Best of OKC 2015: Food & Drink

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Written by Greg Elwell, Brittany Pickering, Jennifer Chancellor, Kory B. Oswald, Taylor Duane and Kaley Patterson. Photos by Mark Hancock, Garett Fisbeck, Keaton Draper and Gazette Staff.

Best Coffee or Tea Housecuppies&joe-3855

Cuppies & Joe

727 NW 23rd St.

Originally called Cupps and Joseph, a fine men’s retailer, Cuppies & Joe has become a mainstay for caffeine addicts across the city by serving great espresso drinks with cupcakes that will make you forget that we all declared the cupcake fad over five years ago. The popular hangout has become a makeshift workspace for many and is also an excellent place to meet, hit on and be turned down by attractive Oklahoma City University students or listen to strangers Skype with their families via laptops.

2. The Red Cup, 3122 N. Classen Blvd.

3. Elemental Coffee Roasters, 815 N. Hudson Ave.

Worth mentioning: All About Cha, Coffee Slingers


Best Local WineryUrban Wineworks vert 35mh

Urban Wineworks

1749 NW 16th St.

Proud to call its products “damn fine table wine,” Urban Wineworks is known for its signature blends of easy-to-drink vino and its casual, laid-back dining room and bar. Sit in the Plaza District and sip on a glass of Plaza Red or Cab+ on the patio or grab a couple of bottles to-go and pop those corks at home — or in someone else’s home. Look, just make sure it’s legal to drink wherever you’re drinking. Urban Wineworks will not post your bail.

2. Put a Cork in It Winery, 115 E. California Ave.

3. Waters Edge Wineries, 712 N. Broadway Ave.

Worth mentioning: Farfalla Wines, Tres Sueno Winery & Vineyard


Best Local Craft BeerGran Sport Porter coming down the assembly line at Coop Ale Works.  mh

COOP Ale Works

4745 Council Heights Road

If you like beer, you like COOP. This local brewery was one of the first to make a name for itself in Oklahoma City, both for great beers and a constant community presence. Any bar worth visiting in the metro likely has a keg or two of COOP on tap, and with new 3.2 versions, its beers can now be found in grocery stores. One of its most popular products is DNR, as in “do not resuscitate.” Careful, sailor.

2. Bricktown Brewery, several metro locations

3. Mustang Brewing Company, 520 N. Meridian Ave.

Worth mentioning: Anthem Brewing CompanyPrairie Artisan Ales


Best Beer SelectionTapWerks taps_1138mh

TapWerks Ale House

121 E. Sheridan Ave.

You like the way they werk it. No diggity. You want to pour it up (to the top of the glass and then into your mouth). Readers chose TapWerks Ale House for its wide-ranging beer selection and its frequent work with local breweries to tap “one-off” kegs that might never be tasted again. Hopefully that new Domino’s around the corner won’t siphon away too much business. Hashtag sarcasm.

2. James E. McNellie’s Public House, 1100 Classen Drive

3. Republic Gastropub, 5830 N. Classen Blvd.

Worth mentioning: Oak & Ore, The Patriarch


Best Cocktail (And The Restaurant/Bar That Serves It)A frosty Lunch Box at Edna's.  mh

Lunchbox at Edna’s

5137 N. Classen Circle

Why do they call it a Lunchbox? Why do they call you Lunchbox?! Sorry. That was a low blow, but everybody at Edna’s is probably tired of hearing people ask that question. A frosty mug with a shot of Amaretto in the bottle, a slow pour of Coors Light on top and finished with orange juice, it’s a sweet treat that drinks so smooth, you’ve already ordered a second one. And while the legendary Edna has left us, her bar is still pouring her legendary cocktail every night of the week. 1.3 million and counting …

2. Any bloody mary at S&B’s Burger Joint, several metro locations

3. Old Fashioned at The R&J Lounge and Supper Club, 320 NW 10th St.

Worth mentioning: Holy Diver at HiLo Club, Hummingbird at In The Raw


Best Breakfastjimmys egg 6003gf

Jimmy’s Egg

several metro locations

Though it has spread out to Texas, Kansas and Nebraska since Vietnamese immigrant Loc Le and family purchased the original eatery at 16th Street and May Avenue from Jim Newman in 1980, Jimmy’s Egg still feels like a hometown breakfast place to our readers. The menu has expanded in recent years, but Jimmy’s famous omelets still stack lines to the door on weekend mornings as diners clamber for biscuits and gravy, hash browns, bacon and big mugs of coffee. Best of all, there’s almost always a Jimmy’s close by.

2. Waffle Champion, 1212 N. Walker Ave., Suite 100

3. Kitchen No. 324, 324 N. Robinson Ave.

Worth mentioning: Cafe Kacao Latin Cuisine, Classen Grill


Best Weekend Brunchat Ingrid's Kitchen in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Aug. 9, 2015.  (Garett Fisbeck)

Ingrid’s Kitchen

3701 N. Youngs Blvd.

“Mmmm, I’m not much for brunch” is not a thing real people say. Not liking brunch is the kind of insane behavior that would get Jerry to dump a girl on Seinfeld. So, it’s no wonder that so many people voted for Ingrid’s Kitchen as their favorite place to get their brunch fix. Buffets are available on Saturday, with mostly breakfast favorites, and Sunday, with fried chicken, roast beef and eggs Benedict. But the real show is the dancers who come in Saturday at noon.

