city by 74

omaha, nebraska city guide {UPDATE}

today’s city guide update comes to us from photographer and D*S regular jen altman. jen has done a great job updating her original omaha guide, sharing some new design, music and book shops and a variety of eclectic dining spots that have sprouted in recent years.  thanks jen for a wonderful guide!–stephanie

Growing up and spending my summers in southern California, I cannot begin to tell you how many times I was asked if my family owned a cow when I divulged I spent my school year in the “Heartland” of Omaha, Nebraska. And while for the most part the “Heartland” is just that – a whole lot of land, you have little gems beckoning across the prairies and one of those jewels happens to be Omaha. While its amazing break out independent music scene is what people began to notice first, the last 10-15 years have reshaped the city, creating a pretty cool little place to live – and the secret is getting out.

If you find yourself passing through, there are some wonderful must-sees, locally owned eateries and shops to visit. The city is divided into sections – Downtown {whose Old Market area packs in residents and tourists alike year round}; NoDo {the newly dubbed art district just North of downtown where Urban Outfitters and American Apparel opened shop}; Mid-Town {home of the eclectic Dundee neighborhood}, North Omaha and South Omaha {home to some of the best family run restaurants in the city} and West O {where you will find your higher end retailers and suburban sprawl}.

Shop:

While Omaha is just coming into it’s own as a metropolitan shopping destination, {our firstAnthropologie opened in October}, it is the eclectic boutiques that make the shopping scene here so much fun – some standouts include:

Adam Whitney Gallery – 87th & Pacific in Countryside Village: Filled with gorgeous glass, home wares and fine art, they also boast an enviable jewelry collection from designers like Alexis Bittar and Dogeared.

Antiquarium Records – 417 South 13th St.: What used to be an iconic book and record store still houses the best selection of vinyl in the city.

Blooms – 10923 Prairie Brook Rd.: One of Omaha’s premier floral shops featuring an extensive collection of beautiful and unique home décor.

Borsheims – 10923
Borsheims – 120 Regency Pkwy.: A list of Omaha’s shopping must’s would not be complete without mentioning this huge and incredibly elegant jewelry store. It is the largest in the Midwest and offers everything from swoon-worthy double digit carat diamonds to designers like Alex Woo. An eye candy feast.

Category One – 108th & Center St.: Absolutely everything you need for your kitchen under one roof. The collection of Le Crueset is especially wonderful.

http://www.categoryonegifts.com/

Drastic-Plastic – 1209 Howard St.: Another must visit for music lovers. Growing up it was the place to go to purchase local music – it still is – but now they press their own vinyl as well.

Early to Bed – 8726 Pacific St.: Selling some of the most luxurious linens found in the Midwest, this shop is a go-to for those wishing to imbue their home with bliss.

Gadgeteer – 7317 Douglas St.: Didn’t think you could find a Philippe Starck Ghost Chair in Omaha? This shop is full of post-modern surprises.

Goldsmith Silversmith –1019 Howard St.: An Omaha establishment. An unrivaled selection of the most unique local fine jewelry as well as THE place to go in Omaha for custom work.

http://www.goldsmithsilversmith.com/

Jackson Street Booksellers – 1119 Jackson St.: It is easy to lose an afternoon among the stacks of this incredibly well stocked used bookstore. I bet you can not walk out with something magical.

Le Marche –87th & Pacific in Countryside Village: This mother and daughter team have a wonderful eye for French inspired home accessories, cards, gifts and jewelry – all at very reasonable prices.

The Linen Gallery –120 Regency Pkwy in Regency Court: Beautiful linens, table top accessories – features an array of intoxicating soaps and fragrances – you can also find Rosanna dinnerware in this perfect little space.

Niche – 1109 Howard St.: Contemporary furnishings with an amazing selection of light fixtures and unusual home accessories.

Nouvelle Eve – 1102 Howard St.: One of the first boutiques in Omaha to cater to the true fashionista – a great selection of hard to find labels and lust-worthy handbags.

