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  • Writer's pictureLynn Smith, MPH, MCHES(R)

Eat Like a Local: A Short Term Rental Host's "Best of" List for OKC Restaurants

Ask every Oklahoma City resident about their "best of" list and you'll get a million different answers. Having lived around NW/Central Oklahoma City since 2008, I've tried my share of restaurants and experienced the good, the bad, and the ugly. These are some of my favorite places in Oklahoma City - places I keep returning to time and time again. Every place listed below is clean, the service is decent (or better) and most places aren't too expensive. Depending on your mood there’s probably a perfect place for you and your family.


What's better yet is all of our "best of" winners are located north of I-40 and west of I-35, which is exactly where the short term rentals hosted by Pro Familia Homes are located! Whether you're coming to Oklahoma City to visit friends or family or need a place to stop and rest along your journey, pick one of our "best of" winners and let your taste buds roam.


BREAKFAST/BRUNCH DELIGHTS

  • Best Early Bird Breakfast - Cafe Kacao - Get ready for a culinary adventure at Cafe Kacao, where breakfast is not just a meal but a celebration of flavors. Be prepared to wait, but the anticipation is well worth it as each dish is a masterpiece of taste and presentation. Plus they have great cocktails (it’s 5 o’clock somewhere, right?).


Three fried potato balls with a side of remoulade.
Classen Grill Potatoes - it's like loaded mashed potatoes and arancini had a baby!
  • Best OKC Breakfast Staple - Classen Grill - Classen Grill is more than just a restaurant; it's a local institution. Known for its classic breakfast staples, this spot captures the essence of Oklahoma City's culinary heritage. Get the Classen potatoes (it’s like a loaded mash potato ball that’s been fried - delicious!).

  • Best Breakfast Tacos - Big Truck Taco in Uptown - Whether you're a fan of classic combinations or more adventurous morning flavors, these breakfast tacos are sure to kickstart your day - and the portions are big!

  • Best Brunch & Cocktails - The Press in Plaza District - Indulge in a leisurely brunch paired with expertly crafted cocktails at The Press in Plaza District. With a menu that delights the palate and a selection of refreshing drinks, it's an experience worth savoring. And trust me, taking an Uber ensures you can fully enjoy those tempting cocktails.


INTERNATIONAL FLAVORS

  • Best James Beard Nominated Restaurant - Ma Der Lao - Holy shit. This restaurant was recommended to us by a few friends. I’d never eaten Laotian food before and didn’t know what to expect, but EVERYTHING was amazing. We need to come back on a weeknight and enjoy something off their rotating menu. The Beef Jerky and sticky rice and chili bombs were perfect starters. I had the Crispy Rice Salad (it was the tits!) and Jeff had the beef. You can’t leave OKC without stopping by for a bite!

  • Best Pizza - The Wedge Pizzeria - Experience pizza perfection at The Wedge Pizzeria, where artisanal ingredients and creative combinations come together in a wood fired oven to create a slice of heaven. From classic Margherita to adventurous toppings, every pizza lover will find their match. Their location on Western has recently closed, so be sure to check them out near downtown on NE 1st Street.

  • Best Italian - Vito’s Ristorante - Transport yourself to Italy at Vito’s Ristorante, where the aroma of freshly prepared pasta and the warm ambiance create an authentic Italian dining experience. This hidden gem is a must-visit for lovers of classic Italian cuisine. Vito’s is an OKC establishment and with the recent passing of their matriarch, Cathy Cummings, it’s only been elevated to icon status.

  • Best Mediterranean - Mediterranean Deli & Imports - This is an OKC classic! Step up to their deli counter and order a hot plate or sandwich for lunch or dinner. Need to stock up for the week? Don't miss their meat, olive, and cheese counter, where you can get freshly sliced meats and cheese for your charcuterie board. The grocery includes refrigerator cases filled with fresh hummus, tzatziki, and other tasty goodies. Grab some fresh pita bread and other Mediterranean staples to make your perfect Mediterranean recipe.


MEXICAN FIESTA

  • Best Fancy Tacos - Big Truck Taco in Uptown - Big Truck Taco takes the crown again, this time for the best breakfast tacos in town. Elevate your taco experience with a touch of sophistication at Big Truck Taco in Uptown. From unique flavor combinations to high-quality ingredients, these fancy tacos are a testament to the artistry of this beloved taco joint. Feeling adventurous? Try the 5th Amendment Taco which changes weekly; you’re guaranteed a tasty surprise!

  • Best Chips & Salsa - 1492 New Latin American Cuisine - Dive into the vibrant flavors of Latin America with the best chips and salsa at 1492. This restaurant offers a tantalizing experience, where the freshness of the chips meets the zesty kick of their signature salsa. Their Midtown location recently closed, so check them out at Casady Square!

  • Best Authentic-ish Street Tacos - Abel’s Mexican Restaurant - Savor the authentic flavors of street tacos at Abel’s Mexican Restaurant. With a menu inspired by traditional recipes, this eatery brings the vibrant essence of Mexican street food to Oklahoma City.


