A-LIST 2016: Keep Tulsa Cool
Editors' picks + the winners of TulsaPeople’s annual A-LIST readers’ choice awards.
Tulsa is Tulsa. It’s a little quirky, swanky, trendy — and always cool.
Here we present those responsible for its appeal: the winners of TulsaPeople’s annual A-LIST readers’ choice awards. A-LIST voting takes place in early March and after tabulation, winners are mailed certificates for their respective categories. The top five winners in each category are named, with a few exceptions for ties.
The 2016 A-LIST is your guide to Tulsa, highlighting the destinations and treats that make Tulsa the coolest, literally and figuratively.
Keep reading to see who made our Editors' Picks this year!
Best way to salute the sun
Downward dog in a darkened studio is dandy, and plank in the park is pleasant, but to get the most out of your sun salutations, the best way to go is up. Rooftop yoga is hotter than Bikram right now, and there are several places in town to get vinyasa with a view.
Get your fix three times a week on Cherry Street over Ascent. On Thursdays from 7-8 p.m., The Yoga Room offers wine and live music from the likes of Steve Liddell, Damion Shade and more. Or, make yoga part of your farmers’ market routine with their Saturday morning class from 8:30-9:30 a.m. On Tuesdays at 7 p.m., The Yoga Room offers rooftop acro yoga (short for “acrobatic” and done in pairs) — no partner or experience required. All classes are donation-based (suggested $10-$20), and you’re encouraged to bring your own mat and your friends. (Check www.theyogaroomtulsa.com for a full schedule and weather cancelations.)
Sundays at 10 a.m., hit the rooftop at Lululemon for a free, all-levels class. Once you’ve filled up on good vibes and Vitamin D, head to the street for some Vitamin B — brunch, of course — at one of Brookside’s many posh nosh spots.
For the highest rooftop yoga in town, head downtown to the Mayo Hotel on Thursdays at 6 p.m. Bring your own mat and $10 cash. On the elevator, hit “P” for Penthouse. Namaste indeed.
Ascent, 1325 E. 15th St.; Lululemon, 3506 S. Peoria Ave.; the Mayo Hotel, 115 W. Fifth St.
Best wardrobe builder
GreenHouse Clothing’s T-shirt of the Month Club
One can never have enough T-shirts, but you don’t want the same ones as every other person on the street. That’s why GreenHouse Clothing’s T-Shirt of the Month Club is so cool.
Since August 2015, the locally owned and operated T-shirt shop has offered the club as a way to differentiate itself among the masses and to create a T-town T-shirt community.
To participate, sign up online and choose your shirt size. Designs are exclusive to club members and sometimes carry a theme — like April’s Record Breaker graphic in celebration of National Record Shop Day on April 16.
Memberships are six or 12-month subscriptions ($20 per month, six months; $15 per month, 12 months). Members also receive a discount for in-store and online purchases.
9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday; 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Saturday. 3310 S. Yale Ave. 918-895-6225, www.greenhouseclothing.net.
Best way to impress your foodie friends
Mecca Coffee Co.
Walk through the doors of this Tulsa institution and enter a world synonymous with flavor and kitchen know-how. You don’t have to be hip to shop at the 95-year-old store, but it will up your foodie street cred.
Some Tulsans are attracted by the 130-plus kinds of bulk herbs and spices; you can buy as little as 1 ounce or as much as you desire. Others swear by the infused olive oils and balsamic vinegars, with flavors like Thai lemongrass mint, aged red apple, cilantro and roasted onion or Persian lime, in 60-750 ml bottles. The whole-bean coffee and loose-leaf tea supplies are impressive, too. A friendly barista can brew up your favorite latte or tea while you shop.
Mecca’s selection of barware, distinctive tableware, cutting boards, kitchen gadgetry and one-of-a-kind gifts make it a one-stop destination for finding the perfect gift for that foodie in your life, or an addition to your own discerning kitchen.
9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Monday-Saturday. 1330 E. 41st St. 918-749-3509, www.meccacoffeeco.com.
Best tropical vacation without leaving town
If watching HGTV’s “Island Life” is the closest you might get to the tropics this summer, Saturn Room is your oasis. Escape the Oklahoma heat at the Tiki-themed bar that serves Tiki cocktails like mai tais and the Macadamia Nut Chi-chi in kitschy glasses and fresh coconut shells. This place commits to Polynesian decor, from its thatched patio awning and totem bar stools to its blowfish light fixtures.
A stone’s throw from the Brady Theater, Saturn Room is a great spot to grab a pre- or post-show beverage. If you’re with a group — or if you make new friends easily — share a Singapore Sling, which serves two to three people. But be forewarned: The fresh and fruity drinks and friendly bartenders might convince you you’re on island time, not Tulsa time.
4 p.m.-2 a.m., daily. 209 N. Boulder Ave. 918-794-9422, www.saturnroom.com.
Best revitalization of the moment
For decades, Route 66 was America’s heartbeat. For many it never ceased to be cool, and others are realizing the untapped potential the thoroughfare still has for Tulsa.
A number of renovations are already underway, and new businesses are flocking to the area. Three years ago, Soul City art studio — today it’s a music venue and gastropub, too — moved into 1621 E. 11th St., the site of a former Texaco service station. Nearby, interior designer Jill Croka set up her showroom on the Mother Road. Jenkins & Co. opened its modern general store in November 2015. In another former service station, Henbit Market sells unique handmade gifts and live plants.
