Food and Drink: Best of OKC 2014

BestOf_Food

Best coffee or tea house

Cuppies-and-Joe-33scCuppies & Joe

727 NW 23rd St.

Cuppies & Joe is a little slice of home with its quaint atmosphere, delicious drinks and great desserts, including cupcakes like its Boom Boom Pow, Chocolate Rain or Lemony Snicket. Plus, its joe is roasted by local Elemental Coffee Roasters. Along with its central location, free Wi-Fi and tasty food and drink options, Cuppies & Joe is at the top this year. This repeat winner is a must-see for those visiting central OKC and a chance to sneak into a cozy nook and enjoy some quality desserts and beverages.

2. The Red Cup, 3122 N. Classen Blvd.
3. Elemental Coffee Roasters, 815 N. Hudson Ave.

Worth mentioning: All About Cha, Coffee Slingers


Best cocktail

Demi Close suerves up a Lunchbox at Edna's.  mhLunchbox at Edna’s

5137 N. Classen Circle

Trying a Lunchbox at Edna’s is like a rite of passage for the residents of Oklahoma City. This beer and orange juice wonder is known as the “best box in OKC.” Experiencing this strange but delicious tincture is a necessity — and what’s better than trying something new while surrounded by Edna’s rich decor? If you are fortunate enough to have already tried the Lunchbox, be sure to spread the word to all those lunchbox virgins. Add another number to the 1,237,369 already sold as of Aug. 1.

2. Any “Mule” drink at The Mule, 1630 N. Blackwelder Ave.
3. Bloody Mary at S&B’s Burger Joint, several metro locations

Worth mentioning: Fish Bowl at Alibis, The Curve at Upper Crust


Best breakfast

Jimmys-Egg-vert97scJimmy’s Egg

Several metro locations

There’s no better way to start the day than with a hearty breakfast. Jimmy’s Egg has become a staple icon for breakfast in OKC. First opening in 1980, Jimmy’s Egg now boasts 38 locations in OKC, all of them offering scrumptious breakfast favorites, including hearty coffee, freshly baked bread and more omelet options than you can count. For a friendly atmosphere with great food that doesn’t break the bank, Jimmy’s Egg is the place to indulge your early morning cravings. Also, it just reached its 16th win for best breakfast in OKC.

2. Classen Grill, 1630 N. Blackwelder Ave.
3. Kitchen No. 324, 324 N. Robinson Ave.

Worth mentioning: Cafe Kacao, Waffle Champion


Best weekend brunch

Cheevers-Vert-13scCheever’s Cafe

2409 N. Hudson Ave.

A local favorite since 2000, Cheever’s prepares a delectable brunch spread that even caters to those gluten-free eaters. Brunch-goers will be presented with a myriad of tasty options to satisfy their bellies. But be sure to make a reservation to enjoy Cheever’s brunch. This popular spot requires some planning in advance. Part of A Good Egg Dining Group, Cheever’s has become a pillar in our Best of OKC awards.

2. Ingrid’s Kitchen, 3701 N. Youngs Blvd.
3. Jimmy’s Egg, several metro locations

Worth mentioning: Kitchen No. 324, Picasso Cafe


Best quick lunch

Big-Truck-721scBig Truck Tacos

530 NW 23rd St.

You might have seen its green bumper stickers around town. Big Truck Tacos will leave any patron happily full on some appetizing Mexican food. It is especially great for those on the go who need something quick for lunch. Enjoy tacos, burritos, gorditos and other Latino cuisine created with the freshest ingredients. Any place with the motto “Saving the world, one taco at a time” is sure make taste buds happy. Keep an eye out for the food truck too.

2. Saturn Grill, several metro locations
3. City Bites, several metro locations

Worth mentioning: Café 7 Delicatessen & Pastaria, Coolgreens, Someplace Else Deli


Best hamburgers

S-and-B-07scS&B’s Burger Joint

Several metro locations

Burger connoisseurs have deemed S&B’s Burger Joint the pinnacle of OKC hamburgers. Offering fresh gourmet burgers and sliders, S&B’s is a fun place to eat with friendly staff ready to recommend classic and new hamburger options. Try one of its specialties, such as The Fatty, The Elvis or Hot Lips Houlihan. It’s hard to beat a great burger on a summer day with one of S&B’s drinks from its full-service bar and a piece of homemade pie or a root beer float.

