Coffee & Tea in Kearney

When you’re trying to make it through a busy day of work or a long night of studying, sometimes you just need a caffeine pick-me-up like a good ‘ole cup of coffee or some hot tea. Here in Kearney, we are lucky to have a selection of amazing coffee shops, where not only can you grab a drink on the go, you can also enjoy the atmosphere at these Kearney coffee shops.

The first location on the list is Baristas Daily Grind. Baristas has been such a loved Kearney staple, opening their first store back in 2001. Fast forward to 2017 and Baristas Daily Grind has opened a second location on the south side of Kearney.

They are always growing their menu from tasty chai teas to delicious smoothies, and over 130 flavor variations of drinks! With their newer location down south on the second venue, Baristas is now offering High Tea parties. With their classic loose-leaf teas paired with a variety of decadent treats, this is perfect spot for your next get together.

If you’re looking for a place to sit down, read, study, or just get together with friends, Kitt’s Kitchen and Coffee is the place for you. Back in 2010, the owners renovated this Downtown building from the 1920s to give a space to Kearney that was welcoming to all guests. With their open ceilings, wooden beams and rustic interior you’ll enjoy spending time here sipping on a crafted drink along with some sweet treats or food. Check out their website for more information.

Good Evans is a newer restaurant that has recently opened in Kearney, but not only do they serve mouthwatering food they also have ‘The Good Stuff’ aka coffee. Once you enter Good Evans you will see fresh décor and a coffee bar along the back wall. This is where you can sit down and enjoy your coffee or tea. Feel free to check out Good Evans menu before your next trip in!

Next on the list is a bit of a hidden gem which is Java Junction. This isn’t your typical coffee shop to go in and sit down at. Java Junction is an adorable caboose on the east side of Kearney with a HUGE handwritten menu. This caboose was originally located in North Platte before moving to Kearney in 2016. You can simply drive through to get your order or when the weather is nice, feel free to walk up to their window to grab a treat and sit down at one of their outdoor tables.

Local Food Truck Scene

Craft burgers, home-made donuts, and a spectrum of smoked BBQ, whatever flavor you’re feeling, Kearney’s food truck scene has you covered. Check with their social media pages for the times and locations they are serving.

The Food Truck

Featuring a rotating menu with a variety of seasonal options for breakfast and lunch. International items such as falafels and kolaches make this a unique eat. Find the Food Truck at local events or visit their dine-in location open Tuesday-Saturday.

NE Burger Food Truck

We’re talking sizzling Nebraska beef patties topped with all the good stuff, tomatoes, lettuce, grilled onions, pickles and enough sauce to perk up even the sleepiest of taste buds. We’re talking about hand-cut fries and hand-dipped milkshakes. We’re talking about NE Burger Food Truck, check their social media to track down this tasty truck.

The Big Pig

At the Big Pig you will find BBQ styles from across the USA, including Kansas City (sweet sauce) and Carolina Style (the one with a mustard-based BBQ sauce and topped with coleslaw). Or snag an order of loaded nachos and loaded mac and cheese – yum! Check them out at Kearney Night Market, touring Central Nebraska or at their new dine-in location upstairs in the Otherside

Sprockets Famous Freedom Dogs

Come find out what makes Sprockets Famous Freedom Dogs famous at their mobile hotdog cart. Pick your dog and pile on your toppings (or not) and we aren’t talking your normal ketchup and mustard, Sprockets is Known for their homemade, kid-friendly coney sauce, fries sauces, spicy jellies and coleslaw to take your dogs to over-the-top amazingness.

Flippin’ Sweet

Sinfully delicious pie. Named 1 of the top 10 eateries in Nebraska by Discover good food on wheels with the “Flippin Sweet on the Street” food truck or visit their restaurant for casual dining in a relaxed atmosphere.

Tropical Sno

Nothing says summer like some shaved ice and sunshine! Tropical Sno makes that easy with two locations in Kearney, at the Hilltop Mall and Centennial Plaza. If only deciding what to order was that easy! Find over 40 different concoctions and premium flavors to choose from.


Offering a large selection of comfort foods with a twist. Spicy jellies, amazing different spins on pulled pork, pulled chicken, Phillies and prime rib. Hangries is a food truck based out of neighboring Minden, NE. Keep an eye out for them at Kearney events, and as they say, come Hangry, leave happy.

