CLOSED: McFoster's Natural Kind Cafe

  • Veg-options Veg-options
    ( 21 reviews )



302 S 38th St (at 35th & Farnam), Omaha, Nebraska, USA, 68131

Serves meat, vegan options available. Has fish and chicken, otherwise menu is vegetarian. Many choices including fresh juices, vegan desserts, portabello burger, hummus, blackened tempeh salad, tofu scramble, different salads and sandwiches. Uses some organic and local ingredients, no refined flour or sugar. Housed in a historical building that looks like a castle. Sunday brunch available. Reported closed to HappyCow, Dec 2014.

Categories: Vegan-friendly, Lacto, Ovo, American, Juice bar, Beer/Wine, Non-veg

21 Reviews

First Review by button

Losing its luster - Edit

I've been going to McFoster's for about 10 years. As Omaha has gotten more and more vegan friendly, McFoster's has pretty much stayed the same. It's not that it is not vegan friendly, it's just not that special and they don't seem to be on top of their game. The place is looking a little rundown and the menu is a bit tired. The last time I was there, they had an issue in the kitchen that prevented them from making about half the items on their menu. I was there at lunch time and the place was empty, which is likely a sign that they are struggling and that people are giving up on McFoster's. It's a shame, as they have been around forever, catering to vegans, but they have got to evolve and stay up with the times.

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has really gone downhill - Edit

I've been here several times over the past few years. When I first started going the food was amazing and the portions generous. Yes it was a bit more expensive but I was willing to pay it to support a place with vegan foods. However, lately I have gone and like another reviewer mentioned it has a strange smell and it doesn't seem clean. The cooks I have seen appear dirty and they often have their children running around playing inside the dining area. The smoothie bar is rather gross and falling apart. If you look at their vitamix blender the containers are EXTREMELY clouded and that is a breeding ground for bacteria. I also invite you to notice how poorly they clean their cups (if you sit at the bar you will notice what I mean). The food also isn't the same as it used to be. The taste is off and when I order an avocado sandwich I don't want black streaked avocado that tastes gross. The portions have shrunk considerably as well and presentation isn't what it used to be. For example: sweet potato fries, I paid I think 3 dollars for 1 small potato where you used to get a plate of them for the same price.
The good desserts are no longer sold and the specials are really hit and miss. The dressings taste watered down and the smoothies leave something to be desired.
I used to LOVE this place and now I'm really sad. I've decided to stop going for reasons mentioned. I didn't know about the owners changing but it would make sense. None of the old staff seem to work there and it appears to me its the new owners bar tending and cooking. (they are rather rude fyi I warn you)
Updated from previous review on Thursday July 24, 2014

EDIT: I say the owners do most the work because one day while sitting at the bar waiting for my to-go order the female cook and male at the bar started arguing and swear at each other about how to run the business. It was unprofessional to say the least and swearing infront of children REALLY Bothers me.

Cons: sanitation concerns, rude staff, pricy, run down, limited select of vegan foods,, not tasty anymore

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Think Twice About going here folks.... - Edit

The first thing you will notice as you walk in is a rather nasty pungent odor.

There is nothing "bright", "colorful" or "new" about this place folks.Whoever wrote that is clueless.

Check out the cooler by the front door....had to be 40 years old and looked filthy.

Look up at the vents in the ceilings and walls...they are BLACKENED with YEARS of buildup.....grease and other air borne pollutants.

As I watched the kitchen staff come and go they were obviously violating a host of health code regulations.

As I read the reviews others have written I had to chuckle to myself.

They can not possibly be genuine.At one time I loved this place.....and it does not surprise me the original founders went under and sold to avoid what one poster calls "tax issues".

The quality of the ingredients used to prepare foods should be suspect.Are they fresh?....Handled properly? I suspect not.

There couldn't possibly be a staff member who cares or has the power and drive to "fix"anything.

Another poster described it as having a "hippie"atmosphere.

That seemed to be a genuine observation.

I am not sure what value that adds to reviewing this cafe but the "energy"there is definitely "dark"....the staff is likely underpaid and overworked....typical.

