Gorat’s, Warren Buffett’s favorite steakhouse, matches his modest style

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Gorat’s Steakhouse in Omaha, Nebraska

Fred Imbert | CNBC

Earlier this month, I traveled to Omaha, Nebraska to cover Berkshire Hathaway’s annual shareholders meeting and had the chance to eat at Gorat’s, Warren Buffett’s favorite steakhouse. While there, it became clear why the humble stock market sage loves him so much: he doesn’t go out of his way to make a splash.

Buffett, one of the richest men in the world, drives around in a car he allegedly bought for less than $50,000. He also lives in the same house he bought for $31,500 in 1958. For breakfast, Buffett goes to McDonald’s, where he spends no more than $3.17, and eats alone.

In many ways, Gorat’s has the same modest, understated vibe as Buffett.

Nothing inside Gorat (except the TV in the bar) looks overly modern or feels brand new. The paintings on the walls and furniture aren’t flashy either. Everything is simple and precise. It’s as if you were transported to a simpler time.

It may be on purpose. The restaurant was renovated about six years ago when it changed hands. Gene Dunn, the person who bought Gorat’s in 2012, told the Omaha World Herald in 2013, they “brought it back to how it was in the ’40s and ’50s” by removing all of the ’70s decor. This included the drop ceilings and carpeting, among other things.

One constant, however, has been the quality of the food. When I went there I had their Omaha sirloin steak, a 10 ounce piece of meat topped with blue cheese butter that came with a side of fries and some greens. The steak was well seasoned and perfectly cooked and the waitress serving my table was very pleasant (as most people in Omaha seemed to be).

Other options include 14 oz New York strip, lamb chops and 14 oz rib eye. More ambitious diners can opt for the 22-ounce Omaha sirloin steak, Buffett’s personal favorite. Three of the people sitting at my table ordered it, and although they seemed to be struggling to make it, they managed to finish it.

Buffett has been going to Gorat for years and the restaurant is aware of his longstanding patronage. Buffett’s face can be seen throughout the restaurant in pictures and cardboard cutouts. It also has its own private dining area consisting of a table with three chairs.

A cardboard cutout of Warren Buffett at Gorat’s Steakhouse in Omaha, Nebraska

Fred Imbert | CNBC

Gorat’s has been an institution in Omaha for over 70 years. Once you’re there, you can immediately tell why it’s Buffett’s favorite steakhouse (it also helps that the food and service are excellent).

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