Overland Sheepskin Co. - 1011 Howard St.: Gorgeous home decor in the way of sheepskin pelts and hand-woven blankets and throws – the collection of leather bags and jackets can not be missed.

The Post & Nickel – 132nd Center: an Omaha institution since 1966, this is a must stop for designers such as Rock & Republic and Theory.

Room – 421 S. 11th St.: One of our local go-to’s for modern home décor by the likes of Jonathan Adler, Eames and George Nelson.

Scout Dry Goods & Trade – 5008 Underwood St.: Gently used and new clothes, jewelry and shoes – this amazing space in the heart of Dundee also hosts art and fashion shows.

Second Chance Antiques – 1125 Jackson St.: The best vintage finds in Omaha – whether you are after vintage jewels, fabrics, empheria, handbags, clothes, dishes, milk glass, salvaged hardware – I could go on forever, I never walk out without something.

The Souq – 1018 Howard St.: This shop is an institution in the Old Market. Carrying gorgeous jewels from India and Africa, beautiful clothes, shoes and home accessories from abroad – it is a feast for the senses.

String of Purls – 87th and Pacific in Countryside Village: a gorgeous little piece of heaven for knitting lovers; the shop bursts with color and the sales women are exceptionally knowledgeable.

Trocadero – 1208 ½ Howard St.: New York transplant and former Accessories Director of InStyle magazine, Alice Kim opened Trocadero just over a year ago to the delight of many; stocks hard to find shoe and handbag labels as well as a carefully edited selection of fabulous home décor, jewelry, body products and books.

Voila – 4922 Dodge St.: A flower shop whose selection of hand chosen home and garden wares is the best in Omaha – I have a hard time walking out without a little something.

Eat:

I was once told that Omaha had the most restaurants per capita in the US – I am unsure of the truth in this – but we sure have a lot of places to eat – you rarely have to wait long for a seat to indulge in a great meal. There is a 20-minute wait? Go next door – there is something equally fabulous. Here are a few of my favorites:

Ahmad’s – 1006 Howard St.: Newcomers are astonished to find how eclectic the cuisine is in Omaha – Ahmad’s serves delicious and authentic Persian dishes and matches them with some of the most incredible Middle Eastern wines and beers.

Amsterdam Falafel & Kabob – 620 N 50th St.: Opened by friends who missed the late night offerings in the European capitols, the menu simply consist of Falafels, Kabobs and Fries {I think there may be a salad now as well} – the portions are huge, the flavors are amazing and be sure to ask for extra curry on your fries – yum!

Boiler Room - 1102 Jones St.: My favorite fine dining experience in the city. The menu is ever changing; the atmosphere is elegant without being pretentious – and my favorite way to end a meal: variety of artisan cheeses, local honey, toasted almonds and brandied cherries.

California Taco – 3235 California St.: A favorite of the local college crowd offering huge tacos, nachos and chimichangas – the fish tacos are especially lust worthy!

Dario’s Brasserie – 4920 Underwood Ave.: One of my very favorite restaurants in the city – and in my neighborhood! Offering a French and Belgian inspired bistro menu, the pomme frittes and the mussels are addictive. As is the fact that the servers will help you match your chosen dinner with one of the brews from their seemingly endless list of special imports. And you must end the meal with a Nutella and Banana Crepe – you must.

Dixie Quicks – 1915 Leavenworth St.: This southern style inspired breakfast must was recently featured on the Food Network’s “Diner, Drive-in’s and Dive’s” – the grits are delicious.

Dundee Dell – 5007 Underwood Ave.: Known as “The Dell” by locals, this family pub offers up the usual pub fair. But it is their boastful list of single malt scotches that puts them on the map – they happen to serve the most of any bar or restaurant in the country – making them one of my husband’s favorite destinations. And if you like Mac n’ Cheese – the Dell’s is to die for.

Espana – 6064 Maple St.: Insanely good tapas and traditional paella – the sangria is down right addictive – beware.

