12 Unique Restaurants in Nebraska: Monks, Momos, Raccoons, & More

by Jen
Unique Restaurants in Nebraska
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Are you scouting for the quirkiest places to eat in Nebraska? From the historic streets of Lincoln to the vibrant corners of Omaha, here are 12 of Nebraska’s most unique restaurants.

Ever find yourself craving an eating experience that’s a bit out of the ordinary? Well, Nebraska’s got some spots that are anything but run-of-the-mill.

I’ve stumbled upon some incredibly unusual restaurants in Nebraska. Think dining in an ambiance filled with monk-like hospitality, sharing your mealtime with raccoons (yes, you read that right), or soaking in rich African decor while digging into authentic Ethiopian flavors.

These aren’t your everyday restaurants. They’re the kind of places you chat about with friends and remember long after you’ve left. I’m here to spill the beans on the coolest places to eat in Nebraska. Trust me, it’s not every day you come across spots like these!

So, are you ready to check out places where it’s all about awesome eats and the cool, unique vibes they bring, infused with that unmistakable Midwest charm? I’m telling you, these spots are where memories are made, right along with some fantastic meals. Let’s get into it and find those places that you’ll want to tell everyone about (or maybe just keep as your little secret!).

The top restaurants to visit in Nebraska right now

Unusual places to eat in NE

Ready to uncover Nebraska’s best eateries? We’re talking about everything from monastic steakhouses to momo havens. Join me as we delve into the most unique restaurants across the Cornhusker State.

Ever imagined dining among raccoons or inside a converted firehouse right here in Nebraska? Our food scene is bursting with surprises, offering everything from Afghan delights to Wild West saloons. Let’s dig into the most unique places to eat in NE!

1. Brother Sebastian’s Steakhouse

Stepping into Brother Sebastian’s Steakhouse in Omaha feels like you’ve entered a totally different era. Let me tell you, it’s an experience you won’t forget! The vibe here is straight-up monastery chic, with servers dressed in monk robes and Gregorian chants setting the mood as you make your way from the parking lot. The whole setup is designed to mimic a Catholic Monastery.

I had the chance to dine in what they call the Library room, cozied up next to a wall filled with old books. It’s like dining in history – you can even pick up the books, read them, and discover messages left by previous visitors. It adds a whole layer of connection to the experience.

The food is outstanding, too. Start with the salad bar, but make sure you dive into their prime rib steaks. They’re legendary for good reason. Perfectly cooked, seasoned, and just melt-in-your-mouth good.

If you’re looking for fun restaurants in Nebraska, Brother Sebastian’s is a must-visit. I recommend booking a booth in one of the smaller rooms for a more intimate feel. After dinner, Omaha’s night scene is just a short drive away. Head over to the Old Market area, just a short drive from Brother Sebastian’s. It’s bustling with art galleries, shops, and bars.

Brother Sebastian's Steakhouse is one of the unique restaurants in Nebraska.
Brother Sebastian’s Steakhouse is a monastery-themed dining experience with servers in monk robes and Gregorian chants.

2. Nite Owl

If you’re ever in Omaha and looking for a spot that’s dripping with cool, you’ve got to check out Nite Owl. This place nails the retro vibe so well, you half expect to walk in and find yourself in the middle of a classic film. Last time I was there, they had Godzilla on the screen, and it was epic. The décor? Pure vintage gold, which makes you feel like you’ve time-traveled.

Now, let’s talk eats. The Nite Owl burger is legendary. It’s the kind of burger that ruins you for other burgers because nothing else quite stacks up. And if you’re into cocktails, you’re in for a treat. They mix up some of the best in town, perfect for sipping on their cozy outdoor patio. It’s an adults-only kind of place, so the vibe is always just right for chilling with friends.

They keep the doors open and the food and drinks flowing until 2am. It’s the ideal spot for those nights when you just don’t want to go home yet. Honestly, for a night out in Omaha, Nite Owl is a must-visit. Grab a burger, enjoy a cocktail on the patio, and let the retro charm do its thing. It’s easily one of the best places to eat in Nebraska.

