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Where do foodies eat in Omaha? No steak houses allowed. Any great ethnic food?

Looking for non-steak house meal in Omaha for foodies? Is there any ethnic food in Omaha besides Italian? We are anticipating at least 2 evening meals with steak or meat and potatoes, so we are really looking for some alternatives.

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  1. If I am recalling accurately my time in Nebraska, and conversations with friends who have spent a lot of time there, I believe that any pizzeria qualifies as "exotic."

    2 Replies
      1. re: Howard_2

        this is actually a fairly inaccurate statement.

        in the Panhandle maybe, or elsewhere with populations barely into 5 figures.
        but in the "big city(s)"?
        no, not really.

      2. Omaha does have a lot of Italian restraurants, but there are also many other good restaurants, including those that serve ethnic food. Guacamaya, El Aguila and Guacamaya are good for Mexican, Kim Son Seafood Grill and Saigon are Vietnamese. El Basha has very good middle eastern food. There are a number of Indian Restaurants - the Indian Oven in the Old Market is good. Dario's Brasserie in Dundee is an unusual combo of French, Belgian and Croatian. Taz's Thai Pepper is wonderful. Dixie Quicks is not particularly ethnic, but is certainly interesting with good food. I hope this is helpful to you.

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        Indian Oven
        1010 Howard St, Omaha, NE 68102

        Thai Pepper Restaurant
        631 N 114th St, Omaha, NE 68154

        El Aguila Restaurant
        1837 Vinton St, Omaha, NE 68108

        Dario's Brasserie
        4920 Underwood Ave, Omaha, NE 68132

        1. Not ethnic but the Boiler Room is the best meal in Omaha these days to my mind

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          Boiler Room
          1110 Jones St, Omaha, NE 68102

          1. although the request is pretty broad, here's a few by category.
            i even included Pizza.

            please note, with the way restaurants have been failing over the past year or so some of these may no longer exist.

            Barbecue
            Amarillo
            Hartland BBQ

            Cajun
            Cajun Kitchen

            Chinese
            Beijing Gate‎

            Cuban
            Gusto Cuban Cafe

            Czech
            Bohemian Cafe

            Ethiopian
            International Cafe

            French
            Dario's Brasserie
            Le Voltaire

            German
            Gerda's German Restaurant & Bakery
            Zum Biergarten

            Greek
            Katie's

            Indian
            India Garden‎
            Mother India Cuisine‎

            Italian
            Amato's Cafe & Catering‎
            Lo Sole Mio Ristorante‎
            Malara's Italian Restaurant‎
            Nicola's Italian Wine & Faire‎

            Korean
            Korean Grill
            Korea King

            Mediterranean
            Mediterranean Bistro‎
            Victor's Gyros

            Mexican
            Antojitos‎
            Don Gaby's
            El Alamo
            Los Compayes
            Rivera's Mexican Food‎

            Middle Eastern
            Ahmad's Persian Cuisine

            Moroccan
            Marrakech Gourmet

            Peruvian
            Peru, Mucho Gusto

            Pizza
            Dante Pizzeria Napoletana
            Frank's Pizzaria
            La Casa
            Pudgy's Pizzeria

            Salvadoran
            Latino Restaurant

            Spanish
            Espana Restaurant

            Soul Food
            Big Mama's Kitchen & Catering

            Sudanese
            Juba

            Tex-Mex
            Roja
            Stokes

            Thai
            Bangkok Cuisine
            Laos Thai Market‎

            Vietnamese
            Saigon Restaurant
            Vietnamese Asian Restaurant

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            Vietnamese Asian Restaurant
            7212 Jones St, Omaha, NE 68114

            El Alamo
            4917 S 24th St, Omaha, NE 68107

            Mediterranean Bistro
            1712 N 120th St, Omaha, NE 68154

            Cajun Kitchen
            2819 N 30th St, Omaha, NE 68111

            Ahmad's Persian Restaurant
            1006 Howard St, Omaha, NE 68102

            Malara's Italian Restaurant
            2123 Pierce St, Omaha, NE 68108

            Espana Restaurant
            6064 Maple St, Omaha, NE 68104

            Don Gaby's Restaurant
            4806 S 24th St, Omaha, NE 68107

            Rivera's Mexican Food
            12047 Blondo St, Omaha, NE 68164

            Pudgy's Pizzeria
            16919 Audrey St, Omaha, NE 68136

            Le Voltaire
            569 N 155th Plz, Omaha, NE 68154

            Gusto Cuban Cafe
            7910 Harrison St, La Vista, NE 68128

            Dario's Brasserie
            4920 Underwood Ave, Omaha, NE 68132

            India Garden
            2819 S 125th Ave Ste 355, Omaha, NE 68144

            Korea King Restaurant
            4719 S 96th St, Omaha, NE 68127

            La Casa Restaurant
            508 N Jefferson Way, Indianola, IA 50125

            Korean Grill
            1408 Harlan Dr, Bellevue, NE 68005

            Antojitos
            601 Fort Crook Rd N, Bellevue, NE 68005

            Dante Pizzeria Napoletana
            16901 Wright Plaza, Omaha, NE 68130

            5 Replies
            1. re: sladeums

              Great list sladeums! See Howard, there's much more to Omaha than pizza.
              I can confirm that Ellada is closed but would recommend Amsterdam Falafel and Kabob which opened in its place.
              http://www.eatafk.com/main.html
              Then head around the corner to eCreamery for ice cream
              Another place to for a lighter meal is La Buvette in the Old Market-- wine and small plate type dining.
              http://labuvetteomaha.com/about.html

