Omaha’s Old Market packs a lot in a small area. The area was originally a wholesale and retail area for early-day Omaha and the area. Today, it’s a retail and entertainment district. Visitors to the nine-square block area can find all sorts of things to satisfy their interests. Foodies can dine at several restaurants. Party-goers have their pick of bars and lounges. Museums and galleries are available for those interested in more refined culture. Shopping galore awaits purse strings and wallets.
Brick streets that take you back to the early 1900s encompass the area. Flowers line the roof tops of overhangs along the streets. The older buildings harken back to a simpler time. The Old Market offers a bit of everything to everyone.
We enjoy walking the area and taking in the sights. The Old Market is home to one of the most photographed spots in Omaha – The Passageway. It’s been used for family portraits, high school senior pictures and wedding and engagement photos. Its use is now restricted because of some people’s actions and behavior, but it’s still a beautiful spot for viewing.
We prefer to check out the eclectic-style stores rather the more mainstream merchants, such as apparel stores. You have a variety of stores to visit. Our favorite store in Hollywood candy. You’d think for the sweets, huh? But, while the inventory of nostalgia candy and soda are tempting, we love the ambiance of the store. The store runs the gamut from candy to old movie reels and stuffed toys.
Hollywood Candy offers you a chance to rent a small theater to watch your favorite movie. Or, you can grab a snack and drink in the cafe.
Hollywood Candy has one of the largest collections of Pez candy holders you’ll see outside of the Pez visitors center in Connecticut. They range from sports teams Pez containers to Star Wars, and even Snow White. It’s an impressive collection.
You can even find Elvis at Hollywood Candy, serenading girls on the beach. Oh, and Mike and Sulley from “Monsters Inc.” may be running a cash register.
Since Christmas is right around the corner, check out Tannenbaum in the Old Market. It’s Christmas there every day of the year. You can visit the store any time and take in views of beautiful ornaments and great decorations.
Iron Decor and More is half-store and half-exhibit. Items made from metal are displayed on the street during the day. They are sale. A giant rooster has a sign encouraging people to share photos on the store Facebook page. We found a few of our Minion friends hanging out there.
Homer’s is a classic music store. It sells music by the vinyl, cassette or CD. it also sells music-related nostalgia items. It’s a pretty neat place to check out. I love how they decorate their windows with album covers and posters.
The Old Market is home to a lot (and I mean a lot!) of dining options. They range from upscale to family-friendly prices. Everyone has their favorite places to eat at, but we alternate between Upstream (if we are hosting visitors or want a nicer meal), Pepperjax (Philly steak sandwiches) to Zio’s Pizza. They’re all locally owned, so we enjoy that. the Upstream is located inside an old fire house.
My favorite Old Market restaurant is a tie between Trini’s and probably Zio’s. And for a strange reason – I like Zio’s side salad. I realize it’s a salad, but for some reason, it tastes different and better to me. I enjoy being able to order one or two slices of different types of pizza if I want, or trying one of their calzones. They make really good calzones. As for Trini’s, I enjoy their tacos and chimichangas. Lisa likes their fish tacos.
Everyone’s favorite dessert or treat stop has to be Ted and Wally’s. There aren’t many places I’ll stand in line for a few minutes just to try a scoop of ice cream, but this is one place where I will. The place is in an old car garage.
We’re not very good at the party scene. Those days have passed us by. But, there are plenty of places take in the scene. Brickway brews its own beer and has a whiskey distillery onsite. They market their drinks to local events. Upstream is a nice place to grab a relaxing drink.
The Old Market is home to a Farmers Market for about six months, beginning in April. Vendors sell fruits, vegetables, clothes and jewelry among other wares. You can get some amazing tasting food there. You’ll see street performers earning some extra money while entertaining the crowds. It’s fun to grab a drink walk around and try a few samples. You never know what you’ll bring home – some kettle corn or maybe a T-shirt.
The Old Market is one of our favorite places to visit in Omaha. It can lead you to other areas along the riverfront, including Heartland of America Park, Lewis and Clark Landing and the Bob Kerrey Bridge. You can walk a short distance north and take in the views and slides at the Gene Leahy Mall, visit the main library or take in a show of sports event at the Century Link Arena or TD Ameritrade Park. The Old Market is an attraction unto itself and an avenue to others.
We encourage people to check out the Old market and enjoy the sights and sounds.