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Best Chicken-Fried Steak

Best Chicken-Fried Steak

Chicken-fried steak is so popular that it’s served in many establishments, from diners to five-star restaurants, and prepared in several ways, from burgers to breakfast platters.

Michele Chiappetta and Rob Harmon
December 28, 2018 3:18 AM

It is included in Oklahoma’s official state meal, and its origins are still up for debate — but chicken-fried steak has been an Oklahoma tradition for so long that it might as well have started right here in Tulsa. Before the first United States decennial census of 1910, just three years after Oklahoma was granted statehood, a combined 30,000 German and Austrian immigrants moved into these parts. With them, they brought their recipes for wiener schnitzel, goulash, bratwurst and a whole lot more delicious foods.

Resembling the look and taste of the traditional wiener schnitzel, a chicken-fried steak is simply a tenderized cube steak that is pan-fried and coated with seasoned flour. But the definition does little to describe the love affair Oklahomans have for this crispy, browned dish. Here in Green Country, we make it at home every chance we can, and then we eat it again when we go out to a restaurant. It’s just that good.

Truth be told, many restaurants around Tulsa just wouldn’t dream of sending a menu out to their tables without including a good chicken-fried steak. Here are some of the many fantastic places you can get a downright tasty chicken-fried steak to soothe your soul.

Village Inn is known for many tasty treats including pie, but their chicken-fried steak offering is one of the best in the region.


Baxter's Interurban Grill
717 S. Houston Ave. | Tulsa
Since the 1970s, some of the finest comfort food and other tasty meals that evoke Americana has been right there on 717 South Houston. Even after a fire almost ended the restaurant for good years back, it’s still going strong and as consistent as ever. The classic mainstay throughout has been their chicken-fried steak. You will thoroughly enjoy the crispy, breaded, six-ounce sirloin meal, served with yummy garlic mashed potatoes, savory green beans and rich cream gravy. This is the kind of meal you’re tempted to take some home with you in order to treat yourself the next day to amazing leftovers.

Bricktown Brewery
9409 E. 71st St. | Tulsa
3301 S. Peoria Ave. | Tulsa
11909 E. 96th St. N. | Tulsa
When you’re in the mood for local, Oklahoma-crafted beers, then a trip to Bricktown Brewery needs to be on your list of places to go. India pale ale, rye ale, stout and more — you’ll find plenty to love here. And to help you drink more without falling down, try their chicken-fried steak — a hand-battered chopped steak served with maple pepper gravy, mashed potatoes and green beans for a visit-to-grandma’s feel. Don’t forget to save room for their Sizzling Apple Crisp or their Big Cookies & A Little Milk. Let’s face it. Comfort food and beer? You can’t go wrong.

Caz's Chowhouse
18 E. M.B. Brady St. | Tulsa
Choose either chicken-fried steak or, for a twist, chicken-fried chicken in Tulsa’s Arts District’s popular upscale, down-home eating establishment — Caz’s Chowhouse. With the most amazing supporting cast of comfort-food style sides like green beans, black-eyed peas, and fried okra, you cannot go wrong. Folks love the creamy skillet gravy they lavishly pour on that delicious hand-battered morsel. It makes every bite better than the last. Caz’s atmosphere makes every meal there a special event. It certainly is one of the best places to enjoy a memorable chicken-fried steak, or anything else your appetite is hankering for.

3726 S. Peoria Ave. | Tulsa
Casual, upbeat, moderately priced — it’s pretty clear why Green Country residents love a trip to Charleston’s. The warm, dark wood interior creates a sense of comfort you can relax into as you enjoy good food and great conversation with your dinner companions. You can go for anything from burgers to prime rib, but their chicken-fried steak is one of their specialties. It’s hand-breaded with black pepper chipotle gravy, and served with mashed potatoes and sweet glazed carrots. Start off the meal with spicy Dynamite Shrimp and finish with the German chocolate cake for a decadent meal through and through.

