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We think these seasoned local eateries have a lot in common with Oklahoma Gazette (other than longevity): They’re not afraid to buck the trends.



(Ashley Parks)

(Ashley Parks)

The last 35 years flew by. We think these seasoned local eateries have a lot in common with Oklahoma Gazette (other than longevity): They’re not afraid to buck the trends and are unapologetically true to themselves.

By Devon Green Photos by Mark Hancock and Shannon Cornman

MORE 35TH ANNIVERSARY COVERAGE: •  OKC, OKG grew together as paper chronicled city’s revival. •  Timeline: A brief history of Oklahoma Gazette. •  Reader response: What you love most about OKG. •  Leaders share Gazette memories. •  OKG Eat: Practice makes perfect! •  Chef Kurt Fleischfresser’s curiosity helped establish city’s love of localized menus. •  OKG arts groups have persisted, prospered for decades. •  As OKG grew, so did OKC's performing arts scene. •  Oklahoma music scene is still a work in progress.



Papa Dio’s Italian Restaurant & Wine Bar

10712 N. May Ave.


An institution run by three generations of the Bonadio family, Papa Dio’s welcomes all guests, from large family groups to intimate dates. It’s split in half, with a casual side that’s family-friendly and a more formal white tablecloth side. The restaurant offers over 160 menu items (not including daily specials).


Ann’s Chicken Fry House

4106 NW 39th St.


If you haven’t set foot in this unassuming converted house on historic Route 66, it’s high time you did. Knowing that consistency and quality are a winning combination, the Coca-Cola mural and the pink Cadillac out front are signs that you’ve hit the right place to try the official state meal.



6100 W. Memorial Road


This eatery has been around for so long that it’s often overlooked, and that’s a shame. Since Interurban was established in 1976, it has grown to include eight locations statewide. For nearly four decades, Interurban has maintained a solid menu with daily specials that vary by location. Practice does, in fact, make perfect.


VZD’s Restaurant & Club

4200 N. Western Ave. #D


This restaurant/music venue/bar has long been a favorite stop for bands, and its show history is a veritable who’s who of music. If you were hanging out in OKC during the ’90s, chances are you saw The Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Reverend Horton Heat and Michele Shocked at VZD’s. The venue serves daily specials, a fresh and varied lunch menu and locally sourced, fresh ingredients.


Legend’s Restaurant

1313 W. Lindsey St., Norman


If there’s something that Okies love as much as good food, it’s a great story, and Legend’s has both. It started in 1967 as a pizza delivery service. Owner Lemuel B. Legend tooled around town, distributing pies via Rolls Royce roadster. In 1972, Lemuel expanded into the brick-and-mortar special occasion destination known today. Maybe spending time with your in-laws isn’t always a blast, but meeting them at Legend’s will be.


The Mont Restaurant

300 Classen Blvd., Norman


Since the ’20s, The Mont has remained one of Norman’s most popular venues. It went through a string of ownership from 1969-’75 before it was bought by three OU fraternity brothers and its place in history and its menu were restored. Today, it offers quality food, a great patio and some of the best margarita swirls in the metro.


Jamil’s Steakhouse

4910 N. Lincoln Blvd.


There are only a few dining experiences that come close to Jamil’s. The converted house on Lincoln Boulevard serves a diverse menu of gorgeous hand-cut steaks, classic sides and nods to the owner’s Lebanese heritage. If the food isn’t enough — trust us; it is — the service will keep you coming back for more.

(Ashley Parks)

(Ashley Parks)


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