18 Latin Restaurants in Tulsa That You Need To Try
BY ADRIANA PRIETO, BEA BAKER, MATT CARNEY, SAM HATHAWAY, GARY MASON & ROOT STAFF
2115 S. Garnett Rd., Tulsa, OK 74129
Founded by owners Juan Alvarado and Monica Rodriguez, Fabulosos Mariscos a la Antigua serves a wide array of Mexican seafood cuisine. Most of the menu is a reflection of chef-partner Jose "Fabulosos" Contreras and includes ingredients such as lobster, red snapper, scallops, prawns, octopus, shrimp, clams, crab and oysters, often several of those mixed into one dish. Find Fabulosos Mariscos a la Antigua near the intersection of 21st Street and Garnett Road. —Root staff
1901 S. Garnett Rd., Tulsa, OK 74128
Crudoolandia is Tulsa’s only drive-through michelada and chelada restaurant. Don’t let their curb appeal fool you. As you turn off 21st and Garnett, you enter what appears to be an old car wash parking lot. But drive up to the entrance and you’ll hear a bell go off, signifying you’re in the right place. A large menu is posted on the garage wall written in Spanish with descriptive images to accompany each item.
This Mexican drive-thru—whose name translates to English as “Hangoverland”—is best known for its towering to-go cups of zesty clamato mix topped with shrimp, bacon, cucumber and celery, finished with a spiced rim. The mix comes with a beer of your choice—unopened of course. If you’re looking for something sweeter, try a Chuvi Duvi. It’s a michelada made with strawberry, mango, pineapple, and dressed with a chile lime rim and tamarind straw. These fruity drinks are accompanied by a Smirnoff Ice or beer of your choice. —Sam Hathaway
105 M.L.K. Jr Blvd., Tulsa, OK, 74103
Carla and Fernando Meneses are the driving force behind the South American restaurant Que Gusto. The family has always had a passion for cooking and after moving their family from Ecuador to Tulsa in 2012, they saw the need for more Latin American cuisine in Tulsa.
Come for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Try their large empanadas with a side of yucca fries, arroz con pollo or a lighter option of yucca bread and a yogurt-based smoothie. Most of their ingredients are locally sourced and organic. —Bea Baker
This family-owned Cuban joint on Studio Row in the Pearl District dishes out Cuban classics! Bright colors abound. Come in for a cocktail or glass of wine, but don't leave without trying the papa rellena or croquets. Order one of their hearty beef or chicken dishes if you're looking for a full meal. —Root staff
3955 E. Admiral Pl., Tulsa, OK 74115
This humble, family-run food stop just north of I-244 will blow your tastebuds' minds. They have a super wet burrito lunch special, caldo de pescado (a tilapia fillet fish soup with fresh veggies,) and menudo and pozole on the weekends. The dictionary definition of "hidden gem." —Root staff
Food truck; no fixed address
Pamela Hoover of Pamale’s Tamales has been making waves with her 37 (and counting) flavors of gourmet Mexican tamales. You can frequently find her at Mother Road Market’s takeover kitchen but she also caters parties of any size. This family owned business is currently specializing in tamales but you can consider them a jack of all trades as far as catering events or parties go. —Adriana Prieto
6510 E. 21 St., Tulsa, OK 74129
With authentic Cuban food and a full bar, this spot on 21st and Sheridan is also known for hosing free Thursday night salsa and bachata dancing lessons. No partner required. Try the sugarcane juice with rum or the plantains stuffed with ropa vieja, both Cuban specialties. —Matt Carney
Two locations: 4008 E. 11th St., Tulsa, OK 74112 & 2101 E. Pine St., Tulsa, OK 74110
Movie stars past line this east Tulsa restaurant, glancing over their shoulders into your taco platters. Look closely and you’ll learn about Jorge Negrete and Germán Valdés from Mexico’s Golden Age of Cinema (Época de Oro del Cine Mexicano) who hang in frames around the restaurant. Looking down, they give you their nod of approval. Be assured, Tacos Don Francisco is the place to be.
Located on Route 66 near The University of Tulsa, the establishment is a hot spot for lunch-goers and the late night crowd alike. Open until four in the morning on weekends, it can be especially popular with the nearby university crowd. The menu is simple, but don’t be deceived. There’s potential for an infinite combination of meats to mix and match with your meal. Tacos, burritos, gorditas, and tortas alike can be filled with fried or marinated pork, chicken, tongue or cheek meat, and sausage (to name a few). The guacamole is made fresh to order.
Valentina and Tapatio hot sauces sit on each table, looking longingly at customers. A splash of hot sauce can bring the spices of the meat and onion together to inspire a completely new flavor profile. Be sure to pick up an horchata or another one of their two agua frescas to wash down any heat as a sweet refreshment telling your stomach that you are done. —Gary Mason
728 W. 23rd St., Tulsa, OK 74107
When you think of stir fry, Peru might not be the first country’s cuisine to come to mind. Lima, Peru natives Maria and Humberto Nieri opened Pachac with their son Humberto Jr. in 2016 in a west Tulsa strip mall. They noticed that most Peruvian cuisine was a type of fusion due to a large influx of immigrants. The Nieris wanted to show Tulsa more traditional Peruvian cuisine. Popular Peruvian dishes include rice, stir-fried meats and vegetables, and potatoes. The diversity makes it easy to add a twist, but Pachac Peruvian is all family and no nonsense.