Clanton's Cafe
319 E. Illinois Ave. | Vinita
Traveling from Tulsa to Vinita is a short trip when you consider the payoff is a visit to Clanton’s. World famous, Clanton’s is the stuff nostalgia is based on. Right there on the old Oklahoma Route 66, this café is a throwback to generations past with huge dinner portions and melt-in-your-mouth desserts you’ll make the trip again for. But guess what most folks say is the best meal they’ve ever had at Clanton’s? It’s the chicken-fried steak, hands down. Anybody reading this who has had it before is already salivating, guaranteed. Guy Fieri from Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives even visited Clanton’s and said it was amazing.

Corner Cafe
1103 S. Peoria Ave. | Tulsa
731 N. Sheridan Road | Tulsa
530 W. Main St. | Collinsville
When you want comfort food, what better place to visit than a local diner like Corner Café? Friendly staff serve up home-cooked food that’ll make you feel like you’re back in the 1950s, where everything was warm, fuzzy, and tasty. They serve breakfast all day, which is always tempting. But don’t forget to try their chicken-fried steak sometime. It’s made with homemade batter, crisp and topped with gravy. And you get sides like fresh rolls, black-eyed peas, mashed potatoes, coleslaw and more to choose from.

Dilly Diner
402 E. 2nd St. | Tulsa
Retro. That’s the feeling you get when visiting Dilly Diner. Tulsans love the atmosphere and, without a doubt, the food. As you could guess, one of the most raved about items on the menu is the chicken-fried steak. That’s because Dilly Diner knows how to bread a choice piece of meat and make it taste out of this world. It smells so good before it even hits your palate, you will thoroughly savor every bite. It really is that great. The scrumptious mashed potatoes and tender seasoned vegetables are the perfect sides for this belly pleaser of a meal.

Freeway Cafe
1547 E. 3rd St. | Tulsa
465 S. Sheridan Ave. | Tulsa
5849 S. 49th W. Ave. | Tulsa
An upbeat diner feel, friendly servers, and ample portions at a good price are a few of the reasons people love Freeway Café. As you’re seated, you’ll take in some fun, ‘50s-style décor and an ample menu of selections. Their chicken-fried steak is a fun option because you can get it breakfast-style, alongside eggs and sides like hash browns, grits, or biscuit and gravy. Or get it dinner-style alongside a homemade roll, soup or salad, and a couple of tasty sides like mashed potatoes, green beans, corn, okra, tabouli and more.

Nelson's Buffeteria
4401 S. Memorial Dr. | Tulsa
Since the 1920s, this has been an establishment that finds itself pictured right next to a juicy chicken-fried steak in any Tulsa-influenced encyclopedia (if there was one). Nelson’s Buffeteria and their world-famous chicken-fried steak — the two just can’t be separated. We’d even venture to guess that most pictures you’ll find these days of the restaurant on social media will show a nice, big, mouth-watering slab of chicken-fried steak smothered in Nelson’s signature white gravy. Just south of 41st Street and Memorial Drive, you can’t miss Nelson’s iconic neon sign. Walk in and see if you can prove us wrong.

New Atlas Grill
415 S. Boston Ave. | Tulsa
If you’ve driven by the Atlas Life Building in downtown Tulsa without stopping inside, now’s the time to do it. This historic landmark bears many marks of art deco style and class. It also houses the New Atlas Grill, a casual dining spot that serves breakfast and lunch during the week and brunch on weekends. In addition to their regular soups, salads, and sandwiches, they serve lunch specials, including Wednesday’s chicken-fried steak — a generous portion served with cream gravy, mashed potatoes, glazed carrots and a biscuit, perfect for hearty eating anytime you’re craving it.

Ollie's Station
4070 Southwest Blvd. | Tulsa
On the west side, in Tulsa’s historic Redfork Corner, right at the spot where the old Route 66 and the area’s railroad meet, stands a Tulsa icon. A visit to Ollie’s will do two things for you:  reignite any love you had as a kid for toy trains, and completely satisfy you with a full stomach. Find a table and sit down. Now, look up. Above your head will run a toy train, steaming to its imaginary destination. Now, look down again. You’ve just been served a piping hot plate of the most delicious chicken-fried steak you’ve ever had, served just the way granny would have done it.

