Oklahoma City, Oklahoma might bring to mind visions of onion burgers and barbecue joints, but the city is home to a wide range of excellent Italian restaurants as well. Some of these offer unique Italian food with a Tex-Mex twist and others serve home-style Italian cooking that will transport you directly to the countryside of Tuscany. Hours/availability may have changed.
1.Bellini's Ristorante & Grill
© Bellini's Ristorante & Grill
Tucked away at the base of the Waterford Building, Bellini's Ristorante & Grill offers excellent Italian-style cuisine in an intimate setting. The ambiance is a great reason to come here, especially if you sit on the outdoor patio overlooking the beautiful pond with its cascading water feature. The food is just as enticing as the atmosphere – try the chicken marsala, the seafood pizza, or the restaurant's signature lasagna. Lunch is served from Tuesday to Friday during the week and a special brunch menu is offered on Sundays between 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Private dining rooms are available for large groups.
6305 Waterford Blvd, Suite 100, Oklahoma City, OK 73118, Phone: 405-848-1065
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2.Cafe 7 Delicatessen and Pastaria
© Cafe 7 Delicatessen and Pastaria
Cafe 7 is a casual deli-style restaurant that serves high-quality Italian-inspired food at a reasonable price. True to its name, the restaurant is open 7 days a week. Most menu items cost around $7 and the team aims to serve customers their food within 7 minutes of their order. The menu offers pizzas, pastas, sandwiches, and salads; all items are entirely customizable and plenty of options are available for vegetarians, children, and gluten-free diners. In addition to the regular menu, daily and seasonal specials are always offered. Please note that this restaurant has two locations: the north location and the downtown location.
14101 N. May Ave, STE 117, Oklahoma City, OK 73134, Phone: 405-748-3354
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3.Gabriella's Italian Grill & Pizzeria
© Gabriella's Italian Grill & Pizzeria
Located on the site of a well-known gambling den that burned down in 1949, Gabriella's Italian Grill & Pizzeria is believed by some to be haunted. However, the relaxed, welcoming environment and the delicious food are enough to chase away any thoughts of ghosts. The restaurant's signature wood-fired pizzas are made in a large brick oven that burns nothing but seasoned oak, which lends the crusts a delicious smoky flavor. The menu also offers a wide variety of pasta, meat, and fish dishes. Gluten-free substitutions are available, and family-style dining is offered for large groups.
1226 NE 63rd St., Oklahoma City, OK 73111, Phone: 405-478-4955
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4.Italian Restaurants Near Me: Pizzeria Gusto
© Pizzeria Gusto
Located in the historic Uptown district of Oklahoma City, Pizzeria Gusto was the first authentic Neapolitan pizza restaurant in the city. The restaurant's pizza oven was built by the famed Stefano Ferrara in Naples, the birthplace of the Neapolitan pizza, and many of the ingredients used are imported from Italy as well. Pizza options range from the classically delicious margherita to a lamb sausage pizza topped with chipotle sun-dried tomato jam and pickled shallots. In addition to pizzas, the restaurant also features sandwiches, salads, and a number of small plates that are perfect for sharing.
2415 N Walker Ave, Oklahoma City, OK 73103, Phone: 405-437-4992
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5.Moni's Pasta and Pizza
© Moni's Pasta and Pizza
Moni's Pasta and Pizza is named after Moni Kaba, who spent 9 years learning to cook in Italy before moving to America to fulfill his dream of opening a restaurant. He eventually passed on his restaurant to John and Rachel Foster, but it still offers the same classic Italian dishes that it has since the 1990s. Highlights of the menu include the chicken parmesan sub, the baked ziti, the veal marsala, and the build-your-own pizzas that are fired in a brick oven. There are plenty of vegetarian options, and gluten-free pizza crusts and pastas are available.
17200 N May Ave, Ste 700, Edmond, OK 73012, Phone: 405-285-5991
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6.Oliveto Italian Bistro
© Oliveto Italian Bistro
Oliveto Italian Bistro is a welcoming neighborhood restaurant that serves artisan-inspired Italian cuisine. The menu offers a wide variety of appetizers, soups, salads, sandwiches, pasta dishes, and house specials like chicken parmesan and cedar plank salmon. The pizzas are another menu highlight; the dough is made from scratch every day and the pizzas are baked on the hearth in a wood-fired oven. $2 beers are served Monday to Friday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and appetizers and pizzas are 50% off every day after 8 p.m. Plenty of options are available for vegetarians, and the restaurant boasts more than 20 gluten-free menu items.
