Well WellTraveledNebraskans, can I tell you a tiny secret? I know the whole point of this blog is to get out into our own Nebraska backyard and see the Cornhusker State. Buuuut, when I’m at home, I kind of like to stay NEAR home. Is it really obnoxious of me to admit that I find it annoying to have to drive all the way from Papillion to Downtown just to go out to eat? (Yes, ok, I know it is!)
But, there are plenty of places to eat in Papillion that we actually LOVE. I love it because it’s minutes away from me, but also because there are some seriously good eats. So, it makes it even harder to want to venture out further than 10 minutes! Whether you are a fellow Papillionite or are just staying in the area, here are my Best Places To Eat In Papillion.
Where to Eat in Papillion NE
I.LOVE. LA MESA!!!! Like, seriously love it. In fact, they would be on a Top Places to Eat in Omaha list, not just Papillion for me. You can’t beat their margaritas (I personally love their happy hour!), and I could probably fill up on their free chips and salsa alone. But then that wouldn’t leave room for their UHMAZING white chicken queso nachos. Guys, these are out of this world good!
Recently, I’ve been really missing La Mesa because I’ve been doing low carb (wah wah) until I found their Pollo ala Creme (no rice and beans of course). Now, I don’t LIKE turning down the chips and salsa, or the rice and beans, but I think I found my new go-to favorite, it is sooo good!!!!
Address: 829 Tara Plz., Papillion, NE 68046
In high school, I’m pretty sure I survived on Mings (and Village Inn French Silk Pie- VI was our Drama Department’s hangout). Mings was our regular go-to Chinese restaurant though. If you are looking for a local Chinese restaurant in Papillion, this should be where you head. While I’ll be honest and wouldn’t put this at the top of an overall Omaha List (Rice Bowl has that vote for me!) it is a winner in Papillion. Of course, I’m always partial to Sweet and Sour Chicken, but the Mongolian Chicken is a close second and, I mean, the Yum Yum chicken has how good it is in the name.
Address: 828 Tara Plz., Papillion, NE 68046
One of my favorite meals is Gyros! I actually make them at home now, but when I want the REAL deal, I order takeout from Grecian Gyros (sit down also available). It’s a very mom and pop style of place, so don’t expect anything fancy or flashy. What you CAN expect is to be absolutely stuffed, though! Again, I would recommend the Gyros (with fries) and I am always a sucker for a side of pita and tzatziki!
Address: 839 Tara Plz., Papillion, NE 68046
Nebraska Brewing Company
Nebraska Brewing Company was one of the first microbreweries in Omaha to put our beer scene on the map. The Papillion location has a great industrial feel and it’s great to get a meal along with your brew. I have always enjoyed their beer cheese soup (they serve it with popcorn instead of crackers!) and I really liked their Thai Pizza, but of course, you can’t go wrong with a burger!
What’s cool about NBC is that you can actually do a brewery tour every Thursday (5:30 and 7:30pm) and Saturday (2 and 4pm) for only $10 and also includes a pint.
Ollie and Hobbes Craft Kitchen
This is a “newer” restaurant on the scene but boy is it making waves with foodies! I have yet to order anything (and yes, I am one of those people that insists on trying a bite from your plate) that hasn’t been a magical mouth experience. High praise? Yes. But it deserves it. You’ll probably want at least 3 orders of truffle fries. Not because they are small (they aren’t!) but because they are that delicious. Having lived in Germany previously, I immediately knew I wanted to try their schnitzel. The lemon vinaigrette didn’t have me reminiscing of Bavaria, but it was still top-notch and I would order it time and again!
If you are frugal (like me) they have all-day happy hour on Sundays. This includes drinks (try their Moscow Mules!) but also a lot of their apps and food (like those scrumptious Truffle Fries!).
Stave Wine and Cheese Parlour
If you are looking for a perfect date night in Omaha, you seriously can not beat The Stave. The atmosphere alone is perfect for a girl’s night out or a date with your significant other. In the summer, they have weekly live musicians which just rounds out the chill and unique ambiance. We really enjoyed the meat and cheese charcuterie (and several bottles of wine), but you can also get things like delicious pizzas as well for a more substantial meal.
Address: 320 N. Washington St. Papillion, NE
While our KC neighbor may be known for great BBQ, don’t write off Nebraska just yet! And I do love a great BBQ. It is American comfort food at it’s finest! Papio Pit could arguably have the best ribs in Omaha and the fried okra is a shocking win for this midwestern gal!!
