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College Baseball Central's 2024 Guide to Omaha & Men's College World Series

Updated: Jun 12


UPDATED 06/12/2024 with food selections at the games


OMAHA, NE- Annually, thousands of college baseball fans flock to the center of the country, to a place in our sport that exists on the mind of players, coaches, and fans 365 days a year. Omaha becomes college baseball heaven in the middle of June, but even the most die-hard fans explore downtown Omaha, finding new favorites in the heartland. We at College Baseball Central have favorites of our own, and while this isn’t an all-encompassing list, hitting each item on it would satisfy even a fan of an 0-2 CWS team.


Restaurants near Charles Schwab Field:


Nearly everyone knows Rocco’s, you’ve seen the thousands of Jell-O shots consumed, and even heard it talked about on TV. It’s become a larger than life tradition, right outside the right field gates of Charles Schwab Field. While the shots are what will certainly bring thousands more to the restaurant, many overlook the mainstay of Rocco’s, the pizza. Home to 24 different pizza options, CBC’s favorite on the menu is the “Spicy Hawaiian”, featuring smoked bacon, pineapple, and jalapenos. Rocco’s is sure to be a mad house of shot enthusiasts before, between, and after College World Series games, but you’ll be hard pressed to find a better pizza in the downtown area than the large selections at Rocco’s.



Many would argue the best burger in the city of Omaha resides within walking distance of Charles Schwab Field. Block 16 is home to a variety of burgers, pulled pork, and chicken, with the CBC choice being the “Croque Garcon Burger”. Rhyming with “smoke cars on” for folks looking to order it without butchering its name, the burger is topped with ham, cheese, onion, mustard, mayo and a sunny-side-up egg. Alton Brown described the Croque Garcon as his favorite hamburger in the entire country. Block 16 has become a staple of downtown Omaha eating, and is definitely somewhere to stop that’s just far enough away from the large stadium crowds to comfortably enjoy a quality meal.


Must-have Steak


Outside of baseball, Omaha is widely known for its steak. Favorite steakhouses are controversial, but Oracle of Omaha Warren Buffett ranks Gorat’s as not only his favorite steak, but his top restaurant in Omaha. CBC recommends the Filet, or for hungrier eaters, the Porterhouse, of course, featuring a filet inside of it. The fine cuts of meat aren’t the only calling card of Gorat’s, a first timer should partake in the Hashbrowns, cooked to perfection, they make a great pairing with what many call the best steak in Omaha.


Slightly more popular with out of towners, the Drover ranks highly in Omaha steakhouse lore. CBC recommends any of the "Whiskey" marinated cuts, but our favorite is the Whiskey Ribeye, which is marinated about 15 minutes after you order it. And, here's an even better tip: call ahead and make a reservation, well in advance and away from rush hours and days if possible, even if you're going for lunch instead of dinner. Last time there during the MCWS, we went for dinner on an off day, called a few days out and made a reservation. We were seated in three minutes, while those who risked just walking in looked on with envy, when we arrived and when we left. The Drover also offers takeout (no delivery), but trust us, if you want the full Omaha steak experience, eat it hot from the kitchen, right to your table!



Fast Food


No trip to Nebraska is complete without a stop at local chain Runza. Runza’s menu features hamburgers, chicken strips, and other fast food essentials, with one speciality item, appropriately named, the Runza. The Runza is a meat filled pocket of dough, homemade and cooked to perfection in house at each location. Think a more savory philly, with a hamburger base. Options include original, cheese, swiss mushroom, and many more unique combinations of ingredients to compliment the mixture of beef, cabbage, and secret ingredients only known to a select few. Ranch dressing fanatics have to prioritize a visit to Runza, as locals claim Runza’s ranch is just on another level from any other Ranch, but that might be too midwest for you cross country travelers.


King Kong was once a must-visit attraction, located outside of Rosenblatt Stadium and Omaha’a Henry Doorly Zoo, and it was impossible to miss the giant Gorilla that invited customers in. Today, not many locations remain, but it remains impossible to pass up when visiting the Rosenblatt Stadium memorial or the Henry Doorly Zoo. On the menu, anything from burgers to steak to gyros await the customer. These burgers are massive, and they are sure to fill you up. Combine them with a solid french fry and you’ll have a fast meal worth the trip.



Pre-Game Drinks


Okay College Baseball Central staff, food is great, but I need to drink too. We all know there’s a difference between the perfect pre-game drink, and the ideal post-game drink. Pre-game, DJ’s Dugout offers fans the oppprtunity to mingle in a baseball-centric sports bar within walking distance to Charles Schwab Field. DJ’s has even housed shows such as Barstool’s Pick’s Central to entertain fans in the past. General bar food and a wide selection of alcohol will be available until 11 PM nightly.


