Six-Mile Café: a southeast Nebraska jewel


Stephanie Schmit, Student Contributor

HUMBOLDT – Everyone has that favorite, special restaurant; mine is Six-Mile Cafe.

Six-Mile Cafe is well known in southeast Nebraska; in fact, it is a very popular and busy place with both locals and travelers on Highway 75.  What makes it great is the welcoming atmosphere, the great food, the excellent service, and the delightful pie at the end.

The building Six-Mile Café is in was previously a gas station that closed in late 1999. The original KM sign from the gas station is still standing on the south side of the parking lot; however, it has been painted over and now says “Six-Mile.”   

The restaurant is located three miles north of Dawson, just south of the Highway 75 and Highway 4 intersection.

It was named Six-Mile because from that intersection, it is exactly six miles west on Highway 4 to Humboldt.

The parking area is quite large, but finding a parking spot is not always easy. With all the customers who are traveling the busy Highway 75 and the local regulars, I am often left with distant parking or sometimes parking over a huge puddle.

Six-Mile Café is not very large. There are twelve tables and a bar area with limited seating.  The floor is tiled, the walls are tastefully painted, the place is clean, and the area has adequate lighting.

The walls in the large area of the café have some history of the local owners. The owners have strong roots in Dawson, going back as far as anyone can remember. There are signs and pictures hanging on the walls that are all antiques and from Dawson’s history.

The café is open every day from ten o’clock in the morning until ten o’clock at night, but is closed on most holidays.

It offers a full menu, dine-in or carry-out, Pepsi products, coffee, tea, milk, and an assortment of adult beverages.

Six-Mile is well known for friendly and excellent service.

The owner, Stephanie Ingraham, and her daughter Chloe are the main cooks. If one is cooking during the day, the other is there cooking at night.

The wait staff usually consists of two waitresses for each shift, and they are friendly, experienced and enjoy the public.

They always make sure I know the daily specials and go above and beyond to make sure I have a pleasant dining experience. I have witnessed them pushing tables together to make room for a larger party and singing happy birthday to a customer bringing them pie and ice cream.

The staff is also wonderful with children and provide a kid’s menu and have high chairs available upon request. There is also large supply of crayons and coloring books to keep kids busy; in addition, the staff will also turn the closest television to cartoons to help keep a child occupied.

Usually when I go in, I am greeted mostly by locals. For instance, there is a group of local farmers, business owners and laborers that have a silent rule that the large round table is reserved for them during lunch hour.

Six-Mile Café is very busy during the lunch and supper hours, and finding a seat is sometimes difficult. A lot of customers travel from the small surrounding towns.

The menu is well-known for its large orders, delicious food and homemade onion rings.

The homemade onion rings are quite tasty and plentiful. To avoid overeating and not having room for the meal, I would suggest only ordering a half order of onion rings.

In addition, some of the other sides, such as french fries, breaded cauliflower and coleslaw, have very large portions also.

Every restaurant has its specialties, but this place is full of them. The homemade chicken strips are cut from fresh chicken breasts and hand breaded before being fried, and Six-Mile Café has a full menu of sandwiches, salads and even ribeye steak.

There are daily specials, too.

On Friday and Saturday nights, Six-Mile Café serves a delicious prime rib meal. However, making a reservation a few days in advance is suggested, as it sells out quickly.

After the meal is over, don’t forget Six-Mile Café offers a huge assortment of pie.

Six-Mile has been referred to as the restaurant that serves the best slice of pie on Highway 75. These pies are made in Washington, Kan., by family-owned MarCon Pies and are delivered weekly to serve a large demand.

I am always pleasantly surprised and excited with the pie menu. When I visited last week, there were over twenty-five different kinds of pie available, along with soft serve ice-cream ala cart.

Chocolate-peanut butter crunch, walnut oatmeal, caramel apple, french silk, banana split and peanut butter cream were among the choices. There was a variety of fruit pies, cheesecakes, meringue and even sugar free.

Six-Mile’s owner, Stephanie, also makes homemade cinnamon rolls and other pastries along with a chocolate cookie sheet cake that is on the menu, which is nice on that rare occasion when I do not want pie.

Whether I order the homemade onion rings, the daily special, or just have a slice a pie, the experience is always impressive.

Though parking and finding a seat may not be easy, the food, service, hometown atmosphere and pie all make Six-Mile Café well worth the drive.