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Best Downtown Eats

Best Downtown Eats

From funky, seasonal and casual to international, intimate and comfort-food classics, there are plenty of dining options in the vibrant and flourishing downtown area of Tulsa.

Article
Michele Chiappetta and Rob Harmon
Published
August 28, 2018 3:18 AM

Tulsa’s downtown vibe isn’t what it used to be. It’s better than ever, growing and thriving like never before. Inside the IDL (Inner Dispersal Loop), the highway system that frames T-Town’s downtown, there is so much to do these days, it’s hard to know where to start.

Throughout this flourishing 1.4 square mile region of Tulsa, downtown is the home not only to some great places to be entertained, but some even more amazing places to eat. Whether you’re visiting Tulsa for the first time or Boom Town is old hat to you, there’s one thing we can all agree on — no time out on the town is complete without a great meal. Here’s our list of don’t-miss-spots to chow down in Tulsa’s downtown.

At Sisserou's the décor is elegantly laid out with the colors and styles of Caribbean life, and so is the menu.

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Albert G's Bar-B-Q
421 E. 1st St. | Tulsa
Albert G’s has been “smoking to please since 1992.” Located just a couple blocks from ONEOK Field, — Tulsa’s state-of-the-art ballpark — they produce sassy downhome dishes you’ll love. Start with slow-smoked chicken wings or the Route 66 Nachos, smothered in chopped brisket or pulled pork. Then take your pick of smoked meats, sides like baked beans and sweet potato waffle fries, the G’s Louise chopped salad with brisket, pork or turkey — the choices are nearly endless. Sample from their impressive selection of bourbons, American and imported whiskies, and local beers, and have a slice of chocolate bourbon pecan pie.

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Amelia's
122 N. Boston Ave. | Tulsa
This Boston Avenue wood-fired restaurant, in the heart of the Tulsa Arts District, with its classy ambience and excellent open-flame cuisine, has become a favorite to many. The sweet aroma upon entering the restaurant, will instantly confirm you’ve made the right choice. The rich and meaty beef tenderloin entrée, the savory buttermilk-breaded fried chicken or any of the delicious pizzas will always be the right decision. Never worry about parking with their valet service.

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Andolini's Sliced
114 S. Detroit Ave. | Tulsa
If you’re in love with amazing Neapolitan, NYC-style pizza served up in a relaxed restaurant, then Ando’s is for you. They serve enormous pizza pies, as well as individual slices. You can get just about any style you’re craving — like the cheesy Spring Street, just like you’d get in Little Italy; the Hawaiian, a West Coast treat of Canadian bacon and pineapple; the Athenian, a taste of Greek love with Kalamata olives, feta cheese, onions and sausage; or a ton of other options. Don’t forget the gelato because it’s so good!

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Atlas Grill
415 S. Boston Ave. | Tulsa
This downtown restaurant is a Tulsa gem. Their classic weekday lunch items and weekend brunch selections are sure to hit the spot. Locals love their specialty sandwiches, such as the Boston, an apple-smoked bacon BLT, or the Denver, a mouthwatering roasted turkey and lettuce delight. In addition to tasty food, the restaurant’s home, the Atlas Life building, is a step back into T-Town’s roaring oil-boom days of the 1920s, when Tulsa was the oil-capital of the world.

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Baxter's Interurban Grill
717 S. Houston Ave., Suite 100 | Tulsa
Tucked away on the southwestern side of downtown, near the OSU Medical Center and the Cox Business Center, Baxter’s is a semi-hidden classic. Make it your mission to get there the next time you want comfort food, a cold beer and friendly service. The laid-back space lends itself to great conversation. And you can’t go wrong with their juicy burgers, crisp fried chicken tenders, slow smoked baby back ribs, and other tasty comfort food selections. Enjoy happy hour Monday through Friday, 4-7 p.m., with half-priced appetizers and discounted drink specials.

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Billy's on the Square
424 S. Main St. | Tulsa
On Fifth Street and Main’s Bartlett Square in downtown Tulsa, Billy’s on the Square rocks some pretty darn good charburgers and char-chicken sandwiches. Since the mid-‘80s, Billy’s has been the go-to downtown location for fun times and great food. With so many choices — from the saucy Hickory, the juicy bacon and Swiss or the mouthwatering guacamole charburger — a return trip to Billy’s is always on the menu. And for fantastic char chicken delights, the Mexi chicken, the Cordon Bleu and Cajun chicken sandwiches (to name a few) are so yummy.

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Caz's Chowhouse
18 E. M.B. Brady St. | Tulsa
Comfort food served with culinary expertise — that’s the decidedly tasty treat you get at Caz’s. Their delicious, home-style meals wow you in portion size and flavor. You won’t go wrong with their juicy, buttery 12-ounce rib-eye, which rivals any steakhouse meal. You’ll fall in love with the enormous chicken and biscuits, made with a five-inch homemade biscuit, marinated grilled chicken and mashed red potatoes. Specials include Kids Eat Free after 5 p.m. on Wednesdays, $4 cheese fries Thursday evenings, and happy hours Tuesday-Friday (2-7 p.m.), and also Friday–Saturday (9-11 p.m.).

