Lincoln’s culinary scene rivals that of any big city. The capital of Nebraska is proud of their football team and their beef, but the classic Midwest steakhouse isn’t the only choice in town. Visitors can expect an array of international specialties as well. There are over 100 restaurants in the city’s historic Haymarket District alone, so visitors have a plethora of choices. From Asian Fusion and Blue Sushi Sake Grill to Vincenzo’s Ristorante and Parthenon Restaurant you can experience the scope of Lincoln’s culinary scene.

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1.Screamers Dining and Cabaret

Screamers Dining and Cabaret
© Screamers Dining and Cabaret

Talented singing staff serve great food at Screamers Dining & Cabaret, so much so that it has become a hit in Lincoln and the Midwest. The restaurant concept is a play on words for “The Scarlet and Cream Singers,” which is a former UNL show choir. Owner and once show choir member, Kevin Witcher came up with the restaurant idea. Guests can expect high-quality, upscale fare from steaks to pasta to seafood, plus vegetarian and vegan options. Witcher’s vision is to provide a place for Lincoln’s most talented music theater artists to perform, while providing the community with great food and entertainment. This is a fun date night destination.

803 Q Street, Lincoln, NE, Phone: 402-500-2550

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2.Stur 22 Lounge

Stur 22 Lounge
© Stur 22 Lounge


Stur 22 Lounge is a West African and Caribbean-inspired restaurant in Lincoln, Nebraska. The delicious menu offers traditional dishes like jerk chicken wings, plantain slices, and African fish stew followed by a generous portion of coconut cheesecake. Dinner is served in a colorful island-inspired décor with bright paintings, lime green furnishings, and a bamboo wall dividing the restaurant in the front from bar in the back. A mellow background of Caribbean, African, and jazz music, as well as some 80s and 90s tunes creates a warm and inviting ambience. Diners can pair meals with Caribbean-inspired specialty cocktails. This is a great choice for couples looking to add a little flavor to their romance.

2110 Winthrop Road, Lincoln, NE, Phone: 402-805-4579

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3.The Green Gateau

The Green Gateau
© The Green Gateau

For 25 years The Green Gateau has been an up-scale neighborhood staple of fine dining. Located in downtown Lincoln, this restaurant was inspired by the great inns across Europe. The walls in the Green Gateau are adorned with paintings from France, Germany, Italy, and England. The atmosphere is combined with contemporary American and French-influenced cuisine to create an inviting, cozy feeling paired with scrumptious flavors. The ambience is pure romance. Along with vegetarian and gluten-free options, The Green Gateau’s menu is teeming with delights like coconut shrimp lollipops, baked brie en croute, and flash fried calamari.

330 South Tenth Street, Lincoln, NE, Phone: 402-477-0330

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4.Asian Fusion

Asian Fusion
© Asian Fusion


At Asian Fusion, the décor sets the ambience inside and out. The roof of the restaurant is adorned with trees. Inside, colorful soft lighting gives Asian Fusion the feel of dining inside a Royal Palace, setting the tone for a romantic dinner for two. There is plenty of space for large groups to dine as well. The restaurant also gives new meaning to food presentation with culinary details like a butterfly carved from a carrot. Asian Fusion prides itself on its fresh seafood, which makes its many premier sushi rolls the talk of Lincoln.

2840 Jamie Lane, Lincoln, NE, Phone: 402-423-8889

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5.Billy's

Billy's
© Billy's


For three decades Billy’s Restaurant has been a staple of upscale casual dining in Lincoln. Located near the State Capitol Building, it was built in 1887. Billy’s is named after William Jennings Bryan, a former politician from Nebraska. Dining inside transports patrons to an earlier time US history with its interesting décor. It’s a great setting for a special night out for two. Billy’s places a premium on using the finest ingredients in entrées, so local farms are the main source for their ingredients. House specialties include lamb, steak, veal, seafood, duck, and delicious vegetarian dishes.

1301 H Street, Lincoln, NE, Phone: 402-474-0084

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6.Blue Orchid

Blue Orchid
© Blue Orchid


Blue Orchid is all about serving unique Thai food that is not only flavorful, but also has a delightful presentation. They start with local ingredients sourced from area growers daily. Blue Orchid uses the freshest of produce and a wide variety of spices combined with fresh noodles and quality meats that enhance both the flavor and aroma of their dishes. Diners can expect vegetarian options like their Thai Basil mushroom dish or spring rolls, as well as classic eats like chicken satay or their signature lamb massaman. Soft green walls, bamboo, Asian art, and soft lighting make Blue Orchid a great place for a romantic dinner.