It quite likely this place will close soon.I give it less than 2 years before new owner gives up.

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Wonderful food and staff. Great selection - Edit

We had this restaurant scoped out before we set out on a long road trip to the east coast. This restaurant was so good, we hit again on the way home to Denver. We have vegans and vegetarians in our family. There was something for everyone. We all enjoyed our food. Well worth the detour off I-80. Surprisingly the food comes out pretty quick. If we are ever back in Omaha, McFosters will be on our list.

Pros: Excellent Food and selection, Great value, Cool staff

Cons: None

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Even Better After New Management and Overhaul - Edit

Midway through last year McFosters was on the verge of going out of business. Due to some big fans of the restaurant they were given donations to help pay back taxes and stay afloat. New management took over as well. Along with new management came a complete overhaul of the interior- deep cleaning, new paint, new artwork.

My wife is vegetarian and I dabble, so we had been here plenty of times and always loved it. But with the overhaul McFosters is even better, Its brighter, cheerier inside, and the service is great! The new owners have revised the menu- reducing some of the greasier stuff (no more sour cream and chive fries, unfortunately), but also seemingly change up the daily specials a lot more. My wife's parents were sometimes hesitant to go here previously for various reasons, but they love it now.

On our last visit, Saturday Jan 19, I got the Tempeh Reuben which is awesome (even better than the Chicago Diner, if any reader has been there), my wife got the daily special which was a Portabello panini, and her parents got a Salmon dish, and the Greek salad. For non-veg eaters, her parents love the fish dishes McFosters has. For an appetizer we shared the Blue Corn Nachos which are always great- blue corn chips covered in sauteed veggies, beans, and either real or soy cheese. For dessert we shared a Peach Cobbler a la mode (Coconut Dream brand ice cream), the cobbler had cardamom and cumin which added a nice touch.

So if you haven't been to McFosters lately I highly recommend it!

Pros: Good mix of Veg and Non, Relaxing, Excellent portions- many half and full

Cons: Can be slow service if really busy

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its okay - Edit

its a very small place. but the falafel sandwich and fries is great. not my favorite but i would come back just not as my first choice. its pretty healthy though..

Pros: healthy, clean food, generous portions

Cons: small place

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This place is AMAZING! - Edit

We went on an RV trip last summer and made McFoster's a stop on the way. The patio seating was awesome for the kids and the menu was almost a good way. The fresh juices were great and the entrees were even better. I had a very hard time deciding what to order but everyones meal was fantastic, including the kids. It was so good that we stopped in on our way back! Definitely suprised Nebraska would have such a gem of a vegetarian restaurant...and sadly much better than we can find in Denver. You have to go!

Pros: Food, Atmosphere, Selection

Cons: Too far for us

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McFoster's is a Must! - Edit

Driving cross-country on I-80, my partner and I spent the night in Omaha simply so we could try out McFoster's the next day. It was absolutely worth it! There was no one behind the counter in the small foyer area of the restaurant when we arrived, but that didn't matter. Two servers walking by spotted us and both gave us the friendliest greetings. Told us we could sit wherever we liked.

The menu selection is HUGE. Definitely something for everyone. If I lived in Omaha, I would dine here all the time. You know you are at home away from home when the first page says "Vegan Appetizers" and "Non-Vegan Appetizers".

Our waitress (blond, young, thin, beautiful)could not have been more delightful and helpful. I ordered a ginger soy smoothie which arrived in a chilled mug garnished with an orange slice. One taste and I knew we were in for a great experience at this restaurant. I had the tempeh, lettuce & tomato sandwich. I asked to add avocado (not a problem). Got it w/ sweet potato fries. It was heaven on a plate. A relatively simple sandwich, made to perfection. My partner is a reuben affectionado. Usually turkey reubens, I'm afraid. At McFoster's, he ordered the tempeh reuben w/ fries and devoured it. His only complaint was that there was not more of it.

I'd say this is more of a lunch/dinner place but if you're in the mood for breakfast they offered blueberry pancakes and a tofu scramble.

(My only critique would be that the seating area looked like it needed a deep cleaning.)

