Have you ever been to Omaha, Nebraska? If not, what are you waiting for?! I bet you’ve probably flown across Omaha or driven through Omaha on your way to somewhere else, but might not have stopped. You may have wondered, what does Omaha have to offer? Omaha’s a really progressive city with a LOT of things to do and a huge food & bar scene. Plus, we have four distinct seasons and things always change based on the season here, so there’s always something new. Today I’m going to share my Instagrammable guide to Omaha, Nebraska!
What To Do
Henry Doorly Zoo
The most popular attraction in Omaha is the Henry Doorly Zoo. And with good reason. It’s not your average zoo. The zoo is routinely voted one of the best zoos in the country, if not the world-it was voted best zoo in the WORLD in 2014! Since 2014, it’s only gotten better.
The zoo is big. You’ll want to spend at least one full day to enjoy all the exhibits. Even with one full day, you probably won’t get through the whole zoo. There’s so much to see. One of the best things about the zoo is that there are so many exhibits inside that it truly doesn’t matter what the weather is like. If it’s super cold, head inside to the desert dome to warm up. If it’s really hot, go over to the aquarium.
A few of my favorite things at the zoo: the butterfly house, feeding the fish from the bridge and watching a short movie at the Imax!
Another awesome experience is to tour the Old Market — one of my favorite places to hang out in Omaha. There’s always something going on in the Old Market. Nestled South of downtown, it’s a unique historical area full of shops, restaurants and bars. There’s never a shortage of things to do. On the weekends especially, all the shops are open late, so you can stop in after dinner or drinks and browse around.
While in the Old Market, make sure you check out the Old Market Passageway — one of my favorite places for great photo ops. It’s a beautiful setting and has a cool little gallery on the main floor. One of my favorite shops in the Old Market is also kind of an art shop, but in the form of jewelry. Stop in to Goldsmith/Silversmith and check out their beautiful, unique creations!
Now that you’ve toured around town a little bit, you are probably hungry and thirsty. We’ve got you covered. There are so many magnificent choices when it comes to food and drink in Omaha.
Where To Have A Drink
We are stocked with pubs, taverns, bars, whatever you want to call it, Omaha has plenty of fine drinking establishments. I like variety, so I usually go to one of the entertainment districts of town where there are multiple bars & restaurants to choose from-all within walking distance.
I recommend checking out Benson, The Capital District and Blackstone. Benson has a really fun restaurant with a rooftop bar, 1912. I especially like it on hot Summer nights after the sun goes down. The Capital District is cool because there are multiple connected bars that share the same courtyard and you can walk about from bar to bar with a drink in your hand. It’s super fun to hop from bar to bar and people watch. And Blackstone has one of my favorite Mexican restaurants, Mula, plus many others to choose from.
Some of my favorites:
An Old Market mainstay, I like LaBuvette when I’m in the mood for a lazy brunch with a few glasses of wine. It’s a French cafe and wine bar that’s got a great vibe. There’s no better place to people watch then from the LaBuvette patio. On weekends, get here early because the patio fills up fast and is usually full all day. Make sure to linger over some of their fabulous desserts.
M’s Pub is an iconic Omaha spot that’s been around in the Old Market for more than thirty years. And there’s a reason for that. M’s is a great place to have an excellent meal in a classy yet unpretentious space. M’s actually had a big fire a few years ago and the entire place was rebult to look exactly like it was before the fire. It’s a local favorite for sure and the owners didn’t want to change a thing. They’re known for their yummy lavosh and their carrot dog. Give it a try!
We’re venturing out of the Old Market and heading West to this fantastic, locally owned restaurant that makes great all-American food! They’re open from sunrise to sunset (and you can order breakfast all day). With an absolutely gigantic menu, it will take some time for you to decide what to order. No matter what you decide on, you’ll like it. Be warned though — the portions are huge! I really like their French onion soup!
Being the sugar junkie that I am, one of my favorite things about Wheatfield’s are the desserts. They have an entire area full of just about every dessert you could imagine. From cakes to cookies to banana bread to whoopie pies to apple pies, it’s all there. And more. It’s so hard to choose. Last week I needed a dessert for a football party so I stopped in and picked up a scrumptious loaf of pumpkin bread and a box of assorted bite size brownies. Don’t get me started on the Katherine Hepburn brownies!!
It just wouldn’t be right to come to Omaha not have a big, juicy piece of meat. Head to family-owned Cascio’s on South 10th Street for a delicious steak dinner with all the trimmings, including a side of pasta with their homemade sauce.
Cascio’s is a real old-school steakhouse. Back when the stockyards were running, Omaha had a lot of these old-time steakhouses. Now, not so much. They don’t make ‘em like this anymore: dim lights, big dining rooms, a bar off to the side where you can order up a strong drink while you wait for your table. Cascio’s isn’t fancy and that’s part of its charm. It’s a traditional steakhouse that has perfected the art of grilling a steak.
Once you visit Omaha, you’ll see why the Omaha metro area is home to almost 1 million people. There’s something here for everyone. Come see why so many love our fair city!