After the drinks but before the main dish, appetizers liven up an evening and meal with fun for the taste buds. Readers say Tulsa’s best can be found at Polo Grill. The new Waterfront Grill has only been open for a few months, but it’s already made a grand entrance to Tulsa’s culinary scene in second. The Palace Café and Trula Restaurant and Bar in the Mayo Hotel place third.
Cheever’s Café is tops in Oklahoma City, followed by Louie’s on the Lake and a tie for third between Bolero Spanish Grill & Tapas Bar and Republic Gastropub.
Asian food rolls along in Oklahoma with an abundance of tastes ranging from Thai to Japanese and Vietnamese. Tulsa’s KEO takes top honors in the category that also includes runner-up P.F. Chang’s and Ri Le’s finishing out the best.
Grand House China Bistro is indeed Oklahoma City’s grand choice for Asian, followed by Saii Asian Bistro and finally by P.F. Chang’s.
The magic is in the ovens of Oklahoma’s top picks for bakeries, including Merritt’s Bakery in Tulsa. Preparing sheets of cookies, cupcakes, cakes and other goodies, readers also like Merritt’s multiple locations. Panera Bread also brings great baked goods and sandwiches to different parts of the season. It places second followed by the well-recognized Ann’s Bakery.
Sugar enjoys a sweet victory as Oklahoma City’s best bakery, but the runners-up – La Baguette Bistro and Prairie Thunder Baking Co. – did pretty well, too.
If there is a king of barbecue in Tulsa, readers are convinced it must be Rib Crib. Making spicy-sweet masterpieces and with plenty of locations throughout the metro area, no wonder it’s high on everyone’s list. Elmer’s BBQ and Billy Sims BBQ have their own followings and make it in at second followed by the always yummy Albert G’s.
Oklahoma City loves Rib Crib, too, and made the popular restaurant its top place for wings, brisket and baked beans. Following closely are Earl’s Rib Palace and Iron Starr Urban BBQ in second and Billy Sims BBQ and Swadley’s Bar-B-Q rounding out the list.
Best Kept Secret
They are the places every out-of-towner hopes to find – drenched in local charm and packed with faithful regulars who wouldn’t dream of going anywhere else for a tuna salad sandwich. PJ’s Sandwich Shoppe is Tulsa’s best-kept secret once more, so under the radar that even many Tulsans haven’t heard of it. Next is the cozy Dragonmoon Tea Company followed by The Palate at Ranch Acres.
Ingrid’s Kitchen takes the honor in Oklahoma City with Trattoria Il Centro coming in second and a tie for third between Café Antigua and Picasso on Paseo.
Brookside by Day isn’t only for the rise-and-shine crowd. With food good enough to get up early for, it’s also Tulsa’s pick for best breakfast in town. The legendary Phill’s Diner is second followed by Savoy Restaurant in third.
Oklahoma City likes to wake up to Classen Grill best. Jimmy’s Egg is next, and Beverly’s Pancake House makes the day’s beginning sweet at third.
If you can’t grill it in the backyard yourself, look no further than Ron’s Hamburgers and Chili, Tulsa’s vote-confirmed best. Goldie’s Patio Grill and Brownie’s Hamburger Stand may have come in second, but their fans never leave unsatisfied. Local favorites Claud’s Hamburgers and Weber’s Root Beer Restaurant round out the top three.
Oklahoma City heads to Irma’s Burger Shack for great home cooking and awesome burgers. Johnnie’s Charcoal Broiler and Flat Tire Burger also impressed at second and third.
If a business puts chili in its name, you know you’re about to get a great bowl of spicy-heat goodness. Ike’s Chili is Tulsa’s best chili, readers told us followed by Ron’s Hamburgers and Chili in second and Wendy’s in third.
Johnnie’s Charcoal Broiler is Oklahoma City’s chili champ, with Iron Starr Urban BBQ just trailing. Ron’s Hamburgers and Chili makes it good in third.
