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Best of the 405 2019

Readers and staff select 90+ metro favorites




 

Our 7th annual Best of the 405 survey is a reflection of what really stands out to our readers, but more than that, this annual opportunity to consider the metro's many high points helps us all appreciate the community where we live and the people who have helped make it thrive.

We’re delighted to share with you this summary of readers’ top picks for the highlights of life in OKC, Edmond, Norman and surroundings … and we added a few of our own Editors’ Choice selections, as well.

These are the places, people, taste sensations and overall examples of greatness that you (and we) love best about the 405. Enjoy!

 


 

Jabee Williams - Photo by Charlie Neuenschwander

 

Editors’ Choice Favorite Community Bridge Builder

Jabee Williams

To the list of rapper, actor, writer and entrepreneur, we would like to add that Jabee is one of our state’s most important connectors. Reading through the list of Jabee’s community-centered roles, it’s difficult to imagine when he finds time for making music. An overview: He’s a board member of the OKC Philharmonic and NE Oklahoma City Renaissance; was appointed to the Oklahoma City Arts Commission by then-Mayor Mick Cornett; is a legacy committee member for Clara Luper Sit-Ins, a position to which he was appointed by Luper’s daughter; a board member for Cut It Forward, a youth services organization for African American children in foster care; and Community Space Coordinator of newly renovated community space The Auditorium at The Douglass, located at Page Woodson.
Mayor David Holt’s Chief of Staff Steve Hill says of Jabee that, “You’d be hard pressed to find a more humble, hard-working person.

“Jabee brings a unique perspective to our city’s overall vision,” Hill says. “It’s one that I think is underutilized and often untapped. His work with the hip-hop community gives the city a perspective that people rarely see on municipal boards and committees, and Jabee’s ability to communicate in so many diverse contexts makes him the perfect person to bring different communities together.”

 


 

JoBeth Hamon - Photo by Charlie Neuenschwander

 

Editors’ Choice Favorite Community Advocate

JoBeth Hamon

Reading the biography of JoBeth Hamon, newly elected City Councilwoman for Ward 6, is an exercise in “So what have I done with my life?” Beginning in college at Oklahoma Baptist, where she started in community advocacy, through Chicago, where she worked with the homeless, back to Oklahoma City, where she works in mental health awareness and education, Hamon’s CV is a study in care for the marginalized. Oklahoma State Rep. Forrest Bennett (D-Oklahoma City) is a friend and fan of Hamon, and he speaks highly of her potential impact on our city.

“I think she bring a whole different conversation to City Council,” Bennett says. “She advocates for the people who are likely to get left behind when the conversation is only about development and expansion. The city has done great with that, and I think we’re going to continue to draw visitors and expansion, but the people in shadows of life need someone to advocate for them, too.”

Hamon made homelessness, mental health issues and even walkability central to her campaign – a bold move for a city council election – and she’s walked the talk since she was a teenager. Her time on the city council, and possibly beyond, should be good for the 405.

 


 

Readers’ Choice People

Elected Official
David Holt

Nonprofit Organization
Infant Crisis Services

Celebrity
Russell Westbrook

Musician
Kyle Dillingham

Bar Band
Super Freak

Author/Writer
Lou Berney

Meteorologist
David Payne

News Journalist
Abigail Ogle

Investigative Journalist
Scott Hines

Sports Journalist
Berry Tramel

Radio Personality
Jack And Ron

Ambassador That Makes You Proud To Be An Okie
Kyle Dillingham

 

Artist Denise Duong - Photos by Matt Payne

 

Readers selected Denise Duong as Best Artist, and we’re happy to agree – her layered aesthetic is full of life and visual interest, whether it’s seen in gallery paintings, a giant Film Row collage … or on our front cover.

 


 

Photo by Scotty O'Daniel

 

Editors’ Choice Favorite Dining Direction

Vegetarian/Vegan Tacos

For the record, barbacoa, pollo and chorizo are delicious. On the other hand, some people can’t eat meat, others choose not to and the rest of us could probably stand to consume a little less. That’s why we’re glad to see more local establishments offering some less-traditional alternatives: Portobellos and peppers at Hacienda, tofu scramble and chickpea fritters at Cultivar, Beyond Meat at Revolucion, nopales or sweet potatoes at Oso … OKC diners don’t have to sacrifice flavor for health, and even carnivores can skip carne asada once in a while.