129 North 10th Street, Lincoln, NE, Phone: 402-742-7250

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7.Blue Sushi Sake Grill

Blue Sushi Sake Grill
© Blue Sushi Sake Grill

Blue Sushi Sake Grill is situated inside the Downtown Courtyard Marriott. This restaurant is the premier hot spot for sushi in Lincoln. Blue Sushi’s interior is adorned in Japanese art like Samurai swords, banzai trees and traditional oil paintings. The lighting is soft and the vibe is tranquil for the couple looking for a quiet dinner out. The restaurant relies on fresh, local produce and ingredients to prepare dishes from fish and seafood that are brought in fresh daily. This is one reason the restaurant has the reputation as one of the best in Lincoln. The other, of course, is their creative culinary expertise.

808 R Street, Lincoln, NE, Phone: 402-805-4232

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8.Carmela's Bistro & Wine Bar

Carmela's Bistro & Wine Bar
© Carmela's Bistro & Wine Bar

From first-timers to experienced guests, everyone raves about Carmela’s Bistro & Wine Bar. Carmela’s has the perfect mixture of fine service, affordable pricing, and exquisite food complemented by a well-stocked wine bar. With the feel of home library, the ambience is always inviting and cozy, which makes it an ideal place for a romantic evening. There is also outdoor seating for up to 30 guests. Carmela’s ingredients are farm fresh daily, which helps bring out the succulent aromas and tastes in each menu item. Diners can expect offerings like poblano salmon, walleye picatta, and lump crab mac ‘n’ cheese. Don’t miss First Thursday wine-tastings or Sunday brunches.

4141 Pioneer Woods Drive, Lincoln, NE, Phone: 402-489-0005

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9.Dish

Dish
© Dish

Downtown, in the heart of Lincoln, visitors will find the upscale restaurant, Dish. This New American restaurant strives to provide an unmatched dining experience. The menu features small plates with an international flair like ginger-sesame chicken meatballs or spring tabbouleh. Diners can expect elevated fine dining entrées like ancho-coffee rubbed filet, Alaskan halibut, and duck duo, or order a dinner to share. The restaurant caters to couples on romantic date nights, and the dedicated staff makes the experience complete. Guests can pair their meal with handcrafted cocktails or a glass of fine wine.

1100 O Street, Lincoln, NE, Phone: 402-475-9475

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10.FireWorks Restaurant

FireWorks Restaurant
© FireWorks Restaurant

Cooking done the old-fashioned way is the culinary philosophy at FireWorks Restaurant. Enjoy a mouthwatering meal at intimate tables for two, or join a lively setting meant to celebrate with a large group of family, friends, or business associates. FireWorks has ample room to accommodate any occasion. The restaurant’s unique open kitchen concept that allows patrons to observe their meals being prepared fresh on the grill is a big draw. Cooking from scratch with a contemporary flair is a time-honored tradition at FireWorks. Here, chefs have discovered that grilling over a hickory flame is the best way to ensure its prime rib is voted the best in Lincoln.

5750 South 86th Street, Lincoln, NE, Phone: 402-434-5644

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11.Florio's Italian Restaurant & Grille

Florio's Italian Restaurant & Grille
© Florio's Italian Restaurant & Grille

Restaurants that last 20 years or more usually have something in common – great service and great food. Florio’s Italian Restaurant & Grille has stood the test of time by doing just that, providing exceptional cuisine with friendly service. Restaurateur Florio has a passion for pleasing customers with the complete dining experience, not just fabulous food. Guests can expect soothing music and a low key atmosphere, which makes it a prime choice for a romantic night out. Seafood, pasta, chops and steaks are all on the menu, paired with global and Italian wines and signature cocktails.

7300 South 13th Street, Lincoln, NE, Phone: 402-423-5576

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12.Momo Pizzeria and Ristorante

Momo Pizzeria and Ristorante
© Momo Pizzeria and Ristorante

Visitors to Lincoln, Nebraska, don’t need to bother with a trip to Italy with Momo Pizzeria & Ristorante in the city. Nearly all of the ingredients used at Momo’s comes directly from Italy. The pizzas at Momo’s are made with Farina “00” Italian flour and wheat. They are hand tossed, then baked in a wood-fired hearth oven. When ingredients cannot be purchased in Italy, they are selected from locally sourced farms to ensure the integrity of both aroma and taste. Momo’s Pizzeria & Ristorante has everything a couple needs for a successful date night – low lighting, linen table cloths, soft music, and wine selection that is one of the best in Lincoln.

7701 Pioneers Boulevard, Lincoln, NE, Phone: 402-261-5966

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13.Hiro 88

Hiro 88
© Hiro 88

Hiro 88 offers a Pan-Asian fusion of Korean, Japanese, and Chinese cuisine with a modern twist. Their award-winning menu of premium-grade sashimi, sushi, 40+ makimono rolls, and nigiri has made Hiro 88 the talk of Lincoln. The restaurant is the brainchild of chef and owner Milton Yin who brings this delightful Pan-Asian fusion to Lincoln. Milton is a regular among the best chefs in America by the publication Best Chefs America. Couples can choose a private booth for a romantic meal, or a seat in the open and airy restaurant. Hiro 88 has that special place for everyone. Hiro 88 has a wide assortment of Sake, wine, imported and domestic beer, and hand crafted specialty cocktails.

