From the Missouri River in the east to the Panhandle in the west, Nebraska is full of unique dining experiences. Whether you want a good old-fashioned steak or a plate of high-concept gourmet fare, there’s something on this list for everyone.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
Amsterdam Falafel and Kabob, Omaha
This tiny place in Dundee serves up some of the best falafel around. The curry fries - served up in a wax paper and aluminum foil cone with a tiny fork - are to die for.
Avoli Osteria, Omaha
Well-loved Omaha chef Dario Schicke's new venture is a beautiful melding of casual dining and exceptional, high-quality food.
Banhwich Cafe, Lincoln
Just minutes from the UNL campus, this eclectic place serves up Vietnamese, Korean, Chinese, and Thai food along with frozen yogurt and bubble tea.
Bean Broker Coffee House & Pub, Chadron
The Bean Broker offers up a calm atmosphere and a unique departure from the other eating establishments in the area. Fresh and healthy meals pair beautifully with the pub's coffee and cocktails.
Bella Italia Restaurant, Cozad
After a long closure due to the owner's health issues, Bella Italia is once again serving up authentic Roman-style Italian food.
Brother Sebastian's Steak House & Winery, Omaha
Brother Sebastian's doesn't need a theme to make it a stand-out eatery, but the faux monastery theme is surprisingly delightful. A cozy low-lit interior, stained glass windows, and "monk" servers only enhance the amazing steaks and exquisite wine list.
Dario's Brasserie, Omaha
Dario's is renowned for its bold flavor combinations, amazing beer selection, and out-of-this-world Belgian pommes frites.
Emporium Coffeehouse and Cafe, Scottsbluff
Don't let the name fool you - Emporium is more than just coffee and cold sandwiches. They serve an impressively robust menu, with specials that coincide with local events and movies. Their wine list is far better than you might expect, and the food is always fresh.
Farmer Brown's Steakhouse, Waterloo
Just a short jaunt west of Omaha, Farmer Brown's serves up some of the best steak in the area. Prepare yourself for a robust meal, because the portions are Nebraska-sized and you'll definitely want to finish it all.
The Grey Plume, Omaha
The menu at the Grey Plume is always changing according to the season and what's available from local farms and producers. Their duck fat donut has become a local celebrity in its own right. Awesome bonus: they offer cooking classes in the summer.
Kitchen Table, Omaha
Kitchen Table is a farm-to-table gem in downtown Omaha. Fresh and creative dishes include omnivorous, vegetarian, and vegan selections. Trust us: absolutely everything is delicious.
La Bonita Mexican Restaurant, Scottsbluff
Western Nebraska is full of delicious Mexican fare, but La Bonita is among the best. The menu features authentic dishes and tasty fresh ingredients.
Louie M's Burger Lust Cafe, Omaha
There's much more than burgers to lust after at Louie M's. Serving breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a full bar, Louie's is an Omaha institution.
M's Pub, Omaha
The pub's low-lit interior and closely-placed tables inspire conversation...but that might be hard when your mouth is full of amazing, locally-sourced food.
Maggie's Vegetarian Cafe, Lincoln
A vegetarian gem in the middle of beef country, Maggie's serves up amazing fresh dishes made with organic veggies - and there are even vegan options.
Mazatlan Mexican Restaurant, Lincoln
This authentic Mexican place will get your taste buds singing with delectable flavor combinations including some impressive seafood dishes. And when you're craving a burrito but don't want to drive, Mazatlan delivers within Lincoln.
Modern Love, Omaha
Famed vegan chef Isa Chandra Moskowitz moved to Nebraska to open the state's only all-vegan restaurant. The restaurant aptly describes its fare as "swanky vegan comfort food" - even omnivores can find something to love here.
Momo Pizzeria & Ristorante, Lincoln
Much more than your run-of-the-mill pizza joint, Momo offers up some memorable taste combinations like prosciutto and egg. Pizza, pasta, sandwiches, salads, and desserts round out an impressive menu.
Neon Bar & Grill, Valentine
Driving past the 1950s-style Motel Raine on Highway 20 in Valentine, you might not expect to find a quality dining experience inside. But the Neon Bar & Grill is a steakhouse that ranks up among the best in the state. Friendly service enhances an already fantastic experience.
Ole's Big Game Steakhouse, Paxton
Not for the faint-hearted, this small-town steakhouse is filled to the rafters with big game trophies, including an entire polar bear and an elephant head. With more than 80 years of history, Ole's has the kind of country charm that you just can't fake.
Peppermill & EKV Lounge, Valentine
Local beef is the centerpiece of this small-town restaurant with big-city flair. The steaks melt in your mouth, but don't overlook the outstanding seafood dishes!
Sandstone Grill, Burwell
The no-nonsense food at the Sandstone includes all of the must-try Nebraska standards along with a surprising selection of salads and healthier fare.
Sin City Grill, Grand Island
In Sin City, everything is Vegas themed; burgers are named after poker games or Vegas attractions and the inside looks like a colorful casino. The fries are fresh, the beer is cold, and the servers are friendly - what more could you ask for?
The Union Bar, Gering
This Panhandle-area favorite serves up a mean burger, but The Union Bar has a varied menu including lunch and dinner specials. A good beer selection tops off this uniquely Gering experience.
Wasabi Bistro, Grand Island
Sushi - in Grand Island? Yep, the Wasabi Bistro does sushi, and they do it well. Other Japanese fare is on the menu as well, and for those who are dubious of raw fish there are plenty of cooked sushi options.
These 25 eateries go above and beyond the ordinary to bring you some truly unique meals. Sample them all and then let us know: which of Nebraska’s unconventional eateries are you partial to?