Restaurant Guide–Nebraska

Restaurant Guide Main Index


  • Date indicates the most recent update of the restaurants listed
  • Bold indicates my recommendations; others come from what I consider to be good sources (see bottom of page for further explanation)

Bellevue

IPho #1–2403 Towne Center Dr. (Vietnamese) Open until 7 pm (closed Sun).  Some say it is excellent, and some say the quality and menu choices are excellent but some items are lacking in the Vietnamese herbs and flavoring they should have. Still, though, it is inexpensive and good. (Takeout only 7-18-20)

Korean Grill–1408 Harlan Dr. (Korean) Closed Sun.  Reviewers say it has a true Korean taste. (Takeout only 8-22-20)

Ono Pinay Kitchen–2221 Madison St. (Filipino & Hawaiian) Lunch only (open Tue-Fri).  Those who seem to know say the Filipino food is authentic. Also has a few Hawaiian dishes (Hawaiian plate lunch style). (Dining room is open 7-18-20)

Quick Bites Soul Food–105 W. Mission Ave. (Soul Food) Closed Sun.  Reviewers say the food has very good flavor and maintains a consistent quality. (Takeout and delivery only 8-22-20)

Columbus

El Mezcal–1012 23rd St. (Mexican) Open daily 11 am to 10 pm.  I am not sure if it authentic, but it serves plate dinners (not just tacos, etc.) and reviews are good. (6-12-19)

Restaurant Vallarta–1153 23rd Ave. (Mexican) Closed Mon & Tue.  This seems to be the most authentic Mexican restaurant in town, but it only serves tacos, tortas, etc. (not plate or combination dinners). (6-12-19)

Fremont

Huey’s Smokehouse BBQ–2204 N. Bell St. (BBQ) Open daily 11 am to 9 pm.  One of the best barbecue restaurants in Nebraska–a good place to experience Nebraska style BBQ (which I think is close to Kansas City style). Brisket, turkey, ribs, and pulled pork all get excellent reviews. (6-12-19)

Tortilleria Anita Y Taqueria–207 S. Bell St. (El Salvadorian) Closed Sun.  Has food from El Salvador that reviewers like. (6-12-19)

Gering

Tea Garden–3485 N. 10th St. (Thai).  Reviewers say the Thai food is authentic, and the other food is very good (Chinese, Japanese, even an American breakfast with biscuits and gravy). (6-1-17)

Grand Island

Everest Fusion Indian and Nepalese Cuisine–5012 3rd Ave. (Indian & Nepali) Closed Mon (and closed from 2:30 to 4:30 pm).  People who try the Nepalese dishes say they are quite good and some are very much like Chinese food (but with subtle differences from both Chinese and Indian food). Indian food here is said to be good also. (1-16-20)

Farmer’s Daughter–105 N. Walnut St. (American).  Described as food that a person’s grandmother would have made. Popular for breakfast, but lunch is said to be equally good (I don’t know if it’s open for dinner). Hot beef sandwich is especially recommended. Reviews from 2019 and later, though, indicate that they frequently run out of the daily special and/or items that the reviewers wanted to try unless you get there at noon or shortly thereafter. (1-16-20)

Noodle House–2004 N. Broadwell Ave. (Vietnamese) Closed Mon.  Good reviews, but some indicate that the flavor might be adjusted slightly for American tastes (still very good, though). Has pho and vermicelli dishes. (1-16-20)

We Love Pupusas–1201 S. Locust St. (Salvadoran) Closed Tue.  The reviews seem to be unanimous that the food is delicious (and those who have been to El Salvador say it is authentic). (1-16-20)

Hastings

Odyssey–521 W. 2nd St. (American) Closed Sun.  Has the best reviews in Hastings on Yelp. Steaks and hamburgers seem to be the most popular items, but menu has a lot of other choices. (6-13-19)

The Back Alley Bakery & Restaurant–609 W. 2nd St. (American) Breakfast & lunch only (closed Sun).  The most notable item here is the cinnamon roll (definitely recommended). The regular menu changes daily and includes such items as quiche, panini, potato leek soup, Asian tuna salad sandwich, and a long list of desserts. (6-13-19)

