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Best of OKC
 

Food & Drink


Gazette staff August 8th, 2012

The best of food & drink!

Cuppies & Joe
Best coffee or teahouse
CUPPIES & JOE
727 N.W. 23rd


Merriam-Webster might consider editing its “cozy” entry to include a photo of this dessert cafe, where the character of a creaky old house is infused with charming details in the food, art and furnishings.  The “joe” in Cuppies & Joe isn’t a watered-down afterthought: The brew gets its depth from quality beans courtesy Elemental Coffee Roasters in Midtown. 


2. Red Cup, 3122 N. Classen Blvd.
3. Coffee Slingers, 1015 N. Broadway
Worth mentioning: Elemental Coffee; t, an urban tea house



Best local winery or brewery
COOP ALE WORKS
1124 N.W. 51st


Since 2008, this local brewhouse sweetheart has converted wheat, hops and barley into frosty beverages for the metro and beyond. Favorites include Native Amber, Zeppelin German Wheat, F5 IPA and the aptly named, high-point Belgian-style DNR (for “do not resuscitate”). Keep your eye out for the seasonal brew. 


2. Bricktown Brewery, 1 N. Oklahoma
3. Belle Isle Brewery, 1900 Northwest Expressway
Worth mentioning: Mustang Brewery, Urban Wineworks, Redbud Brewery


Best food truck
BIG TRUCK TACOS
mobile


With a physical restaurant on N.W. 23rd Street, the mobile version serves up a smaller menu
of the same great tacos you crave on the regular. The Rancher has slow-braised brisket, or try the veggie burrito, which is packed with spinach, black beans and scallion rice.


2. Bobo’s Chicken, mobile
3. Waffle Champion, mobile
Worth mentioning: Roxy’s Ice Cream Social, Wok Stop



Jimmy's Egg

 

Best breakfast
JIMMY’S EGG
several metro locations


Whether you’re hankering to start the day with two eggs and a slice of ham or an omelet loaded with everything from asparagus to sausage, Jimmy’s Egg is certain to hit the spot. For 30 years, this most egg-cellent (see what we did there?) breakfast eatery has been keeping the coffee hot and the bacon sizzling. 


2. Classen Grill, 5124 N. Classen Blvd.
3. Beverly’s Pancake House, 3315 Northwest Expressway
Worth mentioning: Cafe Antigua, Cafe Kacao



Best brunch
CHEEVER'S CAFE
2409 N. Hudson 


Are you serious about brunching? Olympic gold-medal serious? If you are, and you’ve not been to Cheever’s, then you should probably get a new trainer. This “Best of OKC” veteran has nabbed 2012’s title for best service and the elusive best restaurant. It’s not really a surprise that this renovated wonder also has the market cornered for mimosas and migas. 


2. Ingrid’s Kitchen, 3701 N. Youngs
3. La Baguette Bistro, 7408 N. May
Worth mentioning: Cafe 501, Rococo



Best lunch
BIG TRUCK TACOS
530 N.W. 23rd


For lunch, connoisseurs of deliciousness need look no further than Big Truck Tacos, boasting such offbeat tacos as the Flaming Lips (hickory-smoked tongue with pico de gallo, avocado and queso fresco) and the 5th Amendment (who knows what it’ll be from day to day?) to wonderful burritos and ceviche. Damn, we got ourselves hungry just writing about it.


2. Saturn Grill, 6432 Avondale Drive; 4401 W. Memorial
3. Tucker’s Onion Burgers, 324 N.W. 23rd
Worth Mentioning: City Bites, Taco Mayo



Best hamburgers
S&B’S BURGER JOINT
5929 N. May; 20 N.W. Ninth


Fat, messy and irresistible — that’s how we’d describe the burgers of Gazette readers’ No. 1 pick for satisfying that inner Wimpy. S&B’s has quickly earned its reputation as a hamburger haven with an array of unique, mouth-watering offerings. Hey, when you can order a burger smothered in peanut butter (the Elvis, incidentally), you’re on to something special.


