Culinary Schools in Lincoln, NE: Culinary Arts & Cooking Colleges

Culinary Schools in Lincoln

The Nebraksa state capital is also home to the storied University of Nebraska. Football is almost a religion here. In fact, when Memorial Stadium is at capacity on game night with 90,000 fans, it becomes the third-largest city in the entire state. They also love their food at football games. In 1995, "Der Viener Schlinger" made its debut at Memorial Stadium. This pressurized cannon launches hot dogs (voted one of the best stadium foods in the country) into the stands, where screaming fans try to grab and eat them.

This Great Plains state might not be the first state to come to mind when you think of culinary school, but it doesn't have to be haute cuisine to be fantastic food. In fact, a good steak and potatoes are more likely to have you leaving the restaurant happy than anything more complicated; and the portions are bigger, too! While steak in all its preparations reigns supreme here, Nebraska also has a long and proud tradition that includes Eastern European foods, in particular delicious dishes from Poland and the Czech Republic.

Famous Lincoln restaurants and food

Nebraska not only has great cattle, but there are other essential culinary ingredients that the states produces in abundance, including grain, soybeans and wheat. Students at one of the Lincoln culinary arts institutes will have the chance to work with great cuts of beef, coming from grass-fed cattle that has plenty of room to roam. In terms of food that Nebraska is known for, there's the runza (originally from Russia), which is a rectangular-shaped yeast dough bread pocket stuffed with a variety of ingredients, such as pork, beef, cabbage, sauerkraut and onions. This is as Nebraska as it gets -- there's even a Nebraska-based fast food chained named Runza. And let's not forget the Reuben sandwich. Contrary to what many in New York believe, this legenday corned beef sandwich was actually invented by a Husker in 1920. Reuben Kulakofsky, a grocer from Lithuania, put corned beef, Swiss cheese, Russian dressing, and sauerkraut on rye bread and grilled it. It went on to win a contest and the rest, as they say, is (Nebraska) history.

Now that you are probably nice and hungry, let's have a look at three legendary Lincoln restaurants:

  • The Single Barrel: This restaurant and concert venue proudly sources as many local ingredients as possible, including pork, beef, bison and trout. This steakhouse is known for their excellent meats and their great selection of bourbons. VIP service is available on Huskers Game Day.
  • Honest Abe's Burgers and Freedom: This super-casual eatery serves some of the best burgers in town. Seating is limited, but there is outdoor seating for the warm summer months. The burgers are universally popular, especially thanks to ever-changing exotic combinations: pickled apples on your hamburger, anyone?
  • LeadBelly: Located in a gorgeous old red-brick building in Lincoln's Haymarket district, this American gastropub specializes in inventive fare. The chefs continuously come up with exotic combinations and new twists on favorites, such as the famous Raspberry Beret burger. An extensive gluten-free menu and creative cocktails round out the menu.

Culinary salary and careers in Lincoln

A life in the kitchen or in some aspect of the food and beverage industry is a calling for many. That said, it's also important to make a living, whether it's surrounded by stainless steel pots, pouring fine wine, cutting meats, or managing a restaurant. Please have a look at some of the data presented by the Bureau of Labor Statistics that lists earnings data for aspiring students at one of the Lincoln culinary schools, but for the entire state of Nebraska:


Total Employment in Nebraska (2014)

Average Salary in Nebraska (2014)

% Job Growth Nationwide (2012-2022)





Butchers and Meat Cutters




Chefs and Head Cooks




Food Service Managers




Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014

For those who prefer to stay in the Lincoln area, here is a more detailed look at earnings data for the Nebraska state capital:



Total Employed (2014)

Average Salary (2014)





Butchers and Meat Cutters



Chefs and Head Cooks



Food Service Managers



Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014

Attending one of the Lincoln cooking schools could mean an exciting future in the food and beverage sector for graduates. Whether you like the heat of the kitchen or want to get in-depth training needed to perhaps run your own restaurant one day, getting a solid educational foundation is always a good idea. Check with the school listings below to find the one that fits your needs.


  • 29 Things You Need to Know About Nebraksa Before Moving Here, Movoto Blog, Spencer McKee,
  • Honest Abe's Burgers and Freedom,
  • Leadbelly,
  • May 2014 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates Nebraska, 2015, Bureau of Labor Statistics,
  • May 2014 Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Lincoln, NE,
  • The Single Barrel:
  • Welcome to the Boneyard,
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This list also contains online schools that accept students from Lincoln