For diners of a certain age, Johnny’s Cafe delivers a solid dose of nostalgia. The steak house has been open since 1922, and the atmosphere transports customers back to an era where dressing up for dinner was commonplace, Old Fashioneds were the height of sophistication and nothing prepared in the kitchen came out of a microwave. Dubbed Omaha’s original steak house, Johnny’s serves USDA Choice steaks—all individually selected, hand-cut and aged on-site—and a full menu of chops, chicken, seafood and homemade items prepared from scratch.
Each meal comes with freshly baked rolls, liver pate, a salad with Johnny’s signature house dressing, and choice of potato. Some dishes are bigger hits than others. The crab cake appetizer is divine, and the 6-oounce petite filet ($21.95) is juicy and flavorful, but a salmon special was dry and overcooked with bland vegetables. Prices are certainly reasonable for the amount and quality of food; a massive 22-oounce porterhouse with all the trimmings costs a very fair $30.95, and a Chateaubriand dinner for two clocks in at $52.95.
The biggest downside is the location. Situated in an older, slightly sketchy part of town, Johnny’s isn’t as easily accessible as some other local steak houses.