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Best of OKC 2019: Food & Drink 

Best local craft beer

COOP Ale Works
4745 Council Heights Road

Anthem Brewing Company, 908 SW Fourth St.
Prairie Artisan Ales, 3 NE Eighth St.
Stonecloud Brewing Co., 1012 NW First St., Suite 101
Vanessa House Beer Co., 118 NW Eighth St.

Best cocktail

Edna’s, 5137 Classen Circle

Disco Nap, The Jones Assembly, 901 W. Sheridan Ave.
Frosé, The Jones Assembly, 901 W. Sheridan Ave.
Rosy Palmer, The Mule, 1630 N. Blackwelder Ave.
The Black Betty, The Pump Bar, 2425 N. Walker Ave.

Best breakfast

Jimmy’s Egg
several metro locations

Cafe Kacao Latin Cuisine, 3325 N. Classen Blvd.
Hatch Early Mood Food, two metro locations
Neighborhood JA.M., two metro locations
Sunnyside Diner, several metro locations

Best brunch

Cheever’s Cafe
2409 N. Hudson Ave.

Hatch Early Mood Food, two metro locations
La Baguette Bistro, 7408 N. May Ave.
Neighborhood JA.M., two metro locations
The Jones Assembly, 901 W. Sheridan Ave.

Best late-night eats

Empire Slice House
1804 NW 16th St.

Beverly’s Pancake House, 3315 Northwest Expressway
Bobo’s Chicken, 1429 NE 23rd St.
Guyutes, 730 NW 23rd St.
The Pump Bar, 2425 N. Walker Ave.

Best burger

The Garage Burgers & Beer
several metro locations

Nic’s Grill, 1201 N. Pennsylvania Ave.
Patty Wagon Burgers, 3600 N. May Ave.
S&B’s Burger Joint, several metro locations
Tucker’s Onion Burgers, several metro locations

Best taco

Big Truck Tacos
530 NW 23rd St.

¡Revolución!, 916 NW Sixth St.
Hacienda Tacos, 12086 N. May Ave.
Oso on Paseo, 603 NW 28th St.
Ted’s Café Escondido, several metro locations

Best sandwich shop

The Mule
1630 N. Blackwelder Ave.

City Bites, several metro locations
Neptune Sub Sandwiches, 3301 N. Classen Blvd.
Scottie’s Deli, 427 NW 23rd St.
Someplace Else A Deli & Bakery, 2310 N. Western Ave.

Best barbecue

Swadley’s Bar-B-Q
several metro locations

Back Door Barbecue, 315 NW 23rd St.
Earl’s Rib Palace, several metro locations
Iron Star Urban Barbeque, 3700 N. Shartel Ave.
Maples Barbecue, 1800 NW 16th St.

Best pizza place

Hideaway Pizza
several metro locations

Empire Slice House, 1804 NW 16th St.
Sauced on Paseo, 2912 Paseo St.
The Hall’s Pizza Kitchen, 1004 N. Hudson Ave., Suite 106
The Wedge Pizzeria, 4709 N. Western Ave.

Best steakhouse

  • Photo Alexa Ace

Cattlemen’s Steakhouse
1309 S. Agnew Ave.

Cattlemen’s Steakhouse is one of those rare places that is beloved by both tourists and locals. It has been a staple in Stockyards City, the last active stockyard tied to a historic district in the country, since 1910. From basketball celebrities to sitting presidents, Cattlemen’s is often the first stop for people visiting Oklahoma City. It has even hosted a pair of food televisions celebrities — Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives’ Guy Fieri and Man v. Food’s Adam Richman.

Cattlemen’s director of operations Dave Egan shared a few interesting facts with Oklahoma Gazette:

6,000 pounds of beef: The restaurant breaks down its steak but also uses the product for hamburger meat and beef tips.

Bacon-wrapped filet mignon, rib-eye and top sirloin are the top three sellers on the menu. The blue ribbon specials are the highest increasing sales that are USDA prime, aged beef.

400 dozen eggs per week: Cattlemen’s is open for breakfast, too. In addition, it also serves 800 pounds of bacon and sausage per week.

2 presidential visits: George W. Bush stopped by while in office, and Ronald Reagan visited before becoming president.

109 years: Cattlemen’s first opened in 1910, and the owners have changed over the years, but it is the oldest restaurant in Oklahoma City.

33: The brand on the wall of Cattlemen’s represents the hard six (two 3’s) that Gene Wade rolled to win ownership of Cattlemen’s from Hank Frey during a gambling session at the Biltmore Hotel in downtown Oklahoma City.

