It might seem weird to think that a plate of food (or a cup of ice cream) could define a neighborhood. But when it comes to Midtown Omaha’s lineup of diverse but food-loving neighborhoods, it’s not so hard to imagine. These dozen dishes from six Omaha neighborhoods were chosen for a simple reason: When I think of food in these areas of town, these are the first dishes I think of (and the ones I’ve eaten again and again).

Blackstone District

Coneflower Creamery

Coneflower Creamery has a "farm-to-cone" approach that means all milk and cream is local.

Coneflower Creamery’s Blackstone butter brickle ice cream

If the small ice cream shop’s flavor named after the neighborhood weren’t enough, this ice cream also happens to be delicious, studded with housemade chocolate-covered toffee bits.

Nite Owl’s totchos

Tater tots took over Omaha at the same time Nite Owl opened in Blackstone, and its giant tray of super crisp tots covered with queso, green salsa, queso fresco, crema, red onion and cilantro became an instant classic.

Dundee

Pitch Pizzeria (copy) (copy)

Pitch has coal-fired pizzas and a lively atmosphere. 

Pitch’s shrooms pizza

Truffle oil plays a big role on this pie, which remains one of my favorites to this day. The rest of the toppings include thyme cream, mozzarella, wild mushrooms, oven-roasted tomatoes, Parmesan and fresh parsley.

Marks’ macaroni and cheese

Creamy, savory goodness is one way to describe Marks’ gooey mac and cheese, which has neighborhood classic status for sure. Get a couple of the rotating add-ins or don’t; either way, this dish never disappoints.

Midtown Crossing

Modern Love

The modern cheeseburger at Modern Love comes with a house patty, cashew cheddar, tomato, onion, pickles and special sauce.

Modern Love’s modern cheeseburger

In a past story, we named it the best meatless burger in Omaha, and it’s a designation I stand by. The modern cheeseburger, made with a meatless patty and all the fixings, is a vegan delight. If you haven’t tried it, I don’t know what you’re waiting for.

The Grey Plume’s charcuterie

The neighborhood has one of the best vegan spots in town next to one of the best places to find a thoughtful, well-curated plate of meat. If it’s charcuterie you seek, the Plume is one of the best spots in the city to find it.

Leavenworth Street

68240 LaCasa (copy)

La Casa Pizzaria has been an Omaha institution since 1953.

La Casa Pizzaria’s pizza

Love it or hate it (personally, I love it), it’s hard not to see La Casa’s singular pizza as a classic. My personal favorite: hamburger, mushroom and onion on a big rectangle pie.

J. Coco’s Korean short rib tacos

One of the staples on the appetizer list at this Midtown favorite, these savory little bites have enough kimchi to cut through the rich meat, all wrapped in a tiny corn tortilla.

Cathedral

Lisa's Radial Cafe (copy)

Lisa's Radial Cafe is known for its big breakfasts.

An absolutely massive Omaha classic, the raft is crispy hash browns, eggs cooked your way and fluffy biscuits all floating in a sea of creamy sausage gravy. Coffee, of course, is the perfect pairing.

Sweet Magnolia’s pastries

A sweeter, delightfully cute breakfast option is what you’ll find at this neighborhood bakery, and while its eye-catching homemade goods are all delicious, I particularly like the cakes.

Saddle Creek

Saddle Creek Breakfast Club (copy)

If you're at Saddle Creek Breakfast Club, get the banana pancakes.

Probably among the best I’ve ever had, the Breakfast Club’s giant, airy, delightfully tasty banana pancake comes topped with their special peanut butter whipped cream as well as peanuts and honey. Elvis would approve.

When I’m in this neighborhood, 90% of the time it’s to pick up takeout from Salween Thai. Its menu has lots of tasty dishes, but I’d say the pad thai is most diners’ go-to.

Sarah Baker Hansen is a former food critic for The World-Herald.

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