 


 

Readers’ Choice Dining

Coffee Shop
Elemental Coffee

Craft Brewer
Stonecloud

Breakfast
Neighborhood Jam

Brunch
Neighborhood Jam

Casual Dining
The Press

Fine Dining
Mahogany

Desserts
La Baguette

Food Truck
Big Truck Tacos

Out-Of-Business Restaurant You Wish Would Come Back
Irma’s Burger Shack

Burger
The Garage

Barbecue
Earls Rib Palace

Pizza
Empire Slice House

Steak
Mahogany

Sushi
Sushi Neko

Vegetarian
The Loaded Bowl

Italian
Stella Modern Italian Cuisine

Asian
Gogi Go

Mexican
Ted’s Cafe Escondido

Ethnic Restaurant (Not Italian, Mexican Or Asian)
Sheesh Mahal

Chef
Kevin Lee
The Jones Assembly

Bartender
Jason Nguyen
The Jones Assembly

Cocktail Bar
The O Bar

Place To Take Visiting Friends/Relatives
Cattlemen’s

 

Jeff Chanchaleune - Photo by Charlie Neuenschwander

 

Editors’ Choice Favorite Versatile Chef

Jeff Chanchaleune

Rachel Cope, founder of 84 Hospitality Group, said she watched Chef Jeff Chanchaleune’s career develop for years before she partnered with him in Goro Ramen.

“He and my sister were friends in college, and he used to smuggle home bottles of (Sushi) Neko’s ginger dressing for us,” Cope says. “Watching him develop Kaiteki Ramen (his food truck), I realized he wasn’t just talented; he’s a hard worker. Trucks are hard.”

The chef-partner of Goro Ramen also developed the menu at Ponyboy, and the food is outstanding, especially the bologna sandwich. That a chef can excel at an Okie dish such as a fancy bologna sandwich, and deliver an entire menu of delicious ramen with equal skill, qualifies him to be our favorite versatile chef in the 405.

 


 

Photo by Matt Payne

 

Editors’ Choice Favorite Transportation Trend

Lime Scooters

Call them a fad or a toy for overgrown kids if you must; the electric scooters are still awfully convenient (and fun) for zipping from A to B without having to park. Coupled with the new OKC Streetcar, they also seem part of a trend to allow more drivers to leave their cars at home now and then. And with a recent grant approval for developing a Bus Rapid Transit line from downtown to the NW Expressway, and formation of a Regional Transit Authority to bring faster, more complete public transportation to the metro overall – Edmond to Norman to Midwest City – the future seems brimming with possibilities outside the car.

 


 

Readers’ Choice Diversions

Art Gallery (Not Art Museum)
The Howell Gallery

Museum (Not Art Gallery)
Oklahoma City Museum of Art

Cultural Event
deadCenter Film Festival

Performing Arts Venue
Civic Center Music Hall

Event Season Tickets (Nonsports)
Lyric Theatre

Outdoor Festival
Festival of the Arts

Charity Event
Red Tie Night

Live Music Venue
The Jones Assembly

Casino
Riverwind Casino

Movie Theater
Warren Theatre

Sporting Event
Okc Thunder Basketball

Tourist Attraction
Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum

Hotel
21c Museum Hotel

Wedding Venue
Cole’s Garden

Family Excursion
Okc Zoo

 

Paul George - Photo by Getty Images

 

Editors’ Choice Favorite Offseason Decision

Paul George Stays in OKC

When the season ended, opinion seemed unanimous that PG would be joining his hometown Lakers over the summer. It didn’t quite happen that way. George decided to stay on the Thunder alongside fellow Cali transplant Russell Westbrook, and this year, he’s building an MVP case by racking up career highs in points, rebounds and assists while playing stellar defense. Meanwhile, Russ is yielding more of the spotlight but still averaging a third straight triple-double season – and we are loving this team-up of the titans.

 


 

Readers’ Choice Shopping

Jewelry Store
Diamonds Direct

Luxury Auto Dealership
Bob Moore Cadillac

Furniture Store
Mathis Brothers Furniture

Interior Design Company
Mister Robert Fine Furniture
and Design

Home Accessories Store
Henry Home Interiors

Florist
New Leaf Florist

Women’s Clothing Store
Balliets

Men’s Clothing Store
Blue Seven

Gift Boutique
Plenty Mercantile

Shoe Store
Betsy King Shoes

Vintage Store
Bad Granny’s Bazaar

District Shopping
Plaza District

Eyewear Source
Physicians Optical

Health Club
Ymca

Crossfit Box
Crossfit 405

Yoga/Pilates/Barre Studio
405Yoga

Family Doctor
Robert Stepp Md

Family Dentist
Ashley Hancock Dds

Cosmetic Dentist
Dr. Corbyn Rhodes

Cosmetic Surgeon
Dr. Tim Love

Medical Marijuana Dispensary
Gaia’s Favor

CBD Store
CBD Plus

Hair Stylist
Tonya McLing of Bella Strada Salon

Barber
Midtown Barbers

Salon
36 Studio West Salon

Spa
Udånder

Veterinarian
Nichols Hills Veterinary Clinic

Bank
Great Plains National Bank

Wealth Management Firm
Quail Creek Bank

Home Builder
Homes By Taber

Real Estate Firm
Keller Williams

Law Firm
McAfee and Taft

Hospital
Mercy

Landscape Design Company
Modern Environment

 

