Also known as “Hartford of the West” and “Husker City,” among other names, Lincoln, Nebraska, is one destination you don’t want to miss out on during your trip through the Central United States. It stands as the state’s capital and second-most populous city.
In addition, many visitors tend to gravitate to its bustling attractions, including its parks, live music venues, art museums, and zoos. There are also several cultural events occurring every season.
Are you looking for somewhere to eat during your stay? Thankfully, Lincoln is a thriving hub for food-lovers.
While there are several international options available in each of the city’s neighborhoods, steak and Vietnamese cuisine are among the most prominent you can find. But, this might beg one question: where can I find the best ones?
I created this list of the best restaurants in Lincoln to help you narrow down your best dining options throughout the day so you can book some reservations ahead of time before every table is taken.
330 S 10th St, Lincoln, NE 68508
The first of the top restaurants in Lincoln that I recommend checking out is The Green Gateau, located on South 10th Street.
It has a casual yet elegant air, perfect for sampling the city’s finest French and American dishes prepared by Executive Chef and Owner Eric Lemke. They also have a few private dining rooms for special parties.
In my opinion, their best dinner options are Tenderloin Au Poivre Fettuccine, Crab Crusted Salmon, Crêpes Cordon Bleu Casserole, and Bacon Butter Filet.
Be sure to ask your server for a refreshing Italian Cream Soda, Crafted Cold Brew, or Gateau Strawberry & Apricot Iced Tea with any dish.
201 N 8th St #201, Lincoln, NE 68508
Next up on the list of the best restaurants in Lincoln is The Oven, found on North 8th Street, in the heart of the Downtown District, by the Graduate Lincoln Hotel.
Despite its rustic look, this Northern Indian restaurant is quite refined in nature. They also have an outdoor patio with an excellent view of the Haymarket and a refreshing atmosphere for enjoying Nebraska’s fresh air.
If you’re interested in trying something new, consider ordering their Tandoori Shrimp, Lamb Vindaloo, Chicken Tikka Makhani, or Navratan Biryani.
Don’t forget to pair your meal with a glass of pineapple juice or fresh Lassi. They also have several vegetarian meal options.
808 R St, Lincoln, NE 68508
Another Lincoln restaurant in the Historic Haymarket is Blue Sushi Sake Grill, located on the corner of R Street and North 8th Street.
This casual restaurant serves tasty sushi and Japanese fare that you can enjoy alone or with your friends. You can also create your own sushi box for a more personalized dining experience.
During my last visit to this restaurant, I got half off their premium cold sake on Tuesday. I recommend sampling their Mango Crab Rangoon, Truffle Salmon Sashimi, Chicken Crunch Salad, or Hawaiian Roll.
They also offer several gluten-free menu options and vegan maki. I prefer ordering my food with a Dragon Fruit Lemonade.
1100 E O St, Lincoln, NE 68508
The best place to enjoy a meal after watching a movie at Marcus Lincoln Grand Cinema is Dish Restaurant, nestled on the corner of East O Street and North 11th Street.
It has a sleek and modern atmosphere for enjoying elevated seasonal New American cuisine in the city’s Downtown neighborhood.
After starting with their Vanilla-Sesame Brioche, I prefer ordering Miso Seared Salmon, Maple-Tamari Braised Short Ribs, or Smoked Salmon with Potato Tostones.
Their best cocktails are Cherry Bomb, City Sidewalks, and The Booster. You can also stop in on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for their brunch specials, including Sausage + Egg Sliders.
With locations on North 7th Street in the Haymarket and Old Cheney Road, Lazlo’s Brewery & Grill is an excellent option for American comfort food and seasonal beers.
This casual brewpub offers scratch-made dishes every day to make any afternoon or night in Lincoln more exciting for food lovers.
Try their signature Rainbow Chicken, Prime Rib, Shoulda Woulda Gouda Burger, or Crispy Chicken Wrap with a side of sweet potato fries or apple sauce.
Don’t forget to order an Elderflower Fizz, Dark Side Vanilla Porter, or Chocolate Milk to give your meal a unique flavor kick. They also offer a gluten-free menu.
301 N 8th St, Lincoln, NE 68508
If you prefer a casual dining setting, consider booking your next reservation at LeadBelly on North 8th Street.
They serve some of the best burgers and sandwiches in the Historic Haymarket, offering a cozy yet lively setting for anyone to relax while enjoying the tastiest dishes.
After starting with their Classic Poutine or Philly Egg Rolls, I recommend ordering their French Onion Flat Iron, Fish & Chips, Full-Leaded Jacket Burger, or Prime Rib Cheesesteak. You can also LeadBelly burger with your choice of a patty and topping combos.
