Favorite New Restaurants 2018

Favorite New Restaurants 2018

It really has been a big year for growth on the city’s dining scene – we rounded up 36 of our favorite new restaurants, so read on to find out why you should pay them a visit.


Oklahoma City seems to get bigger every day – so much so that it might actually have grown just a little since you started reading this sentence. More residents, more visitors, more development, more growth … and all that means many more places to eat, drink and be merry. OKC’s ongoing expansion has given rise to a feast of new possibilities for all kinds and atmospheres of dining, even while time and circumstances have forced some other longtime favorites to close their doors. We’ve put together a lost of some of the metro’s standouts that have opened in the last year, so please consider this an invitation to dine out on these recommendations.


Bar Arbolada

Although technically more bar than restaurant, Riley Marshall’s hotspot on the edge of Film Row offers excellent food on a menu created by consulting chef Tehra Thorp. Most of the menu is of the bar snack variety, including excellent deviled eggs, but the deep-fried stuffed pork chop certainly counts as an entrée, and it’s easy (and rewarding) to make a sandwich of the blistered shishitos and chorizo plate. 637 W Main, OKC, 405.601.8659

Bistro Twenty-Two

Restaurant: noticeably small. Flavors: big, bold and beautiful. You should probably err on the side of caution and make a reservation for dinner, especially if there are more than two in your party, but there’s more than enough on the menu to make a trip to Kickingbird Square worth your while. The concept is from Signature Grill chef Clay Falkner, so the food – truffle fries, filet with Marchand de Vin or Smokey Manhattan made with Laphroaig and Knob Creek – is thoroughly top shelf. 1417 E Danforth, Edmond, 405.562.4884



In this sleek, gleaming Paseo spot, the namesake freshly baked biscuits – firm, flaky and with a hint of black pepper – serve as the foundation for savory sandwiches featuring ham and cheese, bacon and scrambled eggs, fried chicken and other options. By the way, even though it’s not traditionally a breakfast choice, the cheeseburger biscuit is excellent. If you’re in the mood for something sweet, sample a selection of tasty mini-biscuits in blueberry, cinnamon toast, chocolate chip or banana nut, all served with buttercream and berries. 605 NW 28th, OKC, 405.605.6660

Block 23

The Sheraton’s house restaurant has received an extensive makeover to make it more casually, stylishly contemporary, with the downtown dining scene benefiting. It’s a convenient spot for breakfast and lunch, especially if you’re in the mood for a customized breakfast skillet or sirloin Cobb salad. And in the afternoons and evenings, its new patio makes a convenient stop on your way to or from a Thunder game. Plus, there’s no other way to get hold of their loaded fries – the chorizo and fried egg variety, in particular. 1 N Broadway, OKC, 405.235.2780

Cafe Cuvée

Almost an homage to The Coach House’s haute cuisine, the menu at the newly re-envisioned restaurant in the Ambassador Hotel is thoroughly French and comfortably approachable. Classics such as Dover Sole and Beef Bourguignon—made with braised short rib – are combined with East and West Coast oysters, near-perfect beef tartare, escargot and even a beautiful soufflé for dessert. Sommelier Jeff Cole is on hand to guide you through the mostly French wine list. 1200 N Walker, OKC, 405.898.8120


Capitals Ice Cream

How can a menu be both narrow and immensely broad? The only things sold in Capitals are coffee and ice cream, but the vanilla soft-serve is blended with your choice of an array of additions so extensive that there are more than 300 combinations. Strawberries and granola? Cookie dough and Cocoa Puffs? Try a custom experiment or stick with one of their specialty blends – including a current selection that contains a slice of pumpkin pie. 1006 N Hudson, OKC, 405.600.9966

Chada Thai

Longtime Normanites might still be feeling the loss of venerable Italian-slash-Thai restaurant (yes, really) Jana’s, but the blow will be softened as soon as you try this well-spiced successor. The Italian dishes are off the menu, but that leaves more room to explore the expanded selection of authentically flavored and prepared soups and noodles. Although, for reference, the garlic shrimp stir fry is a house specialty. 1324 N Interstate, Norman, 405.561.7771

Deckle Smokehouse BBQ

Texas native Andrew Liu is putting in work as a pitmaster to bring Edmondites the true oak-smoked flavor of Texas-style pit barbeque, and the results are perfectly engineered to bring out the savor of their top-quality meats. The brisket, ribs and house-made German sausage are set off by imaginative sides such as brown sugar sweet corn and potato cheese bombs; just be certain that you’re prepared before attempting either of the menu’s dining challenges. 324 W Edmond, Edmond, 405.657.2992

