Young Pros: What Do They Want?

First, we should pose the question: What do young professionals want in their neighborhoods? Of course, we can’t speak for everyone, but generally young professionals want to live in a place that: 

Has other young professionals. From networking opportunities to social events, young people want to be around other young people.

Is affordable. Often, the words ‘affordable’ and ‘housing’ are difficult to find in a sentence – or a place – together. A young professional just starting out in his or her career wants to live in a place that’s not breaking the bank.

Has a sense of being ‘up-and-coming.’ Young professionals want to feel like they’re living in a trendy spot that harbors hidden gems. Ideally, new offerings would be popping up consistently to keep them entertained. 

Is easily traversable. Whether this means it’s walkable, bike-able, has clear access to public transit or plenty of options for parking, young professionals – and well, all of us – want to live in a place they can easily navigate. 

Cherry Street, Tulsa; photo courtesy Explore Cherry Street

Offers various food/drink options. Whether it’s an after-work happy hour or a gathering of friends at a farm-to-table restaurant, dining and drinking options should be ample.

Offers other entertainment options. We’re talking state-of-the-art museums, theaters, weekly community events, retail shops, galleries and centers for the performing arts. 

Offers work-from-not-home spaces. Whether we want to believe it or not, the work atmosphere is shifting drastically. Many young professionals are working from home … and when they get cabin fever, they want to pivot to a coffee shop, incubator, rent-a-desk locale or something similar. 

So, where in Tulsa and OKC can young professionals find some, if not all, of these must-haves? Well … 


Cherry Street 

Cherry Street mixes plenty of food offerings with bars, retail shops and a bevy of weekly, monthly and annual events. This area is perfect for social butterflies, work-out buffs and foodies. 

Places to dine: Kilkenny’s, Andolini’s, Smoke, Palace Café, Society Burger, STG Gelateria, Nola’s, Prairie Fire Pie, Prossimo 

Places to shop: Pinot’s Palette, Nest, Peace of Mind Bookstore, Slade, Cyclebar, Pierson Gallery, Diamond Cellar

Places to drink: Coffee House on Cherry Street, Empire, Summer Moon Coffee, Sidecar Barley and Wine Bar 

Tulsa Arts District; photo courtesy Visit Tulsa

Tulsa Arts District 

A bustling area of Tulsa’s downtown, the Arts District combines creative endeavors with multi-use business buildings and dining options galore. This area is perfect for those who love music, theatre, high-end dining and those who work downtown.

Places to visit: Tulsa Theater, Cain’s Ballroom, The Vanguard, Tulsa Symphony Orchestra, Guthrie Green, Woody Guthrie Center, Tulsa Glassblowing School, 108 Contemporary

Events to enjoy: Hop Jam, Blue Whale Comedy Festival, Williams Route 66 Marathon, First Friday Art Crawl

Places to dine and drink: Valkyrie, Bar 46, Chimera, The Tavern, Bull in the Alley, Gypsy Coffee House

Circle Cinema in the Kendall Whittier District, Tulsa; photo courtesy Circle Cinema

Kendall Whittier 

Albert G’s Barbecue, Tulsa; Photos courtesy Visit Tulsa

Kendall Whittier is one of seven certified cultural districts in the state, with unique offerings from shopping to dining to entertainment. This area is perfect for young professionals who love hidden gems, independent art and movies, and thrifting. 

Places to visit: The Whittier Square clock tower, Circle Cinema, Campbell Hotel, Ziegler Art and Frame

Places to dine: Pancho Anaya Bakery, Freddie’s Hamburgers, Calaveras, et. al., Notion Coffee

Events to enjoy: Kendall Whittier Food Truck Festival, Kendall Whittier Mercado 

Places to shop: Ever Something, Jo and June

Pearl District 

The pedestrian-friendly, multi-use vibes of the Pearl District make it a premier arts and entertainment destination. This area is perfect for young professionals who like breweries, outdoor activities and musical history. 

Places to visit: Centennial Park, Veterans Park, Josey Records, The Church Studio, LivyLu

Places to drink: Dead Armadillo Brewery, Nothing’s Left Brewing Co. 

Events to enjoy: Tulsa Punk Rock Flea Market

Places to dine and drink: Freeway Café, Ike’s Chili, Bramble Breakfast and Bar, El Rancho Grande, Cirque Coffee Roasters 

Blue Dome

Blue Dome District, Tulsa; Photo courtesy Visit Tulsa

An entertainment hub with a sleek assortment of restaurants and bars, Blue Dome is the place to be downtown. This area is perfect for young professionals who want to be in the heart of the action – no matter what that action is! 