You did DJ’s one day, you’re hitting Addy’s the next. Addy’s is right across the street from DJ's, and thus also within walking distance of Charles Schwab Field. Addy’s features a nearly identical menu, with a slightly quieter atmosphere for folks looking to keep nerves at a minimum before first pitch.


The Menu At The Game






Post-Game Drinks


The Old Mattress factory has become a staple of Omaha in June. Offering a great food menu as well as large margaritas, the Old Mattress Factory is the perfect location to celebrate a CWS victory, or drown your sorrows after a tough loss. The Mattress Factory is of course open before the games, too, but you’ll see “the Matt” compete with well known “Blatt” for who can throw the biggest party after each night game.


The Beer Garden is ideal for fans who don’t even attend a game, with giant TV screens, vendors, and of course, beer. Fans of all types can find something to enjoy in the lot that connects the Old Mattress Factory to the Blatt. This area turns into a who’s who of party goers and overjoyed baseball fans alike after hours. Whether you’re too tired from a day of baseball, or ready for the night to continue on, you will have no problem finding the Beer Garden- just follow the noise.


Ice Cream


Each category that College Baseball Central has laid out and will continue to lay out, has two options, for fans who might want to try multiple options, or compete in debates about which is best. When it comes to ice cream around Charles Schwab Field, there is simply no debate. Zesto is your stop, and it is an absolute must! It doesn’t look like much from the outside, just a window and overworked employees, but Zesto produces some of the best ice cream you’ve ever tested, including shakes, astros, and malts, and traditional ice cream cones. You will be hard pressed to find a CWS veteran or Omaha local that doesn’t rave about Zesto, even if they miss the full service of the former location that served food at Rosenblatt. Think of it like American Express, don't leave Omaha without it!




Things to do within walking distance


The Old Market- Full of shops, restaurants, and other unique stops, the Old Market is a great way to spend an afternoon away from the ballpark. Pro Tip- Parking in the Old Market and all of downtown Omaha is free on Sundays.


Gene Leahy Mall- Newly refurbished, the Gene Leahy Mall offers a great outdoor space to explore, relax, or let the kids loose. No shopping here, but this CBC contributor would pay money to be able to experience the thrill of the slides at Gene Leahy again.


The Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge- Perfect for a quiet excursion after a night game, the pedestrian bridge can be seen lighting up the Missouri River as it connects Omaha to Council Bluffs in Iowa. Locals and tourists alike love to stop at the middle of the bridge and stand in Iowa and Nebraska at the same time. It’s not the Four Corners, but "Two Corners" with a side of baseball is as Omaha as it gets.



Things to do within driving distance


The Henry Doorly Zoo- Yes, it’s a cliche, but the Omaha Zoo continues to be the best in the country. It’s so good in fact, you will likely see all 8 CWS teams make a trip on their days off. You might even have the privilege of seeing a big donkey!


And, while you're at the Zoo or chowing down at King Kong, plan to make time for another adjacent site to see, the Rosenblatt Memorial. It's a tribute to the stadium that stood on the bluff from the 1950s through the last year of the CWS there in 2010, steadily growing through the years with the game it hosted. There's a small mock infield, some of the brightly colored chairbacks, the old scoreboard arch, and two plaque displays, one showing all the teams that won national championships at Rosenblatt and a second one showing all the Omaha Metro Area ball players who lived out the dream of playing in Omaha at the CWS. If you ever saw a game at Rosenblatt, it will bring back such great memories, and if you never got the chance, see the place that just may have saved college baseball nearly 75 years ago, when it was looking for an accommodating and successful home to host its championships.






Casinos


Gambling isn’t 100% legal in Omaha, well it kind of is, but not really. Omaha locals are known to “invest” at various casinos just across the river in Council Bluffs. Ameristar, Horseshoe, and Harrah’s offer patrons 21+ the opportunity to not only play slots and table games, but also the opportunity to wager on sports. College Baseball Central is not advising you to place a lot of money on your favorite team to win it all, but it’s about a 10-minute drive if that’s something you might be interested in.




Above all, if you're a visitor in town, don't hesitate to ask anyone for information or directions. Omaha is proud of its history with the Men's College World Series, since 1950, and the city embraces the tradition, the teams, and the fans.


And be ready to talk about your team when you go to any of the places we've recommended! The Omaha-Council Bluffs community loves college baseball just about as much as the good people who travel hundreds and thousands of miles every June to support their team; so make yourselves at home, be our guest, and by all means, let us know if we can do anything to make your time in town better, excluding the outcome of the baseball games, of course! We don't control the weather, and we don't control the score; anything else, we'll do our best!


And, as you head to the ball park, Charles Schwab Field, here's some tips to make things go smoother. Check back, we'll update as more information is released.





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