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Cinn city

A tour of Tulsa’s cinnamon rolls

Tally’s Good Food Café

Greg Bollinger

Roll. Bun. Swirl. Snail. Whatever you may call the cinnamon-sugar pastry rolled to perfection and topped with glaze or cream cheese frosting, it’s an important staple of breakfast—or dessert, or lunch, or dinner. (And yes, cinnamon snail is a legitimate term for a cinnamon roll, in case you hadn’t heard it before. I hadn’t.)

I’m something between cinnamon roll fan and enthusiast—not quite sophisticated enough to be a connoisseur—though I’m thinking that probably describes the majority of lovers of this sweet treat. You’ll find cinnamon swirls everywhere in Tulsa, each one different from the next. And as exciting as that variety may be, some of us don’t want to play cinnamon roll roulette when we just need a strong cup of coffee and some sugary bread in our bellies.

These five places are not the only spots with good swirls, but they each have a distinct character worth noting—and they’re available every day of the week, so you can get your fix whenever the craving strikes. Here’s what you need to know to be an informed cinnamon snail consumer in Tulsa.

Tally’s Good Food Café
1102 S. Yale Ave. and 6100 S. Sheridan Rd.
$3.50, add $1 for pecans
If you’re too tired when you order a giant Tally’s cinnamon roll, you might be tempted to use this fluffy, doughy delight as a pillow for your weary head. It’s that soft. Topped with zigzagging frosted glaze, this saccharine swirl will satisfy your sweet tooth and then some. Bring friends to share with, because you probably won’t finish this one by yourself. This is the cinnamon roll dreams are made of.
6 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily (Yale)
6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily (Sheridan)

Dilly Diner
402 E. 2nd St. | $6.95
Another sweetie, Dilly’s roll comes with either glazed frosting and pecans or whipped cream cheese frosting. (I went ahead and got the cream cheese frosting and candied pecans.) Dubbed “The Jed” after the owner Elliott Nelson’s son, the golden edges offer a warm, flaky greeting when you cut into the roll. The cream cheese icing on top is a tart contrast to the gooey compote between the swirls of bread, and the pecans on top added a nice crunchy texture.
7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday–Thursday
7 a.m. to 1 a.m. Friday
8 a.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday
8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday

Savoy — Breakfast Any Day
6033 S. Sheridan Rd. | $3.99
I can’t stress this enough: If you want one of these bad boys, make sure you get there early because Savoy’s cinnamon rolls are made fresh daily at 7 a.m. This softball-sized swirl is perfect if you need a pastry for breakfast. The texture is well-balanced, making this quite the sophisticated, adult cinnamon roll. The cinnamon-sugar mixture twisted inside is present but not too goopy. The bread is soft and light, and as you get to the center, the roll evolves from a slightly golden crunch on the outside to a soft, delectable center.
6 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily

Jane’s Delicatessen
2626 E. 11th St. | $4 or $8+
The cinnamon roll at Jane’s Delicatessen is probably the biggest curve ball of the bunch, because it’s made from sourdough. The texture isn’t as doughy as your typical roll, but the fluffy bread is easy to tear and share. Mixed with cream cheese frosting, the combination creates a tart contrast to the sweetness in between the swirling layers. “On the weekends we have the ones that are the size of the plate,” said co-owner Dane Tannehill. “Most of the time they’re $8 but can go up to $10 depending on how much they rise.” During the week, they are about half that size.
7 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily

Phill’s Diner
3310 E. 32nd St. | $1.99
If I had to sum up Phill’s roll in one phrase, it would be cinnamon-sugar explosion. The spongy, delicious bread is topped with a classic glaze that fills the swirl’s nooks and crannies, collecting in a sugary pool in the base of the plate. The cinnamon-sugar mixture wasn’t overbearing, but I appreciated the texture in every bite. This one’s circumference is bigger than a softball but smaller than a football.
6 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily

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