2. Cheever’s Cafe, 2409 N. Hudson Ave.

3. Picasso Cafe, 3009 Paseo St.

Worth mentioning: Cafe Kacao Latin CuisineKitchen No. 324


Best Lunch Spotthe Mule for Lunch.  mh

The Mule

1630 N. Blackwelder Ave.

“Don’t worry about the mule; just load the wagon!” is the motto that inspired your favorite lunch spot’s name. The guys who opened The Mule said it means put in the work, which they did, turning their melted sandwich grill and bar into one of the Plaza District’s signature restaurants. The menu runs the gamut with vegan options, straightforward grilled cheese sandwiches and one with pulled pork and macaroni inside. Go hungry and get there early; just like the owners, The Mule is always busy.

2. Empire Slice House, 1734 NW 16th St.

3. Saturn Grill, several metro locations

Worth mentioning: Cafe 501, Soda Pops Cafe


Best HamburgersThe Frankenburger with sweet potatoe fries, at S&B Burger Joint in Norman.  mh

S&B’s Burger Joint

several metro locations

If there’s one thing Oklahomans love, it’s not being trapped in a Chilean coal mine for more than 60 days. But they’re also very fond of hamburgers, which is why it’s easy to find great burgers in every part of the city. S&B’s Burger Joint has been on a tear in recent years, opening up new locations and introducing specialty burgers monthly. Whether full-sized fatties or bite-sized sliders, there is something good grilling at S&B’s.

2. The Garage Burgers & Beer, several metro locations

3. Nic’s Grill, 1201 N. Pennsylvania Ave.

Worth mentioning: Johnnie’s Charcoal BroilerTucker’s Onion Burgers


Best Sandwich Shopthe Mule Sandwich and Onion Rings.  mh

The Mule

1630 N. Blackwelder Ave.

What is a sandwich but stuff between two pieces of bread? Or sometimes stuffed inside one piece of bread. Is a burrito a sandwich? Geez, this gets complicated fast. But it’s pretty uncomplicated to order a good sandwich at The Mule. Readers voted the home of Fancy Pants, The Cortez and Big Ass Grilled Cheese as the best sandwich shop in Oklahoma City, and they chose well.

2. City Bites, several metro locations

3. Someplace Else A Deli & Bakery, 2310 N. Western Ave.

Worth mentioning: N D FoodsNeptune Submarine Sandwiches


Best Barbecue RestaurantIron Starr mh

Iron Star Urban Barbeque

3700 N. Shartel Ave.

You know you want that meat. Iron Star, part of the venerable Good Egg Dining Group, dropped an “r” off its name, but it didn’t drop the ball when it comes to smoking brisket, turkey, pork and those succulent, tender ribs. And what is barbecue without the sides? The fancy mac and cheese and the Dutch oven sweet potatoes mean even vegetarians can find something to love at Iron Star.

2. Earl’s Rib Palace, several metro locations

3. Swadley’s BBQ, several metro locations

Worth mentioning: Back Door BarbecueLeo’s Barbeque


Best Pizza Placehideaway 4445gf

Hideaway Pizza

several metro locations

Hide yo wife. Hide yo kids. And while they’re hidden, grab a Hideaway Special from this winning pizzeria and see what all the fuss it about. This perennial favorite took the category again with its top-to-bottom great pizzas. With its crisp, chewy crust; its famous Hideaway red sauce; and heaping helpings of tempting toppings, it’s little wonder that this Stillwater favorite has taken over Oklahoma City as well.

2. Empire Slice House, 1734 NW 16th St.

3. The Wedge Pizzeria, several metro locations

Worth mentioning: Knuck’s WheelhousePizzeria Gusto


Best SteakhouseSteak with eggs, at Cattlemens Steakhouse.  mh

Cattlemen’s Steakhouse

1309 S. Agnew Ave.

We have no beef with your choice for best steakhouse. This is a state with a lot of great choices for getting a rib-eye or filet, but few have the history of Cattlemen’s in Stockyards City. Open since 1910, the restaurant has fed John Wayne, Reba McEntire and President Bush (the good, first one), who dined on a T-bone. And if you’re feeling adventurous, why not try its famed lamb fries?

2. Red PrimeSteak, 504 N. Broadway Ave.

3. Ranch Steakhouse, 3000 W. Britton Road

Worth mentioning: Boulevard Steakhouse, Mahogany Prime Steakhouse


Best SushiEnjoying sushi at Sushi Niko.  mh

Sushi Neko

4318 N. Western Ave.

The best sushi is the least touched but the most eaten. Sushi Neko specializes in perfectly sliced raw fish, expertly cooked rice and service that is both friendly and attentive. The upscale atmosphere makes it a natural choice for special occasions, but daily specials make it affordable to belly up to the bar and watch sushi masters create culinary works of art. All the classic rolls are there and there a few you can only find at Sushi Neko, like the Neko Nugget and the Nuclear Roll.

