Now that school is back in, football is back on, and that means trips to Norman for games, tailgating and exploring the southernmost edge of the metro. Norman, like many university cities, has some iconic eating and drinking spots, but it also has lesser known options that are absolutely worth your time. Here are 10 Norman Restaurants to Try Now.
Blu. This is the restaurant you find in a university town that just belongs in a university town: quirky, fun, a sly sense of humor, good food, a diverse menu, an affordable and approachable wine list, a great bar program, patio dining and brunch. Blu is everything from special events with friends to a neighborhood watering hole to a date-night dinner.
El Huevo Mexi-Diner. This brunch concept on Norman’s northern edge opened in 2019 and was immediately popular for good reason: the food is excellent. Someone needed to combine traditional brunch food with Tex-Mex favorites, and El Huevo nails the fusion. They also have one of the 405’s best chicken sandwiches.
Gourmet Donut. This was one of the most common answers we got when we reached out for recommendations in Norman last year. A doughnut shop? Yes, and like any doughnut shop, it should be judged on the quality of their glazed doughnut. Theirs is magnificent.
Juan del Fuego. Norman seems to be the epicenter of awesome Mexi-Diners, and Juna del Fuego was one of the first. Their regular breakfast items like eggs, bacon and pancakes are better than standard diners, but the tamales and eggs are a must.
Magic Noodle. The pandemic ended our hopes of having fresh, hand-pulled noodles at Magic Noodle on Classen, but you can still get the original in Norman. The menu has grown a bit over the years and now includes Singapore noodles, and the OG beef noodle soup is still a must.
Mamaveca. You’re really here for the Peruvian food, even though their Mexican options are well done, too. The litmus test for all Pervuian restaurants is the huancaína sauce, and Mamaveca delivers with the papa a la huancaína – a staple Peruvian dish featuring potatoes in the rich sauce. They have lunch specials and an excellent lomito saltado.
The Meating Place. A barbecue joint with an excellent bar program? It’s a unicorn, really. The food is very good, and definitely try the Cuban. The big plus is a well-crafted, creative cocktail menu that just makes the experience better.
Midway Deli. Locally owned sandwich shops are too rare, and so is a sandwich that features turkey with pepperoni. Go to Midway, get The Vulcan, experience bliss. The sandwiches are built around creativity, interesting combinations and fresh ingredients.
Pepe Delgados. This is that place that all the locals love but people outside the area don’t know well. Yes, they have Tex-Mex, but they also have a variety of traditional, regional Mexican cuisine, and you have to have the enchiladas with mole.
Scratch Kitchen and Cocktails. Technically, Brady Sexton’s Main Street hot spot is one we wouldn’t need to mention, but the addition of Chef Luke Frye to the kitchen has made this local favorite even better. Check out his weekly specials, and definitely get the burger at some point.