Graley’s Creamery & Confections
Set up like an old soda fountain and with a very “old-timey” feel, everyone is going to love this ice cream shop. They’ve of course got your usual cups, cones, and sundaes but you can also get shakes, malts, and even phosphates and Italian style sodas! And just to keep you on your toes, they do seasonal flavors as well. Not sure what you want? Try a flight! (like a beer flight…but with ice cream!)
If you are slightly obsessed with wood-fired pizzas, like me, then you should try out SPIN! Their pizzas are so fresh (I mean, they literally make and bake them right in front of you). What I really appreciate about Spin is that they have more than just the typical pizzas (they also have the typical ones, too, don’t worry you picky eaters!) Any pizza that has goat cheese and I’m sold. But what I can also appreciate about this locally owned pizza place is that they have Gluten Free pizzas and really delicious salads for those of us watching what we eat as well, so it’s a win for everyone in your crowd.
Address: 248 Olson Dr., Papillion, NE 68046
Chain or National Restaurants to Mention
Everything above on this list is a locally owned restaurant, which I always will recommend before any chain place. But, with that being said, there are a few chain restaurants to mention that I think are quite good in Papillion, especially if nothing above triggered your cravings yet.
What “places to eat in Nebraska” list would be complete without a Runza! Not from Nebraska? Ok, well, just go to Runza and order “A Runza.” Come back here and thank me. Welcome to Nebraska!
While not a place to eat, I thought it was worth mentioning Scooters Coffee.
- Because it actually started in Omaha (and has now grown and you can find it in other states as well)
- I LOVE THEIR COFFEE!!! It’s way better than those other guys with the Green sign 😉
If you are lucky enough to get there on a Scooterdoodle Flavor of the Day, then order the largest cup of that that you can. If not, anything else will honestly do. My favorite decadent drink is a Carmel Latte (sugar free syrup) with whole milk. It’s not AS sweet as the famous Carmelicious (also a local fave), but still oh so good.
Note: While I could drink buckets of Scooter’s Coffee, their food doesn’t do much for me. It’s not locally prepared and is more of a “heat it up” style of breakfast items and cookies.
Address: 751 Pinnacle Dr., Papillion
Eileen’s Cookies actually started in Hastings, NE and has now expanded (very rightfully so) regionally. To be honest, I wasn’t sure if this should go in this section or the first, mostly because I think EVERYONE should have an Eileen’s Cookie at least once in their life!
I can’t stand those sugar cookies with frosting you get at the stores. You know the ones? Very soft cookie, and slightly harder frosting. (I know, this is a very polarizing subject!)
Eileen’s Cookies has these….BUT, if you are in the “NO” camp for these kinds of cookies, don’t you dare walk away from Eileen’s version. Even I will eat one (ok ok, several…in one sitting) they are so good. How are theirs different? No clue. But I don’t care. They are so scrumptious.
Plus, who can ever turn down a Snickerdoodle!? I always like to get a whole sleeve of these from Eileen’s….just for myself.
First Watch is actually a national brand and now even has several locations in Omaha, but it has become my go to brunch location! Whether I’m having a “me day” or if my girlfriends are getting together to gossip, this is my absolute favorite place for breakfast, brunch, and lunch. If you get their “Million Dollar Bacon” you’ll never want “normal” bacon ever again…you’ve been warned!
Address: 304 Olson Dr., Papillion, NE 68046
Five Guys has actually become my top burger place. My husband is obsessed with their cajun fries and I can slam down a double burger like nobody’s business (Yes, the double is huge. Yes, I eat it ALL!!!). As you’ve seen the trend in this post though, I have been attempting a healthier eating style, so I was missing Five Guys…until I found out that they do bunless burgers (duh, it’s not that hard for them) and they are still DELISH. I still top it with all the yummy goodies (grilled mushrooms, caramelized onions, bacon, jalapenos, etc) and I’ve got an extremely filling winner!
Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt
If you are looking for some FroYo, you can stop into Orange Leaf. While frozen yogurt is technically supposed to be better for you, you’ll most likely get sucked into one of the creations that aren’t so kind to your waistline. But, can you REALLY say no to “brownie batter” or, my Achilles heel, “Cookies and cream?”