For a retro-cool experience, don't miss Nite Owl, where vintage vibes transport you to the golden age of cinema.
For a retro-cool experience, don’t miss Nite Owl, where vintage vibes transport you to the golden age of cinema.

3. Fizzy’s Fountain & Liquors

Diving back into the heart of Omaha’s unique dining scene, let’s chat about Fizzy’s Fountain & Liquors. This spot takes the cake for blending nostalgia with a twist of modern flair. Picture placing your order through a vintage telephone right at your table – yes, it’s as cool and quirky as it sounds.

Now, onto the food. The Wagyu burger here is out of this world. Perfectly seasoned and cooked just right, it’s a standout even among the menu’s delightful array of American classics, all served with a unique, vintage-modern spin. The cocktails are fantastic, too.

If you’re on the hunt for unique places to eat in Nebraska that offer a twist on the dining experience, Fizzy’s Fountain & Liquors is somewhere I highly recommend. It’s the perfect spot to kick off an unforgettable night in Omaha with friends.

Fizzy's in Omaha: nostalgia meets modern with vintage phone orders.
Fizzy’s in Omaha: nostalgia meets modern with vintage phone orders. | Image Source: https://www.yelp.com/

4. Screamers Family Restaurant

Swinging by Screamers Family Restaurant in Lincoln turns a regular meal out into an epic night of entertainment. The servers double as performers, belting out tunes while making sure your dining experience is top-notch. They nail it every time, serving and singing without missing a beat.

If you’ve got kids, you won’t want to miss Tuesday nights. Trust me, the Disney music performances are a hit. It’s a blast for the little ones (and let’s be honest, the adults love it too). It’s not often you find a spot that’s as entertaining for kids as it is for adults.

They’re open to song requests, which really kicks the fun up a notch. There’s something special about the whole restaurant joining in on a song. As for the menu, everything’s delicious, but the Red Velvet cake? It’s a must-try. Hands down, the best I’ve had.

For a meal that comes with a side of lively tunes and a chance to belt out your favorite songs, Screamers has you covered. It stands out as one of those fun places to eat in Nebraska where the energy is infectious, and the food is just as memorable as the music.

At Screamers Family Restaurant, servers double as performers, belting out tunes while ensuring a top-notch dining experience.
At Screamers Family Restaurant, servers double as performers, belting out tunes while ensuring a top-notch dining experience.

5. Alpine Inn

At Alpine Inn in Omaha’s north side, you’re in for a treat that goes way beyond the menu. Sure, the fried chicken here is top-notch – crispy, juicy, and everything you want in fried chicken. Yet, what truly sets this spot apart is its unexpected guests: the raccoons.

This cozy bar, nestled in the woods, doubles as a viewing spot for these furry locals. It’s one of those places where dining comes with a side of wildlife watching. The raccoons, accustomed to the surroundings, put on quite the show. I saw 9 of them when I ate here last summer!

But let’s talk about the main event: the fried chicken. It’s fantastic. Honestly, it’s the kind of meal you’ll be telling your friends about for weeks. Pair that with the laid-back, almost hidden vibe of the bar, and you’ve got yourself an experience that’s hard to find anywhere else.

Without a doubt, the Alpine Inn is one of the coolest restaurants in Nebraska. It’s the perfect blend of great food, unique atmosphere, and, yes, raccoons!

At Alpine Inn, indulge in top-notch fried chicken while being surprised by unexpected guests: raccoons.
At Alpine Inn, indulge in top-notch fried chicken while being surprised by unexpected guests: raccoons.

6. Lalibela Restaurant

Diving into Lalibela Restaurant in Omaha is like embarking on a mini-trip to Ethiopia. The place dishes out some of the most delicious Ethiopian food you can find around here. I went for the combo platter, a vibrant mix of flavors and spices that you scoop up with Injera bread – it’s a feast for the senses.

A heads-up for the adventurous: the green sauce packs a spicy punch, so tread lightly unless you’re a spice fiend. Eating with your hands is part of the experience. In my opinion, it makes the meal feel all the more authentic and communal. It’s different, fun, and something I absolutely recommend diving into headfirst.

The atmosphere at Lalibela adds to the whole vibe. It’s cozy and adorned in Ethiopian style, which makes the dining experience feel genuinely immersive.

