Photo: The Pioneer Woman Mercantile

Open for business! Make this Midwest favorite your next dining pit stop. 

Tucked away in the heart of Osage County, Oklahoma, lies The Pioneer Woman Mercantile, the newly-opened restaurant Food Network fans have all been waiting for. It boasts a generous combination of old town center flair and rustic charm that you’d come to expect of Oklahama native and cookbook author Ree Drummond, otherwise known as The Pioneer Woman. The homey eatery and deli has been going strong since last fall, building quite the reputation in just a few months among repeat customers and grubbers.

But, The Pioneer Woman Mercantile isn’t just a locals’ place. In fact, the recently renovated general store and bakery reportedly attracts 6,000 patrons per day, although the town only has a population of 3,500 residents. Clearly the famed reputation of the Food Network star has helped the Pawhuska neighborhood gem become quite the favorite for transients, too, with people traveling as far as California and Alaska just to get a taste.

What fans of Drummond’s cookbooks will appreciate about the food served at The Merc is that you can order the same down-home, comforting dishes you’ve witnessed Drummond execute on her TV show. We took a closer look to see just what keeps droves of people (upwards of 15,000 some days!) coming back for more. And after a quick glance, regretfully on an empty stomach, it’s safe to say we’ll be adding Pawhuska, Oklahoma, to our travel bucket list to try these fast favorites. And while we’re there, do a little shopping for some home goods and hand-crafted gifts, too!

Whether you’re craving quick, grab-and-go options from the deli or hearty, Southern-fried dishes freshly made-to-order, pull up a seat and mark these menu items as “must-try” the next time you’re in town. Trust us, you’ll see why The Merc is worth the drive.

Breakfast: Farmer’s Breakfast

 Photo: The Pioneer Woman Mercantile/Facebook

It’s pretty obvious why this meal makes it so much easier to eat breakfast like a king. A large heaping of eggs, meat, potatoes, tomato salad, a homemade biscuit, and homemade berry jam round out the plate. But what makes this truly an all-star morning special is that you don’t have to choose your protein. No, at The Merc, you can have the delicious breakfast trio of ham, sausage, AND bacon at the ready.

Lunch: Marlboro Man Sandwich

 Photo: The Pioneer Woman Mercantile/Facebook

When we think of the word deli, usually cold ham and cheese sandwiches and bagged chips come to mind. Fortunately, that’s not the case during lunchtime at The Pioneer Woman Mercantile, where hot bar items, like meatloaf, meatballs, and pork roast are also served. The best part? Even the chips are made from scratch, and we’d encourage you to pair them with the warm and filling Marlboro Man Sandwich. Bearing the name of a famous American cowboy and Drummond’s affectionate nickname for her husband, Ladd, comes with a lot of pressure. Luckily, this meaty sandwich delivers on expectations.

Dinner: Ginger Steak Salad

 Photo: The Pioneer Woman Mercantile/Facebook

Fresh and filling, the Ginger Steak Salad features kale, cabbage, and grilled tenderloin steaks, topped with a signature dressing. In a word, yum!

Dessert: Groundhog Claws

 Photo: The Pioneer Woman Mercantile/Facebook

Sadly, Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow earlier this month, but all is not lost, considering this tasty treat was the delicious result of six more weeks of winter. More delicious pastries like these claws are available to order from The Merc’s bakery, as well as scones, bread pudding, and a dizzying array of chocolate desserts.

Bonus Boost: Spicy Cowgirl

 Photo: Sprudge

Coffee lovers, there are two coffee bars located upstairs and downstairs at The Mercantile, where in typical familial fashion, Drummond’s daughter also works as a barista. Traditional specialty coffee and espresso options are served, but the two signature drinks are the Spicy Cowgirl and the Cowboy Coffee. The Spicy Cowgirl is a jolting, spicy blend of cold brew, Mexican chile syrup, milk, and dark chocolate sauce, topped with sweet cream, cinnamon, and cayenne. Only the best will do for guests of The Sooner State, right? 

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In case you’re not able to make it soon to The Merc to enjoy Drummond’s ooey, gooey, better-than-boxed macaroni and cheese, mimic The Pioneer Woman’s classic recipe with our southern take on mac and (pimiento) cheese.