              OP, depending on the point of your visit, just wanted to note that like many ethnic restaurants, most of these are small 'hole in the wall' type places that wouldn't be appropriate for a business dinner or other more formal gathering.

              1. re: sladeums

                Glad to see there are more options beyond pizza! I am getting pressured to Italian, since there are so many Italian restaurants in Omaha. What about Vivace, The Boiler Room and Lo Sole Mio? We are staying at a hotel in the Old Market. The Boiler Room looks pretty interesting.

                Any thoughts for breakfast?

                1. re: foodieinraleigh

                  I've heard great things about the Boiler Room from everyone that has been. Vivace is fine though I prefer Nicola's for Italian in the Market. Lo Sole Mio is great old school Italian.

                  For Breakfast check out Dixie Quicks or Wheatfields. I prefer the original Wheatfields at 103rd and Pacfiic but the one in the Market is, of course, much more convenient for you.

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                  Wheatfields
                  1224 S 103rd St, Omaha, NE 68124

                  Boiler Room
                  1110 Jones St, Omaha, NE 68102

                  1. re: foodieinraleigh

                    so you're buckling for Italian...but twice?
                    i'd replace Vivace from your list w/ somewhere else.

                    if you're staying in the Market then Wheatfield's Express is a gimmie for breakfast...
                    although, if you are here over the weekend it would be theoretically possible to do a grazing tour of the Farmer's Market on Saturday morning as a bit more unorthodox choice
                    http://www.omahafarmersmarket.org/

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                    Wheatfields
                    1224 S 103rd St, Omaha, NE 68124

                  2. re: sladeums

                    Great list. Laos Thai Market is outstanding. Only thing I'd add is Kurry Xpress for Indian. Home-cooked food a la Mother India, but bigger portions. And like Mother India, it takes a while to get your food. But good.

                  3. As a former New Yorker, I have made it my duty to try as many restaurants in Omaha as possible in the short time I have been here. I'm a die hard foodie and love both my high and low food. I know you mentioned no steak houses but make sure you do go to the Drover and not some other boring chain place. For Italian, I haven't found any place that does Batali-esque Northern treats. It's mostly red sauce and nothing super inventive but I do like Nicola's -- their marsala chicken with fettucine is the best dish there. Thai -- I like Taste of Thailand out west -- but don't order the pad thai -- it's too red-tomatoey. Their curries are fantastic though. Indian -- Jaipur is ok but best for ambiance. Chicken Makhani is the way to go at any of the Indian places -- the tikka masalas here in Omaha are just red sauce and not flavorful. I like Tandoor Oven downtown, India Garden out west. Hiro 88 downtown is new and very NYC in decor. Good Asian food and sushi. Get the Korean style short ribs. For excellent Mexican, go to Rivera's. Their chicken nachos kick ass and their mole enchiladas and Rancheras versions are great. Boiler Room is fantastic -- great bar with old fashioned cocktails. La Buvette is my fave cafe/light meal place. Their daily hot dishes are underrated but oh so good! If you want dim sum, go to Gold Mountain. They have Pho too if you want Vietnamese noodles!

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                    India Garden
                    2819 S 125th Ave Ste 355, Omaha, NE 68144

                    Boiler Room
                    1110 Jones St, Omaha, NE 68102

                    1. Thanks for all the feedback. We ended up going to The Boiler Room. The food was fantastic. One of our party decided to be adventurous and try the beef checks, since we have heard a lot about how great they were. They were incredible. We will never pass they up on a menu in the future. The pork chop was outstanding. The ceviche appetizer was also quite tasty. The lamb sausage entree was not great, but ok. The deserts did grab anyone, so we skipped. We would definitely go back if we are in Omaha. For breakfast we went to Wheatfield's Express in the Old Market. It was good, but we would not rank it as fabulous. The coffee was top notch. Thanks again

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                      Boiler Room
                      1110 Jones St, Omaha, NE 68102

                      Wheatfield's Express
                      12th and Howard, Omaha, NE

                      1. Still sitting in Upstrean Brewing Company. Was suggested I go there because of their burgers.It's still the chili cheeseburger thing I'm after.
                        Very good burger. Even better desert, Butterfinger cheesecake, OML!!!!

                        Best thing about it though, wonderful people, wonderful server, wonderful 2 managers.
                        A+!