One of the best restaurants in Nebraska, Lalibela brings a world of flavor to your table. It’s perfect for a night out with friends who love exploring global cuisines as much as you do. Just remember to come ready to dig in with both hands and an open mind.

At Lalibela Restaurant in Omaha, experience a taste of Ethiopia with delicious Ethiopian cuisine.
At Lalibela Restaurant in Omaha, experience a taste of Ethiopia with delicious Ethiopian cuisine. | Image Source: https://www.yelp.com/

7. Ole’s Big Game Steakhouse & Lounge

Swinging by Ole’s Big Game Steakhouse & Lounge in Paxton feels like stepping into a slice of Nebraska history, mixed with a dash of adventure. Opened in 1933, this place isn’t your average steakhouse. My first visit here was an eye-opener. It’s packed with taxidermy, from a polar bear that commands attention to all sorts of animals showcasing their size and majesty.

The food is just as impressive. I went for the open-face pot roast plate, and let me tell you, it was a hearty feast. The meat was tender, the mashed potatoes were perfectly creamy. The coleslaw added a crisp, fresh touch to round out the meal.

For anyone cruising along I-80, Ole’s is a must-visit spot in the US. If you’re an outdoors enthusiast or simply in it for some excellent food, this place checks all the boxes. It’s certainly one of the most unique Nebraska restaurants, that’s for sure!

At Ole's Big Game Steakhouse & Lounge, experience Nebraska history with taxidermy dating back to 1933.
At Ole’s Big Game Steakhouse & Lounge, experience Nebraska history with taxidermy dating back to 1933.

8. Front Street Steakhouse & Crystal Palace Saloon

Next up on our list of Nebraska’s best restaurants is Front Street Steakhouse & Crystal Palace Saloon in Ogallala. This spot is like a time machine trip to the cowboy era. This place isn’t kidding around with its Wild West vibes, from the decor to the ambiance. Walking in, you feel like you might bump into a cowboy just around the corner.

The museum next door is a hidden gem in the Midwest. It’s filled with pieces of history you won’t stumble upon anywhere else, offering a peek into the past that’s both fascinating and a bit mysterious.

When I grabbed lunch here, I went for the Guacamole Cheddar Bacon Burger. It was delicious. Paired with green beans and bacon, it was the kind of meal that makes you plan your next visit before you’ve even left. And the ambiance? With live shows on the stage, it’s like dinner and a movie had a Wild West baby.

Swinging by Front Street Steakhouse & Crystal Palace Saloon turns a meal into an epic throwback adventure. So, if you’re roaming through Nebraska and hunger strikes, this is your spot. Great for laughs, amazing bites, and a dash of cowboy cool.

Front Street Steakhouse & Crystal Palace Saloon: a Wild West time machine where you might just bump into a cowboy.
Front Street Steakhouse & Crystal Palace Saloon: a Wild West time machine where you might just bump into a cowboy. | Image Source: https://www.yelp.com/

9. Fattoush Restaurant

As someone who loves Middle Eastern cuisine, I can’t recommend Fattoush Restaurant in Lincoln highly enough. Every time I’m in town, this spot is my go-to for a taste of the Middle East that’s just spot on. Seriously, it’s like discovering Nebraska’s best-kept secret for Shawarma and more.

The baba ganoush is out of this world. I’m talking about the kind of dish you daydream about long after you’ve eaten it. And from the looks of the always-busy line and the staff’s comments about running out of food, I’m not the only one who thinks this place is a goldmine.

If you’re craving authentic Arab food, Fattoush should be at the top of your list. Just a tip: get there early if you can. With food this good, it’s no surprise they’re often swamped. Trust me, it’s worth the hustle for the best Shawarma and baba ganoush in town.

For Middle Eastern cuisine lovers, Fattoush Restaurant in Lincoln is a must-visit spot.
For Middle Eastern cuisine lovers, Fattoush Restaurant in Lincoln is a must-visit spot. | Image Source: http://www.fattoush.restaurant/

10. Engine House Cafe

Looking for the best breakfast restaurants in Nebraska? Check out the Engine House Cafe in Lincoln. This old fire station turned eatery has vibes that are off-the-charts cool. From the moment you walk in, you’re surrounded by firefighter memorabilia, giving you a peek into the life of a hero while you munch.

