Exploring Omaha’s Old Market District

Historic districts are always fun to explore, especially when cobblestone streets are lined with old brick buildings filled with unique shops, art galleries and interesting pubs and restaurants. That describes to a T Omaha’s Old Market District, a former warehousing area developed in the 1880s. Omaha resident and fellow travel blogger Lisa Trudell, half of The Walking Tourists, introduced my husband and me to the area this past summer.

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We started with lunch at the Upstream Brewing Company (514 S 11th Street), which I wrote briefly about in my Sample Craft Beer at Omaha Breweries article. The brewpub is located in the old Fire Substation No. 1.

Upstream Brewing CompanyAfter lunch Lisa led us through the Old Market District pointing out various shops and restaurants.

Old Market ShopsThe Tannenbaum Christmas Shop (1007 Howard Street) caught my eye, filled with festive ornaments and decorations.

Tannenbaum Christmas ShopThe combination of old brick, green plants, black wrought iron and a narrow walkway sets a European mood in the Old Market Passageway (entrance off of Howard Street between South 10th and South 11th Streets). Art galleries, restaurants and boutiques are accessed through the Passageway.

Old Market PassagewayBefore we left the area in the afternoon, I couldn’t resist popping into Hollywood Candy (1209 Jackson Street). Besides selling bins and bins of nostalgic candy, the bright décor is outrageously fun.

Hollywood Candy StoreHollywood Candy decorNeccoPezSkip and I returned to the Old Market Passageway in the evening for dinner at Omaha Prime, pricey, but according to its web site, “ … one of the few restaurants in the nation to serve only the finest USDA Prime steaks and chops.” As expected, my perfectly done, medium-rare filet was melt-in-your-mouth tender and flavorful, our dining experience enhanced by the ambiance of our balcony table overlooking the Passageway and classy, top-notch service by tuxedo-clad wait staff.

Omaha Prime balconyOmaha PrimeI could have spent a lot more time in the Old Market, browsing through shops and galleries and enjoying the night life. If you’re planning a visit to Omaha, the Old Market District is a definite must-do.

The Old Market District is located in downtown Omaha, Nebraska, between 10th and 13th Streets and from Harney to Jackson Streets. Check the web site for specific business details.

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