2. In The Raw, 200 S. Oklahoma Ave., Suite 130

3. Tokyo Japanese Restaurant, 7516 N. Western Ave.

Worth mentioning: GoGo Sushi, The Sushi Bar


Best Vegetarian, Gluten-Free Or Healthy Menu OptionsCoolgreens downtown_3371mh

Coolgreens

several metro locations

Coolgreens was once thought of as just a salad place — probably because it makes great salads. But the new owners have put in work to solidify its other offerings, which means sandwich supporters, flatbread fiends and wrap relishers can find something when a salad isn’t enough. And the cookies … oh my. You’d never guess they were healthy by the way they taste. If you’re looking to eat right, Coolgreens is the place to visit.

2. Picasso Cafe, 3009 Paseo St.

3. The Loaded Bowl, food truck

Worth mentioning: Elemental Coffee RoastersThe Red Cup


Best Patio DiningBleu Gartin vert_0157mh

The Bleu Garten

301 NW 10th St.

Feeling bleu? You won’t be when you head to the food truck haven at The Bleu Garten. This wide-open Midtown favorite has benches and seats galore; an excellent selection of beers, wine and liquor; and, of course, a rotating roster of trucks offering everything from pizza and pasta to salads, sandwiches, chili and cheesesteaks. Readers voted it the top patio in the city, so if you’re looking to dine al fresco, you know it’s time to get bleu.

2. Louie’s Grill & Bar, several metro locations

3. The Mont Restaurant, 1300 Classen Blvd, Norman

Worth mentioning: Sauced on Paseo, The Pump Bar


Best Liquor StoreByrons Liquor Warehouse vert_9883mh

Byron’s Liquor Warehouse

2322 N. Broadway Ave.

If you like piña coladas and getting caught in the rain (and if you also like other drinks and don’t care for that song), you’re probably a fan of Byron’s Liquor Warehouse. It’s a drinker’s paradise, with bounteous shelves stacked high with all your favorite liquors, liqueurs and other potables. So even if you’re not overly fond of coconut-flavored cocktails, Byron’s is the place to find a steady supply of the stuff that makes you walk unsteadily.

2. Moore Liquor, 914 SW Fourth St., Moore

3. Broadway Wine Merchants, 824 N. Broadway Ave.

Worth mentioning: Freeman’s Liquor MartGrand Cru Wine & Spirits


Best (National Or Regional) Restaurant You Wish Was Locally OwnedRuby Red Trout at Whiskey Cake.  mh

Whiskey Cake Kitchen & Bar

1845 Northwest Expressway

Straight out of Texas, it’s hard to call Whiskey Cake a “chain” restaurant. There are only two of them, and one is in Oklahoma City. But the expert bartenders and seasoned kitchen staff make it easy to see why Gazette readers wish this restaurant was an Oklahoma native. The menu, though, takes full advantage of local produce and flavor. So even if Whiskey Cake is technically a Texan, let’s go ahead and claim it as one of our own — especially that ridiculously delicious eponymously named dessert.

2. Panera Bread, several metro locations

3. BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse, several metro locations

Worth mentioning: Chili’s, Zoës Kitchen


Best Seafood RestaurantChili Mahi dish at Pearls.  mh

Pearl’s Restaurant Group

several metro locations

Ahoy, land lubbers! We pried open our voting chest and — Avast! — ye’ve given top seafood honors to that Oklahoma City treasure called Pearl’s. With a proclivity toward the cuisine of New Orleans, Pearl’s might also be the city’s best swamp food restaurant, serving up crawfish étouffée and alligator bites like it’s Mardi Gras all year long. Whether it’s swimming or crawling or whatever clams do, it will be cooked up right.

2. The Shack Seafood & Oyster Bar, 303 NW 62nd St.

3. Hefner Grill, 9201 Lake Hefner Parkway

Worth mentioning: Land and Sea, Rococo


Best Dessert Restaurant, Shop Or BakeryPie Junkie workers make....pies.  mh

Pie Junkie

1711 NW 16th St.

Despite their shop’s name, the ladies of Pie Junkie do not recommend boiling their pies in a spoon and trying to inject them between your toes. It’s much more enjoyable (and less deadly) to use that spoon to shovel big bites of chocolate peanut butter pie, diner cherry or delectable drunken turtle into your mouth. That’s why this Plaza District mainstay captured Gazette readers’ votes as the best of the best for sweet treats.

2. La Baguette Bakery & Café, 2100 W. Main St., Norman

3. Ingrid’s Kitchen, 3701 N. Youngs Blvd.

Worth mentioning: Cuppies & Joe, Sara Sara Cupcakes


Best Mexican RestaurantBurrito Plate.  mh

Ted’s Cafe Escondido

several metro locations

Ay caramba, when will Ted’s lose the “Escondido” from its name? Because if there’s one thing this Mexican food powerhouse is not, it’s “hidden.” Sure, the original location was a little hard to find, but its legendary menu of Tex-Mex favorites has long since put it on everyone’s radar. And since we all have GPS on our phones now, you’re more likely to get lost inside its packed-full restaurants than on the way to one.