Kearney

Dash Pizzaria a Flippin Sweet Joint–3905 2nd Ave. (Pizza) Open daily except Sun evening.  This seems to be the most popular restaurant in town with locals, because they say it actually has flavor (as opposed to what passes too often for good food in Nebraska). The Flippin’ Sweet Burger Joint is also very popular in town. (Dining room is open-web site says hours are variable 8-29-20)

Everest Indian and Nepalese–5012 3rd Ave. (Himalayan) Closed Mon.  People appreciate that you can get exotic food in Kearney that is good, and it seems to live up to the standards of being the real deal. However, I saw about 5 items that were reviewed, meaning either that the menu is not very diverse or that there are only a few things that most people order. This seems to be a popular stop for people from Colorado and other places who have a lot of Nepalese restaurants. (Dining room is open 8-30-20)

Suwannee Thai–1420 W. 24th St. (Thai) Closed Sun & Mon.  Good food with fresh vegetables. Most don’t seem to want food spicy or order it that way, so I don’t know if those who want it Thai spicy can get it. Many say, though, that this may be the best Thai in Nebraska. The problem here seems to be one person in the kitchen turning out orders when there are often more customers than the kitchen can handle. (Takeout only 8-30-20)

Lincoln

Amu Manu Ramen Bar–121 Centennial Mall S. (Japanese) Closed Sun evening.  I am not quoting the reviewers exactly, but what I understand is that this is probably not great ramen by west coast standards, but on a cold day on the Nebraska plains this soup makes an excellent meal. For me this would be a lower priority than the other Asian restaurants on this list, but is one I would try if I had the chance. (Temporarily closed 7-18-20)

Daffodil Mediterranean–5500 Old Cheney Rd. (Persian) Closed Sun evening & Mon.  Serves Persian food, and not just kabobs (the plate dinners look very good from the photos). (Dining room is open 7-18-20)

Hub Cafe–250 N. 21st St. (New American) Open 7:30 am to 2:30 pm; Dinner Thu-Sat (closed Mon & Tue).  This is a “Farm to Fork” restaurant with both higher prices and higher quality than most other places. Has some interesting items such as Moroccan mint tea, avocado and preserved lemon toast for breakfast, gyros, huevos rancheros. Breakfast is served all day; lunch available after 11 am; brunch on Sat & Sun. (Dining room is open 7-18-20)

Imperial Palace–701 N. 27th St. (Chinese) Open daily except Sat lunch.  Has a “secret” menu with authentic Chinese food (just ask for the Chinese menu). Seems to specialize in spicy food (northern Chinese and Sichuan style). (Dining room is open 7-18-20)

Lan House–1226 P St. (Chinese) Open Daily.  Home of authentic lanzhou (hand pulled) noodles. Noodle dish is served with a very overwhelming amount of chile oil, but it is not overwhelmingly spicy, just oily (much as I have found authentic Sichuanese food to be). A Journal-Star article recommends the soup instead of the noodle plate (it is not covered in chile oil). Has many other items besides its specialty noodle dishes, and these are said to be very good as well. (Takeout and delivery only 7-18-20)

Mr. Hui’s–3255 Cornhusker Hwy. (Chinese) Open Daily.  Said to be mostly real-deal Chinese and Taiwanese food (Chinese food is mostly spicy Sichuan style). (Takeout and delivery only 7-18-20)

Sebastian’s Table–8340 Glynoaks Dr. (Tapas) Dinner only (closed Mon).  The main theme here is Spanish style tapas, with upscale food on small plates. Albondigas (meatballs) seems to be the most popular dish. Also has regular dinners including steak (but the toppings and seasonings are Spanish style). Has paella. I think there are limited items here that would fit into my normal price range for being on this list. (Dining room is open 7-18-20)

Stur 22 Lounge–2110 Winthrop Rd. (African & Caribbean) Dinner only (closed Mon).  Doesn’t just offer some of the well known Caribbean dishes, but has a wide choice of Caribbean and African dishes (and people say they are glad they tried them). African stew is recommended. (Takeout and delivery only 7-18-20)

