Top 12 Best Restaurants in Lincoln

Lincoln, Nebraska has developed a robust food scene that offers a wide variety of delicious dining options. From farm-to-table fare to ethnic cuisine to culinary hot spots, foodies are sure to be impressed with Lincoln’s eclectic mix of excellent restaurants.

Restaurant NameSpecialty
The NormandyUpscale contemporary American cuisine in a historic building.
Misty’s SteakhouseFamous for prime rib and steakhouse fare.
The OvenAuthentic Italian food with a trendy flair.
Buzzard Billy’sCajun and Creole specialties in a festive atmosphere.
Engine House CafeBreakfast and lunch in a historic fire station setting.
Blue OrchidFine dining with Pacific Rim flavors.
The EateryFarm-fresh cuisine in a cozy tavern setting.
Early Bird and the TomatilloVibrant Latin-inspired cuisine in downtown Lincoln.
DaVinci’sItalian cuisine in an upscale, relaxed environment.
VenueContemporary American cuisine in an elegant setting.
Bread & CupArtisan breads, pastries, and breakfast items.
Lincoln Boiler Brewing CompanyCraft beer and wood-fired pizzas in an industrial taproom.

Here are 12 of the best restaurants in Lincoln showcasing the city’s tasty food culture:

The Normandy

Name and Location: The Normandy is a French restaurant located in downtown Lincoln, NE.

History and Significance: The Normandy opened in 2009 and quickly became known for its classic French cuisine, elegant atmosphere, and excellent service. It’s considered one of the finest dining establishments in Lincoln.

What to Expect: Guests can expect a fine dining experience with a formal atmosphere. The menu features classic French dishes like coq au vin, cassoulet, escargot, and souffles prepared with high quality ingredients. The wine list includes many French offerings. Service is attentive and knowledgeable.

Visitor Information: Reservations are recommended, especially on weekends. Jackets are required for men. Valet parking is available.

For a fine dining experience, look no further than The Normandy. Located in a historic building downtown, The Normandy provides an elegant atmosphere with upscale contemporary American cuisine.

Chef Dave Angerer crafts seasonally inspired dishes like seared scallops, elk tenderloin and cornmeal crusted oysters. Their wine list features over 200 labels to perfectly pair with your meal. With its delicious food, classy ambiance and exceptional service, The Normandy is one of Lincoln’s top restaurants.

Misty’s Steakhouse

Name and Location: Misty’s Steakhouse is a premier steakhouse located downtown in Lincoln, NE.

History and Significance: Opened in the 1980s, Misty’s has been popular for serving top quality, aged prime steaks for decades. Its clubby atmosphere and stellar service makes it a local favorite.

What to Expect: Misty’s offers an old school steakhouse vibe with wood decor and low lighting. The menu focuses on expertly prepared steaks, chops, and seafood. Sides, salads, and desserts are also standouts. Extensive wine list.

Visitor Information: Reservations recommended. Business casual dress code. Valet parking available.

Misty’s Steakhouse is a local institution, having served Lincoln for over 50 years. They are renowned for their melt-in-your-mouth prime rib roasted over an oakwood fire.

Along with exceptional steaks, they offer seafood and classic sides. Dim lighting and their longtime wait staff give Misty’s a cozy, nostalgic vibe. It’s fine dining with Midwestern warmth. For memorable steakhouse fare, make reservations at this Lincoln classic.

The Oven

Name and Location: The Oven is a popular pizza restaurant located on O Street in downtown Lincoln, NE.

History and Significance: Opened in the late 1990s, The Oven has been a go-to spot for artisanal pizza in Lincoln for over 20 years. Known for its warm, welcoming ambiance.

What to Expect: The Oven serves hand-tossed pizzas freshly baked in a stone oven, using creative topping combinations and high quality ingredients. Pasta, salads, and homemade desserts round out the menu. Lively, casual setting.

Visitor Information: No reservations needed. Street parking available. Cash only. Can get busy on weekends.