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Deco Deli
415 S. Boston Ave. | Tulsa
In the absolute heart of the IDL, Deco Deli is a fantastic lunch-time location for wraps, salads, smoothies, sandwiches and a whole lot more. On the street level floor of the historic 1920s Atlas Life Building, the deli is convenient and worth the visit. For a healthy choice at lunch, try the killer Deco salad. It’s mounded high with juicy, grilled-on-the-spot chicken, fresh strawberries and blueberries, a sprinkle of walnuts, tasty-good goat cheese and delicious red onions all over a bed of nutritious mixed greens.

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Dilly Diner
402 E. 2nd St. | Tulsa
Breakfast all day, even into the wee hours? Yes, please! Dilly Diner dishes out fantastic breakfasts, brunches, lunches, dinners, and late night snacks for a great meal any time of day. They use locally-sourced ingredients for a fresh, farm-to-table taste. We recommend the tangy sriracha chicken and waffles, which are always perfectly sweet and spicy; the sizable breakfast burrito, starring local Fassler Hall chorizo; the Chicken Manh Di, mixing grilled chicken, peanut cilantro slaw, cucumber, and garlic aioli on a bed of arugula; and the mac ‘n’ cheese carbonara.

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Dos Banditos
109 N. Detroit Ave. | Tulsa
Authentic California-style Mexican food awaits you at this restaurant and cantina. Excellent eats and equally spectacular drinks are served with exceptional service and attention to the customer’s every need. Just on the Tulsa Arts District side of downtown, it’s a nice walk from ONEOK or Guthrie Green and completely worth it. With a menu full of flavorful dishes that are gluten-free and mouthwatering at the same time, any item will be sure to please. And with a top-shelf drink on the side, you cannot go wrong.

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JINYA Ramen Bar
416 E. 2nd St.  | Tulsa
For many, ramen stirs up memories of cost-saving college meals. But done with traditional Japanese flair and flavor, ramen is a savory, rich dish. JINYA makes their noodles fresh daily and simmers their broths for hours to get maximum umami. You can order off the menu or mix and match to create your own specialized ramen dish. Or sample Japanese small plates like crispy chicken, pork gyoza and caramelized cauliflower; various rice bowls and curry dishes; the JINYA Bun, served with slow-braised pork chashu; and more.

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Juniper
324 E. 3rd St. | Tulsa
With a focus on seasonal menus and farm-to-table style dishes, Juniper is a special treat. The restaurant employs some of the best chefs in the area to provide special dishes, many seasoned with herbs and spices from their back alley garden. The spacious ambience of the restaurant, with various local art displayed on the walls, makes every meal there comfortable and interesting at the same time. Tulsans also stop into Juniper to enjoy one or two of their specially crafted cocktails before or after an IDL Ballroom show.

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Laffa Medi-Eastern Restaurant and Bar
111 N. Main St. | Tulsa
Laffa offers an inviting environment to visit with friends over shared appetizers and entrees as you explore the culinary delights of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine. Feel free to ask the servers for recommendations and tips to help you around the menu, which offers everything from Za’atar Hydari (a creamy olive and feta dip) to “sweet” cheesecake (vanilla cheesecake with orange-honey caramel sauce, flaked halvah and whipped cream). And of course, they serve classic dishes like couscous salad, hummus, falafel, shawarma and beef tagine.

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Lotus
111 N. Main St. | Tulsa
Below the Fairfield Inn, Lotus Sandwich Eatery and Bar serves tasty and healthy sandwiches you can customize yourself, as well as a plethora of craft beers and handcrafted cocktails. On Fridays and Saturdays, it’s your late-night spot until 4 a.m. Lotus is full of Tulsa charm and sensibility and a great place to visit before a show at the BOK Center or a baseball or soccer game at ONEOK Field. Within walking distance from so many attractions, it’s become a favorite place to get excellent small kitchen food and great beer.

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Mexicali Border Cafe
14 W. M.B. Brady St. | Tulsa
Mexicali serves up delicious, authentic Mexican food to please the palate. The dining areas are spacious, inviting you to relax as you enjoy the many dishes that regulars love. Start off with queso, avocado salad or layered dip. Then opt for favorites like the sizzling fajitas with steak, chicken or grilled shrimp; the stuffed carne asada filled with melted Jack cheese, mushrooms and onions; or the combo dishes that mix tacos, enchiladas, flautas or tamales. Don’t forget to order a margarita, sangria swirl or some cerveza.

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MixCo
3rd and Denver | Tulsa
MixCo is downtown Tulsa’s place to find good times, great cocktails, spectacular late-night food and a vibe found in few places. A unique IDL restaurant and drinking establishment on Third and Denver, it’s an after-party-after-party kind of place with quality wait service and excellent live music. With awesome chicken nachos, brioche bun burgers and amazing street-style tacos, the delicious food is far from an afterthought. After a concert or performance downtown, it’s the spot to continue the fun into the wee hours.

