Accolades for Oklahoma City

We're not the only ones who see OKC for its undeniable appeal and massive potential.


OpenTable’s Top 100 Brunch Restaurants in America for 2024

OpenTable - May 2024

OpenTable has named Oklahoma City favorites, Cheever's Cafe and FRIDA Southwest, as two of the Top 100 Brunch Restaurants in America for 2024. Truly, their inclusion comes as no surprise, for they have long been cherished beacons of culinary excellence in our beloved city.


The 50 Most Beautiful Restaurants in America

OpenTable x People - May 2024

Step into the enchanting embrace of The Great Hall, located within the iconic First National Center of Oklahoma City. Here, guests are invited to savor delectable culinary creations and libations. Reflecting the city's rich artistic heritage, the dining hall's style serves as a captivating homage to the city's cultural roots.


2024 Restaurant and Chef Award Nominees

James Beard Foundation - April 2024

Chef Jeff Chanchaleune, the culinary genius behind Ma Der Lao, a new Laotian kitchen in OKC, earned a well-deserved nomination for the prestigious James Beard Best Chef: Southwest award. 


The South’s Best Cities On The Rise 2024

Southern Living - March 2024

According to Southern Living, Oklahoma City is one of the South's Best Cities on the Rise in 2024. With a little bit of everything from "classic cowboy culture to cutting-edge museums," we have so much to explore.


24 Places to Travel to in 2024

Atlas Obscura - January 2024

Oklahoma City was highlighted on Atlas Obscura's Wanderlist as one of the 24 most unique and wondrous places to visit in 2024. 


Best Hotel Bars in America - Library of Distilled Spirits

Wine Enthusiasts – October 2023

A testament to its exceptional selection of spirits and impeccable service, The Library of Distilled Spirits has been acclaimed as one of the finest hotel bars in the USA by Wine Enthusiasts.


General Manager of the Year - Matt Cowden of The Ellison Hotel

Marriott International – November 2022

Matt Cowden, General Manager of The Ellison Hotel, has been honored as General Manager of the Year by Marriott International at the Autograph Collection/Tribute Portfolio Hotels conference. Cowden and The Ellison were crowned victorious over 53 other Tribute Portfolio hotels across the nation after the OKC hotel lead all 54 locations in staff service, hotel cleanliness and food & beverage, based on guest survey responses. 


Brewery of the Year - The Big Friendly

Great American Beer Festival – October 2022

OKC's Big Friendly was named the nation's best brewery in the 251–500-barrel category at the Great American Beer Festival. The Big Friendly also took home a gold medal in the Session Beer or Belgian-Style Table Beer category for their craft, Oblique and Bent, and a silver medal in the Specialty Saison category for their beer, Textured Fabric. Located in the Wheeler District, The Big Friendly has been serving Oklahomans high-quality craft beer since 2015. 


Top Pumpkin Patch - Pumpkinville at Myriad Botanical Gardens

USA Today 10best –September 2022

Pumpkinville began in the Myriad Botanical Gardens' Children's Garden in October 2012 with only 3,000 pumpkins. Since then, Pumpkinville has grown exponentially. There are 40,000 pumpkins and almost 30,000 people who attend the festival each year. Today, it's the biggest annual event at the Gardens and a favorite fall tradition for locals and visitors. Pumpkinville was voted best Pumpkin Patch by a panel of experts who partnered with 10Best editors to pick the initial 20 nominees. The top 10 winners were then determined by popular vote over four weeks.


22 of the USA’s most underrated destinations   

CNN Travel – September 2022 

For many years, Oklahoma has been a state that people fly over or drive straight through. But in 2022, OKC was named one of the USA’s most underrated destinations. OKC has been turning heads and shattering expectations with its surprisingly rich and varied food scene and attractions like the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum and Riversport OKC, which offers whitewater rafting, tubing, ziplines and sky trails in the city center. 


50 Best New Restaurants 2022 – Ma Der Lao 

Bon Appetit – September 2022 

The new restaurants on this list are stepping into the next chapter in the culinary world. After years spent cooking Japanese food around Oklahoma City, Chef Jeff Chanchaleune has turned his considerable talents to the Lao food he grew up eating.  