2. Irma’s Burger Shack, 1035 N.W. 63rd and 1120 Classen Drive
3. Johnnie’s Charcoal Broiler, several metro locations
Worth mentioning: Tucker’s Onion Burgers, Nic’s Grill



Best sandwiches
CITY BITES
several metro locations


Gazette readers say City Bites offers up the tastiest sandwiches. Whether you’re craving smoky-sweet mesquite chicken or light veggie fillings, City Bites has what you desire. The menu is also stocked with a nice variety of soups, salads and wraps. Most remarkable, perhaps, is that City Bites has found a way to put broccoli in a sandwich — and it tastes great.


2. Someplace Else, 2310 N. Western
3. Prairie Thunder, 1114 Classen Drive
Worth mentioning: Neptune Submarine Sandwiches, ND Foods


Earl's Ribs

 

Best barbecue restaurant
EARL’S RIB PALACE


The finger-lickin’ fare of Earl’s Rib Palace is again tops with Gazette readers, and that’s saying something in a city and state not exactly hurting for good barbecue. And if you’re not in the mood for barbecue, other Earl’s favorites include grilled chicken, juicy burgers and baked beans. 


2. Iron Starr Urban Barbeque, 3700 N. Shartel
3. Van’s Pig Stand, several metro locations
Worth mentioning: Swadley’s Bar-B-Q, Ray’s Smokehouse



Best pizza place
HIDEAWAY PIZZA
several metro locations


Who else? With only one exception, Gazette readers have selected Hideaway Pizza as “best pizza” every year the category was included on the ballot since 1999. The original Hideaway was founded in 1957 in Stillwater with a philosophy of making both employees and customers happy, and of course, making great pizza pie. OKC evidently thinks that’s a pretty sound philosophy.


2. The Wedge, 4709 N. Western; 230 N.E. First
3. Sauced on Paseo, 2912 Paseo
Worth mentioning: Sandro’s, Upper Crust, Joey’s Pizzeria



Best steakhouse
CATTLEMEN’S STEAKHOUSE
1309 S. Agnew


Smack-dab in historic Stockyards City, Cattlemen’s Steakhouse isn’t so much a restaurant as an Oklahoma City institution. The restaurant’s origins — won in a dice game in 1945 — are the stuff of legend, but its thick, juicy steaks are the stuff of dreams, provided your dreams are carnivorous. And the meat is just part of the allure, since Cattlemen’s is also renowned for its catfish, salads and yep, lamb fries. Trust us on this. 


2. Red PrimeSteak, 504 N. Broadway
3. The Ranch Steakhouse, 3000 W. Britton
Worth mentioning: Mahogany, The Mantle

Sushi Neko

 


Best sushi
SUSHI NEKO
4318 N. Western


Sushi Neko is no stranger to the “Best of OKC” list. In fact, this delightful Asian bistro has topped the charts since 2000, dominating the category since 2008. And no wonder. The terrific service and heavenly rolls have ensured a loyal following. Don’t leave without trying the Lady Love roll or the hearty Red Canyon. Wash it down with some sake or an Asahi. 


2. In the Raw, several metro locations
3. Tokyo Japanese Restaurant, 7516 N. Western
Worth mentioning: Pachinko Parlor,
Saii Asian Bistro



Best vegetarian or healthy menu options
COOLGREENS
several metro locations


The metro has been receptive to this winning concept, which has flourished over the last couple of years. Coolgreens’ inventive salads, wraps and pizzas are a painless — and delicious — way of getting your daily-recommended allowance of fruits and vegetables. Even the veggie-averse can find sustenance with options including turkey, ham, chicken and seafood.


2. Picasso Cafe, 3009 Paseo
3. The Earth Natural Foods and Deli, 746 Asp, Norman
Worth mentioning: The Red Cup, Matthew Kenney OKC


Best patio dining
THE MONT
1300 Classen, Norman


It’s hard to think about being on a patio right now. But, eventually these horrific temps will give way to breezes that don’t feel like an oven, and the patio retreat at The Mont is a favorite for University of Oklahoma students and faithful patrons alike. Grab a frozen beverage to help coax those temps down. 


