There’s never been a better time to dine and drink in Oklahoma City. Fresh off a banner year for our fair restaurant scene, complete with James Beard Awards and a spree of exciting new openings and developments, the momentum is keeping pace in 2024, with a slew of fresh concepts, expansions and out-of-town arrivals. From finer dining and hand-pulled noodles to bespoke cocktail bars and brunch innovation, the local food scene has never been more dynamic. That same fortune applies to the rest of the year’s restaurant forecast, which sees a new endeavor from OKC’s most famed chef, a boom in wine bars and new neighborhood fixtures en route to the Paseo, the Wheeler District and the Britton District. Here’s what’s new in OKC’s restaurant scene.  


What's Open

Nestled in a former jewelry store in Casady Square, Symmetry is an upscale gem with a steakhouse-style menu and imaginative cocktails in a swanky, date night-worthy space. It’s a passion project for co-owners Dave Osborn and Jason Pool, two longtime local restaurant vets turned to Tammy Barrett for artful interior design, Krysta Henry for swanky upholstery, Glenn Scott for the meaty menu (get the chimichurri pork chop or Mediterranean rack of lamb), and Austin Greer for the drinks, which include pitch-perfect classic cocktails with diamond-shaped ice.  


The folks behind New State Burgers & Spirits expanded subtly next door in the Plaza District with a speakeasy-inspired cocktail bar that feels like something out of New York or Chicago. Hidden behind a decadent curtain and a wall of books, Good for a Few is a cozy-cool lounge specializing in both classic cocktails — including the best French 75 in town — and seasonal originals, like the Upper East Side with vodka, white cranberry and elderflower.  


This must be the year of quasi-clandestine cocktail bars, because another new watering hole can be found hidden beneath Boom Town Creamery in Uptown. The Roosevelt Room is a posh parlor for food and drink, with eclectic offerings like duck wings, crispy eggplant and Mexican sopes, plus cocktails and wine.  


A cheeseburger from Burger PunkFor one of OKC’s most prolific restaurant groups, 2023 was one for the record books. Within the past year, 84 Hospitality saw the opening of a new Empire Slice House in the Paycom Center and a new Burger Punk in the Britton District. The latter comes at a particularly exciting time for one of the city’s most au currant neighborhoods, with a slightly larger bar and dining area than the Paseo original. The menu, from “Thrash Nachos” with Nacho Doritos to Whiskey Mushroom Burgers and gigantic fried chicken sandwiches, is tried-and-true.  


One of the biggest openings of late-2023 saw the arrival of one of the world’s most famed chefs making his OKC debut. Ramsay’s Kitchen, from none other than Gordon Ramsay, debuted in Chisholm Creek with a sprawling, contemporary space, an ample patio overlooking the lagoon and a menu of Ramsay classics, like beef Wellington and sticky toffee pudding.


After originating as a fan-favorite food truck, Hank’s put down roots in the Adventure District with a homey, convivial restaurant and a menu that expands upon the brand’s beloved barbecue and smoked turkey legs. Pro tip: after ordering food at the front counter, find a seat in the back bar area, with a tree-line view of the downtown skyline.  


A lineup of colorful mocktails at Sailor & The Dock

A newcomer in the West Village District, Sailor & the Dock made an immediate splash with its juice-based mocktails, but the multi-tiered concept is much more than a bar. More of an incubator space for indie artisans and creators, anchored by a literal sailboat bar in the middle of the lofty space, the complex boasts Hunny & Honey coffee and milk tea shop, Drip to Drip vintage, Della Terra pasta and provisions, Re: Supply apothecary, The Floating Bookshop and more.  


A much-needed restaurant reprieve in the bar-saturated 39th Street District, Rainbow Bistro is like a quirky, queer diner with eccentric art, slices of rainbow cake and saucy sandwiches, both literally and figuratively. Try the Drama Queen, a Reuben sandwich with red cabbage, pastrami, Swiss and Thousand Island on marble rye.


With acclaimed chef Zach Hutton newly helming the kitchen, there’s never been a better time to check out GHST — a hip dining room with a playful menu of elote corn dogs, bagel bites with vodka sauce, sweet tea caramel chicken and donuts and coconut popcorn shrimp. And in more cocktail news, check out GHST Back Bar, the speakeasy space behind the dining room.  


Since Scrambl’d opened last summer, OKC’s brunch scene hasn’t been the same. Raising the bar on the morning meal, this Northeast side spot features stylish decor and a bumping playlist to go along with inventive, Southern-style comfort food like chicken and pancakes, deep-fried French toast, peach cobbler biscuits and lamb chops with eggs. You can even get mimosas spiked with Hennessy — one of the only restaurants in the country to serve Cognac on tap.