1301 S. I-35 Service Road, Moore, OK 73160, Phone: 405-735-5553
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7.Italian Restaurants Near Me: Patrono
Conveniently located right downtown, Patrono was designed in the style of traditional Italian restaurants and serves delicious, authentic food in a welcoming setting. The menu offers salads, meat and cheese boards, several meat entrees, and traditional pasta dishes like spaghetti puttanesca and linguine with clams in a white wine sauce. Only the best San Marzano tomatoes are used in the restaurant and many ingredients are imported from Italy, including cheese, olives, salami, and pastas. All of the wines served come from Italy as well, and the restaurant is proud to offer homemade limoncello and fennelcello.
305 N Walker Ave, Oklahoma City, OK 73102, Phone: 405-702-7660
8.Rococo Restaurant & Fine Wine
© Rococo Restaurant & Fine Wine
With two different locations in Oklahoma City, Rococo Restaurant & Fine Wine is an upscale establishment with an intimate atmosphere. The Italian-inspired menu has a focus on fresh seafood, including specialty items like steamer clams and wild salmon. Much of the menu changes seasonally, but it always offers two of the most popular dishes: the crab cakes and the clam chowder. The unique savory "cookies" are another Rococo specialty; expect to see flavors like smoked salmon, shrimp and spinach, or blue cheese. The menu also offers excellent pasta dishes, various meat entrees, and vegan and gluten-free options. Places to Visiti in Oklahoma
2824 N Pennsylvania Ave, Oklahoma City, OK 73107, Phone: 405-528-2824
9.Italian Restaurants Near Me: Spazio Ristorante
© Spazio Ristorante
An excellent destination for authentic Italian food, Spazio Ristorante prides itself on its diverse menu and its freshly prepared food. Offerings include appetizers, salads, pizzas, and pasta dishes like traditional spaghetti with meatballs and lobster ravioli. Diners can also choose from a wide range of chicken, veal, steak, and seafood entrees as well as several vegetarian options. Everything on the menu is made onsite, including the sauces, the pizzas, and the decadent desserts.
10600 S Pennsylvania Ave, Oklahoma City, OK 73170, Phone: 405-378-3375
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10.Italian Restaurants Near Me: Stella
Inspired by the love of food that owner Lori Burson found while she was studying abroad in Italy, Stella is a neighborhood restaurant that offers excellent food and an enjoyable, relaxed atmosphere. The decor is warm and inviting and the restaurant is centered around the wood-fired brick oven in which the pizzas are cooked. The menu changes with the season, but guests can always expect to see a selection of sharing plates, soups and salads, wood-fired pizzas, pasta dishes, and meat entrees. The restaurant also regularly hosts special events like holiday brunches, wine dinners, and an annual fine dining truffle dinner.
1201 N Walker Ave, Oklahoma City, OK 73103, Phone: 405-235-2200
11.Italian Restaurants Near Me: The Wedge
© The Wedge
The Wedge Pizzeria was the first wood-fired pizza joint in Oklahoma City and all of the high-quality food is made fresh daily. The menu offers an excellent range of appetizers, salads, gourmet brick-oven pizzas, pasta dishes, and desserts. Build-your-own pizzas are also available and guests can choose from a wide range of toppings, including traditional options like pepperoni and mushrooms as well as more unique choices like figs and cashew ricotta. Both indoor and outdoor seating is available and guests are even given the opportunity to enjoy a round of bocce, Italy’s favorite game.
230 N.E. 1st ST, Oklahoma City, OK 73104, Phone: 405-270-0660
12.Venezia Italian Ristorante
© Venezia Italian Ristorante
Opened in 2011, Venezia Italian Ristorante offers authentic Italian cuisine and an excellent selection of red and white wines. The restaurant is family owned and operated, and it gladly welcomes guests of all ages. An incredible selection of menu options is available, including appetizers, salads, hot and cold subs, calzones, pasta dishes, and hand-tossed New York style pizzas that are fully customizable. Meat entrees include everything from chicken to veal to seafood to steak, and the children's menu offers an excellent variety of affordable pasta dishes. All food is prepared from scratch onsite without frozen or premade ingredients.
201 S Sooner Road, Del City, Oklahoma 73110, Phone: 405-702-7773
13.Italian Restaurants Near Me: Vito's
Vito's Ristorante was opened in 2004 by Cathy, a passionate chef whose family has been in the Italian restaurant business for generations. Cathy began working in her parent's restaurant when she was only 12 years old, and all of the food served here is prepared using traditional family recipes. The menu offers appetizers, salads, and pasta dishes, many of which are made unforgettable by Cathy's own red sauce (known as “sugo”). There are also a number of classic Italian chicken, steak, and fish entrees, and house specialties include eggplant parmesan and breaded shrimp served over pasta.