Fait Maison

Fine dining par excellence – chef Olivier Bouzerand moved from the Cote d’Azur to the heart of Oklahoma, bringing exquisite French cuisine to downtown Edmond. The restaurant’s quiet, elegant intimacy, aside from being beautiful in its own right, is an ideal backdrop for the kitchen’s ratatouille, duck, turbot and sublime desserts. It might not feel like you’re in Edmond anymore, but this little realm is, sincerely, magnifique. 152 E 5th, Edmond, 405.509.2555



Briefly speaking: if you’re looking for exceptional sweets, this Chisholm Creek gallery of edible showpieces should be right at the top of your list. Husband-and-wife team Laura Szyld and Matt Ruggi offer a small selection of salads and sandwiches, as well, but visitors will quickly find themselves mesmerized by the confectionary craftsmanship on display in the tarts, macarons, petits fours and other baked goods and specialty desserts. 13230 Pawnee, OKC, 405.286.4068


Gogi Go

Fast casual Korean food wasn’t even on anyone’s radar two years ago, but the partnership of chef Kevin Lee (also Vast’s executive chef), John Lee and Jason Chang has made counter-service Korean food a popular choice in Midtown. Diners can choose from beef, chicken, pork or tofu and build their own bowl or burrito, but don’t hesitate to just go with the delicious signature offerings. For extra customization, add popular toppings japchae, mandoo and kimchi, as well as traditional sauces such as ssamjang or modern twists gogi sauce or pesto. 1325 N Walker, OKC, 405.778.8524

Good Times

The reworked Fat Dog location still has one of the best patios in the urban core, and bar industry veterans Claire Hampton and Zack Moore have created a no-frills restaurant with a solid bar that’s popular among the service industry. The Dorito-crusted chicken and gouda served on white bread is like a delicious childhood memory come to life, and the menu, which features more downhome favorites such as mac ‘n’ cheese, burgers and frito chili pie, is easy to navigate and easier to love. 1234 N Western, OKC

HunnyBunny Biscuit Company

The Uptown 23rd cafe focuses on comfort food-style biscuit sandwiches, both traditional and chef-inspired. Creative options, including soul food influences – fried chicken with collard greens and hot sauce – share menu space with a simple, perfectly executed breakfast sandwich of bacon, egg and cheese. Not everything is a sandwich per se, though, and the Hot Mess might be the best thing on the menu, as it features nature’s perfect food, the tater tot, smothered in sausage gravy.  429 NW 23rd, OKC, 405.605.4395

Industry Gastro Lounge

Big, bright and filled with bold décor, it’s well equipped to be a popular hangout for gathering around a bunch of beers, but the bars aren’t the only part of the story: The kitchen dishes up a wide range of pizza, burgers, sandwiches and salads, or if you’re in the mood for something a little more substantial, you can sit down in front of a sizzling t-bone or baja shrimp tacos. At Industry, they put in the work so you can enjoy the results. 2800 NW 140th, OKC, 405.470.1261

Kitchen at Commonplace

Partners Chris Castro and Ben Nockels are treating this café adjacent to the bookstore as an experiment in what defines a restaurant. As much dining room or breakfast nook as restaurant, the kitchen offers three main categories for breakfast and lunch: on greens, on polenta and on toast. Dinner is a rotating feature such as chili Colorado or brisket tacos that begins with a brief reading from a book by a member of staff. It really is like a family dinner. 1325 N Walker, OKC, 405.534.4540

Krave Teriyaki

Get some local flavor on the southwest side – whether you’ve got a craving for shrimp fried rice, yakisoba noodles stir-fried with pork, mouthwatering Korean-style beef short ribs or a bento box containing the teriyaki-grilled protein of your choice, this little restaurant near Earlywine Park can satisfy your taste buds. It’s fast, fresh, flavorful and friendly, and if that weren’t enough, the crispy boneless chicken bites are sensational. 10740 S May, OKC, 405.242.2209

Kwan’s Kitchen

The degree of detail at every level of design in this massive classical Chinese restaurant is genuinely impressive – individual sections have different vibes, and they’re each filled with intricate details – and chef Pak Kwan has taken this opportunity to show off the skills he learned in Guangzhou and refined during a decade in Belgium. It’s refined dining at a surprisingly low price point, and entrees such as the champagne sweet and sour chicken or crispy sea bass come recommended. 3031 W Memorial, OKC, 405.607.8838

La Confection

A veteran of Platt College, Ned’s Catering, Vast, Meatball House and Coolgreens, Sara Miller has amassed quite a bit of knowledge about the food industry, but her heart is in Capitol Hill, turning out baked goods that really deserve to be called baked greats. Blueberry cheesecake, white chocolate eclairs, scones and muffins and cinnamon rolls … think of a delicious pastry, and there’s a good chance it’s in her repertoire. The selection rotates daily, but whatever you find is likely to be outstanding. 213 SW 25th, OKC, 405.212.2727


