It’s no secret: Omaha is famous for meat. Steaks, Reubens, even barbecue — we have so many options for meat eaters in the area it’s easy to overlook the specialty diet options. But, in between the bacon festivals and steakhouses, the Omaha area has a bustling vegan and vegetarian population.
In fact, the movement is growing so much, Vegan Omaha began in 2008 to give everyone a chance to explore and taste the flavors of the area. Today, the organization has grown even larger and hosts regular meetups at some of our most popular locales — including Omaha Vegan Drinks and Vegan Thursdays!
Whether you’re a lifelong veggie lover or you’re just looking to try something new, we created a guide to help you find the best vegan and vegetarian-friendly restaurants in the area. So get ready for some fruits, veggies, tofu and seitan, and dine out this week!
Photos courtesy of Modern Love
Modern Love describes their menu as “swanky vegan comfort food” and we could not agree more. As a vegan-focused restaurant, they add an extra level of attention and creativity to their dishes. You can get a classic pot pie in vegan style or try the Mac & Shews made with cashew cheese. Whichever you choose, don’t leave without a slice of Ginger Peach Pie!
Blue Sushi has three locations throughout Omaha and one in Lincoln. At each one, you’ll find a generous selection of vegan choices on both the sushi and grill menus. One of our favorites is the Eden Roll with sweet potato vegan tempura, grilled asparagus, edamame hummus, sun-dried tomato, brown rice, soy paper and olive oil.
There are so many other delicious choices, so go out for sushi this week and eat to your heart’s content!
For vegan Chinese food, Three Happiness Express is a must-try in Omaha. They have one of the most extensive vegan menus in town — with a few vegetarian options as well. Stop by when you’re looking for all the flavor of classic Chinese dishes with no animal products. Try your tofu Szechuan style, Kung Pao, spicy or stir fried!
Photo courtesy of Two Birds Bakery
Two Birds Bakery strives to use local ingredients in all their foods as well as reduce their impact on the environment through their processing and packaging. They find that choosing local ingredients provides a sense of community, strengthens the local economy, and enhances connections with family and community farms.
Alongside classic cookie, muffin, cake and pastry recipes, Two Birds offers an entire line of vegan options — also made with locally sourced ingredients when possible. They have two options for vegan chocolate chip cookies and two for peanut butter as well, but you can’t go home without a taste of their Salted Double Chocolate and Vegan Baklava! Check out their cookie, muffin + roll, cake + pie and seasonal menus for all the vegan options.
Photo courtesy of Block 16
We’ve featured Block 16 in our Best Omaha Lunch Spots, Best Places to Get BBQ and Best Burgers posts. But I bet you didn’t know they offer many of their comfort food favorites as vegan dishes! One of our favorites is the classic Block Burger which can be served vegan with mustard, ketchup, lettuce, tomato, onion, and a pickle — or vegetarian with the addition of Swiss cheese and mayo. And for something slightly more adventurous, try the Short Rib Dip — vegan style!
Wilson & Washburn is a neighborhood favorite for gathering, eating, drinking — even working! Their beet burger is one of the most delicious vegan options in town. Topped with house smoked peanut butter and pickled jalapeño on a vegan bun, it’s a must-try for its unique flavor combinations alone. Try one next time you’re working remotely and end the meal with a slice of vegan Strawberry Rhubarb Pie.
Photo courtesy of Benson Brewing
Benson Brewery merges turn of the century design with modern, artisan food and drink. In a warm and historic atmosphere, you can sip or taste some of the best flavors in the area — including multiple vegan options. Our favorite is the Seitan Wings! They have the taste, look and feel of the classic pub favorite with none of the animal products.
Photos courtesy of Nite Owl
Nite Owl is a 21+ craft cocktail lounge in the Blackstone District. They serve food until 2 a.m., making them the best late-night vegan spot! Many of their tasty recipes offer vegan substitutions; we suggest trying the vegan aioli over the regular no matter your diet. You can also get vegetarian sliders, a vegan burger and even a vegan corndog! Bring everyone along for a night of revelry and taste a little of everything.
Photo courtesy of Fauxmaha Hot Dogs
Mick Ridgway launched his vegan business venture in September 2015. His dogs are made with a mix of seitan and tofu, and have fooled customers who don’t realize his classic stand is vegan.
Unfortunately, as the winter season rolls around, Fauxmaha will have to pack up until we see warm weather again. But have no fear! The future is bright for Mick and his vegan dogs. He promises to be back next year with even more gourmet flavors and combinations. Check the Fauxmaha Hot Dogs Facebook page for updates, and check out this great article from Vice on Mick’s journey.
Although a short trip from Omaha, the Taj Mahal Cuisine — located in Lincoln — has the largest vegan and vegetarian menu in the area as well as the most authentic Indian food. Their specialized menu has items made with tofu, lentils, veggies — even meatless scallops. The various flavor and protein options make Taj Mahal the best option for vegans in town.
