeria, Big Fred’s Pizza, Copps Pizza Company, Frank’s Pizzeria, La Casa Pizzaria, Zio’s Pizzeria
  • Reader’s Refer: Johnny Sortino’s Pizza Parlor, Sgt. Peffer’s- Omaha, Virtuoso Pizzeria by David Losole, Brick Oven Pizzeria/ Night Flight Pizza, Via Farina, Bernie’s Original Pizza Parlor, Don Carmelo’s Pizzeria, PizzaWest, Piezon’s Pizzeria, Pizza Counter, Rebel Monkey Pizza, Valentino’s

Best Ramen Restaurant

  • Reader’s Choice Best of the Big O: Ika San Ramen and Izakaya
  • Reader’s Choice: JINYA Ramen Bar
  • Reader’s Refer: Akarui, Yoshi-Ya Ramen

Best Restaurant for Romance

  • Reader’s Choice Best of the Big O: Brother Sebastian’s Steakhouse
  • Reader’s Choice: V Mertz, La Buvette Wine & Grocery, Spezia
  • Reader’s Recommend: Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, Au Courant Regional Kitchen, Kobe Steakhouse Of Japan, 801 Chophouse
  • Reader’s Refer: *J. Coco (Google search shows it’s permanently closed), Modern Love, Stokes

Best Sandwich Shop

  • Reader’s Choice Best of the Big O: Pickleman’s Gourmet Café
  • Reader’s Choice: Block 16, Ethnic Sandwich Shop
  • Reader’s Recommend: The Bánh Mì Shop, Jimmy John’s, Barrett’s Barleycorn Pub & Grill, Little King Restaurant
  • Reader’s Refer: Mr. Goodcents, *Quiznos (Google search shows it’s permanently closed, not in ZOHO), Star Deli, Get Real Sandwiches, Jersey Mike’s, Gandolfo’s New York Delicatessen, Schlotzsky’s

Best Seafood Restaurant

  • Reader’s Choice Best of the Big O: Shucks Fish House & Oyster Bar
  • Reader’s Choice: Blue Sushi Sake Grill, Plank Seafood Provisions
  • Reader’s Recommend: Isla del Mar Restaurante
  • Reader’s Refer: Lutfi’s Fried Fish

Best Steak House

  • Reader’s Choice Best of the Big O: The Drover
  • Reader’s Choice: Brother Sebastian’s Steakhouse, Mahogany Prime Steakhouse, Johnny’s Café
  • Reader’s Recommend: Cascio’s Steakhouse, Sullivan’s Steakhouse, Charleston’s Restaurant, Gorat’s Steak House, Kobe Steakhouse Of Japan
  • Reader’s Refer: 801 Chophouse, Spencer’s for Steaks and Chops, Texas Roadhouse

Best Sushi Restaurant

  • Reader’s Choice Best of the Big O: Blue Sushi Sake Grill
  • Reader’s Choice: Hiro 88, Yoshitomo, Umami Asian Cuisine
  • Reader’s Recommend: Ponzu Sushi & Grill
  • Reader’s Refer: Sakura Bana, *Matsu Sushi (Google search shows it’s permanently closed)

Best Sweets Shop

  • Reader’s Choice Best of the Big O: Sweet Magnolias Bake Shop
  • Reader’s Choice: Brownie Bar Omaha, Old Market Candy Shop, Chocolaterie Stam
  • Reader’s Recommend: Vitale Bakery / Chocolat Abeille (Chocolat Abeille was nominated)
  • Reader’s Refer: Vitale Bakery / Chocolat Abeille (Vitale Bakery was nominated) Love More Sweets, WheatFields Eatery & Bakery, Grand Patisserie

Best Taco Shop

  • Reader’s Choice Best of the Big O: California Tacos & More
  • Reader’s Choice: Maria’s Mexican Restaurant, Javi’s Tacos, Abelardo’s Authentic Mexican Food/ Abelardo’s Mexican Fresh, Voodoo Taco
  • Reader’s Refer: Hook & Lime, Roja Mexican Grill, Lil’ Burro, Mas Chingon, Taco Co., El Churro Spot / The Churro Truck, Taqueria Tijuana, Mula, Ramona’s Mexican Restaurant

Best Take Out

  • Reader’s Choice Best of the Big O: Salween Thai Restaurant
  • Reader’s Choice: Winchester Bar & Grill, Javi’s Tacos
  • Reader’s Recommend: Curry in a Hurry, Taste of New Orleans, Burrito Envy & Tequila Bar, Blue & Fly Asian Kitchen, Modern Love, Rice Bowl
  • Reader’s Refer: Crystal Jade Restaurant, Hunan Palace, Hartland Bar-B-Que, Lil’ Burro, China Wok, Dinker’s Bar and Grill, Mai Thai Lounge, Thai Spice

Best Tapas (Small Portions)

  • Reader’s Choice Best of the Big O: Mula
  • Reader’s Choice: Blue Sushi Sake Grill, Hook & Lime, Le Bouillon
  • Reader’s Recommend: The Grove Juicery & Wellness Café
  • Reader’s Refer: Cumbia Omaha

Best Tex-Mex

  • Reader’s Choice Best of the Big O: La Mesa Mexican Restaurant
  • Reader’s Choice: Maria’s Mexican Restaurant, Romeo’s Mexican Food & Pizza, Stokes
  • Reader’s Recommend: Roja Mexican Grill, Trini’s Mexican Restaurant, Hook & Lime
  • Reader’s Refer: Cilantros Mexican Bar & Grill, Lil’ Burro

Best Thai Restaurant

  • Reader’s Choice Best of the Big O: Salween Thai Restaurant
  • Reader’s Choice: Thai Pepper, Thai Orchids Restaurant
  • Reader’s Recommend: Bangkok Kitchen, Laos Thai, Mai Thai Restaurant (Mai Thai Aksarben was nominated, 2 locations)
  • Reader’s Refer: Thai Spice, Pla Too Thai

Best Vegetarian Restaurant

  • Reader’s Choice: Modern Love
  • Reader’s Refer: Fauxmaha

Best Wing Restaurant

  • Reader’s Choice Best of the Big O: Oscar’s Pizza & Sports Grille
  • Reader’s Choice: Buffalo Wild Wings, Ray’s Original Buffalo Wings
  • Reader’s Recommend: Wingstop, Crescent Moon, Copps Pizza Company, The Salty Dog Bar & Grill, Nite Owl
  • Reader’s Refer: Big Red Restaurant And Sports Bar / Big Red Keno (Big Red Restaurant & Sports Bar was nominated), Modern Love, Tracks Lounge, Addy’s Sports Bar & Grill, The Corner Kick Cantina, Finnegans Pub & Grill, The Good Life Sports Bar & Grill, Heron Bay.

Subscribe to The Reader Newsletter

Our awesome email newsletter briefing tells you everything you need to know about what’s going on in Omaha. Delivered to your inbox every day at 11:00am.

Become a Supporting Member

Subscribe to thereader.com and become a supporting member to keep locally owned news alive. We need to pay writers, so you can read even more. We won’t waste your time, our news will focus, as it always has, on the stories other media miss and a cultural community — from arts to foods to local independent business — that defines us. Please support your locally-owned news media by becoming a member today.

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