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History

The Best of Omaha™ contest, sponsored by Omaha Magazine, began in the mid-’80s. It started with votes from the magazine staff but eventually expanded to the public in 1992. Readers could vote for their favorite Omaha businesses and services on paper ballots and fax or mail them. Today, all of the voting is done electronically. By switching to online voting, the contest became more secure and added a sense of validity, allowing only one log-in per IP address during the voting period (July 1st – Sept. 30th).

As the contest gained more popularity, the categories also began to expand. There are currently 176 Best of Omaha™ categories with around 425,000 votes from around 20,000 voters. The five most popular categories are Grocery Store, Mexican Dining, Pizza, Bank, and Italian Dining. Most of the Best of Omaha™ winners don’t actually advertise with Omaha Magazine, so the businesses and services nominated in the contest can’t gain any headway by advertising.

The Best of Omaha™ results come out every year in Omaha Magazine ‘s January/February issue with a readership over 115,000 during the two month shelf-life.

Look up previous Best of Omaha™ winners 

Use this search form to find a particular company.

Browse Past Winners by: Year  Category  Company  Rank 
Current Selection:
Past Winners >> Year:1996
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1996 
All-You-Can-Eat Buffet 
Valentino's 
1996 
Annual Event 
College World Series 
1996 
Apartment Complex 
Vanderbilt 
1996 
Bakery 
Garden Cafe 
1996 
BBQ 
McKenna's 
1996 
Beer 
Bud Light 
1996 
Brunch 
Maxine's 
1996 
Burger 
Goldbergs 
1996 
Cable Company 
Cox Communications 
1996 
CDs & Tapes 
Buy 
1996 
Coffee House 
MJ Java 
1996 
Dance Club 
10 Lies 
1996 
Dry Cleaning 
Max I Walker 
1996 
Family Restaurant 
Garden Cafe 
1996 
Fast Food 
Burger King 
1996 
Financial Institution 
First National Bank 
1996 
Fitness Club 
Gold's Gym 
1996 
Florist 
Baker's 
1996 
French Fries 
Runza 
1996 
Furniture 
Nebraska Furniture Mart 
1996 
Grocery Store 
Baker's 
1996 
Happy Hour 
Crescent Moon 
1996 
Home Electronics 
Mega Mart 
1996 
Hospital 
Methodist 
1996 
Hotel/Motel 
Red Lion Inn 
1996 
Italian Restaurant 
Lo Sole Mio 
1996 
Jewelry Store 
Borsheim's 
1996 
Known Omahan 
Warren Buffet 
1996 
Live Music 
Ranch Bowl 
1996 
Local TV Station 
Channel 6 WOWT 
1996 
Men's Clothing Store 
Rossi Clothiers 
1996 
Mexican Restaurant 
Julio's 
1996 
Movie Theater 
Indian Hills 
1996 
New Car Dealership 
H & H Chevrolet 
1996 
Oriental Restaurant 
Imperial Palace 
1996 
Pizza 
Zio's 
1996 
Romantic Dining 
French Cafe 
1996 
Shoe Store 
Dillards 
1996 
Shopping Center 
oak View Mall 
1996 
Soda 
Pepsi 
1996 
Steak House 
Austin's 
1996 
Tourist Attraction 
Henry Doorly Zoo 
1996 
Travel Agency 
AAA 
1996 
TV Newscast 
Channel 6 WOWT 
1996 
TV Personality 
Carol Scharder 
1996 
Used Car Dealership 
H & H Chevrolet 
1996 
Video Store 
Blockbuster 
1996 
Weekend Getaway 
Kansas City 
1996 
Women's Clothing 
Dillard's 
1996 
All-You-Can-Eat Buffet 
Old Country Buffet 
1996 
Annual Event 
River City Roundup 
1996 
Apartment Complex 
Lionshead 
1996 
Bakery 
Baker's 
