Spring can’t come soon enough for many of us who have been cooped up during this long winter. Even if we’re still doing take-out, that doesn’t mean we have to bring our lunch or dinner back home.
Take the warmer weather as an opportunity to enjoy lunch at the park or dinner outside while watching the sunset. Here are a few ideas for taking in some new scenery while supporting local restaurants.
Place: Woodward Park, East 21st Street and South Peoria Avenue
Meal: Chicken salad sandwich, lemonade and a chocolate chip cookie from Queenie’s, 1816 Utica Square
Don’t sleep on a visit to see the daffodils and tulips at Woodward Park. They’re absolutely stunning, but they don’t last long. Find a bench and dig in to one of the best chicken salad sandwiches in town.
Place: Guthrie Green, 111 E. Reconciliation Way
Meal: Kung pao pork banh mi from Lone Wolf, multiple locations
Sitting under the stage lights at Guthrie Green is a fun way to spend the evening. Pick up Lone Wolf on the way — either at the downtown location or the carryout-only location on East 11th Street. Take the chef’s tip, and add Korean chili peanuts to your banh mi for $1.
Place: Jenks Skate Park at Veterans Park, South Elm Street at Veterans Drive, Jenks
Meal: Florentine pizza from Andolini’s, 500 Riverwalk Terrace, Suite 100, Jenks
Dust off your skateboard or scooter to have some fun at the Jenks Skate Park. There are plenty of areas for beginners here. Or hang around the big bowl to watch experienced skaters and scooter riders do hair-raising tricks. And bring a pizza. The Florentine, with baby spinach, parmesan and artichoke hearts, is a favorite.
Place: Oxley Nature Center, 6700 Mohawk Blvd.
Meal: Fried chicken and peach cobbler from Evelyn’s Soul Food, 3014 N. 74th E. Ave.
The views at Oxley can’t be beat. Take a short stroll or spend a couple of hours hiking the grounds. Fried chicken is the perfect picnic food since there’s no fork required. But don’t forget one for the cobbler. After lunch, walk all the way to the lookout, where you’ll feel like a kid again, climbing to the top of the treehouse-like tower for a cool view.
Place: Biscuit Acres at Hunter Park, 5804 E. 91st St.
Meal: French dip with house-made potato chips from the Hamlet, 9107 S. Sheridan Road
Our pets need a change of scenery, too. Take them to Biscuit Acres, Tulsa’s best dog park, inside Hunter Park. Before the dogs play, park near a bench or shelter with lunch from the nearby Hamlet. Try the French dip sandwich with provolone and au jus.
Place: Chandler Park, 6500 W. 21st St.
Meal: Cheeseburger, onion rings and chocolate milkshake from Arnold’s, 4253 Southwest Blvd.
Wilderness can be found just west of downtown at Chandler Park, known for its numerous trails, rock climbing options, disc golf courses as well as multiple playgrounds. It’s a great place to escape the buzz of the city while enjoying one of Tulsa’s best burgers. Arnold’s moved a few years ago to Crystal City, where guests can dine in or visit its standalone drive-thru facility.
Place: Peggy’s Pond at Gathering Place, 2650 S. John Williams Way
Meal: Quiche, morning buns and coffee from the Blue Moon, 3512 S. Peoria Ave.
The pond and wetland gardens at Gathering Place are especially peaceful in the morning. Take note of all the creatures, like geese, turtles, tadpoles, fish and frogs. And bring breakfast from the Blue Moon with you. The tomato and feta quiche is great, and the morning buns — little cinnamon yeast rolls — are a must.