Some towns have all of their glitz and glamour in their downtown areas. Most of the time destination cities will have most businesses and restaurant venues located in a central area downtown. Sometimes, however, the local population of a city will realize something about a town that the tourists generally don’t find out-that the best place to enjoy a night out may actually be in a different location. For Tulsa, Oklahoma, this different location is the Brookside District of Peoria Street. Full of unique shops, restaurants, an old movie theatre, and one of Tulsa’s most famous coffee shops, this area of town is lively at all times of the day and is most famous for its restaurant scene.
Overall, if you’re headed for a night or morning out in Tulsa and don’t quite know where you want to explore, this region is the perfect place for you. The coffee shop scene is bursting both in the mornings and evenings with customers streaming in and out of Shades of Brown, a local coffee shop well known for its features of local artists, cozy vintage furniture, shows by local musicians, and quality coffee and other beverages. (My personal favorite drink from Shades is the soy chai, which is arguably the best soy chai tea latte in town.) Morning customers at Shade of Brown often buy breakfast items-muffins, scones, or chocolate croissants-from the baked goods selection offered at this coffee shop as well.
The Brookside district has its fair share of fun shops lining the street, with classy uptown feeling displays in many of the stores windows. However, although the region is fun to stroll and window shop along, the food and bar/club scene of the area is what attracts most locals to this region. For breakfast foods, Brookside by Day is a popular restaurant offering a delicious brunch style menu. For lunch, a branch of the sushi restaurant In the Raw is also on this street, offering delicious sushi in a unique atmosphere; since this is a sushi restaurant, however, the food prices will be somewhat high. Finally, for the dinner or late night crowd, the Brookside district still has much more to offer. Cosmos, a popular classy venue well known for their dessert and drink menus, recently relocated to this district of Tulsa, and this establishment is the perfect spot to grab food, a drink, or a decadent dessert on a night out. There are also several bars and club style venues located along the Brookside district for those who are of drinking age, and the streets are relatively well-lit and active until after dark (until a reasonably late hour) so customers enjoying the Brookside night scene can feel relatively safe.
Other restaurants in the area include a branch of Pei Wei, a Chinese food chain (a favorite for their low priced menus and unlimited fortune cookies); Pei Wei is also located adjacent to the region’s Starbucks coffee house-a great alternative for the coffee consumer who finds Shades of Brown too crowded to find comfortable seating.
After grabbing a meal from one of Brookside’s many restaurant options, visitors to this area often head down to the Pedestrian Bridge located off of Riverside. (Riverside runs along the Arkansas River parallel to Peoria.)The bridge crosses over the Arkansas River and has walking trails located on both sides of the bridge, with a display of fountains in the river on the Riverside side of the water. Parking for the Pedestrian Bridge is free and is located across the street (Riverside) from the river. The bridge is lit during most nights of the year.