Olsen Bake Shop

Review by: Michael Stern

It’s All To Go

You can get a cup of coffee at Olsen Bakery, but only in a to-go cup. Everything made here destined for take-out. Don’t expect a place to sit. Furthermore, don’t plan on eating in the car if you park out front. Signs warn that you can’t park on the street longer than 10 minutes. The point is to make it easy for customers to stop by and pick up the old world pastries they need, then be on their way.

All those caveats aside, if you are in Omaha and like fine, Old World (and new world) baked goods, put Olsen Bakery at the top of your hit-list. You’ll find it not too far away from downtown but well away from the hurly burly of the Old Market. Ladies who really know their kolaches, strudels, and donuts bake the pastries and staff the counter.

“The Late [Great] Bakery”

“We’re the late bakery,” one of the gals told a very disappointed customer who had come for cherry strudel shortly after 8am. She told him that it had been baked but was still too hot to cut.

“Is it worth coming back for?” I asked the dejected customer.

“Oh, God, yes!” he declared.

So I came back midday. The sad man was so right. This ranks among the greatest strudels. Fruit just sweet enough fills weighty and yet flaky-fragile pastry. On top, a layer of sugary frosting makes it into one just-right package. A poppy seed kolache, made with the tenderest dough, is only barely sweet. The oily nuttiness of its poppy seed center delivers taste that verges on savory.

All-American Donuts

Donuts, on the other hand, are all-American. Both cake and yeast-raised come in all the usual flavors with all the usual toppings. I don’t know if it’s just that I am so smitten with this place and its more exotic old world pastries, but I do believe that the chocolate frosting on cake donuts is better than frostings found on national-chain donuts. It delivers really good chocolate flavor — not fancy chocolate flavor, mind you; but donut-right chocolate flavor. I’ll say the same about Olsen’s white frosting. It’s a cut above any ordinary donut frosting.

I can’t imagine anything this bakery makes is less than excellent.

What To Eat

Cherry Strudel




Olsen Bake Shop Recipes


What do you think of Olsen Bake Shop?

3 Responses to “Olsen Bake Shop”

Rachael Tucker

September 27th, 2023

Dear Olsens Bakery. I want you to know that it was such a pleasure working with you all while I was trying to figure out providing your donuts for our fundraiser. Ultimately, I was unable to get company approval in the timeframe needed. I will however remember your excellent customer service, and your willingness to fill such a large order which would have involved a very early morning. This will not be my last attempt to give you business- I’m more determined than ever. With a warm and thankful heart, Rachael Tucker


Bob Warman

December 13th, 2022

Do you have gift cards. We would like to purchase a gift card for a friend of ours, so they can enjoy your donuts.


Roy Miller

July 7th, 2022

Went there for first time recently. I purchased glazed and blueberry donuts and a bearclaw. I ate them in one sitting. Oh my how wonderful. Just walking in the aroma tells you ‘this is going to be a treat”.


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