A guide to Omaha’s beloved vegan-friendly restaurants

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Hailey Stessman
OPINION EDITOR

It shouldn’t be a pain to find places that fit your vegan diet preferences. Photo courtesy of Annika Kuchar.

“Where do you guys want to go out to eat?”

It’s a common question that comes up daily in your life.

As your friends chatter over each other with suggestions for restaurants with sweet and sour chicken or even a steak dinner, you quietly wait for a break in the conversation to say, “Can we find somewhere that has vegan options?”

Silence.

If you’re like me and prefer to live by a plant-based or vegan diet, it can be intimidating to go out with a group for lunch or dinner. You may not want to seem like a burden or don’t want to seem strange by refraining from eating if there are no vegan-friendly options on the menu. Don’t fret! You don’t always have to consume salads in order to be vegan. I know it may be hard to believe for some, but yes, vegan food can be delicious and filling. Before you are discouraged and cancel your evening plans because your friends decide to go to a beloved burger joint, I’m here to provide you with some options that will make vegan eating easier and more enjoyable in Omaha.  

Modern Love
Farnam Street – Midtown

It is the landmark of vegan food in Omaha. It is the home of the delicious Matcha Mint Milkshake and the scrumptious Mac & Shews. If you’re in the mood for more complex and larger dishes to satisfy your hungry stomach, this is the place to go. With their catchphrase “Swanky Vegan Comfort Food,” who could say no? Not only does the permanent menu have a variety of options that can fulfill anyone’s food preferences, the specials of the day delve even further into the land of creative vegan food endeavors. I’m talking Parmesan ‘Sausage’ Stuffed Mushrooms with a creamy pesto sauce or Quesoritos that have the perfect amount of heat to clear your sinuses. What is a Quesorito you may ask? It’s a hybrid of a quesadilla wrapped around a burrito—cue a chef’s kiss, am I right? With your belly full and your spirits high, you won’t be waiting long for your next trip to Modern Love.

Amsterdam Falafel & Kabob
50th Street – Dundee

Tucked away off the main street of Dundee, Amsterdam Falafel & Kabob is a quaint, lively joint that serves some of the best falafel in town. Although their thinly sliced beef and lamb are a well-known staple for the restaurant, their falafel formed with love will send your vegan heart into flight. Paired with red cabbage pickled to perfection, carrot chickpea salad and tabhouli, it will be hard to slow down and savor each and every flavor on your plate. Protein can be served as either a sandwich in a pocket of the warmest grilled flatbread or as a hummus plate. But the true star of the show is Amsterdam’s curry fries dusted in a blend of spices packed with a punch. Don’t be surprised if your dreams are filled with falafel bites and perfectly seasoned curry fries. It’s that good.

Lola’s Café
Dodge Street – Dundee

Lola’s Café, attached to the Dundee Film Streams location, is the perfect combination of sweet, savory and fresh for a meal at any time of the day. Start your morning off with some creamy Overnight Oats or a slice of their daily baked bread with an espresso on the side. Their lunch menu is rotated daily so you never know what you will be delightfully offered when you enter. It’s an element of surprise you’ll actually look forward to. For example, you could have a taste of their fresh quinoa salads or a warm roasted cauliflower sandwich with pesto. If you’re hungry for dinner, enjoy a bowl of their daily soup or a plate of their sauteed broccolini with garlic and lemon. You won’t need to worry about your stomach grumbling in the middle of the movie.

The Grove Juicery & Wellness Café
Farnam Street – Omaha

It’s important to make sure you’re getting all of your key nutrients with any food lifestyle you choose. But at The Grove Juicery & Wellness Café, there’s no doubt you’ll be leaving more refreshed than when you stepped in. Their large menu consists of a variety of juices to choose from such as the Green Supreme or the Mat-Cha-Cha, multiple smoothie bowls topped with the freshest fruit and sweet granola and sandwiches that look and taste amazing. From the second you open the door, you can see the piles and baskets of fresh organic fruit that you know will be handled with love and care when they prepare your meal. Not feeling a smoothie or sandwich? Even their vegan friendly drinks will have your taste buds celebrating in joy. Try a smooth Golden Milk Latte or a Coco Mojo Latte with sweet cacao and coconut cream.

Fauxmaha Hot Dogs
50th Street – Omaha

They are the unsung heroes of the vegan scene in Omaha. Fauxmaha is making it possible for hungry individuals to enjoy a summer favorite in a vegan-friendly manner. With choices such as a Seitan Philly Sandwich or a Banh Mi Dog, you’ll never want to go back to a normal hot dog. If you’re feeling extra eager, you can add Grilled Curry Onions to any item for a dollar. Let me say that again: Grilled Curry Onions. Whether you just left a baseball game and you’re in the mood for a good hot dog, or you simply left your air-conditioned home, Fauxmaha is taking classic vegan meals to a new level.

So, as you begin your new food journey, know that Omaha has got your vegan back … and stomach.

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