The Chinese restaurant Crystal Jade has a whole section in their menu dedicated to vegetarian options, with a few vegan options as well. Get all your favorite Chinese flavors made with tofu or vegetables — and best of all, you can order online! We suggest trying the Crispy Eggplant Yellow Curry for something spicy and delicious.
Photo courtesy of Blatt Beer & Table / Adam Casey
With three Omaha locations, Blatt Beer & Table is a place for anyone who loves craft beer and curated pub food. Inspired by bar classics, their recipes are served in comfort food style with modern and gourmet twists. Blatt’s chefs make sausages, pretzels, sauces and frites on site from scratch — and craft food for multiple diets.
Though their full menu has some vegan options, they offer more items for vegetarians. We love the Falafel Sliders. A perfectly spiced chickpea patty served with tahini yogurt sauce and pickled veggie slaw on flatbread — it’s a great flavor combo that will leave you craving more in the days ahead!
Photo courtesy of LOCAL
LOCAL has the largest selection of local craft beers in the area as well as craft food. At both the Downtown Omaha and Gretna locations, you’ll find a large variety of vegetarian meals. And you can pair each one perfectly with the recommended beer! From appetizers to sandwiches to an incredible veggie burger, you’ll find something to satisfy every craving.
At Omaha Tap House, they have 32 beers on tap, craft cocktails, gourmet food and the best veggie burger in town according to Hannah at Clean Eating Veggie Girl. And we couldn’t agree more! While the patty itself is delicious, you can sub it for any of their flavor combos. Go with the Brown Sugar and Smoked Cheddar for a classic or the Cheese Curd Cheeseburger for something new!
Nestled in the Dundee district, Marks is a cozy bistro built into a historic turn of the century home. They strive to create dishes with a hint of French influence, balanced with some Asian inspiration, along with good old American and Italian standbys.
They even have a rooftop garden where they seasonally grow produce for items like the vegetarian Portobello Sandwich and Butternut Squash Risotto! Though most of their options (and there are a lot!) are vegetarian, they also have a great Glass Noodle Salad for vegan diets.
Photo courtesy of Kitchen Table
Champions of the “slow food fast” movement, Kitchen Table has been highlighted as one of our favorite spots in Old Market, one of the best lunch spots and a favorite date night restaurant! Now we can add best vegan and vegetarian-friendly cuisine to the list. With brand new specials every day, there’s always a meat-free option (like the Veggie BLT pictured above) and it’s guaranteed to be delectable every time.
Photo courtesy of Amsterdam Falafel & Kabob
Falafel is a deep fried ball or patty usually made from ground chickpeas and topped with various sauces or veggies. At Amsterdam Falafel & Kabob, you’ll find the most authentic flavors and recipes in the area — European street food style. For vegetarians, simply choose your style (sandwich, salad or plate), order the falafel, and top it with any of their sauces. Meat eaters can opt for kabob, so bring everyone along!
Dante is Omaha’s first restaurant specializing in authentic wood-fired Neapolitan pizza and Italian cuisine with a focus on ingredient-driven dishes and fresh produce from local farmers. They use those locally grown items for many of their vegetarian dishes. We suggest trying the subtle Monterosso, a white pizza topped with local potato, rosemary, garlic and mozzarella.
Photo courtesy of Maggie’s Vegetarian Café
Maggie’s is one of the most popular vegetarian destinations in the Lincoln and Omaha areas. Their all-natural, from-scratch kitchen uses only local, organic, and non-GMO ingredients. Because of this, their menu changes seasonally. For example, the ingredients in the fritatta and roasted veggie melt will change depending on what’s fresh locally. It may be fresh spring asparagus, heirloom tomatoes in the summer, a fall swiss chard or winter butternut squash. But no matter the season, you’re guaranteed an environmentally conscious, vegetarian meal every time!
Freakbeat Vegetarian (formerly Grateful Bread) has been a family owned and operated vegetarian soul food restaurant in Lincoln since 1998. Check their Facebook page for regular updates on new specials — including frequent vegan options like Moroccan Tomato Soup or the vegetarian Peruvian Beans and Polenta Bowl. Their homemade meals and treats will have you coming back again and again!
Photos courtesy of Pepe’s Veg-Mex Bistro
Pepe’s Bistro opened in July 2008 so owner, Pepe, could share his passion for healthy food and an active lifestyle by having an ever changing menu prepared using fresh, local and organic ingredients. In addition to the restaurant, Pepe runs The Lincoln Bike Kitchen to promote and advocate for the area bicycle community. So hop on your bike and swing by for a Cubano Sandwich made with Seitan or, a local favorite, the Veggie Burger!
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If we missed your favorite vegan or vegetarian restaurant, let us know.