The Deets on Lincoln Eats
by Tyler Thomas, Co-Founder/Managing Editor of NebraskaFoodie.com
Small plates stacked high and carafes of house made sangria are topped off from the tap at the bar. Sitting in the corner, nibbling on spicy green beans we watch the open prep kitchen prepare tapas for a large group. As servers pass, we see large bowls of hazelnut brussel sprouts, chorizo smoked gouda mac and cheese and fresh Nebraska beef skewers. These are a few of the tapas-style items served at Lincoln’s Sebastians’s Table – a Spanish-style tapas restaurant owned by local chefs and restaurateurs.
Lincoln is currently in the midst of a restaurant renaissance and Sebastian’s Table is one of many new local restaurants that has popped up across the capital city by chefs turned entrepreneurs. These chefs, with no lack of creativity in the kitchen, are showing off what inspires them by sharing their culinary perspective and diners are reaping the reward.
From traditional American fare to Asian specialties and jazzed up bar food, each is working to dominate the Lincoln food scene. And no matter what you’re craving, what time you’re eating or how big your group is, there is a local Lincoln gem waiting to arouse your taste buds.
Here are a few of the must tries:
Vega A concert venue that serves “haute” dogs with exotic toppings (“Big in Japan” features a panko-encrusted dog and toasted nori!) Stop by for one of the crowd favorites or build your own and enjoy a concert while you’re at it. | 350 Canopy St. Suite 220 (second floor)
LeadBelly Housed in an old train car this contemporary American restaurant serves spiced up pub food including famous Leadbelly sandwiches. Did someone say “Raspberry Beret”? | 301 North 8th St.
Yia Yia’s Pizza Pizza inspired by global toppings is served alongside ice-cold beer (over 375 different bottled beers). Each slice of pizza pie is made fresh and served with a hunk of freshly baked bread. Be sure to ask for a side of red or green pesto, you won’t be sorry. | 1423 O St.
Henry’s On South Lincoln’s premier bistro tucked away in a popular neighborhood serves up a solid menu of European bites and has an extensive wine list. Be sure to make a reservation and save room for dessert! | 2110 Winthrop Road
Honest Abe’s Burgers and Freedom “The Last Burger You Will Ever Want.” Abe’s features a rotating menu of burger masterpieces from the Ground UP Restaurants group and they know a thing or two about how to make a burger taste like a million bucks. Add on an order of Freedom Fries and you will never feel more patriotic. | 854 North 70th St.
Banhwich Café If you only try one restaurant while visiting Lincoln, Banhwich is the place. This Vietnamese sandwich shop is serving up traditional Banh Mi sandwiches with big flavor, fast service and killer prices. Add an egg to any of the sandwiches and you have the perfect breakfast sandwich. | 940 North 26th St., Suite 201
Amu Manu Ramen Bar The Ramen craze is hitting the coasts and it’s making a big splash in Lincoln too. Amu Manu is redefining a college staple with fresh, made in-house hearty ingredients that are sure to warm the soul. | 1451 O St.
The Sultan’s Kite Mediterranean food at its finest, Sultan’s Kite serves up staples chicken shawarma, Greek gyros and falafel available in any of four styles and topped with any of the three homemade sauces. Enjoy it in the small space restaurant or take it to go and enjoy in a downtown green space. | 1311 O St.
Yami Korean Lincoln’s first Korean restaurant serves up traditional Korean bibimbap in a sizzling hot stone bowl and succulent Korean bbq short ribs. Start your meal with fried wontons and you have a great appetizer to share. | 2840 South 70th St.
The Doughnut Hole The perfect morning kick-starter. Fresh, fried and delicious, the Doughnut Hole creates classic-flavored doughnuts and pushes the envelope with unique flavors like PB&J, maple bacon long johns and chocolate doughnuts filled with peanut butter and Rice Krispy topped treats.
| 350 Canopy St., Suite 120
Ivanna Cone This eccentric handmade (yes, handmade) ice cream shop is family-owned and operated and features classic and unique flavors served by the scoop all year round. It’s a must try Lincoln staple, but be sure to bring cash or check (it’s all they take). | 701 P St.
The Cookie Company Whether you’re looking for an afternoon pick-me or sweet snack, the Cookie Company is sure to deliver. Be sure to try the Nebraska Haystack, Chocolate OD or the classic Monster Cookie. | 138 North 12th St.
Sasquatch Bakery American Baked Goodness ranging from outrageous cookies, crispies and dessert bars to classic “cake in a jar.” These treats will get your blood sugar pumping and your taste buds kicking. | 70th & Vine
Wash it Down
What’s a meal without a refreshing drink to wash it down? While the restaurants are filling your belly, a number of Lincoln bars are mixing up classic cocktails, plus one local brewery is redefining the “taproom” experience.
The Other Room This prohibition style speakeasy is small, quaint and serves killer craft cocktails. Be on the lookout for the green light (that’s how you know they’re open) and bring paper currency (it’s cash only). | 500 Sun Valley Boulevard
Compadre’s Tequila Bar Serving over 100 different tequilas, and several homemade, infused tequilas, Compadre’s makes a delicious margarita and if you’re feeling a little risky, be sure to try the tequila wheel. | 1320 O St.
Zipline Brewing A craft beer brewery making a range of local craft beers available at many area restaurants and in their taproom. Zipline steps up their hospitality with weekly group tours of their brewing process and they host a number of beer-centered events. | 2100 Magnum Circle #1
Zen’s Lounge A twist on classic cocktails in a modern space with a comfortable ambiance, it’s a perfect space for larger groups. | 122 N 11th St.
Bin 105 Sample terroir-driven wines made by independent producers served by the ounce or by the bottle. The small wine studio has a low-key atmosphere and art gallery, which makes for a wonderful afternoon sipping wine and trying local cheeses in the heart of the Haymarket. | 105 North 8th St.
Whether you’re visiting Lincoln for the first time or you’re one of the locals, Lincoln restaurants promise to keep you well fed and your taste buds will be in a constant state of happiness, we promise.