The Oven–201 N. 8th St. (Indian) Open daily except Sun lunch.  This is not a buffet restaurant–you order from the menu, and they emphasize quality over quantity. Has specialties from Bhutan as well as Indian food (Bhutanese food is said to be more milk or cream based than the regular Indian curry based food). Malai kofta has good reviews. Several reviewers recommend the vegetarian Thali (sampler plate). (Dining room is open 7-18-20)

Vung Tau–2708 Y St. (Vietnamese) Open 10 am to 7 pm (6 pm on Sun)–closed Mon.  Reviewers say the pho is better than in Omaha. Also serves vermicelli bowls, and apparently has other items (but I could not find a menu on line to verify this). (I think it is takeout only 7-18-20)

Norfolk

El Rodeo–107 W. Norfolk Ave. (Mexican) Open daily 10 am to 10 pm.  Serves authentic Mexican street tacos. This and burritos are the most popular items. (I don’t know whether the dining room is open 8-30-20)

North Platte

Merricks Ranch House–1220 E. 4th St. (American).  This is a diner with home cooked style food. Some of it is a hit with reviewers and some isn’t, but overall people like it. With items such as BLT getting good reviews, it indicates that it is the basic, simple items that they do the best. (3-13-19)

Tempura–221 E. 6th St. (Japanese) Closed Mon.  Sushi restaurant that also serves Bento boxes and Chinese food. All have good reviews, but the Chinese food is made to American tastes. (3-13-19)

Ogallala

Golden Village–105 E. 1st St. (Chinese) Open daily except Mon evening (and closed from 3 to 5 pm).  Probably Peking is the restaurant that serves off-the-menu authentic Chinese food, but I am not sure (so I’m including the name and address of this restaurant in case it is the right one). (1-16-20)

Peking–112 E. A St. (Chinese) Open daily (closed from 1:30 to 4 pm). A post on Chowhound indicated that there was a Chinese restaurant in town that served authentic Chinese food if you requested it (it may not be on the menu). There was no name given, but it is the one “on the east side of town” (both Chinese restaurants are actually on the east side of town). Reviews on Yelp seem to indicate it is Peking, but I’m not sure. (1-16-20)

Omaha

American GI Forum–2002 N St. (Mexican) Open daily except Sun evening & Mon. This is a non-profit veteran organization that serves either authentic Mexican food or very good Tex-Mex (according to different reviewers), but in any case they say it is very good, tastes homemade, and is cheap. (Dining room is open 7-18-20)

Blue & Fly Asian Kitchen–721 S. 72nd St. (Chinese) Closed Mon.  Authentic Chinese food (the authentic food is Sichuan style). I don’t see any comments about how spicy it is, so I imagine if you want it spicy you have to ask for it. Has daily specials written on a board. There is an Americanized menu if you want it, but Sichuanese food is what they do well. (Takeout and delivery only 8-22-20)

China Garden–8441 W. Center Rd. (Chinese) Open Daily.  One of the three supposedly authentic Chinese restaurants in the city. This one is Sichuan style (like Blue & Fly), but apparently you have to ask for the Sichuan menu or you will get Americanized food. For those who know the system, though, it gets good reviews. (Takeout and delivery only 8-22-20)

Crystal Jade–7255 Cedar St. (Malaysian) Open Daily.  Serves several Asian cuisines, but Malaysian food is the specialty. Good dishes include amazing chicken and lemak. Has pad thai which sounds different from the Thai version, but it does not have great reviews. Popular with vegetarians because it has quite a few menu choices. (Takeout and delivery only 8-22-20)

Laos Thai–4520 S. 24th St. (Lao) Closed Mon (and closes 7 pm on Sun).  Cash only, but has very low prices. Has several types of curry and has a few dishes not found in many Thai or Lao restaurants in the US. Reviewers say some of the curries are more like a thin soup (I think it is because they have different types of curry, and probably some without coconut milk). (Takeout only 7-18-20)

