Saturday, April 24, 2010

Family Friendly Restaurants in Tulsa: TDT Friday Advice Column

Cupcake Massacre

As someone who blogs about things to do in Tulsa, I field lots of questions about the city and all the stuff there is to do within its borders.

While I'm cool with answering these questions on Facebook, Twitter and by e-mail, I also highlight an FAQ every week with a post here at TDT. I'm sure the folks who pose the questions aren't the only ones who would benefit from their answers.

The following question is one I get via Facebook, Twitter, e-mail, in person, ESP and smoke signals at least 727 times each week. Just kidding. I don't have ESP. But I really do get this question often, so read on - odds are, you've either asked me about it or you've wondered it to yourself.

Q. Help! I need a list of family-friendly restaurants in Tulsa.

A. You've come to the right place.







I love to dine out. In fact, it's my favorite pasttime. But, I have a a two-year-old son, which tends to stymie my fine dining efforts. Not that there isn't great food to be had outside of the fine dining sphere, because there most certainly is, especially here in Tulsa.

So, Tulsa parents, grandparents and anyone else who gets to hang out with kids every now and again: Print it, put in on your fridge, keep it in your purse, keep it in your car - here's a list of locally owned, kid-friendly restaurants in Tulsa.


Downtown

Elote Cafe, 514 S. Boston Ave. Owner Libby Auld is always quick to bring my son robot and dinosaur toys when he gets unmanageable - she has a whole supply of the things at Elote. Plus, the choices on the kids' menu aren't just yummy, they're healthful and eco-conscious, too.

Joe Momma's, 112 S. Elgin Ave. With everything from old-school video games to a cabinet full of toddler toys to Saturday morning kids' book club events, Joe Momma's is always an easy place to take the kids. Plus, there's an enclosed patio, which is nice when you have a little one who hates to sit still.

Dilly Deli, 402 E. Second Street. The patio is choice, and Dru, who heads things up at what I like to call The Dilly, packs tons of board games that'll keep the kids occupied while Mom and Dad have a sandwich and, if they want (and who wouldn't?) some Marshall beer.

Caz's Chowhouse, 18 E. Brady Street. Did you know that each Wednesday kids eat free at Caz's? It's true. Dine in Tulsa's art district and get free food for your kiddos - and some of the best comfort food in town for caretakers - at the same time.

Mexicali Border Cafe, 14 W. Brady Street. Kids are always welcome at this easy-going, reasonably priced, long-standing haven of Tex-Mex cuisine.

Tally's, 1102 S. Yale Ave. With the flashy, Route 66-reminiscent decor and a menu full of kid-friendly, affordable comfort food items, Mom and Dad can't go wrong packing the kids in the minivan and heading to Tally's, especially for breakfast on the weekends.


Brookside

Cosmo Cafe, 3334 S. Peoria Ave. With a shelf full of board games and other goodies to distract the younger set, plus a patio that welcomes both canines and the pint-sized and a kid's menu offering choices above and beyond the usual composite chicken nuggets, Cosmo Cafe is a win for any family outing.

The Brook, 3401 S. Peoria Ave. Who can argue with that macaroni and cheese? My son loves it, and I'm sure your little one will, too. The enclosed patio offers the best seating for families.

Senor Tequila's, 3348 S. Peoria Ave. The booth seating is roomy and the cheese enchiladas will please any kiddo. Plus, it looks like a party in there.

Weber's Root Beer and Hamburgers, 3817 S. Peoria Ave. I don't know about your kid, but my kid will do just about anything, including rolling around on the floor screaming like a banshee, for a frosty class of Weber's (caffeine free!) root beer. Plus, it's hard to beat those burgers. If your little one isn't old enough to sit on a barstool, take some root beer and burgers to go and head to Woodward Park for a picnic.

Brookside By Day, 3313 S. Peoria Ave. Got a screamer? No one will notice at the ever-busy Brookside By Day. Yes, Mom and Dad, thanks to BBD, you really do live in a world where doing weekend brunch is still possible.


