When I found out my sister was going to be living in for a few months, I knew it was a good chance to head to the Cornhusker State. My grandma was born there, and my great-grandmother is buried there, so Nebraska has always been a topic of conversation in my family.
From the stories I’d heard, I was expecting something resembling the Dust Bowl. I was sure there would be dirt all around, plenty of cornfields and not much else.
But, instead, I was greeted with beautiful greenery, historical sites and…trendy restaurants?! That’s right—I discovered that there are so many places to eat in Omaha. And all of them had something unique to offer.
Once I arrived in town, a pizzeria with a red brick exterior (and interior) that offers coal-fired pizzas. With historic black-and-white photos on the walls, and hanging light bulbs, the vibe was modern with a classic twist.
The pizzas, of course, are the specialties. Although we opted for a standard favorite, the margherita, the eatery also offers a meatball pie, a Thai pie and the shrimp scampi pizza, complete with thyme cram and lemon garlic shrimp.
But the local menu is filled with other trendy goodies to fill your bellies too. We tried to go the healthy route by selecting the roasted Brussels sprouts, topped with roasted garlic and house-cured pancetta. Then, at the urging of our waiter, we also enjoyed an order of the truffle fries. Pitch also serves up goat cheese-stuffed peppers, creamy Tuscan cauliflower, long-stem artichokes, a roasted beet salad, crab cake tortellini and ravioli lamb ragout.
When looking for places to eat in Omaha, a rooftop bar is probably the last thing you’d expect to find. Still, I couldn’t resist seeing it for myself. We rolled up just after a thunderstorm, taking to the rooftop deck to scope out the views. In addition to the dense grey clouds, we were surprised by views of nearby old-fashioned buildings and colorful flower-filled planters.
Though there was a cute bar here and plenty of seating, we headed back inside to enjoy our meal. (Everything was covered in water.) You’d expect a place with a rooftop bar to be trendy but I was once again surprised by the unique menu offerings.
Because we arrived during happy hour, we took advantage of appetizer deals on spring rolls with braised short ribs inside. The sweet chili dipping sauce gave them a kick that surely rivaled the smoked jalapeno barbecue sauce on the 1912 wings. Other small plates included pulled pork nachos, poutine with local cheese curds and crispy pig’s ears bathed in buttermilk.
For dinner, I opted for the chef’s pasta, made different each day depending on which fresh ingredients are readily available. The cheese was unlike anything I’ve tasted before, and the meal came with a small house salad. 1912 Benson also serves things like the black truffle bratwurst, a jalapeno sriracha burger, a grilled lamb melt and the citrus-smoked mahi mahi salad.
If you’re searching for places to eat in Omaha with interesting dessert options, make sure to also check out the lemon cream beignets or the bacon shortbread cookies. Or, if a cocktail is more your style, enjoy the unique sparkling margaritas, topped with a little bit of Champagne for a bubbly sip.
Having spent most of my life in Southern California, I’ve been spoiled with great Mexican food. Traveling has taught me that many places don’t enjoy the same luxury. But luckily, Omaha does have one innovative and delicious Mexican kitchen.
Mula doubles as a tequileria so start out with a grapefruit, guava, jalapeno or mezcal margarita. The eatery also offers five distinct tequila flights if you’d like the sample various spirits. While the drinks are a big hit, they’re nothing compared to Mula’s food.
When it comes to places to eat in Omaha, Mula is not only the best Mexican restaurant, but one of the best eateries in general. You’ll want to grab the salsa flight—which comes with pico, tomatillo and pineapple salsa—right off the bat. Or, opt for the guacamole flight, which offers a house guac along with a sweet and spicy option and the bacon and street corn guac. There is even a dip flight, which comes with the pico, the house guac and a serving of queso.
Once your dips are intact, you can move on to the rest of the menu. Tacos are available with chicken, al pastor, carne asada, carnitas, fish or shrimp, but they also serve a vegetarian rajas taco. Expect to find unique ingredients incorporated, like radish, crispy cotija, caramelized pineapple, poblano crema and tajin powder.
Diners may also order tortas, rolled tacos, poblano rice, sopapillas or elote—charred sweet corn with roasted garlic mayo.
Ted and Wally’s
While one-of-a-kind restaurants reign supreme in Omaha, we can’t leave out Ted and Wally’s. This dessert shop is one of the best places to eat in Omaha. It makes its own slow-churned ice cream from scratch. Then, with their sweet treat, they’re able to create sundaes, hand-packed pints and floats. They also offer special mix-ins, with ingredients like graham crackers, M&Ms, cacao nibs, jellybeans, almonds, mochi and more.