601 R Street Suite 100, Lincoln, NE, Phone: 402-261-9388

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14.Issara Modern Asian Cuisine

Issara Modern Asian Cuisine
© Issara Modern Asian Cuisine

Freedom – the Thai word for that is Issara. Issara Modern Asian Cuisine expresses freedom through its Asian fusion restaurant. With a menu that mixes Asian flavors from Korea, Japan, and China to its overarching Thai influence, Issara Modern Asian Cuisine brings all Asian food lovers under one roof. The interior of Issara is a testament to Asia with cozy tables for two for those looking for an intimate dining experience to larger tables for communal gatherings. Issara sources its produce from local farmers to ensure the freshest dining experience. Issara’s general manager is also a certified sommelier who can advise on the perfect wine pairing for each meal.

1701 Pine Lake Road, Lincoln, NE, Phone: 402-261-5594

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15.JTK Cuisine & Cocktails

JTK Cuisine & Cocktails
© JTK Cuisine & Cocktails


Visitors will find JTK Cuisine & Cocktails in the train station of Lincoln’s historic Haymarket District. Pairing award-winning wines and contemporary New American cuisine is a sure-fire way to ensure patrons have a dining experience they will never forget. JTK’s ambience rises to the level of their culinary prowess. Professional and knowledgeable wait staff, soft lighting, and tables with flowers add a touch of romantic elegance that couples will appreciate. With local farm fresh produce and grass-fed beef, this restaurant delivers their Date Night” fare with a thoughtful three-course meal for two. Couples will also want to check out their Wine Dinners.

201 North 7th Street, Suite 107, Lincoln, NE, Phone: 402-435-0161

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16.Misty's Steakhouse & Lounge

Misty's Steakhouse & Lounge
© mikhail_kayl/stock.adobe.com


In 1963 Misty’s Steakhouse & Lounge was known as Club 63, owned by Bob and Grace Milton. Back then, it was a “bottle club,” a kind of BYOB social gathering. In 1965 liquor laws changed to allow restaurants to sell liquor by the glass, and Milton’s added a grill. The rest, as they say, is history. They made up their own seasoning recipe that made their prime rib, steaks, and burgers famous. They’re perennial winners of best steaks, best prime rib, and best place for dinner in Lincoln’s “Best of” awards. Misty’s is a solid option for dinner for two.

6235 Havelock Avenue, Lincoln, NE, Phone: 402-466-8424

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17.Misty's Steakhouse and Brewery

Misty's Steakhouse and Brewery
© karepa/stock.adobe.com


Misty’s Steakhouse and Brewery has insisted on quality fresh ingredients from the beginning. Sourcing local farms for produce, beef, and other ingredients keeps menus fresh at Misty’s. The restaurant is modern with beamed ceilings and track lighting, bistro tables, private booths, and large windows. There is a sidewalk patio out front for al fresco dining. It’s a good choice for a special dinner or first date. The restaurant serves the same famous seasoned prime rib, steaks, and burgers as the original Misty’s Steakhouse & Lounge. Guests will also find seafood selections from grilled Atlantic salmon to Alaskan king crab to Misty’s breaded shrimp, plus everything you’d expect from a brewery.

200 North 11th Street, Lincoln, NE, Phone: 402-476-7766

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18.Nebraska Club

Nebraska Club
© Nebraska Club


The Nebraska Club, located on the 20th floor of the US Bank Building is Lincoln’s premier private social and dining club. Membership in The Club, which was founded in 1954, is required to dine here unless renting the facility for an event. It serves world-class cuisine in a glamorous and exclusive environment with craft cocktails and entertainment. The 20th-floor restaurant features panoramic views, linen table cloths, and wait staff that is professional and knowledgeable. The view alone makes this a top choice for couples celebrating their time together. The executive chef’s innovative menu uses only the choicest USDA meats, and sources local farms for the freshest produce.

233 South 13th Street, Suite 2000, Lincoln, NE, Phone: 402-476-3228

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19.Parthenon Restaurant

Parthenon Restaurant
© Parthenon Restaurant


Since 2002, The Parthenon Restaurant has been serving authentic Greek cuisine. The menu at Parthenon includes traditional Greek salads, appetizers, daily specials, and full course meals. In the summertime, diners can enjoy a meal on the patio surrounded by lush green foliage and blooming flowers, a magical setting for a romantic dinner. Conveniently situated in the Edgewood Shopping Center, for those who love Greek food, this restaurant serves it all. Guests will find gyros, soulvlaki entrées, soups, sandwiches, salads, Greek pizzas and wraps for lunch. Dinner adds seafood, lamb, steak entrées, and specialty pasta dishes. Sunday brunch brings Greek-inspired omelets, breakfast platters, and skillets, and pancakes. And, of course, there’s traditional baklava.

