Visiting other destinations in Oklahoma? Check out our other guides:
- 8 Awesome Things To Do In Tulsa
- 18 Must-Try Oklahoma City Breakfast Restaurants
- 12 Best Things To Do In Oklahoma City
11 Quintessential Oklahoman Meals You Must Experience During Your Visit to Oklahoma City
Multiple LocationsSonic was originally called Top Hat Drive-In when it was established in Shawnee, Oklahoma in the early 1950s. You can ask just about anyone here what they’re go-to meal is at Sonic Drive-In and they’re bound to give you a wide list of favorites. Easily one of the best things available there are tater tots. They make them crispy enough to crunch, but soft enough to melt in your mouth. You may not think tater tots from a fast food place is a good idea, but you haven’t tried these yet! If you’re looking for a classic Oklahoman combo, be sure to order the ched ‘r’ bites with a side of ranch dressing as a side dish to a hamburger, chicken sandwich or one of their classic foot-long hot dogs. Sonic also has a ton of amazing drink options like shakes and many ice cream creations, but I prefer to wash everything down with one of their slushies or limeades. My favorite flavor would easily be the fresh lime but most people love a classic cherry limeade!
4106 NW 39th Street // +1 405-943-8915Ann’s Chicken Fry House is a homey, 1950s inspired, Route 66-themed diner in Oklahoma City that makes southern food the way it should be made, with love. What started as a gas station along Route 66 in 1948 later became a restaurant known as Three Bulls Steak House. It was 1971 when what we now know as Ann’s was born, quickly becoming an Oklahoman tradition. Not only can you find what many believe to be the best chicken fried steak in all of Oklahoma, but you can also find fried peaches and fried green tomatoes as well. The chicken fried steak is served with a side of delicious white gravy, two scoops of mashed potatoes, and a bread roll. The portions are quite generous. The staff is always friendly and the prices can’t be beaten. If you’re visiting, take note that Ann’s only accepts cash, so have some handy!
Multiple LocationsWho doesn’t love a great slice of pizza? My favorite place to eat pizza in OKC is the Hideaway Pizza off Western Avenue. For starters, this place is huge. It’s two stories and never feels overly crowded. Anyone in Oklahoma will tell you to try the delicious Cimarron pizza. This isn’t for the faint of heart, as it is loaded with bacon, ham, huge pieces of sausage, and jalapenos for an added kick. There is a creamy alfredo sauce base that pairs perfectly with the fresh parmesan cheese. My personal favorite is Canadian bacon, jalapeno pizza dipped in their signature ranch dressing. From their menu of side dishes, I most love the 50/50 – a combination of fried mushrooms and cheese sticks. Don’t forget to ask for both Ranch dressing and marina sauces for dipping! If, for some odd reason, you’re not in the mood for pizza Hideaway also offers salads, sandwiches and baked pasta dishes. Be sure to grab a piece of Mama Murphy’s frozen lemonade pie to finish off your meal.
1309 S Agnew Ave. // +1 405-236-0416Not every restaurant that has amazing food has to be trendy. Cattlemen’s is a proper old school, no-frills steakhouse that has unbelievably great food. Cattlemen’s is, in fact, the oldest operating restaurant in all of Oklahoma City, having opened its doors all the way back in 1910! Many notable figures have made Cattlemen’s a stop on their visit to Oklahoma City. Famous names like Gene Autry, John Wayne, Ronald Reagan, and Reba McEntire have all graced this steakhouse. In the early ’90s, George Bush Sr. dined at Cattlemen’s during his presidency. Cattlemen’s is one of my top five favorite steak restaurants in OKC for good reason. For starters, their steak is consistently perfect, no matter how you order it. Also, on top of all of the regular menu items you’d expect to find at a steakhouse, they also have Rocky Mountain Oysters (aka lamb fries) if you’re feeling adventurous. What are Rocky Mountain Oysters? Try them first and then ask what they were. I promise you they’re delicious, but you may not eat them if you know what they are first! My favorite steak at Cattlemen’s has to be the T-bone. It is incredibly tender and you get a large portion. There are over ten different steak options, including a Cattlemen’s strip sirloin and filet mignon if you’re feeling fancy. There is an incredible housemade salad dressing that you have to try as well. All of this, paired with one of their own brews on tap, is a perfect dinner in Oklahoma City. Cattlemen’s also does breakfast, offering omelets, hotcakes, Texas toast sandwiches, French toast and of course, steak and eggs.
