Locals know The Blue Dome District as one of Tulsa’s most walkable and whimsical entertainment districts, but when was the last time you really took a good look around? Growing from its roots as Downtown’s stop on historic Route 66, the area has some of the highest density and variety of businesses in the IDL, making it a magnet for Tulsa newcomers and natives alike. To help you re-discover what makes the district a true Tulsa gem, here’s how to make the most of a day in the Dome—from sunup to sundown.
Start the day with breakfast at Dilly Diner, which has become an anchor establishment in the district for good reason. The breakfast burrito is the proper and correct move—featuring Fassler Hall chorizo, fluffy scrambled eggs, Monterey Jack cheese, with a pile of peppers and onions, topped with cilantro crema and creamy avocado. (Its powers are heightened if the night before included too many beers at Fassler Hall.)
Eggs benedict are arguably the classic brunch meal, and while takes on the dish can be found on brunch menus everywhere, two of Tulsa’s best offerings are right around the block from each other on 2nd Street. For the bravest of brunchers, the Crab Cakes Eggs Benedict at Peacemaker Lobster and Crab and the Pork Belly Eggs Benedict at Yokozuna would make an epic surf and turf showdown.
For lunch, grab a piece of Italy at Andolini’s Sliced. The Napoletana Margherita—though not sold by the slice—is the gold standard for authentic Italian ‘za, baked to perfection in Andolini’s 900-degree wood fired oven. If you manage to walk out the door without getting a scoop of their always-delicious gelato, try the ice cream at Rose Rock Microcreamery in The Boxyard. Their namesake flavor has strawberries and candied pecans—two Oklahoma staples. At this point you might think you’ve reached your limit, but the truth is you’re never too full for a Chicken Slider or two from Open Container. Don’t skimp on the jalapeño jam.
If the weather’s cool, warm up with a bowl of spicy Tonkotsu ramen at Jinya Ramen Bar. (You’ll be able to warm up with something a bit stiffer next door at The Tulsan Bar, which we’re expecting to open any day now.)
You can walk off all that food and support local artists by stopping at Tulsa Artery, which features handcrafted gifts, books by local authors, and one-of-a-kind Tulsa memorabilia, and Boomtown Tees, which features countless T-shirts that are uniquely Tulsa. Speaking of shopping: the full Blue Dome experience is incomplete without a visit to the District’s longest-running retail establishment, New Midtown Adult Superstore—whose neon sign is probably the district’s second-most-recognizable landmark.
If you like to pair your day drinking with some friendly competition, stop into Arnie’s Bar for shuffleboard, Reds Bar for beer pong putt-putt, hit the lanes at Dust Bowl, or get lost in The Max Retropub’s library of classic video games and pinball machines.
Evening Once you work up an appetite again, dinner at Juniper is always a treat. Their seasonal menu is a reliable knockout, and staples like the risotto and the beef stroganoff are savory and comforting year-round. Pair your appetizer or dinner with a cocktail crafted with house-made infusions like serrano citrus vodka or cucumber dill gin. Spend sunset on El Guapo’s patio with one of their famous margaritas—the hibiscus is a crowd favorite—or take in the sights with a Mother Road Mule at Roof Sixty-Six then head back down to street level to dance the night away at The Unicorn Club.
Finally, catch a show! The Fur Shop has one of the city’s best open mic nights for stand up comedy, and its outdoor stage is among the most unique settings for live music in town. IDL Ballroom shows run the gamut from comedy to performing arts to touring and legacy acts. You can catch live local music almost every night at Rabbit Hole Bar and Grill.
After last call has come and gone, you reflect on the day that’s passed. How you’ve feasted and cavorted like royalty. It’s a shame it has to end. But then again, does it? Hurts Donut is still open.