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 Restaurantcafe do brazil-3993

Cafe do Brasil

440 NW 11th St. Suite 100

For an authentic South American meal, Oklahoma City loves Cafe do Brasil. A Midtown staple since 2005, the restaurant serves up top-notch Brazilian foods that can’t be found anywhere else, like feijoada (black beans, pork, rice and collard greens), arroz de pescador (tomato-sauce cooked shrimp, calamari, clams, black mussels and tilapia mixed with rice) or churrascada Brasileira (meat, meat and more meat with fried plantains and polenta). But no one will blame you if you’re only going for the famous cocktails served upstairs at its Bossa Nova bar.

2. 1492 New World Latin Cuisine, 1207 N. Walker Ave.

3. Cafe Kacao Latin Cuisine, 3325 N. Classen Blvd.

Worth mentioning: Chiltepe’s Latin Cuisine & Bar, Zarate’s Latin Mexican Grill


Best Italian RestaurantFlips_0371mh

Flip’s Wine Bar & Trattoria

5801 N. Western Ave.

Italy is, by some accounts, home to the best Italian food in the world. But getting delivery across the ocean can be murder, so it’s good that Oklahoma City has more than a few great places for spaghetti, pizza and pesto. Flip’s is one of the metro’s oldest and most venerated Italian eateries and is this year’s winner, thanks to great service, a tremendous wine selection and oodles of noodles. And rather than get caught up in being authentic, the staff is focused on being good, which means a lot more people leaving happy and full.

2. Stella Modern Italian Cuisine, 1201 N. Walker Ave.

3. Gabriella’s Italian Grill & Pizzeria, 1226 NE 63rd St.

Worth mentioning: Bella Vista Italian KitchenVito’s Ristorante


Best Western European Restaurant, Not Italian (Danish, English, French, German, Irish, Scottish, Spanish, Etc.)Ingrids _0187mh

Ingrid’s Kitchen

3701 N. Youngs Blvd.

Italy is, by some accounts, not even the best country in Europe. And at Ingrid’s Kitchen, this year’s winner for Best Western European Restaurant, Not Italian — kind of a mouthful — you can get wienerschnitzel, knackwurst and a dynamite sauerkraut — which is also kind of a mouthful. Its weekend breakfast buffets pack the tables in the spacious restaurant on a regular basis, so get there early. And save room for dessert (or just skip the meal), because its pastry case and cookie selection are the stuff of legends.

2. La Baguette Bistro, 7408 N. May Ave.

3. Fassler Hall, 421 NW 10th St.

Worth mentioning: Old Germany Restaurant, Royal Bavaria


Best Mediterranean RestaurantZorbas X vert_5920mh

Zorba’s Mediterranean Cuisine

6014 N. May Ave.

There are two kinds of people in the world: Those who like hummus and those who are plotting to destroy America. And proving your allegiance to the red, white and blue is just one of many good reasons to head to our winner for Best Mediterranean Restaurant: Zorba’s. Other reasons include gyros, falafel, gyros, kabobs, seriously the gyros, fresh fish and meats that are carved off a giant cone into a pita. For many in the metro, Mediterranean food begins and ends at Zorba’s, always with a clean plate.

2. Basil Mediterranean Cafe, 6620 E. Reno Ave.

3. Couscous Cafe, 6165 N. May Ave.

Worth mentioning: Mediterranean Imports & Deli, Nunu’s Mediterranean Cafe & Market


Best Indian RestaurantTaj Cusine of India_1857mh

Taj Cuisine of India

1500 NW 23rd St.

If you’ve got an Indian jones, you’ve likely scratched it at Taj Cuisine of India before. During the day, the buffet overfloweth with favorites like chicken tikka masala, vegetable korma and piles of fresh, pillowy naan. At night, the restaurant moves to a menu that delves deeper into the spicy world of Indian food, serving masala dosa, channa batura and fresh fish curry. Scared of the heat? Don’t be. Taj can take individual dishes from mild to wild, giving everyone a chance to taste the reason it’s Oklahoma Gazette’s Best of OKC winner.

2. Gopuram Taste of India, 4559 NW 23rd St.

3. Himalayas Aroma of India, 709 N. Moore Ave., Moore

Worth mentioning: Ajanta Cuisine of IndiaSheesh Mahal


Best Japanese RestaurantMusashis Japanese Steakhouse_9904mh

Musashi’s

4315 N. Western Ave.

“Chop-chop!” takes on a whole new meaning at Musashi’s, where diners get dinner and a show as seasoned teppanyaki chefs slice and sizzle plates of steak, seafood and vegetables on seasoned teppanyaki tables right before their eyes. There’s no fried rice quite so good as the kind you see being made. If onion volcanoes aren’t your thing, Mr. Fancy, then you still have plenty to choose from. Musashi’s knows its way around a sushi roll, and its expertly cooked robata skewers keep a steady crowd at this Western Avenue favorite.

2. Sushi Neko, 4318 N. Western Ave.

3. Tokyo Japanese Restaurant, 7516 N. Western Ave.

Worth mentioning: Shiki Japanese Restaurant, Yamato Japanese Steakhouse


Best Chinese RestaurantLunchtime at Dot Wo Garden.  mh

Dot Wo Garden

6161 N. May Ave.

More like Dot Whoa Garden! Am I right? When it comes to Chinese food, Dot Wo is known for quality and selection with a menu that includes plenty of Americanized favorites (sesame chicken and sweet-and-sour pork) and more traditional dishes (clams with bean sauce and ma la ji ding). Even hard-to-find delicacies can be found there, including sizzling rice soup, an intoxicating feast for the senses. That’s why Dot Wo has long been a destination for Chinese immigrants and those of us who love great food alike.

