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Best of OKC
 

Food & Drink


Gazette staff August 21st, 2013

The best of food & drink!

Best coffee or tea house
CUPPIES & JOE
727 N.W. 23rd

More cozy living room than coffee shop, Cuppies & Joe scores with Gazette readers for combining two of the most irresistible things we know: cupcakes and coffee (as if the name of the place wasn’t clear). As delicious as the sweets are, Cuppies & Joe takes just as much care with the hot stuff, featuring the gourmet coffee of OKC’s Elemental Coffee Roasters.

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


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

If loving the Gran Sport Port — an aromatic and chocolaty porter with dark, malty goodness — is wrong, a DNR (a Belgian-style golden ale) will make it right. “Best of OKC” winner since 2008, the complex flavors of Coop Ale Works are here to stay. From Horny Toad, a craft with slight hop and bitterness, to Native Amber, a balanced hops and malt, every palate is sure to get the quenching it longs for.

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


Best food truck

BIG TRUCK TACOS
Mobile; 530 N.W. 23rd


Where there’s a Big Truck Tacos truck, there’s sure to be a long line of people awaiting the goodness it serves up. Carnivores and vegans alike can rejoice for this sweetheart of a truck that has blazed a trail for other mobile food pop-ups in the metro. Try The Rancher if meat is your thing. Opt for The Zig for a vegetarian delight. OMG! Don’t forget the sauce.

2. Bobo’s Chicken, mobile
3. Waffle Champion, 1212 N. Walker
Worth mentioning: Frank’s Wurst, Moto Chef


Best breakfast

JIMMY’S EGG
Several metro locations

Jimmy’s Egg sports 14 locations in the metro, with tasty and affordable breakfast selections ranging from traditional eggs, sausage and hash browns to the lighter side with oatmeal and sweet potato pancakes. It’s little wonder that Gazette readers have selected Jimmy’s as the best breakfast for — get this — the past 15 years.

2. Beverly’s Pancake House, 3315 Northwest Expressway
3. Classen Grill, 5124 N. Classen Blvd.
Worth mentioning: Cafe Kacao, Kitchen No. 324

Ingrid's

Best weekend brunch
INGRID'S KITCHEN
3701 N. Youngs

Brunch is serious business. And Ingrid’s Kitchen gets that, which is why it offers the best of all worlds. Ingrid’s presents an impressive array of European and American pastries, traditional German sandwiches and a soft spot for polka bands and dancing. It’s a sweet little multicultural oasis under one roof. Oh, it has booze, too.

2. Picasso Cafe, 3009 Paseo
3. Kitchen No. 324, 324 N. Robinson
Worth Mentioning: Cafe501, Jimmy’s Egg, Rococo Restaurant & Fine Wine


Best quick lunch spot
SATURN GRILL
Several metro locations

Whether it’s sandwiches, pizza, salads, soups or pastas, Saturn Grill is the place to get lunch when you’re on the go (personally, we’re gaga for the chicken salad and blackened wild salmon sandwich). Oh, and fine wines and beers are available to wash down the bistro-quality food.

2. Hideaway Pizza, several metro locations
3. Someplace Else, A Deli & Bakery, 2310 N. Western
Worth mentioning: Café 7, City Bites


Best hamburgers

S&B’S BURGER JOINT
Several metro locations

Oklahomans know their burgers and buns, so it’s pretty meaningful when they deem your burgers to be tops in the metro. S&B’s Burger Joint has won over Gazette readers with such enticing masterpieces as The Fatty, The Elvis and The Hot Lips Houlihan.

2. Tucker’s Onion Burgers, 324 N.W. 23rd; 5740 N. Classen Blvd., Suite 3
3. Johnnie’s Charcoal Broiler, several metro locations
Worth mentioning: The Garage Burgers & Beer, Patty Wagon Burgers


Best sandwich shop
THE MULE
1630 N. Blackwelder

A newbie to our “Best of OKC,” The Mule boasts a dazzling variety of breads, cheeses, meats and flavor creations. Nothing on the menu exceeds $10, not even the Macaroni Pony, made with jalapeño cornbread and chipotle barbecue pulled pork accompanied by three-cheese macaroni and cheese and a pickle.

