Best restaurant downtown: IGUANA MEXICAN GRILL
9 N.W. Ninth They had us at the chips and salsa, and apparently you, too. The colorful Iguana has been whipping up fantastic, Latin-inspired dishes (try the fish tacos!) and some seriously amazing margaritas for a couple of years now. But it’s the cool atmosphere that really makes this place — it’s fun, festive and always a memorable meal.
2. Zio’s Italian Kitchen, 12 E. California and 2035 S. Meridian
3. RED Prime Steak, 504 N. Broadway Worth mentioning: Nonna’s Euro-American Ristorante and Bar, Ludivine
Best restaurant on the Northside: REDROCK CANYON GRILL
9221 Lake Hefner Parkway Hang out at this airy, laid-back restaurant and bar that draws locals looking for simply cooked plates of splendid food. The lakeside Redrock is constantly thronged with diners, yet its chefs deal nicely with the constant stress and pressure. There is an exciting flavor fusion going on, and it shows in its first-class, creative menu.
2. Rococo Restaurant & Fine Wine, 2824 N. Pennsylvania and 12252 N. May
3. Pearl’s Oyster Bar, 5641 N. Classen Blvd. Worth mentioning: Ranch Steak house, Gopuram Taste of India
Best restaurant on the Southside: CATTLEMEN’S STEAKHOUSE
1309 S. Agnew At Cattlemen’s Steakhouse, the cowboys come out early for breakfast knowing that this is a place where the fare is good, prices are fair and the eatery is clean. Its down-home service is friendly, but never intimidating. This is what Oklahoma cooking is all about, and Cattlemen’s is a sweet taste of Americana.
2. Ted’s Cafe Escondido, 8324 S. Western
3. Chelino’s Mexican Restaurant, several metro locations. Worth mentioning: Dan’s Old Time Diner, Grill on the Hill
Best restaurant in Yukon/Mustang: INTERURBAN
11316 W. Reno, Yukon Cheers to more good years for the winner! Interurban has several metro locations, including your pick in Yukon. The owners are culinary and hospitality professionals dating back to the first Interurban that opened in 1976. Menu items are straightforward, but incredibly delicious. People gobble up crisp salads, pizza, sandwiches, burgers and more.
2. Alfredo’s Mexican Cafe, 1751 Garth Brooks Blvd., Yukon
3. Primo’s d’Italia, 1215 Garth Brooks Blvd., Yukon. Worth mentioning: Bad Brad’s BBQ, Harry’s American Grill & Bar
Best restaurant in Midwest City/Del City: BASIL MEDITERRANEAN CAFE
6620 E. Reno, Midwest City At Basil Mediterranean, a hungry diner can nosh extremely well. The menu offers one of the healthiest cuisines around, something that people are really getting smart about these days. There’s nothing to be afraid of here, because they simply have the best artichoke spinach dip, and patrons feast on its fantastic gyro platter and other dishes.
2. Mr. Spriggs BBQ, 1017 S. Air Depot, Midwest City
3. Don’s Alley, 4601 S.E. 29th, Del City Worth mentioning: Mid-Del Taco, Korean House
Best restaurant in Norman: THE MONT
1300 Classen, Norman The Mont is one of the go-to places for students, a place for hunger to go on holiday every day. Norman residents repeat this happy scenario, so it is no wonder that The Mont has been so successful. Sitting inside or on the patio, order food and drinks that present an overall mix of nothing but the best.
2. Tarahumara’s Mexican Cafe and Cantina, 702 N. Porter, Norman
3. Victoria’s Pasta Shop, 327 White, Norman Worth mentioning: Seven47, Benvenuti ’s Ristorante
Best restaurant in Edmond: FLATIRE BURGERS
318 E. Ayers, Edmond Flatire Burgers, a sister restaurant to the well-liked Lottinvilles, shows off its stuff with damn good burgers. The capable staff keep those tables turning, pleasing a diversity of students and fans at this restaurant, situated right on the edge of the University of Central Oklahoma. No kidding: Some guys and gals consider the inside of Flatire as their own living rooms.
2. Cafe 501, 501 S. Boulevard, Edmond
3. Boulevard Steakhouse, 505 S. Boulevard, Edmond Worth mentioning: Othello’s of Edmond, Lottinvilles Restaurant & Bar
Best Mexican or Latin restaurant: TED’S CAFE ESCONDIDO
Several metro locations Walk into any one of the Ted’s, and it’s obvious they mean business. Lines are long, but fast, perhaps because people have tasted its pièce de résistance — the Atomic salsa —and need air. When Ted Curtis hung the sign on the first Ted’s, people probably wondered, “A Mexican restaurant named Ted’s?” Now there are several locations, all going strong.
2. Iguana Mexican Grill, 9 N.W. Ninth
3. Tarahumara’s Mexican Cafe and Cantina, 702 N. Porter, Norman Worth mentioning: Chelino’s Mexican Restaurant, 1492 New World Latin Cuisine
Best Asian restaurant: MUSASHI’S
4315 N. Western There won’t ever be any good or bad surprises at Musashi’s, because what its loyal customers get is consistency they can count on. Musashi’s has an outstanding Japanese ambience, but what distinguishes this from the rest is the extra bit of interest the staff takes in everyone’s meals. Those knife-wielding hibachi chefs are so entertaining; just remember to duck.
