Cattlemen’s Steakhouse Voted for the Best Chicken-Fried Steak in Oklahoma

Drive south on South Agnew Avenue in Oklahoma City, and you’ll eventually come upon an arched metal sign with a rancher riding a horse on one side and a giant steer on the other. Welcome to Stockyard City.

You’ll feel as if you’re in another world, even though you’re still in Oklahoma City. Pleather is considered prohibited here, although cowboy hats are a common accessory.

Certain places in the South appear so stereotyped that they almost seem contrived. But Stockyards City, the picture-perfect rancher’s utopia, lives up to its reputation—and nowhere is this more clear than at Cattlemen’s.

History of Cattlemen’s Steakhouse

Cattlemen's Steakhouse Voted for the Best Chicken-Fried Steak in Oklahoma

Since 1910, this iconic establishment (formerly known as Cattlemen’s Cafe) has served the best beef in town (the Oklahoma National Stockyards is nearby). The restaurant’s interior betrays its episodic past before the “brief history” on the menu.

The walls are covered with portraits of the early owner, as well as a mural representing an Old West bar scene. One part of the facility keeps its mid-century lunch counter aspect, while the other rooms resemble dimly lit steakhouses from your dreams.

These relatively divergent portions reflect Cattlemen’s diverse, and occasionally wild, history. During Prohibition, it served as a gathering point for cowpokes and meat packers to refuel, and it later became a location for the same customers to purchase home brew.

Hank Frey gambled his ownership in a game of dice in 1945, and Gene Wade took over. All Wade had to do was roll a hard six; a “33” remained on the wall to mark his successful throw.

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Cattlemen’s Chicken Fried Steak

Cattlemen's Steakhouse Voted for the Best Chicken-Fried Steak in Oklahoma

While the restaurant is well-known for its aged charcoal-grilled steaks, they have also perfected another regional staple. Chicken-fried steak became the official state supper in 1988, and Cattlemen’s version lives up to that honor. In our 2024 South’s Best awards, our readers chose it as the best in the state.

Most chicken-fried steaks use beef that has been pounded into a hamburger-like consistency, but this meat is soft while maintaining its texture, more akin to a fillet than ground meat. It’s coated in a light, flour-based breading and cooked until perfectly crisp.

The unique spice pushes it up a notch, and in a clever move, the peppery cream gravy is served primarily behind the steak, preventing any sogginess from damaging the breading before you eat it.

If all of that goodness hasn’t satisfied you, don’t worry. The chicken-fried steak is served with handmade buns, a baked potato, and salad. Try the strange-looking yet miraculous house dressing, then dip your salad’s large croutons in it for good measure.

Although Cattlemen’s was built to serve its namesake community, it is beloved by Oklahomans of all stripes—not to mention guests from all over the country, including musicians, actors, and even Presidents. (President George H.W. Bush’s favorite meal is prominently displayed on the menu.)

The faded but gorgeous photo murals of snazzyly dressed cowboys are enough to entice you, but when that basic, expertly prepared cuisine arrives at your table, you’ll understand why people have been coming to Cattlemen’s for over a century.

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Cattlemen’s Steakhouse in Stockyards City, Oklahoma City, embodies a century of history, serving the best beef since 1910. Known for its iconic chicken-fried steak, aged charcoal-grilled steaks, and diverse clientele, it remains a beloved destination. The faded cowboy murals and presidential endorsements add charm, making Cattlemen’s a timeless culinary institution.


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