Goldberg’s – 5008 Dodge St.: A neighborhood gem known for their amazingly thick and delicious hamburgers and their homemade bread puddings.

Jam’s Bar & Grill – 7814 Dodge, St.: An Omaha favorite, their eclectic menu will satisfy everyone – my favorite is the Saigon Salad with veggies, crushed peanuts, soba noodles – drizzled with green curry remoulade – try topped sesame seared salmon!

La Buvette – 511 S. 11th St.: Both a French grocery and deli, La Buvette’s ambience will not be the only thing to charm you. Daily menus feature French bistro classics such as roast chicken and mussels; the cabinet full of cheese and cut meats is a never ending source of temptation and the racks of wine in which rim the store will bring out the adventurer in anyone.

Louis M’s Burger Lust – 1718 Vinton St.: A South Omaha institution, Louis M’s is as much know for their gigantic burgers as for their satisfying breakfasts – their omelet offerings, such as crab and cream cheese, are especially delicious.

M’s Pub – 422 S. 11th St.: From the Warm Duck Salad to the Smoked Salmon Mousseline nothing disappoints in this Old Market institution with a cozy atmosphere – the Lahvosh is an absolute can not miss.

McFoster’s Natural Kind Café – 302 S. 38th St.: Omaha’s first and nationally recognized vegetarian restaurant – freshly squeezed juices and local organically grown veggies fill the eclectic menu – I love the friend tofu with a side of the homemade cucumber dressing.

Mark’s Bistro – 4916 Underwood Ave.: Another neighborhood favorite – the Fennel Dusted Salmon with Cauliflower puree is heaven – as is their Drinkable Chocolate dessert.

Nicola’s – 521 S. 13th St.: This tiny little gem boasts some of the biggest, and most authentic, Italian dishes in Omaha – everything is made to order, so be patient – it is so worth the wait.

Petrow’s – 5914 Center St.: A neighborhood soda fountain for over 50 years – their chicken fried steak and chocolate malts are favorites.

Pitch Pizzeria – 5021 Underwood St.: Coal-fired, Naples-inspired pizza at it’s best. It transports me back to Italy every. single. time.

Radial Café – 817 N. 40th St.: Another favorite – my family and I would walk to this little greasy spoon on snow days when I was growing up; the food is warm, filling and comfortingly traditional – the Radial Raft is a local favorite.

Spezia – 3125 S. 72nd St.: Having lived in Italy I am very particular about my Italian food – Spezia never disappoints. The Asiago Encrusted Walleye and their signature Salmon Spezia with wood plank grilled salmon are favorites.

The Surfside Club – 14445 River Dr.: Located on the Missouri River, the Surfside is an simple and satisfying as it gets. The menu consists of two choices – fried chicken and fried catfish – both coated with an old secret recipe {or so the owner will tell you}. The corn fritters are heaven on earth – especially drowned in honey. And if you are lucky, you will be flashed by one of the party boats zooming by.

Ted and Wally’s – 1120 Jackson St.: Before a Cold Stone Creamery or Maggie Moos even realized Omaha was on the map, this little ice cream shop located in an old service station had been turning out fresh homemade ice cream to locals – a must when you visit.

Trini’s – 1020 Howard St.: The romantic setting of this little Mexican restaurants keeps locals coming back – and the sopaipillas drizzled with honey are to die for.

Zios – 1213 Howard St.: A little bit of New York in Omaha – making their famous dough every morning from scratch it is hand’s down one the best places to find original, handmade, fresh pizzas in the city – three locations across town.

Cool Stuff:

When your shopping bags and belly are full, head in this direction for some extra entertainment:

Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts – 724 South 12th St.: One of the most acclaimed and desirable artist residency programs in the country, the Bemis also hosts numerous exhibits and programs throughout the year – this is a must visit for anyone passionate about fine art.

http://www.bemiscenter.org/index.html

Big Brain – 1123 Jackson St.: If you are visiting and get a crazy urge to update your ink, this is the place to go. Featuring nationally recognized tattoo artists, their work is by far the best in the Midwest.