Consider trying their Peanut Butter Fudge Cake if you want to treat yourself after dinner.
808 P St, Lincoln, NE 68508
Are you in the mood for Italian food? If so, look no further than Vincenzo’s Ristorante, located on P Street, across the street from the Graduate Lincoln Hotel.
It has a refined yet cozy old-school atmosphere. Their award-winning menu is the talk of the Haymarket area for locals and tourists alike.
Vincenzo’s menu rotates frequently, so be sure to come back often to try everything. After ordering a tasty Lemon Drop, Beach Blanket, or Vincenzo’s Chocolate Martini cocktails, indulge in their Baked Lombardi, Chicken Soto, Baked Manicotti, or Salmon Ala Rosa.
They also offer a wide selection of pizza, Tuscan flatbreads, and gluten-free menu options.
200 N 11th St, Lincoln, NE 68508
If you’re eager to try a signature Lincoln steak, stop by Misty’s Steakhouse & Brewery for a bustling night out. It’s on North 11th Street, by The Kindler Hotel.
Besides steak, this restaurant offers delicious surf & turf and home-brewed beer if you’re looking for some menu variety when dining out.
I recommend starting with their crab cakes or buffalo wings and trying their Husker Wagyu, Queen Cut Prime Rib, Lobster Mac & Cheese, or Chicken Bruschetta with fresh fruit, garlic bread, or onion rings on the side.
I prefer ordering Misty’s fresh roasted coffee or brewed tea for a subtle flavor blend.
803 Q St Ste 150, Lincoln, NE 68508
One of the best restaurants in Lincoln that I recommend for dining out with the family is Screamers Dining and Cabaret on Q Street, a few blocks away from Bill Harris Iron Horse Park.
It has an intimate ambiance, tasty menu options for the kids, and live music performances on a cabaret stage that guarantees a fun night out.
Don’t miss out on their Chicken Finger Dinner, Garlic Chicken Penne, Screamers Twin Burgers, or Seared Salmon with a side of whipped potatoes, curly fries, or green beans.
If you have room for dessert, ask for their Root Beer Float, Red Velvet Cake, or Peanut Butter Turtle Cheesecake.
7701 Pioneers Blvd, Lincoln, NE 68506
Momo Pizzeria & Ristorante is a chic and upscale eatery on Pioneers Boulevard. Chef Jonah King creates scratch-made dishes with a wood-fired stone hearth oven that exceeds your taste buds’ expectations.
Their modern take on classic Italian fare and signature cocktails guarantee an immersive dining experience for anyone who visits.
When I booked my last dinner reservation here, I had their Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes, Naked Capellini, and Fire-Roasted Cedar Salmon.
They also have an extensive international wine list to enhance your dishes. I also recommend their Lobster & Shrimp Hollandaise Pizza.
Then, finish your night right with their sweet tiramisu, bread pudding, or salted caramel gelato.
6028 Havelock Ave, Lincoln, NE 68507
Nestled in a former fire station, Engine House Cafe is an excellent option for anyone passing through the Havelock neighborhood interested in breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
You can find it on Havelock Avenue, near Joyo Theater. It has a casual atmosphere, emphasized by its wood and brick backdrop and traditional American diner fare.
I’m a fan of their Chicken Finger Basket, Nebraska Classic Reuben, BBQ Burger, and Ribeye with a side of fries or cottage cheese.
However, if you prefer coming in for breakfast, try their Hash Browns & Gravy or Smoked Chicken Fajita. Depending on the season, I prefer ordering these dishes with raspberry lemonade or hot chocolate.
2785 S 17th St, Lincoln, NE 68502
After spending a nice afternoon at Irvingdale Park, why not unwind with some hearty French cuisine at The Normandy?
You can find this informal eatery on the corner of South 17th Street and Van Dorn Street. Every day, their set menu changes, so you’re encouraged to stop by throughout the week to sample their best dishes.
During my last trip to Lincoln, I had their Tomato Jam Canape, Seared Salmon Beurre Blanc on Parmesan Risotto, and Creme Brulee.
If you book a date night, you can get a discount on their appetizers, entrees, and dessert. Don’t forget to browse through their wine and spirits list.
4111 Pioneer Woods Dr Ste 100, Lincoln, NE 68506
You can find Venue Restaurant & Lounge on Pioneer Woods Drive, minutes from Holmes Lake Park.
It has a stylish vibe and offers quality farm-to-table New American fare created by Executive Chef Spilker. In addition, they also host several special events, including annual multi-course cocktail and wine dinners.
In my opinion, you should start with their Black & Bleu Steak Tips and order their Bourbon Peach and Pork Pizza, Balsamic Salmon, Prime Sirloin, or Three by the Sea as your main meal.