West

Ollie's Station Restaurant, 4070 Southwest Boulevard. In two words: Toy trains. In more words: Toy trains running tracks along the ceiling, plus one of the best breakfasts in town. Plus, there's a kids' lunch buffet on Sundays where the really little ones (those under age 3) eat free.

Knotty Pine BBQ, 3301 W. Fifth Street. Because both grandpa and baby can eat the barbeque at this Tulsa tradition, operable chompers or no.

Arnold's Old-Fashioned Hamburgers, 1722 W. 51st Street. If your little girl has a poodle skirt and your son does a perfect greaser impression, Arnold's is calling you. Don't leave without trying the milkshakes and the onion rings. If y'all can't stay for dinner, there's always the drive-thru window.


Midtown

Hideaway Pizza, 1419 E. 15th Street. With a menu full of kid-friendly foodstuffs, Hideaway's always up for a family night out.

Camille's Sidewalk Cafe, 1342 E. 15th Street. A patio with a fantastic view of downtown and a wine and beer list for Mom and Dad, a kid-friendly atmosphere and menu for the ankle biters of the human variety.

Merritt's Bakery, 3202 E. 15th Street. Did you know that Merritt's offers a lunch menu? It's true, and it's one of the best sandwiches available 'round these parts. Plus, there's always that house-made cookie or brownie or chocolate cupcake with sprinkles for an end-of-the-meal treat for the kiddos (and for Mom, too, duh).

Lambrusco'z To Go, 1344 E. 41st Street. While there's lots of stuff in the retail area for toddlers' grabby hands, the sandwiches are not only choice and delicious, but they're also kid-friendly. We've always had good luck both dining in and taking out at Lambrusco'z.

Pie Hole Pizzeria, 2708 E. 15th Street. The dining area is tiny, but the golden part about this place for families is the take-and-bake crust. Imagine, Pie Hole pizza from your very own oven. Solid, Jackson.


South Tulsa and Beyond

Gatsby's Grill, 4421 S. Mingo Road. Gatsby's is where the kids' meals are traditional, and parents can feel good about feeding their children breakfast, lunch or dinner made by hand. Plus, there's a 2-million-volume bookstore, complete with a huge children's and toys section, right next door.

Sushi Train, 3302 E. 51st Street. Not only is there a kids' menu with choices friendly even for the extremely sushi averse, but there's also a toy train that circles the sushi bar, each car topped with a sushi creation. Our son loves it, and I bet your kiddos will, too.

Siegi's Sausage Factory, 8104 S. Sheridan Road. Don't feed your kid just any hot dog - reach for the hand-crafted, house made hot dogs at Siegi's. Booth seating is oversized, which makes dining with kids easier.

Hideaway Pizza, at 8204 S. Harvard Ave; 7877 E. 51st Street and 103rd and Memorial. With a menu full of kid-friendly foodstuffs, Hideaway's always up for a family night out.

Brewburger, 6577 E. 71st Street. A variety of great burgers for Mom and Dad, plus a kids-eat-free night each Monday. Score! Plus, there are coloring books galore for the kiddos.

Compadres Mexican Grill, at 2200 W. New Orleans Street in Broken Arrow; at 12551 E. 86th Street North in Owasso; at 7104 S. Sheridan Road in Tulsa. Kids eat free every Tuesday with the purchase of an adult dinner. Plus, with three Tulsa-area locations, odds are you won't have to drive far to the dinner table. P.S. - Parents, margaritas at Compadres are $2.99 every day. It's okay, you can squee.

Andolini's, at 12140 E. 96th Street North in Owasso. Check out this family friendly restaurant with all of the Italian offerings a family wishes for - namely, pizza and pasta. Mmm.

The Brook South, 7727 E. 91st Street. Who can argue with that macaroni and cheese? My son loves it, and I'm sure your little one will, too.

Merritt's Bakery, 2832 E. 101st Street. Did you know that Merritt's offers a lunch menu? It's true, and it's one of the best sandwiches available 'round these parts. Plus, there's always that house-made cookie or brownie or chocolate cupcake with sprinkles for an end-of-the-meal treat for the kiddos (and for Mom, too, duh).

