city guide: omaha, nebraska.

Next up in the series of city guides - tips for zero waste locales in places around the country - is Omaha, Nebraska, courtesy of sweet reader Rose. Below, a few of her favorite places in her heartland city.

Do

-Old Market: The go-to place for first-time visitors to the city. Eat, shop, and stroll around in this historic part of Omaha. A concentration of great restaurants are to be found here, along with unique gift shops, a used bookstore, a cigar lounge or an ice cream parlor (whatever strikes your fancy!).

-Dundee: While much smaller than the Old Market, Dundee is a quaint little spot that offers some of the best restaurants in Omaha (especially if you want to avoid the crowds of the Old Market). While there aren't many shops here, there is a fun vintage store and a popular spot to get gourmet ice cream.

-Joslyn Art Museum: Now free for all visitors, this museum is a great date spot. You can easily spend an hour strolling around. The William Adolphe Bouguereau's Return of Spring (Le Printemps) is a must-see if you visit.

-Durham Museum (Old Market): Housed in an Art Deco train station, this museum is a gem for all those interested in the Western region's history, especially the history of Omaha and Nebraska. 

-Lauritzen Gardens: 100 acres of flowers and green space. Beautiful to walk around and see what is blooming. My favorite area is the Rose Garden, there are over 2,000 rose plants and the fragrance in the air is lovely when in bloom. 

-Fontenelle Forest (about 20 mins south of Omaha, in Bellevue): While not in Omaha proper, if you're craving a bit of hiking or a place for kids to let off steam, this 14,00 acre wood is where I go if I want to be in nature. It's usually not overly crowded, and there is always some wildlife spotting. 

Eat

-New Amsterdam Falafel (Dundee): My favorite place for the perfect falafel sandwich. For anyone that is looking for quick and fairly cheap vegetarian food in this steakhouse town, I would go here. You can order spicy, garlic, or herb sauce. Do take-out in containers brought from home and sit in nearby Memorial Park to eat.

-Pitch Pizzeria (Dundee, West O): Pitch now has two locations, with the best atmosphere being in Dundee. It features unique pizza combinations (such as the Thai Pie, with peanut sauce and ginger), yummy homemade meatball subs, and a nice selection of beers and wine.

-Block 16 (Old Market): The spot my husband and I usually go to if we are in the Old Market and looking for a good meal on a Friday night, after a long week of working. They feature items such as pulled pork, Dragon Fries (The best! sprinkled with a fortune cookie and sauce), poutine, and juicy burgers on their meat-heavy menu.

-The Tea Smith (Old Market, Midtown): If you're a tea-drinker, the Tea Smith is a delightful shop to procure tea blends. I recently switched over to their Blacksmith Blend for my morning brew, and it's excellent. 

-Aroma's (Old Market): A city guide wouldn't be complete without a coffee shop rec! Good coffee and huge cinnamon rolls. Mingle with university students and Old Market office workers alike.

Honorable Mentions, because we like to eat a lot in this town:

-Brother Sebastian's: Styled after a California monastery, the steaks and salad bar are filling and cooked perfectly. A seat in the library is cozy and romantic.

-Mark's Bistro (Dundee): The place to go in Dundee for a relaxing meal, complete with twinkle lights. Seriously, you can order anything from this menu and it will be excellent. They make brussels sprouts taste good!

Stay Zero Waste

-Omaha Farmer's Markets (Old Market, Aksarben): A weekend trip to the Farmer's Market will yield fresh vegetables, Greek pastries, honey, eggs, meat, pet treats, and crafty items. A good place to people watch as well. It gets busy in the summer, so go early.

-Natural Grocer's (West O, Central O): A go-to spot for grains, rice, herbs and spices, flour, nuts, and peanut butter. . An organic market, this spot fulfills your grocery needs and personal care needs. Their veggies and fruit are fresh, the meat is organic or grass-fed, and they have a huge supplements section. Bring your own bags, as they do not have any plastic or paper bags on site. 

Thanks so much for sharing, Rose! Readers, if you have a city you love + would like to share, I'd love to feature your city guide. Send me an email or leave me a comment! PS - more city guides, here.