2418 N. Guernsey Ave.
More than a few Oklahoma City residents have caught on to this restaurant’s quiet appeal. It does help that it finally has a sign announcing its presence, but the fact that it was tucked away in a quiet corner off 23rd Street is a testament to the restaurant’s hidden charms. Here, you’ll find everything from sushi to ginger chicken and curry salmon. Chef Danny Vu combines unexpected elements into mouthwatering menu items that are appealing to the eye and palette.
3325 N. Classen Blvd.
According to the owners, the trick to Guatemalan cuisine is keeping it fresh and simple. Reporter Ben Felder said, “It’s been a pleasure watching it grow, especially when you want a table on Saturday mornings.” The restaurant has gone from a sleepy secret to a packed weekend breakfast spot, and with good reason: the fresh breakfast fare includes everything from huevos rancheros to mosh, a Guatemalan-style oatmeal. Stop in for appetizers, lunch and salads and sandwiches, too.
1222 N. Pennsylvania Ave.
Tacos. Who doesn’t love tacos? The challenge was not finding a taco joint among the staff picks; it was narrowing it down to one. Taqueria Rafitas is consistently fresh, delicious and affordable. It has a large menu that includes breakfast items. The chorizo and potato burritos are satisfying, and for lunch or dinner, try a plate of its steaming carnitas or asada tacos.
Pho Thai Nguyen
3221 N. Classen Blvd.
There’s little reason not to love this longtime Classen neighborhood favorite. The staff is friendly and efficient, the service is quick and helpful and the pho is second to none. It also offers a large selection of other items, including your Asian favorites. And do please try its Café Su Da, Vietnamese dark roast coffee brewed by the cup and served with sweetened, condensed milk and ice. One sip and you’ll be a regular.
3600 N. May Ave.
For the uninitiated, this is not simply another burger joint. The ingredients are world-class and include local, grass-fed beef. Yes, you can taste the difference. The seasonings are perfect, with creative combinations of flavor. Not so sure you’re down with the bacon and bleu? Create your own burger, and with the way the meat is seasoned, simple is sometimes even better. The hand-cut fries are always fresh and a perfect complement.
Green & Grilled
8547 N. Rockwell Ave.
As the summer temperatures soar, the last thing you want is a plate of heavy food. This restaurant is a welcome departure from over-seasoned and overdone and offers healthy and flavorful options that leave you satisfied. The simple menu is chock full of tasty grilled meats and vibrant sides, including spinach rice or avocado, that leave you wanting more of the healthy stuff. It’s well worth the trip up Northwest Expressway.
Thai House II
500 NW 23rd St.
The two reasons this restaurant consistently makes it on “best of” lists is simple: the service and the food. Don’t let the shabby decor fool you — Thai House II is a gem. The service is always welcoming and warm. The food is traditional specialties from Thailand done right, with an incredible pad thai. It is a perfect reminder of why the dish was created to be the national dish of Thailand.
— photos by Mark Hancock, Shannon Cornman and Lauren Hamilton