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Noteworthy Places to Eat in Tulsa, Oklahoma

Some may say that Tulsa, Oklahoma has a limited selection of remarkable restaurants. I think people just need to do a little more exploring, and perhaps visit more than just the regular chain restaurant. I recently moved from the Los Angeles area, and I thought I would not be able to find any good places to dine at. I was mistaken. I have discovered several great places to eat, but here are three of my recommendations.

Oscar’s Gastropub

This comfortably styled establishment just opened recently in the summer of 2008. It consists both of a bar and a high quality restaurant, thus the British derived word “gastropub.” It is located on the corner of 18th and Boston Avenue, neighboring the artsy wine bar Vintage 1740 and Italian restaurant Delasandro’s. It is a spacious restaurant, with a lobby, elevated dining sections, and wooden bar area. There are also windows in the ceiling that accent its atmosphere. There are numerous paintings of flamingos that embellish the aging brick walls, and contemporary abstract furniture in the foyer. The menu is full of various culturally influenced dishes, ranging from Italian, American, Asian, and even Latin. The lunch menu generally has items under $10. Dinner varies from the single digits to $40 dishes. Some of my favorite dishes are the Ahi Tuna Tataki Salad appetizer, the Drunken Mushrooms side dish, and the Kobe Meatloaf entrée. They also have 24 beers on tap and good selection of wines. Hours of operation are: Monday through Wednesday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Thursday and Friday 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., and Saturday 4 p.m. until 2 a.m. Oscar’s is not open on Sundays.

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Topeca Café de El Salvador

Located in the heart of downtown Tulsa, Topeca is a relaxing and classy coffee shop. It can be found on 5th street, in between Cheyenne Avenue and Boulder Avenue across from Arvest Bank and the OneOK corporate building. It is not your typical café. It has tables encased with coffee beans and abstract styled lighting. It also has bar stool type tables lined up against the windows that offer a view of downtown. It’s a great place to get away from the coffee shops frequented by college students. It has its own eclectic following. It also provides free wireless internet service and has local gigs perform on certain evenings. Not only does Topeca have its own signature assortment of Arabian coffee grown in El Salvador, it also offers an impressive variety of crepes, all mostly under $7. My choices would be the Manna Crepe (consists of artichokes and spinach), and the Nutella crepe (combination of melted chocolate and the Italian-based Nutella hazelnut spread). Hours of operation: Monday through Wednesday 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday and Friday 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Topeca is not open on the weekends.

So Chey Jazz Café

This restaurant like Oscar’s Gastropub just recently opened this summer. It is located past 3rd Street and Cheyenne Avenue within Tulsa’s Blue Dome district. It too embodies the aging brick structure of historical Tulsa. There are also candles on the window sills, jazz enthused art on the walls, and a grand staircase leading into the dining areas. The atmosphere is fit for fine dining and the evening prices reflect that. Reservations are preferred. On evenings during the weekend, diners can enjoy live jazz performances. It also has a full bar with currently 46 wines for selection. So Chey’s dinner prices range from $16 to $30 dishes, lunch and brunch menu items are usually under $10. It is mostly modern American cuisine. My favorite dishes are the house salad with goat cheese and the red snapper fish and chips. The restaurant offers a variety of dishes such as flatbreads, beef ribs with scallops, and polish dumplings. Hours of operation: Monday through Friday 11 a.m. until 2 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday 5 p.m. until 10:30 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The bar remains open until 2 a.m.

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If you are a Tulsa resident or traveling to Tulsa, try one of these places and enjoy!