Lip Smackers

A burger place connected to a gas station? Don’t scoff, because one bite will make you a believer. Owner Jabbar Chaibainou is great at the fundamentals, starting with half a pound of certified Angus beef, well-seasoned and grilled on a flattop. You could stop there and be happy, but where else can you find a patty topped with brie and fried apples, or homemade onion dip and potato chips? These burgers are both surprisingly cheap and startlingly delicious, and that is definitely a winning combination. 4200 N Penn, OKC, 405.604.9770

Matty McMillen’s

If you’re a fan of Irish food, there’s a goodly dose of it on this menu – fish and chips to colcannon to the pure pleasure of an imperial pint. It’s not only an Irish pub, though, and that’s fine; just because the Emerald Isle isn’t known for its chipotle mac n’ cheese or BBQ chicken pizza doesn’t make them any less delicious. And considering the tempting extent of the whiskey selection and cocktail menu, it’s easy to add a drop of the pure to anything. Slainte! 2201 NW 150th, OKC, 405.607.8822

McClintock Saloon

The culmination of a longtime dream for Lindsay Ocker and Michel Buthion, this Stockyards City showcase dazzles from the 50-foot oak bar to the thick, succulent pork chops. Opening a chop house practically across the street from a steakhouse as iconic as Cattlemen’s took grit, but with its emphasis on whiskey selection and more varied upscale dining, this saloon manages to produce a different vibe. Contrary to the old western trope, there just might be room enough in this town for the both of them. 2227 Exchange, OKC, 405.232.0151

Ned’s Starlite Lounge

This retro supper lounge and bar is from Ned Shadid of decades-long success story Ned’s Catering. Located in the old Nomad II space, its decor is a funky retro dive into the middle third of the 20th century and definitely helps establish a vibe. The food is focused around traditional favorites like burgers, sandwiches, salmon and salads – and for the record, the arancini on the appetizer menu is a must-try.  7301 N May, OKC, 405.242.6100

Noodee/Okie Pokie

This upstairs-downstairs twin, counter-service concept is in the space formerly occupied by Guernsey Park, which has gone to the big Restaurant Row in the sky. Okie Pokie features traditional poke bowls you build yourself from a bounty of options – and yes, there’s Spam, because it’s delicious in the appropriate quantity. Noodee is a similar idea that begins with a choice of Asian noodles, including udon and ramen. 2418 N Guernsey, OKC, 405.605.5272


Craft beer haven The Patriarch had a great location in the heart of downtown Edmond, a comfortable atmosphere in and outside a converted century-old house and a spectacular rotating selection of brews … but what it didn’t have was food. Problem solved: chef Jonathon Stranger installed and fired up a yakitori grill out back, bringing his spin on the traditional Japanese street cuisine to Oklahoma palates. From skewers of chicken and wagyu beef to tuna or baby back rib sliders, the inexpensive menu demands extensive exploration. 9 E Edwards, Edmond, 405.285.6670


Chef Chris McKenna took his impressive talent to Humankind Hospitality earlier this year, and this taco concept is the first fruits of McKenna’s teamwork with chef Ryan Parrot. Delicious house-made sauces complement an exciting menu of gringo tacos and even a few more traditional tacos and burritos. The team has been refining the menu for months, and every component – from potatoes to salad to salsa – has been created with attention to detail and intentionality.  603 NW 28th, OKC, 405.309.8226


Your favorite non-judgmental dance bar has added food, but you can only eat it downstairs. Owner Rachel Cope said Ponyboy is keeping with its Okie-centric theme and adding dishes that are variations of popular items the staff grew up with: pecan pie, smoked catfish dip, “fancy” bologna sandwich, jalapeno cornbread with chorizo gravy and fried deviled eggs. The upstairs prep kitchen has been tweaked and outfitted to make all the food in-house. 423 NW 23rd, OKC, 405602.5985

The Porch

The north end of the University of Oklahoma campus is visually spectacular – which is why The Porch, right across Boyd from Jacobson Hall, has one of the best views in Norman. With a raucous party atmosphere before and during OU games and excellent people-watching anytime, it’s an automatic draw for lingering over a margarita. And some fried cheese curds. And maybe a chicken and waffle sandwich. 311 W Boyd, Norman, 405.310.2257


The Press

If you’re looking for home cooking but not wanting to cook, The Press specializes in comfort food favorites that are remarkably consistent and very much familiar to native Okies. The team that brought diners The Mule now offers brunch, lunch and dinner just down the street, featuring ample portions of biscuits and gravy with pork belly, Dagwood sandwiches, burgers, Indian tacos, meat loaf, fried chicken and pot roast. The menu reads like a cleaned-up, modern version of meal planning in nearly any house in Oklahoma. 1610 Gatewood, OKC, 405.208.7739

