The Oklahoma City Streetcar is more than a convenient and affordable means of transportation. It’s also a passive guide to much of the urban core.
The casual circuit around the downtown districts gives you time to focus on the places that are hidden away or overlooked, and a day pass is only $3, so you’ll save money on transportation. You can find a route map here.
If you’re staying at the AC Hotel or one of the other Bricktown hotels, you can start with cocktails or wine at Mickey Mantle’s Steakhouse or beer at Tapwerks in Bricktown. With 300 beers to choose from, including more than one hundred on draught, Tapwerks has something for everyone—local brew, cider, imports, and domestics. The Bricktown loop also puts you right next to The Criterion if you’re headed to a concert or comedy show, and local favorite Crabtown with its massive, delicious crab boil is right on Sheridan.
For the outdoor types, the Bricktown loop has stops at Myriad Gardens and Scissortail Park. The Myriad Botanical Gardens is the city’s 17-acre urban park that also includes a sunken duck/koi pond and the Crystal Bridge, a beautiful, cylindrical greenhouse with more than 700 plant varieties. Scissortail Park is the newest addition to our downtown scene with activities for all ages, trails, playground equipment, fountains, a dog park, and plenty of garden spaces. A new restaurant, Spark, will open on the park’s north edge sometime in 2020. Social Capital, with its beautiful view of the new convention center and amazing local beer list, is on the west side of the park.
The Bricktown loop will drop you in front of Chesapeake Energy Arena if you’re in town for a Thunder game, and Mahogany Prime Steakhouse is right across the street. (Yes, we have a lot of steakhouses in this city, and they’re all excellent.) At Mahogany, grab a seat in the beautiful bar, and order the appetizer course. For a couple, we recommend the lobster cargot or bacon-wrapped scallops. Just across the street is our city’s oldest hotel, the Colcord, built in 1910. The ground floor hosts Flint, a restaurant and bar serving modern American cuisine with a solid wine list and a beautiful, expansive patio at the foot of the Devon Tower.
Once inside the Colcord, you can also walk through the concourse to the elevator to Vast. It’s on the 49th floor of the Devon Tower, so enjoy the view and the exceptional wine list. (The shrimp appetizer is excellent if you want a snack.) The lounge has cocktail service, and the dress code is everything from casual to dressy, but no athletic gear.
From the Century Center platform the Downtown loop—this is the longest leg—will take you back through Bricktown, around Myriad Gardens, and up Hudson. There are two platforms on Hudson if you’re headed to the arts district for a performance of Oklahoma City Ballet or Philharmonic at the Civic Center, and if you don’t mind walking a block, you can eat at one of the city’s very best restaurants: Patrono. It’s Italian food like you’ve never had it from the kitchen of Chef Jonathan Krell.
The streetcar heads east on 4th and it will give you your first chance to exit at the National Memorial and Museum. (There’s another platform after the streetcar heads back toward Bricktown.) The grounds of the Memorial are open 24-7-365, and they are designed to be viewed day or night. There are interactive screens all around and they work 24-hours a day.
Automobile Alley is the next district, built along the historic Broadway Ave., a street that preceded statehood. What used to be a row of automobile showrooms has been converted to a dining, drinking and shopping district. Walk up and down Broadway and you’ll find Plenty Mercantile, Broadway Wine Merchants, Hideaway Pizza, and Red PrimeSteak, but you can turn onto NW 8th for beer at Vanessa House Brewing Company, or if you’re in the mood for immersive art, Factory Obscura is just off Broadway on NW 9th.
Campbell Art Park is on the north edge of the Automobile Alley route, and after March 2020, the new Oklahoma Contemporary campus and galleries will be open. This beautiful new facility will highlight some of the best contemporary art in the state, with indoor and outdoor viewing, and interactive classes and activities will be housed inside Oklahoma Contemporary’s new home. The next stop after you get back on the streetcar should be Elk Valley Brewing Company (North Hudson stop). They also have a rooftop patio with a lovely view of downtown. If you’re not the beer type, stay on the car for one more stop.
The Dewey Avenue stop gives you several outstanding choices. You can do Italian for dinner at Stella Modern Italian or French at Café Cuvee in the Ambassador Hotel. Upstairs in the Ambassador is O Bar, with a rooftop patio, excellent cocktails and the best view of the downtown skyline available. Just north of the Ambassador is Commonplace Books, an indy bookstore with a café and bar attached. Just south is Barkeep Supply, a bar retail store with the city’s best bartender, Julia McLish. (Really, she won a contest and has the trophy to prove it.)
The ride back downtown swings you by Dust Bowl Lanes, an old-school bowling alley with a full bar and private lanes. You can also walk a couple of blocks south to Elemental Coffee, a favorite local roaster with stellar food options for vegans and vegetarians. On the way, you’ll pass Capitals Ice Cream and Barrios Fine Mexican Dishes. The rest of the loop takes you by the Memorial and Museum again and passes by Leadership Square and Kerr Park, one of the city’s prettiest pocket parks.