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An Expat’s Dining Survival Guide to Tulsa

Have you recently moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma? How did I get here? Where are the people? Where is the traffic? Why does the tea come iced? Why are these grocery cashiers, security guards, complete strangers acting so very friendly towards me? I could go on…

This is a dining survival guide just for you. If you can eat well, you can survive anything. We have included the most consistent restaurants for various occasions. It is a short list. And there is a reason.

Never try a restaurant at random when driving around town. If you visit an ethnic restaurant, you should discuss the menu with the owner and tell them that you want “authentic Chinese” or “authentic Indian” food. They might make you something special or at the very least suggest the best dishes.

Please call and double check the hours before visiting these places. It’s fairly common for a decent restaurant to go out of business. They could also be taking the summer off. I’m not kidding.

Finally, Tulsa diners should remember that one or two good dishes make a restaurant here great. Do not become complacent and order just anything on the menu.

Enjoy!

Best Dressy Restaurants

Stonehorse Cafe and Market
1748 Utica Square
Tulsa, OK 74114
918-712-7470
Hours: Tues-Sat, 11:00 am-10:00 pm
Steak and seafood dishes are solid. Desserts are very good. The menu rarely changes. Vegetarians will appreciate the wonderful salads and vegetable side dishes but they sometimes sneak bacon fat into stuff so please ask if it matters to you.

The Brasserie Restaurant and Bar
3509 S Peoria
Tulsa, OK 74105
918-779-7070
www.thebrasserietulsa.com
Hours: Monday 11am – 9pm
Tuesday thru Saturday 11am – midnight
Sunday 10am – 9 pm
Opened in September of 2006, this newcomer is showing promise. Their desserts are not their strong suit.

Asian Restaurants

PF Changs
1980 East 21st Street
Tulsa, OK 74114
918-747-6555
http://www.pfchangs.com
Hours: Open everyday 11:00 am-10:00 pm
Yes this is a chain but it is fairly consistent, which is rare for Tulsa.

ChopSticks
6193 E. 61st Street
Tulsa, OK 74136
918-488-8368
Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week
Suggested: Sichuan Chicken, Tofu Boa (vegetarian). Owner Helen Zhou will customize any dish for your needs. We cannot guarantee each entrée.

BE LE Vegetarian
6634 S. Lewis Avenue
Tulsa OK 74136
918-499-1414
http://www.belevegetarian.com/
Hours: M-F 11-2:30, 5 – 9 pm, Sat 11-9
This is one of a handful of strict vegetarian restaurants in Tulsa. It is basic Asian stir-fry with various sauces for the most part. There is soy is just about everything. The refers to items as Chicken (soy) or Pork (wheat) even though it is actually vegetarian. This is designed to make meat-lovers comfortable. There are not many true vegetarians in town.
Recommended dishes: Spring Rolls, Triple Delight, Soy Pork and Soy Shrimp dishes.

Ri Le
4932 E 91st St # 102
Tulsa, OK 74137
918-496-2126
Hours: open from 11:00 am-9:30 pm, closed on Sunday
The owner of this restaurant (Ri) is a vegetarian and they have some dishes, like sesame soy chicken, that are not on the menu. So please consult your server.

Middle Eastern

Shawkat
4123 S. Sheridan Road
Tulsa, OK 74145
918-742-7023
Hours: Tues.-Thurs (10:00 am-5:00 pm), Fri. (10:00 am-9:00 pm, Sat. (11:00 am-4:00pm) Closed on Sunday & Monday
Suggested dishes: Greek salad, spinach pie, dips and pita.

Halim and Mimi’s Deli (Lebanese
)2615 E 11th St
Tulsa, OK 74104
918-599-9623
Hours: Weekdays 11:00 am-3:00 pm, some Fridays from 5-7
Closed Sat. and Sun. and most of the summer

Indian Restaurants

India Palace
6963 S. Lewis
Tulsa, OK 74136
918-492-8040
www.indiapalacetulsa.com
Hours: Open everyday- 11;00 am-2;30 pm and 5:00 pm-10;00 pm
Try the Paneer Makhni, Dal Makhni or Baigan Bharta. They serve meat dishes as well. You may want to request white meat chicken if you prefer it. If you ask they will make you Podhina Raita (Mint Yogurt).

India Corner
6122 South Garnett Road
Tulsa, OK 74103
918-307-0002
Hours: Open everyday 9:00 am-2:00 pm and 5:00 pm-9:00 pm
This is a family-run restaurant with a tiny dining space. It’s best to ask the owner what to order. They have a wide variety of Indian sweets here as well.

Desi Wok
3966 South Hudson Avenue
Tulsa, OK 74135
918-621-6565
www.desiwok.net
Hours: Everyday- 11;00 am-10:00pm
Try the sag and curry dishes.