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I Wish I Could Eat There Everyday. - Edit

On a recent trip to Omaha I made a point to visit McFoster's. It really was a welcome oasis in a town of steakhouses. I don't know what other reviewers are complaining about. Sure, the decor and atmosphere are funky, but that's part of the charm. What do you expect at a restaurant that serves this type of food? The food was as fresh and healthy as possible! My friend got an eggplant sandwich with vegan cheese and a side of carrot bisque; I got the portabello mushroom meal, and we shared. Everything was cooked to perfection, juicy and flavorful. We also had a vegan chocolate-peanut butter swirl tofu cheesecake for dessert, which was to die for! It was better than vegan desserts I've made at home. The service was prompt and friendly. My only complaint is that they were out of several menu items (hummus, mint julep smoothie, apricot beer, hazelnut-chocolate chip cheesecake, and possibly more). I will definitely go back ANY time I'm in Omaha!

Pros: Delicious food!, Very healthy!, Fun vibe!

Cons: Out of several menu items

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Hidden Gem in a City of Steakhouses - Edit

I went to Omaha on business and just for the heck of it opened up the VegOut app and saw the rave reviews of McFoster's Natural Kind Cafe.

My GPS eventually got me there and it had a great almost castle-like ambiance and I was warmly greeted and looked at their huge menu. It was hard to decide what to get but I settled on a Tempeh Reuben with a side of sautéed vegetables and some breathe tea because coming from Florida my respiratory system was suffering!

The food came and it was delicious. The sandwich was crunch and flavorful, the tea was soothing and the veggies were tasty. I told them it was amazing they were in Omaha and how much I enjoyed the lunch.

The next day I was supposed to meet a client at McFosters but he got delayed so I went there solo again. I decided to try their crunch salad which had an amazing amount of crisp delicious vegetables and avocado with a side of Cajun tempeh and miso soup which had greens and home-made vegan croutons. It was delicious and for the second day I got carrot cake which came with a tofu mousse.

This restaurant is really good and it was a pleasure to meet the staff and have such nutritious and healthy food in a city with growing social consciousness and enlightenment!

Pros: huge menu, many vegetarian/vegan options, delicious food and desserts

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Great food, interesting place. - Edit

Places like this are unique. This is not high-society dining, but the personality and atmosphere are wonderful. Sort of a bar / lunchroom atmosphere. Bohemian. I ate here 2x in 2 days. Day 1: the nachos were great, the red bean burrito was kind of runny, not my style. Day 2: the smoked tomato cashew soup was awesome, and the Tempeh Rubin (with Kim Che) was delicious.
I recommend this place highly, unless you arent into character and a neighborhood feel. If you prefer a more formal dining experience, try Applebees.

Pros: Character, Many Vegetarian Options, free internet

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I love McFosters! - Edit

You have to try the smoked tomato soup (No Liquid Smoke used, they actually smoke their home-grown tomatoes themselves!) and the Tofu Cheescake. I've gone tons of times and everything is always fantastic. Love the hippie vibe - there is blotting paper art on the walls! The owner, Mary, is beyond kind and has been a vegetarian for over 20 years now.
They also have the sweetest tasting wheatgrass shots I've had, not unpleasant at all to take, and a HUGE selection of smoothies, juices (That they juice right before serving) and fairtrade coffees and teas.

Pros: Awesome selection of veg food, Low prices, plenty of vegan options

Cons: Not totally veg

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Mediocre at best - Edit

I've worked and eaten in some amazing vegetarian restuarants. My experience at McFosters is that the staff displayed poor, indifferent customer service and the food was bordering on terrible. I ordered a juice and a salad described as being a meal in itself. The juice was ok - can't go wrong there. The salad was limp and wilted, with no character and nothing substantial. It was supposed to have come with a roll, which I had to ask for. Then I had to ask for hemp butter to go with it, which the server unnecessarily and somewhat condescendingly explained to me was a little like a butter substitute not unlike margarine (thanks for the heads up). My server was rolling silverware at a work station behind me and singing out loud to herself while my companion and I were eating. This competed with the two types of music being blasted - one from the kitchen and one from the speakers. Repeated requests to turn either of them down were apologetically ignored. I wish I could say something nice about my experience, because I would like for there to be a good vegad restaurant in Omaha, but for now I will just stick with ordering vegan items from the many other restaurants in the area. I recommend, as an alternative, any of the wonderful authentic Mexican restaurans in south Omaha - try asking for vegetable fajitas - they will come with fresh homemade corn tortillas - can't get any better than that.

