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Best of the City 2016

101+ of your favorite things about life in the 405



 


Polling is closed, the ballots have been counted and the results are in. No, not for the Presidential election – think local. This is our 4th annual Best of the City survey, and we’re thrilled to bring you the majority selections for highlights of life in Oklahoma City, Edmond, Norman and surroundings … plus a few helpings of our own two cents in the Editors’ Choice categories.

These are the people, places, tasty treats and overall delights that you (and we) love most about the 405.


 

Editors' Choice

Best Mac n’ Cheese

Slaughter's Hall

Lots of places list mac and cheese as a possibility somewhere amid their litany of sides – but in this Deep Deuce watering hole it has its own section on the menu. That should give some indication of how seriously Jonathon Groth’s kitchen takes the concept, and the execution isn’t just cheesy and good … it’s fromagical.
Our discussion over which of the four flavors reigns supreme got a little heated, but in the end, heat won out: The Fire Mac’s pasta, cheddar-jack cheese and ground sausage are elevated by a sriracha queso that gives your taste buds a persistent but not painful sizzle. Top it with roasted peppers and fried onions, and a star is born.



Good Eats & Drinks • Editors' Choice

Best Alcoholic Accompaniment to the Advent of Summer

Power House's hatch green chile top shelf margarita

Summer is coming. And whether you consider that good news or bad, there’s no point in trying to hide from it – lean into it and fight the heat with some heat of a different kind. This specialty of the Power House energizes its mixture of tequila (Cazadores Reposado), Grand Marnier, Cointreau and lime by adding a trickle of ancho/habanero syrup and roasted Hatch chiles for a beverage that’s perfectly drinkable; not too prickly or a personal endurance demonstration like some shots, but deliciously refreshing with a lingering, smoky warmth in the back of the palate. Combined with the bar’s rustic vibe, classic country soundtrack – Hank Sr. to “Hot Rod Lincoln” – and ample patio, it’s a prime choice for the end of a long, balmy day.


Readers' Choice

• Best Coffee Shop

Elemental Coffee

 

• Best Craft Brewer

Coop Ale Works

 

• Best Breakfast

Jimmy’s Egg

 

• Best Weekend Brunch

Cheever’s

 

Best Workday Lunch

Park Avenue Grill

 

• Best Casual Dinner

The Mule

 

Best Fine Dining

Ranch Steakhouse

 

• Best Desserts

La Baguette

 

• Best Food Truck

Big Truck Tacos

 

• Best Al Fresco Dining

Redrock Canyon Grill

 

Best Out-of-Business Restaurant You Wish Would Make a Comeback

Nonna’s Euro-American Ristorante

 

• Best Burger

The Garage

 

• Best Barbecue

Earl’s Rib Palace

 

• Best Pizza

Hideaway Pizza

 

• Best Seafood

The Drake

 

Best Steak

Red PrimeSteak

 

Best Sushi

Sushi Neko

 

• Best Vegetarian

Red Cup

 

Best Ethnic Restaurant

Queen of Sheba

 

• Best Chef

Kurt Fleischfresser

vastokc.com

 

Best Customer Service

Ted’s Café Escondido

 

• Best Drinksmith

Amy Nelms at Red Piano

 

• Best Cocktail Bar

R & J Lounge

 

• Best Watering Hole

McNellie’s

 

• Best Place to Take Visiting Friends/Relatives

Cattlemen’s

 

Best Kid-Friendly Restaurant

Hideaway Pizza



Good Eats & Drinks • Editors' Choice

Best New Restaurant

Chae Modern Korean

It was a crowded field this year for this category; there have been a lot of new names added to the city’s restaurant scene, and many of them are very good. But however subjective the question of accounting for taste may be, you can’t fake numbers. And we eat here a lot. The menu of modern Korean cuisine positively sparkles with tasty temptations, from tempura shrimp nestled in soft buns through creamy, savory risotto-like duck jook and spice-laden seafood soup jjambbong and a heavenly house take on bulgogi. Honestly, one of the only reasons we aren’t even more frequent customers is that the portions are large enough to keep the office fridge fairly constantly stocked with leftovers. Highly recommended.


