Home > Cocktails > Top 5 Cocktail Bars in Tulsa

Top 5 Cocktail Bars in Tulsa

I recently attempted a Google search for the key words “top Tulsa cocktail bars” hoping to find a blogger’s opinion on the blossoming collection of fine establishments serving even finer tipples in the Tulsa metro. Sadly, I found very little outside of boring Yelp listings. Feeling as if I’ve frequented enough gin joints in T-Town that my opinion has some sort of merit, I decided to put a list together myself. So, after putting a bit of thought into it, I came up with 5 places that certainly deserve some recognition for the hard work, deft skill and delicious drinks that they provide for thirsty Tulsans each and every night.

5. The Vault

624 S Cincinnati Avevaultsour

My wife loves this place because of all the vegetarian options. I love it for the atmosphere and the cocktails. Formerly a downtown bank, The Vault has become one of my favorite Tulsa eateries. Once you get acclimated to the interior which features a spiral staircase and towering windows that stretch across the whole of the dining area, order yourself a surprisingly complex Japanese cocktail or indulge in the best whiskey sour in town. The Vault also hosts special events such as four course vegetarian meals and layman cocktail and spirit classes.

tavernwhiskey 4. The Tavern
1 N Main St

The interest in well-made craft cocktails is a relatively new fad in Tulsa. Want proof? The Tavern is the oldest establishment on this list and it opened in 2011. The Tavern (formerly the Brady Tavern), is another one of Elliott Nelson’s well oiled machines. Nelson helped usher the craft beer movement into Green Country when he opened up McNellie’s Pub nearly a decade ago. With such alluring drinks as the bacon-infused old fashioned and the barrel-aged Negroni, it’s not hard to see why this elegant restaurant on the corner of Brady and Main has also helped Tulsa shift its interest towards better drinks.

3. Andolini’s
1552 E 15th St

There probably aren’t a lot of cities that can claim that a pizza joint makes some of the best and most innovative cocktails in the entire city. But ever since Andolini’s opened up a location on Cherry Street a couple of years ago, Tulsa sure can. While their extensive beer and wine lists are impressive, their mixologists are talented and their bar is downright beautiful, it’s their beer-cocktails that separate this establishment from any other in town. In fact, The Drake (a mixture of gin, St. Germain and Coop F5 IPA) may very well be my favorite original cocktail in the entire city.

hodge22. Hodge’s Bend
823 E 3rd St

Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the Blue Dome district a few blocks away, Hodge’s Bend may be the best kept secret in town (for now). Housed in a long narrow space on the corner of 3rd and Lansing, Hodge’s Bend has a comfortable elegance to it that provides one of the best atmospheres of any of the establishments on this list. While they specialize in both espresso creations and alcoholic libations, it’s the fantastic cocktail list (that walks the perfect line between modern and classic) that gets the highest recommendation from me. While some of the innovative takes on classic drinks may seem a bit scary (a sour with jalapeno?); don’t be shy, these guys know what they’re doing. I recommend the tobacco old fashioned which uses homemade bitters made from aromatically intoxicating pipe tobacco.

1. Valkyrie
13 E Brady St

The door of the Valkyrie says “Serious Drinks,” and they mean it. There is no better place in town to have a carefully crafted cocktail. Whether you’re drinking an old standard or a new concoction, sampling their homemade tonic or their homemade ginger beer, I recommend the Valkyrie above all other bars in town for the serious drinker. Located just around the corner from the Tavern in the newly-vibrant Brady Arts District, the Valkyrie is the big city bar that Tulsa has always needed (even if it didn’t know it). This is the only establishment on my list that doesn’t serve food of any kind. It’s all about the drinks here and it shows. While the cocktail lists (which are featured on a giant chalkboard behind the bar), are always changing, I personally recommend sampling a plain old Manhattan. It’s a drink so simple that it shouldn’t be so hard to screw up, but most places do. That’s why it’s so damn refreshing when the Valkyrie makes one so perfect.

Categories: Cocktails Tags: ,
  1. Joseph Zucht
    April 23, 2016 at 4:59 pm

    We love a good Manhattan but, as you mentioned, it is often a disappointment when served. We’ll try one tonight and report back.

    • jessicab
      April 26, 2016 at 1:51 pm

      So Joseph, I’m curious, did you try the Valkyrie and their manhattan?

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