Complete with small businesses, modern conveniences, old homes and newer developments, the Brookside area is like a town in itself.
When you move to a new place, there’s a lot that goes into the decision of where exactly you want to live. Because where you live is not just where you will close your eyes at night; it’s also the area you won’t stray far from if you can help it. It’s where you’ll shop, dine, and kill time. Where you live needs to fit your lifestyle. It needs to have the perks that you can’t imagine not having and the drawbacks that you can live with. Maybe you need a grocery store right down the road but you can live with a little traffic, or perhaps you don’t mind crossing town to stock your kitchen but the thought of sitting at a standstill is maddening.
I didn’t put much thought into where we would live in Tulsa. Luckily, my boyfriend did. He researched areas, scoped the neighborhoods, and spent a good bit of time on Google maps. He thought about where we would run and ride our bikes, where we could enjoy a nice meal close by, and where our dog would go to play. When we drove to see the house we now call home, we didn’t even see the inside and fell head over heels.
We could have a park at our fingertips, a coffee shop right down the road, and the Riverside Trail a mile from our door. When we finally got to see the inside, we applied that same day and spent the next couple of months pining over our dream location. In June, we moved to Brookside.
I’ve told people that Tulsa is the biggest city I’ve ever lived in, but it feels the most warm and welcoming. Brookside is probably the reason I feel that way. It is its own little town complete with small businesses, modern conveniences, old homes and newer developments.
The neighborhoods hold their charm despite some “McMansions” (too much house, too little yard) that seem to be popping up all over. Brookside reminds its residents that character is what makes a home yours. Some houses boast solid, sturdy brick walls while others are surrounded by beautiful gardens that tempt critters to hang around. These places make you want to wander the streets and get to know the people who reside there.
On the main drag, there are businesses to help you fill your closet, encourage you to get in shape, or perhaps offer a place to unwind after a long week. Retail, gyms, fine dining, and casual hangouts; Brookside has it all, and we’ve tried to take advantage of everything it has to offer.
Here are our top suggestions to visit when in the neighborhood.
I’m positive this is our dog, Kona’s, favorite part about our Tulsa move. We’ve had to teach her to wait at the driveway until we give the OK because she likes to bolt into that open field like she was just given new legs. There are often other dogs hanging around this park, so if you’re looking to give your best friend a nice change of scenery, we highly recommend heading to Zink Park on a Sunday afternoon. You’re bound to run into some other pups enjoying the grassy hill that is perfect for fetch and rolling. It’s likely you’ll see us there.
Purple Glaze Studio
If I’m being honest, I wasn’t sure how this was going to go. I’m 23 years old and thought this sounded like a cute date night, but that it might fall a little flat of expectations. However, I had a blast picking out something to paint, selecting my colors, and carefully applying them to my masterpiece. When looking for something to change up your dinner-and-a-movie routine, go release your inner Picasso and follow it with a late-night doughnut simply because you can.
Shades of Brown Coffee and Art
Grabbing a cup of joe from a coffee shop rather than your own kitchen is expensive, but when supporting a local business and getting to use their cozy digs, it’s worth it. Order your favorite drink, grab a comfy seat, and sit down to knock out some work in this perfect little spot.
Sit outside if you can and order the house Sangria; just trust me. We were able to sit outside on a summer evening with our pup and received quality service that included a pup cup for our girl. Kona gave this one a paws up.
Mondo’s Ristorante Italian
Good things are worth the wait. We visited on a busy night so we had to wait a little bit for a table. The food was perfect and the atmosphere was warm, but what impressed us the most was the spot-on service that seems so hard to find. Our meal was thoroughly enjoyed, and we felt welcome to stay as long as we wanted. This place shot up to the top of our favorites list.
Old School Bagel Cafe
No one was kidding when they said the cookies taste like heaven. Bagels were great, coffee was perfect, but if nothing else please, please go get yourself some cookies. Then sit outside on the patio where you can pretend there’s nothing else to do that day but enjoy a nice breeze.
Brookside Farmers Market
Support local, eat fresh produce, and spice up your Wednesday morning. It’s the perfect way to start hump day.
I’m a sucker for a candy shop, so they had me within the first couple steps in the door. I’m sure most Tulsans are familiar with this store as it boasts Oklahoma- and Tulsa-inspired products, but if not, be sure to walk the entire store and take your time. There’s so much to see.
I want to hear your suggestions, whether you’re a native Tulsan or a newbie like us. We want to know where to hang out, pig-out, shop ’til we drop, and everything in between. If you know a place with a great story, share it with us so we can go check it out.
Every day is an adventure with our little family, and I’m sharing our story because I think some people can relate. Follow us on Instagram and/or search #TakenWithTulsa or #NewInTtown to check out our latest adventures as we seek out new experiences and share our advice on how to embrace Tulsa.
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