Rock Cafe

Diner | Eclectic | Southwestern
One of the best

This extremely well-worn cafe has been remodeled many times since it originally went up in 1939 as the last of Route 66 was being paved. Roy Rieves built it out of sandstone removed as the highway was constructed, and from 1959 to 1983 it was operated by Mamie Mayfield, who became a legendary hostess known to long-haul truckers and road trippers on the old Mother Road. The current proprietor is Dawn Welch, a prodigious cook who credits the goodness of her food to the vintage griddle in the kitchen, which she describes as having been “seasoned for eternity.”

Among Dawn’s menu innovations are a chicken fried steak she makes out of a pork cutlet rather than a slab of beef. It is juicy and tender, sheathed in a luxuriously brittle crust. Having been married to a man from Switzerland, she also broadened the menu with spaetzel (topped with melted jack and cheddar cheese) and apple streusel crepes. There are Mexican dishes, stir fries, po-boys, beignets, tall stacks of pancakes, and a short bowl of beans with cornbread on the side.

A cool destination halfway between Tulsa and Oklahoma City, Rock Cafe survived a devastating fire in 2008. It was reborn with a bigger dining room, but with the same cozy local-cafe spirit. On the a set of shelves are over half a dozen guest books signed by visitors. “We are from Oslo,” wrote a couple called Greta and Stein. “This is the only place between here and there,” another customer contributed. Someone else drew a map of Corsica with a star marking home.

Stroud, which bills itself as the heart of the heartland, is a sleepy small town once known for its rough-and-tumble taverns, but now more famous for its every-July brick and rolling pin throwing competition.

What to Eat
Rock Cafe, Hash Browns
Hash Browns
Hash browns, cooked on a 70-year-old griddle, glow with flavor.
Rock Cafe, Spaetzel
The little dumplings known as spaetzel are the basis for a dish similar to loaded hash browns.
Rock Cafe, Chicken Fried Steak
Chicken Fried Steak
Route 66 Breakfast: chicken-fried steak, but this one is made with a pork cutlet!
Rock Cafe, Beignets
Served very hot, beignets have a hard, crunchy exterior with soft insides.
Rock Cafe, Apple Streusel Pancakes
Apple Streusel Pancakes
Thick apple streusel crepes
Rock Cafe, Cheeseburger
Fresh, fatty beef + well-seasoned grill = a terrific cheeseburger
Rock Cafe, Sauerkraut
Sauerkraut becomes extraordinary when griddle-crisped.
Directions and Hours
open now
Tuesday7am - 8pm
Wednesday7am - 8pm
Thursday7am - 8pm
Friday7am - 8pm
Saturday7am - 8pm
This restaurant is featured in the following eating tours.
12 stops | 334 MILES | 5 hr 46 min

There are good and interesting eats all along Route 66, from Chicago to San Berdoo. Oklahoma is especially well-endowed with restaurants that deliver good southwestern meals along with Mother Road flavor to the max. Here you find superb chicken-fried steak, some of America's finest hamburgers, awe-inspiring beef jerky, and a shockingly polite tea room.

21 stops | 2213 MILES | 34 hr 19 min

What a yummy trip it is to eat one's way from Chicago to L.A. along old Route 66! This tour of 21 excellent stops along the way includes some that are directly on the old road as well as a few that are worthy short detours. None require a reservation, all are easy on the…

Open Year Round
Meals Served
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Credit Cards Accepted
Alcohol Served
Outdoor Seating

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