Blue Barn Theater – 614 S. 11th St.: Nationally recognized, the Blue Barn is the ultimate theater experience in Omaha; producing “theater without boundaries” this company is in it’s 19th year and produces classics and works by up and coming playwrights alike.

Dundee Theatre – Dodge St.: Feel like doing the Time Warp Again? Locally owned and operated, the Dundee Theater was built in 1925 and is the last single screen theater in Omaha. It is home to our midnight showings of The Rocky Horror Picture Show as well as independent films and favorite classics on the weekends such as Bladerunner, Grease and Psycho.

 

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74 Comments

Jessica Wyman

Thanks so much Designsponge and Jen for posting about my hometown! I also suggest hitting Jams for great salads (76th and Dodge), Blueline for laidback coffee (50th and Underwood) and the Bread Oven for to-die-for Kalamata Olive Bread (49th and Underwood).

One shop you can’t miss is Jackson Street Booksellers for used books (11th and Jackson).

And lastly, if you’re in town on Thursday evenings you must hit the Sons of Italy Thursday night dinners (south 10th Street).

Cheers and enjoy!

Megan

I grew up in Council Bluffs, IA (across the river from Omaha), went to college in Omaha, and am preparing to head back for Christmas in less than 2 weeks.

This guide couldn’t have come at a better time to get me completely excited all over again about heading back to a town I love so much.

Jen’s list really does cover all the great stuff that Omaha has to offer, but I would add one thing: if you’re in town looking for a concert check out onepercentproductions.com. They not only produce the shows at Slowdown, but other indie shows at venues all across town.

imnotmartha

Love Zio’s Chicken Pesto Pizza, and I can’t get enough of the Hot Shops! Delice has the best cookie on the planet, a little chocolatey-esspresso number that melts in your mouth.

The Joslyn Art Museum, Western Heritage Musuem and Goldbergs also get a shout-out from me!!

Amy

Jen, I can relate to the cow comments! I lived in Southern California til I moved to Omaha at age 12. I haven’t lived there for almost 10 years now, but every time I’ve been back to visit family since then I am amazed at the renaissance it has undergone. I’m proud of my little Omaha, so glad to see it featured here.

bre

I too am going to omaha for christmas – so this is extra exciting! I might just get a tattoo there now :D
Also, I second the Joslyn Art Museum recommendation.

Carolyn

I am so excited for this post on Omaha – I am sending to all my Omaha friends and family. I grew up there and myfamily is still there – but I live/work in Dallas. Omaha is such a fantastic city for shopping, family and great things to do.

I agree with everything on this list. When I arrive at the airport, we always hit M’s Pub for lunch – it’s the best. If you like sushi, try Blue – also fantastic.

Hopefully someday I’ll move back there to raise my kiddos!

Kelly

LOVE these city guides and Design by the Book. Can’t wait for new webisode tonight….

Roger

THE best persian food I’ve ever eatern is right down around the corner from this photo on the main drag. The name escapes me.

Jessica

I just moved to Lincoln, Neb., about 45 minutes from Omaha and I was very excited to see this posting. Now I have a list of things to explore!

Dorrie Altman

Ok, when we are there next June I expect to be taken to a BUNCH of these places! I guess it was worth the wait.

sanderson

don’t forget ccino…a custom furniture store that’s a finer alternative to big chains and the beast of omaha, nebraska furniture mart…

oh and the dundee dell is also great for it’s fried pickles…yum!

jen

i am so glad you are enjoying it!

jessica – i missed jams?! the best crab cake burgers – ever!

imnotmartha – how could i have missed the joslyn??

and the botanical gardens, french cafe, v. mertz – oh i could go on and on!

thank you again~xoox

Jeff Slobotski

Thanks for the great story and extensive coverage!

Omaha has come a long way over the last 5 or so years and this post does a good job of highlight what a solid group of new and innovative residents we have!

Piper

Thank you So much for this lovely “all about Omaha” post! I live here and love it. I’m glad that others do too, and if they didn’t before will give us another deserving chance!