Eat Fit Go
If you are looking to eat a healthier alternative while on the run, Eat Fit Go actually isn’t a bad place to look into! While I find that most restaurants are accommodating if you know how to order healthy foods, this is a good option if you need something quick and ready for you.
Restaurants Near Papillion NE
What is great about this part of town is that a lot of the suburbs kind of just blend in together. Therefore, there are a lot of great places to eat near Papillion that I still think you should consider. The two closest suburbs, which are literally just minutes from Papillion are Bellevue and La Vista. Bellevue is worthy of it’s own Restaraunt list (coming soon!) but here are some of my favorite places to eat in La Vista, just minutes away from home.
A little known secret of mine is that Thailand is actually my favorite country that we have visited in the world (out of 43!) So to say I have high standards for Thai food is an understatement! Their papaya salad is ON.POINT! They also do a great Basil Chicken and of course, no Thai meal would be complete with a creamy Thai Iced Tea
Address: 8058 S. 84th St., La Vista, NE 68128
I’ve only enjoyed Karray’s for breakfast, but REALLY love their chicken fried steak. The staff was very attentive and loved on my toddler, which is always a helpful thing when eating out with kids. They are also extremely supportive of our local men in blue. I know that doesn’t tell you much about the food, but it’s always great to see local establishments getting involved and supporting our local community!
Address: 9819 Giles Rd., La Vista, NE 68128
If you are looking for a nearby sushi run close to Papillion, I’d highly recommend Umami in Bellevue (it’s seriously the best in Omaha, in my opinion) but if you want even close to Papillion, Dragon Cafe in La Vista is super close and still worthy of a try. They also have an extensive chinese menu as well.
Address: 8078 S. 84th St., La Vista, NE 68128
I first fell in love with Mama’s from their Saddlecreek location. It was a popular spot for my husband and I back in our UNO days. Now that I no longer live in the UNO dorms and are located in Papillion, I hated the trek all the way to North Omaha just for Mama’s! Lucky me when they opened up the La Vista location! My personal favorite? Their white chicken pizza!!! Yum! Also, give their fried mushrooms a try!
Address: 8146 S.96th St., La Vista, NE 68128
Nebraska Brewing Company Taproom
I am really sad that they closed their Papillion location (it was minutes from my house!) but I am happy that they still have the taproom open! Besides being able to pop in anytime for some craft beers, they often hold special events. One of my favorites is when the Nebraska Czech Brass Bands occasionally come and play. That alone is a great reason to go, but the kicker is that they bring back original recipes from nonother than BOHEMIAN CAFE for a dinner with the polka band!
NBC also holds weekly brewery tours! Every Thursday and Saturday, you can take a $10 tour which even includes a pint.
Address: 6950 S. 108th St., La Vista
Summer Kitchen Cafe
If you are looking for a great breakfast joint, you can’t beat some of the sweet treats (cough: the giant cinnamon rolls!) at Summer Kitchen. I prefer going here over the chain breakfast places because you can just tell that the food is more “home made” style. Plus, at Summer Kitchen, you’ll get huge, delicious portions!
Tip: Plan on a wait if going for Sunday breakfast or brunch!
Address: 12010 Giles Rd., La Vista, NE 68128
The Alamo has quickly become a favorite for moviegoers. It’s even got it’s own Star Wars-themed area! While a lot of theaters now serve meals, locals really like the Alamo’s food and beers. This is on the “other side” of La Vista from Papillion, so it is still about a 10-15 minute drive from Papillion.
Other Places To Eat In Papillion
While all of the above are my personal recommendations for where to eat in Papillion, there are still plenty of other Papillion restaurants (mostly chains or fast food). To be completely honest with you, there is nothing wrong with the rest of these places, but I like supporting local businesses and have found the other mentioned chains above to just be “better.” Alternatively, the rest on this list are restaurants that you can find in most places and aren’t anything too unique.
However, everyone has different food preferences, and maybe you just want a whole picture on what to eat in Papillion, so here are more offerings (not necessarily the best overall though) for Papillion restaurants:
- Panda Express
- Jimmy Johns
- Red Robin
- Texas Roadhouse
- Old Chicago
- Pizza Ranch
- Hutong Grill and Sushi
- Buffalo Wild Wings
- Dairy Queen
- Dunkin Donuts
This doesn’t cover them all, but it does go to show you that Papillion has plenty of restaurants, fast food places, and a great variety for eating!
Do you live in Papillion? What would you have put on the top-recommended list for Papillion restaurants?