Omaha Recommendations?

Old Apr 30, 04, 9:54 am
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Question Omaha Recommendations?

Any particular recommendations for dining (American cuisine, steak, brunch, etc.) or things to do/see over the weekend, particularly if there might be some occasional rain? Thanks.
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Old Dec 26, 04, 1:55 pm
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Omaha is best known for its zoo. Believe it or not, the Omaha Zoo ranks up with the San Diego Zoo as one of the country's best. If your trip should happen to conicide with the College World Series, this event is one of the best sporting events you could hope to attend.

The Old Market is a wonderful place to eat and shop. Some of the better restaurants in this area include the French Cafe, M's Pub, and V Mertz.

Gorats is the place to go for a good midwest steak.

Hiro's is a good sushi / chinese food place in West Omaha.

Other (more fast food type) places to check our include Runza (German style sandwiches), Zios (good pizza), and Broncos (a good greasy burger).
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Old Apr 26, 05, 8:59 pm
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Thanks. One reply in a year. That would probably be a record if there weren't so many threads that no one cares (or dares) to touch.
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Old Apr 27, 05, 8:13 am
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Omaha has a great Indian Restaurant called The Indian Oven....it is most excellent. I believe it is on Howard Street. St.Marys College also has a great little tour guide. The Zoo is pretty cool also...but with rain, not so great. There is a really awesome museum of Indian Artifacts in Lincoln if you don't mind the short drive. Also two really awesome stores, used records and used books in downtown Lincoln. I apologize for not remembering the names, last time I was in Omaha was 2003 and I travel a great deal. But, I do remember they have great bars with cheap drinks and also serve fab vegi burgers just about everywhere!
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Old Apr 27, 05, 9:02 am
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The zoo is pretty good - and there are some of indoor areas if it does rain (rainforest, etc.). The botanical garden (Lauritzen Gardens) is nice. The Strategic Air and Space Museum (formerly SAC Museum) is about halfway between Omaha and Lincoln - probably most interesting to kids or people interested in U.S. military history and/or planes. The Durham Western Heritage Museum is in the downtown/Old Market area and is fairly interesting - information on the area's history, stories of immigrants, etc. There are also casinos in Council Bluffs, IA. There is lots of shopping in Omaha. They are building more shopping areas all the time - many Omaha residents drive to Kansas City for the shopping, so I think they are trying to keep some of those people here instead.

If you are coming in June, the College World Series is great - fun atmosphere, people from all over the U.S. attending (there is a large contingent of LSU fans that come every year even if their team doesn't make it), a variety of food vendors, the chance to see some future major league players, etc.

Food - I found the suggestion for Runza interesting. It is a very regional fast food chain, but the food generally seems fresher than at the major chains. Runzas are not actually German-style but are Eastern European in origin - many Omaha families with Czech/Polish roots have a recipe similar to Runza going back several generations. Zio's is good New York-style pizza. Old Chicago is more Chicago-style pizza (which I do not like, so I can't say whether this is good Chicago-style or not, but people do say it is good). Ahmad's Persian Cuisine in the Old Market is quite good. The Bohemian Cafe is great Czech food. I have not found a decent seafood or Mexican restaurant yet. Some of the old family steak houses are Gorats, Johnny's Cafe, Caniglias, and Mister C's. I don't know if they are as good as they used to be, but they are Omaha standards.
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Old Aug 21, 05, 10:01 pm
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Good call on Indian Oven -- that is VERY good. Love the vindaloo.
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Old Oct 12, 05, 7:52 pm
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Is there any state/national park/historic site worth going? I don't seem to be able to find any, other than the Homestead NM. The interesting places like Chimney Rock are all far west.

I will be in Omaha for a weekend end of this month. Right now, I plan to drive down to visit Homestead NM and Univ. of Neb. I am not concerned of finding good places to eat; I want to see Nebraska.

A number of ppl have recommended Omaha Zoo; I am a bit interested, but I have been to SD Zoo, St. Louis Zoo, and National Zoo among others. Is Omaha Zoo that special?

another place I am considering is the The Union Pacific Railroad Museum at Council Bluffs.