PJ

I’ve lived in Omaha for almost 1.5 years (married an Air Force man) and have been to many of the places on your list. Can’t wait to cross off the rest! Nicely done round-up.

Ellen W

I live in omaha! I didn’t realize so many d*s readers lived here! I love it.

SD

to echo Jessica–Jackson St. Books is not to be missed! Honestly the best used book store I’ve ever seen.

becky

Wow! i love reading these little guys, and this one is very good, should i ever make it to the us, this is definitely on my list of things to see.

Steve G

A very cool smattering of the things that make my little berg an alright place sometimes. Props for this mini-exposé. I was proudly born and raised in North O, but I can attest to the fact that exploration reveals a lot about Omaha. You just have to be willing hunt and dig for the “cool”.

Eric Downs

What a great article, I was born and raised in Omaha and have lived here all my life.

As a graphic designer and artist in Omaha people often question the level of creativity and culture needed to survive and stay creative in a Midwest city. I personally have never found it to be a problem there is tons of great things happening here and a great creative class that is rapidly growing and providing inspiration to us all.

Thanks for helping to get the good word out about how great it is here in Omaha.

Sarah

I just moved back to Omaha from Southern California and I appreciate it so much more now! Nice people, great eateries and a great city that isn’t over run by corporate giants. I truly missed it and this post made me so happy to be home! I can’t wait to raise my kids here. Don’t forget Upstream Brewery for a unique beer and good food. And the Buffalo Co on 96th and L… best buffalo chicken finger sandwich you have ever had.

WV

This makes me want to go to Omaha right away! Who knew! Dundee mac n cheese please! Thanks for the great post!

jdg

ooh, this is great. I have fallen in love with Omaha every time I’ve been there. such a great city!

I read this twice to make sure I didn’t miss it (as the author of the detroit guide, I found it a bit annoying when people suggested stuff that was already on the list) but I was SO impressed by the old train station that had been transformed into a museum of some sort. It’s super close to a bunch of stuff on this list, and they’ve done a great job restoring the art deco elements of the station.

thanks for this guide. I’ll be printing it out next time I drive across the country.

Kathryn

Thank you for this fantastic article! My family has deep roots in Omaha and I am deeply in love with my hometown. I live on the East Coast now but always, always, look forward to going home. I sent this link to everyone I know (I talk up my ‘homaha’ every chance I get!). Reading through the list was like paging through an old book of beloved photographs. Can’t wait to be home for Christmas! Thanks again, beautifully done.

Kristina Brabec

I can’t believe so many readers are from Omaha! That alone excites me. This article was wonderful, and I second the addition of Jams for great, giant salads. Omaha is changing (or maybe just growing) rapidly. I can’t wait for the Little Italy (south of the Old Market) part of town to develop more.

Andy

I grew up in Omaha and have to put a plug in for “Early to Bed” in Countryside Village. The owner goes to market in NYC every year and you can always find interesting, high-end linens and home goods (Dwell, Area, Bella Notte, Signoria Di Firenze, etc.) that you can’t find anyplace else. Go Big O!

Karmatir

Thank you! I live in Omaha (ok, Council Bluffs technically but I work in Omaha) and have already passed this along to local relatives & friends to see what they thing. Great recommendations!

Andrea S

I’m so glad to see this lovely post! I call Omaha my hOmaha, and am also a former Delice girl!

linus

I used to travel frequently for work to Omaha and as a jaded resident of the bay area I was pleasantly surprised at the cosmopolitan nature of Omaha. I loved walking around downtown.

Noah

Great job! Sweet O-town deserves the press!

You mentioned a few seasonal items; here’s a couple more:

Summer:
-College World Series. Cheap and easy to get tickets. It still feels like a festival and a pasttime. (However, avoid if the Huskers are playing–obnoxious fans…this coming from an alum).

-4th of July on “the Bridge”. They close down the bridge over interstate by the Henry Doorly Zoo and everyone picknicks to watch the WORLD renowned fireworks desplay after the baseball game.