2. City Bites, several metro locations
3. Someplace Else, A Deli and Bakery, 2310 N. Western
Worth mentioning: N D Foods, Neptune Submarine Sandwiches


Best barbecue restaurant

EARL'S RIB PALACE
Several metro locations

Established in 1996, Earl’s Rib Palace is Gazette readers’ top place to chow down on some old-fashioned, mouthwaterin’, tongue-slappin’ barbecue. Whether fact or fiction, the story of Earlywine “Earl” Jackson contends that he traveled with and cooked his many barbecue recipes for the King himself, Elvis Presley. No wonder Earl’s customers are treated like royalty.

2. Iron Starr Urban Barbeque, 3700 N. Shartel
3. Swadley’s Bar-B-Q, several metro locations
Worth mentioning: Bedlam Bar-B-Q, Blu’s Bar-B-Q & Burgers

Hideaway Pizza

 

Best pizza place
HIDEAWAY PIZZA
Several metro locations

Hideaway Pizza is about as Oklahoman as red dirt or college football. The culinary staple has been slicing and dicing since 1957 — the second pizzeria in all of Oklahoma, in fact — expanding from a tiny Stillwater joint into a pizza powerhouse with five metro locations. There’s a reason this local chain has staying power.

2. The Wedge Pizzeria, 4709 N. Western; 230 N.E. First
3. Upper Crust Wood Fired Pizza, 5860 N. Classen; 1205 N.W. 178th, Edmond
Worth Mentioning: Joey’s Pizzeria, Pizza 23


Best steakhouse
CATTLEMEN'S STEAKHOUSE
1309 S. Agnew

Presidents and royalty have dined at the legendary Cattlemen’s Steakhouse, including George H.W. Bush, Charles Barkley, Reba McEntire, Toby Keith, John Wayne and Gene Autry. Filled with a colorful past and dedicated to great food, Cattlemen’s is certain to be feeding Oklahomans for generations to come. Try the lamb fries; just don’t think about it.

2. Red PrimeSteak, 504 N. Broadway
3. Ranch Steakhouse, 3000 W. Britton Rd.
Worth mentioning: Boulevard Steakhouse, Mahogany Prime Steakhouse


Best sushi
SUSHI NEKO
4318 N. Western

Still holding strong with “Best of OKC” bragging rights, Sushi Neko has been the reigning king of sashimi since 2008, and in the top three since 2000. The restaurant boasts a menu full of traditional and contemporary styles of sushi, as well as a sake and beer menu that pairs nicely with all meals. Put the Red Canyon roll on your list of OKC must-haves.

2. Tokyo Japanese Restaurant, 7516 N. Western
3. GoGo Sushi, 432 N.W. 10th; 1611 S. Interstate 35, Moore
Worth mentioning: Cafe Icon Sushi & Grill, In the Raw, The Sushi Bar

Coolgreens

 

Best vegetarian, gluten-free or healthy menu options
COOLGREENS
Several metro locations

For vegetarians who refuse banishment to the salad bar, Coolgreens has your back. This healthy-chain establishment lets you customize just about everything on the menu, from vegetable pizza to frozen yogurt and, of course, colorful salads. It’s the upscale answer to Subway, complete with real silverware and a selection of alcoholic beverages, which are definitely vegetarian.

2. Hideaway Pizza, several metro locations
3. Saturn Grill, several metro locations
Worth mentioning: The Earth Natural Café & Deli, Picasso Cafe, The Red Cup


Best patio dining
THE MONT
1300 Classen Blvd., Norman

When people say “patio weather,” what they really mean is “The Mont patio weather.” This Norman favorite, after all, is practically synonymous with outdoor dining. When the sun is shining and the temperature is cooperating, few area establishments can compete with the al fresco vibe of The Mont.

2. Redrock Canyon Grill, 9221 Lake Hefner Parkway
3. Louie’s Grill & Bar, several metro locations
Worth mentioning: Picasso Cafe, The Wedge Pizzeria

 

Best liquor store
BYRON'S LIQUOR WAREHOUSE
2322 N. Broadway

Let’s be real: Byron’s is a godsend. Conveniently located and exceptionally priced, with a selection of booze that’s plain intoxicating (figuratively and literally), the Warehouse can quench the thirst of everyone from cheap drinkers to refined aficionados. The complex is over 10,000 square feet and features more than 6,000 wines and 1,500 beers. Just don’t try them all in one sitting.

