Empire Slice House
1734 NW 16th St.
What worked: Fun and flavorful specialty pizzas.
What needs work: It's busy and can get loud.
Tip: Not every slice is available every day, so call ahead if you need something specific, or buy a whole pie.
1212 N. Walker Ave. #100
What works: Pit Ham and classic Bacon Egg n’ Cheese sandwiches are tops.
What needs work: Parking can be a challenge. Lobster needs more flavor for the price.
Tip: Plan ahead. Closed on Mondays and after 2 p.m. every other day.
Basil Mediterranean Cafe
211 NW 23rd St.
What works: Lamb shanks and kabobs are tender and tasty.
What needs work: The falafel isn’t nearly as good.
Tip: Call-ahead ordering can shave off plenty of wait time.
Thai Kitchen Cafe
327 Dean A. McGee Ave.
What works: Top-notch pad thai, excellent stir-fry dishes, fast and friendly staff.
What needs work: Parking can be a real pain, but that’s the price of eating at Thai Kitchen Cafe.
Tip: Go at dinner if you want a larger selection. But there’s plenty to love at lunch.
5820 N. Classen Blvd.
What works: The jicama wraps and tacos are so good, you stop caring that they’re vegan.
What needs work: The tamales needed a little more filling and flavor.
Tips: Juice is really more of a smoothie. The spicy green is expensive but glug-worthy.
La Brasa Peruvian Kitchen
1310 NW 25th St.
What Works: the food. Ceviches, chicken, beef — all tasty and all affordable.
What Needs Work: Service is friendly, but it needs more servers working lunch.
Tips: Get a table shielded from the door. On cold days, it gets gusty.