These new businesses are interspersed with local favorites like El Rancho Grande, Joseph Gierek Fine Art, Lola’s Caravan and so much more. Route 66 will always be the Mother Road, but on this Tulsa stretch, to quote “Mean Girls,” “I’m not like a regular mom; I’m a cool mom.”
East 11th Street from South Peoria to Delaware avenues.
Best treat to welcome the weekend
When a donut craving hits hard on a Friday night, Tulsans have traditionally had few options for a fresh doughy treat to ring in the weekend (#firstworldproblems #thestruggleisreal). Enter Friday Night Donuts at Livi Lee’s, less than 10 minutes west of downtown Tulsa in Sand Springs.
The whimsical Daylight Donuts shop transforms its drive-thru into patio seating for this weekly celebration under the stars. Choose from regular and mini donuts with colorful cereal and candy toppings — even bacon — or splurge for a donut boat: a pile of mini cake donuts topped with fruit, whipped cream and other indulgent and trending toppings. Like what you taste? Livi Lee’s can bring its Instagram-worthy donut bar to your next party. Keep an eye out for a new location, opening soon in Jenks.
5-11 a.m., Monday-Thursday; 5 a.m.-noon, Friday and Saturday; 7-11 p.m., Friday; 6 a.m.-noon, Sunday. 411 E. Broadway, Sand Springs. 918-241-2765. www.livilees.com.
Best throwback to childhood
Soft-serve ice cream at Dilly Diner
There’s nothing better than creamy, cold soft serve on a hot summer day — except maybe enjoying it in the AC at Dilly Diner’s sophisticated retro bar. This rich version ($2) is not the “iced milk” of fast food chains, and variations on the standard vanilla and chocolate flavors include rotating flavors such as hazelnut and saffron honey.
You can’t go wrong topping a piece of flaky pie with the creamy stuff or ordering it to top off lunch, dinner or even breakfast, which is served all day. To amp it up, try a jam shake ($4.25) with house-made jam or a boozy “adult milkshake” (price varies) both made with the soft serve.
7 a.m.-10 p.m., Monday-Thursday; 7-1 a.m., Friday and Saturday; 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday. 402 E. Second St. 918-938-6382, www.dillydiner.com.
Best international adventure
Nam-Hai International Market
You might not be able to afford a trip to Asia, but you can definitely afford a trip to Nam-Hai International Market.
Fill up your cart with hard-to-find but fairly priced goods, from exotic vegetables to live seafood. Though the market’s focus is on Asian goods, you’ll also find items from all over the world. What’s niftier than hopping to a new country on every aisle? Nowhere else in Tulsa can you keep cool while you shop with a Vietnamese iced coffee or boba smoothie from the adjacent Pho Nhi restaurant and emerge with a light-up Buddha statue, oxtail, durian fruit, Japanese gummy candy, bags of Mexican spices, Indian snack food and uncured pork belly all in one shopping cart.
The vibrancy of the market is a reminder of Tulsa’s cultural diversity, too. Despite the hyper-connectivity of the modern world, it’s easy to stick with the familiar, even in your own hometown. The fact that Tulsa is representative of different languages, cuisines and cultures is pretty rad.
9 a.m.-8 p.m., Monday-Sunday. 11528 E. 21st St. 918-438-0166, www.facebook.com/namhaitulsa.
Best way to green up your diet
Sage Farms Home Delivery and Subscription Service
Processed junk is out; real local food is in. And it’s more convenient than ever to feed the family in a way that’s both healthy and sustainable. Across the country, food home delivery services are bringing fresh fruits and vegetables directly to our doors. Join the club in Tulsa where Sage Farms is doing just that with produce that is sustainably grown without harmful chemicals or GMOs — because that’s how the cool kids do it.
The convenience of home delivery hooked us, but the fresh, flavorful greens won us over. Participants can sign up for weekly ($15.99) or twice-monthly ($17.99) delivery and receive multiple varieties of lettuce, greens, herbs and a helping of seasonal vegetables. A helpful recipe is sent with every delivery. There’s a $10, one-time joining fee.
Locally owned and operated by Ashley and Ben Neal, Sage Farms recently created an online store, allowing subscribers to add organic chicken and beef, Garnish Salt, Mecca Coffee Co.’s oils and vinegars, and other recipe components to their delivery order.
Best DIY buzz
High Gravity Homebrewing & Winemaking Supplies
Craft is cool again, but the ultimate mantle of hipness is bestowed not on the consumers of small-batch and handmade goods, but on those who do that small-batching and hand-making. With the help of High Gravity, you can be your own craft brewer.
Whether you’re a hobbyist or beginner, High Gravity has all the supplies to make your boozy, bubbly dreams come true. It might not be glamorous (the shop resembles the back closet of a mad scientist’s laboratory) but the results could be glorious. And if the store’s mascot, an African gray parrot named Pippin, asks if you want some beer, do say “yes.”
There’s no need to keep your enthusiasm bottled up. Every other Saturday at 11 a.m., the store hosts workshops on beer making (June 4, July 2, July 30, Aug. 22) and wine making (June 18, July 16, Aug. 13). This is a great way to up your game, meet other home brewers or just see what all the buzz is about.
10 a.m.-7 p.m., Monday-Friday; 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday; noon-5 p.m., Sunday. 7142 S. Memorial Drive. 918-461-2605,