2. Moore Liquor, 914 S.W. Fourth, Moore
3. Pancho’s Liquortown, 6801 N. Meridian
Worth mentioning: Broadway Wine Merchants, Freeman’s Liquor Mart


Best (national or regional) restaurant You wish wasn’t a chain
PANERA BREAD COMPANY
Several metro locations


With speedy Wi-Fi and tasty sandwiches and bagels, plus a bakery with sweets you can take to-go, it’s easy to understand why Gazette readers wish they could claim Panera as homegrown. It features a daily soup — like lemon chicken orzo and bistro French onion — and even caters.

2. Five Guys Burgers and Fries, several metro locations
3. BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse, several metro locations
Worth mentioning: Chili’s, Olive Garden, Whiskey Cake Kitchen & Bar


Best seafood restaurant
THE SHACK SEAFOOD & OYSTER BAR
13801 Quail Pointe Drive


Step one: Go to The Shack. Step two: Order the oysters. A fire at its building at N.W. 62nd forced the restaurant’s relocation, but it’s still serving the same fresh, delicious seafood. Plus, after repairs are made, The Shack and its stellar menu will be available at two places. In the meantime, check out its scrumptious brunch.

2. Pearl’s Oyster Bar, several metro locations
3. Rococo Restaurant & Fine Wine, 2824 N. Pennsylvania; 12252 N. May
Worth mentioning: Catfish Cove, Pearl’s Crabtown, Trapper’s Fishcamp and Grill

 

Best dessert menu
LA BAGUETTE BAKERY & CAFE

several metro locations


If you like cake, you’ll love La Baguette! Stop by and try a bombe au chocolat, Italian crème or one of the delicious cheesecakes. Or maybe live a little by skipping the cake this time and trying a French pastry or tart. Whatever your fancy, La Baguette’s dessert case is full of top-notch tasty treats.

2. Pie Junkie, 1711 N.W. 16th
3. Cheever’s Cafe, 2409 N. Hudson
Worth mentioning: Nonna’s Euro-American Ristorante & Bar, Sara Sara Cupcakes


Best restaurant to experience something different
CAFE DO BRASIL
440 N.W. 11th


While the food definitely stands out as something not commonly found in OKC, the ambience is what makes this hotspot truly different. Check out Bossa Nova at The Top, Midtown’s first rooftop bar. And don’t forget the unique appetizers and traditional Brazillian cocktails!

2. The Mule, 1630 N. Blackwelder
3. Queen of Sheba, 2308 N. MacArthur
Worth mentioning: Guernsey Park, Hillbilly Po’boys & Oysters, Ludivine


Best Mexican restaurant
TED'S CAFE ESCONDIDO
several metro locations


We can’t pass up a fresh-made, warm tortilla, and you shouldn’t either. A longtime favorite for Tex-Mex connoisseurs, Ted’s plates up a variety of dishes to satisfy those Mexican-fare cravings. As if the food wasn’t enough, its service is consistently first-rate.

2. Iguana Mexican Grill, 9 N.W. Ninth
3. Chelino’s Mexican Restaurant, several metro locations
Worth mentioning: Abel’s Mexican Restaurant, San Marcos Mexican Restaurant

Cafe do Brasil

 

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

Cafe do Brasil features food from all five regions of Brazil. Be adventurous and try Picanha Brasileir, a picanha steak served with rice and collard greens, or Feijoada, a Brazillian national dish. Or stop by on a weekend morning to enjoy its justifiably famous brunch.

2. 1492 New World Latin Cuisine, 1207 N. Walker
3. Inca Trail Peruvian Restaurant, 10928 N. May; 2106 S.W. 44th
Worth mentioning: Cafe Kacao, Zarate’s Latin Mexican Grill


Best Italian restaurant
ZIO'S ITALIAN KITCHEN
several metro locations


Sure, Zio’s is a chain. But if ever there was a chain that captured the essence of Oklahoma, it’s this one. With stellar service, alluring ambience and a spicy chicken Alfredo that’s approaching urban legend status, Zio’s is the fine dining experience (with Italian panache) you’re looking for.