Mexican Restaurants

You cannot have ambience and decent Mexican food together in Tulsa. And if you are a strict vegetarian, please consider learning to cook Mexican food.

El Rio Verde
38 N. Trenton
Tulsa, OK 74120
918-592-2555
Hours: Open everyday 8:30 am-9:30 pm

La Hacienda
4518 S. Peoria
Tulsa, OK 74105
918-712-8645
Hours: Mon-Fri. (10:00 am-9:00 pm.) Sat. and Sun. (8:00 am-9:00 p-m

)

Steak

Doe’s Eat Place
1350 E. 15th St.
Tulsa, OK 74120
918-585-3637
Hours: Mon-Sat. 5:00 pm-9:00 pm, closed on Sunday

Fleming’s Prime Steak House & Wine Bar
1976 Utica Square
Tulsa, OK 74114
918-712-7500
www.flemingssteakhouse.com
Hours: Mon.-Thurs. (5:00 pm-10:00 pm) Fri. & Sat. (5:00 pm-11:00 pm) & Sun. (5:00 pm-9:00 pm

)

Texas Roadhouse (Casual)
11111 E. 71st St.
Tulsa, OK 74011
918-461-8891
www.texasroadhouse.com
Hours: Mon.-Thurs. (4:00 pm-10:00 pm) Fri. & Sat. (11:00 am-11:00 pm) Sun. (11:00 am-10:00 pm

)

Casual Italian

There are several upscale Italian restaurants in town but none of them have consistently good food.

Gina and Guiseppe's (at the Riverwalk)
400 Riverwalk Terrace
Jenks, OK 74037
918-296-0111
http://www.gngdeli.com
Hours: Mon.-Thurs. 11:00am-9:pm
Fri. and Sat. 11:00am - 10:00pm
Sunday 11:00am - 4:00pm
This is the best restaurant in the Riverwalk. It is not terrific, but it is the only fairly consistent place there.
Suggested: Order Pizza but ask for “half the normal amount of cheese”. The grilled vegetable salad is terrific. Their chicken breast special was very good. The pasta and other traditional dishes are underwhelming

Warning: Do not eat Mexican Food at the Riverwalk. The restaurant is terrible!

Mario's Pizzeria
3323 E 51ST Street
Tulsa, OK 74135
918-743-7761
Weekdays 11 – 2 & 4-9
Sat 11 – 9:30
Sun 4:30 – 8:30

BBQ
Albert G's on South Harvard.
2748 South Harvard Ave
Tulsa, OK 74114-5944
918-747-4799
Mon-Sat 11am-8:30pm
This is literally an old gas station converted into a BBQ joint. If you have never had BBQ, you may be shocked when your meat arrives on a plastic tray (no plate) with white bread and side dishes. The smoked chicken dinner is only available on Wednesday and Saturdays.

Dessert

Kokoa Chocolatier
http://www.kokoachocolatier.com/
3410 South Peoria Avenue
Tulsa, OK 74105
918-742-4069
Hours: Tues, Wed 10 – 5:30
Thurs, Fri, Sat 10 - 11
This is an amazing coffee and dessert location. They are also open for lunch. Plus, they have a truly gourmet private dinner party one evening a month that you can attend. It’s a prix fix menu developed by chef and owner Steven Howard.
Suggested: Truffles, Chocolate Pot de Crème, Chocolate covered gingersnaps. Order what was baked that day.

Nordaggio’s Coffee Inc
This coffee house serves wonderful gelato. There are two locations in Tulsa.
• 300 Riverwalk Terrace Suite 120, Jenks, OK 74037 (918) 392-9944
Hours: M-F (8:00 am-11:00 pm) Sat. (9:00 am-midnight) Sun.(10:00 am-11:00 pm
)• 8156C South Lewis Avenue, Tulsa, OK 74137 918) 296-5288
Hours: M-F (7:00 am-midnight) Sat (9:00 am-1:00 am) Sun.(10:00 am-midnight)

Tulsa Landmarks

White River Fish Market
1708 N Sheridan Rd
Tulsa, OK 74115
918-835-1910
www.whiteriverfishmarket.com/
Hours: Monday – Thursday till 8pm, Friday and Saturday till 8:30 pm
Founded in 1932, this seafood restaurant is a true landmark. The fresh fish is on display as you order your meal. Fish dinners come with 2 sides and their fried hush puppies. This place is near the airport so it’s perfect to visit before or after a flight.

Queenies Plus
1834 Utica Square
Tulsa, OK 74114
918-749-3481
Hours: M-F 7:00am-7:00pm
Sat. 7:00am-6:00pm
Sun. 9:00am-2:00pm

A landmark for ladies who lunch. Queenies has wonderful salads, soups and homemade desserts. The service is better if you take-out!