2. Grand House Asian Bistro, 2701 N. Classen Blvd.

3. Golden Phoenix, 2728 N. Classen Blvd.

Worth mentioning: Chow’s Chinese RestaurantFung’s Kitchen


Best Thai RestaurantPranee Chatayatham, Mom of the family owners of Thai House.  mh

Thai House Restaurant

500 NW 23rd St.

Thai me up, Thai me down, just keep serving that sweet, spicy and seductive Thai food at Thai House Restaurant. This Uptown 23rd District mainstay is known for its expansive buffet and extensive menu. Take it slow with the dish that’s friendly for beginners and old pros: pad thai. Or go nuts on your taste buds with the intensely bright and searing hot green curry. Whatever you order, it’s a sure bet your mouth will enjoy a cool-down with the sweet caffeine hit of Thai coffee, keeping you awake until you’re hungry for more Thai House.

2. Thai Kitchen, 327 Dean A. McGee Ave.

3. Sala Thai, 1614 NW 23rd St.

Worth mentioning: Panang Thai Restaurant, Tana Thai Bistro


Best Vietnamese RestaurantPho Lein Hoa_0563mh

Pho Lien Hoa

901 NW 23rd St.

Vietnamese food is more than just pho, but, man, pho is all the way awesome. And while it’s right there in the name, Pho Lien Hoa can feed you with its small-but-excellent menu. The vermicelli bowls pile noodles, lettuce and bean sprouts together with fresh, crunchy vegetables and bright, inviting sauces that are topped with sliced prawn, pork, chicken and fried spring rolls. The rice plates are hearty, filling and simply done. That said, no one will blame you for ordering its steaming hot pho, no matter the temperature outside.

2. Lido Restaurant, 2518 N. Military Ave., Suite 101

3. Mr. Pho, 1133 NW 25th St.

Worth mentioning: Golden Phoenix, Pho Cuong


Best Pho RestaurantMalik Shakur enjoys his lunch at Pho Lein Hoa, while on the phone.  mh

Pho Lien Hoa

901 NW 23rd St.

Every year, the competition for Best Pho Restaurant gets hotter and hotter, like someone who went a little crazy with the bottle of Sriracha. Oklahoma City’s pho game runs deep, but this year’s winner is the highly respected and beloved Pho Lien Hoa. Its guide helps neo-pho-ytes and pho-xperts to the perfect blend of broth, noodles and beef. First timer? Try the pho chin nac with brisket. And old pro? Get it with rare steak and fatty flank meat. Or get really adventurous and dive into a bowl with chewy tendon and tripe. It’s all good.

2. Mr. Pho, 1133 NW 25th St.

3. Pho’Ever, 6929 Northwest Expressway

Worth mentioning: PhoBoulous, Pho Cuong


Best New Restaurant To Open Since 6/1/14pizzeria gusto-3841

Pizzeria Gusto

2415 N. Walker Ave.

Oklahoma City’s restaurant scene hit it out of the park this year. Any of the contenders are worthy choices, but Gazette readers chose runaway hit Pizzeria Gusto as the best to open since last June. It’s easy to see why, as the new venture from Big Truck Tacos and Back Door Barbecue’s Kathryn Mathis and Chris Lower once again wowed diners with crowd-pleasing and palate-challenging pizzas cooked Neapolitan-style. And it offers so much more than pizza, with great appetizers, salads and sandwiches, too.

2. The Pump Bar, 2425 N. Walker Ave.

3. Fassler Hall, 421 NW 10th St.

Worth mentioning: BonjourBroadway 10 Bar & Chophouse


Best Fine Dining EstablishmentCheever's Cafe in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, Aug 5, 2015.  (Garett Fisbeck)

Cheever’s Cafe

2409 N. Hudson Ave.

We all strive to enjoy the finer things in life: silk underwear, rock operas and, of course, chicken-fried steak with jalapeño gravy. That’s why Cheever’s Cafe is once again the city’s best fine dining spot. There’s a casual elegance at Cheever’s mirrored in the friendly-but-attentive wait staff and the food that somehow captures rustic charm and precise attention to detail. A special occasion spot for some, it’s also home to decadent weekend brunches and a bustling lunch crowd. But it’s always, always a treat.

2. Red PrimeSteak, 504 N. Broadway Ave.

3. Vast, 333 W. Sheridan Ave.

Worth mentioning: Mahogany Prime SteakhouseRanch Steakhouse


Best Neighborhood PubMcNellies_0633mh

James E. McNellie’s Public House

1100 Classen Drive

Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name. And sometimes you just need a beer and a burger in a welcoming atmosphere. That’s what makes McNellie’s such a popular local watering hole — everybody feels at home. Ride a stool at the counter and watch bartenders pull beautiful pints or hide yourself away with friends upstairs for a more intimate after-work drink. McNellie’s variety of foods also gives visitors plenty to nosh on while they’re ordering just one more beer.