2. Louie’s Grill & Bar, several metro locations
3. The Wedge, 4709 N. Western and 230 N.E. First
Worth mentioning: Flip’s Wine Bar and Trattoria, Republic Gastropub


Best liquor store

BYRON'S LIQUOR WAREHOUSE

2322 N. Broadway


Warehouse, it is: The shop has a remarkable selection of bottles and cans awaiting your imbibing needs, and plenty of registers to get you in and out in a flash. Open since 1959, Byron’s appeals to customers of today by posting its weekly specials on Facebook.
2. Broadway Wine Merchants, 824 N. Broadway
3. Pancho’s Liquortown, 6801 N. Meridian
Worth mentioning: Sam’s Warehouse Liquor, Grand Cru Wine and Spirits


Best seafood restaurant
PEARL'S RESTAURANT
several metro locations


While there are no nearby seas in this landlocked state we call home, that doesn’t mean we have to forgo good seafood. Pearl’s makes sure of it! Whether you’re dining on the patio of Pearl’s Oyster Bar near Nichols Hills or farther south at Pearl’s Fish House, you can always rely on quality oysters, fresh fish and delicious Cajun specialties. 


2. The Shack Seafood & Oyster Bar, 303 N.W. 62nd
3. Deep Fork Grill, 5418 N. Western
Worth mentioning: Rococo Restaurant & Fine Wine, Hefner Grill


Best dessert menu
LA BAGUETTE BAKERY & CAFE
several metro locations


La Baguette Bakery & Cafe’s name doesn’t quite do it justice — then again, La Baguette Cheesecake Éclair Pastry Awesome Sugary Goodness Bistro & Bakery probably wouldn’t fit on a sign. Pair a slice of cheesecake or chocolate mousse with a cappuccino for dessert divinity. La Baguette also makes wedding cakes — ones that you’ll actually look forward to pulling out of the freezer on your first anniversary.


2. Ingrid’s Kitchen, 3701 N. Youngs
3. Cuppies and Joe, 727 N.W. 23rd
Worth mentioning: Cheever’s Cafe, Nonna’s Euro-American Ristorante & Bar


Iguana Mexican Grill

Best Mexican restaurant
IGUANA MEXICAN GRILL
9 N.W. Ninth


Spice it up with what Gazette readers deem the metro’s best Mexican restaurant. From salsa that will make you want to turn cartwheels (resist the urge — we’ve learned that the hard way) to its family-style dining options, Iguana Grill brings its own flair to Mexican fare. While you’re at it, don’t forget to ask for a ride on the Black Pearl Iguana Bus!


2. Ted’s Cafe Escondido, several metro locations
3. Tarahumara’s Mexican Cafe, 702 N. Porter, Norman
Worth mentioning: Chelino’s Mexican Restaurant, San Marcos Mexican Restaurant


Best Latin restaurant
CAFE DO BRASIL
440 N.W. 11th


Situated in Midtown, this restaurant frequently beckons you by way of rooftop music, which spills over the two-story building. Eat in the main dining area, and most days, a live pianist will provide entertainment. You’ll find authentic dishes that are gluten-free and vegetarian. After dinner, head up to the bar and roof patio to enjoy some traditional Latin cocktails. 


2. 1492 New World Latin Cuisine, 1207 N. Walker
3. Zarate’s Latin Mexican Grill, 706 S. Broadway, Edmond
Worth mentioning: Cafe Antigua, Cafe Kacao



Best Italian restaurant
BELLINI'S RISTORANTE
6305 Waterford Blvd.


When Gazette readers want a Roman holiday without the jet lag, they head to Bellini’s Ristorante. Open since 1990, this warm and cozy gem offers authentic Italian dishes, traditional American dishes and nouveau cuisine. Its namesake — the famous cocktail created in Italy in 1948 — is just one of many imbibing options. And don’t miss the romantic patio!


2. Stella Modern Italian Cuisine, 1201 N. Walker
3. Victoria’s Pasta Shop, 327 White St., Norman
Worth mentioning: Papa Dio’s Restaurant and Wine Bar, Vito’s Ristorante



Best European restaurant, not Italian
LA BAGUETTE BISTRO
7408 N. May


Stepping into La Baguette feels much like you’ve just wandered in off the streets of Paris, only the people aren’t rude. Known for its magnificent deli meats and desserts, this French bistro might just be the touch of decadence you’re looking for in the metro. Don’t leave without trying the almond and pear tart.