Finally, I have to give a shout out to Central Park and the slides…when I was a kid, I always thought that Sesame Street was filmed there! But seriously for a good time: shop, do some art galleries in the old market, find dinner (check out the Passageway-a roofed in ally with shops and a couple restaraunts), then walk to Central Park and follow the water to the Heartland of America Park for a sunset on the O-town skyline and the huge fountain. Head back to Ted and Wally’s for Ice Cream. The perfect evening.

Toni

It was so great to see my home featured. I was born in Omaha and have lived all but 5 of my 55 years here. Omaha is a long cry from how it was in my teen years; hanging out at the Old Market was the only cool place to go back then. We felt slightly subversive walking the downtown streets and dodging the panhandlers. Now, the choices are much greater for one that seeks outside of the mainstream! Thanks for writing such a wonderful article that hopefully will inspire others to come and explore.

Lorena

I’m a big fan of Crane Coffee. I was visiting a cousin on a road trip and he sent me there while he finished up his work shift. It was perfect.

Shawna Handke

This makes me long for the places where my husband and I fell in love. That photograph with the ghost image of Omaha is one of my personal favorites, and I now cannot wait to go home later this month!

Bart

Dundee Gallery at 4916 Underwood, owner Jean Imray is a sweetheart, gallery is affordable and not stuffy or snooty like some on the above mentioned galleries…check it out!

Amelia

glad to see SCOUT: DRY GOODS & TRADE made the list, it is truly a gem and a fantastic addition to omaha. it’s hard to remember shopping in omaha before they got there! feels almost european. fun quality clothes, cool location, cool music and friendly staff. I love Dundee! they just started a new thing on awesome ETSY featuring some of their best vintage pieces, that’s at http://www.scoutdrygoods.etsy.com. work it omaha!

Lorraine

Ooo! Love Omaha (though Lincoln is, in my opinion the better place to live)! Don’t forget Valentino’s Pizza and Runza for authentic Nebraskan restuarants: can’t go for a visit without at least one stop at each…

Eric

A couple other things out of towners should definitely check out…

Antiquarium Records – It’s a shame the book store has moved, but the record store lives on, albeit in a new location. One of the best vinyl selections in town after Zero Street, which I think may have closed down.

The Donut Stop – Homemade, terrible for you but absolutely delicious donuts made fresh every day by an old couple that have been doing it for longer than most of their clientele have been alive. Only open 10 to 10, it’s a hub of night owl activity.

Orsi’s Bakery – Amazingly good fresh bread and some of the best pizza in town, or really anywhere.

The Alpine Inn – If you’re going to mention fried chicken, you can’t skip the Alpine Inn. As much of a curiosity as it is a restaurant, you get to have great fried chicken in huge portions while watching cats during the day or raccoons at night scavenging the leftover scraps tossed outside through huge picture windows.

Bar-wise, there are a number of establishments that are worth a mention for their history and longevity- namely the 49′r Lounge, which has been a bar since before prohibition(during which it was a “grocery store”).

Christine

AWESOME list! And I’m loving all of the adds in the comments…..so many favorites here. I have to second the sangria at Espana….and also add Myth Martini Bar! Myth is “where everybody knows your name!” Live music on Tuesdays and Thursdays, comfy couches, awesome martinis, and the best bartenders around! I love it! I’m a photographer starting my own business here, and so many of my friends from bigger cities say the same things that others have heard, along the lines of a ‘tiny Midwest town’. But Omaha DEFINITELY has a creative movement that has taken off and changed the face of this city. I’m so excited to see so many positive comments about my city! ;-)

Heather

Wow…Lots of Omahans in here, how cool. Another cool place to visit in the Old Market is Goldsmith Silversmith, the owner has been there since the very beginning back in the 70′s. Local artists and custom jewelry (including mine).