For authentic Italian food with a trendy flair, check out The Oven. Their crudo bar serves artistic raw seafood while woodfired ovens turn out Neapolitan-style pizzas with creative toppings.

Beyond pizza, enjoy housemade pastas, salads, antipasti plates and Italian wines in a modern industrial setting. The Oven brings a taste of Italy with seasonal flavors and culinary finesse.

Buzzard Billy’s

Name and Location: Buzzard Billy’s is a Cajun/Creole restaurant located in the Haymarket district of downtown Lincoln, NE.

History and Significance: Opened in 2000, Buzzard Billy’s has been a mainstay for authentic Louisiana-style cuisine in Lincoln for over 20 years. Known for its festive atmosphere.

What to Expect: Buzzard Billy’s menu features Cajun/Creole favorites like gumbo, jambalaya, po’ boys, and etouffee, as well as Southern comfort foods. Live music performed nightly, energetic environment.

Visitor Information: Recommend reservations for dinner, especially on weekends. Street parking available.

For Cajun and Creole specialties, Buzzard Billy’s is a go-to spot. Their casual menu features jambalaya, po’ boys, seafood boils, gumbo and much more. Fun tropical cocktails complement the Louisiana flavors.

Kick back on their patio which has live music during the warmer months. The festive atmosphere and zesty cuisine make Buzzard Billy’s one of the most popular local restaurants in Lincoln.

Engine House Cafe

Name and Location: Engine House Cafe is located in downtown Lincoln, NE adjacent to the Amtrak station.

History and Significance: Housed in a historic train engine house, the cafe opened in 2011 serving coffee, breakfast fare, and sandwiches. Popular with travelers and locals.

What to Expect: Engine House Cafe has a laid-back, industrial inspired setting. The menu focuses on coffees, espresso drinks, breakfast sandwiches, baked goods, and soups/salads.

Visitor Information: No reservations needed. Metered street parking. Counter service.

Housed in a 1901 historic fire station, the Engine House Cafe is a local favorite for delicious breakfast and lunch. Sit in the original garage bay and enjoy fluffy pancakes, eggs benedict, omelets and other morning favorites.

For lunch, try their hot roast beef sandwiches or fried catfish. The charming atmosphere and homemade classics make the Engine House Cafe a must-visit when in Lincoln.

Blue Orchid

Name and Location: Blue Orchid is an upscale Thai restaurant located in downtown Lincoln, NE.

History and Significance: Opened in the early 2000s, Blue Orchid has been Lincoln’s premier destination for authentically prepared Thai cuisine for over 20 years. Elegant setting.

What to Expect: Blue Orchid’s menu features Thai staples like curries, noodles, stir fries, and salads prepared with quality ingredients. Attentive service in a refined, contemporary atmosphere. Full bar.

Visitor Information: Reservations recommended. Valet parking available. Dress code enforced.

Experience a fine dining taste of Asia at Blue Orchid. Chef Michael Haddad prepares creative sushi rolls along with Thai, Japanese and Hawaiian specialty dishes representing Pacific Rim flavors.

Some standouts include the pan-seared sea scallops with lobster fried rice and the sweet and spicy braised short ribs. The fresh ingredients, colorful presentations and flavor combinations cement Blue Orchid as one of Lincoln’s best dining establishments.

The Eatery

Name and Location: The Eatery is a popular breakfast and lunch spot located downtown in Lincoln, NE.

History and Significance: Opened in the 1990s, The Eatery has been a longtime favorite for hearty breakfasts and lunches made from scratch. Known for its all day breakfast.

What to Expect: The Eatery serves big portions of classics like omelets, pancakes, sandwiches, burgers and homestyle sides. counter service in a casual, diner-like setting.

Visitor Information: No reservations needed. Street parking available. Cash only. Gets busy on weekends.

For farm-fresh cuisine in a cozy tavern, dine at The Eatery. Located in the historic Telegraph District near downtown, The Eatery sources from local producers to craft their from-scratch dishes.

Favorites include the roasted half chicken, cast iron seared salmon, steaks and vegetarian options like their quinoa cakes. Local beers and cocktails pair nicely with the comforting, quality meals. The charming vibe makes dining at The Eatery feel like you’re at a friend’s dinner party.