Photo by Joshua Gateley


Diversions • Editors' Choice

Best Comeback

Ou vs. Tennessee

The Sooners were in only the second game of the season and the first against real competition, down by 14, with less than 14 minutes to go, having a mere field goal as the highlight so far amid 8 punts and 2 interceptions, as the biggest audience they’d ever had (102,455) redefined “hostile territory.” No problem. QB Baker Mayfield led OU 80 yards to score, the D got a 3-and-out, then Mayfield capped another grinding drive by hitting Sterling Shepard in the end zone to tie it with 40 seconds to go. Tennessee scored first in OT, so Mayfield ran it in himself, then nailed a gorgeous TD lob to Shepard in double overtime for the game winner. It was an incredibly gritty, resilient team performance that coach Stoops called “maybe my favorite” of his many victories. If your blood runs even the slightest bit crimson, your heart was racing with joy after this one.


Readers' Choice

Best Art Gallery

JRB Art at the Elms

 

Best Museum

OKC Museum of Art

 

Best Cultural Event

Festival of the Arts

 

Best Performing Arts Venue

Civic Center Music Hall

 

Best Theater Company

Lyric Theater

 

• Best Dance Company

Oklahoma City Ballet

 

• Best Street Festival

H&8th

 

• Best Charity Event

Memorial Marathon

 

• Best Live Music Venue

ACM@UCO Performance Lab

 

• Best Casino

Riverwind Casino

 

• Best Movie Theater

Warren Theatre

 

Best Sporting Event

OKC Thunder game

 

Best Tourist Attraction

OKC National Memorial and Museum

 

Best Hotel

Skirvin Hilton

 

• Best B&B

The Grandison

 

• Best Romantic Staycation

Skirvin Hilton

 

• Best Family Excursion

OKC Zoo

 

• Best Saturday Destination

Myriad Botanical Gardens

 

• Best In-state Getaway

Beaver’s Bend State Park



Diversions • Editors' Choice

Best Place to Watch a Sunset

Lake Hefner

Oklahoma is known for many weather-related phenomena – sweltering summers, torrential rains, ice storms, tornadoes, earthquakes and so on. On the flip side, it’s also often deserving of its reputation for some of the most stunning sunsets across the nation. Must be the big skies.

Whether you’re cycling along the trails, taking a leisurely stroll, making a foray out onto the water itself (warmer weather is coming, after all) or simply enjoying an adult beverage on the deck at one of the local eateries, Lake Hefner provides a stunning stage for the sun to settle; we consider it the best place for viewing the end to daylight hours.



Diversions • Editors' Choice

Best Impending Development

21c Museum Hotel

While Oklahoma City has no shortage of hotels, or museums, a snazzy new combination of the luxury of a boutique hotel with a twist of modern art is poised to impress.

So far, only a few cities, such as Louisville and Nashville, have experienced what the 21c Museum Hotel brand is all about. Now it’s OKC’s turn, and owners say it may prove to be the crown jewel of downtown’s west side.

It’s located in the old Fred Jones assembly plant in the 900 block of West Main – where old Model T Fords were built a hundred years ago. Now guests will enjoy all the modern conveniences of the 21st century: The hotel offers a full-service restaurant and bar, workout facilities, a 3,000-square-foot penthouse and exceptionally well-appointed guest rooms. The museum space downstairs houses contemporary art with exhibitions that will change throughout the year.

We’ll be taking a closer look in 405 Magazine’s May issue, but for now suffice it to say that our new neighbor has us quite excited for its upcoming opening.


Gotta Love Those Okies • Editors' Choice

Best Local Grocery Employee

Marni Vincent at Forward Foods

A resident of Norman, Marni has worked at Forward Foods for seven years, currently serving as store manager and cheesemonger. Yes, really.

“I’m there to educate customers about the cheese, charcuterie and other products we sell,” she explains, “but I try to also build relationships with the customers so that they feel welcome and comfortable enough to approach the counter or call the shop with any questions.

The world of cheese can be intimidating – I was really intimidated when I started this job – but Forward Foods made that world really approachable for me, so I try to emulate that experience.”

