Lisa’s Radial Cafe

Review by: Michael Stern

Must Eat: Chicken-Fried Steak

Drum roll, please: I have eaten what might be the best chicken-fried steak north of the Red River. A shattering-crisp envelope of crust girdles a cut of beef that is tender and deeply flavored. That’s the heart of the dish. And there is so much more. Reefs of spicy sausage crowd luxuriously creamy country gravy. A passel of sauteed mushrooms, onions, and peppers garnish the package. Crunchy hash browns serve as its foundation. If you are looking for an excellent breakfast in Omaha, eat this! (But also check out the Saddle Creek Breakfast Club and Harold’s Koffee House.)

Breakfast is the Most Important Meal of the Day

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

Take Your Time

While short-order diner fare defines the menu, don’t come here to eat it and beat it. The kitchen scrupulously cooks everything to order. You will wait for the food to be served. Plus, it has earned the sort of popularity that means there often is a wait for a table to open up. (Single diners find nice seats at the counter.)

It’s a Nice Place to Be

Aside from excellent breakfast, Lisa’s Radial Cafe offers a welcoming vibe. Both clientele and staff are a remarkably diverse group of people — of all ages, and from all walks of life. Kitschy-arty-retro style defines decor. Walls display lots of food-themed paintings and odes to I Love Lucy. The restaurant’s name, by the way, comes from Omaha’s Northwest Radial Highway where it is located.

Note that business is cash-only.

What To Eat

Chicken Fried Steak


Wheat Berry Toast


Lisa’s Radial Cafe Recipes


What do you think of Lisa’s Radial Cafe?

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