Walking in, images of Peru grace the wall as well as a few bright tapestries. Don’t get too wrapped up looking around. You’ll need plenty of time to read the menu chock-full of Peruvian specialties. The lomo saltado (beef stir fry) meshes flavorful beef with french fries, tomatoes, and onions. A side of rice soaks up all of the extra oil and spices. The “caucau de pollo” is a traditional Peruvian stew with chicken, potatoes, peas, carrots, and mint in a yellow curry sauce with rice. Warm, hearty and fresh. Check the chalkboard at the front for the lunch specials, which are smaller portions of staple menu items.
And do not overlook Pachac's drink menu. The restaurant serves rarities like Inca Kola, a bubblegum tasting soda, as well as chicha morada, a sweetened purple corn drink with cinnamon, lime juice, cloves, and pineapple. Save room for the “picarones” four Peruvian donuts made from sweet potatoes and squash drizzled in a homemade sweet, sticky syrup. —Bea Baker
Two locations: 2138 S. Garnett Rd., Tulsa, OK 74129 & 9467 E. 31st St., Tulsa, OK 74145
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. —Root staff
11685 E. 21st St., Tulsa, OK 74128
Craving something sweet? Pancho Anaya Bakery boasts dozens of pan dulce, traditional Mexican pastries, or “sweet bread,” baked fresh every day. The family brought the business and their generations-old recipes to Tulsa from Mexico almost 20 years ago. Grab a tray and a pair of tongs and help yourself to the bakery cases that line the far wall.
Don’t be afraid to pile ‘em high; most of the pan dulce costs 64 cents per piece. Might we recommend the concha, a fluffy bread with a conch-shaped sugar paste on top, or the empanadas, hand pies filled with either Bavarian cream, pineapple or pumpkin. —Root staff
38 N. Trenton Ave., Tulsa, OK 74120
Voted Tulsa's best Mexican in 2015 by Tulsa Voice readers, El Rio Verde has been preparing truly authentic Mexican fare since 1998. A favorite of locals, expect to wait for a table (but note the wait is worth it). For a lunch slightly lighter than El Rio Verde's signature wet burrito, maybe give the chicken and artichoke burrito a try. The fresh vegetables make it a savory meal you'll remember. —Root staff
3151 S. 129th E. Ave., Tulsa, OK 74134
Family-owned and operated in east Tulsa, La Tropical is a bilingual, family-friendly paradise for cold treats. Their offerings range from the straightforward single-scoop of ice cream (with loads of flavors to choose from) to Doritos-flavored popsicles, so this is where your wildest snacking fantasies can be realized. Strawberries encased in yogurt popsicles, mangonadas, milkshakes, snowcones, paletas, the list goes on.
They're always trying out new recipes behind that big ol' ice cream counter, so visit La Tropical often. It's a must if you're looking for dessert in east Tulsa. —Root staff
Food truck; no fixed location
Isa and Juan are Spanish natives who have been serving the masses their deliciously authentic paella out of their quirky little food truck parked at The Empire Pub on Peoria. You can catch them there on busy soccer nights or at the Mother Road Market kitchen takeover.
And keep an eye out for their paella classes at Mother Road Market, which are not to be missed. They will serve you delicious wine and teach you, step by step, how to make paella from scratch. And then you get to eat it too. Definitely think about signing up for this event for your next date night, you’ll surely make your date swoon at this fun and educational event. —Adriana Prieto
2326 E. Admiral Blvd., Tulsa, OK 74110
Located in the Kendall-Whittier neighborhood, Calaveras offers traditional Mexican fare but also more creative and exotic dishes such as molcajete jalisco, posole verde and Birria. Seafood options are plentiful, and the vampire tacos are to die for, but plan to make multiple visits to this brightly appointed restaurant. You'll want to try a lot of dishes on its appetizing menu. Stop by before (or after) a movie at Tulsa's art house movie theater, Circle Cinema, which is located just down the street. —Root staff
Food truck; no fixed location
Robert Carnoske learned the true passion necessary to cook Latin food from his Colombian mother. Although he moved around a lot as he grew up, he spent most of his life here in Tulsa. Masa, his food truck, is well known all over Tulsa, having recently established itself in the Hunt Club’s backyard while the club’s kitchen undergoes renovation.
Find Masa there or hire them for a catering gig! They have roasted whole pigs or chickens along with traditional Latin sides for work functions, weddings and parties. And if that’s not enough, they have started throwing Spanish paella parties. —Adriana Prieto
6703 E. 81st St. D, Tulsa, OK 74133
South and Central American flags and llamas festoon Manos Peruanas, a homey little spot in south Tulsa that's been serving Peruvian cuisine since it opened there in August 2015. It's got about 40 seats, separate menus for lunch and dinner, and its friendly owners will happily tell you all about their native Peru.
The lomo saltado (sirloin, french fries, sauteed veggies and a scoop of white rice) is a hearty, fun Peruvian dish on the lunch menu that you can spice up with a little rocoto pepper sauce. Try that or the arroz chaufa, if you're down for a quirky mix of Peruvian and Chinese cuisines. —Matt Carney
Food truck; no fixed location
Sobremesa food truck and catering is new to town! Venezuelan daughter-father combo Alejandro Prieto and yours truly are bringing unique Latin flavors to the Tulsa area. Our food truck is currently parked at Pearl Beach Brew Pub but we also cater parties and events of any size. The food truck specializes in gourmet empanadas but we’re always innovating new dishes inspired by all of Latin America in the Mother Road Market kitchen take-over. —Adriana Prieto