Best Cheap Eats Around Tulsa, Oklahoma

Some of the best cheap eats around Tulsa, Oklahoma that you should drop by and visit sometime 😉 !

In response to Wise Bread’s call to action — we have written this entry for their group writing project on “Best Cheap Eats in Your City”.

When I want to eat out, I don’t want to worry about the check being bigger than my plate. Since I’m due for a timeout from the kitchen, I should review how I can eat out for less in Tulsa (and elsewhere).

Way to Save #1: Enjoy the Appetizers

Mexican Restaurant, Chimichanga
Chimichanga Photo by The Tasty Island

A free or low-cost appetizer can help me from splurging on a more expensive entree. I don’t need a lot of meat with my pasta if I know I’m having good quality bread. A cup of soup or a salad can curb your appetite for less than a large entree, too. Or you can head down to:

El Tequila
8118 S Memorial Dr, Tulsa OK

The offerings on this busy Mexican restaurant’s menu are pretty extensive. The last time I went, I had the chimichanga, rice and beans for $5.99. While I was there, the waiters seemed attentive and made sure no one ran out of chips and salsa. The next time I go, I’ll be trying out the tortilla soup.

Way to Save #2: Try a Lower Cost Sandwich rather than the Dinner

Elmer's BBQ, Tulsa, OK
Elmer’s BBQ, home of the Badwich

Portion sizes at a lot of restaurants can seem hefty. Since I don’t want to tote around the leftovers to a movie, I’d scale back to a sandwich. I’ll enjoy the same great taste at a less-than-premium price. Haven’t tried barbecue bologna before? Done right, it’s a masterpiece of flavor (no, don’t sacrifice your Oscar Mayer).

Elmer’s BBQ
4130 S Peoria, Tulsa OK

This restaurant’s motto is “It Be Bad”, but you don’t have to feel bad about treating yourself to ribs, chopped beef, chicken, pork, ham, hot links, and more. The sliced bologna sandwich is $5.75 and comes with one side. The smoked chicken sandwich I want to try is also $5.75. They’re also known for the sandwich called “the Badwich”.

Some Badwich mentions around the web: The Badwich: It Be Bad!, The Badwich!, Elmer’s BBQ, Tulsa.

Way to Save #3: Line Up at the Buffet

Chinese restaurant, Royal Dragon, Tulsa, OK
Royal Dragon, Tulsa, OK

When I order off a menu, I get a good-sized helping of one dish. At the buffet, I can graze my way through a variety of dishes. Some places even let you throw in desserts like fruit, bakery goods, and ice cream. Plus, if I’m in a hurry, I can fill my plate faster than if I waited for the wait staff to bring it.

Royal Dragon
7837 East 51st St, Tulsa OK

A relative of mine is a big fan of this Chinese restaurant’s buffet and Mongolian barbecue. Two people can have a great meal for about $20. It’s located in the Fontana Shopping Center. You can read more about it in the Best of Tulsa Dining Guide.

Way to Save #4: Breakfast, Anytime

Pig Out Palace, Tulsa, OK
Pig Out Palace’s banquet room

At most places that serve breakfast, it’s the cheapest meal on the menu: biscuits and gravy, pancakes, and other traditional breakfast fare may not seem as exciting as a massive steak, but I’ll have more money for a dessert later in the day. If you’re dining with kids who are fussy eaters, you might be able to appease them with cereal or a waffle with fruit.

Pig Out Palace
10029 Highway 62, Henryetta, OK 74437

If you’re running south of Tulsa and want a unique dining experience, check out the Pig Out Palace just off of I-40, west of Henryetta. Open 24 hours, this restaurant has a buffet three times a day and serves breakfast all day long. The biscuit special at $3.79 comes with biscuits & gravy and a choice of bacon or sausage.

The last time I visited, I bypassed the breakfasts and went for the patty melt wheat at $5.29. It came with a generous serving of fries. During the wait for our orders, my companions and I admired the pig decor and funny sayings on the walls. Don’t forget to look around the gift shop while you’re there — the T-shirts and mugs cracked me up.


The next time you eat out, how about trying out something new to your palate, or taking an adventure away from fast food for one meal? The savings to your dining out budget might surprise you.

3 thoughts on “Best Cheap Eats Around Tulsa, Oklahoma”

  1. Pingback: Carnival of Cities for 05 Nov 2008 | Family Travel Guide

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