Taqueria Cancino

Fans rav about the Taqueria Cancino food truck on Google. Making this a must-try for someone looking for authentic, homemade Mexican food. Menus ranges from carnitas to menudo, to pozole. Typically serving at 100 E 8th St, Kearney, NE 68847. Pro tip: take cash/no cards

Sam Ques BBQ

BBQ, burgers and more, lots of homemade goodness found at Sam Ques BBQ. Every item they serve is prepared from scratch. Scratch, which means they even grind their own hamburger and peel every potato that is used to make their Tots, a local favorite! Find Sam Ques at their food truck or their newly opened restaurant in Kearney.


If you see their bright orange trailer, don’t miss the chance to grab some Grinders! Based out of Holdrege, NE, Grinders is known for sandwiches like the World Famous Pulled Pork, Pig 3 Way and the fan fav chicken salad. Also serving homestyle dishes like chicken fried steak with mashed potatoes and white chicken lasagna. They also have a physical location in Holdrege to keep the food coming throughout the year.

Burgos Queen Mexican food

This food truck turned drive-thru café sneaks it’s way on to our list as the food truck can still be found at events like Concert in the Park. Burgos Queen Mexican food recently opened a location in Downtown Kearney ‘on the Bricks’ where patrons can use drive-thru or sit at outdoor tables while munching on some chips and salsa. Keep up with their Facebook page for specials like all you can eat tacos, corn on a stick, and their chili fruit cups.

Candy Clouds of Kearney

Last but never least, dessert! Check out Candy Clouds of Kearney to get your mini donut, cotton candy and funnel cake fix! Follow this food truck on Facebook to find where they will pop up next.

Have a local food truck and want to be listed here, please contact Bobbi at

Sips and Suds in Central Nebraska

Here in Nebraska we like to get together with friends and soak in the good life with a good drink in hand. Whether you are a beer lover or a self-proclaimed wine-o, you will find yourself in good company at one of our local breweries or wineries. Kearney offers a selection of taphouses, pubs and a fantastic brewery.

Or if you are looking for a new adventure, take a daytrip to one of the wineries and vineyards in our area. Sip some Nebraska-made wine on the patio while watching a legendary Nebraska sunsets.

Follow along as we tour central Nebraska and sample amazing Nebraska- made beer and wine.

McCue’s Nebraska Taproom

All Nebraska. All the Time. This is the moto at Kearney’s newest taproom McCue’s Nebraska Taproom, located Downtown ‘On the Bricks’. Featuring a menu of craft beer, wine and spirits made right here in Nebraska. How cool is that?! They even have kombucha on tap, a carbonated, non-alcoholic tea packed with vitamins, probiotics and antioxidants. This taproom is located in a renovated grocery store, which was also called McCue’s and operated from the 1920’s through the 1970’s. With industrial décor, vintage character and a variety of beverages to try, you will definitely want to sit back and stay awhile.

Thunderhead Brewing

Established 20 years ago, Thunderhead Brewery knows a thing or two about what makes a good beer! Here you will find beer that has been handcrafted by an experienced staff of beer lovers. Offering a delicious menu of pilsners, porters, stouts, IPAs, fruit beers, honey beers, barrel aged favorites, and even a firkin from time to time. We haven’t even mentioned the food! Stone oven pizzas, calzones and legendary hand-made pretzels means there is something for foodies and beer lovers alike. Cheers!

Want more Thunderhead? They are open for free tours at their brewery in Axtell, 18 miles south of Kearney. Tours are conducted on Saturdays from 2:00-5:00pm. Learn how their beer is made and when you’re done purchase some to take home with you. Or find their beer at multiple locations across the state.

Platte Valley Taphouse

Your neighborhood beer destination. You will find a variety of beers on tap, great drink specials, and fun times with friends! Platte Valley Taphouse has 17 beers on tap ranging from SOP South of The Platte Mexican lager to the sweet Red Rock Ale to Apricot Blonde, the perfect beer for summer. And hey, why not enjoy some eats with your drinks? There are delicious pizzas made to order or snack on their famous pretzels. With a large patio and a friendly environment, you will want to kick back and enjoy a cold one at The Platte Valley!

