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Top 5 Vegetarian Restaurants in Omaha

Vegetarian/vegan options that go beyond a plate of greens
Best Vegetarian Restaurants in Omaha
Published on March 8, 2010 : 11 comments

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Vegetarians and vegans expect more than a plate of greens and a smile these days—they get hungry, too!

Whether it’s traditionally healthy ethnic cuisine, or restaurants that cater specifically to a veggie clientele, diners demand affordable vegetarian meals that are meat free from beginning to end, not ones with a hole where the beef used to be.

These Omaha vegetarian restaurants will fill you up affordably so you don’t feel like you missed your meal.

Criteria: Taste, ingredient quality, unique atmosphere, menu variety, affordability

1. McFoster’s Natural Kind Cafe

"Organic farmers put out major vegetarian menu"

McFoster’s is an eccentric Midtown staple, a product of organic farming owners and fiercely loyal employees (who were usually patrons first). Styled as a hippie hangout (they regularly host readings and movie nights), McFoster’s menu—six pages of vegan sandwiches, salads, entrees, smoothies, and sides, with a dash of free range chicken and fresh seafood—is either daunting or delightful, depending on your perspective. Prices come in just a little higher than we’d like (from $6.95 for a 1/2 sandwich to $13.95 for a full entrée), but you won’t find a more varied vegetarian meal in town.

2. Blue Planet Natural Grill

"Fast food that’s fine for healthy people"

Born out of a desire to reduce the amount deep of fat frying, preservatives, corn syrup, and chemicals found in most fast food, Blue Planet focuses on healthy eats with a bio-business plan to match (use of biodegradables, recycling, water conservation etc.) Though not strictly vegetarian food, they offer plenty of options: veggie burgers abound, backed up by sandwiches/wraps, pasta dishes, and preservative free pizza (most items, $6.99 to $8.99). Breakfast, too! Friendly to bicyclists (so says Sarah of Greenstreet Cycles), purveyors of both Happy Hour and reverse Happy Hour, and one of the few gluten free restaurants in Omaha, check ‘em out!

3. Amsterdam Falafel & Kabob

"Europe + the Middle East meet in Dundee, delicious results"

Amsterdam Thumbs UpAmsterdam Thumbs UpThere aren’t too many restaurants whose entire menu could be laid out in a few turns of Scrabble: falafel, kabob, fries, hummus plate, and…that’s about it. By our count, that makes Amsterdam 75% vegetarian and 100% delicious (sorry kabob). Amsterdam’s cozy Dundee confines get pleasantly packed during busy hours, but the food comes out fresh, and they’ll deliver if you live within biking distance. Open late, super cheap ($4.50 Hummus plate, $5.25 falafel), and owners of the sweetest silk screens in town (props to Bemis Press)!

4. Mother India

"Little Leavenworth restaurant offers big taste, low prices"

India is a sprawling, but Mother India is small. Really small. Just the way you’d want to find a family-owned, neighborhood-based, food-comes-first restaurant. Some have said the service could be better, and when things get busy, maybe they’re right, but no one complains about the food: priced fairly (almost nothing is more than $10) and portioned well, this is simply some of the most delicious Indian food in town, with all the vegetarian options Indian cuisine is known for and a flavor that’s as authentic as it gets.

5. Bangkok Cuisine

"Farnam eatery is full of flavor, if you can find it"

Not as well known as some other, larger Omaha Thai restaurants, Bangkok Cuisine delivers where it matters: taste and value (notice a theme with our selections?). Like many Asian cuisines, Thai food has great vegetarian options, from Fried Tofu ($3.49) to a lengthy list of noodle dishes and curries. Nothing on the menu is over 8 bucks, and while some might say that the décor matches the prices, we prefer to think of it authentic Thai, right here in Omaha. It’s spicy and delicious. Plus their chicken and seafood options are great for those seeking a vegetarian restaurant that also suits a non-veggie crowd. Parking can be difficult, and even finding it has challenged some, but that’s part of the fun, right?

