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Omaha Magazine

Legacy Restaurants Make Omaha Worth a Visit

Jul 18, 2019 12:22PM ● By Keith Backsen

Omaha Restaurant Week is Sept. 14-23. It’s a great time to dine out and see why Omaha’s reputation as a foodie destination continues to grow. Last year, stories about the city’s culinary scene appeared in 62 different publications and websites, including The New York Times, Food & Wine, and to name a few. Media shared stories about the history of Omaha’s original Reuben sandwich, the process of dry-aging steaks—even the sweetness found in the candy shops sprinkled throughout the city.

Omaha’s travel-worthy cuisine didn’t happen by accident. The city’s food scene has deep roots. In 1946, brothers Al and Joe Cascio opened the legendary Cascio’s Steakhouse in Omaha’s Little Italy neighborhood. Through the years, the old-school steakhouse has served steaks to famous customers such as Mickey Mantle, Jerry Rice, and Tina Turner.

In 1965, Frank “Dinker” Synowiecki opened a neighborhood bar in south Omaha that quickly gained a reputation for serving one of the best burgers in the city.  Today, the restaurant, Dinker’s Bar & Grill, is run by two of Frank’s grandchildren, who still use their grandfather’s original recipes.

Petrow’s is another Omaha original that has thrived throughout the years. The Petrow family has been in the restaurant business longer than any other family in Nebraska—they opened their first restaurant in 1903. Today, their restaurant on 60th and Center streets, known for its classic diner food, is run by the third generation of Petrows and still serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Research shows that out-of-towners spend $304 million annually on food and drinks when visiting Omaha—that’s more than they spend on shopping, hotels, or entertainment. Visitor spending means jobs. The more visitors eating in our restaurants, the more employees need to be hired. Visitor spending at our local restaurants and bars means the creation and retention of 5,555 jobs—from chefs and waitresses to bus boys and truck drivers who deliver the weekly produce.

Omaha Restaurant Week is a great time for people to reconnect with one of the legacy restaurants or get acquainted with a new dining hotspot. We encourage everyone to enjoy creations from Omaha’s top chefs during the 10 tastiest days of the year.

For more information about the event, visit

This article was printed in the August/September 2019 edition of B2B. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
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