What to do in Tulsa: A Brookside stroll down Peoria Ave.

May 1, 2012

Upon my first visit to Tulsa to look for a house to live in, I decided to go as blindly into the city as possible. I had done some research before hand and had made a few phone calls regarding places for rent. However, when I landed, I put my iPhone away for a couple of hours, got in my rental car and just drove.

Driving from the airport, I could see Tulsa’s downtown skyline from the highway. I was excited to see all of the Art Deco Architecture I had been hearing about. I couldn’t wait to find a quaint little coffee shop that I would call my new watering hole. I was excited to see where my Friday happy hour spot would be. Mostly, I was excited to find a neighborhood, a community, that would become what I call home.

I first drove downtown. I saw the Max RetroPub, Joe-Mammas Pizza, and the famed Blue Dome Building that sits in the heart of the Blue Dome District. As I began my trek east, I came upon Cherry Street, another trendy part of town I had read about. Finally, I hit Peoria Avenue, the main drag in the rejuvenated Brookside area, and I knew I was home. All along Peoria are restaurants, bars, shops and art galleries.

After 3 months of living in Tulsa I have yet to eat at all of the restaurants, shop at all of the boutiques or drink at all of the fun patio bars in Brookside. So yesterday, I took a mid afternoon stroll down Peoria Ave. to reacquaint myself with Brookside, and mostly, to make a list of where to go next time I’m out and about:

This is one of the many (many, MANY) art deco buildings in Tulsa. Which I love. But more on that in a future post. The Brook sign marks the beginning of Brookside, right at 34th and Peoria, and is also an old theater turned restaurant that serves traditional American food.

Ida Red is a fun boutique for all of your gifting needs. They carry everything: Tom’s Shoes, jewelry made by local artists, art. They also sell every kind of candy you could possibly imagine, and they keep them in these perfect wooden crates aligned against the wall:

Don’t mind if I do…
Next to the candy selection is a just-as-impressive cooler stocked with bottled sodas, both vintage and new.
And now I know where to get Oklahoma t-shirts to send back to my friends in Texas…


Next was Mecca, an inconspicuous gourmet market at the corner of 33rd and Peoria. Mecca offers, among other things, fresh ground coffee and teas. And they aren’t kidding around:

I bought some fresh ground Colombian here a few weeks ago and it made my entire house smell like coffee! Yum!

They also have a coffee bar and a little front patio where you can sit and enjoy an espresso.


The Center 1 buildings are white brick with these beautiful waterfall fountains on the side.

The Center 1 strip boasts some amazing boutiques, one of them being Edit.

How do you describe this place? Edit describes themselves as selling “Useful, well designed objects for everyday living”. They sell designer household items, clothes, skin care products and so much more. If I had the money, I would buy everything in here. Seriously.


I am so happy Blue Moon Cafe exists. I love grabbing lunches here. And I love them even more now knowing that they sell fresh made Texas Sheet Cake, something my mother always (and still does) make for me.


Crossing the street right around 35th and Peoria, I came to Doc’s Wine and Food. I’ve been here a couple of times to enjoy a glass of wine or a classic cocktail (so excited to find a place in Tulsa that makes a Corpse Reviver #2!) on their adorable street side patio.


Right across the street from Doc’s is R Bar & Grill. This brand new establishment features New American food as well as a full bar. And a full patio. Every time we drive by this patio on weekend night it’s packed full. And you can see why:


Keo is another great place to eat in Brookside. My first day here I sat at the bar and ordered the Pad Thai with tofu and a glass of Sauvignon Blanc (I figured my inaugural Tulsa meal warranted a little day drink celebration ;)) The food was great, and the waitstaff could not be friendlier.

Oh Abersons. How I long to buy everything that you possess. This local boutique boasts an amazing eye for clean and classic style. Which is right up my alley.

I can totally see myself in this dress. 😉 http://abersonstyle.com/

This is In the Raw, a sushi restaurant in Brookside. I haven’t eaten here yet, but I have a friend back home in Houston who recommended this place to me. Can’t wait to try it!http://www.intherawsushi.com/

Brookside By Day is an old school cafe that opens for breakfast and lunch. I ate at BBD with a friend who came in town to visit, and we both left appropriately full and satisfied.

After walking in the sun for about an hour, I was ready for an ice-cold beverage. The end of my stroll landed me in the perfect spot: Shades of Brown Coffee. I love their sidewalk patio and art hanging indoors.

They serve all of their in house coffee in these hand made coffee mugs. And they sell art made by employees and other Tulsans. And they always have good music playing. And the coffee is yummy.

These are only a few of the amazing places on Peoria Ave. One day, I will get to all of them.

Check back for more posts about What To Do in Tulsa! Next time, I will take you down Cherry Street…


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