2. Ingrid’s Kitchen, 3701 N. Youngs
3. Nonna’s Euro-American Ristorante and Bar, 1 S. Mickey Mantle Drive
Worth mentioning: Old Germany, Royal Bavaria



Best Mediterranean restaurant
ZORBA'S MEDITERRANEAN CUISINE & BAR
6014 N. May


This marks the fourth consecutive win for Zorba’s, and it’s easy to understand why with its hummus, gyros and grilled skewers. Everything is packed with authentic flavors, and the service is always exceptional. On the weekends, enjoy watching traditional belly and Flamenco dancers while you eat.


2. Mediterranean Imports & Deli, 5620 N. May
3. Nunu’s Mediterranean Cafe, 3131 W. Memorial
Worth mentioning: Couscous Cafe, Camilya’s Mediterranean Cafe

Gopuram

 


Best Indian restaurant
GOPURAM TASTE OF INDIA
4559 N.W. 23rd


With its great service and seemingly unending buffet options, it’s no surprise this is the third time Gopuram has topped this category. Open since 1994, the restaurant prides itself on serving up authentic, ethnic eats. Try the buffet to get a nice sample of Northern and Southern cuisine.


2. Taj Cuisine of India, 1500 N.W. 23rd
3. Misal of India, 580 Ed Noble Parkway, Norman
Worth mentioning: Khazana Indian Grill and Buffet, Ajanta Cuisine of India


Best Japanese restaurant
MUSASHI'S JAPANESE STEAKHOUSE
4315 N. Western


Even as you watch the chef prepare your fried rice on the hibachi, you’ll still wonder what they put in it to make it taste so delicious. Whether you’re in for the hibachi grill fun or ordering sushi, you’re sure to enjoy the stellar service and patio dining. 


2. Sushi Neko, 4318 N. Western
3. Shogun Steakhouse of Japan, 11900 N. May
Worth mentioning: Tokyo Japanese Restaurant, Saii Asian Bistro, Shiki Japanese Restaurant, Yamato Japanese Steakhouse


Best Chinese restaurant
GRAND HOUSE
2701 N. Classen Blvd.


Both elegant and casual at once, the Grand House boasts delectable Cantonese-style cooking that does magnificent things with meats and veggies. On weekends, enjoy the traditional dim sum, when carts loaded with plates of single portions visit tables throughout the meal.


2. Golden Palace, 1500 S. Meridian
3. Dot Wo, 10600 S. Penn and 3101 N. Portland
Worth mentioning: Lido, China House



Best Thai restaurant
SWEET BASIL
211 W. Main, Norman


Tucked away in lovable Norman lives the best little Thai house in the metro. Well, according to Gazette readers it does. From traditional decor to traditional dishes, this restaurant has those exotic flavors you’ve been craving. Try the po-pia tod (Thai spring rolls) or its pra ram, chicken or tofu sauteed in garlic with its homemade peanut-curry sauce. 


2. Thai House, 500 N.W. 23rd
3. Sala Thai, 1614 N.W. 23rd
Worth mentioning: Thai Kitchen, Thai Palace


Best Vietnamese restaurant
LIDO RESTAURANT
2518 N. Military


Get there early so you’ll have time to review the extensive menu. If you’re in the mood to try a sampling, make sure to check out the dinner special. You’ll get started with soup and some fresh-made egg rolls, then you’ll have your choice of one of the most popular entrees. Trust us: At Lido, you’ll leave full, happy and with leftovers. 


2. Pho Lien Hoa, 901 N.W. 23rd
3. Pho’Nomenal, 7504 N. May
Worth mentioning: Pho Cuong, Coriander Cafe

Eischen's

 


Best restaurant outside the metro
EISCHEN’S BAR
109 N. Second, Okarche


Although it’s a bit off the beaten path, patrons of Eischen’s Bar in Okarche will tell you it’s worth the gas money. The menu is simple, but Eischen’s stands by the principle that it’s better to do a few things and do them really well. The fried whole chicken is the most highly raved-about item, but the roast beef sandwiches and okra have garnered many fans as well. Be prepared to have cash on hand: Oklahoma’s oldest bar doesn’t accept those newfangled credit cards.