2. The Garage, several metro locations
3. Tucker’s Onion Burgers, several metro locations

Worth mentioning: Irma’s Burger Shack, Johnnie’s Charcoal Broiler


The Monte Cristo at The Mule.  mhBest sandwich shop

The Mule

1630 N. Blackwelder Ave.

Voted best new restaurant and sandwich shop last year, The Mule solidifies its notability with this year’s win. Its unique “sandies” offer a little something for everyone’s palette. Standouts like the Macaroni Pony, Fancy Pants and The Cortez are what helped put The Mule on the map as a great sandwich place as well as a late-night hangout. It put its individual stamp on some classic favorites too; try its Big Ass Grilled Cheese.

2. City Bites, several metro locations
3. Someplace Else Deli, 2310 N. Western Ave.

Worth mentioning: Lee’s Sandwiches, Neptune Submarine Sandwiches


Best barbecue restaurant

_Earls-SCEarl’s Rib Palace

Several metro locations

Oklahomans take their barbecue seriously. To be named the best barbecue restaurant is quite an honor from residents who know what they’re talking about. For over 18 years, Earl’s has been the chief of OKC’s barbecue scene. Menu items include hickory smoked pork ribs, beef brisket, smoked chicken and meats and side items that are made fresh daily for some finger-lickin’ good eatin’. Gazette readers know to grab an extra napkin or two to cover all the delicious goodness of Earl’s.

2. Iron Starr Urban Barbeque, 3700 N. Shartel Ave.
3. Swadley’s B-B-Q, several metro locations

Worth mentioning: Back Door BBQ, Bedlam B-B-Q


Best pizza place

Hideaway-Pizza-58scHideaway Pizza

Several metro locations

There are many options when deciding where to go for pizza. Hideaway Pizza has been a top favorite for so long it has become a household name. The second pizzeria in all of Oklahoma, this pizza powerhouse has been around since 1957. This repeat winner knows how to toss that pie, spread that sauce and sprinkle those toppings. Expanding from a tiny Stillwater joint to several metro locations, Hideaway Pizza has the means to be on top for a very long time.

2. Empire Slice House, 1734 NW 16th St.
3. The Wedge, several metro locations

Worth mentioning: Sauced on Paseo, Upper Crust


Best steakhouse

Cattlemen’s Steakhouse

1309 S. Agnew Ave.

cattlemens-42scCattlemen’s has been host to all sorts of celebrities. Charles Barkley, George H.W. Bush and Reba McEntire have all experienced Cattlemen’s cuisine. It has been featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives and Man v. Food. With a rich Oklahoma history, this steakhouse has become an Oklahoma icon. The more adventurous should try the lamb fries. They’re said to taste just like catfish or fried chicken. Located in historic Stockyards City, Cattlemen’s celebrates 100 years of serving and feeding Oklahomans.

2. Red Prime Steakhouse, 504 N. Broadway Ave.
3. Ranch Steakhouse, 3000 W. Britton Road

Worth mentioning: Boulevard Steakhouse, Mahogany Prime Steakhouse


Sushi-Neko-terry-roll03Best sushi

Sushi Neko

4318 N. Western Ave.

Seven-time reigning sushi champion Sushi Neko has not only defended its title but has also blown the rest of the competition out of the water. Sushi lovers will be treated to a menu full of traditional and contemporary styles of sushi as well as a sake and beer menu. If you hear the sushi chef yelling, “Irasshai,” it means welcome and make yourself at home. Sushi Neko is more than deserving of its win and is definitely a must-try.