John Jelinek

I moved back to Omaha last year after 25 years in Texas – the best decision in my life! I’ve been around the world and love a lot of places but Omaha will always be Homaha. The little world of the old market where everyone knows each other and is nice to the visiting tourists. Kaneko, The Bemis, and little out of the way spaces in Omaha. Shakespeare on the green, 4th of July fireworks, so many free things to do. Omaha believes in itself! So refreshing.

and the Persian restaurant is Ahmads – delicious. And don’t forget Nomad lounge and Dinkers for the best burgers, and Big Mama’s for sould food. I think I’ll go there today!

Teresa

Oh my gosh!! Fantastic post! I *love* Omaha … but Jen’s guide has just introduced me to a bunch of new places I MUST visit! Terrific post – thanks so much. :)

Kirsten

I also grew up in Omaha. Design*Sponge just became even cooler. Or maybe Omaha is cooler now thanks to D*S. ;-)

I second the comments for Bemis Contemporary Arts and the Joslyn.

And if you want to experience some “old school” restaurants, go get Jaeger Schnitzel at The Bohemian Cafe on S. 13th St. or a steak in a windowless room at Johnny’s in South O. The interior design is quite a time capsule – black and red vinyl chairs, etc (I heard they’re moving/closing though.) V. Mertz they’re not, but still fun.
And every time I visit I make a beeline for Bronco’s! love it!

Erin L

I grew up in Omaha and now live in Chicago, and all I have to say is that Omaha is totally the new Chicago.Only thing missing is public transportation and integration.

Darby W.

i love, love, love omaha, love the guide, love all your comments. my favorite omaha spots got a nod, as well as reminders of some old haunts i haven’t visited in a while. the donut stop! forgot all about that place. memories of midnight donut runs during college came right back. thanks!

lindsay

thanks for this guide – it’s a great reminder of many of the neat spots to see here (and some i’ve forgotten about!). a couple places i might add:

another great spot get inked/pierced – Liquid Courage near 76th & Pacific. it’s all custom. amazing work.

don’t forget Sweet Magnolia’s bakery, right next to the Radial Cafe! the red velvet cake is elegant.

Blue sushi also now has an Old Market location – and the lounge upstairs feels ultra cosmopolitan!

thanks for featuring my hometown, D*S!

Ashley

I love this list and I love all the extra additions. Omaha is truly a fantastic city, I’m glad it has made it to Design*Sponge. I’m a proud Omahan!!

Rachel H.

We’re heading to Omaha tomorrow just to check it out- We live in Kansas City, MO. I have a list of places to stop in at and I am very excited!

Katie

Love all those places. Also Glass Harmony Gallery has the best blown glass in the area by a local artist. A hidden gem in midtown!

debbie milder lippert

I grew up in Omaha and come back every chance I get. Some of my favorite restaurants and shops are still there….and I never miss a dinner at La Casa for their hamburger and mushroom pizza. I think you have to grow up with it to appreciate it!

Great job

Laura

I’m thrilled to see an Omaha guide. I grew up there – now live on the East Coast – and I love spreading the news about how fabulous it is! As a D.C. resident, it’s hard to believe shopping is one of the reasons I look forward to going back! One boutique I love that wasn’t mentioned is Togs, out at the Legacy Shoppes at 168th & Center. My favorite breakfast place is Farmhouse – amazing scrambles, cinnamon rolls and potato casseroles. Located off Mangelsen’s at 84th and Center. Now I’m homesick!

Kari Alpen

Another great place to eat is Wheatfields (near Westroads). The treats in their bakery are to die for!

Kate

My great grandparents were the first department store owners in Nebraska. There dept store was also the largest for years. Their home was a work of art. The paintings were amazing. They owned a house with a hidden room and closet, which was neat. The wood work is also divine.

ann

For the VERY best pizza in town you really need to try Orsi’s Italian Bakery. They also serve an awesome goudarooni. This is Omaha’s BEST kept secret. (and you really do have to walk out the front door sideways to get the full sheet pizza out of there)

Vanessa

I live in Chicago – taking a road trip to Omaha with my husband to visit his grandmother — looking for any boutique hotels?? Can’t seem to find anything. Help!