Mahogany Prime Steakhouse, two metro locations
McClintock Saloon & Chop House, 2227 Exchange Ave.
Ranch Steakhouse, 3000 W. Britton Road
Red PrimeSteak, 504 N. Broadway Ave.

Best sushi

Sushi Neko
4318 N. Western Ave.

GoGo Sushi Express and Grill, 432 NW 10 St.
The Sushi Bar, several metro locations
Tokyo Japanese Restaurant, 7516 N. Western Ave.
Volcano Sushi Bar & Hibachi, several metro locations

Best restaurant with vegan or vegetarian menu options

Picasso Café
3009 Paseo St.

Coolgreens, several metro locations
Taj Cuisine of India, 1500 NW 23rd St.
The Loaded Bowl, 1211 SW Second St.
The Red Cup, 3122 N. Classen Blvd.

Best seafood

Pearl’s Oyster Bar
5641 N. Classen Blvd.

Crabtown, 303 E. Sheridan Ave.
Off the Hook Seafood & More, two metro locations
The Drake Seafood & Oysterette, 519 NW 23rd St., Suite 111
The Shack Seafood & Oyster Bar, two metro locations

Best dessert restaurant, shop or bakery

Pie Junkie
1711 NW 16th St.

Braum’s Ice Cream & Dairy Store, several metro locations
Brown’s Bakery, 1100 N. Walker Ave.
Ingrid’s Kitchen, two metro locations
La Baguette Bakery, 7408 N. May Ave.

Best food truck or food cart

Bobo’s Chicken
1429 NE 23rd St.

Oh My Gogi!
Taqueria Sanchez, 4011 NW 10th St.
Taste of Soul Egg Roll
The Saucee Sicilian

Best Mexican restaurant

Ted’s Café Escondido
several metro locations

Abel’s Mexican Restaurant, 5822 NW 50th St.
Barrios Fine Mexican Dishes, 1000 N. Hudson Ave.
Chelino’s Mexican Restaurant, several metro locations
San Marcos Mexican Restaurant, several metro locations

Best Latin restaurant

Café do Brasil
440 NW 11th St., Suite 100

1492 New World Latin Cuisine, 1207 N. Walker Ave.
Cafe Antigua, 1903 N. Classen Blvd.
Cafe Kacao Latin Cuisine, 3325 N. Classen Blvd.
Zarate’s Latin Mexican Grill, 706 S. Broadway Extension

Best Italian restaurant

Othello’s Italian Restaurant
two metro locations

Gabriella’s Italian Grill & Pizzeria, 1226 NE 63rd St.
Patrono Italian Restaurant, 305 N. Walker Ave.
Stella Modern Italian Cuisine, 1201 N. Walker Ave.
Vito’s Ristorante, 7628 N. May Ave.

Best Western European restaurant

Ingrid’s Kitchen
two metro locations

Fassler Hall, 421 NW 10th St.
La Baguette Bistro, 7408 N. May Ave.
Royal Bavaria, 3401 S. Sooner Road, Moore
Sean Cummings’ Irish Restaurant, 7628 N. May Ave.

Best Mediterranean restaurant

Zorba’s Mediterranean Cuisine
6014 N. May Ave.

Basil Mediterranean Café, 211 NW 23rd St.
Cous Cous Café, 6165 N. May Ave.
Mediterranean Imports & Deli, 5620 N. May Ave.
Nunu’s Mediterranean Cafe & Market, 3131 W. Memorial Road

Best Indian restaurant

Taj Cuisine of India
1500 NW 23rd St.

Gopuram Taste of India, 412 S. Meridian Ave.
Himalayas Aroma of India, 709 N. Moore Ave., Moore
Sheesh Mahal, 4621 N. May Ave.
Tikka Craze, two metro locations

Best Japanese restaurant

Gorō Ramen
1634 N. Blackwelder Ave., Suite 102

Musashi’s, 4315 N. Western Ave.
Shōgun Steak House of Japan, 11900 N. May Ave.
Sumo Japanese Steak House, two metro locations
Tokyo Japanese Restaurant, 7516 N. Western Ave.

Best Chinese restaurant

Grand House Asian Bistro
7516 N. Western Ave.

China House, several metro locations
Chow’s Chinese Restaurant, 3033 N. May Ave.
Panda Garden Chinese Buffet & BBQ, 1000 Alameda St., Norman
Szechuan Bistro, 1010 W. Memorial Road

Best Thai restaurant

Panang Thai Restaurant
several metro locations

Sala Thai, 1614 NW 23rd St.
Tana Thai Bistro, 10700 N. May Ave.
Thai House Restaurant, 500 NW 23rd St.
Thai Thai Asian Bistro, 780 W. Main St., Norman

Best Vietnamese restaurant

  • Photo Alexa Ace

Pho Lien Hoa
901 NW 23rd St.