Given that cheese is her favorite food, especially Wabash Cheese Cannon Balls, the ability to share her enthusiasm and foster it in others makes the job a pleasure.
So next time you’re in Norman, especially if it’s during one of the cheese classes on Friday evenings at 6:45, pop into Forward Foods and ask for Marni; she’ll help you find something delicious.


Readers' Choice

Best Elected Official

Mayor Mick Cornett

 

Best Celebrity

Kevin Durant 

 

Best Musician

Kyle Dillingham

 

Best Bar Band

My So-Called Band 

 

Best Visual Artist

Gayle Curry

 

Best Local Actor (nope, Brad Pitt doesn’t count)

Susan Riley, Pollard Theatre

 

Best Filmmaker

Lance McDaniel

 

• Best Author/Writer

Laura Wilcox

 

• Best Blogger

The Lost Ogle

 

• Best Comedian

Spencer Hicks

 

• Best Meteorologist

David Payne, News9

 

• Best News Anchor

Erielle Reshef, KOCO 5

 

• Best Sports Journalist

Berry Tramel, The Oklahoman

 

• Best Radio DJ

Ferris O’Brien, The Spy FM

 

• Best Radio Team

Jack & Ron, FUN 96.9 FM

 

• Best Ambassador Who Makes You Proud To Be An Oklahoman

Kevin Durant

 

• Best News Reporter

Steve Lackmeyer, The Oklahoman

 

• Best Non-Elected Community Official

Jim Couch, City Manager

 

• Best Humanitarian

Jan Peery, CEO of YWCA

ywcaokc.org

 

• Best Nonprofit Organization

Positive Tomorrows

 

• Best Leader of a Nonprofit

Brad Barghols, American Red Cross


Photo by Quit Nguyen


Gotta Love Those Okies • Editors' Choice

Best Community Developer

Steve Mason

Building a community isn’t just about buildings, businesses and bright ideas. It takes true vision and leadership. It takes the know-how to not only conceptualize the possibilities but also see projects through to completion. It takes knowing your market and the people within it. Steve Mason has been around that block more than a time or two. From Automobile Alley to Ninth Street to the Plaza District, Mason has shown leadership and the dedication necessary to build and encourage multiple thriving communities that all add to the fabric of the greater metro. And if that’s not convincing enough, he also was recognized at the 26th annual Dean A. McGee Award ceremony as the recipient of the Neal Horton Award, which is presented to a visionary who creates a renaissance in a downtown area. Yeah, he checked that box!



Shopping • Editors' Choice

Best Place for Vintage Sound

Guestroom Records

125 e main, norman | 405.701.5974 | 3701 n western, okc | 405.601.3859 | guestroomrecords.com

Digital music is great. Catalogs are huge, streaming is simple, rocking out to your heart’s content is only a few clicks away. But there are times when we yearn for the more concrete experience, and when that urge hits, it’s time to hit Guestroom. Both locations – Main Street in Norman and 36th and Western in OKC – are packed with new and used CDs and vinyl, from local bands to an AC/DC EP you’d forgotten existed to the latest from The Struts (see p. 112). And if you need a recommendation or want to get into a pickup conversation about The Cult or Bowie’s best album, you’re in the perfect place.



Shopping • Editors' Choice

Best Place to Buy Your Booze

Broadway Wine Merchants

David Lack, owner of Broadway Wine Merchants, prides himself on one very important thing: He does not put a bottle of wine on the shelf he has not tried and liked. That commitment to curating a quality list means customers can trust they are getting a wine Lack personally recommends. Follow that up with his commitment to ongoing education for his staff, which has at times included sommeliers, and you’ll understand why this is a favorite stop in downtown. The beer selection is as impressive as the wine, including many local brews available in bottle or can, and there’s also an excellent array of quality spirits. Finding a liquor store in OKC isn’t difficult, but it’s worth going an extra mile or two for someplace this dedicated. 