Places to drink: Dust Bowl Lanes & Lounge, Max Retropub, Arnie’s Bar, Red’s

Places to dine: McNellie’s Public House, Andolini’s Sliced, Juniper Restaurant, JINYA, Dilly Diner, Yokozuna, Albert G’s Barbecue 

Events to enjoy: Saint Francis Tulsa Tough, Tulsa Mardi Gras Parade 

Places to visit: Tulsa PAC, Hotel Indigo

East Village

East Village District serves as a bridge between the Blue Dome and the Pearl, with an emphasis on the arts, shopping and delicious cuisine. This area is perfect for those who don’t want to live quite downtown but still want to be near the trendiest spots in town.

Places to visit: American Theatre Company, Studio 308, Sweet Boutique 

Places to drink: The Boxyard, Open Container, Hodges Bend (after renovations), Fur Shop, NEFF Brewing 

Places to dine: East Village Bohemian Pizzeria, Lowood (after renovations), Alley Catch Ranch, Rose Rock Microcreamery, MASA Food Truck

Bricktown, OKC; photo courtesy Visit OKC



It’s safe to say Bricktown is the entertainment hub of the entire city of OKC, with sporting events, museums, plus dining and drinking options galore. This area is perfect for those who want to be smack-dab in the middle of the action and don’t mind some ruckus. 

Places to visit: American Banjo Museum, Brickopolis, Bricktown Comedy Club, The Criterion, Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame, Pearl’s Crabtown

Places to dine: Fuzzy’s, Culprits, Bourbon St. Cafe, Pearl’s Crabtown 

Events to enjoy: Baker Street Escapes, Bricktown water taxis, OKC Dodgers games at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark

Deep Deuce District, OKC; photo courtesy Visit OKC

Deep Deuce 

Rich in history, Deep Deuce beckons with live music, modern living, dining and drinking, all in a walkable community. This area is perfect for those who love jazz, history and delicious cuisine. 

Places to dine: Bar Cicchetti, Black Walnut, Grey Sweater, The Blok, Deep Deuce Grill

Places to visit: 1032 Space, Artspace at Untitled, Deep Deuce Dog Park

Places to shop: Bone Dog Boutique

The Paseo

Art is at the heart of the Paseo District, which beckons with trendy shops, the newest dining and plenty of walkable destinations. This area is perfect for artists, foodies and those in search of community camaraderie. 

Places to dine: Burger Punk, Frida Southwest, Oso on Paseo, Red Rooster 

Events to enjoy: Paseo Farmers Markets, First Friday Art Crawls, Paseo Arts Festival 

Places to shop: Betsy King, Paseo Pottery, Curated Vintage Vault, Studio Six

Places to visit: Theatre Upon a Swan, This Land Yoga, Contemporary Art Gallery, JRB Art at the Elms

The Paseo District, OKC; photo courtesy the Paseo District

The Plaza 

Food, galleries, retail, performance – the Plaza is truly a mixture of the best OKC has to offer. This district is perfect for those who have a broad range of interests, but want to shop, dine and appreciate all things local. 

Places to dine: Empire Slice, Ma Der Lao Kitchen

Places to shop: Bad Granny’s, Magoo’s

Places to visit: DNA Galleries, Everything Goes Dance, Lyric Theatre, OKC Improv, Paint N’ Cheers

Events to enjoy: Plaza District Festival, Small Business Saturdays 

Midtown OKC 

Oklahoma City’s Midtown is a cozy and welcoming area nestled just north of the business district in downtown OKC, with plenty of options for living, as well as bars, restaurants and shopping. This area is perfect for those who work downtown but still want access to a bustling nightlife. 

Places to dine: Barrios, Capital’s Ice Cream, The Garage, Howdy Burger, Café Cuvee, Barkeep Supply, The Grove, R&J’s, Ludivine

Places to shop: Floral and Hardy, Commonplace Books

Places to visit: Oklahoma Hall of Fame, Midtown Mutts Dog Park

Automobile Alley, OKC; photo courtesy Visit OKC

Automobile Alley

In the heart of downtown, the funky Automobile Alley has everything you need for a sojourn off the beaten path. This area is perfect for creatives, fans of breweries and those who love experimental art. 

Places to dine: Hatch, Nashbird, Jimmy B’s, Parlor OKC, S&B’s Burger Joint 

Places to drink: Prairie Artisan Ales, Twisted Spike

Places to visit: Oklahoma Contemporary, Factory Obscura, Knox Studios, Recess OKC

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