5500 South 56th Street Suite 8, Lincoln, NE, Phone: 402-423-2222

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20.Rodizio Grill

Rodizio Grill
© Rodizio Grill


Rodizio Grill is a Brazilian steakhouse located in Lincoln’s historic Haystack District. With this unique concept Gauchos serve rotisserie meats to guests tableside, carving from oversized skewers. Grilled skewered pineapple is carved tableside too. An extravaganza of Brazilian sides and salads are available buffet-style. Menus are set prices with unlimited meat, sides, and salads at one price, unlimited sides and salads another price, and kids age seven to 12 at another price. All options are a good value. The modern restaurant has an industrial-chic urban vibe with contemporary bistro-style seating, soft yellow walls, large windows, and vibrant artwork. This is a good choice for couples looking for a unique dining experience.

737 P Street, Lincoln, NE, Phone: 402-480-7475

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21.The Normandy

The Normandy
© The Normandy


The Normandy is a quaint French fine dining restaurant with a relaxed ambience. The walls are adorned with photos enlarged to poster size that the owners took themselves on a trip to France lending an air of authenticity to the atmosphere. White table cloths and professionally attired wait staff add a chic sensibility. A small menu features traditional French fare like rack of lamb, braised beef, and duck à l’orange, and meals begin with fresh baked bread while waiting. The Normandy has a wine list that includes numerous French vintages among others. This is an ideal choice for a romantic dinner for two.

2785 South 17th Street, Lincoln, NE, Phone: 402-476-0606

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22.The Oven

The Oven
© The Oven


In India, traditional cooking is done in a Tandoor, which is exactly how the food is prepared at The Oven in Lincoln. The restaurant specializes in cuisine from Northern India, cooking it in the traditional clay oven. The meat at The Oven is marinated for several hours, mixing spices and yogurt together. While the meat is marinating on skewers, other chefs are making handmade breads. The breads and skewers are placed inside the tandoor oven to help seal the rich flavors of the meat and ensure its tenderness. The Oven is also a great place for a romantic dinner. The aroma coming from the tandoor helps create that special ambience.

201 North 8th Street, Lincoln, NE, Phone: 402-475-6118

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23.Venue Restaurant & Lounge

Venue Restaurant & Lounge
© Venue Restaurant & Lounge

Venue Restaurant & Lounge provides what almost every Nebraskan craves – award-winning cuisine. Add in the stylish ambience of the dining room and the friendly wait staff, and it’s no wonder Venue has received so many awards. The New American cuisine at Venue relies on handmade and from scratch approaches to cuisine. Products come from local farms to add that farm-to-table freshness to their meals, plus exclusive gourmet ingredients from across the globe. The restaurant serves handcrafted cocktails, and also has an extensive wine list. Besides being a good choice for a romantic dinner, Venue provides five private dining rooms for intimate events.

4111 Pioneer Woods Drive Suite 100, Lincoln, NE, Phone: 402-488-8368

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24.Vincenzo’s Ristorante

Vincenzo’s Ristorante
© Vincenzo’s Ristorante


Cuisine that is reasonably priced and delicious is only the beginning at Vincenzo’s Ristorante. This family-owned-and-operated restaurant is in the historic Haymarket District of Lincoln. With a commitment to fresh foods, Vincenzo’s sources their products from local farms. Customer favorites like their chicken picatta or the eight-ounce grilled tenderloin in Gorgonzola cream sauce are crowd pleasers. Exposed brick, mood lighting, and crisp linen table cloths set the tone for a romantic ambience. An extensive list of wines complements their authentic Italian menu. This is the perfect choice for a romantic night out with that special someone.

808 P Street, Lincoln, NE, Phone: 402-435-3889

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25.Wilderness Ridge

Wilderness Ridge
© Wilderness Ridge


Wilderness Ridge restaurant is a gorgeous rustic-chic lodge style restaurant on Wilderness Ridge public golf course. The dining room features carved front doors, high beamed ceilings, a massive stone fireplace, giant paned windows overlooking the outdoor wraparound deck and beautifully manicured golf course, and heavy wood and leather furniture. It’s elegant with a romantic ambience. The upscale casual menu features fresh seafood, sizzling skillets, homemade pasta, juicy burgers, and fresh salads. Dinner can finish with one of the restaurant’s signature desserts like the triple chocolate mousse. Couples will find their just right romantic spot near the fireplace in the main dining room, on the deck at sunset.

1800 Wilderness Woods Place, Lincoln, NE, Phone: 402-434-5118

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25 Best Romantic Restaurants in Lincoln, Nebraska