From traditional steak and potatoes to innovative vegan fare, creative brunch dishes, and authentic ethnic cuisines, Oklahoma City serves up a diverse roster of delicious restaurants for visitors to sample, explore, and enjoy. For a representative taste of the Modern Frontier, loosen your belt a few notches and prepare to feast your way through these signature OKC eateries.
Oklahoma is prime beef territory, and Cattlemen’s Steakhouse in historic Stockyards City is one of the most dependable places in town to sample the state's wares. This rustic OKC dining institution has built a solid reputation through the years for satisfying hungry cowboys, hard-working ranchers, and rodeo pros in addition to serving an impressive guest list of visiting celebrities, athletes, musicians, and U.S. Presidents. Cattlemen’s opened in 1910, making it the oldest continually operating restaurant in the state of Oklahoma. Bring your appetite, order up a whopping T-Bone Steak with all the trimmings, and wash it down with a stiff cocktail. There’s no way you’ll go home hungry here.
On the historic Route 66 corridor as it passes through the Uptown 23rd district, Cheever’s Cafe cooks up familiar dishes brimming with Americana in a character-rich Victorian property that housed one of the city’s most prominent early families. The glass display cases, terrazzo floors, and other remnants of the storied flower shop that operated here for decades still remain. To eat, the chicken fried steak is a must-order: a pounded-thin beef cutlet, battered and fried, smothered in jalapeño cream gravy, and served alongside a generous scoop of mashed potatoes. Comfort food at its best.
This popular breakfast, lunch, and brunch spot in Automobile Alley’s historic Buick Building starts the day off right with inventive translations of traditional morning fare like poutine, breakfast Cuban sandwiches, funky monkey bread, and an artisan breakfast board loaded up with cheeses and charcuterie. If you’re craving pancakes and just can’t make up your mind between the bacon pecan with bourbon glaze, bananas Foster, blueberry streusel, pineapple rum, or strawberry dream, no need to worry. The pancake “flight” allows customers to mix and match their choice of any three on one plate. The same deal applies to the Benedicts as well. A good morning, indeed.
Pho Lien Hoa
Oklahoma City is home to a surprisingly large Asian community thanks to an influx of Vietnamese immigrants who settled here in the 1970s, bringing their homeland cuisine along to their new country. Today, the Asian District buzzes with all sorts of authentic ethnic dining options for delicious lunches and dinners. Pho Lien Hoa is where to find what is arguably the best pho in town—bowls of deeply flavored broth loaded with rice noodles and beef (or tripe for more adventurous eaters), and served with bean sprouts, fresh herbs, lime wedges, and sliced jalapeño for DIY garnishing at the table. The restaurant accepts cash only; make sure to hit an ATM before you go.
Bring a date or some gal pals to this artsy Paseo District mainstay, and treat yourself to a lavish meal accompanied by a hand-crafted cocktail. As the name suggests, every dish is made in-house, from the sourdough bread and luscious desserts to the soups, sauces, and even condiments like ketchup and mayonnaise. The from-scratch ethos carries over into the drinks as well—savvy barkeeps shake up magical concoctions using fresh squeezed juices and house-made syrups, tinctures, and liqueurs. If cocktails aren’t your jam, the wine list is exemplary. Weekend brunch makes what-to-order decisions even more difficult with decadent choices along the lines of red velvet waffles, kimchi hash, and spicy Italian deviled eggs.
Oklahoma City locals like their burgers smashed thin and grilled to lacy-edged perfection with shredded onions pressed right into the patty. The result is a flavorful sandwich that marries well with hand-cut crispy French fries and old-fashioned milkshakes. The mouthwatering aroma wafts through the air from this retro OKC gem, letting guests know they’re in for a real treat. For the full Tucker’s experience, load up on napkins and splurge on a double onion burger with cheese and all the fixings. To keep vegetarian and vegan customers happy, Impossible Burgers are also available, as are lettuce wraps for the keto crowd.
Whether you’re hungry for a full meal or light appetizers and a glass of vino, The Metro elevates continental cuisine with fancy presentations and seasonal ingredients at their peak of flavor. At lunchtime, the fresh salads, sandwiches, and omelets shine, leading up to an evening selection of pastas, seafood, steaks, and mains with French flair. You can’t go wrong with the mushroom ravioli followed by the steak frites and the bread pudding for dessert. The intimate ambiance lends itself nicely to birthdays, anniversary dinners, and other romantic occasions, and the wine list is a major draw with 20 rotating offerings by the glass to sip and savor. Salut!
