The nine best authentic restaurants in Oklahoma City

Oklahoma City may be small compared to other major metropolitan areas but what it lacks, it makes up for in taste. If you had a chance to check out our article on The seven best ethnic grocery stores in Oklahoma City, you can see that we take culinary diversity seriously. In the last few years, OKC has been making its mark as a taste destination with restaurants such as Nonesuch, Cattleman’s Steakhouse, and Eischen’s.

Oklahoma City is also home to a variety of authentic restaurants that represent every part of the world. These hidden gems have cultivated a passionate fan base and offer the best in ethnic cuisine. One way to learn about a different culture is through their food. We encourage you to go out of your comfort zone and take a culinary tour around the world without ever leaving Oklahoma City.

Pakistani / Indian Restaurant: Sheesh Mahal

The food served at Sheesh Mahal will remind you of the kind your grandmother used to make if you call Pakistan home.  Come hungry because the huge portions will leave you fighting back a food coma.

Location:  4621 N May Ave., Oklahoma City, OK 73112

The owner, Naim, is happy to indulge you with stories about the food you’re tasting and is an expert at providing you with the best recommendations, whether you’re looking to be adventurous or just mildly curious. The unpretentious and cozy setting is perfect for an evening night out with friends or a work lunch. The complimentary fresh herb tea is perfect to help you wash down the expertly spiced entrees.

Must try: Butter chicken and cheese naan

Mediterranean Restaurant: Zorba’s Mediterranean Cuisine

An Oklahoma City staple for over 25 years, Zorba’s proudly features a menu that has been created from generations of family recipes. The flavors you’ll find have origins from Cyprus, Spain, Greece, and Morocco.

Location:  6014 N May Ave., Oklahoma City, OK 73112

The minute you drive up to Zorba’s, you’re transported to an island in the Meditteranean due to the Greek-themed exterior. Inside, you’ll find a well-lit and spacious dining area, perfect for a party of two or a large group. The painted wall murals of Greek settings, stone facades, and faux-marble pillars add to the Mediterranean ambiance. The Zorba’s menu is sure to please any palate with a wide range of choices from chicken, vegetarian, beef, lamb, seafood, and the traditional Gyros. Saturday night showcases a special treat of belly dancers from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm.

Must try: Mousakka and the Gyros

Japanese Ramen Restaurant: Tamashii Ramen House

Tamashii Ramen House is the product of a husband and wife endeavor to bring traditional Japanese soul food to OKC. The owners Wakana Kamesato Sebacher, a Japanese native, and Matthew Sebacher trained in Japan to bring back the authentic ramen cooking techniques. The Sebacher’s introduced OKC to their unique variations on the traditional Japanse dish.

Location:  321 NW 8th St., Oklahoma City, OK 73102

Tamashii Ramen House is a small and modern setting in the Midtown section of Oklahoma City, with outside seating available and anime cartoons always on the TV. It is a popular destination, so be prepared for a line, but the food is worth the wait. The Tamashii menu features sake drinks, imported Asian beers, a variety of ramen dishes with additional topping options, and traditional side dishes and desserts.

Must try: Garlic fried rice and Tonkotsu ramen

Mexican Restaurant: Tacos San Pedro

Rich in culture and cuisine, Tacos San Pedro has been a hidden gem of Mexican food in Oklahoma City since 1985.

Location: 2301 SW 44th St., Oklahoma City

Tacos San Pedro features a bright and colorful location inside and out with walk-up ordering and pickup. The bottomless basket of homemade chips and salsa will keep you coming back for more. Big portions and the reasonable prices have kept Tacos San Pedro a repeat destination for over a quarter of a century. The dishes are all served a la carte so you can pick and choose till your heart’s (and belly) content.

Must try: The Wet Burrito and Carnitas Tacos

Vietnamese Restaurant: Pho Cuong Restaurant

The teal and pink exterior make this Vietnamese soup house stand out in OKC’s Asian district. The inside of this cozy restaurant may look similar to other eateries, but what sets Pho Cuong apart is its culinary excellence in the art of the traditional Vietnamese noodle-based soup, Pho.