3315 Northwest Expressway // +1 405-848-5050Another restaurant with great prices and friendly staff is Beverly’s Pancake House. Yes, you could stop by Waffle House if you’re craving breakfast, but Beverly’s is far superior in my opinion. My top two choices are the messy plate (if you’re hungover or in the mood for a splurge meal) and omelets. They have a variety of different omelet options including a ham and cheese omelet or a vegetarian omelet if you’re looking for a lighter start to the day. The dish Beverly’s is most known for is their “chicken in the rough” – a half fried chicken served unjointed with fries and honey butter rolls. Another of their most popular dishes is their pancakes. Picture three homemade blueberry pancakes served with a side of eggs and your choice of sausage or bacon. It’s a great comfort food spot for breakfast, especially after a big night on the town. Or, if you’re looking to extend your night out, Beverly’s is open twenty-four hours a day.
5137 Classen Circle // +1 405-840-3339Edna’s is definitely more of a bar than a restaurant but, since their signature drink is called the Lunchbox, I decided that even though it’s a stretch, it had to make the list. That’s because no stop in Oklahoma City would be complete without visiting Edna’s for a Lunchbox. An Edna’s Lunchbox is their famous drink, made up of equal parts Coors Light and orange juice mixed with a shot of amaretto. I know, I know– it doesn’t sound great but somehow it works. It works so well, in fact, that the bar has served more than 2 million Lunchboxes since opening in 1980. The Lunchbox even helped Edna’s to be become named one of the 50 Best Dive Bars in the World! It’s so famous in fact that you can even buy a Lunchbox flavored chapstick to take home as a souvenir of your time at Edna’s. Before her passing, Edna herself was one of the big draws to the bar. Quite the local character, anytime someone would play “Great Balls of Fire” (the Jerry Lee Lewis version, of course) Edna would jump on top of the jukebox and dance for the crowd. Edna’s does have a small bar menu with offerings including mac & cheese bites, loaded fries, nachos, and chicken finger baskets, but I’m not sure anyone actually comes for the food. Also, while you’re there, be sure to deface some government property and decorate a dollar bill to staple to the wall, adding to the collection of countless others you’ll find adorning the space.
3631 N Kelley Ave. // +1 405-424-5367Nothing says you’re in the south like barbecue does. Leo’s BBQ was featured on the TV show Diner’s, Drive-Ins, and Dives for a reason. This converted corner store has some of the best authentic BBQ you can imagine. Many people believe the secret is that the meat is hickory smoked. Out of everything on the menu, I’d suggest getting the Super Leo’s Special. It shows you what real, Oklahoma-smoked food tastes like. You’ll get to try tender smoked ribs, links, classic beef brisket and bologna. This dish also comes with some of the best potato salad and baked beans that you’ve ever had. You’ll want to top it all off with a delicious slice of Leo’s famous strawberry-banana cake. Be sure to note that Leo’s is closed on Sundays and Mondays, and they are now offering online ordering for takeout if you want to avoid any waiting.
Multiple LocationsBraum’s is one of the staples of the four-state region. There are a few things on their menu that stand out, but I have to suggest their biscuits and gravy. You will receive a generous serving of Braum’s freshly baked, perfect flaky biscuits that are slathered with a rich country sausage gravy. This isn’t fancy food, but it’s delicious comfort food that every Oklahoman is familiar with. After all, which of us raised in Oklahoma doesn’t recall field trips to the Braum’s farm where we scooped ice cream out of cardboard containers with wooden spoons while trying to manage to stand downwind of what we’ll politely call “farm smells”? Speaking of their ice cream, Braum’s is famous for their ice cream. You can have their ice cream in one of their famous banana splits, made into a milkshake or sundae or you can go classic, in a cone. Choose from flavors like French Vanilla, Double Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Rocky Road, or even Brownie Batter or their famous Butter Pecan. Braum’s also does a great burger if you’d like to make a full meal out of your experience. My favorite is the jalapeno pepper jack burger.
5124 N Classen Blvd. // +1 405-842-0428Have you ever heard of fried herb mashed potato balls? Well, now you have. That is one of the tastiest things that Classen Grill offers and it’s an Oklahoma staple. Imagine butter, garlic, cheese, and potatoes all mixed together in tater tot-like form. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. On top of that, you cannot beat their other amazing breakfast options. They serve one of the best breakfasts in Oklahoma City and you can often find local politicians seated at a table next to you. They serve freshly squeezed orange juice that is out of this world, alongside savory and rich eggs benedict. You also can’t go wrong with a side of house-made grits. Other menu favorites include Huevos Rancheros, a California omelet, French toast, or my favorite- the breakfast chicken enchiladas, hold the black olives. They often offer brunch deals and give discounts to law enforcement and military personnel.