2. Sushi Neko, 4318 N. Western
3. Grand House, 2701 N. Classen Blvd. Worth mentioning: Lido, Saii Asian Bistro
Best Italian restaurant: ZIO’S ITALIAN KITCHEN
12 E. California and 2035 S. Meridian Bursting with enthusiasm, Zio’s servers seem to deliver the food quicker than lightning. But who really cares when the food, a combination of comfort and spice, is as good as it is? The restaurant specializes in classic Italian dishes, and if you listen closely, you will hear a slight hum of contentment in the air when the dishes arrive.
2. Victoria’s Pasta Shop, 327 White, Norman
3. Stella, 1201 N. Walker Worth mentioning: Othello’s , Papa Dio’s
Best European or Mediterranean restaurant: ZORBA’S MEDITERRANEAN CUISINE
6014 N. May When you win the lottery someday, you may never have to cook again. You can just eat every day at Zorba’s. No more squeezing on tomatoes or thumping melons! You’ll find all of the basics here, along with more unusual finds like skewers of beef or chicken bursting with flavor, or its hummus or baba ghanoush, all Middle Eastern delights.
2. La Baguette Bistro, 7408 N. May
3. Greek House, 768 Jenkins, Norman Worth mentioning: Mediterranean Imports & Deli, Nunu’s Mediterranean Cafe & Market
Best upscale restaurant: DEEP FORK
5418 N. Western Deep Fork constantly wins friends and influences people, and the Deep Fork Group has never gotten too big for its britches. The dining until 2 a.m. every Friday and Saturday is perfect for night owls. During the day, the red carpet gets rolled out with attention to detail, comfortable seating, fresh flowers, an excellent wine selection and awe-inspiring menu items — great for romance.
2. Boulevard Steakhouse, 505 S. Boulevard, Edmond
3. RED Prime Steak, 504 N. Broadway Worth mentioning: The Coach House, Ludivine
Best casual-dining restaurant: BIG TRUCK TACOS
530 N.W. 23rd Are you ready to order? Every once in a while, some knucklehead will go inside and actually take his or her time ordering. Although it’s difficult to wade through all the menu possibilities, anything you choose will hit those taste buds with great satisfaction.
2. Louie’s Grill & Bar, several metro locations
3. Republic Gastropub, 5830 N. Classen Blvd. Worth mentioning: The Wedge Pizzeria, Irma’s Burger Shack
Best family-friendly restaurant: POPS
660 W. Highway 66, Arcadia Terrific for family outings, take a short drive to Arcadia and stop by Pops, which is gaining national prominence. A gas station and restaurant, Pops has folks who challenge them to serve their fave soda from any state — and most likely they can do it. Friendly people are never far from your table when you order up a burger and a shake from its extensive menu.
2. Hideaway Pizza, several metro locations
3. Johnnie’s Charcoal Broiler, several metro locations Worth mentioning: Irma’s Burger Shack , Iguana Mexican Grill
Best restaurant ambience: REDROCK CANYON GRILL
9221 Lake Hefner Parkway You can’t beat a lake view, and that’s just what Redrock Canyon Grill offers its diners. Massive windows flood the place with light, making dusk a big deal at this popular spot. (Dine there around sunset and find out why.) If outdoors is the way you want to eat, cozy up to a big fireplace, and let the waves serve as your soundtrack.
2. Paseo Grill, 2909 Paseo
3. RED Prime Steak, 504 N. Broadway Worth mentioning: Rococo Restaurant & Fine Wine, Ludivine
Best little-known restaurant:PICASSO CAFE
3009 Paseo The new owners of this Paseo spot looked to another famous name for their eatery. And the artistic vibe doesn’t stop at the moniker — head inside for a pretty little restaurant with art on the walls and cool music being played. The menu is diverse (they love vegetarians and meat-eaters alike) and the bar still puts out top-notch drinks (try the Pimm’s Cup).
2. Nic’s Grill, 1201 N. Penn
3. Ludivine, 805 N. Hudson Worth mentioning: The Cow Calf-Hay, Burger Rush
Best new restaurant (that opened after May 1, 2010): MUTT’S AMAZING HOT DOGS
1400 N.W. 23rd Can you strike gold twice? The owners of Big Truck Tacos have proven so with their new concept, Mutt’s, voted your favorite new place to chow down. The dogs here run the gamut from the classic all-beef kosher to an upscale duck dog. And don’t pass up the sides at this retrochic spot — there are deviled eggs, baked beans, fried pickles and more.
2. Rococo Restaurant & Fine Wine at Northpark, 12252 N. May
3. Ludivine, 805 N. Hudson Worth mentioning: West, The Cow Calf-Hay
Photos by Shannon Cornman, Mark Hancock and Lindsey Cooper