Be sure to book your dinner on Monday for their all-day happy hour or Wednesday for 25% off wine bottles.
5500 S 56th St # 8, Lincoln, NE 68516
Are you having trouble finding any restaurants in Lincoln offering quality Greek cuisine? If so, look no further than The Parthenon for your daily cravings. You can find it on South 56th Street, within the Edgewood Shopping Center.
This warm and casual eatery offers a wide selection of vegetarian-friendly Greek fare. They also have an outdoor terrace open during the summer if you love open-air dining.
I like their Chicken Gyro Platter, Dolmathes, Pork Souvlaki, and Santorini Pizza. In addition, I prefer ordering these options with a side of Greek fries, rice pilaf, or hummus. They also offer several brunch options every Sunday.
247 N 8th St Ste 101, Lincoln, NE 68508
Nestled on North 8th Street, in the Historic Haymarket, stands Buzzard Billy’s, a lively restaurant specializing in Cajun and Creole dishes.
The New Orleans-style decor makes it stand out from the other local eateries in the area. It’s also close to several parks and stadiums if you’re interested in eating before going to a sports game, along with a covered patio.
In my opinion, their best dishes are Bayou Bourbon Wings, Brisket Mac & Cheese, Shrimp Creole, and Alligator Grand Chenier.
However, I prefer their Po’Boys and Cajun Cowboy Burger. Don’t forget to simmer down your meal with a Strawberry Margarita and Apples Foster.
737 P St, Lincoln, NE 68508
Are you interested in trying a different approach to Lincoln’s best steaks? Then, stop by Rodizio Grill Brazilian Steakhouse Lincoln for a unique dining experience.
It’s on P Street, in the hear of the Haymarket. Enjoy Brazilian meats sliced at your table in this casual and rustic dinner and weekend brunch destination.
Their mouth-watering Frango Com Bacon, Picanha, Linguiça, and Cordeiro are among their most popula grilled rodizio menu options.
I enjoy them with a side of Bananas Fritas. If that’s not your style, you’re free to enjoy their gourmet salads. Don’t forget to ask your server about their go-to choices on their Brazilian specialty drink list.
129 N 10th St #111, Lincoln, NE 68508
Overlooking North 10th Street, inside the Grand Manse, is Blue Orchid Thai Restaurant, a classy, high-ceilinged eatery offering traditional Thai dishes just west of the Downtown District.
I recommend booking dinner here if you can’t find any restaurants offering vegetarian-friendly options. They also have a spacious outdoor patio for dining on clear nights.
I prefer ordering their Ginger and Garlic Salad, Panag Curry, Drunken Noodles, or Lamb Massaman with steamed rice.
Don’t miss out on their Pink Grapefruit Juice, Thai Iced Coffee, or Pineapple Basil Martini if you want to order one of the spicier items on Blue Orchid’s menu.
5750 S 86th St #6053, Lincoln, NE 68526
You can find FireWorks Restaurant on South 86th Street, by Billy Wolff Trail. It has a casual atmosphere and offers a wide selection of tasty wood-fired burgers, sandwiches, steaks, and other dinnertime favorites.
Its wood and brick interior give it a natural feel. Additionally, they have several private dining areas, including an all-season patio.
If you love international food, they’ve got plenty to choose from. I recommend sampling their Miso Salmon, Bourbon Street Chicken, Rotisserie Chicken Salad Sandwich, or Philly Cheesesteak Pasta.
Be sure to stop by on the weekdays for happy hour and try a Screw This or Bubbly Bouquet cocktail.
201 N 7th St #107, Lincoln, NE 68508
If you’re planning a date during your stay in the city, one of the best restaurants in Lincoln I recommend for a perfect night is JTK Cuisine & Cocktails.
You can find it on North 7th Avenue, in the Lincoln Station Grand Hall. This restaurant’s refined, train station-themed setting makes it unique for indulging in New American cuisine and fine wines.
I love starting with their Parmesan Truffle Fries or Caprese when having dinner with my friends.
Then, I typically order their Bacon Wagyu Burger, Pesto Chicken Gnocchi, Pork Schnitzel, or Cavatappi Pasta. They also offer a three-course fixed-price date night dinner for two.
141 N 9th St, Lincoln, NE 68508
Nestled inside the Graduate Lincoln Hotel, Single Barrel is your best option for steaks near the Haymarket area.
In this lively and rustic destination, Chef Brandon Harpster creates masterful Angus beef dishes for all to enjoy.
It also offers weekend brunch, live music, and over 200 bourbons to enjoy if you’re here to dine while watching sports on TV.