Decent Brunch when entertaining Guests

Palace Cafe
1301 E. 15th St
Tulsa, OK 74120
918-582-4321
Hours: Tues.-Thurs. 11:00am-2:30 pm and 5:30 pm-10:00 pm
Fri. & Sat. 11:00am-2:30 & 5:30 pm-11:00 pm
Sundays 9:00am-2:00pm, Closed on Monday

La Villa Restaurant At Philbrook (at the Philbrook Museum
)2727 South Rockford Road
Tulsa, OK 74114
918-748-5367
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 11am-2pm
Sunday Brunch 11am-2pm

A beautiful setting for a meal. Come early to brunch so they don’t run out of your favorite dessert!

Thai Food, Sushi
We cannot recommend any restaurants

Specialty Food Stores

Laxmi Spices of India
5555 East 41st Street, Tulsa, OK 74135
(918) 270-1555
Hours: Mon.-Sat. 11:30am-8:00pm, Sunday 11:00am-6:00pm

Tulsa Oriental Market
11320 East 21st Street, Tulsa, OK 74129
(918) 437-3022
Hours: Everyday from 9:30am-8:00pm

La Donna's Fancy Foods
1523 E 15th St
Tulsa, OK 74120
http://www.ladonnasonline.com
(918) 582-1523 Hours: M-Tues-W-F: 10:00am-6:00pm Thurs. 10:00am-8:00pm Sat. 9:00am-5:00pm Closed on Sunday
Wonderful cheeses, chocolate, teas and specialty ingredients

Stonehorse Market
1748 Utica Square
Tulsa, OK 74114
918-712-7470
Hours: Tues.-Sat. 10:00am-7:00pm Closed on Sun. and Mon.
Excellent quality meat and fish to cook at home plus pre-made items like pate.

Wild Oats
1401 E. 41st St
Tulsa, OK 74105
918-712-7555
http://www.wildoats.com
Hours: Everyday from 8:00am-10:00pm

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  1. What went into the location where Casa Bonita used to be at 41st & Sheridan?

    (We were discussing this awhile back with my uncles who live in Tulsa, but they didn't know at the time--more than a year ago--one of my more smart-aleck cousins replied, "Casa Fea." But he's not from Tulsa and he was just joking.)

    5 Replies
    1. re: revsharkie

      It was at 21 and Sheridan. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casa_Bonita I have no idea what replaced it, although I have heard that it was supposed to reopen, basically unchanged, as Casa Viva.

      1. re: Brian S

        Passed it in the car today and yes, it's Casa Viva, same building, bright lights blazing.

        1. re: Brian S

          I'm going to be in Tulsa for a few days next month. May have to go check that out. Some of my favorite childhood memories include Casa Bonita. Once we had those all-you-can-eat meals and we raised the flag and asked for more guacamole (had a Japanese friend with us and she couldn't get enough of it) and they brought us this HUGE bowlful. We ate every single bite.

          1. re: revsharkie

            Buen provecho! Don't forget Stonehorse Cafe! http://www.chowhound.com/topics/313245
            Much cheaper for lunch than dinner. Also the Tulsa landmarks I link to in the thing just below.

      2. re: revsharkie

        Are you talking about the Molly Murphy's that was at 41st and Sheridan. Honey, it's a strip club now.

      3. Thanks for taking the time to write this. I like the recs, though I could add a few, I guess: Dalessandro's for Italian, Lanna for Thai, and there are a lot of little Mexican joints up north and out east of town. I wrote a piece on Tulsa landmarks and barbecue that you might find of interest. http://www.chowhound.com/topics/140283

        It sounds as if you have mixed feelings about Tulsa. I'm not an expat but I am from New York City and for the first year or two I hated it here. But give it time, it has its charms. (the people)

        1 Reply
        1. re: Brian S

          There's a lot of info on some great new restaurants that have opened in Tulsa within the past year here.

          http://www.chowhound.com/topics/365435

        2. My good friend Jared, the consumate Tulsa-Fayetteville von vivant, says that The Brook on South Peoria is great, casual American diner food. However, the portions are supersized. The attitude is great. Enjoy!

          1. Thanks for the list, optimist. I'm a foodie from San Diego, having lived in Tulsa for three years now. I completely agree that consistently good food is very difficult to find here, as is good service.

            I agree with many of your assessments, but have a few additions.

            For Lebanese food, I think La Roma on 61st and Sheridan wins hands down. Don't miss the cabbage rolls. They also happen to have the best pizza in town. It's not well labeled, in a shopping strip right next to Savoy Restaurant.

