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

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. Map (Dining room is open 8-22-21)

Korean Grill–1408 Harlan Dr. (Korean) Closed Sun & Mon.  Reviewers say it has a true Korean taste. Map (Dining room is open 8-22-21)

Ono Pinay Kitchen–2221 Madison St. (Filipino & Hawaiian) Lunch Tue-Fri (serving Filipino food); dinner Fri (Filipino & Hawaiian food); pop-up one Sat per month.  Those who seem to know say the Filipino food is authentic. Also had a few Hawaiian plate lunch dishes (I think after the pandemic this has been discontinued or cut down). Map (Dining room is open 11-20-21)

Broken Bow

City Cafe–423 S. 9th Ave. (American) Open 6 am to 2 pm (closed Sat & Sun).  Reviewers say it is a diner with home style food. Cheeseburgers and breakfast items are the most popular. Map (Dining room is open 9-6-21)

Columbus

Bistro on the Loup–265 33rd Ave. (American) Open daily except Sun lunch (closed from 2 to 5 pm).  Reviewers say the food is fresh and not greasy (unlike much of what you find in the Midwest). Burger, patty melt, and salad are especially recommended. Map (Dining room is open 12-6-21)

El Mezcal–1012 23rd St. E. (Mexican) Open Daily.  I am not sure if it authentic, but it serves plate dinners (not just tacos, etc.) and reviews are good. Map (Dining room is open 12-6-21)

Taqueria Vallarta–1520 17th St. (Mexican) Open Daily.  This seems to be the most authentic Mexican restaurant in town, but it only serves tacos, tortas, etc. (not plate or combination dinners). Map (Dining room is open 12-6-21)

Cozad

242 House–242 E. 8th St. (New American) Closed Sun-Tue; closed Wed lunch.  Farm to table restaurant that is notable for its freshness. Has out of the ordinary items such as hummus (in addition to the standard items). Map (Temporarily closed 1-13-22)

Dodge

Eat Restaurant–327 2nd St. (American).  In an old bank. American food that is a little upscale in both the food and the setting (but still casual enough to just drop in). Map (Dining room is open 12-23-21)

Dwight

Cy’s Cafe–151 2nd St. (American & Czech).  Small town cafe where reviewers say the food tastes home cooked. They also have Czech food specials (Wed. lunch is pork roast with sauerkraut but this is the only one mentioned in the reviews). Map (Dining room is open 11-20-21)

Fremont

Huey’s Smokehouse BBQ–2204 N. Bell St. (BBQ) Open 11 am to 8 pm (closed Sun).  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. Map (Dining room is open 1-13-22)

Tortilleria Anita Y Taqueria–207 S. Bell St. (El Salvadorian) Open 10 am to 9 pm (closed Sun).  Has food from El Salvador that reviewers like. Pupusas and steak burritos are recommended. Has a chimichanga that looks good from the photos. Map (Dining room is open 1-13-22)

Gering

Gering Bakery–1446 10th St. (Bakery) Open 5:30 am to 5:30 pm–5:30 to 1 pm on Sat (closed Sun). Michael Stern from Roadfood discovered this place that served “cabbage burgers” that he thought was worthy of proclaiming it the Nebraska version of “The One Must-Eat Food in Each State.” He says the cabbage burger is a runza, but Runza is a trademarked name of a fast food burger chain, and he wanted to point people to this independent restaurant. Gering Bakery’s burgers are “bread pockets stuffed with ground beef, cabbage, and spice” that he said was delicious. Map (Dining room is open–Reviewers say they haven’t had burgers since Covid hit but donuts are very good 12-6-21)

Gothenburg

Lisa’s Kitchen–516 Lake Ave. (Chinese) Open daily 11 am to 8 pm.  Seems to be more than the average Americanized Chinese restaurant with Chinese & freshly grown vegetables and sauces that are better than most. Because everything is made from scratch, I think she can make special orders (provided she has the ingredients). Seems to be one of the better Chinese restaurants not just in rural Nebraska, but anywhere. Map (Dining room is open 12-23-21)

Grand Island

Farmer’s Daughter–105 N. Walnut St. (American) Breakfast & Mon-Sat; lunch Mon-Fri (closed Sat in winter).  Described as food that a person’s grandmother would have made. Popular for breakfast, but lunch is said to be equally good. 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. Map (Dining room is open 1-13-22)

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. Map (Dining room is open 12-23-21)