2. Go Go Sushi, 432 NW 10th St. and 1611 S. Interstate 35, Moore
3. In The Raw, 200 S. Oklahoma Ave. #130

Worth mentioning: Saii Asian Bistro & Sushi Bar, Tokyo Japanese Restaurant


Best vegetarian, gluten-free or healthy menu options

Chipotle Chicken salad at Cool Greens.  mhCoolgreens

Several metro locations

It’s not always easy finding good healthy alternatives, but with Coolgreens, it’s easy. With many delicious options, even the pickiest eater will be able to find something tasty and healthy. This establishment lets you tailor just about everything on the menu — from vegetable pizza to frozen yogurt and vibrant salads — to fit your taste bud needs. Coolgreens creates a full wholesome dinner atmosphere better than visit the lonely salad bar tucked in the corner.

2. Picasso Cafe, 3009 Paseo St.
3. The Red Cup, 3122 N. Classen Blvd.

Worth mentioning: Green Goodies, Tamazul


Best patio dining

Red Rock Canyon Grill

9221 Lake Hefner Parkway

Redrock-Canyon-Grill-66scIt can be challenging to find comfortable patio dining, especially in the Oklahoma summer. Since 1999, Red Rock Canyon Grill has had no problem providing its customer will excellent outdoor dining. Moving up to the top spot this year, Red Rock offers Southwest and American cuisine in a hacienda-style atmosphere accented with stone walls, deep mahogany beams and an open kitchen. Customers will be indulged by the friendly and intelligent staff and enjoy some mouthwatering patio dining.

2. The Mont, 1300 Classen Blvd., Norman
3. Louie’s Bar & Grill, several metro locations

Worth mentioning: Cafe do Brasil, Pearl’s Oyster Bar, Picasso Cafe


Best liquor store

happy customer at Byrons.  mhByron’s Liquor Warehouse

2322 N. Broadway Ave.

If you can think of it, Byron’s probably has it. It’s the grown-up equivalent of a toy store, and inside, customers view a sea of choices in beer, wine and liquor. The complex is over 10,000 square feet and features more than 6,000 wines and 1,500 beers. Right off I-235, Byron’s is a one-stop shop for stocking up for a party, a quiet get-together or a beer after dinner. You can stick to old favorites or ask one of the friendly staff members for a suggestion that will wow your palate.

2. Moore Liquor, 914 S.W. Fourth St., Moore
3. Sam’s Liquor Warehouse, 2933 NW 63rd St.

Worth mentioning: Freeman’s Liquor Mart, Pancho’s Liquortown


Best (national or regional) restaurant you wish wasn’t a chain

Whiskey Cake Kitchen & Bar

Whiskey-Cake-dining-vert-56mh1845 Northwest Expressway

Bumped up to first place this year, Whiskey Cake Kitchen & Bar serves up tasty, made-from-scratch farm-to-kitchen dishes and cocktails from its kitchen and bar. It uses slow-cooking methods on its live wood grill, smoker and spit. Customers can appreciate this succulent dining with their feet kicked up in one of the rocking chairs, dining at a fancy table or relaxing out on the porch. Just you and a whole whiskey cake meant for 12-18 people, but nobody will judge you if you eat it all by yourself.

2. Panera Bread, several metro locations
3. PF Chang’s, 13700 N. Pennsylvania Ave.

Worth mentioning: Bravo! Cucina Italiana, Chili’s


Best seafood restaurant

The Shack Seafood & Oyster Bar

Several metro locations

Stuffed Flounder.  mhAnother repeat winner, The Shack delivers on the seafood front. Its oysters are perfect for all seafood lovers. Now serving at three metro locations, The Shack offers countless delicious options, including shrimp and crab fondue and seafood gumbo. For a taste of the sea, The Shack Seafood & Oyster Bar gives customers the feel of being right on the ocean. For a landlocked state, Oklahoma has some great seafood options, and The Shack is a standout for local seafood.

2. Pearl’s Oyster Bar, several metro locations
3. Rococo Restaurant & Fine Wine, 2824 N. Pennsylvania Ave. and 12252 N. May Ave.

