NORMAN — For many University of Oklahoma fans, football season means an entire day — or even a weekend — spent in Cleveland County. That means you're going to need some ideas about where to eat.
Norman is the state's third-largest city, meaning many styles and cuisines are covered.
O'Connell's Irish Pub and Grille, 120 E Lindsey, has long been the epicenter of game-day activity. Once a halftime hangout when fans could leave the stadium and return, it remains a mainstay before and after games.
Campus Corner — which includes Boyd Street, White Street, Buchanan Avenue, Asp Avenue and University Boulevard — offers upscale barbecue from Iron Starr Urban Barbeque; sushi from In the Raw; Italian from Toto's, Othello's and Victoria's; Mexican food from La Luna and Pepe Delgado's; pizza from The Hideaway; and gourmet sandwiches from Cafe Plaid. Speaking of sandwiches, The Fat Sandwich Co. has a sandwich called the Big Fat Ugly, which amounts to pretty much the entire menu on buns. Gut-busters who down one in 15 minutes eat for free and get a T-shirt to boot. Seven47 offers sandwiches and entrees aimed at all tastes, including quesadillas, pastas and steaks. Brother's has long been a favorite hangout for its cold beer and burgers, which boast patties put together with egg and Worcestershire. The Pita Pit always packs them in on game days, too.
But Campus Corner eateries will fill up fast on game day, as will available parking.
Speaking of crowds, The Greek House, 768 Jenkins Ave., is never without a long line. You'll always find a crowd outside Tarahumara Mexican Cafe, 702 N Porter Ave. Known for its expansive menu that is almost as well-executed as the service, be sure to try the salsa verde if you like your salsa hot.
Mamaveca Mexican-Peruvian restaurant, 2551 Hemphill Drive, serves good Mexican food, but the Peruvian menu is the real draw. The Ceviche de Mixto hits the spot on a hot day, or you can try the same variety of seafood fried in a crunchy batter in a dish called Jalea.
Misal Bistro, 580 Ed Noble Parkway, has been serving a variety of Indian kebabs and curry dishes for three decades. The restaurant also offers a buffet for those new to Indian cuisine.
On sunny days, there's no place better to sip a frozen highball than The Mont, 1300 Classen Blvd., which also offers a wide-reaching menu in an unmatched courtyard setting. The Mont is also a favorite spot to spend Friday nights before the big game.
Legend's Restaurant, 1313 W Lindsey, has been the benchmark for fine dining in Norman for almost four decades. Just beyond the city limits north, you'll find Royal Bavaria, which offers a unique biergarten dining experience. For early arrivers, The Diner, 213 E Main, specializes in breakfast and lunch. Van's Pig Stand, 320 N Porter Ave., and The Service Station, 502 S Webster Ave., are longtime favorites.