2601 NW Expressway // +1 405-848-5597Junior’s is a dining experience unlike any other in Oklahoma. Located in the basement of a building, you will find red decor, leather chairs, and an old school atmosphere that makes you feel like you stepped into a classic film. Junior’s became popular back in the day when big oil money was at its height in Oklahoma. In fact, at one time it was such a hotspot for oil business it was known as “The Oilman’s Oasis.” Some of Junior’s customers have been frequenting the spot for more than forty years! Today, many people go there to enjoy a few drinks and appetizers before their meal. Amongst the appetizers, they offer incredible shrimp options that all taste fantastic. My favorite is the half dozen shrimp on ice to get your meal started, plus there is a dozen option as well if you’re with a larger group. If you’re interested in more traditional appetizers, they also offer chicken strips and nachos that are great. If you’re feeling very adventurous and want to try something very Oklahoman, try the chicken livers and gizzards combo appetizer. When it comes to adult beverages, I’d suggest the dessert cocktail. It’s a smooth mix of bourbon poured over vanilla ice cream. They make amazing steaks and are known for their surf and turf combination. Be sure to start your meal with their Caesar salad, prepared tableside, as it’s an Oklahoma legend.
Ok, here’s a bonus for you — I know it’s not technically in OKC but my list wouldn’t be complete without it.
109 S 2nd St, Okarche, OK // +1 405-263-9939An honorable mention has to be given to Eischen’s Bar. It may be located a little outside of Oklahoma City, but once you arrive you’ll see why it’s worth the drive. Nothing says Oklahoma like fried chicken with a side of fried okra served on sheet paper with plain white bread, pickles, and onions. The chicken is juicy and fried to perfection and the okra is hot and the perfect state of crunchy. It also hits the table quickly, which is a big plus. Eischen’s is actually the oldest bar in the state of Oklahoma, having been established in 1896 by Peter Eischen. Local legend has it that it is the only bar in the state to survive Prohibition because they began selling their (now famous) fried chicken. Eischen’s has been featured on Diner’s Drive-In’s and Dives and The Food Network’s episode of Where to Find the Best Fried Chicken Ever, among many other television, newspaper and magazine features. I’m telling you, people literally visit from out of state to try this fried chicken, it’s that good! Sip an ice-cold beer and you’ve got yourself a complete meal if you ask me. Also, and I know this sounds completely random, but Eischen’s also makes a killer Frito chili pie. If you’ve never had one, their version is simple and classic but the homemade chili makes all the difference! Be aware: Eischen’s is cash only but they do have an ATM on-site if you forget to bring cash. Eischen’s is also closed on Sundays.
Where to Stay in Oklahoma City-Ok, so you’re going to need a base as you explore all of these Oklahoma eateries. I have the perfect suggestion for you. The Sheraton Downtown is one of Oklahoma City’s best hotels and I was fortunate enough to work with them during my visit home. One of my favorite things about the hotel is the location- perfectly situated in downtown Oklahoma City, literal steps away from many of the best things to see and do in Oklahoma City. If you’re in town for an event, the Sheraton offers a direct connection to the Cox Convention Center, making it the perfect place to stay when you’re in town attending a concert or conference. Both the Chesapeake Energy Arena and Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark are also located near the property. Also, the hotel has awesome access to Oklahoma City’s new streetcar, making getting around not only easy but fun. The Sheraton has multiple options for dining as well- everything from their own onsite coffee shop to their inhouse bar and lounge, to Block 23 – their restaurant serving up delicious Modern American cuisine. When the weather is good be sure to check out their patio restaurant, a perfect place to meet up with friends for food and drinks before going out. As great as the property was, it was the staff that really stood out during my visit. By my second or third day I was on a first-name basis with several of the staff and they were always friendly and willing to go above and beyond to make my stay as great as possible. To book your own stay visit their website by clicking here or search Booking.com below for today’s best rates.
These are just a dozen of the best places to grab a bite to eat or a delicious cocktail in and around Oklahoma City. I hope you try a handful of these amazing options the next time you’re visiting OKC. Grab yourself some fried chicken, locally brewed beer, and a slice of Mama Murphy’s frozen lemonade pie, and you’ve got yourself an authentic Oklahoma experience. Have fun and save room for seconds!
Travel writer and owner of the blog. My work has been featured on Fodors, Eater.com, International Living, and Great Escape Publishing, among many others. My story? Nearly six years ago, I left my job at an Oklahoma City law firm and embarked on a journey around the world. At the time, I thought I would only be gone for 6 months, but the more I traveled, the longer my bucket list became. Flashpacker describes how I travel. Rather than traveling as the normal world wise backpacker and staying in hostel dorms, I prefer a more comfortable experience, and typically stay in private rooms, take Ubers instead of taxis, and now use a suitcase instead of a backpack. Foodie, on the other hand, describes one of the key reasons why I travel. I love to pick a central “base camp” and then explore the surrounding area, really immersing myself in the culture and interacting with the people, and enjoying and exploring the food of an area is an essential part of this experience.