And now for the wine lovers…

Cedar Hills Vineyard and Gardens

Enjoy the wide-open spaces of Cedar Hills Vineyard and Gardens located 45 minutes northeast of Kearney. Offering a selection of award-winning Nebraska wines on tap. Cedar Hills hosts dinners and other events, including Arts & Crafts with Wine & Drafts nights. There are camper pads available with full hook-ups and your stay includes a complimentary wine tasting. Relax on 80 acres of property, enjoy some wine, wood-fired pizza, beautiful scenery, wildlife and starry night skies at Cedar Hills!

Mac’s Creek Winery and Brewery

Mac’s Creek Vineyards & Winery is family owned and operated for almost 20 years. Located one-half mile north of Lexington, as short trip (35 miles) west of Kearney. The 12-acre vineyard specializes in wines made using grapes acclimated to a shorter growing season and the brutal cold temperatures of a Nebraska winter. Mac’s Creek Winery uses ten different types of grapes to create their award-winning wines. They are known for their wine but they also brew delightful beers and cider. With events ranging from Sunset Dinners to yoga in the vines, this a perfect getaway when in Central Nebraska.

George Spencer Tasting Room

Located on a 10-acre vineyard, the George Spencer Tasting Room is a beautiful spot to drink a glass of wine with good company. In the Tasting Room you will find a selection of Nebraska-made wines, offering 4-6 wines for sampling, wine by the glass or purchase a bottle to enjoy there or to take with you. There is also an assortment of Nebraska made beer and spirits. On the grounds you will find the Tasting Room, an event venue named The Barn and even a Bed and Breakfast. Sit out on the patio and enjoy live music on the weekends during the summer months.

Summer Bucket List

As you start filling your summer up with events save a spot for a stop in Kearney. Whether you come from hundreds of miles away or are looking for fun close to home, set your sites (and your GPS) on Kearney this summer.

Kearney delivers a variety of experiences, from outdoor recreation and sporting events to concerts and outdoor markets. With all those options decisions can be difficult, so we compiled a list of the 7 must-do events to add to your summer ‘Bucket List’.

Buffalo County Fair 2019 – July 24-29
  1. Buffalo County Fair – When you say summer, one of the first things that pops into my head is walking down the midway to get my ‘fair food’ fix. There is way more to the Buffalo County Fair than funnel cakes! But that is a personal highlight. Also topping that list, concerts are a big draw during fair time. This year you can take your pick from artists, Rodney Carrington, Rodney Atkins with Locash or the Midwestern rock band, Red Wanting Blue. Lastly, what fair is complete without a ride on the Ferris Wheel?! The carnival is open for six days for you and your kiddos to enjoy.
  2. Kearney Water Trail – One of the first of its kind in Nebraska, the Kearney Water Trail is 2.3 miles of easy and enjoyable float through town, with public access points at the northeast corner of Yanney Park off 11th Street and along Central Avenue behind Midway Auto. Bring your own kayak or rent one at from Kearney Paddle Sports. Just call ahead to make your reservation.
    UPDATE July 2019 – Due to recent flood the water trail is closed until further notice.
  3. An Outdoor Performance – I love it when the arts and outdoors come together! Bring a lawn chair and enjoy one of the many free concerts/performances we have this summer. The Rockin’ the Bricks concert series in Downtown Kearney brings great music, food and drinks, and lots of shopping and activities for the whole family. Or hit up the Concerts in the Park series, a summer tradition 40 years in the making, Sunday evenings at Harmon Park.

Lastly, your ‘bucket-list’ will not be complete without taking in the outdoor performances by the Crane River Theater Company. This year they will be performing ‘You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown’ at Yanney Park Amphitheater. It is sure to be fun for the whole family!

  1. Splash Pads – Hot days and splash pads, what a perfect combination! There are multiple locations around town to splash around! Cool off this summer at Yanney Heritage Park, Nina Hammer Park, East Brooke Park or Dryden Park.
  1. Cunningham’s on the Lake – Summer nights sitting on a patio with a cold beverage, looking out on the water…does it get any better than that?! If that sounds like your kind of fun, we have just the place. Cunningham’s Journal on the Lake opened last summer and has instantly became a local favorite. Kick back, relax and choose from over 45 different local and regional brews or craft cocktails. With great food and unique atmosphere, you definitely don’t want to miss this one!
    UPDATE July 2019 – Due to recent flood Cunningham’s on the Lake is closed until further notice. In the meantime, visit their downtown location for great food, outdoor garden and other events.
  1. Nebraska Firefighters Museum and Education Center – You can’t leave town without taking in some local history, and the Firefighters Museum is just the place. Their mission is to safeguard and preserve Nebraska’s proud firefighting heritage. Experience antique fire trucks and equipment, and enjoy hands-on with their fire prevention exhibits and activities.

