What’s New in OKC Food for Summer ’24

Last Updated: June 17, 2024By

After a long, slow period of restaurant openings, summer ‘24 looks very busy by comparison. No, the tough market for restaurants isn’t nearly over, and likely won’t be until the price gouging on nearly everything restaurant related stops, but we are seeing signs of cautious optimism from experienced operators.

Alma, the new concept from James Beard Award nominee Chef Zach Hutton and Trent Ward, opens Friday, June 21, in the former Ludivine spot on NW 10th. We covered the details first in this previous story

James Beard Award winner (Outstanding Chef 2023) Andrew Black debuts Perle Mesta in The Skirvin on June 24. He’s keeping quiet about the menu, but we know it will include breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner service – it’s in a hotel, after all – as well as high tea and in-room dining. 

Plaza District has the most openings of any area around the city this summer, with three new concepts and a relocation all in a row, sort of. Aurora combines with Social to begin breakfast, lunch and dinner service in the former Mexican Radio spot, and they’ll be flanked by two Japanese restaurants: Takaramono, a robatayaki concept, and Oshiki, a teppanyaki restaurant that started in Quail Springs Mall. Margarita Garden, a new bar from the Cifuentes family – Chiltepe’s (RIP) and Tienda Guatemala – will open soon in the former Neon Coffee space. They won’t have food immediately, but plan to add a food menu at some point, and here’s hoping great Guatemalan food returns to Plaza.

Viet Pham is looking at a July opening for his gorgeous Akai Sushi-Ya & Izakaya in Wheeler District. Executive Chef Shinichi Okamoto brings an impressive resume to Akai, including two gigs with Chef Akira Back in Las Vegas and Dallas. Pham has partnered with Stonecloud Brewing for a yuzu citrus hazy pale ale, and you can expect an excellent selection of sake and Japanese spirits. 

Midtown will have three openings this summer, including the relocation of Mexican Radio to the former Louie’s space on Walker, and a new bao restaurant where Mi Xian used to be in the Edge complex. Lori Burson’s (Stella) new concept in the former 1492 space is likely to arrive first quarter 2025. She’s keeping quiet about the name and genre for now. Joel Irby and Nate Roberts of Stonecloud are partnering with Pivot to open a much-needed sandwich shop in Midtown. The Goose should land early July, featuring great sandwiches, a rooftop patio, and a (lovely) dive bar in the former Elk Valley taproom.

One of the most exciting components of The Goose will be the beer collaboration between Roberts and rockstar designer Elizabeth Maxwell. Wells Pale Lager cans will be available in select dive bars around the metro, but the only kegs will be at The Goose, along with 12-packs for sale. The beer is unaffiliated with Stonecloud, and all package and can design is Maxwell’s work. 

Off the Hook on Britton returns in early July with a reworked menu. Owner Loniesha Tempson said she’ll be adding daiquris and wings, but the menu will be pared down considerably. The restaurant has also been rebranded Off the Hook Eatery.

Former Off the Hook founder and co-owner Chef Corey Harris is taking his Corey B. Cookin’ to the East Side and going brick and mortar at NE 23rd and Bryant this summer. He’ll be slinging many of the favorites he made famous when Off the Hook was still a food truck. 

Festive south-side taqueria El Chilango is making the jump to downtown proper in July with the opening of a second location. The Lucha Libre themed spot is locally famous for its bright design and luchador-based decor, as well as their mole, pozole, and beverage menu that includes atole and tepache alongside a delicious horchata. The spot at 502 N. Hudson has been historically problematic based on many factors, not the least of which is its proximity to the downtown Embark transit center, so they’ll need support and a solid plan, but it will be very nice to have traditional tacos, hurache, pambazos, and horchata downtown.

Western Avenue’s beloved VZDs will finally have a new occupant in early July. Chef Timothy Abell is very close to having Raven, a neighborhood bar and bistro, fully open. They’re currently open Tuesday – Saturday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., selling coffee, shaken lattes, pastries from talented pastry chef Amber Bloom-Pego, and breakfast sandwiches. When they move to full service, the focus will be on open-flame cooking and locally sourced produce and proteins, including steaks and chops, and thoughtfully prepared vegetarian options. The remodel opened the dining room and mezzanine, and brought in welcome natural light from the skylight, and that combined with the gorgeous new barstools has brightened up a space that had grown gloomy and constricted over the decades.

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