Lisa’s Radial Cafe

Diner | Eclectic
One of the best

Drum roll, please: I have eaten what might be the best chicken-fried steak north of the Red River. The steak itself is tender and deeply beefy, girdled in a shattering-crisp envelope of crust. That’s the heart of it, and there is so much more: luxuriously creamy country gravy crowded with reefs of spicy sausage; a passel of sauteed mushrooms, onions, and peppers; and a bed of crunchy hash browns.

For the chicken-fried steak alone, I’d put Lisa’s Radial Cafe on the Omaha must-eat list; but this colorful, quirky urban diner also is a source of handsome omelets, waffles topped with the freshest of fresh fruit, and giant skillet meals piled atop dandy short-order hash browns. Specials include Benedicts, stuffed French toast, and breakfast burritos. It is a morning place (closing at 2pm); however hamburgers and sandwiches are available for lunch.

While the menu is short-order diner fare, this is not a cafe where people come to eat it and beat it. Meals are scrupulously cooked to order, so it takes a while for the food to be served. Plus, it’s popular enough that there often is a wait for a table to open up. (The counter is great for single diners.)

Aside from good food, Lisa’s Radial Cafe is noteworthy for its welcoming vibe. Both clientele and staff are a remarkably diverse group of people — of all ages, and from all walks of life. Decor is kitschy-arty-retro, including lots of food-themed paintings and odes to I Love Lucy. Its name, by the way, comes from Omaha’s Northwest Radial Highway where it is located.

Note that business is cash-only.

What to Eat
Lisa’s Radial Cafe, Chicken Fried Steak
Chicken Fried Steak
Skillet chicken fried steak is a savory feast.
Lisa’s Radial Cafe, Waffle
Fruit on waffle could not be fresher.
Lisa’s Radial Cafe, Wheat Berry Toast
Wheat Berry Toast
Wheat berry toast comes crisp and well-buttered.
Directions and Hours
Open Year Round
Meals Served
Breakfast, Lunch
Credit Cards Accepted
Alcohol Served
Outdoor Seating

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