2. Flip’s Wine Bar & Trattoria, 5801 N. Western
3. Stella Modern Italian Cuisine, 1201 N. Walker
Worth mentioning: Gabriella’s Italian Grill & Pizzeria, Vito’s Ristorante


Best Western European restaurant, not Italian
(Danish, English, French, German, Irish, Scottish, Spanish, etc.)
INGRID'S KITCHEN
3701 N. Youngs


Willkommen to a little taste of Germany right here in OKC. Bratwurst, knackwurst, schnitzel, all the sauerkraut you can handle — for 35-plus years, Ingrid’s has been gut! And don’t forget to check out the nuessecken and streusel for dessert!

2. Old Germany Restaurant, 15920 S.E. 29th, Choctaw
3. Sean Cummings’ Irish Pub, 7523 N. May
Worth mentioning: Das Boot Camp Restaurant & Bar, Royal Bavaria Brewery


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


Hummus, anyone? For more than 20 years, Zorba’s has been satisfying our chickpea cravings and so much more. Its loyalists come back again and again for — among other items — the mouthwatering gyros, baba ghanoouj and flavor-packed paella (available only on weekends). And that doesn’t even include the belly dancing on weekends. Opa!

2. Mediterranean Imports & Deli, 5620 N. May
3. Couscous Cafe, 6165 N. May
Worth mentioning: Capers Mediterranean Buffet & Bistro, Nunu’s Mediterranean Cafe & Market


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


This marks the second consecutive year that Gopuram Taste of India, around since 1994, has topped Gazette’s “Best of OKC” vote for best Indian restaurant. Most of the masalas at this temple of turmeric can be sampled on the daily buffet, so deciding between entrees becomes a naan-issue.

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


Best Japanese restaurant

MUSASHI'S JAPANESE STEAKHOUSE

4315 N. Western


It’s the second consecutive year that Musashi’s Japanese Steakhouse has earned the top spot, so it’s safe to say the sushi and hibachi chefs must be doing something right. It’s also a great place for celebrating birthdays or, well, life, and the fare is sure to please even the pickiest of eaters.

2. Shogun Steakhouse of Japan, 11900 N. May
3. Tokyo Japanese Restaurant, 7516 N. Western
Worth mentioning: Saii Asian Bistro, Shiki Japanese Restaurant
Dot Wo Garden

 

Best Chinese restaurant
DOT WO GARDEN
several metro locations


With the plethora of choices for Chinese fare in OKC, how did Dot Wo Garden claim sweet and sour victory? Maybe it’s the famous pot stickers, a full sushi menu or the restaurant’s sleek interior with modern waterfalls and statement cherry blossom trees. Serving the metro since 1989, the restaurant offers private dining, lunch specials and online ordering and reservations.

2. Grand House China Bistro, 2701 N. Classen Blvd.
3. Golden Palace, 1500 S. Meridian; 1224 S. Air Depot, Midwest City
Worth mentioning: Fung’s Kitchen, Golden Phoenix


Best Thai restaurant
THAI HOUSE II
500 N.W. 23rd


Catering to both vegetarians and carnivores, Thai House II is tops in Thai among Gazette readers. It features a nifty weekday lunch buffet and a wide range of options for dinner. The menu is reasonably priced and changes seasonally. Try the lemongrass-infused Thai tea or any of the noodle dishes to see why the restaurant is a favorite of Thai food fans.

2. Sala Thai, 1614 N.W. 23rd
3. Tana Thai Bistro, 10700 N May
Worth mentioning: Padthai Thai Restaurant, Thai Kitchen OKC


Best Vietnamese restaurant
LIDO RESTAURANT
2518 N. Military


From a Vietnamese kitchen, one might expect East Asian comforts like a vermicelli bowl, beef noodle soup, charbroiled shrimp or curry frog legs. But Lido also cooks up Chinese and even French cuisine as well.