2. Meers Store & Restaurant, 26005 Oklahoma 115, Lawton
3. Pete’s Place, 120 S.W. Eighth, Krebs
Worth mentioning: Stark’s Fine Dining, Paul’s Valley; Ken’s Steaks and Ribs, Amber



Best restaurant in Edmond
BOULEVARD STEAKHOUSE
505 S. Boulevard


Being journalists, it’s not often we get to eat at Boulevard Steakhouse, but when we do, we masticate that USDA Prime beef like it’ll be our last. Pair that with fingerling potatoes, a slice of chocolate mousse cake, a glass of Merlot — OK, fine, three glasses, but the first was only up to “here” — and it almost makes us want to move to Edmond just to be near the smell. 


2. Cafe 501, 501 S. Boulevard
3. Ted’s Cafe Escondido, 801 E. Danforth
Worth mentioning: Lottinville’s, Signature Grill


Best restaurant in Norman
THE MONT
1300 Classen Blvd., Norman


The Mont has been a hub for Normanites since 1976, a place where people gather for great meals or drinks on the open patio. You can find everything from burgers to soups and salads, to specialty dishes with a Mexican flair. And the ambience and atmosphere are almost as big a draw as the food.


2. Tarahumara’s Mexican Cafe & Cantina, 702 N. Porter, Norman
3. Legend’s Restaurant, 1313 W. Lindsey St.,Norman
Worth mentioning: Local, Benvenuti’s Restaurant



Best restaurant on the northside
REDROCK CANYON GRILL
9221 Lake Hefner Parkway


Nabbing the “Best of OKC” title for the second year in a row, this lakeside oasis has just about everything a person could  want: lake views, outdoor dining, outdoor bar and — most important — excellent food. Although a fire ravaged it recently, Redrock is set to re-open within the year.


2. Republic Gastropub, 5830 N. Classen Blvd.
3. Rococo Restaurant & Fine Wine, 2824 N. Penn; 12252 N. May
Worth mentioning: Mahogany Prime Steakhouse, The Ranch Steakhouse


Best restaurant on the southside
CATTLEMEN'S STEAKHOUSE
1309 S. Agnew Ave.


Where’s the beef? Well, pardner, it’s at Cattlemen’s Steakhouse. Since 2009, Gazette readers have voted the Stockyards City fixture as the best eatery on the southside. In its 102-year history, Cattlemen’s has hosted everyone from then-President George H.W. Bush to basketball great Charles Barkley. That’s a pretty wide spectrum of steak-lovers.


2. Ted’s Cafe Escondido, 8324 S. Western
3. Charleston’s, several metro locations
Worth mentioning: Chelino’s Mexican Restaurant, The Stuffed Olive, Hibachi Supreme Buffet, Hollie’s Flatiron Steakhouse, Two Olives Cafe


Best restaurant downtown
IGUANA MEXICAN GRILL
9 N.W. Ninth


Iguana has nabbed the “Best of OKC” downtown category for the past three years, so you know it’s doing something right. If you haven’t been in for the curried vegetable taco on a Taco Tuesday, you should immediately rearrange your upcoming Tuesday and do so. While you’re there, try at least five other kinds of tacos. And don’t forget that addictive salsa, or the equally enticing frozen swirl margaritas!


2. The Mantel, 201 E. Sheridan
3. Red PrimeSteak, 504 N. Broadway
Worth mentioning: Nonna’s Euro-American Ristorante & Bar, Flint

S&B's Burger Joint

 


Best new restaurant to open since 6/1/11
S&B’s BURGER JOINT
20 N.W. Ninth St.


Get the fried spicy cheese cubes. Oh, for the love of dairy and fried wonder … get the cheese cubes. This happening joint is usually busy from brunch until close. Try one of its many inventive burger combos in slider or full-size, and wash it all down with the Tiger Blood, a Bloody Mary to end all Bloody Marys. 