2. The Pump Bar, 2425 N. Walker Ave.

3. Henry Hudson’s Pub, several metro locations

Worth mentioning: JJ’s Alley, Saints


Best Dive BarEdna's bar scene.  mh

Edna’s

5137 N. Classen Circle

Is “dive” a code word for “fun”? Because that’s what you’ll find at Edna’s. The staff isn’t worried about putting on airs or turning drinks into intricately designed works of art. It’s pulling beers, pouring cocktails and keeping a thirsty crowd sated with a steady supply of its famous Lunchboxes. Maybe it gets a little rowdy in there, but with The Door (the Twittering bouncer) on guard, it’s lots of fun. So if you’ve been waiting to try out one of the city’s least-kept secrets, we say dive in.

2. Cock o’ the Walk, 3705 N. Western Ave.

3. HiLo Club, 1221 NW 50th St.

Worth mentioning: Cookie’s, The Pump Bar


Best Upscale BarMike Hyde enjoys a newspaper and lunch at Republic Gastropub.  mh

Republic Gastropub

5830 N. Classen Blvd.

Republic is a sports bar with a food problem. Namely, the problem is its food is too good. And while there’s always somebody ready to chow down on one of its luscious burgers or fresh salads, at night, Republic becomes the place to see and be seen with a mixed drink or beer. The giant TVs are always showing games — it’s a great place to go on Sundays during NFL season — but it never overpowers the experience for those more interested in making new friends.

2. O Bar at the Ambassador Hotel, 1200 N. Walker Ave.

3. Sidecar Barley & Wine Bar, 1100 N. Broadway Ave.

Worth mentioning: Red Piano Lounge, Vast


Best New Bar To Open Since 6/1/14the pump-3904

The Pump Bar

2425 N. Walker Ave.

It’s a good time to be a drinker. Much as the restaurant scene has blown up, so has our thirst for new, fun places to toss back a few cold ones. The Pump Bar is one of a kind, transforming an old gas station into one of the busiest and best watering holes around. The expansive patio comes to life in the afternoons and evenings, and the Tiki drinks flow like water. Best of all, the chefs send out amazing daily food specials that make The Pump a must-visit for the 21-and-up crowd.

2. Fassler Hall, 421 NW 10th St.

3. Oak & Ore, 1732 NW 16th St.

Worth mentioning: Power HouseSidecar Barley & Wine Bar


Best DinerJimmy's Egg at 16 & May Ave.  mh

Jimmy’s Egg

several metro locations

The term “greasy spoon” has thankfully lost favor and been replaced by “old-fashioned diner.” Maybe that’s because places like Jimmy’s Egg take such great care in keeping the place spick-and-span. Whether you’re in the market for a plate of eggs, a stack of pancakes or a bottomless cup of coffee, Jimmy’s is an easy and affordable choice. And lunch is no slouch, either. In true diner style, this locally owned chain is here to please no matter your tastes.

2. Nic’s Grill, 1201 N. Pennsylvania Ave.

3. Classen Grill, 5124 N. Classen Circle

Worth mentioning: Beverly’s Pancake HouseThe Diner, Norman


Best Food Truck Or Food Cartduring H&8th on 7-31-15.  mh

Big Truck Tacos

530 NW 23rd St., mobile

All hail the king of the food trucks! It seems like a new truck hits the streets every day, but they all owe a debt to Big Truck, which brought the meals on wheels concept roaring down our roads. Upscale taqueria fare and kitschy, caring service have made this truck (and its home-base eatery) enduringly popular, even as competition increases. Keeping it fresh is the 5th Amendment, a daily special the contents of which are kept secret until the next day. Fun fact: Stop in early to see night-shift nurses unwinding after a tough day.

2. Roxy’s Ice Cream Social, 1732 NW 16th St., Suite B, mobile

3. The Saucee Sicilian, 2837 NW 63rd St., mobile

Worth mentioning: Kaiteki RamenThe Loaded Bowl


Best Uptown 23rd RestaurantCheever's Cafe in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, Aug 5, 2015.  (Garett Fisbeck)

Cheever’s Cafe

2409 N. Hudson Ave.

One of the biggest battles for culinary domination takes places on 23rd Street. A panoply of restaurants have opened in recent years to great acclaim, but this year’s best Uptown 23rd District spot goes to Cheever’s. Consistently delightful and innovative, it changes its menu roster seasonally while retaining its greatest hits. It’s an eatery where the dress code can be as fancy or relaxed as you like — everyone is treated equally — and the food remains steadfastly excellent. Cheever’s continues to look down the road, daring any competitors to come at it, bro.

2. Big Truck Tacos, 530 NW 23rd St.

3. Guernsey Park, 2418 N. Guernsey Ave.

Worth mentioning: Pizza 23, Pizzeria Gusto


Best Plaza District RestaurantThe Mule Plaza Restaurant_0660mh

The Mule

1630 N. Blackwelder Ave.

The Leave-a-Drink board catches one’s eye upon entering The Mule, which takes the honor for Best Plaza District Restaurant. The overflowing list of drinks awaiting customers isn’t the only reason to check it out, but it’s as good an excuse as any to stop by. When you do, don’t be surprised to find a happily packed house, a stereo playing great music and lots and lots of sandwiches coming out of the kitchen. Plenty of challengers vied to usurp The Mule’s place at top, but the boys from Hungry Town Concepts (its parent company) are always happy to defend the title.