This family-owned restaurant is well established in Oklahoma Gazette’s Best of OKC tradition, taking home the title of best pho for many years. In 2019, it takes the crown for the city’s favorite overall Vietnamese restaurant.

It’s easy to see why. In addition to its eponymous pho, the restaurant offers other varieties of Vietnamese soup, vermicelli bowls and rice platters. If you don’t like pho, try hu tieu made with glass noodles or mi made with egg noodles. Banh canh is an udon noodle soup topped with fresh vegetables. Open 8:30 a.m.-9 p.m. daily, Pho Lien Hoa is there is take care of your needs no matter the time of day.

“We are very humbled and honored by the recognition,” manager Jim Phan said. “We work hard each day to bring the smiles to the customers from the quality of food and service. The recognition makes us more sincere and energized to work harder each day to serve our valued customers.”

17 hours
The time it takes to boil beef bones and other ingredients to make the pho broth.

19 years
Pho Lien Hoa celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2020.

The combination of rare steak and lean brisket is the most popular of 19 types of pho on the menu.

From smoothies to che — a type of Vietnamese sweet dessert — Pho Lien Hoa has a bevy of options to cool you down or tempt your sweet tooth.

Golden Phoenix, 2728 N. Classen Blvd.
Lido Restaurant, 2518 N. Military Ave., Suite 101
Pho Cuong, 3016 N. Classen Blvd.
VII Asian Bistro, 2900 N. Classen Blvd., Suite G

Best new restaurant

  • Photo Gazette / file

Oso on Paseo
603 NW 28th St.

Tacos bring people together, and Oso on Paseo does its best to make sure everyone can enjoy its offerings.

In addition to its specialty tacos — highlighted by the showstopping brisket burnt ends with Dr Pepper barbecue sauce, pepitas and a fried pickle spear — Oso offers its take on classics like carnitas and chicken and uses high-quality ingredients to make them stand out.

Oso on Paseo comes from Humankind Hospitality, the folks behind Picasso Cafe and new Frida Southwest. Building off the success at Picasso Cafe that comes from offering a menu evenly split between meat and plant-based options, Oso offers four vegetarian tacos on its vegan-friendly stoneground tortillas (cauliflower, mushroom, sweet potato and nopales).

“I’m the kind of guy that likes to order the weirdest thing on the menu just because, but it kind of goes to show the awareness level of people while dining these days that they know what nopales are and are willing to try and reorder them,” said Shaun Fiaccone, Humankind Hospitality president.

The only enchiladas on the menu are vegan.

“The world is shifting more to that direction,” said culinary director Ryan Parrott of the vegan enchiladas. “Everyone is kind of leaning toward less animal products and being cognizant of what they’re eating. People should know that whether they are vegan, vegetarian or whatever dietary restrictions you have, you can come here and feel safe with what you’re getting.”

Oso’s appeal goes beyond its tasty tacos. The taco salad is served in an oversized crispy taco shell with housemade Catalina dressing. The Left Coast Burrito packs grilled shrimp, skirt steak and tater tots into a burrito with pico de gallo and queso.

It’s weekday happy hour 2-5 p.m. showcases its unique Baja Tiki cocktails, a term that Fiaccone has trademarked. A blend of bright colors and fruit, the drinks allow tequila and rum to shine in ways Oklahoma couldn’t have imagined in decades in the past.

“Things have gone really well since we opened,” Fiaccone said. “Honestly, we’re a lot busier than I anticipated.”

Osteria, 6430 Avondale Drive, Nichols Hills
Red Rooster, 3100 N. Walker Ave.
Social Deck + Dining, 1933 NW 23rd St.
Stitch, two metro locations

Best fine dining restaurant

Cheever’s Café
2409 N. Hudson Ave.

Mahogany Prime Steakhouse, two metro locations
Ranch Steakhouse, 3000 W. Britton Road
Red PrimeSteak, 504 N. Broadway Ave.
Vast, 333 W. Sheridan Ave.

Best neighborhood bar

The Pump Bar
2425 N. Walker Ave.

Edna’s, 5137 Classen Circle
Good Times, 1234 N. Western Ave.
Henry Hudson’s Pub, several metro locations
Louie’s Grill & Bar, several metro locations

Best new bar

  • Photo Gazette / file

Good Times
1234 N. Western Ave.

Whether it is hot or cold, the ample patio at Good Times, 1234 N. Western Ave., is packed with patrons surrounded by colorful street art-inspired murals.

In the summer, guests sip on frozen cocktails or cocktail pouches that are essentially adult Capri Suns to find relief from the heat. In the winter, plenty of patio warmers keep the party going outside.

