Best of OKC

Best of OKC 2013 - People

Best radio personality or team JACK & RON 98.9 KISS FM

In this ever-changing world, there are a few constants on which you can rely. Among them is the morning show duo of Jack Elliott and Ron Williams, Gazette readers’ favorite radio personalities for a dozen years now. Their combination of laughs, compelling interviews and what’s-in-the-news gab is as necessary for waking up as that morning cup o’ joe.

Jack & Ron
2. Joey and Heather, Wild 104.9 KKWD 3. Inzinga and Spinozi, BOB FM 96.9 KQOB Worth mentioning: The Morning Animals, The Sports Animal – WWLS 98.1 FM, AM 640; Rick and Brad, Rock 100.5 KATT

Best person to follow on social media KEVIN DURANT @KDTrey5

On his Twitter account, the OKC Thunder’s superstar small forward proclaims, “IM (sic) ME, I DO ME, AND I CHILL.” Whatever he’s doing, Oklahoma City is eating it up. Follow KD on Twitter to keep up with his commentary (“Just got boo’d at a dodger game! My life is complete”) and interaction with sponsors. Heck, he’s even been known to set up a flag football game with Twitter followers, so who knows what’ll come of it?

2. The Lost Ogle, @TheLostOgle 3. Don’t follow social media Worth mentioning: Dan Gordon, @DanGordon; Steve Lackmeyer, @stevelackmeyer

Best smartphone app 4WARNME

If there ever was a need for severe weather alerts, it was 2013. Thankfully, KFOR Channel 4 brought the goods with its 4WarnMe app — available for both iPhone and Android devices — which alerts users with instant notifications. Users can stream live audio and video of meteorologist Mike Morgan and company, see weather patterns on the in-app Doppler and track a storm’s path.

2. News 9 Weather 3. Keep It Local OK Worth mentioning: The Spy FM, Tornadoes KOCO 5 Oklahoma City

The Lost Ogle

Best website or blog


If you doubt the snark and bite of The Lost Ogle, just ask Skip Bayless,  Jim Traber, Christina Fallin, Wayne Coyne or anyone else who has been on TLO’s receiving end. The site’s mix of satire, gossip, musings and odes to bikini-clad TV news babes has made it a must-read for Gazette readers. Take that, Sparkle Titsworth!

2. NewsOK, 3. Keep It Local OK, Worth mentioning: Daily Thunder,; Foodie Robots,

Best local author RALPH ELLISON

It’s tough to find better than Ralph Ellison. Born in OKC in 1913, his pioneering first novel, Invisible Man, won the 1953 National Book Award and remains a touchstone of African-American literature. However, if you’re looking to share some coffee and conversation with the city’s best author, you’ll have to settle for the runners-up; Ellison died in 1994.

2. Lauren Zuniga 3. Carolyn Hart Worth mentioning: M. Scott Carter, Malena Lott

Carrie Underwood

Best local singer/songwriter CARRIE UNDERWOOD

Oklahomans weren’t the only ones Blown Away by Carrie Underwood this year. Here’s what the Checotah native accomplished in the last year and a half: released an album that sold more than a quarter-million copies its first week, became the most decorated artist in the history of the CMT Music Awards and won her sixth Grammy. Oh, and she donated $1 million to the American Red Cross for tornado relief.

2. Toby Keith 3. Mike Hosty Worth mentioning: Samantha Crain, John Fullbright

Best community leader KEVIN DURANT small forward, OKC Thunder

It’s probably fair to say the Thunder superstar is OKC’s favorite product of the University of Texas. The love is mutual. In May, Kevin Durant donated $1 million to the Moore tornado recovery effort and helped spur Nike to get in on the action. His plan to build a residence near downtown is certain to ignite more development in that area, while his restaurant in Bricktown is sure to continue the meteoric rise of that entertainment district.

2. Mayor Mick Cornett 3. Ed Shadid, OKC Ward 2 city council member Worth mentioning: Gov. Mary Fallin, state Sen. Al McAffrey

Kevin Durant

Best chef BRUCE RINEHART Rococo Restaurant & Fine Wine

He’s not held the title since Gazette’s 2009 “Best of OKC,” but chef Bruce Rinehart has taken back what was once his. From celebrated crab cakes to mouthwatering steaks, Rinehart truly taps into the foodie community and comes up with creative concepts that result in happy, full tummies across the metro. And did we mention those crab cakes?

2. Kurt Fleischfresser, The Coach House 3. Jonathon Stranger, Ludivine Worth mentioning: Mitchell Dunzy, Packard’s New American Kitchen; Ryan Parrot, Tamazul; John Turney, Urban Wineworks

Best waiter or waitress JOSH WATLEY Hideaway Pizza

Josh Watley must be doing something right at the Hideaway Pizza at 116 E. Fifth in Edmond. After all, this is the second year running that he has landed the coveted top spot. Piping-hot pizza and prompt, friendly service is a winning combination.

