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Apr 21, 2008 11:55 AM

Omaha! Let's talk Omaha! (CA local needs your help)

My sister is graduating from dental school in early May and has NO idea where to take the family (she's the only one in Omaha-the rest of us live in CA, AZ and OR). She's only lived there for 4 years and somehow can't seem to get this together....

We are looking for the following:
An awesome steak place
Mother's Day brunch
post-graduation place that has a good selection of stuff for the non-meat eater

Also, non-food related, anything fun to do or check out during the day. We have quite a bit of "down time" on Friday and Saturday and will need to entertain two grandmas, our parents, and myself and my husband (early 30's).

Thank you so much for any help!!

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  1. Been a little while for me, love Old Market area of Omaha. See link:

    Lots of great places to eat down there. Interesting shops too, just fun to explore. Not far from Henry Doorly Zoo -- best attended zoo in U.S. last time I heard. Been there many times.
    V.Merz is very good. Ate at Nicola's in past year, small italian but great food. French Cafe is always good, well reviewed.

    2 Replies
    1. re: chilepastor

      Not a huge fan of my trips to Omaha, but I'll admit there's some pretty good places to eat. I usually like M's Pub in the old market. Great place to pop in and grab a drink, and there are some interesting dishes there. You would easily find something tasty for the non-meat eater. I have also been to Nicola's, which has a nice little courtyard which is good to relax with friends and share a bottle of wine. Not exactly local, but in my opinion you get the best steak experience at Fleming's Prime, though it's pricey. For a down home, more casual steakhouse, i always like to go to The Drover, which is a pretty cool place if you like old school steak houses. I'll agree with previous poster about V Mertz. Also like the place right across the street from there, the French Cafe. I'm sure many of these places will have a Mo Day Brunch. I'm not a fan, but I think for Mother's day brunch many people would recommend Wheatfields. They do have a tremendous bakey and a lot of "treats" can be had. Menu their is enormous, as are the main courses. Food is great, though I am always reluctant to go b/c I can't walk for a couple days. I'm usually there on business when i'm in town, so I like to be able to function after I eat somewhere. Good luck and enjoy your trip.

      1. re: clclark2000

        clclark is on the right track, you couldn't go wrong with reservations at VMerts, Wheatfields, French Cafe, and Flemings. A personal favorite that's a bit more unique is Ahmads Persian in Old Market, but it's limited on space so it may be hard to get the whole group in there. The Zoo is a great place to check out, and the Joslyn Museum is also well respected and a good place to visit.

    2. I've also enjoyed a nice meal at Nicola's. It's a nice, quiet, relaxing type of place. As for things to do, the Old Market is great. You could wander around there for several hours. They have great shops and the atmosphere is really fun. I also recommend the Zoo. Even as a 'grown-up' I found it fun to go to. They have lots of cool exhibits that are really unique. I love the jungle and desert and they have a great aquarium. The Joslyn Art Museum is also quite nice for a smaller city. There is a really cool/funky art gallery that is basically a huge warehouse that has been consigned to artists. There are tons of things on display and I believe artists also use it as a workspace. I don't recall the name of it, but it is just north of the Creighton campus. I got lost in it for several hours one afternoon. Omaha is surprisingly fun.

      1. Steak: Gorats

        All of these are solid places for steak.

        Mother's Day brunch: Taxi's 120th and Blondo. Be sure to make a reservation.

        Great omelettes and eggs benedicts, etc.

        post grad place: McFoster's

        I'm not a vegetarian but I love this place whenever I want a veggie fix.

        2 Replies
        1. re: NebGuy

          I think the art gallary polly is talking about is this:

          Not far from the bemis center is the original train station which is now a museum.

          1. re: NebGuy

            I emailed my friend from Omaha and the place I'm thinking of is called Hot Shops.

            I've never visited the Bemis Center but it looks cool. Omaha has a really nice arts community!

        2. I've heard good things about the Drover. It's about the last of the old school steakhouses that I still hear good things about. Casico's Steak House is the other one I might consider. If you don't mind newer, franchise places, I'd second Fleming's.

          For brunch I usually recommend Taxi's, Upstream, and Granite City. Wheatfield's is also nice. There are some places that have brunch on holidays such as Lucky's 1001. I think that's a gamble though since the kitchen staff isn't used to the menu. You can find a partial list of Omaha brunch spots here:

          I second Foster's as THE vegterian spot in Omaha.

          1. As a native Minnesotan who was in Omaha for 4 years as well, I would make the following recs: I really like the French Cafe for brunch. Especially for a special occasion like Mother's Day! M's Pub is a fave for a drink and a nibble. Don't overlook Espana which is a very short trip from downtown to the Benson neighborhood for excellent tapas and paellas. And I am partial to Johnny's for the old fashioned Omaha steakhouse experience. Be warned that you can expect a pretty sad iceberg lettuce salad with a cherry tomato at most of the old school steakhouses. And we actually already have reservations at the Flatiron for graduation weekend! (Going back for a law school grad.)
            Good luck!