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PRHYME: Downtown Steakhouse
111 N. Main St. | Tulsa
For an evening of elegant fine dining and exquisite cuisine offered with impeccable service, visit PRHYME. One of the Justin Thompson Group of restaurants, this steakhouse is superb in all its offerings. If you’re a seafood lover, treat yourself to baked Gulf oysters, fried escargot, jumbo lump crab cocktail, or seafood bisque made with blue crab, roasted mirepoix and sherry crème fraiche. All their USDA Prime, grass-fed and Prime dry-aged steaks are hand selected and butchered in-house. For something a little out of the ordinary, opt for the mushroom crusted filet, served with parsnip puree, haricots verts and mushroom demi-glace. The wine and cocktail list is impressive; don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations to go with your meal.

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Sabores
The Boxyard | 502 E. 3rd St., Unit 27 | Tulsa
One of Tulsa’s newest hotspots for everything from sweets, treats, comics and STEM science equipment, The Boxyard also boasts one of the best authentic Mexican cuisine dining establishments in the area. Sabores’ food is packed with flavor, and the dishes are served with colorful style and flair. Try the Mexican-style salmon or the sizzling fajitas, and you will not regret it. With a menu full of house specialties, a return visit is a definite must.

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Sisserou's Caribbean Restaurant
107 N. Boulder Ave. | Tulsa
Enjoy the island flavors and flair of a delightful meal at Sisserou’s. The décor is elegantly laid out with the colors and styles of Caribbean life, and so is the menu. Dishes reflect the owners’ roots on the island of Dominica, which means a blend of seafood, jerk spices, curries, coconut and other Caribbean flavors. The coconut shrimp appetizer served with marmalade sauce is delightfully tasty. If you like adventure, order the Bake & Shark, a Trinidadian dish featuring deep-fried shark in fried dough. The traditional Caribbean curry is stellar, and can be ordered with a veggie medley, chicken or shrimp.

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Tavolo
427 S. Boston Ave. | Tulsa
Chef Justin Thompson definitely brought something special to downtown’s Deco District when he established Tavolo on Boston Avenue. Housed in the beautiful Philtower building, Tavolo’s casual, yet exceptional atmosphere matches the elegant Italian dishes they serve. The housemade grilled chicken Alfredo is so creamy and tasty, it’s next to impossible to leave room for dessert. Whether you choose chicken, shrimp or the flavorful Italian sausage, you’ll thoroughly enjoy any of the pasta dishes. Try the buttery pan-seared trout, and you’ll be thanking us for the suggestion.

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Ti Amo Ristorante Italiano
219 S. Cheyenne Ave. | Tulsa
Words we’d use to describe Ti Amo’s downtown location would be elegant, classy and superior. This cozy little basement restaurant off Second Street and Cheyenne is truly a Tulsa gem. Delicious and traditional Italian fare with superb service is what you can expect every visit. Some of our favorite dishes include the exceptional Pollo Alla Parmigiana, the Linguini Pescatore and the Costata Di Manzo rib-eye. Also, with some of the best appetizers in town, this place is an excellent date night or special occasion location.

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Also Check Out

Antoinette Baking Co.
207 N. Main St. | Tulsa

Boston Avenue Grille
15 E. 5th St. | Tulsa

Bramble
311 E. 2nd St. | Tulsa

Bull in the Alley
11 E. M.B. Brady St. | Tulsa

Burn Co. Barbeque
1738 S. Boston Ave. | Tulsa

Coney Island
107 N. Boulder Ave. | Tulsa

El Guapo’s Cantina
332 E. 1st St. | Tulsa

Elgin Park
325 E. M.B. Brady St. | Tulsa

Elote Café
514 S. Boston Ave. | Tulsa

Fassler Hall
304 S. Elgin Ave. | Tulsa

Fat Guy’s Burger Bar
140 N. Greenwood Ave. | Tulsa

James E. McNellie’s
409 E. 1st St. | Tulsa

Joe Momma’s
308 E. 1st St. | Tulsa

Lassalle’s New Orleans Deli
15 W. 5th St. | Tulsa

Lefty’s on Greenwood
10 N. Greenwood Ave. | Tulsa

Lone Wolf Banh Mi
203 E. Archer St. | Tulsa

Naples Flatbread Kitchen & Bar
201 S. Denver Ave. | Tulsa

Oklahoma Joe’s Bar-B-Cue
25 W. 5th St. | Tulsa

Prairie Brewpub
223 N. Main St. | Tulsa

RibCrib
302 E. 1st St. | Tulsa

Roppongi
601 S. Boston Ave. | Tulsa

Sette
114 N. Boston Ave. | Tulsa

Steakfinger House
403 S. Boulder Ave. | Tulsa

Tabouli’s
414 S. Main St. | Tulsa

Take 2
309 S. Main St. | Tulsa

The Bistro
415 S. Boston Ave. | Tulsa

The Boulder Grill
17 W. 7th St. | Tulsa

The Chalkboard
1324 S. Main St. | Tulsa

The Greens on Boulder
419 S. Boulder Ave. | Tulsa

The Tavern
201 N. Main St. | Tulsa

The Vault
620 S. Cincinnati Ave. | Tulsa

Wanda J’s
111 N. Greenwood Ave. | Tulsa

Yokozuna
309 E. 2nd St. | Tulsa

September 2019 Cover