Vanessa

Just came back from Omaha – hit Sweet Magnolia’s (amazing scones!) and had a lovely dinner at Dario’s brasserie. Please add Jaipur to the list! Brewpub and to-die-for chicken korma. Try the raspberry wheat – they brew it themselves!!! Oh – it’s on 105th and Center.

megan

did someone already mention the Mai Tai lounge, the Drover, the awesome bike paths throughout the city, Gorat’s, and Louis’ bar? and i third the Bemis Center shoutout.

Emily

I work for Omaha-based online fashion magazine, La Vie Cherie (www.laviecherie.com) and I’m just so happy to see a plug for some of the best fashion has to offer for the area on this site!

A special shout out to Post & Nickel who absolutely deserves to be on the list. Their ahead-of-the-curve fashion sense is impeccable and continually impressive to the entire La Vie Cherie staff. Kudos.

Sarah

Wow – months later and still seeing posts of other d*s readers from Omaha. Man, we’re a proud bunch. The big O really does have a lot to offer.

Thanks for putting us on the map!

Linda Hunter

Yea, Big O I was born inHoldrege, I come to Omaha to see my son and his family. This is a great tool for checking out things to do. Thanks for having it available.

judy

really?! i moved here a year ago and find it to be really mediocre. the people here are amazingly nice. however, it is not an impressive city… lots of corporate chains and suburban sprawl. i shop online a lot now. i think it has potential, but it is really behind. the people impressed with omaha tend to be from omaha. here is what i do like about it: gorgeous old buildings (falling apart), everything is dirt cheap, great thrift stores, super nice and supportive people. here is what i dont: not particularly educated or sophisticated, you need a car to get anywhere, way too much sprawl and big box stores, horrible and unhealthy food, not much charm in general here, the older neighborhoods are divided by huge streets with way too much traffic, not much aesthetic consideration, and while it is much less competitive to get a job here- the pay is very low and as a result there is not a young, educated, progressive class.

Ashley DeVrieze

I am thrilled to find this! We just relocated to Omaha this summer and have been exploring as much as possible. We’re already quick fans of the zoo, The Slowdown, the amazing Farmer’s Market, and Nicola’s Italian restaurant. Now I have a rejuvenated list to try! Thank you!! This will be a perfect addition to my purse for weekend adventures.

Magan M. Smith

Boo-hoo, PULP moved to the Old Market and will be closing up shop. The owner will be working for the Bemis Art Center – another MUST on your tour, especially their art auction the third Saturday every November. ALSO, Delice closed shop after a fire. Rumor has it they are reopening at the newly built Midtown Crossing.

Donna

The Community of Christ Thrift Store and Food Pantry, 17 N. 2nd St., Council Bluffs, IA, invites you to shop with us. You will find unique clothing, furniture, housewares and decorative items. A feature film company recently found props in our store. We are just across the river from Omaha in the revitalized Downtown area. Store income supports the Food Pantry and other services.

isa

the best place used furniture thrifting is hand me ups, between dodge and pacific off 920 N 118th Circle (not the one by Big Freds). It is enormous and has saved me hours of ducking around south o. without luck. great lamps, rehab finds, drexel dressers, etc. Also, if you don’t about the ricotta and cherry pancakes at Amattos on 68th and Pacific, you are missing out! -also featured on food network.

Caitlin Schultheis

Suggestion: In Bloom- amazing flower bouquets. Located at 520 N Main Street in Fremont, NE. L-l-love them!

Ali C

I recently visited some dear friends in Omaha, which was
quite delightful. We visited some of these fine places, and all
were wonderful. We also ate at the Daily Grub (1054 S 20th St.)
which was the best meal we had there! The restaurant is new as of
2010, and focuses on local and seasonal ingredients. I would
recommend it to anyone traveling to Omaha.

David Benson

What a great post! I love the antique-looking photographs, and you listed many of my favorite restaurants. I’ll be sure to check out the ones I haven’t visited yet.

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