Best Comfort Food
Comfort foods generally epitomize home cooking and are not likely to win any accolades from nutritionists and dietitians. But sometimes a salad just won’t cut it when you need to satisfy your belly in the winter months.
Comfort: a feeling of relief or encouragement, contented well-being, a satisfying or enjoyable experience. This is the perfect description of how a good comfort food meal should make you feel. It settles you down, fills you up, and reassures you that in a crazy, hectic, stressful world of everyday troubles, you can find moments of total peace and pleasure.
Good comfort food shares a few key characteristics that make it special. It’s a traditional meal prepared in a traditional style. It’s often high in carbs — the sugars, starches, and fibers in food that give us a good mood boost (which is why we often crave them). There’s a nostalgic or sentimental appeal about comfort food too, perhaps reminding you of a simpler time when you were young and had no cares in the world. And it’s typically flavorful, easy to make, and easy to eat, which makes it a perfect meal when you need a little encouragement without putting a lot of energy into cooking.
Of course, one of the best ways to indulge in comfort food is to have someone else cook it for you. After all, isn’t it a relaxing, nourishing treat to have someone care for you and feed you? And if that’s what you’re craving — a little pampering as well as a tasty, happy meal — then Green Country has you covered, because this area of the state is renowned for its comfort food offerings.
Yes, you can indulge in any comfort food you want in Green Country. We’ve compiled our list of favorites to get you started. Chow down at these spots, and enjoy some of the best meatloaf, mashed potatoes, chicken-fried steak, homemade biscuits, lasagna, macaroni and cheese, and other nostalgic, hearty meals that send your mood soaring and satisfy your belly in the cold winter months.
Baxter’s Interurban Grill
717 S. Houston Ave., Suite 100 | Tulsa
To say these guys have been around a little while is an understatement. Baxter’s four-decade-long run as one of Tulsa’s downtown mainstays is likely due to its comfort food alone. Chicken-fried steak that melts in your mouth, fish and chips golden-fried to perfection or the awesome deli-style Reuben — they all more than qualify as comfort food. Generations have enjoyed many delicious meals at this quiet and relaxing urban grill.
The Bros. Houligan
4848 S. Yale. Ave. | Tulsa
2508 E. 15th St. | Tulsa
Since 1987, the McMurchy family has been treating Tulsans to the magic that is the Bros. Houligan. This casual restaurant offers reliable, affordable meals that the whole family can enjoy, and they offer a room for special parties too — great for lunch gatherings with coworkers. Order a tasty, juicy burger basket or a chicken-fried steak sandwich, and enjoy the rush of meaty goodness. Other favorites are the catfish, pork chops, chicken tenders, and the deep-fried chicken livers, which you can’t find just anywhere. And if you’re hankering for red meat, tackle Tim’s T-Bone, an 18-ounce steak.
18. E. M.B. Brady St. | Tulsa
The signature comfort food spot in downtown Tulsa, Caz’s Chowhouse consistently delivers friendly service, tasty food, large portions, and a fun time. Owner Jeff Castleberry is a creative chef, but also one who knows what Green Country wants when it comes to comfort food. Caz’s chicken and biscuits is an enormous portion of homemade chicken potpie filling, sandwiched between plate-sized homemade biscuits. The steak dinner is juicy and tasty. And their chicken-fried steak is famous around Green Country.
402 E. 2nd St. | Tulsa
A favorite of oh-so-many Tulsans, Dilly Diner serves some of the best breakfast around, which includes the Jed, one of the largest cinnamon rolls this side of the Red River. If that doesn’t spell comfort, we don’t know what does. Be reminded of the good old days for lunch by popping in for the classic grilled cheese with tomato soup. Any of their after-five items, including their killer meatloaf and pan-seared trout, will send you into one of those Sunday afternoon golf-watching kind of naps. Sounds good, doesn’t it?
Fat Daddy’s Pub and Grille
8056 S. Memorial Dr. | Tulsa
This is not your daddy’s old bar food. This is Fat Daddy’s. Aiming to surpass expectations, they serve hot and delicious food you couldn’t possibly expect from just any old watering hole. Their awesome nachos, savory chicken wings and tasty chicken or beef sliders complement any exciting game on one of their many televisions. Grab a chicken or steak Philly and Swiss and a nice cool one, and you’ll never want to leave. Sounds like comfort food to us.