DINNER DATE NIGHTS

  • Best Dinner with a View - Red Rock Canyon - For a dining experience that transcends the ordinary, head to Red Rock Canyon. Nestled in a picturesque setting, this restaurant offers not just delectable cuisine but also breathtaking views over Lake Hefner. Try to get a reservation before sunset!

  • Best Place for a Fancy-ish Dinner - Frida Southwest in Paseo - Immerse yourself in an artistic and culinary journey at Frida Southwest in Paseo. With a menu inspired by the vibrant flavors of the Southwest, this restaurant offers a fancy-ish dining experience that marries creativity and flavor. Their bar menu has also been nominated for a James Beard award!


LIVE ENTERTAINMENT AND DINING

  • Best Place for Dinner and a Concert - The Jones Assembly - Immerse yourself in the perfect blend of culinary artistry and musical vibes at The Jones Assembly. This venue not only serves up delectable dishes but also provides a stage for live performances, making it an ideal spot for a memorable night out.

  • Best Place for Brunch and a Show - The BOOM in 39th Street District - For a brunch experience with a side of entertainment, head to The BOOM in the vibrant 39th Street District. This quirky spot offers a unique blend of delicious brunch options and live performances that promise a feast for your senses. As locals like to say, “we went to church”.


SUSHI & SEAFOOD DELIGHTS

  • Best Sushi - Musashi’s on Western - Satisfy your sushi cravings at Musashi’s on Western, where fresh ingredients and expert craftsmanship come together to create a sushi experience that rivals the best in the city. My favorite is the Lady Love Sushi Roll.

  • Best Crab Cake - Rococo on Western - Rococo on Western takes the prize for the best crab cake in Oklahoma City. Indulge in the succulent flavors and perfect texture of their signature dish, which showcases the restaurant's commitment to quality seafood.

  • Best Seafood Restaurant - Sedalia’s OKC - Dive into a seafood extravaganza at Sedalia’s OKC, where the freshest catches are transformed into mouthwatering dishes. From shrimp to crab, this restaurant is a seafood lover's paradise. I never imagined eating raw scallops, but they had scallops with browned butter and pitachios on the raw bar and I can 100% say they were the best thing I’ve ever eaten.

A bag of cooked & peeled shrimp and house made cocktail sauce.
Post yoga snack from Gulfport Seafood!
  • Best Place to Buy Fresh Seafood - Gulfport Seafood Market - Dive into a sea of freshness at Gulfport Seafood Market, where you can source the finest and freshest seafood in Oklahoma City. From succulent shrimp to flaky fish, this market is a haven for seafood enthusiasts looking to bring the ocean to their kitchen. I love going here to grab a pound of cooked & shelled shrimp and their housemate cocktail sauce for a quick treat.




ALL THE MEATS

  • Best "Fancy" Barbecue - Iron Star BBQ - Iron Star BBQ takes barbecue to a whole new level with its "fancy" twist. Elevate your barbecue experience with their upscale dishes and inventive flavors that redefine what it means to indulge in this Southern culinary tradition. This is Jeff’s FAVORITE restaurant in Oklahoma City. He’s eaten everything on the menu and loves it all!

  • Best Pit-Style Barbecue - Edge Craft BBQ - For those craving the authentic, smoky flavors of pit-style barbecue, Edge Craft BBQ is the go-to spot. Slow-cooked to perfection, their barbecue dishes capture the essence of traditional pit-style cooking. I’m not a big BBQ fan but Edge Craft is awesome. I love the family-size portions of sides, too!

  • Best Burgers - S&B Burger Joint - Savor the juiciest and most flavorful burgers in town at S&B Burger Joint. With a menu boasting creative concoctions and classic favorites, this spot is a haven for burger enthusiasts craving a mouthwatering experience. I like getting a slider size burger (the Colombian is my go-to!), fries and a beer.

  • Best Burgers, Runner Up - The Garage - The vibe at The Garage is different than S&B Burger Joint, but the burgers are just as good! If you’re looking for a place to grab a burger, a beer and watch the game, this is that place! They have different kinds of meat patties and their full size Mushroom & Swiss Burger is my go-to burger. Literally every time. The garlic aioli is amazing! Get an extra side to dip your fries.


NOODLE NIRVANA

  • Best Ramen - Goro Ramen in Paseo District - Indulge in a bowl of comfort at Goro Ramen in Paseo District. From rich broths to perfectly cooked noodles, this ramen joint elevates the art of noodle soup to a culinary masterpiece. Getting their ramen to go is a staple at our house.

  • Best Pho - Phở Thái Nguyên - Pho enthusiasts, rejoice! Phở Thái Nguyên is the go-to spot for a steaming bowl of authentic Vietnamese pho. The rich broth and fresh ingredients create a symphony of flavors that will transport you to the streets of Hanoi.

