Where the Locals Eat
Updated: Jan 7
When you visit Shawnee, Oklahoma, eventually someone will say “I’m hungry!” and ask “What’s to eat?” Shawnee boasts a wide variety of dining options including recognizable national chains. But where do the locals eat? And where are must-eat local stops during your visit(s)? We list the top must-try restaurants in Shawnee.
Van’s Pig Stand is Oklahoma’s oldest barbeque restaurant continuously owned and operated by the same family. They’ve been doing Bar-B-Q right since 1930. You’ll find quality smoked meats steeped in tradition and great, deep flavor. There’s two Shawnee locations. The one on Highland is the original.
The Brown Derby has been a Shawnee tradition since 1966. Pull into the authentic fifties-era drive in, run by Shawnee-local families to this day. Choose from burgers, hot dogs, fries, shakes, and malts – “classic American drive-in fare done the same way today as it was when Eisenhower was on the ballot and gas was 29 cents a gallon.”
The Hamburger King has been "famous for hamburgers since 1927." The King serves up food in a dining area filled with 1950s-style decor. This restaurant features a unique way to order – after perusing the menu, you pick up a phone at your table and "call in" your order. Then a server brings your food right to your table.
Theopolis Social Club is a “brasserie-style destination in the heart of the Depot District where wine, cocktails, food & culture collide in a modern, eclectic space.” The neighborhood restaurant makes all of their food from scratch using as many local ingredients as possible. You’ll enjoy the atmosphere almost as much as the food and drinks!
The Lunch Box is a sandwich shop serving sandwiches and not your typical sandwiches! What they create for sandwiches is art. Also serving soups, salads, and desserts. (Hello! DESSERTS!!) It’s not deli... it's deli-cious.
The Owl Shoppe is a small family-run restaurant established in 2012. Stepping in you may question eating there. But good luck getting a table ‘cause the locals LOVE the Owl. It’s the healthier menu in Shawnee with vegan and gluten-free options.
Frateli's serves Shawnee's best Italian food made according to family recipes brought over from the old country more than two decades ago. Sure there’s familiar faves – pizza, calzones, and pasta dishes – but their specialty dishes are what you will want to order!
Firelake Fry Bread Tacos is Oklahoma’s ONLY dedicated fry bread taco restaurant. These aren’t the carnival or county fair kind, but authentic offerings. Choose from grilled chicken, ground beef or ground bison. Pile on either black, chili or pinto beans, fresh vegetables and an assortment of cheeses, sour cream and salsa. Accompany it with a meat pies or finish with fry bread with fresh strawberries and whipped cream, powered sugar, cinnamon and honey. All recipes were created by a Potawatomi tribal member, so you can be sure your fry bread taco is an authentic piece of Native American cuisine.