The University has tried “its best” in the last few years to provide a variety of dining options for students and faculty. Although we are thrilled to no longer be limited to The Caf, Chick-Fil-A, Hurricane Hut and Subway, the additions of Benvenuto’s, Baja Jack’s, Einstein Bros., Star Ginger, Sushi Blu, Pizza Hut and Tossed have only done so much to stave off our culinary boredom.
However there are plenty of great and cheap places to eat near campus as well. The options extend well above what we have space to print, yet my personal suggestions are Maxxwells, Ty’s Hamburgers, Coney Islander, Arby’s, Taco Bell and Rib Crib. Billy Sim’s Barbecue is also nearby, but if you go inside you might as well transfer to OU because we don’t take kindly to traitorous sports fans.
Maxxwell’s Restaurant is an elegant representation of the history of Tulsa, and is located roughly three blocks from campus on 11 St. Although it could be on the high-end of the average college student’s budget, they have specials including $5 Burger Sundays and Half Price Appetizer Tuesdays.
Appetizers I would recommend include the House Made Kettle Chips that come with ranch and spicy ketchup dipping sauces for four dollars, or the Roasted Garlic Tahini Hummus with pita bread for seven bucks.
If you aren’t craving one of the many fancy burgers on the menu, I recommend the B.E.L.T for eight dollars or for a vegetarian option there is the Grilled Vegetable Sandwich for nine dollars.
Ty’s Hamburgers has a quaint, small-town atmosphere, but don’t let the carpet floors throw you off. Although the menu doesn’t contain a lot of options, if you are craving a good burger and greasy fries, the 14 block trek down Harvard is well worth it.
The Chili Cheese Fries are amazing and only $3.50. The famous hamburger, which could conservatively be ranked an eight on a scale of one-to-ten, cost $4.25. And if my recommendation isn’t good enough, rumor has it that President Upham is a frequent visitor.
Coney I-lander is easily the most affordable restaurant near campus, and it boasts the second best view of campus, being right across the street.
The seating is cozy, and during the lunch rush you’ll probably be forced to sit by strangers. They don’t have a large selection of choices, but they definitely deliver if you want a cheap and greasy coney.
The chili, cheese, onion, and mustard coney is $1.65 and the Frito Pie costs $4.87, so if you value affordability over quality this is the place to eat.
Arby’s is admittedly a large chain that can be found anywhere in the country, but the Arby’s across from TU has one thing that no other franchise has: a claim to the best view of TU’s campus. Also, the inside is decorated with a mural of Captain Cane and tributes to TU sports.
While you are enjoying the school-pride atmosphere you can try their iconic menu items, like the Roast Beef Sandwich ($3.29), Curly Fries ($1.99) and Jamocha Shake ($2.49), or you could try one of the limited-time specials they are constantly cycling through.
Taco Bell is another chain similar to Arby’s, but it is a favorite among college students because it is relatively cheap, and they are open until 2:00 A.M. most nights, and 4:00 A.M. on Fridays and Saturdays.
The menu is large and they are constantly trying to push new foods on their customers, so if you are craving a Taco wrapped in a giant Nacho Cheese Dorito while you are finishing that essay due tomorrow, it only costs $1.49.
Although Rib Crib is now a chain found in 8 states throughout the U.S., the location by campus was the very first one, and was converted out of an old house that used to sit there in 1992.
It is a typical barbeque joint with country music playing on the radio, and although it is on the higher end of what most college students can afford, it is well worth the cost.
The Half-Rack of Baby Back Ribs, their most iconic menu item, is $15.99, but personally I would recommend the Super Spud which has all the meat and starch that anyone could want for only $8.99.
So when you are three months into your first year and have grown tired of the same fare day after day, pull out this paper that you saved for no particular reason and try these off-campus options.