My brother and I have been on a quest for the best non-chain burgers in Omaha. I won’t mention the other joints we’ve visited so far but recently I was in town two weeks in a row and the first week we visited ‘the winner’ for breakfast and the next week went back for burgers.
And the best non-chain burger in Omaha is….
Louie M’s Burger Lust Cafe!
Wow! Yum! Love this place. Don’t panic that it’s in South Omaha at 1718 Vinton Street, get your butts out of West Omaha and explore your town!
Here’s why I love it:
- Seriously awesome, well-priced burgers (obviously)
Get the split fries and onion rings. While good, I’m still on a quest for a place that can be awesome at both burgers and fries. I can’t figure out why that’s difficult but apparently it is.
I counted 21 burgers on the menu. I had the Guacamole Bacon Burger with Cheddar Cheese and my brother (being a frequent customer) always gets the Jalapeno Cheddar Burger and then adds some more hot sauce from the many choices on the table. He says the added hot sauce is the ‘secret sauce’ to Louie Ms. Come to think of it, I think I saw him put it on his eggs at breakfast too!
I’m certainly game to knock off a few more of these gourmet burgers but I need to find someone to split them with, they’re just too big for one person.
- The atmosphere (old school, real)
If you go early enough the group of regulars will still be having coffee out front. They’ll give you the once over to make sure all’s good. Luckily my brother’s work truck blends right in. I’m pretty much kidding because anything goes here. You will meet a mix of ages, races and everything else and it’s a fun, laid-back vibe.
You don’t feel rushed at all, even though it gets busy. I’ve had the same waitress both times and my brother swears she’s been there forever (not saying she’s old, she just apparently started there when she was 10). It’s really about getting the food out to you which is what you want in a great joint.
The building and the decor are real. Real brick, real signs, basically they are the atmosphere other restaurants try (unsuccessfully) to emulate. This building is a gorgeous, historic gem.
- Burgers induce exercise
Yep, you will be so stuffed that you are either going to go take a nap or go take a long walk. I opted for the walk and headed down to the Old Market (easy parking around lunch time) and walked through the Old Market, happy to see that progress is being made on the M’s pub building, through the always impressive Gene Lahey pedestrian mall, and down through the riverfront park. Nice to see all the downtown workers out of their buildings and enjoying the sunshine.
So, I know it’s a big claim in a beef town like Omaha to name Louie M’s Burger Lust Cafe the best burger in town, but for now, it’s at the top of my list.
I know, I still have many more burgers to try, so leave your comments and recommendations and we’ll see if Louie M’s can hold onto the top position.
In the meantime, grab a friend and go try it yourself.