Top Western Museums 2022 - National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum 

True West Magazine - September 2022 

True West looked at the best exhibits and museums representing the history of the west across the country. OKC’s National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum is America’s premier institution of Western history, art and culture. Founded in 1955, the Museum, located in Oklahoma City, collects, preserves and exhibits an internationally renowned collection of Western art and artifacts while sponsoring dynamic educational programs to stimulate interest in the enduring legacy of the American West. 


National Phoenix Award - First Americans Museum 

EPA Brownfields National Conference – August 2022 

The First Americans Museum received two awards during the Phoenix Awards Ceremony at the EPA Brownfields National Conference. The Phoenix Awards recognize organizations and individuals who have contributed to the progression of the Brownfields and Land Revitalization Program to help clean up development sites from hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants. 


Best BBQ Cities in America 

Clever – August 2022 

For this study, Clever measured the amount of BBQ restaurants per capita, average Yelp rating, major BBQ events, the average distance between each BBQ spot and multiple other data-driven factors. These qualifications lead Clever to slate OKC as the eighth best city for BBQ in the country.   


10 Best Immersive Art Experiences – Factory Obscura 

USA Today 10best – August 2022 

Factory Obscura crafts immersive experiences made to “awaken wonder, build community and make the world better.” The 6,000-square-foot space houses rotating installations. Mix-Tape, a one-of-a-kind experience, took nearly a year to design and install by a team of some 30 artists. These experiences were voted on by USA Today readers


20 Best State Fairs Around the US – Oklahoma State Fair 

Wide Open Country – August 2022 

Nearly one million people come out to attend the annual state fair taking place in Oklahoma’s capital every September. The horse shows, rodeos and memorable music acts provide attendees with an unforgettable experience. The Oklahoma State Fair ranks among the top 20 best state fairs around the U.S.


Best City for Street Art 

USA Today 10best – July 2021 & 2022 

Urban art gives insight into a city's culture and personality, OKC was deemed “Best City for Street Art” two years in a row by a panel of experts who partnered with 10Best editors to pick the initial 20 nominees. The top 10 winners were then determined by popular vote over four weeks. Oklahoma City might not be the first place that comes to mind when you think about street art, but OKC has become a veritable outdoor gallery. Start your explorations in the Plaza District before continuing to the Western Avenue corridor and Bricktown. 


11 Best New Independent Restaurants – Ma Der Lao 

FSR Magazine – July 2022 

The restaurants on this list represent the best of what independents have to offer. James Beard semifinalist Jeff Chanchaleune has been cooking delicious, multicultural food in Oklahoma City for over 20 years. When COVID shut down much of the hospitality industry, Chanchaleune felt a tug to create a restaurant that honored his Lao heritage. 


Best American Cities for Live Music 

Reader’s Digest – March 2020 

Reader’s Digest’s Best American Cities for Live Music looks at the quality and quantity of live music venues in municipalities across the nation. There are a lot more opportunities to see great live music in OKC these days. OKC has transformed into a multi-genre city where everything from jazz to hip-hop can be found daily. 


Top 100 US Restaurants- Café Kacao  

Yelp – March 2022 

Yelp ranked the number of votes each restaurant received, ratings, reviews and geographical representation to determine its top 100 restaurants. Among the top 100 was Cafe Kacao. Founded in 2010, Café Kacao serves an eclectic menu of Guatemalan breakfast and brunch items, with influences from Central and South America. Its generous portions and homecooked meals have made a reputation for this family-run business, not to mention the amazing flavors it brings to the table. 


America’s Classics Winners – Florence’s  

James Beard Foundation – February 2022 

The America's Classics Award is given to locally owned restaurants that have timeless appeal and are beloved regionally for quality food that reflects the character of its community. In 2022, Florence’s was one of six restaurants across the country to receive the award. Three OKC chefs have earned solo nominations on the foundation’s previous two semifinalist listings. Chefs Andrew Black and Zach Hutton of OKC have earned spots on the award’s 2022 semifinalist list. The list’s previous iteration included Oklahoma City’s Jeff Chanchaleune. 


100 Most Loved Travel Destinations Around the World  

Tourism Sentiment Index - 2022 

To name the most loved travel destinations around the world, the Tourism Sentiment Index completed an intensive study of Tourism Sentiment Index data, aggregating information from 1.6 billion sources across the world about 21,330 global destinations.  In 2021, among the top 100 was Oklahoma City.