2. Pho Thai Nguyen, 3221 N. Classen Blvd.
3. Guernsey Park, 2418 N. Guernsey
Worth mentioning: Coriander Café, Pho Cuong Restaurant
Pho Lien Hoa

 

Best Pho restaurant
PHO LIEN HOA
901 N.W. 23rd


People of the metro don’t mess around when it comes to their pho. And this year, the most boss of broths is bequeathed to Pho Lien Hoa. An Asian District staple since the ’90s, Pho Lien Hoa serves up incredibly authentic and fresh pho. In case you’re reading this with eyebrows raised, pho is a traditional Vietnamese beef noodle soup garnished with fresh mint, sprouts and basil.

2. Pho’Nomenal, 7504 N. May
3. Pho Cuong, 3016 N. Classen Blvd.
Worth mentioning: Pho’ever, Pho Winner


Best new restaurant to open since 6/1/12
THE MULE
1630 N. Blackwelder


The Mule is wowing foodies with a winning combo of sandwiches and beer, catering to a variety of hungry folks, barbecue lovers and herbivores alike. With cheese sizzling on the skillet and hoppy froth flowing over the glass, the new kid in the Plaza District has wasted little time becoming a beloved stop for lunch or late night on weekends.

2. Packard’s New American Kitchen, 201 N.W. 10th
3. Pizza 23, 600 N.W. 23rd
Worth mentioning: Cafe Icon Sushi & Grill, Guernsey Park


Best fine dining establishment
CHEEVER'S CAFE
2409 N Hudson


Since 1997, Cheever’s has been serving outstanding American cuisine with a southwest-inspired flavor. It has one of the best brunch menus around and features daily and nightly specials with a full-service bar. Part of the everreliable A Good Egg Dining Group, Cheever’s has become a mainstay in our “Best of OKC” awards.

2. The Coach House, 6437 Avondale
3. Rococo Restaurant & Fine Wine, 2824 N. Pennsylvania; 12252 N. May
Worth mentioning: Red PrimeSteak, Vast


Best restaurant
HIDEAWAY PIZZA
several metro locations


It’s really no secret that Oklahomans love them some Hideaway Pizza. The Stillwater-based pizza palace, which got its start back when I Love Lucy was new, has soundly conquered OKC. You can find its masterpieces of cheese and sauce throughout the metro, with its eateries creating hearty, gluten-free meals. To do: Experience the fried mushrooms.

2. The Mule, 1630 N. Blackwelder
3. Ludivine, 805 N. Hudson
Worth Mentioning: Cafe Icon Sushi & Grill, Packard’s New American Kitchen


Best neighborhood bar
GRANDAD'S BAR
317 N.W. 23rd


It’s where everybody knows your name! No, really; some of the regulars have their names listed on the backs of comfy chairs at the bar. You can’t find a friendlier neighborhood bar in the metro. Stop by for whiskey or beer, pull up a chair, listen to some great live music, play a couple board games and make some new friends.

2. Louie’s Grill & Bar, several metro locations
3. James E. McNellie’s Public House, 1100 Classen Drive
Worth Mentioning: The Mule, Saints Irish Pub

 

Best hotel bar
RED PIANO LOUNGE
1 Park Ave.


Don’t you just feel fancier when you sip a cocktail in a hotel bar? We know we do. So why not experience the class and sophistication that is Red Piano’s bar in downtown’s landmark Skirvin Hilton Hotel? It boasts a martini list that would make James Bond salivate.

2. Flint (Colcord Hotel), 15 N. Robinson
3. The Copa (Habana Inn), 2200 N.W. 39th Expressway
Worth Mentioning: Raintree Lounge (Days Inn), Russell’s (Oklahoma City Marriott)


Best new bar to open since 6/1/12
GRANDAD'S BAR
317 N.W. 23rd


A lot of bars think pretty highly of themselves, but Grandad’s aspires to be nothing more than exactly what it is: a smoke-free whiskey bar/honky tonk with a neighborly, roots-minded mentality. Seemingly overnight, it has become one of the most popular destinations for patrons young and old, literally like your grandparents’ house ... but with a better beer selection and far fewer doillies.

2. The Mule, 1630 N. Blackwelder
3. Packard’s New American Kitchen, 201 N.W. 10th
Worth Mentioning: Candy Nightclub, The Drum Room

Photos by Shannon Cornman, Mark Hancock and Heather Brown


 
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