Big Daddy’s Smokehouse
220 S. Main, Noble
Ricks of hickory stacked out front, in back and all round the sides of this small-town roadhouse are your sign it’s the real barbecue deal. Brisket and ribs are slow roasted next to smoldering wood until they’re tender and succulent. Traditional barbecue side dishes are made in house. Family owned and operated; you won’t find a friendlier bunch of folks anywhere.
2804 Chautauqua, Norman
Forget about catching a flight to Chicago. Drop into this carry-out-only joint for deep dish or super thin crust on pizzas you can design yourself. The sauce is from a century-old Sicilian recipe. Not in the mood for pizza? The place also has juicy Italian beef sandwiches, and the Windy City-style wieners come with that cool neon-green relish.
700 Ed Noble Parkway, Norman
It’s all about the fried catfish and beignets, and that’s just the complimentary beginning to the meal. You then move to an all-you-can-eat-buffet of Creole wonder. From crawfish étouffée to the most Deep South collard greens imaginable, you’ll forget you aren’t on the bayou.
Ole Town Gyros and Kabobs
402 E. Main, Norman
Besides a honking huge gyro supreme, there are other Mediterranean dishes here rarely found in Oklahoma. Here’s the scoop: It’s an Iranian restaurant disguised as a gyro shop. Try the gormeh sabzi stew or mixed rice with fresh dill washed down with a mint yogurt beverage, called a doogh. If you’re not up for a walk on the exotic side, you can opt for a cheeseburger and a Coke.
1324 N. Interstate Drive, Norman
Where else can you find both Italian and Thai cuisine on the menu? Using the peppers, garlic and basil of both culinary traditions, Jana’s manages to adeptly straddle the continents. A couple of dishes, such as chicken panang pizza, are grand mashups. Thai dishes may be ordered with the desired level of spiciness, and there are lots of vegan-friendly choices.
1224 N. Broadway, Moore
Seoul food in Oklahoma doesn’t get much better than this. There are a few teriyaki dishes, but Korean fare is the mainstay at this small mom-and-pop operation. An unlimited condiment bar with homemade kimchi complements hearty dishes such as spicy potato stew and bulgogi-style beef. Its special take on buffalo chicken wings is a Tae Kwon Do kick to the palate.
2300 W. Lindsey, Norman
Nothing says fine Okie cuisine like a chicken-fried steak sandwich supreme from the little cowpoke with a giant hat. In business for more than 30 years at the same location, it’s a landmark and the perfect stop before or after an OU game. It’s an old-school drive-in with hot link sandwiches and pizza cheeseburgers delivered right to your car window.
Photos by Shannon Cornman and Mark Hancock