Tulsa | OK

"Resilience is woven deep into the fabric of Oklahoma. Throw us an obstacle and we grow stronger"  - Brad Henry
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Welcome to my hometown! Tulsa, OK is nestled in the northeastern corner of Oklahoma in the middle of “Green Country.” We are considered the mecca for arts in Oklahoma and have been named one of America’s Most Livable Communities. I believe it more and more as I get older. I used to think my hometown was lame, Compared to some of my favorite big cities like New York City and Los Angeles, Tulsa seems like a little fish in a big pond. But, I can promise you, there’s plenty do to here in the city I call home and the food here rivals some of the best in the world.

EAT

Coffee | Breakfast | Lunch

Chimera Coffee located in the Brady Arts District on main, is the best coffee in Tulsa. No arguments. They brew local as well as renowned roasted beans for some of the best joe you will ever have. My concoction of choice is always the vanilla latte. It’s unmatched.

Other great coffee options: Doubleshot Coffee Co. on Boston Ave. | Hodges Bend on 3rd St. in the East Village | Nordaggios on Lewis

For breakfast, lunch and brunch my friends and I frequent Queenies located in Utica Square. The chicken salad, egg salad and tuna salad are always favorites as well as the quiche and grilled cheese. Make sure you get your chicken salad sandwich on toasted bread with jack cheese. And don’t forget one of their famous cookies or a slice of strawberry shortcake.

For coffee, it’s always Chimera, but their food is outstanding as well. As a matter of fact, nothing is bad at chimera and I rarely make that statement. From breakfast tacos and breakfast bowls to sandwiches and salads, you literally cannot go wrong with anything on the menu. My go to is always the San Diego club with a Caesar salad.

Antoinettes Baking Co. is a great stop for lunch or a quick snack and coffee. Their menu changes every day but you can always check out what they’re serving up on Instagram before you head that way. My favorites include, the quiche, the egg salad and any of their famous macarons. (I am partial to the salted caramel to be honest.)

My favorite restaurant in Tulsa, hands down, is Stonehorse Café. Located in Utica Square, Stonehorse offers traditional American cuisine with an eclectic flair. I usually frequent Stonehorse for lunch and get the kosher chicken and spinach ravioli. They make the ravioli from scratch and place them in a bowl of chicken broth with fresh spinach and chicken. It’s to die for. My dad loves the truck stop meatloaf and the pistachio crusted halibut. Their pizza is always a safe option and the gelato is a nice finish to any meal there.

The best BBQ in Tulsa is forever Burn Co. BBQ. It rivals the BBQ of Kansas City and St. Louis. It’s no fuss, no frills, just really freaking good food. They’re only open until 2:30pm so get there early.

Other great breakfast, lunch and brunch options: The Bramble on 2nd St. (Their brunch is out of this world) | Dilly Diner on 2nd St. Savoy on 61st and Sheridan (get the cinnamon rolls) | Brookside By Day on either Brookside or the Southside at 91st & Yale. | Blue Moon Café on Brookside. (Get the egg-a-muffin! or the southwest salad!)

Dinner

My love of sushi finds it’s home at Yokozuna. With two locations, one on the Southside and the other Downtown, both offer some of the best and freshest sushi in town. For starters you have to get the sweet potato fries. No questions asked. Tempura fried sweet potato fries with chili soy sauce and mayo wasabi for dipping. Need I say more? My favorite roll is the Nutty Thai Professor. Loaded with coconut shrimp, cream cheese, peanut butter, jalapeno, mango and avocado it’s wrapped in soy paper with sesame seeds and topped with sriracha, eel sauce and cilantro. It’s spicy so if you’re not a fan of some kick, leave off the sriracha. I also enjoy their nigiri because it’s so fresh. My favorite choices are the salmon and ahi tuna.

Every birthday, as I have gotten older, I’ve wanted to celebrate at Polo Grill in Utica Square. It’s fine dining at, well, it’s finest. The steaks are cooked to perfection and the seafood is always fresh. Their menu changes seasonally but my choice is always the surf and turf option of filet mignon and either lobster or salmon. The filet Oscar is the way to go. The salmon is perfection, every time and if they have a crab or lobster bisque soup available, get it. You won’t regret it. Their desserts are always top notch as well.

If you’re hungry for some authentic Italian, Villa Ravenna in the Farm Shopping Center on 51st St. is your best bet. Their pasta is made from scratch and the atmosphere is perfect for a romantic night out. For starters, go with the grilled bruschetta or my personal pick, mozzarella alla caprese. When I get Italian, I get pasta and their pesto tortelloni is my favorite. My best friend raves over the eggplant parmesan and any of their fish or meat dishes are sensational.

The Tavern is a nice spot, downtown, for drinks and one of the best burgers in Tulsa. It’s a fun, relaxed atmosphere and their mac and cheese is legit. I’ve never heard a bad word about the Tavern.