This summer the Firefighters Museum will be celebrating their 10 year anniversary! (also Smokey Bear’s 75th Birthday) Join the celebration, August 17th! There will be a Fire Truck Show & Shine, BBQ competition, kids games, entertainment, demonstrations and more.

  1. Kearney Night Market – Gather downtown “on the bricks” Thursday nights this summer for the Kearney Night Market. Celebrate local entrepreneurship while enjoying Kearney’s historic downtown. At the Night Market, you’ll find everything from a Beer Garden, fresh food, craft vendors, coffee, Sno Cones, BBQ, and much more!

Exploring the Oregon Trail in Nebraska

By Erin Fairchild,

Located just two and a half hours from Omaha, Kearney has a population of 33,520 people. We loved the atmosphere there and how it was a blend of small town meets small city. There was fun stuff to do but also lots of wide open spaces. There’s also some ridiculously good food. We already want to go back!

For more on Erin’s Kearney adventure, click here.

Top 7 Most Instagramable Places in Kearney


By Krystal Webster
Take your Instagram game up a level and visit these places that will no doubt make your followers jealous.
Make sure that phone is charged and get ready for an adventure![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_separator border_width=”2″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1533574401290{margin-bottom: 1px !important;}”]

The Archway

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]You see that giant building expanding over Interstate-80 near Kearney? Yep – that’s the Archway, and not only is it cool to look at from the outside, it’s actually a museum that you can explore on the inside!

Listen in on the headset to the stories as you walk with the pioneers over the Oregon Trail, watch a rider make a quick stop to switch horses at a Pony Express Station, and hear Mark Twain’s account of a cross-country stage coach trip. You will also relive the building of the transcontinental railroad and visit a travelers’ campground to hear stories of life on “America’s Main Street,” the Lincoln Highway. All this history, and more, happened right here on the path along the Platte River in Nebraska, and the Archway’s family-friendly exhibit brings our rich history to life.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]

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Yanney Park

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]This park is famous among the locals and is definitely a must-stop for visitors. Find a picture-perfect view by climbing to the top of Yanney Tower, standing on the dock, enjoying the garden or walking the labyrinth.

This is also a popular spot for fishing, getting on the hike/bike trail and kayaking down the water trail. Picnic shelters are also available as well as paddleboat rentals.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″ full_width=”” gap=”0″ full_height=”” columns_placement=”middle” equal_height=”” content_placement=”” disable_element=””][vc_column_text]

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Downtown “The Bricks”

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]“The Bricks” feature a unique, cultural vibe that is totally photo-worthy. Whether it’s a night out with your friends, venturing into all the boutique shops or taking the family to one of many events held here, we suggest taking a few moments for the perfect selfie.

There’s something for everybody in downtown Kearney![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″ full_width=”” gap=”0″ full_height=”” columns_placement=”middle” equal_height=”” content_placement=”” disable_element=””][vc_column_text]

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Any Sunset or Sunrise

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Nebraska sunsets are the best, for obvious reasons. Just look at the photo.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″ full_width=”” gap=”0″ full_height=”” columns_placement=”middle” equal_height=”” content_placement=”” disable_element=””][vc_column_text]

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Cunningham’s Journal

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]The outdoor patio is the perfect place to unwind on a summer night as you listen to live music. This also makes it the perfect place for the perfect photo.

When the sun goes down, you can find plenty of entertainment at Ham’s.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″ full_width=”” gap=”0″ full_height=”” columns_placement=”middle” equal_height=”” content_placement=”” disable_element=””][vc_column_text]

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University of Nebraska at Kearney

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]We dare you to walk through campus without stopping to snap a few pics.

UNK has plenty of things to brag about, including it’s photogenic architecture.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″ full_width=”” gap=”0″ full_height=”” columns_placement=”middle” equal_height=”” content_placement=”” disable_element=””][vc_column_text]

It’s always good to visit the alma mater.

