Difficult, but delightful
Due to construction in the downtown Oklahoma City area, some of your favorite places might feel a little left in the dust. You might have to navigate the rugged terrain of traffic cones and cracked pavement, but it’s well worth the effort to keep these downtown dandies up and running.
—Carol Smaglinski photos by Mark Hancock and Shannon Cornman
$$: Up to $15 $$$: $15-$30 $$$$: above $30
Sweets & eats
110 n. robinson 235-3010
Open every day from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. for lunch, the eatery specializes in honest home-cooking. There is a blue-plate special; don’t miss the beef stroganoff this week. Owner Bill Gold said you can find meals such as roast beef, gravy, potatoes and green beans, with everything made from scratch. Grab the strawberry cake, made in-house daily, to go.
119 n. robinson 235-8880
The Library is notable since most items tab out at under $10. Try the daily dessert, and if you can catch “apple cobbler” day, you’ll be in for a treat. Located in the lower level of the Robinson Renaissance building and now at 23 years in business, it is the oldest bar in downtown Oklahoma City.
First edition cafe & espresso Bar
300 Park 605-8347
A visit to the downtown library should involve a stop at its cafe, First Edition. Owner Alice Murphy said business has slowed a bit, but the menu is studded with names familiar to anyone who appreciates fine literature. Traffic-stoppers include its Tolstoy pizza, the Hemingway chicken sandwich or the Whitman panini with marinated steak.
$$ Sandwiches, soups and coffee
Snow Pea restaurant
119 n. robinson 235-0963
Here you’ll find lemon chicken and fried rice, which is the most popular dish. Also on the menu is a traditional sesame chicken, kung pao shrimp and chicken fried rice. Yes, they have egg rolls, too. No desserts available just yet, but you will have had enough to eat. The staff takes orders efficiently and brings them out swiftly.
The museum cafe
415 couch drive 235-6262
Nothing stops the crowds from getting to this restaurant in the same building that houses the Oklahoma City Museum of Art in downtown Oklahoma City. Get this: lamb shank that’s amazing, veal T-bone, seafood mac and cheese or tuna tartar. For a finale, cafe favorites are its triple-chocolate terrine and a Chambord lemon crumb cake.
$$$ elegant dining
612 n. robinson 239-6275
Markie’s said business has been down a wee bit during the construction. People still find their way to get the wrap, done with pico de gallo, jalapeño peppers and chicken, all splashed with ranch dressing and tucked in a jalapeño tortilla. The Markie’s burger, which comes with freshcut fries, and the Markie’s club are both winners. Finish with a chocolate-chip, peanut butter or oatmeal-raisin cookie to soothe your aching sweet tooth.
Trattoria il centro
500 W. main 601-5858
In Italy, a trattoria is an intimate casual restaurant serving simple Italian dishes. However, in our Oklahoma City version, there is a spacious and confident feeling in Trattoria with top-notch service from seasoned pros. Stop by for its popular threecourse $20.12 deal, where a dollar of each ticket goes to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. Indulge in its quattro stagioni: the four-seasons pizza topped with an egg, sunny-side up. Expect a new menu soon, which will feature lobster risotto.