6033 S. Sheridan Road | Tulsa
With a century-long history in Tulsa, Savoy’s warm service and delicious food will have you coming back again and again for a satisfying breakfast or lunch. Get an ample portion of the chicken-fried steak for breakfast with eggs, homemade hash browns, home fries, grits, or some of their amazing pancakes. The lunch version comes with hot dinner rolls and sides. Once you’ve tasted the excellent food available there, you’ll no doubt become one of their regular customers.

Tally's Good Food Cafe
1102 S. Yale Ave. | Tulsa
6100 S. Sheridan Road | Tulsa
This classic diner is so good, they had to make another one. There’s not only one Tally’s on 11th Street and Yale Avenue (the historic Route 66 location); now there’s another restaurant at 61st Street and Sheridan Road. Visit either one, or both, and you’ll understand why people have been cramming into this place since the 1980s. Open seven days a week and serving breakfast, lunch and dinner all day, Tally’s aims to please. When you order that big chicken-fried steak, if it’s not exactly the way you want it, they’ll fix it. That’s the Tally’s way. We doubt that you’ll have a problem with it or any of their amazing diner specialties.

The Bros. Houligan
4848 S. Yale Ave. | Tulsa
This casual style bistro and friendly bar is loved by a lot of Tulsans for its reliable late-night menu of comfort foods and happy hour drink specials. Among the favorite menu items for regulars is the chicken-fried steak, which is served homestyle with as much mashed potatoes and green beans as you want. Visit on Thursdays when the chicken-fried steak is the special, and get $2 off the regular price. If you’re with family or friends, get the generous onion rings appetizer or a fried shrimp basket to share.

The Wild Fork
1820 Utica Square | Tulsa
After you’ve used all your Utica Square gift cards from the holiday season, pop over to The Wild Fork for a meal you won’t soon forget. You’ll understand what we’re talking about the minute you enter the restaurant. The aromas from the kitchen and the dining room’s charmingly quaint and elegantly understated interior will please the senses before you’ve even had a seat. Of course, one of their most fantastic menu items has always been the delicious chicken-fried steak. Topped with rich, cream gravy and your choice of sides, it’s a perfect after-shopping meal. You’ll thank us for the suggestion.

Village Inn
2745 S. Harvard Ave. | Tulsa
3302 S. Memorial Dr. | Tulsa
5230 S. Yale Ave. | Tulsa
8320 E. 71st St. | Tulsa
Village Inn is known, among other things, for its pie. In fact, it’s one of the best places to grab a slice of pie in all Green Country, with lots of flavors to choose from and whole pies to buy and bring home anytime you have a special occasion to celebrate. Of course, you’re a grown-up who eats your meal before dessert, right? Well, Village Inn has that covered too. Order their chicken-fried steak scrambler — a hearty fixing of chicken-fried steak scrambled with two eggs, diced onion, red bell pepper and sliced fresh mushrooms, topped with country sausage gravy. Or get the chicken-fried steak dinner with mashed potatoes, a buttermilk biscuit, and a side.

Also Check Out

Brookside by Day
3313 S. Peoria Ave. | Tulsa

Evelyn's Soul Food
3014 N. 74th E. Ave. | Tulsa

Hammett House
1616 W. Will Rogers Blvd. | Claremore

Lilly's Diner
19320 E. Admiral Place | Tulsa

2604 N. Aspen Ave. | Broken Arrow

Silver Dollar Cafe
1022 W. Main St. | Collinsville

The Brook Restaurant and Bar
3401 S. Peoria Ave. | Tulsa

Twin Peaks
7007 S. Memorial Dr. | Tulsa

Waterfront Grill
120 Aquarium Dr. | Jenks

April 2020 Cover