I swung by twice because, honestly, once just wasn’t enough. First up, I tackled the biscuits and gravy with egg and sausage – talk about starting your day off right. It was so good that I had to make a second trip. On that visit, I dove into the breakfast burrito, and let me tell you, it somehow managed to top the biscuits and gravy.

This place is a gem for anyone looking for unique places in Nebraska to eat, especially if breakfast is your jam. Catching up with friends over a hearty meal in such a quirky setting? Count me in. Just a friendly heads-up: it might get busy, so swinging by early could save you some wait time.

For the best breakfast in Nebraska, head to Engine House Cafe in Lincoln.
For the best breakfast in Nebraska, head to Engine House Cafe in Lincoln.

11. Shahen Afghan Restaurant

At Shahen Afghan Restaurant in Omaha, you’re in for a treat that’s a world away. This place serves up Afghani dishes that are rich in taste and generous in portion. It’s one of Nebraska’s hidden gems, that’s for sure.

We dove into a feast with the Dopyeza leading the charge – hands down, our table’s champion. The Chicken Kabob, Shami Kabob, and Chapli Kabob followed, each bringing its own mix of spices that were aromatic without setting your mouth on fire. The portions? You won’t leave hungry, believe me.

If you’re a tea lover, do yourself a favor and try their green tea. It’s the perfect soothing end to a flavorful meal. For anyone searching for unique restaurants in Omaha with a dash of international flair, Shahen Afghan Restaurant is your spot. Great for a dinner out with friends or family when you’re all craving something a little different but utterly delicious.

At Shahen Afghan Restaurant, indulge in a world away with rich Afghani dishes, generous in portion and taste.
At Shahen Afghan Restaurant, indulge in a world away with rich Afghani dishes, generous in portion and taste. | Image Source: https://www.yelp.com/

12. Kathmandu Momo Station

I found a spot in Omaha that’s all about bringing a taste of Nepal right to our doorstep. Kathmandu Momo Station inside the Inner Rail Food Hall is where it’s at for anyone who’s got a thing for momos. The chicken fried momos are as amazing as they sound – crunchy on the outside, packed with flavor on the inside.

They offer plenty of other choices, including Nepalese soups and ramen. The variety here is fantastic, which makes it a great place to explore if you’re keen on warming up with something a bit different.

Kathmandu Momo Station stands out as one of the coolest places to eat in NE, especially for those who love exploring international cuisine. Next time you’re in Omaha, do yourself a favor and check it out. Perfect for a casual meetup with friends or a quick, flavorful lunch that transports you right to the streets of Kathmandu.

Kathmandu Momo Station is one of the unique restaurants in Nebraska.
At Kathmandu Momo Station, savor authentic Nepalese flavors, especially their incredible chicken fried momos.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the quirkiest restaurants in Nebraska

Are you searching for more information about where to eat in Nebraska? Here are some common questions (and answers) I get asked a lot about Nebraska’s most unique restaurants.

What food is Nebraska famous for?

Nebraska’s famous for its amazing steaks. Thanks to all the corn here, the beef is super tasty. And don’t forget about the corn itself – it’s super sweet and delicious.

What is the Nebraska State sandwich?

The Nebraska State sandwich is the bierock. It’s filled with beef, cabbage, onions, and seasonings, all wrapped up in dough. It’s hearty and flavorful.

Nebraska State's Bierocks.
Nebraska State’s Bierocks. | Image Source: https://eatwheat.org/

Is Omaha a foodie city?

Yes, Omaha loves food. It’s got everything from old-school steakhouses to cool new spots. It’s a great place for anyone who loves to eat.

What is a fun weird fact about Nebraska?

Here’s a fun weird fact: Nebraska is home to Carhenge, a replica of England’s Stonehenge made entirely from vintage cars. It’s as quirky as it gets, blending art, history, and a bit of roadside Americana in the most unexpected way, making it one of the top places to live and visit in the Midwest.

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