Monday, July 26, 2010

WhoaWren's Guide to Lincoln

PETA recently named Lincoln, Nebraska one of the most veg-friendly small cities in the United States. While I maintain that Omaha is substantially more vegan friendly, I am super happy to see that Nebraska is finally getting her due. We really do have more than just corn (but our corn is seriously good)! Having spent a good chunk of my life, 23 years, in Nebraska's capitol city, I thought that I should write a guide to being veg and entertaining yourself in Lincoln, NE.

PETA name drops Maggie's, Taj Mahal, and Grateful Bread/Freakbeat Vegetarian, but there's more to dining in Lincoln than just these three...

Nha Trang: Huge, huge menu, so it's good for groups of people who have differing tastes. Be sure to switch out the house sauce for the peanut sauce. No worries, the peanut sauce is probably made by angels and is so good.

Open Harvest: Lincoln's own little co-op! They have a fantastic selection of foods, a great bulk section, fresh produce, a bakery and a deli. The deli has everything labeled as containing meat, vegetarian, beegan (vegan with honey) or vegan. Try the baked tofu. You won't regret it.

Parthenon: Greek food with a separate vegan menu. There are belly dancers some nights! Oooh!

Great Wall: Sesame tofu. All you need to know.

Oso Burrito: A local version of Chipotle, with more veggie options and fun sauces.

Yia Yia's Pizza: I can't believe I haven't blogged about Yia Yia's! Oh well, gives me a reason to go back. Soy cheese and tons of toppings, beloved by all. Also, there's a huge selection of beer, if you're into that sort of thing.

Bread and Cup: I haven't eaten here, but I have it on good authority that this place is fresh (they don't own a refrigerator) and delish. Not a ton of vegan options, but what they have is great.

Pepe's Veggie Mix Bistro: All vegetarian, with more things having the chance to be made vegan. Pepe's uses tons of ingredients from the Farmer's Market and consistently turns out fresh, creative, tasty dishes.

Red Clover: this isn't a restaurant, but it is a natural grocer with an extensive frozen food selection. It's right by Taj Mahal, so you can do your shopping and your dining all at once.

Licorice, International: More types of licorice than you can shake a stick at, not that you would.

Lincoln also has all the chain restaurants with veggie options that you want: Chipotle, Qdoba, Pizza Hut, HuHot, etc.


Nebraska History Museum: I loved this museum when I was little and I still do. The suggested donation to get in is only $2 and you can't find a better collection about Nebraska's history anywhere else. Fun fact: I was afraid of falling through their steps when I was little.

Morrill Hall: Mostly natural history, with a pretty decent collection of dinosaurs, as well as North America's largest mammoth skeleton. There's also a hands on room for kids to play in, as well as a planetarium.

Sheldon Art Museum: Totally free and has great revolving exhibits. One thing I really like about this museum is how they have atypical pieces from various artists. Ever wanted to see a cityscape by Georgia O'Keefe? Or a painting that uses straight lines by Jackson Pollock? You can see them here.

International Quilt Museum: Yes, we have a quilt museum and it is awesome. Serious works of art.

Pioneer Park: Huge nature preserve with a nature center. Lots of trails and summer has the Pinewood Bowl, with a different musical performed in their outdoor amphitheater each year.

Wilderness Park: Basically the same thing as Pioneer Park, but I spent a huge chunk of my childhood here, playing in the river. Fun fact: I used to put raisins over my teeth to convince my dad that I had lost a tooth when he picked me up. Ha! Ha! Actually, that still makes me laugh.

Lincoln Children's Museum: So many hours of fun were had here in my childhood. They've completely remodeled since I was little, only making it better. A perfect place to take the kiddos.

The bar scene: One thing that's really nice about Lincoln is the fact that a huge portion of their bars are packed into a few blocks, so if you aren't feeling the bar you're at, you can walk to the next one. It's all on O street, between 16th and, oh, let's say 11th street. You can get Jimmy John's when you're done. Also, the Brothers bar here is not the one you want.

First Friday: Lincoln has a thriving art community and First Friday is always a good time.


I already covered my thrifting favorites here, but there are still a few spots left that I haven't talked about...

Aorta: Located above Duffy's, this store carries vintage clothing and jewelry, as well as the owner's own line of seriously amazing jewelry. I find something I love every time I pop in here.

Robot Luv: Right down the hall from Aorta, Miley Cyrus wears this stuff, yo.

Black Market: Sell your old clothes here, or buy some new stuff! You can find great deals and lovely new duds (for girls and guys) here, plus it is connected to...

The Public: Lincoln's own independent shoe store! This is where you gotta go to get your Tom's. And everyone needs at least one pair of Tom's.

Stella: Pretty, moderately priced clothes for the ladies

Avant Card: Cute little gift store with quirky things. There's one located in Gateway Mall.

Straw, Sticks and Bricks: All natural home design.

Indigo Bridge Books

Fringe and Tassel: Costume shop that is bursting with options. Always fun to poke around in.

There are also two malls: Gateway Mall and Southpointe Pavilions. Sometimes the climate control is nice.

Phew! I can't give any information on where to stay, seeing as how I sleep at my parent's when I stay there, so you're on your own with that one.

Did I miss anything? What are your favorites?

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