Hastings

Back Alley Bakery & Restaurant–609 W. 2nd St. (American) Breakfast & lunch only (open Wed-Sat only).  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. (Dining room is open 8-30-21)

Hunan–2727 W. 2nd St. (Chinese) Closed Mon (and closed from 2 to 4:30 pm).  Americanized Chinese that reviewers say is the best in this part of Nebraska. Map (Dining room is open 1-13-22)

Odyssey–521 W. 2nd St. (American) Closed Sun & Mon.  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. (Dining room is open 8-30-21)

Kearney

A Flippin Sweet Pizzeria–3905 2nd Ave. (Pizza) Dinner Tue-Sat; lunch Sat &Sun.  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). (Dining room is open 8-30-21)

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. (Dining room is open 8-22-21)

Lexington

Maandeeq–N. Washington St. (Somali) Open daily 9 am to 9 pm.  People say the food is delicious–has Somali and other African dishes (is a halal restaurant). (Dining room is open 9-6-21)

New Moon–624 N. Washington St. (Vietnamese) Lunch only; lunch & dinner on Sun (closed Wed).  Reviewers say pho has good quality meat, good flavor, and a rich broth. Also has noodle dishes. Has drinks such as iced coffee. (Dining room is open 9-6-21)

Lincoln

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). Map (Dining room is open 12-23-21)

Hub Cafe–250 N. 21st St. (New American) Open 7:30 am to 2:30 pm (closed Mon).  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. Map (Dining room is open 1-13-22)

Imperial Palace–701 N. 27th St. (Chinese) Open daily except Sat lunch (closed from 2:30 to 4:30 pm).  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). Map (Dining room is open 1-13-22)

Lan House–1226 P St. (Chinese) Closed Tue.  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. Map (Temporarily closed 3-6-22)

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). Map (Dining room is open 8-22-21)

Mughil’s Indian Cuisine–1501 Pine Lake Dr. (Indian) Closed Mon (and closed from 2 to 5 pm).  Much of the menu is standard Indian (tikka masala, korma, etc.) but also has South Indian dishes including about 15 kinds of dosa. Is now “temporarily closed” on Mon. Map (Dining room is open 12-23-21)

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. Map (Restaurant is closed but they are planning to change the concept and reopen 3-6-22)

Stur 22 Lounge–2110 Winthrop Rd. (African & Caribbean) Dinner only (closed Sun & 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. (Dining room is open 8-22-21)

The Oven–101 Pioneer Woods Dr. (Indian) Closed Sun lunch & Mon (and closed from 2 to 5 pm).  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). Map (Dining room is open 12-23-21)

Virginia’s Cafe–3820 Cornhusker Hwy. (American) Open daily except Sat dinner and Sun dinner (serves breakfast).  This is an old fashioned neighborhood diner with good reviews for the food but sometimes not for the service and the fact that they many times run out of items later in the day. Roast beef is popular for lunch & dinner. For breakfast pancakes and biscuits & gravy are popular, and they also have kielbasa (and may have other Czech food but I can’t find the menu on line).  Map (Dining room is open 11-20-21)

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). Map (Dining room is open 8-22-21)

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. Map (Dining room is open 3-6-22)

North Platte

Merricks Ranch House–1220 E. 4th St. (American) Closed Mon.  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. Map (Dining room is open 3-6-22)

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. (Dining room is open 8-22-21)

Ogallala

Golden Village–405 E. 1st St. (Chinese) Closed Mon (and closed from 3 to 5 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.” If it is not this restaurant then I think it is Peking a couple of blocks away at 112 E. A St. (also on the east side). However I think it is Golden Village (reviews indicate that everything is cooked from scratch so it would be easy for the owner/chef to modify the recipe). Map (Dining room is open 3-6-22)

Omaha

American GI Forum–2002 N St. (Mexican) Closed Sun evening & Mon (and closes 7 pm on Tue & Wed). 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. Map (Dining room is open 12-23-21)

Blue & Fly Asian Kitchen–721 S. 72nd St. (Chinese) Closed Mon (and closed from 3 to 4:30 weekdays).  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. Map (Dining room is open 8-22-21)

Brazen Head Irish Pub–319 N. 78th St. (Irish) Open Daily.  Irish pub that looks as if they also pay attention to having good food and offering a variety of dishes. Map (Dining room is open 12-6-21)

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. Map (Dining room is open 3-6-22)