Pros: nice building, good intent

Cons: unclean, poor service, mediocre food

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Excellent Experience - Edit

I loved the character of the place and most important the food was great! If I lived in Nebraska I'd eat there every week.

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Absolutely amazing! I had tempeh reuben sandwhich and it was delicious. My husband went with a free range chicken sandwich which he absolutely loved. The service was great, the food was outstanding. Five plus stars for me! There is a huge selection of both vegetarian and vegan items on the menu. I would love to come back and taste them all!

Pros: Great taste, Huge selection, Great service

Cons: none

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could this really be the best omaha has to offer? - Edit

i first want to note that mcfoster's claims on their menu to be a "vegetarian restaurant that serves chicken," something which should raise a few eyebrows. i find it rather more than lame that anyone who would care to open a primarily vegetarian restaurant and to refer to it as such would serve flesh dishes (they also serve seafood). these non-vegetarian options comprise a goodly portion of their menu, at that.

anyways, my lunch there (a dish with seitan and artichoke in some sort of creamy french-style sauce) was okay, and the artichokes were a little on the weak side. it was interesting and a fairly unusual vegan option. the brussel sprouts were surprisingly excellent, however. the servers were very friendly and prompt with the water. the prices were a little steep, considering the quality of the food itself. the decor was beyond tacky -- i was seated next to a framed set of jerry garcia stamps.

Pros: some unusual options, friendly service

Cons: unexceptional food, hippie-ish atmosphere, a little pricey

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Paradise - Edit

Amazing vegan/vegetarian/raw/omnivore peaceful, hippi-like restaraunt.
I LOVE mcfosters, while all of their choices may not be my favorite, they have never let me down =]
Mcfosters is the perfect spot in omaha to relax or dine, their waiters are all well informed, and I even had one sing happy birthday to me hahaa(ok well.. you'd have been there but he made it HILARIOUS)
You can sit inside in a variety of booths and tables, as well as outside on the patio.
On many occasions there is live music which makes for suuuch a great environment.
If you want a cheap vegan snack you should totally try their sweet potato fries with organic banana ketchup!
Also, on sundays they have their breakfast menu which has some amazing pancakes/tofu scrambles and alot more!

Pros: Excellent staff =], DEE LISH USSS

Cons: It's no fast food.. take a breather!, They serve corpses =[, NOT COMPLETELY VEGAN

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AWESOME!!!! - Edit

We were visiting Omaha and found McFosters on happy cow and decided to go there! It was the largest vegan and vegetarian menu I have ever seen. I was in heaven. They even let me create my own meal. The prices were low, the service was great and the atmosphere was amazing. You can sit inside or outside. We had veggie tempura for an apetizer and it was scrumptious! If you are in Omaha, eat here!

Pros: delicious food, large menu, great prices

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Fantastic! - Edit

I love the cuisine in this restaurant. The food is interesting, delicious, presented well, and affordable. The restaurant has a laid back atmosphere and weekend entertainment.

Pros: excellent food, healthy cuisine, good value

Cons: hippieish

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I absolutly love this place - Edit

i live in iowa so it is a two hour dirve for me to get to there, but it is totally worth the trip. my sister is vegan and i am a vegetarian so it is hard to find something that she and i can both eat and like in the same place. it is sad to say but we have actually driven to omaha just to go here.
the food is always excellent and the service is great. i alway enjoy myself when i go.

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Excelent - Edit

I went here twice while I was in town, the second time I brought 5 friends, and everyone loved it. The service was good and friendly, the menu is big and diverse, with fresh juices and plenty of vegan desserts. They have wine and some interesting beers too.

Pros: Nice outdoor seating (summer!), Juce bar, Vegan Desserts

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