Readers' Choice

• Best Antique Store

23rd Street Antique Mall 

 

• Best Bookstore

Full Circle Bookstore

 

• Best Bike Shop

Schlegel’s Bicycles

 

• Best Auto Dealership

Bob Moore Auto Group

 

• Best Furniture Store

Mathis Brothers Furniture

 

• Best Jewelry Store

BC Clark Jewelers

 

• Best Grocery Store

Crest

 

• Best Home Accessories Store

Interior Gilt

 

• Best Florist

New Leaf Florist

 

• Best Women’s Clothing Store

Five & Company

 

• Best Men’s Clothing Store

Mr. Ooley’s, Penn Square Mall

 

• Best Kids’ Clothing Store

Uptown Kids

 

• Best Gift Boutique

On A Whim

 

• Best Shoe Store

Balliets

 

• Best Vintage Store

Bad Granny’s Bazaar

 

• Best District Shopping

Plaza District

 

• Best Eyewear Source

TSO Optical

 

• Best Fitness Center

YMCA

 

• Best Personal Trainer

Brian Attebery, Results Fitness and Nutrition Center

 

• Best Yoga/Pilates Studio

YogaLab

 

• Best Family Doctor

Titi Nguyen Fitzsimmons

 

• Best Family Dentist

Dr. Krista Jones

 

• Best Cosmetic Dentist

Dr. Krista Jones

 

• Best Cosmetic Surgeon

Dr. Tim Love

 

• Best Hair Stylist

Rachel Baldwin, Revel Eight

 

• Best Hair Colorist

Rachel Baldwin, Revel Eight

 

Best Makeup Artist

Jennifer Bentley

 

• Best Barber

Doc Gattis

 

• Best Salon

Revel Eight

 

• Best Spa

Renaissance Salon & Spa

 

• Best Mani/Pedi Salon

Polished Nail Salon

 

• Best Salon/Spa for a Massage

Eden Salon and Spa

 

• Best Salon/Spa for a Facial

Renaissance Salon & Spa

 

Best Veterinarian (because pets matter)

Chris Rispoli

 

Best Eyewear Source

Vision Source

 

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Archive »You Might Like

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Great Neighborhoods in the 405

A good neighborhood can provide anything from a beautiful backdrop to a real sense of community camaraderie, and Oklahoma City is home to some of the best.

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Calendar

October 2017

DogFest Walk n' Roll is a family-friendly, dog-friendly walk and festival benefiting Canine Companions for Independence, which is the oldest and largest dog assistance organization in the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Earlywine Park
3033 SW 119th Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73170
View map »


Sponsor: Canine Companions for Independence
Website »

More information

ROCK OF AGES is a high-energy rock musical built around classic rock songs from the 1980s. This worldwide hit musical takes you back to the times of big bands with big egos playing big guitar solos...

Cost: $30-60 (military/child discounts available)

Where:
Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma
1727 NW 16th St
Oklahoma City, OK  73106
View map »


Sponsor: Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma
Telephone: 405.524.9312
Contact Name: Cynthia Bedford
Website »

More information

This portrait of early Oklahoma revolves around photography from the decades of shots archived by Land Run settler Henry Wantland.

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd
OKC, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Website »

More information

A slice of American (and Oklahoman) history retakes the spotlight in this exhibition of works created under the New Deal's Federal Art Project.

Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

This portrait of early Oklahoma revolves around photography from the decades of shots archived by Land Run settler Henry Wantland.

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd
OKC, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

This portrait of early Oklahoma revolves around photography from the decades of shots archived by Land Run settler Henry Wantland.

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd
OKC, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Website »

More information

A slice of American (and Oklahoman) history retakes the spotlight in this exhibition of works created under the New Deal's Federal Art Project.

Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

ROCK OF AGES is a high-energy rock musical built around classic rock songs from the 1980s. This worldwide hit musical takes you back to the times of big bands with big egos playing big guitar solos...

Cost: $30-60 (military/child discounts available)

Where:
Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma
1727 NW 16th St
Oklahoma City, OK  73106
View map »


Sponsor: Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma
Telephone: 405.524.9312
Contact Name: Cynthia Bedford
Website »

More information

A slice of American (and Oklahoman) history retakes the spotlight in this exhibition of works created under the New Deal's Federal Art Project.

Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

This portrait of early Oklahoma revolves around photography from the decades of shots archived by Land Run settler Henry Wantland.

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd
OKC, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

OKCMOA’s Roof Terrace gives visitors the ultimate downtown experience every Thursday evening from April through October with live local music, the best views of downtown OKC, a relaxing...

