Gazedibles: Crowds welcome 

If you’ve been waiting for post-vaccine life to hit the Oklahoma City restaurant scene, you’ll notice some new options across the metro. These seven restaurants opened in the last year and deserve your attention.

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Café De L’Asie

100 W. Main Street, Suite 105 | 405-768-5537

Chef Vuong Nguyen’s concept in The Collective food hall took its first flight out of the restaurant incubator’s nest by meeting breakfast and lunch needs from its downtown location, formerly occupied by Café 7. The menu showcases his classical French training with international ingredients, like a crepe burrito or Asian-fusion versions of eggs Benedict. There are four types of steam buns as well as chicken lettuce wraps and the recent addition of a Korean bulgogi patty melt with kimchi and more.

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Sunset Patio Bar
401 NW 10th Street | 405-724-9445

Since popping up this spring, Sunset Patio Bar has proved to be not only one of the best indoor and outdoor hangs in Midtown, but also a welcome lunch, dinner and weekend brunch option. Pizzas and sliders highlight its savory offerings while its weekend brunch menu features more adventurous fare like chicken poppers with crispy lemon breading and chicken and waffle sliders.

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Jimmy B’S Culinary + Krafted
1225 N. Broadway Ave. | 405-676-8250

This Automobile Alley addition from Hal Smith Restaurant Group is the answer for where to go when a group cannot agree on the same lunch or dinner cuisine.  Expertly crafted sushi top the menu that features sandwiches (club, crispy chicken, burger, Fresh dip, tuna), four salads and entrees that range from seafood to chicken meatball with spaghetti, Korean beef tenderloin, and steak with hand-cut fries. 

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Szechuan Story
2800 N. Classen Blvd. Suite 108 | 405-604-4880

The void in the Asian District created when Tsubaki Szechuan closed in 2019 has been filled as owners Peter and Mandy Liu opened at the end of 2020. The soup dumplings (on the menu as “little juice pork bun,” $5.95), wonton in chili oil ($5.95) and scallion pancake are the perfect appetizers for a meal ready to showcase mala, the spicy and numbing seasoning created the combination of the Sichuan peppercorn and chili pepper. 

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Neon Coffee Bar
1742 NW 16th Street | 405-6060-8771

Did you know that doughnut dough makes the perfect vehicle for a savory sandwich? Unlike the gimmicky sandwiches that pair the not-for-everyone sweet and savory with a glazed doughnut, this Plaza District coffee and cocktail bar ditches the glaze to showcase savory pillow-soft bread and provides an excellent place for five savory sandwiches. Neon serves all-day tastes with sweet doughnuts paired with full-service coffee, highlighted by five blended drinks and with beer and wine offerings.

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Charcoal Oven
3604 N. May Ave. Suite A

The once-iconic neon sign that attracted diners for years along Route 66 might be gone, but Charcoal Oven is operating from its new location with the same menu that pleased patrons for almost 60 years (the original location closed in 2016). The drive-thru service is gone, but classics like its version of the Oklahoma standard hickory sauce, the Chik-A-Doodle-Doo sandwich and Suzie Q fries will bring the nostalgia back. 


The Blok
30 NE 2nd St | 405-768-5140

Those hoping for a new vegan restaurant in Oklahoma City were rewarded as the former Anchor Down space converted to its plant-based menu in October 2020. The Blok retains its indulgent bar menu roots, but without as much guilt. Plant-based chicken wings, burgers and bacon are paired with vegan-friendly versions of mayonnaise on the BLT and cheese on the Italian nachos or melty vegan queso over waffle fries or tots. Feel good with the menu as you sip on a seasonal cocktail or local beer selection.

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