Scratch Paseo

Chef Jacque Methvin finally brought her culinary skills north of Norman. Scratch – Paseo is substantially smaller than its big sister down south, but the food is just as delicious. Start with a plate of French fries smothered with chimichurri and pork cheek, or opt for carbonara deviled eggs. The sliders are an excellent choice anytime, as is the steak frites. Scratch even has a solid all-day menu for those of you who like to eat at odd times. 607 NW 28th, OKC, 405.602.2302


Sean Cummings Irish Restaurant

Raise a glass of Guinness or Smithwick’s, because a classic has returned to the OKC dining scene. The namesake chef channels his Irish heritage and culinary skill into dishing up time-tested dishes such as boxty, shepherd’s pie, corned beef and cabbage, beef and lamb stew … all rich, delicious and thoroughly filling. The good news for diners is that the new location is quite a bit bigger, and the better news is that it preserves its predecessor’s live music and cheerful, noisy, authentic pub atmosphere. 7628 N May, OKC, 405.841.7326

Stitch Café

This entry is really two locales in one. The first is just north of the Bricktown Ballpark inside the venue called The Bridge, and offers a menu reminiscent of the owners’ original coffee shop: coffee and tea, small plates and baked goods, especially the sweet or savory hand tarts that drew their appreciative clientele. Stay tuned, though, because another location is coming soon to West Village in Film Row, boasting an expanded menu with seasonal options for breakfast, lunch and dinner. 229 E Sheridan, OKC, 405.652.1322

Tsubaki Szechuan

Before you go to Tsubaki Szechuan, you’ll need to give up your idea of Chinese food as a sodium-dense buffet of Americanized options. Chef Henry Yang is introducing regional Chinese cuisine to Oklahoma City, and the food is fresh, spicy and authentic in ways that are unexpected if buffets or deliveries have been your dominant experience of Chinese food. Pay attention to the chilis on the menu; the food can get very hot, but everything can be adjusted up or down, depending on your preference. 1117 NW 25th, OKC, 405.609.6606

The Union

The space isn’t new – it was once a meeting hall of the electricians’ union – but its 2018 reinvention makes it a nice hangout and vanguard for the developing SoSA neighborhood, with thoughtful touches both in décor and food. The broad oak bar upstairs, converted speakeasy downstairs and spacious back yard are all comfy spots for a drink, and from chicken crisps to flatbreads to the grouper banh mi, the menu’s offerings are surprisingly and delightfully elevated beyond more conventional bar fare. 616 NW 5th, OKC, 405.601.2857

Wagyu Japanese BBQ

A distinctive dining experience centered (literally) around the grill – each table has an imported Japanese grill in the middle, so diners can pick choice cuts of meat or seafood and then cook their own selections to preferred perfection. It doesn’t get any fresher, and in conjunction with chef-prepared appetizers, sides and desserts, makes for a supremely delicious and memorable meal. If you’ve never tried yakiniku barbeque, this is the first place in Oklahoma to get hooked on it. 3000 W Memorial, OKC, 405.285.9796


Wheelhouse Pizza Kitchen

They have fried pepperoni. If you’re still reading, this New York-style pizzeria dishes up a few daily slices and many more whole 20-inch pies, made from scratch with the freshest ingredients and featuring tasty topping possibilities such as barbequed pulled pork, spicy vodka sauce, crushed meatballs and fig jam. Vegetarian and gluten-free options are also on the menu … but so is fried pepperoni. 11109 N May, OKC, 405.286.5814

The Winston

The Hal Smith Restaurant Group is making some noise in downtown Norman – they’ve added another location of popular breakfast-food concept Neighborhood Jam next to the railroad tracks, and doubled the draw with this other new dining attraction right next door. The Winston offers “classic meals with a modern flair,” and while the chipotle meatloaf has a devoted fanbase, it’s also hard to argue with the Prime Minister, a chicken-fried steak sandwich where the steak is filet mignon. Heated patio, too. 106 W Main, Norman 405.561.7616



Future flavors to put on your radar

Magasin Table
Omma Greek Kitchen

Birra Birra

El Tigre Tacos

Grey Sweater/Black Walnut

Edmond Railyard

Sanctuary Barsilica
Social Cinema Pub

The Collective
Hudson Street Market
Riviere Modern Banh Mi


Red Rooster

Mexican Radio

Social Deck & Dining


Additional Locations

Cajun Corner
C’est Si Bon
Drum Room / The Wedge
Gogi Go
Land Run Café
Mob Grill
Neighborhood Jam
Tamashii Ramen



Local establishments whose kitchens are now closed

The Barrel
Besos de Mexcal
Covell Park
Deep Fork
District House
Esca Vitae
Guernsey Park
House 333
OK Yeah
Slaughter’s Hall
Urban Johnnie