From the minds behind Lee’s Sandwiches, Bún Box made its long-anticipated debut last summer in the Asian District, with a unique fast-casual business model that offers a drive-thru, patio seating or takeout only. The curated menu offers a selection of noodle bowls and spring rolls, along with Lee’s famous Vietnamese iced coffee.  


The splashiest — and most photogenic — new restaurant to open in recent memory, JK by Chef King feels more like Wonderland than City Center thanks to the dining room’s Barbie-pink motif, whimsical Versace wallpaper and giant indoor wisteria tree. The food is just as enchanting, like chef King Dey’s rock shrimp popcorn, oxtail and bone marrow fried rice and burgers flanked with edible gold. Ditto the drinks, including espresso martinis that utilize a Ripple machine to custom-print images in the cocktail foam.  


Another food truck success story, Big Biang Theory has been a frequent fixture at street festivals for years, before finally settling into a brick-and-mortar space in West Village District — and attracting lines out the door on opening day. Chewy, thick hand-pulled noodles are the order of the day, enrobed in the likes of spicy chicken curry or laced with cumin-braised beef. Having a full-fledged restaurant kitchen affords more space for Big Biang to get even bigger, expanding its offerings to include fried chicken, Goku steak, chipotle garlic shrimp and fried enoki mushrooms.  


Coming Soon

After becoming the first chef to win a coveted James Beard Award last year, for Best Chef: Southwest, Hometown Hero Andrew Black proudly announced what is sure to be this year’s most anticipated restaurant: Perle Mesta. Set to debut inside the hallowed Skirvin Hotel, the property that first brought Black to OKC, it’s a veritable homecoming for the esteemed chef, who plans a European-style restaurant with high tea, brunch and a la carte dinner menus.


An entree at Sedalia's Oyster & SeafoodDespite being hundreds of miles from any coast, you’d never know it based on OKC’s booming sushi and seafood scene of late. Last year, Bon Appétit named Sedalia’s Oyster & Seafood bar one of the best new restaurants in the country, and Awaji Izakaya made its debut in Walnut Village. Next up: a real-deal sushi restaurant and izakaya in the rapidly developing Wheeler District. Courtesy of Viet Pham, the chic spot will feature stylish decor, a scene-y sushi bar and a few hidden surprises (ahem omakases).  


What was briefly the Paseo Daiquiri Lounge gets a breath of fresh life this year with Barseo, a craft cocktail bar “with a twist,” per the website.  


After closing its original Nichols Hills location, Osteria is poised to emerge anew in the Britton District, but this time the menu hews more into the Italian-American comfort sphere for chef/owner Jonathon Stranger. 


For further proof that 2024 is poised to be a banner year for OKC’s bar scene, the owners of Palo Santo — one of the city’s foremost cocktail destinations — are branching out with a pint-sized follow-up in Midtown. Adorably dubbed Later, Bye, and located next door to the perpetually packed Harvey Bakery & Kitchen, not much is yet known about the concept, aside from its cocktail focus and the certainty that some of OKC’s most talented barkeeps are behind the stick.


OKC isn’t lacking in top-shelf wine lists, but bars dedicated primarily to wine are still infrequent. Until this year, apparently. 2024 marks the imminent arrival of Tiny Bubbles, a brick and mortar iteration of the Champagne-centric beverage cart that tends to rove around festivals and farmers markets. Setting up shop at the Shoppes at North Park, the twee wine bar looks to expand its portfolio with a list of 60-plus wines, along with food, beer and cocktails.  


In the Farmers Market District, Backyard Vineyards is a wine bar that goes even further — by making and bottling its own wines (with fun buffalo-branded labels, no less). Details are still sparse, but it’s safe to expect a huge patio area with prime skyline views.  


Two hands holding a double cheeseburger and drink.

An instant hit when it first opened in Scissortail Park, Spark is slated to bring its beloved burgers, Pink Fries, and frozen custards to two new locations this year. The whimsical, fast-casual eatery is underway in Nichols Hills and Chisholm Creek, from the adept folks behind The Social Order. 


In a steak-loving city like OKC, where independent steakhouses satiate cravings for meat and potatoes, there’s always room for more — especially when it’s one of the most revered brands in the country. Located at the fast-developing OAK development along Northwest Expressway, The Capital Grille will make its Oklahoma debut this year, along with other restaurants and bars filling in the massive complex.