A post shared by Chris Hein (@heincm) on

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Angus Burgers & Shakes

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]You don’t have to be a foodie to enjoy the deliciousness of this work of art, but it doesn’t hurt either.
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#3 Burger #comegetsome #angusburgersandshakes

A post shared by Jonathan William Crocker (@that_burger_guy88) on


Dine & Draft in Kearney

By Krystal Webster

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Check out these unique local pubs for the perfect night out on the town![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]


The Church Key


[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”14643″ img_size=”large”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]The Church Key hosts a wide-open lounge space filled with pews with a kitchen and a pool table area in the back.

The bar owners may not be ordained but to some of their customers, they may as well be. Dedicated to serving drinks and giving good advice to customers who are seeking answers, the duo has create a vibe for all types of bargoers.

1912 Central Ave.
(308) 455-3227[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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McCue’s Nebraska Taproom


[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”14649″ img_size=”large”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Looking to be “all Nebraska, all the time,” the taproom only serves alcoholic beverages made in Nebraska, having 30 beers on tap. The business also offers The Crowler, a machine that can seal 32 oz. cans of craft beers for visitors on the go.

Located in Kearney’s former McCue’s Grocery Store, the space seats 120 people inside and outside, and feature periodic entertainment for guests.

2008 Avenue A, Suite A
(308) 708-7750[/vc_column_text][vc_btn title=”Visit website” color=”black” link=”||target:%20_blank|”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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Thunderhead Brewery


[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”14650″ img_size=”large”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Thunderhead serves a delicious variety of beer handcrafted by an experienced staff of beer lovers! Offering a full menu including several specialty stone oven pizzas, start and end your evening here!

You can tour the actual brewery located in Axtell, just 20 minutes south of Kearney.

18 E 21st St.
(308) 237-1558[/vc_column_text][vc_btn title=”Visite website” color=”black” link=”||target:%20_blank|”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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Platte Valley Taproom


[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”14652″ img_size=”large”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]The Platte Valley is your neighborhood bar destination for incredible beers, great drink specials and fun times with friends!

Adams Pale Ale, Belgium Pale Ale and One More Hop IPA make the craft beer enthusiasts happy.
Their made to order pizzas are to die for!

14 E Railroad St.
(308) 237-0751[/vc_column_text][vc_btn title=”Visit website” color=”black” link=”||target:%20_blank|”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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Cunningham’s Journal & Cunningham’s on the Lake


[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”14657″ img_size=”large”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Escape the ordinary and make Cunningham’s Journal a must-stop! Featuring great entertainment year-round with their indoor and outdoor stages, plus a full menu offering lunch and dinner specials.

A popular destination for locals, Ham’s has something for everybody!

Cunningham’s on the Lake is Kearney’s newest hot-spot! Located right off I-80, it’s the perfect place for your family get-together or date night. You just can’t describe a Nebraska sunset on the lake. 610 Talmadge St.

15 W 23rd St.
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[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”14659″ img_size=”large”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Central Nebraska’s home base for local/fringe music.  Entertainment comes in all forms here from rebel country to metal to electronic.

The atmosphere is always inviting, the staff is always friendly and you’ll find all sorts of different crowds here. Host to unique events such as comedy shows and benefits.

1822 Central Ave.
(308) 236-9393[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Hey Locals: We Need Your Help!


By Krystal Webster

So you live, work and play in the Kearney area? Why should you care about its tourism? Or even tourism in Nebraska? You may not realize how much our visitors to Nebraska impact local businesses and the economy. By the way – it’s a lot!

Source: The U.S. Travel Association Impact of Travel and State Economies 2014.


Tourism is Nebraska’s third largest revenue source. It supports existing companies and stimulates new business development. Tourism is also a source of immediate revenue to Nebraska’s communities, rural and urban.

As the Kearney Visitors Bureau, it’s our job to encourage groups to host meetings and conferences in our community, promote our local attractions, events and hospitality establishments to potential visitors. Kearney is a growing and thriving place – thanks to our locals who live and work here, and to our visitors who enjoy all the things we have to offer.

So how do you – the local – factor in all of this?

We need your help to show others just how great our community is! Whether that’s writing a review online for a restaurant or attraction you visited, sending us community event info to post on our calendar, or even posting photos and using #visitkearney and #kearneynebraska on your social media accounts. We want to see Kearney from your perspective and share it as much as possible!

Check out our social media channels to see what we’ve been up to. Feel free to share, comment or “Like” anything you see!