2. Empire Slice House, 1734 NW 16th St.

3. Pie Junkie, 1711 NW 16th St.

Worth mentioning: Chiltepe’s Latin Cuisine & Bar, Saints


Best Paseo Arts District RestaurantThe Paseo Grill, spacious and dark.  mh

Paseo Grill

2909 Paseo St., Suite A

Yes, those are reading glasses on the table. In the funky Paseo Arts District, Paseo Grill has outlasted many of its neighbors by providing an upscale menu, an excellent bar and an elegant place in which to enjoy both. Even on the brightest days, the dining room stays cool and dim. At night, the twinkling lights of the Paseo make their way inside. The patio is inviting, as are favorite dishes as they arrive at your table. At lunch, try the curry-infused cast-iron skillet chicken pot pie. For dinner, the prime rib is what you crave.

2. Picasso Cafe, 3009 Paseo St.

3. Sauced on Paseo, 2912 Paseo St.

Worth mentioning: The Other Room, The Red Rooster Bar & Grill


Best Asian District RestaurantChow Fune with Beef & Shrimp.  mh

Grand House Asian Bistro

2701 N. Classen Blvd.

How grand is Grand House Asian Bistro? Grand enough to capture the always-contentious competition for Best Asian District Restaurant. A big, beautiful eatery that runs like clockwork, Grand House serves classic Chinese dishes, straight-from-the-tank seafood and a variety of sushi. But to see a real show, turn up Saturday and Sunday mornings for its dim sum brunch. Servers wheel around carts covered in dumplings of all sorts, noodles galore and meats and vegetables of every type past tables, allowing diners to pick and choose as the buffet rolls by.

2. Golden Phoenix, 2728 N. Classen Blvd.

3. Lido Restaurant, 2518 N. Military Ave., Suite 101

Worth mentioning: Pho Cuong, Pho Lien Hoa


Best Automobile Alley District RestaurantHideaway Pizza in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2015.  (Garett Fisbeck)

Hideaway Pizza

901 N. Broadway Ave.

It’s hard to beat a great pizza. Even as Automobile Alley’s comestible portfolio expands, Hideaway Pizza still brings in diners who are hungry for a slice or three. The classic pepperoni or supreme get lots of love, but Hideaway is always innovating and adding new specialty pies. Meat lovers will find happiness in The Capone, and vegetarians love the Twitter-created Tweetza with its powerful punch of pesto, roasted garlic, sundried tomatoes and feta. And if you have a favorite that left the menu, just ask your server, who might be able to make it for you anyway.

2. S&B’s Burger Joint, 20 NW Ninth St.

3. Iguana Mexican Grill, 9 NW Ninth St.

Worth mentioning: Broadway 10 Bar & ChophouseRed PrimeSteak


Best Bricktown District RestaurantKDs comfortable sides 36mh

KD’s Southern Cuisine

224 Johnny Bench Drive

Anyone looking for a slam-dunk dining experience will want to lay up into a booth at KD’s Southern Cuisine and bounce-pass its plate to … uh … additional basketball reference. Hey, Kevin Durant might be known for his prowess on the court, but we’re talking about food here. OKC’s eateratti named his restaurant the best in Bricktown because the high-class, down-home cooking is too good to ignore. Shrimp and grits? Take it to the hole! The mouth hole! No wonder our readers are making fast breaks for KD’s.

2. Bricktown Brewery, 1 N. Oklahoma Ave.

3. The Mantel Wine Bar & Bistro, 201 E. Sheridan Ave.

Worth mentioning: In The Raw, Pearl’s Crabtown


Best Classen Curve District RestaurantRepublic Gastropub vert_9730mh

Republic Gastropub

5830 N. Classen Blvd.

Plenty of bars will serve you food, but Classen Curve’s best offers gourmet burgers, fancy sandwiches and pub-style favorites. Republic doesn’t just have an amazing selection of beer and JumboTron-sized TVs hanging from the ceiling — it’s also home to some of the city’s tastiest food. The casual atmosphere means it’s great for dates and birthdays and equally comfortable for a quick bite with friends. And if you save room for dessert, don’t leave without trying Meme’s doughnuts.

2. Tucker’s Onion Burgers, 5740 N. Classen Blvd., Suite 3

3. Cafe 501, 5825 NW Grand Blvd.

Worth mentioning: Green GoodiesPearl’s Oyster Bar


Best Deep Deuce District RestaurantK.C. Ortega draws a Coop Ale Gran Sport Porter, at The Wedge in Deep Deuce.  mh

The Wedge Pizzeria

230 NE First St.

“You’re fired!” is a thing that Donald Trump sometimes says on TV. But would he dare wood-fire them? No. That would be illegal. Luckily, no such laws apply to the pizza wizards at The Wedge Pizzeria in Deep Deuce, where wood-fired pizzas come to you hot and crisp out of the oven. And unlike poor Omarosa, you’ll always have a place in your organization for The Beet Goes On salad and the chicken-and-mushroom glory that is the Truffle-Shuffle pizza. Warning to all visitors with Trumplike hair: If you sit on the patio, a breeze could carry that wig all the way to Bricktown.