The culture is relaxed and groovy, but the hottest coffee houses in Oklahoma are anything but laid-back. Tulsa made Shades of Brown its top pick. Coffee House on Cherry Street, with its eclectic décor and delectable java, also receive props. Topeca Coffee, located in downtown Tulsa’s historic The Mayo Hotel, rounds out Tulsa’s top picks.
A coffee and a cupcake? Don’t mind if I do. That’s exactly the premise behind Oklahoma City’s popular Cuppies & Joe, so it’s no surprise that it receives top billing as best coffee house. Coffee Slingers also received a nod, as did the coffee house and vegan-friendly eatery Red Cup.
You may be jonesing for something a little more than a glass of wine. For an expertly prepared cocktail, head to Wolfgang Puck Bistro on Brookside for a specialty cocktail. Vintage 1740 also provides excellent cocktails, as does sushi restaurant In The Raw.
In Oklahoma City, let bartender extraordinaire Kyle Fleischfresser mix you up one of his original cocktails at the luxe restaurant Ludivine. Republic Gastropub also keeps our readers sipping, as does the throwback-themed Prohibition Room.
A sandwich is a sandwich is a sandwich, unless it’s served up by one of the state’s fabulous deli or sandwich shops. Jason’s Deli is a favorite for its piled-high sandwiches as well as its seemingly endless salad bar. Dilly Deli is a Tulsa favorite, as are Felini’s Cookies & Deli and PJ’s Sandwich Shoppe.
In Oklahoma City, readers have an affinity for all things German when it comes to their sandwiches. German restaurant Ingrid’s Kitchen received the nod as top sandwich shop. Someplace Else – A Deli & Bakery in Oklahoma City received second, followed by Jersey Mike’s Subs.
It can be the perfect ending to the perfect meal. In Tulsa, our readers say that The Cheesecake Factory provides the best dessert in town. Utica Square mainstay Wild Fork also gets a nod, as does Queenie’s Café & Bakery.
In Oklahoma City, La Baguette Bistro serves sumptuous cakes, pastries and other desserts, which is why our Oklahoma City readers have voted them The Best of the Best. Cheever’s Café’s desserts also have a large fan base for their contemporary takes on traditional desserts. Nonna’s Euro-American Ristorante & Bar rounds out the top three.
At a diner, it’s all about stick-to-your-ribs, fill-your-belly comfort food. In Tulsa, Phill’s Diner serves up great breakfast and lunch to its loyal patrons seven days a week. Blue Dome Diner also keeps them coming back for more omelets, biscuits and gravy and other breakfast and lunch staples. The retro vibe of 5 & Diner is a favorite among Tulsans.
Cooks at Classen Grill have been slinging hash for years, serving up some of the tastiest breakfasts in Oklahoma City. It’s no wonder the parking lot is packed every day at this diner hotspot. The Diner in Norman is a favorite among the locals and nearby OU students, while Nic’s Grill serves up huge, beefy and tasty burgers at its dozen-seat or so restaurant near downtown Oklahoma City.
Drinks After 5
It’s nice to toss back a few to unwind after a long day at the office. James E. McNellie’s Public House is the top vote-getter for best place to grab a drink after 5 in Tulsa. Vintage 1740 and White Owl Pub both tie for second in this contest, while the newly constructed Blue Rose Café along the Arkansas River takes the third slot.
In Oklahoma City, it’s a two-way tie for first, with Republic Gastropub and Sauced both getting the most votes for drinks after 5. The tony Red Prime Steak also grabbed its fair share of votes, while Flip’s Wine Bar & Trattoria rounds out the top three.
When you need a quick meal on the go, our readers statewide agree that Arby’s is the place to go for piled-high roast beef sandwiches, fresh salads and their signature line of market-fresh sandwiches. Sonic Drive-In has delivered burgers, fries, coneys and tots to car windows for decades, and they continue to impress our readers with their reliability. Wendy’s also impresses with their selection of burgers, sandwiches, salads and famous chili.
When you want to take someone special for a night out on the town, there are several options; but our readers have done the work for you and provided their picks for the best in fine dining in the state. Mahogany Prime Steakhouse comes in first in Tulsa, a pick solidified by their delicious steaks and seafood. Polo Grill also gets the vote as a top place for fine dining, followed by The Brasserie Restaurant & Bar.
