Kumback Cafe | Legendary Oklahoma Town Cafe

Review by: Jane & Michael Stern

Historic Town Cafe

Kumback Cafe was founded in 1926 in a town created by the 1893 Cherokee Strip land run. Today it holds the honor of being the oldest cafe in Oklahoma with the same name and in the same location. So says the very informative menu. The menu also notes that among interesting moments in the history of this legendary Oklahoma town cafe is the night in the early 1930s when gangster Pretty Boy Floyd came in. He brandished a gun. But he did not intend to rob the place. He made all the customers leave, locked the front door, then pointed his heater at proprietor Eddie Parker and told Mr. Parker to cook him the biggest steak in the house.

In the 1940s Mr. Parker gained fame for his custom of giving free steak dinners to soldiers returning home after World War II. He also treated sluggers on the town’s semi-pro baseball team to steak every time one hit a home run.

Cafe Cuisine

We first came to Kumback Lunch mid-morning and enjoyed a meal that other sorts of eateries might call brunch. Our several plates held a stack of brawny pancakes, a crisp-crusted chicken-fried steak with creamy/zesty gravy, a swirly warm cinnamon roll, biscuits and sausage gravy, and a couple of pieces of lofty meringue pie. Later in the day, customers choose from among a dozen different hamburgers, barbecued ribs, and brisket. A selection of Mexican meals includes a baked potato stuffed with seasoned beef, cheese and salsa. We wouldn’t necessarily call any of this home cooking, but we do call it fine cafe cooking.

Where Locals Eat … and Visitors are Welcomed

Beyond recommending its good food, we suggest a visit to this legendary Oklahoma town cafe for its home-town feel. Everyone in the town of Perry considers Kumback Lunch theirs. Almost any time of day, eaters, coffee drinkers, conversationalists, and first responders occupy its counter seats and tables. Strangers feel welcome, too. Here you find a real slice of life. Look at the beautiful old EAT sign above the recently-added marquee. Pictures and memorabilia reflecting “Perry Heroes” cover the walls. The heroes include local athletes, several governors of the state, and Highway Patrol officer Charlie Hanger, who captured Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh and brought him to the county jail in Perry.

Directions & Hours

What To Eat

Chicken Fried Steak

DISH
Cinnamon Roll

DISH
Pancake Stack

DISH
Chocolate Pie

DISH
Coconut Pie

DISH

Kumback Cafe | Legendary Oklahoma Town Cafe Recipes

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What do you think of Kumback Cafe | Legendary Oklahoma Town Cafe?

One Response to “Kumback Cafe | Legendary Oklahoma Town Cafe”

Rich Froid

January 5th, 2008

We only dine at Kumback Lunch about once a year as we travel between Nebraska and Texas. But we keep coming back. I have had the chicken and noodles dish (delicious; the pasta seems homemade to me) and the short order of ribs (wonderful). However, I also have had the meatloaf (not so good). The meatloaf was sort of “pasty” and just not very good, although all other parts of the meal were tops. Be sure to have a slice of homemade pie; it is only $1.89 (in 2007) and is delicious also. A wide selection of pies can be found on a large chalkboard on the wall.

Food presentation is simple and basic; there are no frills here. You can judge the atmosphere from the photos; we like it. Every time we go, we find something on the wall that went unnoticed before. The waitstaff and customers are nice people. On more than one occasion we have had a local visit with us (“Where are you folks from?” and “Have a safe trip!”)

Is it perfect? No. But for hungry travelers along Interstate 35 north of Oklahoma City, it is still a good place to stop.

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