Photo by Matt Payne

 

Editors’ Choice Favorite Retail Facelift

Nichols Hills Plaza

Change is a part of life, and especially of retail. While we’ll miss Pops and Provision Kitchen, it’s nice to have Osteria and the trifecta of En Croute, St. Mark’s Chop Room and Merret Champagne Bar in Nichols Hills Plaza, isn’t it? Long-loved metro names Naifeh Fine Jewelry and Balliets are working on moving in, too. Mamasita’s (and the office space across the patio that was formerly home to a little magazine called Nichols Hills News) is now gone, but if the larger replacement building is anything like the new home of Hopdoddy and Slapfish, it’ll bring more sleek new style to a shopping enclave that’s still a true pleasure to visit.

 

 

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Calendar

April 2019

Men and women from across the American West played critical roles - both “over there” and on the home front - in helping the Allies win World War I. The National Cowboy & Western...

Cost: $12.50

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni
Website »

More information

Celebrate Easter with a trip to Andy Alligator’s Fun Park! On Saturday and Sunday, get $5 off an All-Day Pass with our Eggcellent Easter Special. All-Day Passes include Go-Karts,...

Cost: $23.95

Where:
Andy Alligator's Fun Park & Water Park
3300 Market Pl
Norman, OK  73072
View map »

More information

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Men and women from across the American West played critical roles - both “over there” and on the home front - in helping the Allies win World War I. The National Cowboy & Western...

Cost: $12.50

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The Annual Mentorship Exhibition features pieces from Oklahoma City high school students that visit the Artspace studio each month. Throughout the duration of the program, the students engage with...

Cost: Free

Where:
Artspace at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Sponsor: Artspace at Untitled
Telephone: 405-815-9995
Website »

More information

Men and women from across the American West played critical roles - both “over there” and on the home front - in helping the Allies win World War I. The National Cowboy & Western...

Cost: $12.50

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni
Website »

More information

The OSU Symphony Orchestra will conclude the 2018-19 season with Schubert's monumental and majestic Symphony No. 9 in C ("The Great"). The concert opens with The European Anthem,...

Cost: General Admission: $10; Students & Seniors: $7

Where:
Oklahoma State University Department of Music
132 Seretean Ctr
Stillwater, OK  74078
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma State University Department of Music
Telephone: 405.744.6133
Contact Name: Dr. Thomas Dickey
Website »

More information

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Show Less...

The Annual Mentorship Exhibition features pieces from Oklahoma City high school students that visit the Artspace studio each month. Throughout the duration of the program, the students engage with...

Cost: Free

Where:
Artspace at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Sponsor: Artspace at Untitled
Telephone: 405-815-9995
Website »

More information

Men and women from across the American West played critical roles - both “over there” and on the home front - in helping the Allies win World War I. The National Cowboy & Western...

Cost: $12.50

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni
Website »

More information

Potbelly Sandwich Shop is giving back to the local neighborhood with Feed Your Smile, a fundraiser supporting Concordia Life Care Community.  Show this flyer on your smartphone or...

Cost: Free

Where:
Potbelly Sandwich Shop
8500 N Rockwell Ave
OKC, OK  73132
View map »


Sponsor: Potbelly Sandwich Shop
Telephone: 405-792-5112
Contact Name: Katy Fabrie
Website »

More information

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The Annual Mentorship Exhibition features pieces from Oklahoma City high school students that visit the Artspace studio each month. Throughout the duration of the program, the students engage with...

Cost: Free

Where:
Artspace at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Sponsor: Artspace at Untitled
Telephone: 405-815-9995
Website »

More information

RexFest will feature an interactive art exhibit called a luminarium created by Architects of Air. From April 25-28, visitors can walk through the inflatable sculpture, which disperses light and...

Cost: $8 for kids; $10 for adults; $30 for families of four

Where:
Together Square
400 W Sheridan Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Sponsor: Delta Dental

More information

Men and women from across the American West played critical roles - both “over there” and on the home front - in helping the Allies win World War I. The National Cowboy & Western...

