If you’re looking to venture away from your regular lunch or dinner spot, the eastern region of our city offers an array of restaurants that you should definitely check out, especially if your taste buds are craving Asian or Latin flavors. These spots are mostly small and locally owned, with modest storefronts that belie the big flavors cooking up inside.
For the purposes of this tour, we set our boundaries from Sheridan to Garnett roads and I-244 to 51st Street. Here are just a few of our favorite East Tulsa eats.
Golden Saddle, 6618 E. Admiral Pl.
Golden Saddle, near Admiral and Sheridan, offers an all-American buffet three times a day, but the real treat here is the diner's Persian fare, found on the backside of the menu. Choose from a election of authentic Iranian dishes, or ask for the Chef's Choice, and try a little bit of everything they have to offer. Open Sunday-Saturday, 5 a.m.-9 p.m.
Gogi Gui Korean Grill, 6380 E. 31st St.
Fairly new to the Tulsa restaurant scene, Gogi Gui Korean Grill already has a cult-like following. Tucked inside an unassuming strip mall near 31st and Sheridan, this intimate restaurant serves authentic Korean dishes, such as Bulgogi and banchan, as well as Korean fusion—think Bulgogi Tacos and Kimchi Steak Burger. Boba tea’s on the menu, too, one of the few places you can find it in town. Hours are Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Viet Huong Restaurant, 7919 E. 21st St.
Viet Huong is well known around town as one of the best places to order a big, steaming bowl of pho in Tulsa. The restaurant serves both Chinese and Vietnamese dishes, but we recommend going with the latter. With your menu, you’ll get a small photo album offering a pictorial representation of their Vietnamese offerings, which include traditional and veggie pho, along with other variations. Bring cash; they don’t take plastic of any kind. Open Monday through Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday from 10:30-2. No website, but you can find them on Facebook: http://bit.ly/1TZh6g6.
Las Tres Fronteras, 7940 E. 21st St.
Tres Fronteras is a hidden gem, occupying a tiny strip center spot and serving Mexican, American, and Honduran dishes. Honduran cuisine combines Spanish, Caribbean, and African influences and utilizes lots of corn, beans, and plantains. Last Tres Fronteras offers delicious dishes you can’t find anywhere else in town, and when we were there, the cook was happy to visit our table and talk us through many of them. Open Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m.-9 p.m., and Sunday 8 a.m.-3 p.m. No website; just go.
Tortilleria De Puebla, 3118 S. Mingo Road
Skip the fast-food window and grab some to-go at Tortilleria De Puebla, which sells savory, stewed Barbacoa by the pound, along with fresh corn tortillas and homemade salsa. You can spend $15 and feed your entire family. Of course, you can also eat in and choose from a menu of meats served up as tacos, tortas, and other simple dishes. The Menudo, we hear, is some of the best in town. Hours are 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week.
Pho Nhi Vietnamese Noodle House, 11514 E. 21st St.
Nestled inside the enormity of Nam Ham Oriental Food Market, Pho Ni ("sounds like 'funny.'" a waiter told us, laughing, the first time we visited) offers an extensive menu of Vietnamese dishes. The various noodle bowls—and, of course, the pho, which comes in different serving sizes, depending on your appetite—are must-try items. The Banh Mi is also delicious, and the Vietnamese coffee is a perfect ending to any meal. Open Monday-Friday 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m., Saturday 11-9, and Sunday 9-7. Find ‘am on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/PhoNhiTulsa.
Tacos San Pedro, 12929 E. 21st St.
Tacos San Pedro offers delicious, authentic Mexican food; some of our favorite dishes include the gorditas (huge masa pockets filled with beans, meat, onions, and cilantro), the hurache (a long, oval-shaped piece of fried masa, topped with beans, meat—we love the chorizo on this dish—sour cream, cheese, onion, and salsa), and the sincronizada (a grilled flour tortilla filled with meat and cheese). To drink, try one of the many agua frescas (“fresh water”—like juice, sort of). Hours are Sunday-Thursday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m.-10 p.m. On Facebook at http://bit.ly/1TZspVK.
Pancho Anaya Mexican Bakery, 40 S. Garnett11685 E. 21st St. and 2420 E. Admiral Blvd.
Pancho Anaya, with two locations in East Tulsa and one at Admiral and Lewis, bakes out thousands of pastries every day, from cakes, cookies and donuts to bread, sandwich rolls and churros. When you go in, grab a tray and a pair of tongs, and help yourself to the pastry case. Don't be afraid to pile 'em high; most of the Pancho Anaya's pan dulce costs around 60 cents a piece. Open 7:30 a.m.-9 p.m. seven days a week. http://panchoanaya.com
Paleteria La Michoacana, 2138 S. Garnett and 9467 E. 31st St.
Within two nearby locations, this ice cream shop serves delicious, homemade flavors—chocolate, vanilla, coconut, coffee, walnut, rice, queso (think cream cheese), strawberry, mango, and many more. They’ll let you taste as many as you like while you’re deciding. They also serve homemade aguas frescas in a variety of flavors, as well as some street food. Open seven days a week, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. On Facebook at http://bit.ly/1tab2VT.