For the ultimate in fine dining, you want to call ahead (way ahead to be exact, reservations are taken up to 4 weeks in advance) to the Bull In The Alley aka The Lounge. It’s got 10 tables and is a quiant spot, but the steak is to.die.for. I personally, havent been able to eat here yet because its always booked, but I am dying to try it. Word’s out it’s the best meal in Tulsa.

Other great Dinner options: Stonehorse Cafe at Utica Square | Docs Wine & Food on Cherry St. | Tuccis Italian on Cherry St. | Tall Grass Prairie Table on 2nd St. | Smoke on Cherry St.

Play

Utica Square is the beginning of classic outdoor shopping in Tulsa. The center of upscale shopping since 1952, The Square is home to Saks Fifth Avenue, Pottery Barn and Pottery Barn Kids, West Elm, Banana Republic, Anthropologie, Gap, Kendra Scott, Restoration Hardware, Coach and Williams Sonoma. My two favorite stops to shop in Utica are the Snow Goose and Suite One. The Snow Goose is an eclectic shop filled with trinkets and gifts. Make sure you stop by their hilarious card wall by the front door. Suite One is my go-to for casual chic fashion and accessories on a budget. I love their casual and comfortable tops paired with jeans and sandals. Utica is also home to many a delicious meal, including my favorites, Stonehorse Café, Queenies and Polo Grill. If you’re around for the summer, make sure you catch Summer’s Fifth night, featuring live music, every Thursday night. If you’re making a winter trip, make sure you are here for Lights On, on Thanksgiving Day. Starting at sun down (usually around 6:30pm) you can sip hot chocolate and sing carols as they light up the square with Christmas Lights. It’s a Tulsa holiday favorite.

Cherry Street is two blocks over from Utica and home to good food and great shopping featuring several art galleries and antique shops. You can also hit up the Cherry Street Famer’s Market. There are several street fairs and other events throughout the year, so make sure you check The Tulsa Voice for more info.

Downtown Tulsa is the center for nightlife. With several pubs, breweries and bars, it’s fine dining by day and fun by night. Some of my favorite stops are Yokozuna, The Bramble, Tall Grass Prairie Table, Hodges Bend (coffee shop by day and bar by night) Chimera, The Bull in The Alley and Antoinette Baking Co., The Vanguard Music Hall and Cain’s Ballroom offer music from mostly local and some well-known artists and musicians.

Guthrie Green is the heart of Downtown and a hot spot for food, games, movies on the lawn, yoga, live music and more. The summer months are packed with events including my favorite, Food Truck Wednesdays. Every Wednesday, food trucks line the perimeter of the green and hand out some of the best local fair in the city. My favorites are In the Raw Sushi, Lick your Lips Mini Donuts (get the original cinnamon and sugar!), Pita Place Mediterranean Grill (get the original lamb gyro with feta) and Meltdown Gourmet Grilled Cheese. Every Thursday night they play a free movie on the green, perfect for a family picnic night! There are also free fitness classes every day and Story Time for kids and parents every Wednesday.Make sure to visit their website for up to date events.

Brookside, similar to Cherry Street with a more upscale feel, is lined with shops and eats. You can stop in at Purple Glaze pottery and paint a beautiful vase, work up a sweat at my favorite exercise studio Barre3, pick up a new outfit for date night at Little Black Dress or stop in On A Whim for an extensive array of gifts, home furnishings, accessories and more! Some of my other favorite shops include Stash for all things Oklahoma and the cutest baby clothes you’ve ever seen in your life, and Mecca Coffee Co. for everything coffee and tea as well as an assortment of infused Olive Oils and spices.  Brookside also features nightlife on a smaller scale. R-bar, Sharky’s and Crow Creek.

Turkey Mountain Wilderness is every hikers dream in Tulsa. Beautiful trails for hiking and mountain biking offer gorgeous views of Tulsa and the River.

If you’re a runner, you will enjoy early morning runs on Riverside. Riverside runs along the riverbank just east of Riverside drive from 11th Street all the way to 101st. You can also enjoy the bike path, if that’s your mode of transportation, but make sure you stop for a bite to eat at Blue Rose Cafe and pedestrian bridge for a beautiful view of the river.

Stay

The Mayo Hotel is tops when it comes to sleep and service. Their rooms are nice and spacious and it's central location in downtown is ideal. the doubletree downtown is also a nice, classic stay in tulsa as well as the Crowne Plaza.

The Renaissance on 71st Street is a great hotel with a great location. 71st st. is home to tons of restaurants and our largest mall as well as a movie theatre and lafortune golf course and cedar ridge gold course only a few miles away.

if you're looking for somehting more quaint, I suggest airbnb. there are several great options for Tulsa, particularly on on cherry street. Cherry St. is home to the largest farmers market in town as well as several great restaurants and coffee shops. utica square is close by and downtown is just a short drive away.