Camille's Sidewalk Cafe, 6030 S. Yale Ave. in KingsPointe Village. A patio with a fantastic view of downtown and a wine and beer list for Mom and Dad, a kid-friendly atmosphere and menu for the ankle biters of the human variety.

Los Cabos, at 151 E. Bass Pro Drive in Broken Arrow and 300 Riverwalk Terrace, Ste. 100 in Jenks. You won't have to bust up your kid's piggy bank for a night out at Los Cabos in BA or on the Riverwalk as long as you dine at Los Cabos. Plus, look for live music and some of the best people watching opportunities, especially at the Riverwalk location. P.S. - There's gelato on the Riverwalk at Kaffe Bona, kids. Beg and cry until Mommy and Daddy cave. It's that good.

Uncle Vinny's, 6565 E. 71st Street. With a relaxed, NYC Italian-esque atmosphere and a dining room TV - plus, some of the best, most affordable thin crust pizza in town - Uncle Vinny's is a sure bet on family night.

Reasor's, 220 S. Elm in Jenks. Get everything from chef-created sushi to burritos at this restaurant that's right on your way home - and you've gotta grab a few things at the grocery store anyway, right?

Primetime Pizza, 109 N. Elm in Jenks. Not only does Primetime serve up pizza raved about by the top movers and shakers in one of Tulsa's fastest growing 'burbs (one of whom is charged with the task of feeding three children every night), but they also deliver. Getcha some.

Steak Stuffers USA, 7846 E. 51st Street. It might be in an old Captain D's location, but yes, this place is as local as it gets. The kids' menu is straight-forward, and grown-ups of all walks will love the cheesesteak-style sandwiches at this dine-in or drive-thru diner.

Shiloh's Restaurant, 12521 E. 52nd Street. If you can't make it to Granny's for dinner, Shiloh's is your next best bet. Get some of the best rolls in town, plus slices of pie as tall as your three-year-old. If you're trolling for breakfast, look no further for incredible cinnamon rolls.

The Bistro at Seville, 10021 S. Yale Ave. If you love French and European cuisine, don't think that just because you have kiddos means you can't get this food on a family night out ever again. Check out this patio and laid-back service at The Bistro to see what I mean.

Casa Bonita, 2120 S. Sheridan Road. The cave, the cave, the cave - raise the flag, baby, because I'm talking about Casa Bonita, one of my personal favorite old-school hangouts. Get ski ball and other arcade-style kids' games that Mom and Dad won't look too creepy when they can't resist playing, too.

Savastano's Pizzeria, 8211 E. Regal Place, Ste. 109. Double-dare your kids to eat an entire slice of the Chicago-style deep-dish pizza and they'll be fast asleep in the backseat before you even get home. Bonus!


So. Where are your favorite places to take the fam when it's time to get some grub?

8 comments:

Ed said...

Walked by the Blue Dome Diner and noticed on their marquee "Kids Eat Dinner Free Thursday". Might be another entry on your downtown list!

Anonymous said...

Don't forget Chicory & Chives Cafe on the West side. Very friendly staff takes care of families. Inexpensive kids menu includes drinks.

myletterstoemily said...

woo hoo! i 'm a big fan of tulsa and just
found your blog.

Meg @sleepynewmommy said...

Ooooh you mentioned Savastano's and my mouth is watering. I love that place so much that I have considered moving into their 3rd floor loft-area.

Must...eat...pizza...

Trait said...

We love taking our son to Ted's Cafe Escondido because it's always loud in there and thus, our loud son doesn't distract anyone. Plus, he likes to flirt with the waitresses.

Anonymous said...

oops- kids eat for 1$ on mondays at BREWBURGER not free but pretty dang close!

jenthegreat said...

Thank you thank you thank you! :D
I have wanted someone to compile a list of where kids eat free/reduced on what nights.
I'm talking YEARS I've said it needed to be done. Now we just need to get that Tulsa restaurant site up and running...:D

Dave said...

Um.. Tash.. You put Casa Bonita in the South Tulsa category again. LOL. MidTowner.

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