Feasting Along Route 66 - 405 Magazine

Feasting Along Route 66

Delicious Pit Stops along the "Mother Road".

Chicken Shack in Arcadia. Photo by Rachel Maucieri.

Photo by Rachel Maucieri.

With spring in the air, and car windows down, it’s officially prime road trip season in Oklahoma, and fueling a drive takes more than gasoline; think fried chicken, barbecue and queso. With the most iconic road in the country weaving its way through the 405, Route 66 is ideal fodder for a food-filled drive. From finer dining to old-school icons, here’s where to eat along the Mother Road in and around Oklahoma City. 


Living Kitchen Farm and Dairy in Depew

Living Kitchen Farm. Photo by Valerie Wei Hass.
Living Kitchen Farm. Photo by Valerie Wei Hass.

Roughly halfway between Tulsa and Oklahoma City, Living Kitchen Farm and Dairy is among the foremost destinations in the state for farm-to-table dining at its most legit and literal. Courtesy of Linda Ford and Lisa Becklund, the couple behind esteemed Tulsa restaurants FarmBar and il seme, Living Kitchen feels like an Oklahoman fairy tale — a lush, wooded retreat where diners dine among roving goats and enjoy seasonal tasting menus at a communal table on a screened-in cabin porch. Courses range from small bites to burlier plates, made primarily from ingredients grown on-site or sourced from like-minded farms. Dinners take place on weekends from April through December, and in-demand reservations open two to three months in advance. 


The Butcher BBQ Stand in Wellston

Driving southwest from Depew, the next stop is The Butcher BBQ Stand, a roadside keystone in Wellston that’s easy to find by following either the wafting aroma of smoked meat, or the inevitable line out the door. After decades spent working in meat markets and pivoting into barbecue competitions, Levi Bouska opened the restaurant in a frills-free, garage-like space sizable enough to accommodate the hungry hordes. And you’ll want to come hungry for the magnificent brisket, smoked turkey, pulled pork and singular standouts, like the Hillbilly Philly sandwich with queso and burnt ends, or the apple pie BBQ beans. 


Chicken Shack in Arcadia

Chicken Shack in Arcadia. Photo by Rachel Maucieri.
Chicken Shack in Arcadia. Photo by Rachel Maucieri.

Since the ’50s, Chicken Shack has been a sprawling, deep-fried oasis in the pastoral Oklahoma hamlet of Arcadia. Now in a larger location, virtually across the street from the Arcadia Round Barn (itself an icon of Route 66 kitsch), the Shack is a massive barn-like dining destination with ample seating indoors and out, and a menu rooted in crispy broasted chicken — a method of pressure frying that results in impossibly succulent wings, strips and whole birds. Pair it with sides like jalapeno-spiced mac & cheese or buttery green beans, and you’ve got a feast worth driving for. 


Pops in Arcadia

From there, meander down Route 66 to Pops, the famed soda stop with diner-style Americana and its own fair share of kitsch. Recognizable by its sky-scraping soda bottle out front and doubling as a service station, the restaurant and shop features a dizzying array of offbeat sodas, from vintage bottles of Cheerwine to zany flavors, like PB&J. 


Green Chile Kitchen in Yukon

Green Chile Kitchen in Yukon, OK. Photo Provided.
Green Chile Kitchen in Yukon, OK. Photo Provided.

For road-trippers heading west of OKC, Green Chile Kitchen offers an early taste of New Mexico. The oldest New Mexican restaurant in Oklahoma, the star of the name and menu is featured in everything from green chile queso and pork stew to nachos, quesadillas and spicy cheeseburgers. The smothered burritos — stuffed with the likes of carne adovada or Frito pie — are particularly popular, topped with your choice of green chile, red chile or both, aka Christmas-style.


Onion Burgers in El Reno

Driving farther westward, El Reno is a prime pit stop for onion burgers. The birthplace of the Oklahoma-style fried onion burger, the small town exemplifies the form — thin, griddled patties with crispy onion slivers pressed into the meat — at timeworn institutions like Robert’s Grill, Johnnie’s and Sid’s Diner


Lucille’s in Weatherford 

Lucille's Rest Stop. Photo Provided.
Lucille’s Rest Stop. Photo Provided.

Initially opened as a service station built in 1927, Lucille’s has remained a Route 66 institution since the inception of the Mother Road itself. Today, the icon has two restaurant locations, in Clinton and Weatherford, but it’s the latter that still reigns as a Route 66 must. Here, diners can fuel up on aptly all-American fare like cheese fries, corn nuggets, loaded baked potatoes or chicken-fried steak sandwiches, and of course, the 10-oz. Mother Road Burger.

Looking for more stops along your Route 66 Roadtrip? Don’t miss these other features in Arcadia.