In Oklahoma City, it’s Mickey Mantle Steakhouse winning over voters with its wide selection of steaks and other delectable entrees, making it a top spot for fine dining. Boulevard Steakhouse also received a large number of votes, followed by the contemporary comfort food of Cheever’s Café.
Though we can indulge our palates once in a while, to keep fit, most would recommend visiting one of Oklahoma’s health-focused restaurants to stay healthy. Cosi is tops in health-conscious dining in Tulsa for its selection of salads, fresh sandwiches and other healthy offerings. Big Al’s Healthy Foods also receives a nod, as does organic Mexican restaurant Elote Café & Catering.
Once again, cool greens wins the votes in Oklahoma City for its healthy take on fresh ingredients, followed by the raw food restaurant 105Degrees. The Earth Natural Café & Deli, located in Norman, finishes up the category.
Ice Cream Shop
Whether it’s a single scoop, a shake or a sundae you crave, an ice cream shop can quell your craving. Braum’s Ice Cream and Dairy Stores, once again, is tops in Tulsa for ice cream treats. Nantucket Creamery comes in second, followed by Freckle’s Frozen Custard and its thick custard concretes.
Braum’s Ice Cream and Dairy Stores is also the big winner in Oklahoma City, offering patrons dozens of flavors and combinations. Kaiser’s Midtown Bistro is a traditional soda fountain that can mix anything from malted to ice cream sodas. Marble Slab Creamery’s flavors and mixes make it a must-visit destination for terrific ice cream.
Pubs are great places to grab a pint and a bite to eat, and Oklahoma is proud of its authentic Irish and English pubs. In Tulsa, James E. McNellie’s Public House is once again the top pub in the city, followed by Kilkenney’s Irish Pub and White Lion.
James E. McNellie’s Public House also takes the top spot in Oklahoma City. The pub is best known for its wide selection of draught beers and $3 burgers on Wednesday nights. Dan McGuinness Pub and Sean Cummings’ Irish Restaurant & Pub share second, while Republic Gastropub rounds out the category.
It’s comfort cuisine at its best. The restaurants in Tulsa serving up the best Italian food, according to our readers, are Olive Garden and TiAmo Ristorante Italiano. Biga and Dalesandro’s Italian Cuisine follow closely, while Hey Mambo and Ciao finish out the category.
In Oklahoma City, it’s Midtown newcomer Stella winning votes for its fresh take on Italian food. Downtown mainstay, Trattoria Il Centro, comes in second, while Victoria’s Pasta Shop, located on Campus Corner in Norman, finishes third.
A little sweet, a little tart and thoroughly enjoyable are attributes that make a great margarita. Los Cabos Mexican Grill and Cantina wins the award for top margarita in Tulsa, while El Guapo’s Cantina comes in second. Señor Tequila and Café Olé both serve up great margaritas, whether your order them with or without salt.
Iguana Mexican Grill wows Oklahoma Citians with its wonderful, perfectly mixed margaritas. Chelino’s Mexican Restaurant also serves up a great drink, as does Mama Roja Mexican Kitchen, located along the shores of Lake Hefner.
Meal Under $10
It’s always nice to have a good meal that doesn’t break the bank. So where can you do that in Oklahoma? Our readers say that Qdoba Mexican Grill and Chipotle Mexican Grill are the go-to places in Tulsa for a tasty meal under $10. Pei Wei Asian Diner also won many votes, as does the casual chain restaurant Chili’s Grill & Bar Restaurant.
Oklahoma City loves its tacos, and fewer taco stands are more famed than Big Truck Tacos, which takes its kitchen on the road to serve hungry patrons across the city. Café 7 wins kudos for its menu full of $7 grub, as does Saturn Grill.