2. Carey Alice Lee, VZD’s Restaurant & Club 3. Danny Phan, Sushi Neko Worth mentioning: Charmian Conrad, Belle Isle Brewery; Jessica Halliburton, In the Raw; Sarah Warmker, Ludivine

Best bartender SPARKY SPENCER HiLo Club

Having served Oklahoma City’s more adventuresome bar patrons since 1956, the HiLo Club has never lost touch with what makes it such an out-of-the-box treasure — and bartender Sparky Spencer is a big reason that trend continues today. Whether it’s a cold brew or a Bourbon and Coke, Spencer keeps the folks happy.

2. Sam Cope, Saints 3. Taylor Cain, Packard’s New American Kitchen Worth mentioning: Cristhian Guzman, Candy Nightclub; Addison Riley, Chili’s (Edmond)

Heather & Keith Paul

Best business owner KEITH & HEATHER PAUL A Good Egg Dining Group, 715 N.W. 36th

What would we eat in this city without the creative concept behind A Good Egg Dining Group? In case you need a refresher, the husband-and-wife team of Keith and Heather Paul helms the Good ship, along with its crew of Cheever’s Cafe, Iron Starr Urban BBQ, Red PrimeSteak, Republic, Tucker’s Onion Burgers and Kitchen No. 324.

2. Greg and Jennifer Seal, Grandad’s Bar, 317 N.W. 23rd 3. Adam and Stephanie Jones, Paint N’ Cheers, 1614 N. Gatewood Worth mentioning: Jeff Rogers, Candy Nightclub; Christopher Simon, HiLo Club

Best local band THE FLAMING LIPS

Another year, another Flaming Lips win. What’s amazing, however, is that the psych-pop weirdos retained the hearts and minds of the local constituency after releasing something as harrowing as The Terror — arguably their darkest, most polarizing album to date. But hey, the band didn’t earn the name Fearless Freaks by playing it safe.

2. Hosty Duo 3. My So Called Band Worth mentioning: Colourmusic, Horse Thief, Kyle Dillingham & Horseshoe Road

Ferris O'Brien


Ferris O’Brien is who you can (and should) thank for starting and saving the metro’s finest — and only — indie rock radio station. Tune in online at for such programs as SpyLab, Tuesdays with Pony, Freakbeat and the wildly popular Oklahoma Rock Show. You can also tune in via the old-fashioned radio in the evening on KOSU-AM 91.7.

2. Ronnie Kaye 3. DJ Boom Ben Huckabee, OKC Thunder Worth mentioning: DJ Diverse; Brian Smith, Chameleon Entertainment

Best performing arts group or theater company LYRIC THEATRE OF OKLAHOMA

Since its inaugural performance of Oklahoma! in 1963, Lyric Theatre has been Oklahoma’s only year-long independent theater, featuring favorites that run the gamut from The Rocky Horror Show to A Christmas Carol. Theatergoers know that Lyric consistently offers a wide and sparkling variety of entertainment.

2. Oklahoma City Ballet 3. Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park Worth mentioning: Carpenter Square Theatre, Pollard Theatre

KFOR's anchor team

Best television news KFOR Oklahoma’s News Channel 4 (NBC)

Say what you will about NBC and the beating it takes in national ratings; local affiliate KFOR has earned the trust of Gazette readers when it comes to TV news. Led by news anchors Linda Cavanaugh and Kevin Ogle, chief meteorologist Mike Morgan and sports director Bob Barry Jr., KFOR also benefits from such franchises as Galen Culver’s “Is This a Great State or What?” and Scott Hines’ “In Your Corner.”

2. KWTV, News9 (CBS) 3. KOCO, Eyewitness News 5 (ABC) Worth mentioning: KOKH FOX 25 (FOX); OETA, The Oklahoma Network (PBS)


You don’t have to be a marathon runner to experience the OKC Memorial Marathon. For Oklahoma participants who don’t want the ice bath and immobility afterward, the event’s 5K race has been a great way to share in the excitement and raw emotion.

2. Color Me Rad 3. Redbud Classic 5K Worth mentioning: Dirty30, Komen Race for the Cure


Best word to describe the metro in 2013 RISING

We guess Jimmy Webb and Vince Gill were onto something when they named their Oklahoma centennial song “Oklahoma Rising,” because that -ing word proved your favorite for pegging the metro area. “Rising” definitely fits when one considers the Thunder mania and economic upswing. It also would fit for former Creek County Judge Donald Thompson, but we’re thinking you weren’t going there.

2. growing 3. booming Worth mentioning: awesome, strong


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