1547 E. 3rd St. | Tulsa
465 S. Sheridan Road | Tulsa
5849 S. 49th W. Ave. | Tulsa
Since 1991, Freeway Cafe has served traditional 1950s diner-style meals that regulars can’t stop raving about. The generously portioned omelets are served all day, just like all the other breakfast items on the menu. When you’re hankering for a childhood favorite, get the Frito chili pie with cheese. Other menu highlights include liver and onions; ham and beans served with cornbread; the smothered steak (a tender piece of round steak topped with tomatoes, onions, peppers and Swiss cheese); and their famous onion rings (sweet, jumbo rings of hand-breaded onions deep-fried to a golden brown).
108 N. 1st St. | Jenks
Designed like many of the pubs you’ll find on the other side of the pond, George’s Pub in Jenks takes you to another world, or at least jolly good old England. Slide up to the bar for a wee bit of football (soccer) on the telly, and for starters order a basket of their thick-cut sweet potato fries or fish and chips. Have a pint of one of the many choices of beer, and then choose from either their Sloppy George’s (Joe) or pulled pork sandwiches and, Bob’s your uncle, you’re set!
8314 E. 71st St. | Tulsa
Some claim that America invented pizza, and we’re pretty proud of it. The USA is also the supposed birthplace of the amusement park. Combine those two, and you pretty much have Incredible Pizza on 71st Street. Great comfort food, including pizza, mac and cheese, homemade soups and salads, will make your experience at Incredible Pizza more than memorable. Oh, did we tell you it was a buffet? Yup, it is. Don’t forget to ride the indoor roller coaster while you’re at it or play some laser tag with your kids.
James E. McNellie’s
409 E. 1st St. | Tulsa
7031 S. Zurich Ave. | Tulsa
One of the great places to enjoy an impressive, lengthy menu of domestic, imported and craft beers, McNellie’s is also a fabulous restaurant when you’re in the mood for a comforting meal along with your drink. The rich dark wood interior welcomes you to hang out for long periods with your friends, sharing stories and chowing down on beer house chili, made with ground beef and chorizo; the black and bleu (cheese) burger topped with bacon; the Reuben, made with beer-braised corned beef, served on marble rye with Russian dressing, Swiss, sauerkraut, and grilled onions; the Cajun style meatloaf; or the Landlord’s Cottage Pie.
Kilkenny’s Irish Pub
1413 E. 15th St. | Tulsa
Shhh. Don’t tell anyone, but this shining, gleaming emerald of Tulsa is one of Preview 918’s favorite Irish pubs. You’ll think you’re in Ireland at this one, and this restaurant oozes with comfort food, ales, lagers and the like. Whether it’s the cottage pie or the bangers and mash or the Dublin coddle with rashers (bacon), classic Irish comfort food awaits you. Here’s to the road rising to meet you and that ye be lucky enough to enjoy a craicin’ good time at Kilkenny’s.
3410 S. Peoria Ave. | Tulsa
Food that reminds you of coming home is always comfort food, no matter what it is. Mondo’s is all that and a cannoli. Enjoy a piping hot plate of stuffed-to-the- gills ravioli or some amazing homemade Italian meatballs over a bed of tasty spaghetti, and you’ll be pining for the old country. Packed with spiced ricotta, other Italian cheeses and mouth-watering homemade tomato sauce, Mondo’s lasagna is home cooking away from home at its finest. Oh, and don’t forget to order a cannoli for dessert and another one to go.
Napa Flats Wood-Fired Kitchen
9912 Riverside Parkway | Tulsa
Locally sourced and made from scratch goodness from a wood-fired kitchen is what you find at Napa Flats. Yummy pork chops with garlic mashed potatoes and roasted green beans will remind you of a trip to momma’s. So will the juicy citrus chicken, grilled over oak and pecan wood. Served with a heap of mashed potatoes, it’s comfort food at its best. All day on Tuesdays, check out their special menu especially for comfort food. Chicken-fried steak, classic meatloaf and chicken parmesan, to name a few, are all served with their most-excellent sides.
6033 S. Sheridan Road | Tulsa
With a hundred years under its belt and counting, Savoy has a menu steeped in both nostalgia and skilled cooking — which makes it a perfect place to visit when you want true comfort food. Four generations of Kelamis family recipes grace the menu, with lovingly creative new touches added to ensure diners great food, every time. Cinnamon rolls, caramel pecan rolls, éclairs and cream puffs served alongside great coffee are a wonderful way to wake up in the morning. But don’t neglect the lunch meals, which feature comforting choices like beef stew, ham and beans, chicken-fried steak, pork chops, hot roast beef sandwiches and more, all made fresh daily.