Cost: $12.50

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The Annual Mentorship Exhibition features pieces from Oklahoma City high school students that visit the Artspace studio each month. Throughout the duration of the program, the students engage with...

Cost: Free

Where:
Artspace at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Sponsor: Artspace at Untitled
Telephone: 405-815-9995
Website »

More information

RexFest will feature an interactive art exhibit called a luminarium created by Architects of Air. From April 25-28, visitors can walk through the inflatable sculpture, which disperses light and...

Cost: $8 for kids; $10 for adults; $30 for families of four

Where:
Together Square
400 W Sheridan Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Sponsor: Delta Dental

More information

Men and women from across the American West played critical roles - both “over there” and on the home front - in helping the Allies win World War I. The National Cowboy & Western...

Cost: $12.50

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni
Website »

More information

"Deliberately silencing the internal chatter and not overthinking. Conscious, but not over-trying. With this approach, things just seem to happen—it’s where all the substance is...

Cost: Free

Where:
Individual Artists of Oklahoma
706 W. Sheridan Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Sponsor: Individual Artists of Oklahoma
Telephone: 405.412.2541
Contact Name: David Smith

More information

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Shop over 200 vendors at this indoor event with everything from vintage furniture, retro and mid-century decor to handmade goods, antiques, industrial finds and architectural salvage!

Cost: $5 at the door, 13 and under free

Where:
Heritage Place
2829 S. MacArthur
Oklahoma City, OK  73128
View map »


Sponsor: Junk Hippy
Contact Name: Kristen Grandi
Website »

More information

A Sporting Chance will host the 25th annual Track and Field Meet at Branson Junior High in Branson, Missouri. A Sporting Chance provides year-round sports and recreation programs designed for those...

Where:
Branson Junior High
263 Buccaneer Boulevard
Branson, MO  65616
View map »


Sponsor: A Sporting Chance
Telephone: 404-314-2188
Contact Name: Hannah Schachinger

More information

RexFest will feature an interactive art exhibit called a luminarium created by Architects of Air. From April 25-28, visitors can walk through the inflatable sculpture, which disperses light and...

Cost: $8 for kids; $10 for adults; $30 for families of four

Where:
Together Square
400 W Sheridan Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Sponsor: Delta Dental

More information

This one-day festival is rooted in the printing of large-scale woodblocks carved by local Oklahoma artists. We bring in a 5-ton steamroller and print pre-carved blocks throughout the day on Tyvek...

Cost: Free

Where:
Artspace at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Sponsor: Artspace at Untitled
Telephone: 405-815-9995
Contact Name: Evan
Website »

More information

Men and women from across the American West played critical roles - both “over there” and on the home front - in helping the Allies win World War I. The National Cowboy & Western...

Cost: $12.50

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni
Website »

More information

The Annual Mentorship Exhibition features pieces from Oklahoma City high school students that visit the Artspace studio each month. Throughout the duration of the program, the students engage with...

Cost: Free

Where:
Artspace at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Sponsor: Artspace at Untitled
Telephone: 405-815-9995
Website »

More information

Andy Alligator's is celebrating teachers! On Saturday and Sunday, teachers with a valid ID will receive a FREE All-Day Pass and $5 off for each family member! An All-Day Pass includes...

Cost: Teachers receive a FREE All-Day Pass; family members get $5 off

Where:
Andy Alligator's Fun Park & Water Park
3300 Market Pl
Norman, OK  73072
View map »

More information

America’s largest interactive comedy murder mystery dinner show is now playing at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel. At The Dinner Detective, you’ll tackle a challenging crime while you...

Cost: $59.95

Where:
The Skirvin Hilton
1 Park Ave
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Sponsor: The Dinner Detective
Telephone: 866.496.0535
Website »

More information

Get a sample of the nightlife of Spain at Tulsa Botanic Garden's "Viva La Vida." The Garden is bringing star chef Jamie Bissonnette (Toro restaurants in Boston, NYC, Bangkok and...

Cost: $250

Where:
Tulsa Botanic Garden
3900 Tulsa Botanic Dr
Tulsa, OK  74127
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Contact Name: Lori Hutson
Website »

More information

2nd annual gathering of "The Big Lebowksi" fans at The Dude Abides OKC All Oklahoma City Urban Achievers, Abiders and Coen Brothers fans are invited to join us at Fassler Hall OKC and...

Cost: Free, contests have entry fee

Where:
Fassler Hall
421 NW 10th
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
View map »


Sponsor: Revolve Productions
Telephone: 405.810.6977
Contact Name: Tobi Coleman
Website »

More information

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