When people think of Nebraska, they don’t often think of plant-based foods. It’s no secret our state is famous for its beef, its burgers and its steaks, but that doesn’t mean our foodie community has ignored vegan and vegetarian cuisine. In fact, the Omaha and Lincoln areas boast a handful of local spots that are entirely vegan or entirely vegetarian—and even more that offer mouth-watering plant-based options alongside their meaty fare.
To see the impressive list in and around Omaha, check out 21 Vegan + Vegetarian-Friendly Omaha Area Restaurants You Need To Try. And to track down the best options in Lincoln, keep reading!
1625 S 17th St | Facebook | Vegetarian
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.
1311 S 11th St | Facebook | Vegan
Photo courtesy of Pepe’s Bistro
Pepe’s Bistro opened in July 2008 so its 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. As a strong advocate for alternative transportation and bicycling, Pepe offers 10% off to bicyclists! So hop on your bike and swing by for a Cubano Sandwich made with Seitan or, a local favorite, the Veggie Burger.
Sign up online for pickup | Facebook | Vegan
The completely plant-based food made by the Rutabagas team is always prepared fresh and ready for the dinner table, always vegan and gluten-free, and sometimes even oil free! Especially famous for their flavorful Buddha bowls, the menu changes regularly so you always have a healthy and sustainable meal to take home for yourself or for your entire family. To find out what all the hype is about, go to their website and sign up to be a Taste Tester so you can pick up your plant-based meals. And follow the team on Facebook to see what comfort foods are on the menu this week.
1451 O St | Facebook | Options
Vegans, carnivores, ramen connoisseurs—they all rave about AmuManu Ramen Bar. This trendy downtown spot serves everything from pork stir fry and delectable dumplings to fried calamari and nine different flavors of ramen bowls. That list includes five vegan options and you can order the dumplings vegan, too! Check out the menu and get ready for what a few Yelp reviewers have called, “the best ramen you can get in Lincoln.”
5600 S 48th St | Facebook | Options
Photo courtesy of High Society Cheesecake
Family owned and operated since opening in 2006, High Society Cheesecake is the place to go for all your cheesecake cravings, as all are handcrafted from scratch whether you’re eating a Tie-Dye slice or a White Chocolate Raspberry. In addition to the best cheesecake in Nebraska, the team serves up clearly marked vegetarian meals alongside their meat-filled lunch entrees, like the Trolley Stop Toasted Sandwich made with vegetarian sausage, vegetarian bacon, pepper jack cheese, tomato, lettuce, red onion and chipotle mayo on sourdough bread.
330 S 10th St | Facebook | Options
“Romantic and casual”, “the perfect date spot”, and “the best celebratory destination” have all been used to describe Green Gateau. Located in the heart of downtown Lincoln, the French-inspired, upscale restaurant is a must-visit whether you’re a meat lover or a plant eater. Their huge menu includes brunch, lunch and dinner with extensive gluten-free options, clearly marked vegetarian meals, an envious wine list, local brews and artisan cocktails.
4747 Pioneers Boulevard | Facebook | Options
Photo courtesy of Copal Progressive Mexican Cuisine
Copal strives to bring authentic Mexican flavors to your plate while also representing the vibrant country with its warm hospitality and colorful decor. Vegetables are at the heart of Mexican cooking, so you’ll find an abundance of vegetarian options on the menu, including cactus soup, vegetarian arepas and tamales, crispy tostadas, cheesy chile rellenos, hearty burritos, enchiladas, and more.
2548 South 48th Street | Facebook | Options
The Eatery specializes in food that tastes home-cooked in the heart of Lincoln. All the dishes are served in comfortable surroundings and the hospitality is second to none. Vegetarian options on the menu are marked with a green leaf and include a gigantic unlimited salad bar with more than 50 items, flavorful appetizers (the spinach artichoke dip has a glowing reputation), and hearty entrées ranging from pizza to sandwiches and even meatless burgers.
1551 North Cotner Boulevard | Facebook | Options
Photo courtesy of Gratitude Cafe & Bakery
Located on the corner of Cotner Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue, Gratitude Cafe & Bakery is situated in a historic bank building, which adds to the overall charm of the restaurant. Locals flock here for warm, small-batch pastries, fair trade coffee, seasonal meals, and an evening selection of wine and beer. The owner, Kat, is passionate about what she does and serves up every dish with a smile (and a free hug, according to the website). The menu includes plenty of vegan and vegetarian options for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and you’ll find live music on select nights.