7628 N May Ave, Oklahoma City, OK, Phone: 405-848-4867
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14.Italian Restaurants Near Me: Flip's
Opened in 1985, Flip’s Wine Bar & Trattoria is a simple Italian-American restaurant that serves classic comfort food in a friendly environment. Everything is prepared in-house and the menu offers everything from soups and salads to specialty pizzas and sandwiches and calzones. Specialties include lobster ravioli, chicken lasagna, and gnocchi served in a pesto cream sauce, and three-course specials with soup and salad are available with select pasta dishes.
5801 N Western Ave, Oklahoma City, OK 73118, Phone: 405-843-1527
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15.Italian Restaurants Near Me: Joey's
Located in the trendy Arts District, Joey's Pizzeria prides itself on its fresh ingredients, wide variety of menu options, and excellent food quality. The menu offers a wide variety of appetizers, salads, toasted subs, baked pasta dishes, and pizzas; some pastas can be made gluten-free upon request. Pizzas come with the option of thin crust, Chicago hand-tossed, or deep dish, and guests can choose from the restaurant's specialty pizzas or design their own with up to five toppings. Several lunch specials are available and the restaurant offers a beer and pizza special on Oklahoma Thunder game nights.
700 W Sheridan Ave, Oklahoma City, OK 73102, Phone: 405-525-8503
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16.Papa Dio's Italian Restaurant & Wine Bar
© Papa Dio's Italian Restaurant & Wine Bar
Family-owned and operated, Papa Dio's Italian Restaurant & Wine Bar is the oldest family-owned Italian restaurant in Oklahoma. The restaurant is divided into two parts: the fine dining wine bar side and the "family-style" side that offers a more casual experience. Popular menu items include the restaurant's signature deep-fried pizza, baked pasta dishes like lasagna and manicotti, and Dio's famous spaghetti with red sauce and meatballs. The restaurant has been using the same recipe for this since 1979 and their red sauce is so popular that they've made it available for purchase in take-home jars.
10712 N May Ave, Oklahoma City, OK 73120, Phone: 405-755-2255
17.Italian Restaurants Near Me: Revolve Pizza Kitchen
© Revolve Pizza Kitchen
Named in honor of its two custom-built revolving brick ovens, Revolve is a casual counter-order style restaurant that specializes in gourmet pizzas. Diners choose everything from the crust to the sauce to the toppings, but several delicious signature pizzas are available as well. All pizzas are fired in the open kitchen's brick oven, and the process only takes a few minutes. Pastas and salads are also available and these are fully customizable as well. Happy hour takes place from 3 p.m. until 5 p.m. Monday to Friday, and kids eat for free every Wednesday after 5 p.m.
5500 W Memorial Rd, Oklahoma City, OK 73142, Phone: 405-792-2858
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18.Upper Crust Wood Fired Pizza
© Upper Crust Wood Fired Pizza
Decorated in an earthy Napa Valley style, Upper Crust specializes in delicious thin-crust pizzas that are baked to perfection in their two wood-fired brick ovens. Diners can choose from one of the options on the menu or customize a pizza to their liking by choosing from a wide range of sauces, cheeses, and other toppings. Gluten-free crusts are also available. In addition to pizzas, there is a selection of Italian-inspired starters, soups, salads, sandwiches, and meat entrees. Special combo deals on pizzas and alcohol are offered every day between 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
5860 N Classen Blvd., Oklahoma City, OK 73118, Phone: 405-842-7743
18 Best Italian Restaurants in Oklahoma City, OK
- Bellini's Ristorante & Grill, Photo: Bellini's Ristorante & Grill
- Cafe 7 Delicatessen and Pastaria, Photo: Cafe 7 Delicatessen and Pastaria
- Gabriella's Italian Grill & Pizzeria, Photo: Gabriella's Italian Grill & Pizzeria
- Italian Restaurants Near Me: Pizzeria Gusto, Photo: Pizzeria Gusto
- Moni's Pasta and Pizza, Photo: Moni's Pasta and Pizza
- Oliveto Italian Bistro, Photo: Oliveto Italian Bistro
- Italian Restaurants Near Me: Patrono, Photo: Patrono
- Rococo Restaurant & Fine Wine, Photo: Rococo Restaurant & Fine Wine
- Italian Restaurants Near Me: Spazio Ristorante, Photo: Spazio Ristorante
- Italian Restaurants Near Me: Stella, Photo: Stella
- Italian Restaurants Near Me: The Wedge, Photo: The Wedge
- Venezia Italian Ristorante, Photo: Venezia Italian Ristorante
- Italian Restaurants Near Me: Vito's, Photo: Vito's
- Italian Restaurants Near Me: Flip's, Photo: Flip's
- Italian Restaurants Near Me: Joey's, Photo: Joey's
- Papa Dio's Italian Restaurant & Wine Bar, Photo: Papa Dio's Italian Restaurant & Wine Bar
- Italian Restaurants Near Me: Revolve Pizza Kitchen, Photo: Revolve Pizza Kitchen
- Upper Crust Wood Fired Pizza, Photo: Upper Crust Wood Fired Pizza
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of somegirl - Fotolia.com
Attraction Spotlight: 45th Infantry Division Museum
Located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, the 45th Infantry Division Museum showcases the military history of the State of Oklahoma, with a special focus on the history of the 45th Infantry Division, popularly known as the Thunderbirds. The United States Military’s 45th Infantry Division was established in 1923, in accordance with the National Defense Act of 1920.