Location: 3016 N Classen Blvd, Oklahoma City, OK

Pho Cuong has a knack for perfectly cooked noodles in a broth that is bursting with flavor. They use fresh ingredients and are happy to customize your meal any way you like. The menu is priced just right and their service always recieves high marks from the locals. If you’re new to Vietnamese cuisine, Pho Cuong’s menu helps to walk you through the choices with sections labeled for beginners and for those feeling adventurous.

Must try: Bun Bo Hue and Pho bo hue

Korean Restaurant: Korean House

Hidden slightly outside the metro in Del City is the simply named, Korean House. At the end of 2016, Korean House updated their menu and renovated their location, allowing for a clean and modern new look and more seating.

Location: 4716 SE 29th St., Del City

Despite the recent updates, the Koren House maintains the same homemade taste that they’ve been known for since the 1990’s.  The staff makes an effort to get to know their regulars and they are great at making recommendations if you are a Korean bbq newbie. Get adventurous and opt to grill your own meats right at your table. Don’t forget to try the kimchi, a staple of any ethnic Korean dish.  

Must try: Kimbap and Beef Bulgogi

Laotion/Thai Restaurant: Four J’s Diner

The Four J’s diner looks simple on the outside and a little out of place surrounded by taquerias, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised by what you taste inside. Visitors rave of the fresh ingredients and the non-Americanized Laotian and Thai delicacies.  

Location: 2920 S Agnew #3 Oklahoma City

You will never be a stranger when you visit The Four J’s dinner. The husband and wife team make each dish by hand and they enjoy meeting new customers and offering recommendations.  The food is thoughtfully crafted, all the sauces are made in-house, and the spiciness is catered to your liking. The papaya salad is a local favorite with a little kick of spice, and the weekend specials are worth coming back for.

Must try: Sai ua and Weeping Tiger

German Restaurant: Royal Bavaria

More than just beer, brats, and schnitzel, Royal Bavaria is a destination for old Germany authentic recipes, certified German brews, and live indoor and outdoor entertainment.

Location: 3401 S Sooner Rd., Oklahoma City

Royal Bavaria’s owner, Andreas Gmeiner was born in and attended Chef School in Munich, Germany. Royal Bavaria’s menu features made-from-scratch Bavarian dishes with authentic German names. The staff wears traditional Old Germany garb and there is no shortage of hand-made sausages. The beer is brewed in-house and is best served outside in the beer garden. Visit on Thursdays for the all-you-can-eat German buffet to try it all, but come early because it’s a popular night.

Must try: Pretzel appetizer and the schnitzel

Guatemalan / Latin Restaurant: Cafe Kacao

Cafe Kacao has been featured on the Travel Channel’s Food Paradise TV show and is a popular local destination for specialty coffee and traditional Guatemalan breakfast dishes.

Location: 3325 N Classen Blvd., Oklahoma City

The Cafe Kacao menu features authentic Latin recipes that have been passed down through generations of the Del Cid family. Their focus is on traditional ingredients such as corn, rice, chicken, onions, garlic, and wine prepared in the fresh and simple Guatemalan way. Cafe Kacao also takes inspiration from dishes from El Salvador, Mexico, and Brazil. Their coffee is imported from Guatemala and is so popular that the cafe now includes a drive-up coffee window.

Must try: Tipico Panchoy and the Desayuno Chapin

Making connections through food

Food helps us to form a connection with different people and unique and interesting cultures. Whether you’re looking for a restaurant that will remind you of home, or if you’re open to a new taste adventure, Oklahoma City will have something for everyone.

Without a diverse community of talented people from all over the world, Oklahoma City’s food options would be terribly boring. Immigrant restaurant owners not only open our mind to new and delicious textures and flavors, but they also are key in supporting the local community and economy. Next time you’re searching for a new place to try, stay local and let your taste buds do the traveling.

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