HOT BITES

Chicken fried steak with hashbrowns and an egg at Shirley's Diner in Millard. The restaurant won this year's diner food prowl.

REVIEW OF THE WEEK

We judged 10 Omaha diners on their food and atmosphere, but what we were really after on the final Food Prowl of 2015 was something more elusive: the vintage appeal of a diner that can't be faked. After endless cups of coffee and calories too many to count, we found five spots worth revisiting, including one that combined all the elements and became our unexpected winner: Shirley's Diner. It had excellent food — including homemade biscuits and hand-breaded chicken fried steak — and the small town, friendly appeal that's key to a good diner. Other top spots included 11-Worth Cafe, where we found our favorite food, including extracrispy hash browns; Lisa's Radial Cafe, where we found our favorite pancake; and north Omaha's Harold's Koffee House, which had the best atmosphere of any diner in town.

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