By: Samantha Lu, a student at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, as part of Heather Nelson’s Service Learning Academy class.
Omaha has been enriched with many cultural foods and we have now started to spotlight more restaurants that are African American owned and celebrating the food they make. There are many hidden gems around the Omaha area and some very well-known spots that almost everyone has tried already. More restaurant options have been explored and here are some suggestions for your next visit around the Omaha area. During Juneteenth, take the time to support local restaurants that have a rich history in Omaha and explore new taste buds with these famous and great tasting restaurants around North Omaha!
Starting with the most well known restaurant in Omaha for their staple soul food is Big Mama’s Kitchen & Catering located on 30th St. Featured on Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive ins and Dives, Big Mama’s was selected as the 56th best place to chow down in America by the Travel Channel in 2010. Big Mama’s feature on Food Network highlights their fried chicken, spicy afro burger, and pig ears.
Another great restaurant is also the oldest restaurant in Omaha, opened in 1969, Time Out Foods is located at 3518 N 30th St. This place is also well known for their chicken at such great prices. Their crispy and flavorful chicken only cost as low as $3.89 for 2 pieces and you can’t forget about the crispy crinkle fries!
Besides having crispy chicken there are also Cajun and seafood restaurants worth trying nearby. The best food truck driving around the Omaha area is called A Taste of New Orleans. Always check their Facebook page to see their weekly hours and what the new special is! Located inside Ted and Wally’s premium ice cream on Maple, next time you’re near the Benson area try their crispy fish platter and their delicious shrimp po boy with their Who Dat Sauce which is a spicy mayo blend. This place also has beignets to finish the creole experience, a must try.
Another place to get some good fish fry is Lutfi’s Fried Fish. Now with two locations, one on 30th and another on 72nd, Lutfi’s is expanding their great tastes around the Omaha area and is another great place to eat some fried catfish with the whole family. Lutfi’s lemon cake is something worth getting when balancing out the sweet and salty during your stay.
If you’re not looking for a restaurant to eat at, there are also some sweets shops downtown for when you have a sweet tooth craving. While in Omaha during the hot summer days, why not cool down with some ice cream! Mixins Rolled Ice Cream located downtown is the obscure and tasty looking rolled up ice cream that everyone will enjoy! Rolled ice cream has become the new trend and why not try their range of eclectic flavors like the Cookie Monster with blue vanilla rolls topped with chocolate chip cookies, Oreos, Cookie Crisp cereal, Pocky Sticks, and chocolate sauce.
While visiting Omaha during Juneteenth make sure to try out any of the locations listed above and let us know what you think by leaving reviews on Yelp and Facebook for the owners to know what your experience was like. We hope that you come again during the College World Series and visit the Malcolm X Memorial Foundation to celebrate the Juneteenth Holiday.
See Adam Fletcher’s article “History of Businesses Owned By African Americans in Omaha”: Link