Worth mentioning: Catfish Cove, Tokyo Japanese Restaurant, Trapper’s Fish Camp & Grill


Best dessert menu

LaBaguette-64scLa Baguette Bakery & Café

Several metro locations

Even the most hardened health nut would be hard-pressed to turn down a dessert from La Baguette. This French bakery and café is a one-stop shop for cakes, tarts and pastries. Stop by and try a bombe au chocolat, an Italian crème or one of the luscious cheesecakes. Brother’s Alain and Michel Buthion opened the originally bakery in 1984. They have continued to expand and now run several locations, a deli retail section and a boucherie meat market in memory of their father’s butcher shop.

2. Pie Junkie, 1711 NW 16th St.
3. Ingrid’s Kitchen, 3701 N. Youngs Blvd.

Worth mentioning: Cuppies & Joe, Sara Sara Cupcakes


Best place to experience something different

The Mule

1630 N. Blackwelder Ave.

Ross Adams, an employee at The Mule.  mhThe Mule is currently the belle of the ball in OKC’s cuisine. It is nestled in the hip Plaza District, where Gazette readers enjoy some of its unique “sandies.” Its Rosemary Palmers are especially refreshing on a summer evening. With a little something for everyone, The Mule solves the age-old debacle of deciding where to go to eat. Though it’s no longer the new kid in the Plaza District, The Mule continues to make quite the splash.

2. Guernsey Park, 2418 N. Guernsey Ave.
3. Ludivine, 805 N. Hudson Ave.

Worth mentioning: La Brasa Peruvian Kitchen, Queen of Sheba


Best Mexican restaurant

Adriana Fuentes dilevers the new big burrito at Ted's.  mhTed’s Café Escondido

Several metro locations

It always seems like you have to roll out of Ted’s because the food is so good you can’t help yourself. It starts with yummy salsa and chips and fresh flour tortillas. The entrees are delicious and include everything from fajitas to quesadillas and more. Its drink menu, which includes cactus coolers and mixed beverages, is just as intriguing. This longtime favorite continues to present great food and service. For food so good you’ll definitely end up with a food baby, check out Ted’s Café Escondido.

2. Iguana Mexican Grill, 9 NW Ninth St.
3. Chelino’s Mexican Restaurant, several metro locations

Worth mentioning: Abel’s Mexican Restaurant, Alfredo’s Mexican Cafe


Best Latin restaurant

Cafe-do-Brasil-54scCafe do Brasil

440 NW 11th St.

Cafe do Brasil offers unique cuisine not often found in OKC. With a central location in Midtown and a rooftop with a killer view, Cafe do Brasil features food from all five regions of Brazil. Live a little on the wild side and try Picanha Brasileir, a picanha steak served with rice and collard greens, or Feijoada, a Brazilian national dish. For something a little different from the humdrum dining experience, Cafe do Brasil is worth the visit for trying something new.

2. 1492 New World Latin Cuisine, 1207 N. Walker Ave.
3. Cafe Kacao, 3325 N. Classen Blvd.

Worth mentioning: La Brasa Peruvian Kitchen, Zarate’s Latin Mexican Grill


Best Italian restaurant

Stella Modern Italian Cuisine

1201 N. Walker Ave.

low angle bar shot at Stella Modern Italian Cuisine.  mhStarting in 2010, this taste of Italy became a fast favorite for OKC residents. Located in Midtown, Stella is an upscale Italian experience. Gathered around the wood-fired brick oven, customers can sit at the bar and watch as cracker-thin pizzas cook to perfection and enjoy custom seasonal cocktails, traditional favorites, local and imported beers and American and Italian wines. Guests will enjoy quality food and service in a fun, relaxed atmosphere. Owner Lori Tyler has brought a little slice of Italy to OKC.

2. Gabriella’s Italian Grill & Pizzeria, 1226 NE 63rd St.
3. Papa Dio’s, 10712 N. May Ave.

Worth Mentioning: Tommy’s Italian American Grill, Vito’s


Best Western European restaurant, not Italian (Danish, English, French, German, Irish, Scottish, Spanish, etc.)

