Maybe Tulsa, Oklahoma isn’t the first place you think of when considering where to plan your next weekend getaway, but I want to give you five reasons to take another look at this unique midwestern city located in the heart of the United States. Originally a child of the oil boom, Tulsa has evolved into a culturally diverse center where you can enjoy a rich context of music, art, sports, and food. Tulsa knows how to do food. Today I want to share a little bit about some of the best places Tulsa has to offer in the area of cuisine and dining experience, five places to be exact.
1.Fat Guy’s Burger Bar
Location: 140 N Greenwood Ave, Tulsa, OK 74120
Situated next to the iconic Tulsa Drillers baseball stadium, Fat Guys Burger Bar has quickly become one of my all-time top places to get a burger. Fat Guys has become a Tulsa icon itself. Besides serving really awesome burgers, they also know how to have a good time. Fat Guy’s features a specialty burger each month, which speaks to how creative they are with their options and menu. For those with a really serious appetite, Fat Guy’s offer the challenge. The challenge offers both glory and free food if the contestant is able to consume a massive cheeseburger and a pound of fries within one hour. This beast of a cheeseburger consists of a two pound patty, one pound of bacon, 8 slices of American cheese, lettuce, onion, and tomato. So if you think you can possibly consume that kind of food in 60 minutes and still forgive yourself, you might want to see if you can be the next victor.
But let’s be honest, most of us are not going to be taking that challenge. For the rest of us, Fat Guy’s offers some enticing specialty options. My personal favorite is the Sweet Caroline, which is stacked with fresh smoked gouda cheese, pulled pork, sweet and spicy coleslaw and a thick beef patty. Be careful, you may not want to stop after one. The fries they serve are fresh cut potatoes fried to order.
Fat Guy’s Burger Bar is a top choice in the Tulsa area, and their success has led to their expansion to three locations. You can now find a Fat Guy’s Burger Bar in Broken Arrow and South Tulsa as well as the original Driller’s Stadium locale.
2. James E. Mcnellie’s Public House
Location: 409 E 1st St, Tulsa, OK 74120
Take a short stroll from the Driller’s Stadium down to 1st Street in Tulsa and you’ll find Mcnellie’s Public House. Founded in 2004, Mcnellie’s has quickly become a staple of the Tulsa downtown scene. After only four years the Mcnellie’s group opened three more locations and they have all been thriving since. The original Downtown location has been my destination for several group events. They have a massive beer selection and you will notice hundreds of mugs with names lining the wall; these are personal mugs that regulars can use every time they visit. My favorite time to go to Mcnellie’s is Wednesday night, the night you can get a burger and fries for only four bucks. I always get the sweet potato fries. So good.
I have also been to the South Tulsa Location, which has a different feel but retains a great atmosphere and still has the classic Wednesday burger and fries deal. Don’t hesitate to go to this location if it’s closer to where you happen to be.
3. Kilkenny’s Irish Pub
Location: 1413 E 15th St, Tulsa, OK 7412
Kilkenny’s Irish Pub is Tulsa’s most authentic Irish establishment. The restaurant is loved by Tulsan’s for many reasons. Not the least of which is the vast menu of Irish fare that never fails to satisfy. From the Stonyford Shrimp to the Butterslip Burger they deliver what you would want from a unique Irish Pub. I have enjoyed coming here with friends many times. I love the atmosphere, it is intricately crafted with wood inlays and the overall feel of the place is like being transported back in time to a real 19th-century Irish pub. They serve a mean Guinness of course, along with a vast selection of beer and wine. Don’t forget to try the dessert as well. The Irish Creme Brulee is too good. I’ve enjoyed birthdays here as well and casual social outings. It’s a great place to gather and a must-see for anyone traveling through Tulsa.
4. Burn Co Barbecue
Location: 1738 S Boston Ave, Tulsa, OK 74119
If you know anything about Tulsa, you may have already heard of Burn Co Barbecue. If you haven’t, I’m going to fix that. Originally this BBQ joint started out with a small and modest establishment located next to Tulsa University. Well, as soon as students and Tulsans discovered their food, the place remained packed day after day. Now they have a new and bigger location in the downtown area of Tulsa. One of the first things I noticed when I came here was that they were handing out a rib to everyone in line. I was impressed that they would give away food like that, but after I tasted it I understood why. The rib got me hooked. I got the pulled pork sandwich with a sweet spicy BBQ and grilled potato salad. Don’t miss this one. They are only open from 10:30 am to 2:30 pm, so keep that in mind when planning your visit.
5. Doubleshot Coffee Co
Location: 1730 S Boston Ave, Tulsa, OK 74119
Okay, so this may not technically be considered a restaurant, but they do have some light options if you are hungry. I had to include this unique cafe on my list. Many Tulsan’s agree that they have the finest coffee in town. House roasted quality beans make this trendy cafe a fun place to just hang out and enjoy a good conversation and great coffee. They have also had some tasty light fare and jams at the front counter. As I write this, they are featuring a Nepal Himalayan Arabica sourced coffee, which is just a sample of the type of quality they offer. As a bonus, this place is literally next door to Burn Co Barbecue so after you have lunch there you can stop by. If you like coffee at all, do yourself a favor and check this place out.