Be it nachos, enchiladas or something more ambitious, everyone has a favorite Mexican dish. And who does those dishes the best? In Tulsa, readers say that Los Cabos Mexican Grill and Cantina, with two locations in the metro, serves up the best Mexican fare. El Guapo’s Cantina falls right behind, with Tulsa favorites Señor Tequila and Ricardos Mexican Restaurant coming in third.
Iguana Mexican Grill chef Ryan Parrott churns out authentic, delectable Mexican dishes that keep customers coming back for more. Ted’s Café Escondido is continuously packed with customers who crave their homemade tortillas, fresh chips and salsa and excellent customer service. Poblano Grill’s tasty creations win it a third-place spot.
Enjoy the fresh air as you dine at any of these top-shelf restaurants with great outdoor dining facilities. Waterfront Grill and Los Cabos Mexican Grill and Cantina take first place for their riverfront views, while the French-inspired The Brasserie Restaurant & Bar follows closely behind. Wild Fork and Blue Rose Café both treat patrons to great outdoor dining experiences.
Red Rock Canyon Grill’s outdoor dining area in Oklahoma City is unparalleled. In Norman, The Mont’s outdoor area is a favorite hangout year round, while The Wedge Pizzeria offers a stylish patio dining area for its patrons.
Grab a slice or an entire pie at one of the state’s top-notch pizzerias. Hideaway Pizza is tops in Tulsa in 2011, offering specialty pies as well as custom, build-you-own pizzas. Mazzio’s Italian Eatery celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, and the eatery has wowed Oklahoma Magazine readers for that long with their delicious, fresh pizzas. Andolini’s Pizzeria, Hey Mambo and Umberto’s Pizzeria all earn nods for their tasty creations.
In Oklahoma City, Hideaway Pizza also rules supreme as top pizzeria in the city. The Wedge Pizzeria, with its Mediterranean influences, earns a close second, followed by Classen Curve favorite, Upper Crust.
Place to Take Out-of-Town Guests
If the in-laws are in town and you want to impress them with some of your city’s wonderful cuisine, take our readers’ suggestions. In Tulsa, make a beeline to Waterfront Grill, Blue Rose Café or Polo Grill, as all three grabbed the top spot as best place to take out-of-town guests. The Brasserie Restaurant & Bar and KEO, both along Tulsa’s historic Brookside, slide into second place, while The Restaurant at Gilcrease and Stonehorse Café round out the category.
Dining along the shores of Oklahoma City’s Lake Hefner is sure to impress your visitors, so why not stop at Red Rock Canyon Grill for dinner? For a more traditional Okie supper, try Cattlemen’s Steakhouse, or enjoy a pie at Sauced. World-class steakhouse Red Prime Steak is also a great place to take guests.
If tonight is the night for love, then head to one of our reader-recommended romantic restaurants. Polo Grill, located in Utica Square, is a perennial favorite, while The Brasserie Restaurant & Bar and The Chalkboard Restaurant both offer a romantic backdrop for a special night. The Melting Pot and McGill’s finish up Tulsa’s The Best of the Best list.
Lush food and a stylish downtown location make Trattoria Il Centro Oklahoma City’s top pick for best romantic restaurant. Bricktown steakhouse Mickey Mantle Steakhouse is another favorite romantic destination, as is elegant Paseo Grill.
Crisp lettuce can serve as a base for countless combinations of ingredients to create unforgettable salads. The world-class Caesar salads prepared tableside and served at Celebrity Restaurant earn this historic restaurant top spot for best salads in Tulsa. Charleston’s Restaurant follows close behind, while Stonehorse Café receives recognition for its tasty salads.
Oklahoma City’s cool greens locations serve the city’s best salads, according to our readers. Saturn Grill, followed by Café 501, are two of the city’s mainstays that keep readers coming back for tasty salads and round out the list.
It can be mild, hot or anywhere in between. So who serves up the best salsa? Los Cabos Mexican Grill and Cantina, according to our readers, once again grabs the top spot for best salsa in Tulsa. Café Olé also serves a favorite salsa of our voters, along with downtown Mexican restaurant Eloté Café & Catering.