Ingrids-57scIngrid’s Kitchen

3701 N. Youngs Blvd.

For more than 35 years, Ingrid’s Kitchen has been one of Oklahoma City’s most beloved choices for the best in German food, as well as its other European and American specialties. Authentic recipes, old-world charm, a welcoming environment and value are the trademarks that distinguish this individual combination restaurant, bakery, delicatessen and catering service. Step out of your comfort zone and try some bratwurst, knackwurst, schnitzel or sauerkraut, and be sure to leave room for streusel and nuessecken for dessert. You won’t be disappointed in this repeat winner.

2. La Baguette Bistro, several metro locations
3. Old Germany Restaurant, 15920 SE 29th St., Choctaw

Worth mentioning: Royal Bavaria, Sean Cumming’s Irish Pub


Best Mediterranean restaurant

Zorba’s Mediterranean Cuisine & Bar

Zorbas-655sc6014 N. May Ave.

It’s all Greek to OKC. Zorba’s has been cooking up delicious Mediterranean cuisine for more than 20 years. With a menu that features recipes passed down through generations, Zorba’s is one of OKC’s favorite Mediterranean restaurants. It showcases the flavors of Cyprus, Spain, Greece and Morocco, and its loyal customers come back again and again for its delectable gyros, baba ghanoouj and flavor-packed paella (available only on weekends). If you’re lacking a bit of spice in your diet, Zorba’s is guaranteed to add a little kick.

2. Mediterranean Import & Deli, 5620 N. May Ave.
3. Couscous Café, 6165 N. May Ave.

Worth mentioning: Capers Mediterranean Buffet & Bistro, Nunu’s Mediterranean Cafe & Market


Best Indian restaurant

Gopuram Taste of India

A lunchtime scene at Gopuram recently.  mh4559 NW 23rd St.

You get three times the charm with Gopuram Taste of India. This is its third win in a row for best Indian restaurant in OKC. Gopuram has brought Indian food to the masses since 1994. Its staff can handle any type of Indian cuisine. It has become a well-known name among the ethnic food restaurants in Oklahoma and neighboring states for its outstanding atmosphere, delightful food, friendly service and traditional touch. Gopuram is not to be missed, and the food is wonderfully tasty.

2. Taj Cuisine of India, 1500 NW 23rd St.
3. Himalayas, 709 N. Moore Ave.

Worth mentioning: Kabob and Curry, Khazana Indian Grill & Buffet


Chef Paul Dang cooks at the table for guests.  mhBest Japanese restaurant

Musashi’s

4315 N. Western Ave.

Located in the heart of Western Avenue, Musashi’s is a feast for the senses. The chefs juggle knives at a frenetic pace that makes the food as much of a delight to watch as it is to eat. The decor is both minimal and striking, and the staff is unobtrusive but attentive. It all takes a back seat to Musashi’s mouthwatering dishes. With sumptuous choices like Kobe steak, succulent shrimp and perfect fried rice, it’s no wonder this is a top choice for diners in Oklahoma City.

2. Shogun Steakhouse of Japan, 11900 N. May Ave.
3. Tokyo Japanese Restaurant, 7516 N. Western Ave.

Worth mentioning: Shiki Japanese Restaurant, Yamato Japanese


Light lunch #6 at Grand House for $5 plus tax.  mhBest Chinese restaurant

Grand House China Bistro

2701 N. Classen Blvd.

With a menu that covers the gamut of Chinese cuisine from Westernized interpretations to traditional favorites like dim sum, this beautifully decorated restaurant in the Asian District is a crowd-pleaser. The lunch menu includes generous portions of rice dishes, Cantonese pan-fried noodles and lunch specials with soup and rice. The star of the show, however, is the dim sum, the Chinese tradition of small bites at a leisurely pace.