“It’s real homey, welcome and laid-back,” said Good Times co-owner Zack Moore. “I think people like that. It’s a chill atmosphere. We’ve made a lot of regulars, and I’ve been blown away at how many people come by.”

The interior of Good Times is lined with Polaroid photographs of friendly patrons surrounded by memorabilia from years past like original Star Wars posters.

“We’re always looking for more kitschy stuff,” Moore said.

While the bar doesn’t have any beer taps, it keeps its selection rotating and offers frozen cocktails and adult Capri Suns, which sell for $10 and are equivalent to two drinks.

Good Times’ take on a Painkiller and an alcoholic Vietnamese coffee are permanent selections of frozen drinks, while other selections like French 75 and Cucumber Club rotate monthly.

“They sell well all year long,” Moore said of the adult Capri Suns and frozen cocktails. “We add warm cocktails for the winter.”

The food menu at Good Times is as accommodating as its drink menu. Serving what owners described as “stoner food,” the menu is adaptable for vegetarians and vegans. The chicken sandwich features a Doritos crust, which serves as the base for its Stoner Nachos.

Good Times offers both regular and vegan chili, a black bean burger patty and Beyond Meat crumbles. New items on the menu include honey Sriracha wings and a crunchwrap.

Before new ownership took over the location at Good Times, the site went through multiple concepts over the years, without gaining a permanent audience. Ownership has revitalized The Drunken Fry across the street, which they said has helped create the area as a destination.

“There is a lot of development coming around the area too,” Moore said. “There is the art studio next door, and there’s a bunch of luxury condos and apartments going up around in the next couple of years and it’s pretty cool. It will bode well for us.”

Banquet Cinema Pub, 800 NW Fourth St.
Barkeep, 1121 N. Walker Ave.
Chalk, 1324 W. Memorial Road
Red Rooster, 3100 N. Walker Ave.

Best patio dining

The Jones Assembly
901 W. Sheridan Ave.

Barrios Fine Mexican Dishes, 1000 N. Hudson Ave.
Louie’s Grill & Bar, several metro locations
The Mont, 1300 Classen Blvd., Norman
The Pump Bar, 2425 N. Walker Ave.

Best diner

Sunnyside Diner
several metro locations

Beverly’s Pancake House, 3315 Northwest Expressway
Boomarang Diner, several metro locations
Sherri’s Diner, 704 SW 59th St.
The Diner, 213 E. Main St., Norman

Best restaurant

Cattlemen’s Steakhouse
1309 S. Agnew Ave.

Cheever’s Café, 2409 N. Hudson Ave.
Taj Cuisine of India, 1500 NW 23rd St.
The Jones Assembly, 901 W. Sheridan Ave.
The Press, 1610 N. Gatewood Ave.

Best chef

Ryan Parrott
Picasso Café, 3009 Paseo St.

Bruce Rinehart, Rococo, two metro locations
Jeff Chanchaleune, Gorō Ramen, 1634 N. Blackwelder Ave., Suite 102
Kevin Lee, The Jones Assembly, 901 W. Sheridan Ave.
Kurt Fleischfresser, Vast, 333 W. Sheridan Ave.

Best server

Rachel Smith
The Pump Bar, 2425 N. Walker Ave.

Gwynivere Langer, The Jones Assembly, 901 W. Sheridan Ave.
Hanna Slaymaker, The Jones Assembly, 901 W. Sheridan Ave.
Nissi Benni, Taj Cuisine of India, 1500 NW 23rd St.
Rodney, Cattlemen’s Steakhouse, 1309 S. Agnew Ave.

Best bartender

Nathan Cover
The Jones Assembly, 901 W. Sheridan Ave.

Henri Reiley, 51st Street Speakeasy, 1114 NW 51st St.
Melody Coffia, Night Trips, 220 S. Vermont Ave.
Ranier Crespo, The Pump Bar, 2425 N. Walker Ave.
Shannon Barrow, Flip’s Wine Bar & Trattoria, 5801 N. Western Ave.

Best pre- or post- event spot

The Bleu Garten
301 NW 10th St.

The Jones Assembly, 901 W. Sheridan Ave.
The Mont, 1300 Classen Blvd., Norman
The Pump Bar, 2425 N. Walker Ave.
Thunder Alley, Reno Ave. between S. Robinson Ave. and S. E.K. Gaylord Blvd.

Best national or regional restaurant

Fuzzy’s Taco Shop
several metro locations

Chick-fil-A, several metro locations
Outback Steakhouse, several metro locations
Texas Roadhouse, several metro locations
Whiskey Cake, 1845 Northwest Expressway

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(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)


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