Once again, Iguana Mexican Grill gets the nod for best salsa in Oklahoma City. Ted’s Café Escondido follows, while Mama Roja Mexican Kitchen and Norman’s Tarahumara’s Mexican Café round out this year’s list.
Seafood is best when served at the peak of freshness. In Tulsa, Bodean Seafood Restaurant does it best with their fresh fish, lobster and other seafood incorporated in sumptuous dishes. Bonefish Grill and national chain Red Lobster also received their fair of votes, while White River Fish Market & Restaurant comes in third in this year’s contest.
Oklahoma City icon Pearl’s Oyster Bar is still serving up the best seafood in the city, so says our readers. Continental restaurant Rococo Restaurant also offers great seafood offerings – including lobster tails and crab cakes – while sushi house Sushi Neko gets a nod for its great seafood dishes.
Impeccable service can improve an already-wonderful meal. Polo Grill’s attentive staff provides the best service in Tulsa, according to our readers, while Utica Square eateries Stonehorse Café and Wild Fork follow close behind. Local Table and The Chalkboard Restaurant finish Tulsa’s top vote getters for best service.
Oklahoma City’s The Coach House has built a stellar reputation around its gourmet food and flawless service. Italian restaurant Trattoria Il Centro also offers some of the best dinner service around, while Ted’s Café Escondido and Charleston’s Restaurant both grab a third-place slot in this contest.
Sometimes it’s all about the steak. And this year in Tulsa, best beef honors go to Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar for its perfectly cooked steaks. Mahogany Prime Steakhouse and The Brasserie Restaurant & Bar both earn nods this year as well, while Sapulpa’s famed Lebanese steakhouse Freddie’s Bar-B-Que & Steakhouse rounds out the category.
In Oklahoma City, our readers see red when they think steak. Red Prime Steak is once again the top steakhouse in the city, followed by Boulevard Steakhouse. Cattleman’s Steakhouse, located in the city’s historic Stockyards, comes in third.
Stylish New Restaurant
Each year, a handful of hip, happening restaurants open with the mission to wow diners with its cuisine, service and ambiance. This year, Waterfront Grill and Wolfgang Puck Bistro share the honor of stylish new restaurant in Tulsa. Smoke on Cherry Street and Gemma’s Woodfire Kitchen come in second, followed by Brady Tavern and Blue Rose Café.
In Oklahoma City, Italian restaurant Stella wows diners with its food and stylish décor. West Restaurant has quickly become a favorite hotspot in OKC, pleasing patrons with tasty dishes and top-notch service. Ludivine, a favorite among the city’s locavores, rounds out this year’s stylish new restaurants.
Sunday is the perfect day to enjoy a midday meal and, hopefully, a good Bloody Mary. In Tulsa, The Brasserie Restaurant & Bar serves the best Sunday brunch, according to Oklahoma Magazine readers. La Villa Restaurant, located inside Philbrook Museum of Art, also serves tasty brunch, as do Palace Café and Lucky’s Restaurant, both located along Cherry Street.
Stella may specialize in Italian food, but its brunch is also pretty spectacular, according to our readers. Ingrid’s Kitchen, an eclectic German restaurant, offers a scrumptious Sunday brunch, as does Cheever’s Café.
Do you know where to get a great roll? In Tulsa, try In The Raw, which offers many rolls on its expansive menu. Fuji Japanese Cuisine & Sushi Bar is a perennial favorite among Tulsans, as is Tokyo Garden and Yokozuna.
Sushi Neko has kept Oklahoma Citians in delish sushi for years. Tokyo Japanese is also a favorite among sushi-goers in the city, as are In The Raw, Kang’s Asian Bistro and Okura Sushi & Grill.
What’s a great meal without a terrific bottle of wine? Incomplete, that’s what. Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar wins in Tulsa as having the best wine list. Polo Grill comes in second, while Wolfgang Puck Bistro and Vintage 1740 both finish in a close third.
Oklahoma City’s Bin 73 serves a wide variety of vino, as does The Metro Wine Bar. Stella and Trattorial Il Centro finish in third place for having best wine list in Oklahoma City.