Crystal Jade–7255 Cedar St. (Malaysian) Closed Tue.  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. Map (Dining room is open 12-6-21)

Laos Thai–4520 S. 24th St. (Lao) Closed Mon.  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). Map (Dining room is open 12-6-21)

Lithuanian Bakery–5217 S. 33rd Ave. (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. Map (Takeout only–also has started taking on-line orders through Goldbelly 12-6-21)

Lithuanian Bakery & Kafe–7427 Pacific St. (Lithuanian) Open 8 am to 6 pm–8 to 4 on Sat (closed Sun).  Has German food and Lithuanian baked goods. Torte is the most popular item. Sausages apparently are very good. Restaurant open until 2:30 pm. Map (Dining room is open 12-6-21)

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). Map (Dining room is open 3-6-22)

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–dim sum is made in house and there is a good variety. Map (Dining room is open 12-6-21)

Persis Indian Grill–2012 N. 117th Ave. (Indian) Closed Tue (and closed from 2 to 5 pm).  Serves South Indian food. Can order each item at the spice level you want (order 3 out of 10 or less unless you really like spicy food). Has Indo-Chinese dishes. Map (Dining room is open 12-6-21)

The Drover–2121 S. 73rd St. (Steaks) Open daily except Sat lunch & Sun lunch (closed from 2 to 5 pm).  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). Map (Dining room is open 12-6-21)

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)

Prague

Kolache Korner Cafe–321 Center Ave. (American & Czech). Apparently there is no Czech food on the menu except kolaches, but the Czech food is served as daily specials such as duck and dumplings on Sunday (this is the one that most reviewers mention). Map (Dining room is open 11-20-21)

Scottsbluff

El Molcajete–1013 E. Overland (Mexican) Open Daily (open for breakfast).  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. (Dining room is open 6-18-21)

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. (Dining room is open 6-18-21)

South Sioux City

Mi Rancherita–1512 Dakota Ave. (Mexican) Closed Wed.  Reviewers say it is authentic with dishes such as mole verde, pozole, etc. Drinks are excellent as well (horchata, fruit drinks, Mexican Coke). Map (Dining room is open 12-6-21)

Wilber

Fox Hole Tavern–117 W. 3rd St. (Bar) Closed Sat lunch & Sun.  Information is not clear–apparently they only serve Czech food during the Czech Days celebration. However they open at 5:30 am and serve breakfast (including Mexican burritos). Apparently they also serve Polish sausage for lunch & dinner. Condé Nast listed it as a place to get Czech food but they did not give details. Map (Dining room is open 11-20-21)

Note: I once spent several days in Wilber visiting friends and being introduced to the local cuisine. One of the highlights was a local sausage that was sold in town but not marketed regionally or nationally (because it was made in small quantities) The following are local markets where you can get sausage and other local products:

    • Food Mesto Grocery Store–319 W. 3rd St. Map Open Daily (11-10-21)
    • Frank’s Smokehouse–217 W. 3rd St. Map Open Daily (11-10-21)
    • Karpisek’s Market–119 W. 3rd St. Map Closed Sat afternoon & Sun (11-10-21)

  • For additional explanation of this list see Index
  • Please feel free to leave your own comments or suggestions.

Note About “50 States, 50 Cuisines” (Condé Nast)

Condé Nast published an article on Sep. 14, 2020 explaining how they set out to go beyond a previous article that had identified the signature dish for each state, and to find food that goes beyond the classics and “to highlight a cuisine worth traveling to each state for, much of which you truly can’t get anywhere else.” For Nebraska it is Czech Cuisine, noting that Nebraska has more citizens of Czech heritage than any other state. They note that Omaha is home today to the Czech and Slovak Educational Center and Cultural Museum and that the Czech immigrants created an enclave known as Little Bohemia, now one of Omaha’s trendiest areas.

The article says the Infusion Little Bohemia Beer Hall in Omaha continues the old traditions of the former Bohemian Cafe with Czech dinner events and even the occasional polka band. They also say you can get notable Czech food at Kolache Korner Cafe in Prague (kolache, potato dumplings, roast duck, and sauerkraut) and the Foxhole Tavern in Wilber.


Sources:

Chowhound (Nebraska)

Google Maps

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

Roadfood “The One Must-Eat Food in Each State, and Where to Get It”

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

Yelp (Nebraska)

Zomato (Omaha)

 

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