As part of the Army National Guard, the Infantry Division trained in Fort Sill, Oklahoma and is well known for the adoption of its unique Thunderbird insignia, a traditional Native American symbol, integrated into its uniforms in 1939. In 1941, the Division became one of the first National Guard units activated to fight in World War II. The Division fought in several overseas campaigns in Italy, France, and Germany and was part of the liberation of the Dachau concentration camp in 1945. The Division resumed National Guard service after World War II, until it was activated again for the Korean War in 1951. Throughout the war, members of the Division participated in several major campaigns and continued to patrol the Korean Demilitarized Zone in 1954 after the armistice was signed. Upon its return to the United States, the Division returned to service as part of the National Guard until it was disbanded in 1969 during a large restructuring of the Guard that reduced its total number of active units.
In 1965, the Oklahoma State Legislature passed a legislative act creating the 45th Infantry Division Museum as a public museum facility to honor the Division’s service and educate the public about its role in World War II and the Korean War. In 1976, the museum moved to its current location in the former Lincoln Park Armory, which was built in 1937 and used by the Oklahoma National Guard until 1974 for a number of purposes, including a period of use as the Division’s headquarters. The museum’s first phase was opened to the public on September 27, 1976, with additional phases added throughout the late 20th century.
Permanent Exhibits and Collections
Today, the 45th Infantry Division Museum is owned and operated by the 45th Infantry Division Association nonprofit organzation, with additional funding provided by the State of Oklahoma. Two exhibit buildings with over 27,000 square feet of exhibit space are located on the museum’s 15-acre campus, along with a landscaped Outdoor Military Park presenting more than 60 military vehicles on the museum’s grounds. Admission to the museum is free for all visitors, with donations accepted on a voluntary basis.
The museum’s primary collections chronicle Oklahoma’s military history from its beginnings in the 17th century through its involvement in 20th-century international conflicts, with a particular focus on the service of the 45th Infantry Division. The Hall of Flags exhibit takes visitors through the military’s early history, from the initial settlement of Oklahoma through the state’s role in the American Civil War, while the Reaves Military Weapon Collection showcases American weapons and artifacts produced for conflicts from the Revolutionary War through the Vietnam War. In the World War II Collection, the war service of the 45 Infantry Division is recounted through a variety of artifacts, including a large historic photograph collection. The World War II era is also examined through the work of Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Bill Maudlin in the Bill Mauldin Cartoon Collection, which centers on the illustrated narrative of the lives of two fictional infantryman. A Liberation of Dachau exhibit also commemorates the April 29th, 1945 liberation of the Dachau Concentration Camp by 45th members along with the 157th Infantry Division, and a broader Korean War exhibit chronicles the Division’s service on the Korean peninsula.
Other exhibits throughout the museum focus on the human interest stories of the Division, including the Commanders Hall, which recognizes the Division’s commanders and Medal of Honor Recipients, and the Supporting Forces exhibit, which honors those who provided wartime support in the form of equipment, healthcare, and morale. An Infantry and Artillery Gallery focuses on cooperation between military and artillery units, and a Chapel allows visitors to learn about the role of the Army Chaplain during wartime, with artifacts and images related to units’ spiritual needs and practices.