2. Tucker’s Onion Burgers, 324 N.W. 23rd
3. Local, 2262 W. Main, Norman
Worth mentioning: Hollie’s Flatiron Steakhouse, Flint


Best service in a restaurant
CHEEVER'S CAFE
2409 N. Hudson


While having great food is imperative, a restaurant is definitely a team effort. The service in a restaurant, regardless of taste or quality, can determine if someone makes a return visit. No matter how busy Cheever’s gets, you can expect the first-rate dishes of this upscale eatery delivered to your table in a timely manner — all with a smile. 


2. Charleston’s, several metro locations
3. Tarahumara’s Mexican Cafe and Cantina, 702 N. Porter, Norman
Worth mentioning: Deep Deuce Grill, Vito’s Ristorante



Best restaurant ambience
PASEO GRILL
2909 Paseo


Tucked away in the heat of the city’s arts district, the Paseo Grill is as unique and seductive as its historic neighborhood. Gazette readers certainly appreciate its luxuriant, romantic ambience: darkly lit and filled with private booths, curtains and — a nice, quirky touch — reading glasses on all the tables. It also offers one of the best patios in town.


2. Redrock Canyon Grill, 9221 Lake Hefner Parkway
3. Rococo Restaurant & Fine Wine, 2824 N. Penn; 12252 N. May
Worth mentioning: Red PrimeSteak, West



Restaurant more people should know about
PASEO GRILL
2909 Paseo


Well, the Paseo Grill can’t be that much of a secret since Gazette readers give it top marks for ambience, but restaurant owners Joe Jungmann and Lesley Rawlinson probably wouldn’t mind more people knowing about this sophisticated gem. From an out-of-this-world chicken pot pie to a host of wonderful steaks, seafood and chicken, Paseo Grill has earned a loyal following since its opening in 2006. 


2. S&B’s Burger Joint, 5929 N. May; 20 N.W. Ninth
3. Local, 2262 W. Main St., Norman
Worth mentioning: Ludivine, Flint


Best restaurant
CHEEVER'S CAFE
2409 N. Hudson


The upscale contemporary cuisine will win you over by way of fried chicken and waffles for brunch and apricot-glazed tenderloin for dinner. The historic building once housed a floral shop; its remnants are a refrigerated floral case in the middle of the place. That case is multipurpose now and serves as a sort of trademark, as well as a refrigerator for the wines, beers and desserts. Go ahead: Have your cake … and eat it, too! 


2. Rococo Restaurant & Fine Wine, 2824 N. Penn; 12252 N. May
3. Red PrimeSteak, 504 N. Broadway
Worth mentioning: The Ranch Steakhouse, Local, Ludivine

Jame E. McNellie's

 


Best neighborhood bar
JAMES E. MCNELLIE’S PUBLIC HOUSE
1100 N. Classen Drive


Gazette readers know when it comes to grabbing a cold brew with friends, James E. McNellie’s Pub is the place to get your drink on. If a nice, tall glass of Guinness isn’t your thing, the pub has an exhaustive list of beers from all over the world, not to mention food to sate the late-night munchies.


2. VZD’s Restaurant & Club, 4200 N. Western
3. Cock O’ the Walk, 3705 N. Western
Worth mentioning: Saints, Lumpy’s, Cross Eyed Moose


Best upscale bar
REPUBLIC GASTROPUB
5830 N. Classen Blvd. 


A sleek decor, killer patio and extensive beer list are among the reasons Republic is aces with Gazette readers this year. When you add in the gourmet pub cuisine and banks of TVs for sporting events, it’s clear that this Classen Curve hot spot is hot for a reason. 


2. Red Piano Lounge, 1 Park Ave.
3. Nonna’s Purple Bar, 1 S. Mickey Mantle
Worth mentioning: Skky Bar, Ludivine



Best new bar to open since 6/1/11
SAINTS
1715 N.W. 16th


Look for the red brick building in the Plaza District! Sidle into one of the cozy spaces and get ready for a treat. The menu is done quite traditionally, but with a healthy twist, and the cocktails … well, let’s just say you get what you pay for. Even if you’re not Irish, you’ll feel lucky here. 


2. Dollhouse Lounge & Burlesque, 210 E. Sheridan
3. Whiskey Chicks Parlor, 115 E. Reno
Worth mentioning: Lumpy’s Sports Bar and Grill, Flint

 
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