Gooey, melty grilled cheeses take center stage at the Mule in the Plaza District, wowing guests with epic sandwiches piled high with combinations of pulled pork, mac and cheese, tomatoes, braised short ribs, all sorts of vegetables, turkey, bacon, and more; you name it, they’ll put it between bread and throw it on the grill. For purists, the Big Ass Grilled Cheese—a straightforward blend of cheeses on grilled sourdough—is the way to go, perhaps with a steaming bowl of tomato soup on the side. In addition to soft drinks, beer, wine, and cocktails, this casual sandwich shop specializes in Mules (of course) ranging from Moscow to Kentucky to France.
Mary Eddy’s Kitchen x Lounge
Tucked inside the 21c Museum Hotel, Mary Eddy’s feels right at home in its art-centric environs. The restaurant’s location within the reimagined Ford Motor Company Assembly Plant lends a certain degree of cache with an industrial-chic vibe and furnishings. The original car showroom space is now home to a bar that highlights the original terrazzo floor, and in keeping with the hotel’s forward-thinking creativity, the lounge menu boasts stylish salads, sandwiches, and crispy fries. Full of whimsically named suggestions, the cocktail menu is also worth a look, and complimentary cotton candy delivered with the bill makes a sweet finale to any visit.
Appropriately situated across the street from the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, this upscale establishment honors one of Oklahoma City’s most revered native sons with prime Wagyu beef, pristine seafood, premium cigars, and an expertly curated wine list in a fine-dining atmosphere that oozes elegance. The “lobster cargot” baked with butter and garlic makes a magnificent prelude to a prime ribeye or Roquefort filet. Before or after a meal, make sure to take a stroll through the restaurant to admire walls filled with baseball memorabilia sourced from the Yankee slugger’s very own personal family collection. Open for dinner service only, any meal here is guaranteed to be a home run.
The Asian District might seem a strange place to find authentic Guatamalan food, but the presence of Café Kacao speaks to the rich diversity of the neighborhood. Dishes made from Del Cid family recipes that have been passed down for generations keep customers coming back for breakfasts, lunches, and brunches infused with Latin American zest. Friendly servers are happy to describe the menu items to help customers choose from tasty selections like empanadas; omelets bursting with black beans, carne asada, or fresh crab; chilaquiles; pupusas; and breakfast burritos.
This vegan eatery found its footing as a food truck operation, eventually settling into its brick-and-mortar home in 2016. Through creative recipes and invention, the Loaded Bowl has opened a lot of eyes by stretching the boundaries of plant-based cuisine. You won’t find any boring salads here. Instead, the menu details hearty familiar dishes like the signature creamy cashew mac and cheese, a rosemary-laced mashed potato bowl, layered enchiladas, lasagna, and loaded nachos. Even better, the restaurant adheres to feel-good sustainable practices such as composting, recycling, paying employees fair wages, and making charitable contributions to the local community.
Rooms with a view don’t get any better than this. Perched on the 49th floor of the Devon Tower, Vast diners drink in gorgeous panoramic views of downtown Oklahoma City from 726 feet above ground—the perfect backdrop for power lunches and special-occasion celebrations. The food is equally stunning, highlighting fresh seafood, Oklahoma free-range chicken, steaks, pastas, and locally sourced produce. Running the gamut of styles and varietals, the wine list is second to none. The lunch table menu changes on a weekly basis, but always includes a selection of salads, soup, entrées, side items, and unlimited desserts for one fixed price.
In the Plaza District, the Press classes up familiar comfort food for the Modern Frontier with a vibe that manages to strike a nice balance between casual diner and hipster hotspot. Through lunch, brunch, and dinner services, the Press’ Southern flair and flavor shine through in dishes like sweet potato fritters, shrimp and grits, black Angus meatloaf wrapped in bacon, chicken biscuit sandwiches, pot roast, Indian tacos on house-made fry bread, and a candy apple pork belly that any respectable grandma would be proud to claim. If the weather’s nice, ask for a table on the buzzy patio.
Part of the historic Colcord Hotel in downtown OKC, this sophisticated eatery takes a straightforward approach to modern American cuisine for meals composed of locally sourced seasonal building blocks. The patio lounge shows off an outdoor fireplace and a waterfall feature, making it a coveted see-and-be-seen spot through the summer months, and the complimentary valet parking for up to 90 minutes is a thoughtful detail.