2. Dot Wo Garden, 6161 N. May Ave.
3. Golden Palace, 1500 S. Meridian Ave.

Worth mentioning: Chow’s Chinese Restaurant, Fung’s Kitchen


Kim Moon with food for the Buffet.  mhBest Thai restaurant

Thai House II

500 NW 23rd St.

You know the adage “Don’t judge a book by its cover”? This restaurant is a perfect illustration of it. While the outside could use a facelift, it’s what’s inside that counts. Between the generous buffet and the scrumptious menu offerings, Thai House has its priorities straight. The friendly ownership and thoughtful service are icing on the cake — or peanuts on your pad thai, rather. A tip: If you plan on enjoying the buffet, go early.

2. Sala Thai, 1614 NW 23rd St.
3. Thai Kitchen, 327 Dean A. McGee Ave.

Worth mentioning: Panang Thai Restaurant, Tana Thai Bistro


Paul Ly and one of their best customers, Phil Roberts.  mh

Best Vietnamese restaurant

Lido Restaurant

2518 N. Military Ave., #101

Lido is an Oklahoma City institution, and with good reason. With a huge menu of traditional and Westernized dishes from across Asia, it’s easy to forget this little gem right off Classen Blvd. It would be a shame if you did, as this family restaurant has built a strong following by doing what it does best: consistently producing some of the freshest and most delicious dishes the Asian District has to offer.

2. Guernsey Park, 2418 N. Guernsey Ave.
3. Pho Thai Nguyen, 3221 N. Classen Blvd.

Worth mentioning: Coriander Café, Pho Cuong


Well done brisket in noodle soup at Pho Lien Hoa.  mhBest Pho restaurant

Pho Lien Hoa

901 NW 23rd St.

Pho Lien Hoa is another situation in which judging its cover would lead to missing out on the best pho in the metro. Inside, you will find a sparkling clean and efficient pho factory with charming dishware and a helpful staff. The delicately seasoned, piping-hot noodle soup comes with generous helpings of the usual add-in ingredients. Playing with your food has never been this much fun. Make sure to save room for the fried spring rolls and café sua da, too.

2. Pho’Nomenal, 7504 N. May Ave.
3. Mr. Pho, 1133 NW 25th St.

Worth mentioning: Pho Cuong, Pho Kim Long


Best new restaurant to open since 6-1-13

Empire Slice House

1734 NW 16th St.

Empire-Slice-House-21mhWhat can be said about this funky, perfectly Plaza pizza parlor that hasn’t been said? Its hip and funny interior with a cool bar and even cooler patio make it a choice hangout for everyone from professionals to burnouts — it looks as if pop-culture nerds decorated it after a thrifting binge. It offers full pies as well as pizza by the (enormous) slice, and its lunch meal deal is a steal.

2. Kd’s Southern Cuisine, 224 Johnny Bench Dr.
3. Waffle Champion, 1212 N. Walker Ave. #100

Worth mentioning: La Brasa Peruvian Kitchen, Nani Japanese-Choctaw Kitchen and Tommy’s Italian-American grill


Cheevers-vert-52scBest fine dining establishment

Cheever’s Cafe

2409 N. Hudson Ave.

The first of A Good Egg Dining Group’s restaurants, Cheever’s quickly established its reputation by offering comfort food with a twist. Executive Chef Robert Black’s menu is full of innovative interpretations of comfort food staples like chicken-fried steak and macaroni and cheese. It also offers catering guaranteed to make the food at your next event the star of the show.

2. Red PrimeSteak, 504 N. Broadway Ave.
3. Vast, 333 W. Sheridan Ave.

Worth mentioning: Mahogany Prime Steakhouse, The Coach House and The Metro Wine Bar & Bistro


Best neighborhood pub

Baylie Myers draws a XX.  mhJames E. McNellie’s Public House

1100 Classen Drive

To step into James E. McNellie’s is to enter a nostalgic, cozy world of tradition complete with a warm wood interior and a multitude of beer offerings. The menu is derivative of traditional pub food, offering favorites like Shepherd’s pie and fish and chips. Make sure to peruse the huge beer menu, full of brews from around the world; if you’re stumped, its canny staff is always helpful with recommendations to guide you to your new favorite libation.

