This year marks the return of the in-person Berkshire Hathaway weekend and it also marks the 100-year anniversary of Johnny’s Cafe, the city’s most iconic steakhouse, at 4702 S. 27th St.
I would send visitors to Johnny’s simply for the atmosphere: its on the site of the city’s historic stockyards. It’s lobby is a history lesson on Omaha food, including a century’s worth of menus. If you have a red meat reservation elsewhere, at the very least, sit in the lounge and order yourself a whiskey cocktail and an order of the absolutely delicious onion rings.
The best of the rest
Here’s the rest of the red meat in Omaha worth trying.
The Committee Chophouse
302 S 36th St., 402-810-9500
The newest of Omaha’s steak spots, I have now been to the Committee several times, and each time, enjoyed it as much as the first. The restaurant has some whimsical old-school touches that felt particularly right considering the history of its location — it’s inside the revamped historic Blackstone Hotel — and of the city, including vintage cuts of beef, retro side dishes and tried-and-true classic cocktails.
The blend of modern and classic might be what I appreciate most about it. That and the steak, of course. Don’t sleep on the baked Alaska, a retro favorite making a comeback.
The Drover Restaurant & Lounge
2121 S. 73rd St., 402-391-7440
Back to its former glory after a destructive fire and the pandemic, The Drover I grew up going to is just as it’s always been.
Known for its secret sauce, a whiskey marinade that diners can put on any cut of meat at the restaurant, most diners get it on their signature (huge) bone-in ribeye. The retro salad bar, one of the first ones in Omaha, features cold metal plates, crisp Iceberg and thick Thousand Island dressing.
4841 N. 84th St., Lincoln, 402-480-1246
Yes, I am well aware that this is a solid hour drive from downtown Omaha and yes, I am also going to tell you that based on the one dinner I had, Casa Bovina is absolutely worth piling your shareholder pals into a rental car and driving to the edge of Nebraska’s capital city.
Casa Bovina has one of the highest-end dining rooms in the area; the chefs are top notch and the open kitchen is gorgeous. The food, too, is innovative and original, and all the beef is their own brand, Certified Piedmontese.
1350 S. 119th St., 402-330-0300
Folks still talk to me about the absolutely delicious retro flavor of Brother Sebastian’s, in particular the soundtrack of monastic chanting that echoes through the parking lot. Yeah, the staff wears robes. And yeah, every dinig space has its own fireplace. But the steaks are legit, and when I was at the Omaha World-Herald, they were legit enough to win the best steak in Omaha.
1620 S. 10th St., 402-345-8313
I personally love the spaghetti sauce over the steak at Cascio’s, but the good thing is you can get both in one order (a side of pasta isn’t unusual in Omaha’s old-school Italian steakhouses.)
The giant dining room is a classic from Omaha’s past, and its location south of downtown puts it smack dab in Omaha’s own little Italy.
1403 Farnam St., 402-341-1222
One of the city’s highest-end spots, 801 Chophouse, has a dining room decorated with an absolutely massive golden bull. Feels appropriate for the Berkshire conference, no? The white tablecloth-service here is impeccable, and so is the beef.
13665 California St., 402-445-4380
Mahogany is a jaunt from the site of the BRK meetings downtown, but I think it’s worth the trip. An extensive wine list, great classic cocktails and a kitchen that knows how to season and cook steaks the right way is what you’ll find. The “lobster cargot” is a local favorite appetizer, and the seafood comes coated with seasoned oil and under a blanket of crisp-edged cheese.
Omaha’s best steaks to eat during Berkshire Hathaway weekend