1996 
BBQ 
Tony Roma's 
1996 
Beer 
Miller Lite 
1996 
Brunch 
Valentino's 
1996 
Burger 
Burger King 
1996 
Cable Company 
US West Telechoice 
1996 
CDs & Tapes 
Homer's 
1996 
Coffee House 
Espresso Mary's 
1996 
Dance Club 
Guitars & Cadillacs 
1996 
Dry Cleaning 
1 Hour Martinizing 
1996 
Family Restaurant 
Valentino's 
1996 
Fast Food 
Runza 
1996 
Financial Institution 
Norwest Bank 
1996 
Fitness Club 
Omaha Atheltic Club 
1996 
Florist 
Piccolo's 
1996 
French Fries 
McDonald's 
1996 
Furniture 
Mrs. B's 
1996 
Grocery Store 
Hy-Vee 
1996 
Hair Styling Salon 
Hair House 
1996 
Happy Hour 
Arthur's 
1996 
Home Electronics 
Buy 
1996 
Hospital 
Bergan Mercy 
1996 
Hotel/Motel 
Westin Aquila 
1996 
Italian Restaurant 
Grisanti's 
1996 
Jewelry Store 
Omaha Jewelry 
1996 
Known Omahan 
Hal Daub 
1996 
Live Music 
Arthur's 
1996 
Local TV Station 
Channel 7 KETV 
1996 
Men's Clothing Store 
Structure 
1996 
Mexican Restaurant 
Romeo's 
1996 
Movie Theater 
Q Cinema 9 
1996 
Oriental Restaurant 
Great Wall 
1996 
Pizza 
Valentino's 
1996 
Romantic Dining 
V Mertz 
1996 
Shoe Store 
Payless Shoe Source 
1996 
Shopping Center 
Westraods Mall 
1996 
Soda 
Coca-Cola 
1996 
Steak House 
Outback 
1996 
Tourist Attraction 
Old Market 
1996 
Travel Agency 
Travel & Transport 
1996 
TV Newscast 
Channel 7 KETV 
1996 
TV Personality 
John Knicely 
1996 
Used Car Dealership 
Schrier Ford/Maxda 
1996 
Video Store 
Captain Video 
1996 
Weekend Getaway 
Mahoney State Park 
1996 
Women's Clothing 
Younkers 
1996 
All-You-Can-Eat Buffet 
Golden Corral 
1996 
Annual Event 
Rockbrook Art Fair 
1996 
Apartment Complex 
Thomasville 
1996 
Bakery 
Great Harvest Bread 
1996 
BBQ 
Smoke Pit 
1996 
Beer 
Budwesier 
1996 
Brunch 
Grandmother's 
1996 
Cable Company 
Douglas County Cablevision 
1996 
CDs & Tapes 
Blockbuster Music 
1996 
Coffee House 
Downtown Ground 
1996 
Dance Club 
The Max 
1996 
Dry Cleaning 
Camelot Cleaners 
1996 
Family Restaurant 
Applebee's 
1996 
Fast Food 
Wendy's 
1996 
Financial Institution 
Pinnacle Bank 
1996 
Fitness Club 
Prairie Life Center 
1996 
Florist 
David's Florist 
1996 
French Fries 
Burger King 
1996 
Furniture 
Rod Kush's 
1996 
Grocery Store 
Albertson's 
1996 
Hair Styling Salon 
Garbo's 
1996 
Happy Hour 
Billy Frogg's West 
1996 
Home Electronics 
Radio Shack 
1996 
Hospital 
Clarkson 
1996 
Hotel/Motel 
Marriot 
1996 
Italian Restaurant 
Olive Garden 
1996 
Jewelry Store 
Helzberg Diamonds 
1996 
Known Omahan 
Mrs. B 
1996 
Live Music 
Jones Street Brewery 
1996 
Local TV Station 
Channel 3 KMTV 
1996 
Men's Clothing Store 
Dillards 
1996 
Mexican Restaurant 
Fernando's 
1996 
Movie Theater 
Cinema Center 
1996 
New Car Dealership 
Huber Chevrolet/Cadillac 
1996 
Oriental Restaurant 
House of Hunan 
1996 
Pizza 
Godfather's 
1996 
Romantic Dining 
Maxine's 
1996 
Shoe Store 
Famous Footwear 
1996 
Shopping Center 
Crossroads Mall 
1996 
Soda 
Diet Coke 
1996 
Steak House 
Gorats 
1996 
Tourist Attraction 
Boys Town 
1996 
Travel Agency 
Travel Faire 
1996 
TV Newscast 
Channel 3 KMTV 
1996 
TV Personality 
Pat Persaud 
1996 
Used Car Dealership 
Huber Chevrolet/Cadillac 
1996 
Weekend Getaway 
Okoboji 
1996 
Women's Clothing 
The Limited