Nebraska Culinary Road Trip

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Calling all foodies! We've put together a 4-day road trip filled with some of our favorite places to eat across the state. You can dig in to delicious local recipes from a wide variety of cuisine, from tasty frozen treats and warm baked goods to mouthwatering burgers and sizzling steaks made from prime Nebraska beef. 

Day 1: Farm Fresh

Are you ready for the ultimate Nebraska food tour? Follow this guide for a foodie’s trip across the state. We’ll start with farm-to-table creations and homemade ice cream in the state’s biggest cities.

First Stop: Begin your culinary adventure in Omaha. Your first stop is Block 16, where you’ll find farm-to-table street food and inventive recipes, from the slow-braised pulled pork roll and “bacon and brieLT” to the poutine burrito and “duck duck goose” fries. Plus, Block 16 features all kinds of sandwiches, doctored-up fries and award-winning burgers, and owners Paul and Jessica Urban are constantly cooking up new creations to add to their ever-changing menu.

Second Stop: Head south to the state’s capital, where you can indulge your sweet tooth at UNL Dairy Store. This Lincoln favorite has been whipping up homemade dairy products since 1917. Head to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln East Campus to sample flavors like black walnut fudge, butter brickle, scarlet and cream and cappuccino chocolate chip. Get yours in a waffle cone, cake cone, as a shake or malt, or even as a Husker blitz blended with candy toppings.

Overnight Here:  Stop for the night just east of the city in Milford at West Fork Acres Bed & Breakfast. Here, you’ll find rest and relaxation in a quaint one-bedroom cabin located on 57 acres along the Big Blue River. The master bedroom features a two-person jacuzzi and reading area for a peaceful night in. Then, wake up to a delicious breakfast, including cinnamon rolls, fresh fruit, breakfast casserole, coffee, juice and hot tea.

Day 2: Small-Town Eats

Journey north for small-town favorites with an emphasis on succulent steaks, mouthwatering burgers and lip-smacking sweet treats.

First Stop: Head north for a mouthwatering meal at Black Cow Fat Pig in Norfolk. This casual pub and steakhouse features flatbreads, burgers, sandwiches and perfectly aged steaks. Start your meal with a charcuterie plate or pulled pork nachos. For mains, try the yard burger, a charbroiled patty topped with bacon, BBQ and onion strings, or the grilled steak flatbread with steak, peppers, mozzarella and Horsey-inspired sauce. Cap your evening with a homemade dessert like the decadent caramel macchiato cheesecake or a refreshing root beer float — yum!

Second Stop: Continue north to Verdigre to sample fresh baked goods from Verdigre Bakery. This family-owned and -operated establishment offers made-from-scratch treats, including donuts, cookies, sweet rolls, pastries and small-batch bread. If you have never tried a kolach before, then Verdigre Bakery is a must! Verdigre’s bakers and pastry chefs offer these tasty Czech-favorite pastries in a variety of flavors, like cherry, blueberry, apricot, cream cheese, Bavarian cream, poppy seed and more.

Overnight Here:  After filling up on sweet treats, rest your head just around the corner at The Verdigre Inn. Experience small-town Nebraska firsthand at this renovated turn-of-the-century Victorian house. Comfortable quarters with multiple communal spaces will make you feel right at home. Plus, it provides a family atmosphere perfect for those traveling with kids. In the morning, grab another box of fresh baked goods from Verdigre Bakery before getting back out on the road. 

Day 3: Western Delights

BBQ sandwich from Peppermill Steakhouse and E.K.V. Lounge.
Peppermill Restaurant & E.K. Valentine Lounge

Now you’ll head out west for more Nebraska beef, comforting coffeehouse vibes and real-life ranching experiences.

First Stop: Any meat lover knows that Nebraska beef is in a class of its own. Stop into Peppermill Restaurant & E.K. Valentine Lounge in Valentine to try it yourself. These perfectly aged Nebraska cuts, like the E.K.V. filet, 20/83 Junction ribeye and the Mulligan sirloin, will have you back for seconds. Or try the nine-ounce “beer and a shot” sirloin, a center-cut Angus sirloin marinated in whiskey with beer-battered onions served on top.

Second Stop: Make a pit stop in Chadron for a pick-me-up at Bean Broker Coffee House and Pub. Pair your favorite coffee drink with delicious baked goods. Bean Broker offers pastries, scones and muffins made fresh daily. If you’re looking for a bit heartier fare, the kitchen also offers sandwiches, salads, soups and small-plate apps, like cheese plates and dips. Plus, there is an extensive beer, wine and spirits menu, along with tasty hand-crafted cocktails, at the pub.

Overnight Here: Book your stay at Our Heritage Guest Ranch in Crawford. Experience life as a rancher, from horseback riding and repairing fences to herding cattle and feeding livestock. The ranch also gives visitors access to Nebraska’s beautiful environment. Go on the hunt for fossils or take in the stunning night sky while stargazing. The ranch also offers stagecoach rides, health retreats and pioneer and Lakota history packages. The good folks at the ranch offer a home-cooked breakfast each morning of your stay upon request. 

DAY 4: SWEET TREATS

Pancakes from The Mixing Bowl in Gering.
The Mixing Bowl

Travel south down Highway 71 for made-from-scratch pastries and Tin Roof Sundaes from the ice cream shop where the famous frozen treat originated.

Stop 1: Stop in Gering for a bite at The Mixing Bowl. If you’re craving breakfast favorites, you’re in luck as The Mixing Bowl serves all-day breakfast, with biscuits and gravy, breakfast burritos and all-you-can-eat pancakes and French toast. If you prefer lunch, try the juicy burgers, sandwiches or wraps. Don’t leave without grabbing a fresh-baked pastry from the bakery case. The Mixing Bowl whips up donuts, pretzels, cinnamon rolls, cookies and German pastries like grebel daily.

Stop 2: Then, continue south to Potter for tasty treats at The Potter Sundry. This old-school soda fountain and ice cream counter is where the famous Tin Roof Sundae originated. You can choose from a variety of ice cream, shake and malt flavors — but you can’t go wrong with the house favorite, a Tin Roof Sundae made with vanilla ice cream, chocolate syrup, chocolate ice cream, marshmallow crème and Spanish peanuts. The shop also offers a variety of breakfast and lunch options, as well as fresh baked goods.

Overnight Here: Head back to Gering for a night at Monument Inn & Suites. The hotel offers cozy accommodations with easy access to area attractions like Scotts Bluff National Monument, Chimney Rock National Historic Site and the Legacy of the Plains Museum. Guests are also welcome to a free hot breakfast each morning of their stay.