Last edited by timrick; Oct 13, 05 at 12:52 am
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Old Oct 12, 05, 8:15 pm
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The Omaha Zoo is one of the best in the country. If you like zoos, you will be very impressed.

Jay

Originally Posted by timrick
Is there any state/national park/historic site worth going? I don't seem to be able to find any, other than the Homestead NM. The interesting places like Chimney Rock are all far west.

I will be in Omaha for a weekend end of this month. Right now, I plan to drive down to visit Homestead NM and Univ. of Neb. I am not concerned of finding good places to eat; I want to see Nebraska.

A number of ppl have recommended Omaha Zoo; I am a bit interested, but I have been to SD Zoo, St. Louis Zoo, and National Zoo among others. Is Omaha Zoo that special?
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Old Oct 19, 05, 11:48 pm
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I'm in Omaha, the Zoo here is only surpassed by San Diego's, and not by much. St. Louis Zoo cannot hold a candle to Omaha's.
I have not been to the UP museum across the river in CB, so I cannot comment on it.

Buffy's posting is pretty accurate, but Caniglia's Steakhouse is closed for good, a victim of casino food (or so they say). The best Italian easily is a place called LoSole Mio near 32nd and Oak street, it can be a 2-3 hour wait to get in on weekends. There are a lot of 'authentic' Mexican restaurants here, but the word 'authentic' is open to interpretation. Personally I like a place called 'La Mesa', there are 2 or 3 of them in town, followed by Fernando's and La Fonda.

We are also folks that used to go to KC to shop, but anymore, just about everything we went to the Plaza for or Overland Park for is now in Omaha, but we still don't have a danged Cheesecake Factory yet !

Airports: LAX is a snap to get thru (security-wise) compared to Omaha, so far Omaha is the worst, slowest one I've ever been through, but I have only been thru LAX CHI LV and PHX.

Tell me where you are staying and I will tell you where to eat that's close (anf good).

Nebraska itself: I'd go to the sand hills near Valentine or Chadron, but I am easily satisfied: 60 miles south of Valentine you are literally nowhere, in a telescoping black hole that is one of the darkest areas in the entire USA.
The only place as dark are some spots in Nevada.
It's AWESOME if you spend a night there, roll out a blanket, close your eyes for 5 minutes, the open them. The sky looks like it's on fire with all the stars you can see with no light pollution. Folks in cities have no idea what it's like.
There are national telescoping 'parties' there in the summer where hundreds of people camp out just to see stars you cannot normally see anywhere else.
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Old Nov 3, 05, 11:11 pm
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I'll second (or third or fourth...) the zoo. another reason to see it is the desert dome. Its something like the larges free standing geodesic dome in the US (or something like that).

Also I have heard that the SAC museum is intersting to see. It is about 30-40 minutes west of Omaha. Also, if its your thing (its not mine, so I can't tell you if its any good) but there is a pretty large casino in Council Bluff, just head East on 80, you can't miss it.

As far as food goes, I really like pepperjax. Its cheesesteaks, but decent ones are hard to find in the midwest. You also can't go wrong with beef. There are a number of good steakhouses in town.

Finally, the downtown area (I think its called the haymarket area) is a neat area to go for resturants or bars. There's a pretty good brewpub down there, just down the street from the courtyard (Marriott). Supposedly there's a great hole-in-the-wall steak place right across the street from there, too. Sorry I don't have names, I usually just get there by "feel."
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Old Nov 3, 05, 11:28 pm
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W. Omaha restaurant recco's

Have eaten at 2 places I can suggest highly: Jam's is an ecclectic mix of more modern american dishes, with a very upbeat and casual atmosphere. I think they're on W. Dodge? And just ate at Cafe Di Coppia - had a chipotle chicken that was out of this world. Oh, and if you're in Idine, Cafe is on there so you'll get a great meal w/ points!

