Coffee, Comfort and Grease: The Best Greasy Spoons in Omaha.
When I think of greasy spoons I think of hearty all-American breakfasts made up of oversized plates brimming over with food, and a coffee cup that is continually refilled from the moment you sit down until the moment you leave. These are the restaurants that are typically only open for breakfast and lunch, serve up large portions at reasonable prices and yes, often times have many fried options on the menu. You might call them a diner or a café, but what’s in a name?
I’ve frequented many of the greasy spoons in the Omaha area and it would be an injustice if I didn’t have my favorites. The great thing about this roundup is that each of these places is near and dear to my heart for very different reasons. Each has a unique offering that makes them stand out from the rest.
1259 S 120th St.
This will likely be the most heavily debated inclusion on the list. Bailey’s doesn’t necessarily constitute what most people believe a greasy spoon to be, but take away the West Omaha location and lack of kitschy décor and I think it meets the definition. For me, Bailey’s makes this list for one very important reason: BACON. The bacon at Bailey’s is far superior to any other restaurant in the Omaha area. Don’t get me wrong the rest of the menu is great but the bacon is so memorable why ruin it with fancy details about anything else? Real bacon lovers will appreciate that.
I will add that the service at Bailey’s is top notch. It has a “where everybody knows your name” neighborly feel to it, or at least the waitresses know many of their customers by name, and on more than one occasion I’ve heard waitresses ask if the customer wants “the usual.”
#4. Leo’s Diner
6055 Maple St.
Leo’s, in the heart of downtown Benson, has the quintessential greasy spoon feel with its tile façade reminiscent of a diner from the 1950s. You know the kind, where you can sit on a stool at the counter or play with the jukeboxes at each table. Besides the vibe, the food here is excellent. Leo’s serves variations on their “island” which typically includes biscuits, gravy, eggs, and hash browns along with various selections of meats and veggies, in addition to the Island waffles.
Leo’s gets a boost from me because they serve their entire menu all day. So if you are in the mood for a bacon cheeseburger for breakfast, go for it, because that burger is delicious as well.
#3. Shirley’s Diner
5325 South 139th St
Shirley’s has become a West Omaha staple known for large portions and delicious diner food such as their incredible chicken fried steak. I am not typically a chicken fried steak fan but at Shirley’s I am most definitely a fan. You can tell these steaks are pounded fresh daily because they are super tender, and are not grisly at all. The French toast is a standout as they prepare it with a very thick, eggy batter.
The 1950s diner atmosphere planted in the middle of West Omaha feels a bit forced when compared to a place like Leo’s Diner, but it works and it’s always good.
#2. Lisa’s Radial Café
817 N 40th St.
If you were to ask my son to rank this list, he would place Lisa’s at the top. Lisa’s has what my son (and I) consider to be the best pancakes in Omaha. These round fluffy cakes are very large and you definitely get your money’s worth. My personal favorite is the chef’s choice stuffed French toast. It’s stuffed with cream cheese plus a fruit or sweet indulgence that is the chef’s discretion each day. I’ve never had a variation that I didn’t thoroughly enjoy.
Extra tip on this one: Lisa’s only takes cash so be prepared, but they do have an ATM on-site if you forget.
#1. 11-Worth Café
2419 Leavenworth St.
This ranks in my favorites for several reasons, but the top reason is the biscuits and gravy. Having traveled all over the country, I can say without a doubt these are the best I have had anywhere. I grew up eating biscuits and gravy so they have a special place in my heart. The gravy here is so popular that you can buy it in boil-in-bags. You know it must be good if there is a retail demand for take home gravy. Another worthy mention is the hash browns. The hash browns here are always cooked the way you like. I prefer mine crispy and they never fail to cook them to perfection. The service here is fantastic and very efficient.
Having traveled all over the country, I can say without a doubt these are the best I have had anywhere. I grew up eating biscuits and gravy so they have a special place in my heart. ~Stacy Winters
On the weekends you should expect a wait as this place is very popular. 11-Worth also has a VIP club that you can sign up for that will entitle you to a 15% discount Monday – Thursday as well as special mailed coupons.
To me, the greatest thing about favorites lists like this are that they lead to debate and discussion. I have found some of my best go-to restaurants when discussing my favorites with friends and other foodies. I would love to hear your thoughts on this list and which other greasy spoons you feel should have made the list.
Written by Stacy Winters
I am a self-proclaimed foodie that truly enjoys all kinds of food and will try anything at least once. My biggest pet peeve is when people tell me they don’t like something but have never tried it. I have such a love for barbecue that I was once a certified KCBS Certified Barbecue Judge. I travel extensively and all of my itineraries are planned around the must visit restaurants in whatever locale I am visiting. Having gone from a 380-pound fatty to a 185-pound foodie has had its challenges but it has allowed me to appreciate quality food so much more. I hope you enjoy my take on #Omaha restaurant reviews. #FattyToFoodie
20160925 The Best Greasy Spoons in Omaha 1 0 publish Blog,Restaurants>Diner,Restaurants>Foodie,Restaurants>Greasy Spoon http://omahatownsquare.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Leavenworth-Cafe_1_For-Web.png|http://omahatownsquare.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Leavenworth-Cafe_2_For-Web.png|http://omahatownsquare.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Leavenworth-Cafe_3_For-Web.png|http://omahatownsquare.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Leavenworth-Cafe_4_For-Web.png|http://omahatownsquare.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Leavenworth-Cafe_5_For-Web.png Leavenworth-Cafe_1_For-Web.png|Leavenworth-Cafe_2_For-Web.png|Leavenworth-Cafe_3_For-Web.png|Leavenworth-Cafe_4_For-Web.png|Leavenworth-Cafe_5_For-Web.png /home/marketpl/public_html/omahatownsquare/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Leavenworth-Cafe_1_For-Web.png|/home/marketpl/public_html/omahatownsquare/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Leavenworth-Cafe_2_For-Web.png|/home/marketpl/public_html/omahatownsquare/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Leavenworth-Cafe_3_For-Web.png|/home/marketpl/public_html/omahatownsquare/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Leavenworth-Cafe_4_For-Web.png|/home/marketpl/public_html/omahatownsquare/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Leavenworth-Cafe_5_For-Web.png 1779|1784|1783|1782|1781 leavenworth-cafe_1_for-web|leavenworth-cafe_2_for-web|leavenworth-cafe_3_for-web|leavenworth-cafe_4_for-web|leavenworth-cafe_5_for-web