            When it comes to Mexican food, La Hacienda and El Rio Verde are good (I really like the carnitas at La Hacienda), but the best real, no frills food is at La Flama on 61st and Peoria. I'd hesitate to go into that neighborhood after dark.

            Steak: what about Mahogany's??

            I love love love White River Fish Market. Fresh, high quality food, simply prepared.

            Italian: I am very hard to please when it comes to Italian so I've essentially given up and just make it at home. I'll go to Gina and Guiseppe's on occasion so I can sit outside at the Riverwalk, but I was disappointed with the grilled veg salad when I reached the mound of iceberg lettuce so cleverly hidden.

            Speaking of the Riverwalk and Italian food, Nordaggio's has some pretty darn good gelato, as long as it's fresh. Ask what was made today.

            For BBQ, I've landed on Billy Sims at 51st and Sheridan, in the Farm Shopping Center. They are starting to franchise very rapidly, so I hope they can maintain their standard of good food and friendly service.

            It's good to see some Tulsa foodies here!

            1. For BBQ, Albert G's doesn't hold a candle to either Stutts (2021 E Apache St
              Tulsa, OK 74110 (918) 428-2355) or Elmers (4129 S Peoria Avenue · Tulsa
              918-747-6475).

              Thai - frankly the buffet at the Bangkok ( 3313 E. 32nd Pl 918-743-9669) is pretty darn righteous.

              For slightly upscale American the Wild Fork at Utica Square is pretty good. Get the 5 spiced fried catfish with shrimp etouffee.

              1. I should have listened to you. I went to Blue Dome Diner on my way through today. Totally mediocre. I'd have been just as pleased with a granola bar. Food was cold to warm. Pancakes were tough and biscuits... At least the water tasted good right?

                1. Good call on the White River Fish Market. I strong-armed some family as we were passing through Tulsa. Everyone raved about it and wanted to know where I found out about it. Good, simple, fresh seafood that came Fried, Grilled or Broiled. The Hush Puppies were fantastic! When traveling, eat with the locals!

                  1. How about Jamil's, the Lebanese steakhouse, and Coney Island downtown?

                    1. A couple of new places

                      Lava Noshery - on S Peoria across from Abersons
                      excellent new American

                      KEO - S Peoria at 35th. The Best Pan Asian food in town with menu items from across the entire Asian region. Not just Thai although I think they have the best green curry in town.

                      and no one ever talks about JJ's Gourmet Burgers. Only open for lunch, Some of the best burgers in town.

                      And speaking of burgers, Scooter's Hamburger Palace on Adams in Sand Springs. They make the grilled onions burgers. With killer fries.

                      1. We visit our son in Tulsa a couple of times a year. Steak Stuffers USA at 51 st and Utica has a very nice Phila. steak sub...and we've eaten them in Phila. Only open Monday - Friday, 11:00 - 8:00 p.m.

                        1. If you're talking chains like TX Roadhouse, Cheddar's is much better (price & quality)

                          1. Spent last weekend in Tulsa with family and had dinner at Stonehorse Cafe. Really one of the best dinner meals I can remember having. I had pistacho halibut and Mom started with lobster bisque. Even bought cranberry conserves from the Market next door to add to our Thanksgiving meal. Good recommendation.
                            On the flip side, had brunch at Wild Fork in Utica Square. Stawberries had mold on them, onions in my egg dish were burnt black. Waitress did notify manager, who did not charge us.. however, why would the kitchen let something like that go out in the first place. A disappointing meal, in all.
                            Hearty thumbs up to Stonehorse!

                            1. Crepe Place in Downtown Tulsa - Try it!

                              Topeca Coffee AKA Cafe de El Salvador serves stellar coffee, lunch fare, snacks and treats weekdays from 6:30am - 5 pm (not weekends) in downtown Tulsa.

                              The best thing about Topeca is that they serve crepes made to order! Try a savory crepe for lunch (ham and cheese) or something sweet (nutella with strawberries).

                              They also serve single-origin coffee from a San Salvador plantation run by the owner's in-laws, hence the "Seed to Cup" tagline.

                              Located in the ground floor of the Mayo Hotel at the northeast corner of 5th/Cheyenne.

                              115 West 5th Street Suite 169
                              Tulsa, OK 74103
                              Tel: 918-398-8022
                              http://www.topecacoffee.com/

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: tulsaoptimist

                                Ooooo, thanks, I've been waiting for a crepe place. I'll try it out.

                              2. For burgers in Tulsa its hard to beat Goldie's Patio Grill. My favorite location was near 51st and Peoria. Food is still good, but seems like the service has been slipping.

                                1. The best burger in all of Tulsa is at Weber's Root Beer.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: holuh3

                                    Is Weber's open for the season, or did it ever close?