Cost: $5

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Contact Name: Becky Weintz
Website »

More information

ROCK OF AGES is a high-energy rock musical built around classic rock songs from the 1980s. This worldwide hit musical takes you back to the times of big bands with big egos playing big guitar solos...

Cost: $30-60 (military/child discounts available)

Where:
Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma
1727 NW 16th St
Oklahoma City, OK  73106
View map »


Sponsor: Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma
Telephone: 405.524.9312
Contact Name: Cynthia Bedford
Website »

More information

A slice of American (and Oklahoman) history retakes the spotlight in this exhibition of works created under the New Deal's Federal Art Project.

Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

This portrait of early Oklahoma revolves around photography from the decades of shots archived by Land Run settler Henry Wantland.

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd
OKC, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The Light The Night Walk is a fundraising campaign benefiting The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) and their funding of research to find blood cancer cures. This event celebrates and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Devon Boathouse
725 S. Lincoln Blvd
Oklahoma City, OK  73129
View map »


Sponsor: Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
Telephone: 405.415.7035
Contact Name: Suzanne Chew
Website »

More information

Tired of the same old Halloween parties?  Come Haunt the River and enjoy the decorated boat, haunted tunes, light snacks and cash bar. This is an adults-only cruise and boards at 7:45...

Cost: $35

Where:
Exchange Landing
1503 Exchange Avenue
SW, over the bridge from Farmer's Market
Oklahoma City, OK  73109
View map »


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Website »

More information

ROCK OF AGES is a high-energy rock musical built around classic rock songs from the 1980s. This worldwide hit musical takes you back to the times of big bands with big egos playing big guitar solos...

Cost: $30-60 (military/child discounts available)

Where:
Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma
1727 NW 16th St
Oklahoma City, OK  73106
View map »


Sponsor: Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma
Telephone: 405.524.9312
Contact Name: Cynthia Bedford
Website »

More information

A slice of American (and Oklahoman) history retakes the spotlight in this exhibition of works created under the New Deal's Federal Art Project.

Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

This portrait of early Oklahoma revolves around photography from the decades of shots archived by Land Run settler Henry Wantland.

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd
OKC, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Kids, wear your costumes and ride the haunted boat. Organizers will have candy, activity books and costume contests. View the ferry schedule online for departure times. Pay regular ferry price...

Cost: Free - $15

Where:
All OK River Cruise Landings
Oklahoma City, OK  73109


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Website »

More information

Saturday cartoons aren’t just for the children anymore. Share the classics with your crew every Saturday on an Oklahoma River Cruise. Kids 6 and under ride free.

Cost: $15 (free for kids 6 and under)

Where:
Exchange Landing
1503 Exchange Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK  73109
View map »


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Website »

More information

ROCK OF AGES is a high-energy rock musical built around classic rock songs from the 1980s. This worldwide hit musical takes you back to the times of big bands with big egos playing big guitar solos...

Cost: $30-60 (military/child discounts available)

Where:
Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma
1727 NW 16th St
Oklahoma City, OK  73106
View map »


Sponsor: Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma
Telephone: 405.524.9312
Contact Name: Cynthia Bedford
Website »

More information

ROCK OF AGES is a high-energy rock musical built around classic rock songs from the 1980s. This worldwide hit musical takes you back to the times of big bands with big egos playing big guitar solos...

Cost: $30-60 (military/child discounts available)

Where:
Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma
1727 NW 16th St
Oklahoma City, OK  73106
View map »


Sponsor: Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma
Telephone: 405.524.9312
Contact Name: Cynthia Bedford
Website »

More information

Tired of the same old Halloween parties?  Come Haunt the River and enjoy the decorated boat, haunted tunes, light snacks and cash bar. This is an adults-only cruise and boards at 7:45...

Cost: $35

Where:
Exchange Landing
1503 Exchange Avenue
SW, over the bridge from Farmer's Market
Oklahoma City, OK  73109
View map »


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Website »

More information

A slice of American (and Oklahoman) history retakes the spotlight in this exhibition of works created under the New Deal's Federal Art Project.

Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

This portrait of early Oklahoma revolves around photography from the decades of shots archived by Land Run settler Henry Wantland.

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd
OKC, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
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