Predictable chain hotels are there. Stayed recently at the Regency Lodge hotel. A bit dated, but unique & full service, under $90 I think.
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Old Dec 17, 05, 11:24 pm
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[QUOTE=timrick]

A number of ppl have recommended Omaha Zoo; I am a bit interested, but I have been to SD Zoo, St. Louis Zoo, and National Zoo among others. Is Omaha Zoo that special?
QUOTE]

I've lived in Omaha, STL, and DC -- the Omaha zoo is by far the best of the 3.
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Old Dec 15, 06, 5:29 pm
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Originally Posted by fredman View Post
We are also folks that used to go to KC to shop, but anymore, just about everything we went to the Plaza for or Overland Park for is now in Omaha, but we still don't have a danged Cheesecake Factory yet !
For the record, there is a CF in Omaha at Westroads Mall now.
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Old Dec 23, 06, 11:10 am
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Originally Posted by DullesFlyer View Post
I've lived in Omaha, STL, and DC -- the Omaha zoo is by far the best of the 3.
I would barely call the STL zoo a zoo. Sure...it's free, but there are no animals.

Omaha was definately better than STL, but I haven't been to DC recently enough to compare.
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Old Dec 27, 06, 4:40 pm
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Hotels and Food in Omaha

This thread needed updating by some locals; I'll go first, others please help out!!

Omaha's enjoyed a huge transformation in recent years, and attracted a lot of "missing" resturant and hotel options. I'll start with downtown, and in another post (or with help from others!) address midtown and west Omaha.

These downtown hotels are within a few blocks and an easy walk of the best "hang out" (IMHO) in Omaha, the "Old Market":

Hilton at 1001 Cass Street is the best in town, and across from the new Quest Center arena and convention center. Great bar, great food on property.
Hilton Garden Inn at 10th and Dodge is quite nice. Not sure about the bar, can vouch for good food. Short walk to Quest Center.
Marriott Courtyard at 10th and Douglas is very nice. Good bar/food. Short walk to Quest Center.
Double Tree at 16th and Dodge is a nice, older property with an excellent executive training/meeting facility on the top floor. Good bar/food.
Embassy Suites at 10th and Howard is a personal favorite. Popular for seminars/workshops/meetings, located on the east edge of the Old Market. Good bar, great food.
Reddick Plaza 15th and Harney is a nicely renovated art deco hotel. Very close to the Old Market, also near the business center of downtown, and near the Courthouse.
Magnolia at 16th and Howard is the new owner of a grand old building, formerly a Sheraton hotel. Haven't been in it, but it should appeal to those loving the "old world" style. Located between the Old Market, and the business center of downtown.

Omaha enjoys a surprisingly wide variety of great Food options. For travelers in or near downtown and wanting to get out of the hotel the "Old Market" is your best bet for both Food and Fun. Eclectic shops and resturants, farmers market in the summer, buggy rides, street music, and a thriving art scene including the world famous Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts. Website: http://www.oldmarket.com

A few of my favorite restaurants, but there are many more in the area:

Vincenzo's Terrific casual italian, in the old "Brass Grill" location.
Vivace Great traditional italian; not the usual italian fare.
M's Pub Personal favorite; upscale, changing menu, they are very good at actually holding a reservation.
V Mertz Intimate fine dining in "The Passageway", perfect to impress somebody. Huge wine list.
Indian Oven Some of the best indian food this side of the world.
French Cafe Elegant upscale french. Bonus: a top notch bar to hang out in. Try "The Sammy" - a chocolate-coffee martini.
Omaha Prime Superb chop house, one of Omaha's best steaks.
Upsteam Brewery Best brew pub in town, with seasonal beers and awesome food. Great place to meet up with somebody.
Spaghetti Works Casual, all you can eat pasta, etc. Considered a family place, will impress a wider audiance. Sits square in the middle of the Market.
Zio's Pizza New York style pizza, great casual dining.
Flatiron Cafe Very elegant, top of the line Continental dining, located at the west edge of the Market.
Butsy Le Doux's Awesome cajun in the heartland? Yes!!
Jobber's Canyon Haven't tried it yet, but hearing great things.
La Buvette Casual-to-nice wine and fine dining. Great place to eat well then mellow out.
Old Chicago Another local favorite for a wide variety of casual eats.
Trini's Very nice mexican, a surprising gem in the Passageway.

For Coffee and such (skip the Starbucks!):
Delice Bakery Incredible pastries with coffee and tea every way you can imagine.
13th Street Coffee Funky hang out with occasional music to groove to.

Omaha has a lot more to offer, I'll cover other areas later. I've got to get back to my real job, which usually involves traveling elsewhere.
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