Alongside a café and wine bar, a bed and breakfast, and a wholesale producer, a bakery might be eclipsed. But it isn't the case for Scholars Inn Bakehouse, one of the myriad parcels of Scholars Inn. The bakery produces daily fresh-baked breads made entirely from scratch and formed by hand, earning praise from several publications, including a guest spot on the cover of Modern Baking magazine. Fragrant breads hewn from all-natural ingredients emerge from European stone-hearth ovens, ready to complement the café menu, sit alongside granolas and bagels, or fill in as backup footballs.
Cozy Lounge pairs frosty beer and mixed drinks with satisfying pub eats ranging from hot wings to grilled tenderloin. Pizzas, sandwiches, and baked subs round out the menu. The spot stays open until 3 a.m. Monday through Saturday, with poker, karaoke, and other amusements to keep groups entertained. Check out the schedule.
Counter seats run along the kitchen at Mariann's Restaurant, allowing their occupants to nurse cups of coffee while watching the kitchen crew fill orders from handwritten tickets. Since 1969, the classic diner has put on its coffee pots at 6 a.m. and warmed breakfast plates such as biscuits and gravy or rib-eye steak and eggs. As the day goes on, the Mariann crew prepares housemade soups to accompany sandwiches during the lunch rush, as well as dinner plates such as center-cut pork chops, certified Angus steaks, and southern fried chicken. In lieu of an animatronic Johnny Carson, Mariann's Restaurant prepares fresh-baked blackberry and peach cobbler as the ideal accompaniment to late-night discussions in a springy booth.
If ever you wanted to eat your way across the globe, Nadia's Bistro would be a good place to start. Here, diners can check off Indonesia, Thailand, and parts of the Mediterranean all in one sitting, and all without having to learn language translations for "mmm." Chef Tom prepares dishes from many cultures using both traditional and contemporary techniques. There's the Indonesian specialty gado-gado, for instance, which contains a jumble of fresh veggies, tofu, boiled eggs, and potatoes. Pastas, meanwhile, reign supreme over the Mediterranean portion of the menu, and stir-fries represent Thailand with such specialties as pad pong ka ree–a seafood-based dish loaded with calamari, scallops, and shrimp.
Chefs at B-Town Pizza hand-toss each disk of fresh-made dough before slathering it in one of seven sauces, from traditional red to sweet and spicy barbecue. Veggies and meats, such as roma tomatoes and imported pepperoni, top each pie alongside a choice of seven types of cheese before baking in an Old World brick oven. Though B-Town specializes in New York–style hand-tossed crusts, chefs can also concoct pies with Thin-n-Crispy, Sicilian deep-dish, and gluten-free crusts. After the oven, piping-hot pies make their way to B-Town's sit-down dining room or into a recyclable box for delivery or carryout.
In 1953, Shawnee, Oklahoma played host to the very first Sonic, a drive-in diner replete with carhops on roller skates who served classic burgers, fries, and tater tots. Now, more than 50 years later, Sonic is the biggest chain of drive-in restaurants in America, a title that's fueled by its signature toaster sandwiches, its foot-long, quarter-pound coney dogs, and its 398,929 possible combinations of frozen beverages. The restaurant's original dishes remain largely unchanged and silent, and new additions, such as breakfast burritos and a rotating selection of shakes, keep diners on their toes.
The restaurant doesn't just feed bellies—for more than 15 years, it's fed the minds of Oklahoman youth with academic enhancement programs, and its national Limeades for Learning program works to advance educational opportunities for youth throughout the country.