Their Pulled Pork Sandwich, PB&J Chop, Steak Oscar, and Butter Roasted NY Strip offer a flavorful sensation you don’t want to miss.
Be sure to stop by their bar and ask for their most popular bourbons, cocktails, and whiskeys. Additionally, the bar’s open for late-night crowds on the weekends.
1311 S 11th St, Lincoln, NE 68502
Are you interested in dining somewhere close to the Nebraska State Capitol building? Then, consider booking a reservation at Pepe’s Bistro, found on South 11th Street.
It’s a casual setting serving quality Mexican fare that anyone following a vegetarian lifestyle can enjoy. They always use the freshest, local seasonal ingredients when crafting their dishes.
Pepe’s Bistro has a rotating menu that changes every day. During my last visit to Lincoln, I had their Pico De Gallo, Taco Bowl, and Chile Verde Enchiladas.
Be sure to add a side of black beans or guacamole and a thirst-quenching cucumber lemonade with your order.
126 N 14th St, Lincoln, NE 68508
Don’t know where to eat in Lincoln after spending a day at the Nebraska History Museum? Then, stop by North 14th Street and dine at Honest Abe’s – Downtown.
This casual spot has succulent burgers you can find Downtown. It’s a great option if you’re looking for something quick to eat with the family.
In my opinion, their best burgers are Tijuana Tango, Goron’s Ruby, Hammer of Thor, and 1809. If you don’t fancy burgers, they offer several salad options.
Don’t forget to try their Parmesan Truffle Tots or Blazing Saddle Loaded Fries as a side with BBQ or ranch sauce. After that, cool down with a signature shake.
4747 Pioneers Blvd, Lincoln, NE 68506
Overlooking Pioneers Boulevard is Copal, a casual Mexican restaurant south of Union College. It’s an excellent place to spend most of the week if you’re in the mood for a fajita, margarita, or beer. Their menu’s variety appeals to anyone who loves new takes on traditional Mexican fare.
If you want something different to start with, try their Shrimp Nachos or Duck Tamales. After that, choose their Arepas, Creamy Tomato Enchiladas, Carne Asada, or Mixed Fajita with a side of fries or mac & cheese.
Do you want something sweet to balance out the spiciness? Then, finish off with their flan or churros.
601 P St Ste 105, Lincoln, NE 68508
Located on P Street in the Historic Haymarket, HopCat is your best destination for excellent comfort pub fare and sampling their extensive beer list.
It has a lively atmosphere, emphasized by its rustic yet sleek interior design. They’re open every day from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., so you don’t have to worry about missing out when it gets late.
I love their Madtown Grilled Cheese, Mahi-Mahi Tacos, Bar Zee DBL Smash Burger, and shareable Pretzel Nuggz, especially when paired with a Bourbon Bramble cocktail. Be sure to stop by on Thursdays from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. for their Night Cap drink deals or on the weekends for brunch.
6200 O St, Lincoln, NE 68510
The final place I recommend on my list of the best restaurants in Lincoln is Granite City Food & Brewery, located on O Street, near Gateway Mall.
This casual chain eatery is the perfect place to enjoy tasty American comfort fare after a long week of touring the city’s attractions or a busy day of work. In addition, they brew craft beers on-site daily to ensure the flavors.
I enjoy ordering their Chicken Pot Pie or Buffalo Mac & Cheese with a Blueberry Long Island cocktail whenever I stop by for dinner.
You can also stop by on the weekdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. for their Mix & Match half sandwich, soup, salad, and pasta specials.
As you can see, there are plenty of places to eat in Lincoln if you’re interested in trying something new or introducing your friends to a new take on a familiar dish.
Hopefully, my list can help you beat the dinner rush and try as many dishes as possible, no matter how long you stay in the city.
Did I miss any of your favorite restaurants on this list? Comment below so I can check out their specials.
- The Green Gateau
- The Oven
- Blue Sushi Sake Grill
- Dish Restaurant
- Lazlo’s Brewery & Grill
- Vincenzo’s Ristorante
- Misty’s Steakhouse & Brewery
- Screamers Dining and Cabaret
- Momo Pizzeria & Ristorante
- Engine House Cafe
- The Normandy
- Venue Restaurant & Lounge
- The Parthenon
- Buzzard Billy’s
- Rodizio Grill Brazilian Steakhouse Lincoln
- Blue Orchid Thai Restaurant
- FireWorks Restaurant
- JTK Cuisine & Cocktails
- Single Barrel
- Pepe’s Bistro
- Honest Abe’s – Downtown
- Granite City Food & Brewery
This page may contain affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, we'll earn a small commission, at no additional cost to you.