Lithuanian Bakery–7427 Pacific St. (Bakery) Open 11 am to 5 pm (4 pm on Sat); closed Sun.  Popular for their sweets, but also serves sandwiches and other lunch items. The Napoleonas torte is their specialty. (Not sure if dining room is open–has recently started taking on-line orders through Goldbelly 7-18-20)

Mercy Thai–4741 S. 96th St. (Thai) Closed Sun (and closed from 2:30 to 5 pm).  Reviewers say it is hard to find real Thai food in the Midwest, but this one is. Furthermore, it follows the real Thai spicy scale. Most popular dish seems to be the drunken noodles (some others may be just as good but I don’t see reviews for them). (Takeout and delivery only 8-22-20)

New Gold Mountain–6750 Mercy Rd. (Chinese) Open Daily.  Has authentic Cantonese style food, and apparently you are handed an authentic menu without having to ask for it. They have dim sum which is very popular at lunch time, but I cannot tell which days it is served (it looks as if it is only on Sunday). (Dining room is open 7-18-20)

The Drover–2121 S. 73rd St. (Steaks) Open daily except Sat lunch & Sun lunch.  This is a popular old-school Omaha steakhouse with good reviews. Whiskey steak is the specialty (most people say it is very good, and enhances the flavor). Down sides for some people are the service, prices, and side dishes. The salad bar somewhat makes up for the side dishes, though. Steaks run about $45 (filet is less expensive). (Dining room is open 7-18-20)

Upstream Brewing–514 S. 11th St. (American) Open daily (open until 11 pm Fri & Sat).  Some say that if there is such a thing as typical Nebraska food, this is the place to find it. Pot roast, meat loaf, beer cheese soup, burgers, and steak with mushroom sauce are popular. One reviewer, though, says they have too many things on the menu to do anything really well. (Dining room is open 7-18-20)

Scottsbluff

El Molcajete–1013 E. Overland (Mexican).  Reviewers say it has good food with red and green sauces (not Tex-Mex). I’m not sure it is completely authentic, but it certainly seems to be the closest you will find within a number of miles in NE and WY. Reviewers also say the food tastes home made. (3-13-19)

Wonderful House–829 Ferdinand Plaza (Chinese) Open Daily.  American style Chinese food that seems to have a few items that may have at least a few elements of being authentic (such as hot pot dishes). People like the freshness and flavor, and the fact that they serve hot tea seems to set them apart from other restaurants in this part of the country. (3-13-19)

South Sioux City

Mi Rancherita–1512 Dakota Ave. (Mexican) Open Daily.  Reviewers say it is authentic with dishes such as mole verde, pozole, etc. Drinks are excellent as well (horchata, fruit drinks, Mexican Coke). (I think the dining room is open 8-30-20)

 

Notes About This List:

This is a “master list” of restaurants that I have seen on the Internet or other sources and would like to try, or that I think would be of interest to others.  I do not mean for this to be an exhaustive list of every good place to eat, but it should represent a good sample of the most interesting or unique restaurants, along with a few that best represent an area’s regional cuisine.  My own recommendations are in Bold.

I am not looking to include:

  • Fine dining (unless they are unique because of regional specialties)
  • Low end restaurants that are popular with locals but may not be of much interest to travelers or people in general (everyone will have to use their judgment on this one)

Extra consideration for the following:

  • The food is organic, fresh, healthy, or farm to table
  • The restaurant serves a relatively hard to find type of ethnic food and reviews are good

In addition to the regular guidelines I try to include:

  • The best Asian restaurants in the area even if they are not totally authentic
  • Particularly good Mexican restaurants (this usually means the food is from a particular state in Mexico or it is one of the best examples of a U.S. regional style)

Please feel free to leave your own comments or suggestions.

 

Sources:

Chowhound (Nebraska)

Google Maps

Lincoln Journal-Star (15 Best Asian, African, and South/Central American Restaurants)

Urbanspoon.com (former web site which I used for preliminary research)

Yelp (Nebraska)

Zomato (Omaha)

 

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