Nightlife review: Small-town vibes, good pies make Lincoln’s Isles Pub & Pizza a worthy respite

By Ashley Strehle Hartman / World-Herald correspondent
Published in the Omaha World-Herald, Thursday, May 29, 2019

The Isles Pub & Pizza

Where: 6232 Havelock Ave., Lincoln

Bar hours: 10 a.m. to at least 11 p.m. Monday to Thursday, 10 a.m. to at least 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to at least 11 p.m. Sunday

Kitchen hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday

Info: 402-464-1858 or islespubandpizza.com

***

There are few things in this world I love more than pizza, but beer may be one of them. You can get both of these lovely things at The Isles Pub & Pizza in Lincoln.

The Isles is nestled in the historic Havelock neighborhood in northeast Lincoln, and this location helps reinforce the pub’s small-town vibe.

If you’re a frequent Lincoln visitor but rarely venture past the Haymarket or Railyard areas, you’re missing out on some of the best things Lincoln has to offer — like Havelock. The neighborhood was incorporated as a separate town in 1893 before it was annexed into Lincoln. All these years later, when you enter the Havelock neighborhood, you still feel like you’ve stumbled upon a small town in the heart of the city.

Like many Omaha or Lincoln residents, I’m a transplant from a smaller, more rural Nebraska community. That’s why I have a special place in my heart for Havelock and its businesses, like The Isles.

All I had to do was step foot into The Isles to feel transported back to the neighborhood restaurants I frequented in my hometown of Columbus. The Isles has a friendly, welcoming atmosphere that convinces you you’ll run into someone you know in the next booth — just like you always do back in your hometown haunts.

But my love for The Isles isn’t all about nostalgia or small-town loyalty — it’s also about that pizza and beer I love so much.

The Isles has 11 varieties of pizza on its menu, in addition to a build-your-own option. You can get classic pizzas like cheese, hamburger, pepperoni, smoked ham or Italian sausage. Or, you can choose one of the specialty pizzas, including the leaning tower of pizza, Hawaiian, vegetarian, Mexican, chicken bacon ranch or cheeseburger pizzas.

I opted to build my own medium pizza with hamburger, smoked ham, green peppers, onions, mushrooms and black olives. It was delicious and filling without being too greasy.

In addition to its namesake pizzas, The Isles offers appetizers like garlic bread, mozzarella sticks and wings, as well as salads and sandwiches. Many of the items on the food menu cost less than $10, and even the largest specialty pizzas cost less than $25.

On the beer front, The Isles has about a dozen beers on tap. On the night I visited, it had all the usual domestic brews from Bud, Busch, Coors and Miller, as well as a few craft beer options.

My drinking buddy and I got Zipline’s Copper Alt and a Boulevard Wheat. The Copper Alt — made by Lincoln’s own Zipline Brewing Company — is one of my go-to beers. Zipline bills it as a hybrid between an ale and a lager. It’s an easy-drinking beer with hints of chocolate and hazelnut. Boulevard Wheat, by Kansas City’s Boulevard Brewing Company, is an unfiltered wheat beer with hints of citrus. It’s one of my all-time favorites.

In addition to the draft beers, The Isles offers more than four dozen canned and bottled beers and ciders, as well as a selection of wines.

All in all, The Isles Pub and Pizza offers plenty to eat, plenty to drink and plenty to love.

To be honest though, they already had me at “Pub and Pizza.”

 

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