There’s nothing better than finding the one restaurant in town that serves the best homestyle meals to make you feel right at home. Those little “mom and pop” restaurants serve home-cooked food that’s almost as good as you could get from your actual mom & pop’s house. These 18 restaurants are some of the best places to get a rib-sticking meal.
1. Farmer's Daughter Cafe - Grand Island
Skip the chain restaurants in GI and eat at this little cafe that promises to fill you up with comfort food so delicious you'll swear you're back in grandma's house. They're open for breakfast and lunch, and whatever you do, don't miss out on a slice of homemade pie.
105 N Walnut St
Grand Island, NE
2. Babe's Hometown BBQ - Plattsmouth
When you're craving meat, you couldn't hope for a better place than Babe's. They carefully smoke all of their meats and then serve them naked so you can dress them up in the sauce of your choice. With 13 sauces to choose from, this place has what you want, trust us.
16618 Bestman Dr, Plattsmouth, Nebraska
3. Coachlight Cafe - Valentine
Located right on Main Street in Valentine, the Coachlight serves delicious home-cooked meals and delectable pie. You won't find a lot of frills here - their concentration goes into making your meal just the way you want it.
302 N Main St, Valentine, NE
4. Pioneers Inn - Gilead
This gorgeous 130-year-old building houses the only restaurant - the only business, in fact - in the tiny village of Gilead. The permanent population is fewer than 40 people, but folks from neighboring towns come to visit for the homestyle food and family-friendly atmosphere. The prices are low, just as you'd expect from an eatery in a tiny town.
5. Corner Cafe - Bayard
Sitting in the shadow of Chimney Rock, this small-town cafe is all about down-home comfort food. The family-owned restaurant serves breakfast and lunch, offering tasty options like burgers or pork chops.
602 Main St, Bayard, NE
6. Donna's Diner - Wynot
You'll get comfort food at comfortable prices at Donna's. Favorites like broasted chicken, burgers, and steak are done just like Mom would make them. As a bonus, there's a little convenience store attached so you can pick up some essentials if you're passing through.
108 E. 5th Street, Wynot, NE
7. Green Apple Cafe - Cozad
The Green Apple is popular with locals, so you know they're doing it right. Their wholesome, rib-sticking meals are served with a friendly smile that lets you know you're welcome back anytime.
128 E 8th St, Cozad, NE
8. Verda's Cafe - Burwell
The breakfasts here are to die for, just as you would expect in a small-town cafe. If you were just passing through and hadn't heard of Verda's you might be tempted to walk right by since it doesn't look like much from the outside, but don't make that mistake. Be sure to try the biscuits and gravy, made with huge, fluffy homemade biscuits.
9. Lisa's Radial Cafe - Omaha
Lisa's is the kind of place that you have to be looking for to find, but once you're there you'll be glad you sought it out. The portions are massive, the service is friendly, and you won't get tired of the menu. They're only open until 2 pm, so plan on breakfast or brunch - and they only take cash, but there is an ATM inside.
817 N 40th St, Omaha, NE
10. The Lonely Grill - Thedford
In a town with just 188 residents, you might be tempted to write off this in favor of one in a larger town. Don't pass it by, though - they serve some of the best beef in the area, and the owners will treat you like family.
39359 Highway 2, Thedford, NE
11. Aunt Bea's Cafe - Tryon
Open from 8 am to 8 pm every day but Sunday, Aunt Bea's serves the small-town staples in a homey, friendly atmosphere. They've been feeding hungry folks since 1995, so you know they're doing something right.
520 NE-92, Tryon, NE
12. Mom and Paup Family Restaurant - Central City
Ok, this one is almost a little too obvious for this list since "mom and pop" is in the name...but this sweet family-friendly restaurant - owned by Barbara and Larry Paup - is just too good to pass by. They've only been open since 2016, but locals are already in love with the home-cooked meals and mouthwatering pies.
820 16th Street, Central City, Nebraska
13. The Palace - Red Cloud
After a full day of walking tours in Red Cloud, The Palace is just the place to refuel and relax. Being a Nebraskan establishment, they obviously do beef very well - but you really can't go wrong with anything on the menu.
125 W 14th Av, Red Cloud, NE
14. Cast Iron Bar and Grille - Stuart
The Cast Iron serves those meals you crave from childhood - how amazing does this hot beef sandwich with mashed potatoes look right now?! They serve lunch and dinner, so you have two chances every day to sample something new from the menu.
806 E US Highway 20, Stuart, Nebraska
15. Skyline Grill - Benkelman
This Benkelman favorite serves the old standbys of steak, prime rib, and all things beef. But you'll also find creative salads, thoughtfully-prepared sandwiches, and delicious sides.
1305 Hwy 34, Benkelman, NE
16. Super Taco - Lincoln
This capitol city favorite is family-owned and all about serving fresh, authentic food. Don't go expecting to stumble into a fine dining establishment; this place focuses on the food, not the ambience. The menu more than makes up for the lack of fanciness in the dining area.
5501 Holdrege St, Lincoln, NE
17. Treasured Grounds - Hemingford
You'd probably assume that with a name like "Treasured Grounds," this place is just a coffee shop. They do serve great coffee, but you'll also find terrific breakfast and lunch options here. Check out this recent special: a savory bacon wrapped hamburger steak with brown gravy, served with a side of cheesy hashbrowns. If that doesn't say Nebraska comfort food, I don't know what does.
712 Box Butte Ave, Hemingford, NE
18. Great Plains Cafe - Genoa
Open for breakfast and lunch, this little cafe does not disappoint for either meal. They're known for using fresh, wholesome ingredients - and for their killer pancakes.
408 Willard Ave, Genoa, NE
There are hundreds of small hometown restaurants all throughout Nebraska. Although we’d love to mention every single one, we can’t fit them all into one list. If you don’t see your favorite here, it’s not because we don’t love it or because we forgot about it, we promise. Just add your suggestions in the comments for consideration in a future list.
For more restaurants that don’t look super-fancy but serve up some incredible food, check out our lists of hole-in-the-wall restaurants
here and here.