  • Big Biang Theory in Film Row - Revel in the robust flavors and experience the artistry of hand-pulled noodles, a hallmark of Xi'an culinary traditions. The vibrant atmosphere, coupled with the restaurant's commitment to quality and flavor, will transport your taste buds to the heart of Asia.


SWEET TOOTH HEAVEN

  • Best Ice Cream - Boom Town Creamery in Uptown - Indulge your sweet tooth at Boom Town Creamery in Uptown, where innovative flavors and creamy textures collide. From classic favorites to unique concoctions, this ice cream parlor is a haven for dessert lovers. They’re also open late!

  • Best Dessert on a Late Night Weekend - Peret’s Dessert & Coffee Bar - Cap off your weekend nights with a trip to Peret’s Dessert & Coffee Bar. Indulge in decadent desserts and expertly crafted coffee (or try an affogato which is an espresso poured over ice cream, yummy!) in a cozy setting that is sure to become your late-night escape.


COFFEE & COCKTAILS

  • Best Local Coffee Shop - Stella Nova - Discover the heart and soul of Oklahoma City's coffee culture at Stella Nova. This local gem not only serves up rich, aromatic brews but also provides a cozy atmosphere perfect for indulging in your favorite caffeinated creations. Fortunately (or unfortunately, if you ask my wallet), I live close to a Stella Nova and can vouch for their great Breakfast Wraps and Salsa in the mornings, too.

Two cocktails on a table next to an iridescent disco ball.
Enjoying a few cocktails at Barkeep in Midtown while we shop!
  • Best Place to Buy Cocktail Accessories and Have a Fancy Cocktail - Barkeep in Midtown - Elevate your home bar game with a visit to Barkeep in Midtown. Not only is it the best place to buy cocktail accessories, but their expert mixologists can also whip up a fancy cocktail tailored to your taste so you can sip and shop!

  • Best Tiki-Style Cocktails - Flamingo Tiki Room in Paseo - Transport yourself to a tropical paradise at Flamingo Tiki Room in Paseo. With its vibrant decor and expertly crafted Tiki-style cocktails, this spot offers a refreshing and exotic escape right in the heart of Oklahoma City.

  • Best New Bar - Good for a Few in Plaza District - With whimsical decor and tasty cocktails, this is a fun bar to start off your weekend! Grab a “hunny pot” (a little Miller Lite bottle or a small glass of champagne) to sip on while you figure out the real star of the show (aka: the actual cocktail you plan to enjoy).

  • Best Bloody Mary - S&B Burger Joint - S&B Burger Joint is renowned for its mouthwatering Bloody Marys, boasting a perfect balance of bold flavors and creative garnishes. Each sip offers a tantalizing blend of premium vodka, tangy tomato juice, and secret spices, while the crowning glory comes in the form of extravagant toppings like crispy bacon strips, pickles, and even mini sliders, making every Bloody Mary a feast for the senses. Grab a Bloody Mary to go alongside your burger, you won’t regret it!


HAPPY HOUR HIDEOUTS

  • Best Happy Hour - Hideaway Pizza (Monday-Friday 4-6 PM, 50% off Drinks!) - Unwind and enjoy the golden hours at Hideaway Pizza with their unbeatable happy hour deal. From Monday to Friday, between 4-6 PM, you can indulge in your favorite drinks at half the price, making it the perfect spot for a post-work wind-down. I should add that the pizza is great too - and don’t ask for their Ranch dressing recipe, it’s a secret.

  • Best Dive Bar - Sipango Lounge on Western - For an authentic dive bar experience (it’s the oldest bar in Oklahoma City), look no further than Sipango on Western. With its laid-back atmosphere and friendly patrons, this spot is perfect for those seeking a casual night out with good drinks and great company.

  • Best Karaoke Joint - Cookies on Western - Grab the mic and showcase your vocal prowess at Cookies on Western, the best karaoke joint in the city. With a lively crowd and an extensive song selection, this spot guarantees a night filled with laughter and music.


BEST SALADS. END OF STORY.

  • When it comes to salads, variety is the spice of life. I could eat salad for every meal. I never met a salad I didn't like. Enjoy the diverse range of fantastic salads at restaurants around Oklahoma City. Here are a few of my favorites!

  • Thai Beef Salad at Republic in Classen Curve

  • Salmon Salad at Iron Starr BBQ

  • Little Green Salad at Picasso Cafe in Paseo

  • Caesar Salad at Empire Slice House

  • Turkey & Avocado Cobb Salad at Flower Child in Classen Curve

  • Mediterranean Salad at 30th Street Market

  • Any piece of lettuce topped by the ranch dressing from Hideaway Pizza


For travelers visiting Oklahoma City, these "best of" winners are sure to add to your next five star stay. Whether you in town for one night or one month, eat like a local and plan your stay around (at least!) one of these "best of" winners! From award-winning menus to late-night desserts, Oklahoma City's diverse dining scene has something for every taste bud.


 

Coming to Oklahoma City in the near future? We'd love to host you and your family at one of our short term rentals in OKC. Book direct and you'll get the lowest rates plus free early check-in! 


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