On the museum’s grounds, the 15-acre walkthrough Thunderbird Park features landscaped paths showcasing landcrafts, aircrafts, and artillery. In addition over 60 displayed pieces of military equipment, the park is home to the Thunderbird Monument, a tribute to all members of the 45th Division who served in World II and the Korean War, as well as current members of the Oklahoma National Guard. The monument was built in 1959 and originally stood in downtown Oklahoma city, but was relocated to the museum in 2002.
Ongoing Programs and Events
Group tours of the museum are offered for small groups and organizations of 10 or more participants, including curriculum-incorporated field trips for elementary and secondary school students. The museum is also host to two annual public special events on Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day, which serve as a celebration of the United States Armed Forces and are dedicated to the men and women who have served in 20th and 21st-century international conflicts. Both annual events feature live patriotic music, guest keynote speakers, a helicopter flyover, and a Massing of the Colors ceremony.
2145 N.E. 36th Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73111, Phone: 405-424-5313
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Attraction Spotlight: Museum of Osteology
Located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, the Museum of Osteology is a fun and unique way for people to learn about the function and form of the skeletal system. Visitors have the chance to explore and learn about a variety of skeletons. In 1972, a seven year old Jay Villemarette was exploring in the woods when he found a dog skull. When Villemarette’s father saw his interest in the dog’s skull, he suggested that he should continue to search for and collect skulls. A few years later, Villemarette showcased his skull collection in the science fair.
He received an award, and decided to showcase his collection at the Oklahoma State Fair a year later. Fast forward many years later, Villemarette was a high school graduate who was working as an auto body technician. As way to make some extra money, he decided to sell skulls with his wife, Kim. Jay and Kim’s skull business became so popular that they eventually opened a retail location.
This retail location, called Skulls Unlimited, opened in 1990 in Oklahoma City. Ten years later, business continued to boom extensively, so Villemarette moved the store from the opening location to where it currently resides. Although Villemarette felt accomplished with his successful business, he wanted to give back to the community. So, in 2010 Villemarette founded and opened the Museum of Osteology. Currently, the Museum of Osteology is known as the largest osteology museum in the world.
One of the best things about the Museum of Osteology is that it only has permanent attractions. Sure, there are some special events that include outside artifacts, but the museum does not interchange their exhibits. Thus, you never have to worry about missing one of the highlighted attractions of the Museum of Osteology.
What is a Skeleton is an exhibit located in the beginning of the museum. This attraction is perfect for people who know little to no information about skeletons. A variety of basic skeletons, such as mammal skeletons and reptile skeletons, express the importance of having a skeleton. By walking through this exhibit, you will learn a variety of information that will make walking through the rest of the museum a fun and exciting experience.
Explorer’s Corner is the perfect opportunity for visitors to get hands-on experience with skeletons. This attraction offers over a dozen of animal skeletons that visitors get to handle and examine.
Comparative Anatomy is known as the study of examining and distinguishing between the comparisons and contrasts of the anatomy of various organisms. By placing a variety of skeletons side-by-side, visitors get the chance to study the similarities and differences of each of the skeletons.
Adaptation & Locomotion showcases how animals have evolved and how they move throughout their natural environments using their skeleton. This exhibit draws in a historical element to the otherwise scientific museum.
Forensic Pathology shows how researchers and other professionals can tell what an animal’s cause of death was. By using pathology, people can tell if factors such as trauma or disease impacted the animal and led to its death.
Primates: Monkey & Apes showcases a variety of monkey and ape skeletons that date back from hundreds of years. The skeletons in this attraction are set up chronologically, and show the evolution of monkey and apes.
Oklahoma Wildlife provides visitors with a glimpse of the skeletal structures of only animals that are native to Oklahoma. Thus, visitors have the chance of learning even more about skeletal structures while learning about the environment and ecosystems of the Sooner State.
The Museum of Osteology prides itself on the extensive educational opportunities it has for a variety of ages. While the Museum of Osteology offers educational programs for college-aged students and adults, most of their educational opportunities are geared towards younger kids. Schools have the option of traveling to the museum and getting a guided tour, along with a hands-on experience. When schools visit, they have the option of participating in a scavenger hunt, which will ensure that the kids have fun while actively learning. The scavenger hunt list can be accessed by the museum’s website, so it can also be utilized by kids who are visiting with their friends and family instead of their school.
If visiting the museum is not an option for a school, they can utilize the museum’s online lesson plans, which include; how to distinguish between different animal teeth, the evolution of locomotion and adaptations, and how to create your own skeleton. The museum’s website also has a variety of fun and exciting activities, such as coloring pages, crossword puzzles, and other exciting games.
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10301 S Sunnylane Rd, Oklahoma City, OK 73160, Phone: 405-814-0006
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