Early Bird and the Tomatillo

Name and Location: Early Bird and the Tomatillo are adjoining restaurants located downtown in Lincoln, NE.

History and Significance: Opened in the 2010s, these spots are popular breakfast/brunch and Mexican restaurants, respectively. Known for quality food and lively atmosphere.

What to Expect: Early Bird serves creative breakfast and brunch options in a cozy setting. The Tomatillo offers authentic Mexican fare like tacos, enchiladas, margaritas in a colorful, energetic space.

Visitor Information: No reservations. Street parking. Early Bird takes cash only. Both get busy on weekends.

This duo of adjacent Latin-inspired restaurants in downtown Lincoln offer vibrant flavors in hip settings. Early Bird focuses on tacos with fillings like brisket barbacoa and jerk shrimp, along with craft cocktails.

The Tomatillo features shared plates and unique salsas, quesos and guacamoles. Between the two spots, you get a tasty tour of Central/South American cuisine and trendy urban vibes.


Name and Location: DaVinci’s is an Italian restaurant located downtown in Lincoln, NE.

History and Significance: Opened in the 1990s, DaVinci’s has been family-owned for over 20 years, serving homemade pastas, pizzas, and more. A local favorite.

What to Expect: DaVinci’s offers a taste of Italy with classics like pasta bolognese, chicken parm, and wood-fired Neapolitan pizzas. Cozy, welcoming ambiance and attentive service.

Visitor Information: Reservations recommended. Street parking available.

DaVinci’s brings a taste of Italy to Lincoln in an upscale yet relaxed environment. Their menu highlights housemade pastas, seafood flown in fresh and specialty veal and chicken. Committed to authenticity, they even produce their own mozzarella and ricotta cheese.

End your meal by splitting the famous DaVinci pie, a decadent layered dessert with homemade ice cream. The made-from-scratch dishes honor true Italian flavors.


Name and Location: Venue is a contemporary American restaurant located downtown in Lincoln, NE.

History and Significance: Opened in 2018, Venue quickly gained a following for its seasonally-inspired cuisine and upscale yet relaxed vibe.

What to Expect: Venue’s menu focuses on creative American fare with global influences. Dishes change seasonally showcasing high quality ingredients. Sleek, modern interior. Excellent craft cocktails and wine.

Visitor Information: Reservations recommended. Valet parking available. Dress code enforced.

For a romantic date night, book a table at Venue restaurant. Located in the historic Grand Manse, Venue’s elegant ambiance matches the quality of their contemporary American cuisine.

Seasonal entrees may include seared scallops, filet mignon, rack of lamb and seafood cioppino. Small plates and an extensive cocktail menu round out the offerings. Dim lighting, white tablecloths and flower arrangements provide an intimate fine dining experience.

Bread & Cup

Start your morning off right at Bread & Cup, located in Lincoln’s Haymarket District. This cozy bakery and cafe crafts artisan breads, pastries and breakfast items.

Order eggs, toast and coffee in the sunlit dining room or grab a pastry to go. It has become a local favorite breakfast spot thanks to their scratch-made baked goods, coffee drinks and heartwarming service.

Lincoln Boiler Brewing Company

In addition to restaurants, Lincoln has a fantastic craft beer scene. Top on beer connoisseurs’ lists is Lincoln Boiler Brewing Company.

They serve an ever-changing lineup of unique house brewed beers in a cool industrial taproom. Sip local IPAs, stouts, sours and more alongside wood-fired pizzas. With its tasty beers and laid-back vibe, Lincoln Boiler is a must-visit.


From steakhouses to breweries to bakeries, Lincoln has a diverse array of excellent local eateries to suit all tastes and occasions. The city’s restaurants take advantage of Nebraska’s agricultural bounty while also bringing ethnic flavors from around the world.

Foodies will be delighted by the high-quality dining experiences found throughout Lincoln. It’s a Midwestern food destination not to be missed.

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