2. Deep Deuce Grill, 307 NE Second St.

3. Urban Johnnie Bar & Grille, 121 NE Second St.

Worth mentioning: Slaughter’s Hall, WSKY Lounge


Best Midtown District RestaurantMichael & Jennifer Bucking Ham get inot their food at Waffle Champion.  mh

Waffle Champion

1212 N. Walker Ave., Suite 101

Pancakes cower. Strudels hide. In Midtown, the victor is Waffle Champion. A food truck-turned-storefront, this waffle-slinging breakfast-and-lunch spot creates some of the best and most unique sandwiches in the city. Even though Midtown has become brunch central, the lines are always forming at Waffle Champion because people are hungry for a winner. So smack down your hunger, suplex that cereal and come getcha some at the self-proclaimed and undisputed Midtown champ.

2. James E. McNellie’s Public House, 1100 Classen Drive

3. Stella Modern Italian Cuisine, 1201 N. Walker Ave.

Worth mentioning: Fassler Hall1492 New World Latin Cuisine


Best Stockyards City District RestaurantCattlemens vert_0032mh

Cattlemen’s Steakhouse

1309 S. Agnew Ave.

Every time you see a Chick-fil-A billboard covered with illiterate cows, remember how much better off they’d be just accepting that they’re destined for steakly greatness. And in Stockyards City, the best place to chow down on a T-bone is Cattlemen’s. What nabbed it the top spot? Was it the early morning diner-style breakfast? The out-there items like calf brains and eggs? Or how about that salad dressing? Or maybe, just maybe, it’s the fact that it prepares top-notch sirloins, rib-eyes, strip steaks and more every single day.

2. Panaderia La Herradura, 2235 SW 14th St.

3. Stockyards City Cafe, 2501 Exchange Ave.


Best Western Avenue District RestaurantThe Wedge vert_0336mh

The Wedge Pizzeria

4709 N. Western Ave.

Wedge can have so many meanings. Sure, The Wedge Pizzeria on Western is probably talking about a lovely wedge of its artfully made, wood-fired pizzas. But it could be talking about its wedge salad. Or the people who wedge into line for its $5 Grab-n-Go breakfast-and-coffee combo. Or maybe it has been a secret proposal scheme all along. Wed G.E.? Is The Wedge asking Oklahoma Gazette food writer Greg Elwell to marry it? No. It’s the pizza. But Greg’s standing outside in a white gown just in case.

2. Sushi Neko, 4318 N. Western Ave.

3. Musashi’s, 4315 N. Western Ave.

Worth mentioning: The Drum Room, West


Best Downtown Restaurant (Includes Arts District, Film Row District and Farmers Market District)Jeremy and Rebecca Frazier enjoy an afternoon lunch at Kitchen 324.  mh

Kitchen No. 324

324 N. Robinson Ave.

It’s not that Kitchen No. 324 only serves poached eggs; it’s that it does them so well. Order up fried green tomato Benedict or open-faced toast and look at that gorgeous orb of white. A gentle nudge with a fork and a silky ribbon of yellow yolk emerges, giving every bite on the plate an intense decadence. Lunch and dinner are equally impressive, and the pastry counter is a wonderland. It’s no surprise Kitchen again tops the heap.

2. Museum Cafe at Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive

3. Vast, 333 W. Sheridan Ave.

Worth mentioning: Flint, Joey’s Pizzeria


Best Local Restaurant to Order To-GoBrenda Pina takes orders over the phone for pick-up, at Big Truck Taco.  mh

Big Truck Tacos

530 NW 23rd St.

The drive-through at Big Truck Tacos is reserved for call-in orders, which makes picking up things such as tacos, burritos and queso a breeze. Wrapped up tight in foil, to-go tacos mean fans don’t have to brave the always-busy dining room to get their fix of fried avocados, pulled pork and spicy grilled beef wrapped up in corn or flour tortillas. Just call in, pull up and drive off with a bag of tacos so tasty they might not make it home. And be sure to grab plenty of OMG and Asphalt salsas, too. Those Taco Bell packets you have at home just won’t measure up.

2. Hideaway Pizza, several metro locations

3. Ted’s Cafe Escondido, several metro locations

Worth mentioning: Iron Star Urban Barbeque, Johnnie’s Charcoal Broiler


Best Local Restaurant That DeliversSauced on Paseo vert_0927mh

Sauced on Paseo

2912 Paseo St.

There is no sound sweeter than the doorbell when you know Sauced is waiting for you outside. Delivery is decadent, a luxury. It doesn’t matter if you’re in sweatpants, a stained T-shirt and three days’ worth of missed showers — it will bring you hot food that you can eat. Most delivery food comes from chains and the results are, at best, mediocre. So when you want good food from a local kitchen, get Sauced. With crazy combinations like the Green Lantern (spinach, capicola, pear) and old favorites like the Loaded Hawaiian, there’s something for everybody.

2. China House, 2103 Riverwalk Drive, Moore

3. Stars & Stripes Pizza, several metro locations

Worth mentioning: Knuck’s WheelhousePizza House


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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