2. The Mule, 1630 N. Blackwelder Ave.
3. Grandad’s Bar, 317 NW 23rd St.

Worth mentioning: Henry Hudson’s Pub, Saints Irish Pub


Best dive bar

Edna’s

5137 N. Classen Circle

Edna's staff puts down stools for an evening of business.  mhThere are dollar bills plastered on every surface that’s nailed down. Edna herself is known to dance on the bar anytime someone plays “Great Balls of Fire.” It’s home of The Lunchbox, its signature amaretto, orange juice and Coors Light confection that has existed since before the area at Classen Circle became “The Trifecta.” You owe it to yourself to check out this dive. While the exterior got a facelift in recent years, the interior is the same smoky, busy, casual place we know and love. Belly up to the bar. You can thank us later.

2. Cock O’ the Walk, 3705 N. Western Ave.
3. Grandad’s, 317 NW 23rd St.

Worth mentioning: Alibis, HiLo Club


Hostess seats guests.  mhBest fancy-pants bar

Republic Gastropub

5830 N. Classen Blvd.

This ritzy, take-no-prisoners Good Egg Dining Group concept takes itself seriously, and it should. The striking modern interior is home to a curated collection of excellent beer choices. The menu items are highbrow interpretations of pub food, and they are as pleasing to the eye as the palate. It’s no wonder it’s packed most nights; it has a great thing going, and the secret has long been out. Be prepared to wait on weekends, or grab a seat at the bar and sample some of the finest pub food in OKC.

2. Red Piano Lounge, Skirvin Hilton Hotel, 1 Park Ave.
3.Vast, 333 W. Sheridan Ave.

Worth mentioning: Ludivine, The O Bar at the Ambassador Hotel


Best new bar to open since 6-1-13

Empire Slice House

1734 NW 16th St.

Empire-Slice-House-X-64mhAh, Empire Slice House — what’s not to love? From the charming decorations on the small front patio, including Star Wars figurines in the planters and a pink elephant outside the front door, it’s a welcome addition to the Plaza District. While the decor and menu item names are pure whimsy, the food is anything but. Interesting combinations of ingredients (we recommend the Rock Steady) and by-the-slice availability make it a welcome hangout. Empire Slice is open late as well as for brunch, making it possible to get it anytime you have a craving.

2. Kd’s Southern Cuisine, 224 Johnny Bench Dr.
3. Urban Johnnie Bar & Grille, 121 NE Second St.

Worth mentioning: Pink Cadillac, The Barrel and The O Bar at the Ambassador Hotel


Best diner

Classen-Grill-vert-238mhClassen Grill

5124 N. Classen Blvd.

This OKC staple has been serving up classic dishes to hungry early morning diners, and, well, hung over brunch diners for decades. It’s not unusual to see a line out the door. The reason people are willing to wait is the same reason it is this year’s winner. It delivers consistent, delicious made-to-order items with attentive service. The fresh-squeezed orange juice is an added bonus. It’s also a great place to take out-of-towners because it never disappoints.

2. Beverly’s Pancake House, 3315 Northwest Expressway
3. Jimmy’s Egg, various metro locations

Worth mentioning: The Boomerang Diner and The Diner, Norman


Best food truck or cart

Big-Truck-Tacos-sq54scBig Truck Tacos

When founders Kathryn Mathis and Cally Johnson started Big Truck Tacos, the idea was simple: Elevate the humble taco truck using fresh, gourmet ingredients. Little did they know they would start a revolution in dining in OKC. The truck went on to win Food Network’s Great Food Truck Race. The brick-and-mortar location, 530 NW 23rd St., is invariably packed with hungry diners, and the ubiquitous truck is always a favorite at any location, with fans willing to stand in long lines to sample its greatness.

2. Roxy’s Ice Cream Social
3. Kaiteki Ramen

Worth mentioning: The Hall’s Pizza Kitchen, The Loaded Bowl and Taste of Soul

Gazette Staff

This article was written by the Oklahoma Gazette staff. To reach an editor, please email jchancellor@okgazette.com with this story headline in your subject line.

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