Tifnotes: Unchanged since its beginning in 1954, the Sooner Dairy Lunch is a tiny old fashioned drive-in style burger place that serves up delicious fries, burgers, hot dogs, and the best milkshake I’ve had so far in OKC. Really. It’s a small family run business. Co-owner Randy McHughes is the son of the man who started the whole thing. Growing up working here, he’s quite comfortable behind the glass whipping up milkshakes and old fashioned drive-in food with the friendliness typical of Oklahoma. Prices are amazing, but don’t expect white linen. This is a step back in time.
Bring cash and stop in Tuesday through Saturday. Call ahead to pick it up at the drive-through or walk in and wait either in your car or at the narrow metal bar. Dining space is limited, but the food’s worth the stop.
Our first stop:
The girls have been taking art classes every Monday and Thursday at the Firehouse Art Center. The small two story art gallery and teaching center sits on the corner Lions Park, the place that I walk the dog, make phone calls, or stalk squirrels as I wait for their 75 minute class to end. Though it wasn’t planned this way, Mondays and Thursdays are also the days that the girls have music classes just minutes away at the Norman Music Institute, so on those days we have some time to kill… and it’s sort of a gift. I don’t really ever kill time, but having that luxury of an hour or two in between creates all sorts of possibilities. Fun errands like Hobby Lobby and occasional diner out like today’s first visit to the Sooner Dairy Lunch.
I discovered the Sooner Dairy Lunch while studying the map on my phone on one of my first 75 minute wait times. It occurred to me that a dinner out might be fun, so I zoomed in on my map, looked at restaurant names, websites, ratings, and menus finding ones that I want to take Kirk for date nights, and fun places the girls would enjoy.
They’re closed Mondays, so I went on a Thursday, but didn’t have cash, so… today, finally, I came armed with cash and an appetite. Luci and Elise were my happy taste testers as we tried burgers, chicken sandwiches, and the best milkshake I’ve had in OKC.
This place is a classic. Mr. McHughes patiently took our order as we tried to figure out what we wanted. He’s the one who made my chocolate banana malt too – from scratch right there on the other side of the glass. His dad bought the Sooner Dairy Lunch in 1954 and it’s been the same ever since.
Rustic, it truly hasn’t changed, but then, I doubt the prices have changed much either. This is by far the cheapest lunch I’ve tried so far and we all left full and happy.