2604 N. Aspen Ave. | Broken Arrow
With four generations of down-home cooking backing their menu, Shiloh’s in Broken Arrow offers a warm, welcoming, trustworthy family restaurant that you can count on for nostalgic, home style meals. Shiloh’s takes those family recipes and serves them up with a smile and generous, affordable portions. Try comfort food classics like fresh meatloaf, slow-cooked roast beef, crispy chicken-fried chicken, hand-breaded catfish, and the three-cheese grilled cheese on homemade bread. If your need for comfort includes sweets, try the homemade pies, which are famous around town.
6611 S. 101st E. Ave. | Tulsa
6100 S. Yale Ave., Suite PL300 | Tulsa
6120 S. Yale Ave., Suite PL300 | Tulsa
Chef Anthony Card shows his stuff day in and day out at these sweet little jazz cafés and delis. They serve breakfast food all day, so you’ll always be pleased with Sponzs’ atmosphere and aroma. When it comes to comfort food, they’re constantly jazzing it up. The Miles D burger with caramelized onions or the Sarah Vaughn sassy and classy grilled chicken pizza will leave you both satisfied and relaxed. Heck, anything on their menu is served with so much love and attention, it automatically qualifies as comfort food.
Tally’s Good Food Café
1102 S. Yale Ave. | Tulsa
6100 S. Sheridan Road | Tulsa
This ‘50s diner-style family restaurant is a favorite among many Tulsans. In existence since 1987, Tally’s offers the unique feel of a Route 66 experience, including some terrific food. Known for soft, fresh, homemade cinnamon rolls the size of a large dinner plate, Tally’s also serves a plethora of comfort food options. Have a mimosa or a spicy bloody mary, alongside classic morning options like pecan waffles and whipped cream, cheesecake pancakes smothered with strawberries, and the farmer’s omelet. For lunch or dinner, enjoy a decadent grilled cheese on Texas toast, golden-fried Monte Cristo, Salisbury steak made with fresh ground beef, onion, celery, green peppers and savory brown gravy, and so many other tasty diner options.
120 Aquarium Drive | Jenks
An elegant restaurant situated on the scenic Arkansas River that also serves comfort food classics when you want to be pampered? Yes, please. The staff at the Waterfront Grill will take care of you and make you feel special as you treat yourself to some delicious meats and carbs. The Tillamook cheddar burger is a delightfully cheesy option. Or go a little fancier with the shaved-to-order, warm prime rib sandwich served with homemade au jus. The chicken-fried steak and chicken-fried chicken are also favorites, as is the homemade meatloaf. Sides for many of the dinners feature cheddar, bacon and jalapeño mashed potatoes that will hit the spot when you want comforting food.
Western Country Diner
1905 S. Sheridan Road | Tulsa
A comfortable, friendly, laid back environment bundled with affordable, generous portions and delicious homemade meals and desserts, including baklava and pies, adds up to a relaxed place to enjoy a comfort food diner experience that feels both authentic and lovingly presented. Just about everything on the menu qualifies as comfort food, but you can’t go wrong with the excellent homemade pancakes, eggs and bacon, and hash browns, all just buttery enough to satisfy you without getting too far into greasy spoon territory. Among the diner specials, you’ll find smothered chicken — a grilled chicken breast smothered in sautéed onions, mushrooms and melted Swiss cheese, as well as their signature fried-chicken tenders — hand breaded and crispy, served with cream gravy or honey Dijon for dipping.
Wild Heart Café
501 S. Cherokee St. | Catoosa
With the words heart and café in its title, you know every menu item is going to be full of love and goodness, two key ingredients in comfort food. It’s true. One of Catoosa’s favorite family owned eateries, just off historic Route 66, Wild Heart Café serves up some of the best home-cooked comfort food in Green Country, including yummy potatoes, thick bacon, hamburger steak and a delicious Monte Cristo. As an added bonus, shop for some cute antiques afterward in their Wild Heart Marketplace.
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4401 S. Memorial Drive | Tulsa
3401 S. Peoria Ave. | Tulsa
7727 E. 91st St. | Tulsa
9701 E. 61st St. | Tulsa
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