We report on a resonant acoustic radiation force optical coherence elastography (ARF-OCE) technique that uses mechanical resonant frequency to characterize and identify tissues of different types. The linear dependency of the resonant frequency on the square root of Young's modulus was validated on silicone phantoms. Both the frequency response spectrum and the 3D imaging results from the agar phantoms with hard inclusions confirmed the feasibility of deploying the resonant frequency as a mechanical contrast for tissue imaging. Furthermore, the results of resonant ARF-OCE imaging of a post-mortem human coronary artery with atherosclerosis demonstrate the potential of the resonant ARF-OCE as a non-invasive method for imaging and characterizing vulnerable plaques. © 2013 AIP Publishing LLC.