601 R Street #100 + 5730 Hidcote Drive | Facebook | Options
The glowing reputation of this Japanese fusion restaurant precedes it. The fresh and flavorful cuisine, modern, inviting space and inventive drinks have earned it a spot among Lincoln’s favorites. Vegetarians can find plenty to satisfy on the menu, including several veggie-focused rolls, tempura, stir-fry, fried rice, lo mein, spicy grilled, flash fried appetizers and more. Stop in on Mondays for half-priced bottles of wine to pair with your meal!
250 North 21st Street, Suite 3 | Facebook | Options
Photo courtesy of Crystal Bock Thiessen via The Hub Cafe
The approach to food is simple at The Hub Cafe. The farmer-owned restaurant sources the best-tasting, freshest ingredients from local producers to inspire creative dishes. The flavors of Nebraska shine through in the breakfast, lunch and brunch menus which all include delicious vegetarian options. A few of our favorites include the squash banh mi, the BBQ pulled oyster mushroom sandwich, the savory breakfast bowl and the hub skillet.
301 North 8th Street | Facebook | Options
Before Leadbelly came to be, owners Michael Martin, Tony Young and Wendy Young envisioned a friendly neighborhood gathering spot with delicious food and drinks—and we think that they have more than accomplished their goal. The contemporary American menu offers a little something for everyone, including a broad range of vegetarian options. Any of the signature burgers can be made with a veggie patty or grilled portobello, and there is also an entire gluten-free menu.
5740 Hidcote Dr | Facebook | Options
At Art & Soul the mission is to make you feel inspired whether you’re in a cooking class, an art class or you’re just enjoying a drink in the wine bar. Their kitchen and wine bar serves a food menu that is entirely made from scratch so they have the freedom to make many of their lunch and dinner items vegetarian, including at least one seasonal, vegetarian soup offered every day.
126 N 14th St + 2662 Cornhusker Hwy | Facebook | Options
Whether you call it Honest Abe’s Burgers and Freedom or simple Honest Abe’s, you’re in for one of the best burgers you’ve ever tasted—especially if you substitute your beef patty with a handcrafted vegan patty for free. They even offer gluten-free and vegan buns so you can get all their signature creations without the animal products.
3947 S 48th St | Facebook | Options
Photo courtesy of Goldenrod Pastries
Home to some of Lincoln’s best pastries and sweet treats, Goldenrod is the best place in town to find handcrafted cakes and pastries. From traditional treats to specially prepared options for vegan, gluten-free and other alternative diets, their menu (and their Instagram) show off beautiful sandwich cookies, donuts, cupcakes, cardamom pound cakes, peach crumble buns and more.
201 North 8th Street + 4101 Pioneer Woods Drive, #110 | Facebook | Options
The Oven allows you to indulge in a variety of dishes from Northern India and Bhutan in a contemporary, inviting space. It’s known as one of the most romantic restaurants in Lincoln due to the quality of the cuisine and the atmosphere, but it’s a great option for any occasion. They offer an entire vegetarian menu that showcases the flavors of the region alongside locally sourced ingredients, and you can pair any of the dishes with a choice from the extensive wine list.
1701 Pine Lake Rd | Facebook | Options
Brought to us from the same team behind Lincoln’s Blue Orchid, Issara Asian Cuisine is where these culinary artists get to venture outside of traditional Thai food to showcase dishes from all over the Asian continent. Including Chinese, Japanese, Korean and plenty of tofu and meat-free options, this is a menu everyone needs to try.
5500 S 56th St | Facebook | Options
Natives to Lincoln, George and Mike Kazas are the sons of first-generation Greek immigrants who ran their own restaurants and a food truck that traveled to festivals and events across the country. Now, George and Mike are continuing the tradition with The Parthenon, Lincoln’s destination for authentic Greek cuisine. Their menu includes items like the Eggplant Pita, Vegetarian Domathes and Vegetarian Pastitsio which cater to vegetarian diets. To find out what Domathes and Pastitsio are, check out the menu.
245 North 13th Street | Facebook | Options
Vegetarians have an entire menu to choose from at Thai Garden—and everything comes with an ample amount of spice and flavor. Choose from vegetarian pepper steaks, tofu dishes, vegetable curries, noodle dishes and more for an at-home delivery or to enjoy in the restaurant.
Share your favorites
In the comments below, let us know where you go for plant-based eats in Lincoln.