Brunch at McFostersBrunch at McFoster’s

jordyAn Omaha.net writer since 2008, Jordy freely admits he's waiting for his golden parachute "anxiously." He microblogs @jordyclements + macroblogs jordyclements.com

Comments

Leia Brown (not verified) says:

March 10, 2010 : 6 years 28 weeks ago

Leia Brown's picture

Thanks for the article! I have a couple new restaurants to check out!

jordy says:

March 10, 2010 : 6 years 28 weeks ago

jordy's picture

Deliciousness abounds! And the best part is, they’re all on the cheaper side. Perfect for epicurean explorations…

Kevin Reiner (not verified) says:

March 11, 2010 : 6 years 28 weeks ago

Kevin Reiner's picture

Don’t forget Ahmad’s?

jordy says:

March 11, 2010 : 6 years 28 weeks ago

jordy's picture

Ahmad’s is certainly a fine restaurant, but there will never be room for all. I think the decision there came down to price: Ahmad’s is in a different price bracket than the other places featured. We actually interviewed Ahmad a while back. What a friendly guy! Look for that soon…and thanks for reading!

Erin (not verified) says:

March 13, 2010 : 6 years 28 weeks ago

Erin's picture

I gotta say, I’ve been disappointed with Mother India’s vegetarian dishes (frozen-like veggies, undercooked chickpeas, kinda bland overall) and would rather go out west to the Taj (for something in the same price range). Also, I’d suggest Ethiopian Restaurant’s vegetarian plate. Sakura Bana has a really nice vegetarian udon as well as a pretty good selection of vegetarian sushi (more than just “veggie roll”). Victor’s has a good falafel plate.

jordy says:

March 13, 2010 : 6 years 28 weeks ago

jordy's picture

Those are all wonderful suggestions. I think Taj especially is pretty popular with vegetarians. Will definitely have to try to Ethiopian Restaurant soon. I’ve had Ethiopian food in Washington, DC and Boston, but never here. It’s sneaky good: you never think to go there, but always come away totally satisfied.

stephen (not verified) says:

March 15, 2010 : 6 years 28 weeks ago

stephen's picture

A better title for this article would be “Vegetarian Navigation Through Omaha Restaurants” as Omaha does not have a true vegetarian restaurant and hasn’t since the vegetarian buffet on 10th Street closed. I echo the comments re: Mother India and I’ve seen blatant health code violations there. I’ll never go back there.

jordy says:

March 15, 2010 : 6 years 28 weeks ago

jordy's picture

Admittedly, there are no true vegetarian/vegan restaurants (i.e. places that are completely free of animal products), but the idea is to give someone new in town, or a local looking for a new adventure, a few places to start. As for Mother India, I’m never seen it myself, so I can’t comment. Thanks for reading, though, Stephen.

Anonymous (not verified) says:

March 16, 2010 : 6 years 28 weeks ago

Anonymous's picture

Just about every restaurant has something vegetarian, not so much plant-based protein options, but the point is to eat organic- no chemicals and rich in nutrients. The ONLY place for this selection is McFoster’s- in the growing season, the food actually comes from their own personally cared for gardens- all raised beds- it is an amazing thing and very rare! And, they have the most comfortable atmosphere, as well. We go there frequently! I think Blue Planet may have some higher quality food, but do not know the details. WE NEED MORE ORGANIC RESTAURANTS in Omaha. You can also get pretty high quality food at the many Wholefoods deli islands and eat at the store.

jordy says:

March 16, 2010 : 6 years 28 weeks ago

jordy's picture

I agree with … well you’re anonymous, I don’t know who I’m agreeing with! But yes, the point is not just to order a “chain restaurant” salad and avoid meat, the point is to find meals that were designed with plant proteins from the beginning, and grown organically and locally. Are all the restaurants on this list perfect? Probably not. But they are a good place to start…we definitely need more! (check out the Real Food Connection, great event to learn more about local food)

Rahul Gupta (not verified) says:

May 17, 2010 : 6 years 19 weeks ago

Rahul Gupta's picture

I would definitely add Flavors to this list (I now favor it over Mother India #YouCareBecauseImIndian)…

…and as a recent convert to vegetarianism, the veggie sushi at Blue is SO TASTY.