Mexican, Asian, Italian cuisine bring ethnic flair to restaurants

Sep. 2—With a few faces on the block and some with stories to tell, Tahlequah's restaurant scene features cuisines from cultures around the world.

Lilly Sosa of Rafa's Burrito Co. said the downtown restaurant first opened for business in February 2021.

"We serve build your own bowls, burritos, nachos, quesadillas, and salads," said Sosa. "We offer gluten-free, paleo and vegetarian options."

Sosa listed his two bestsellers.

"Our chicken bowl [is most popular] and our quesadilla comes in a close second," she said.

Right off the Highway 10, Red Moon serves sushi rolls and platters, Chinese food and other Asian-fusion dishes. Red Moon's most popular dishes — listed on its Yelp page — are Kung Pao beef, egg rolls, Ocean Beach roll and Cashew Chicken.

For a taste of Italy, Napolis Italian Restaurant is on the corner of First and South Muskogee Avenue. Manager Megrim Shala said the restaurant's most popular items are lasagna, chicken Alfredo and all kinds of pizza.

"We're family-owned," said Shala. " My uncle, Mensur Pllana, is the owner."

Napolis has been open since 2005. Shala said patrons enjoy the restaurant's food and atmosphere and often celebrate special occasions there, like weddings and birthdays.

Further south at Jose's Mexican Restaurant, Denise Bribiesca said her parent's restaurant has been open for about 16 years.

"[My father Francisco Bribiesca] started renting out videos, and that didn't work," she said.

Bribiesca said her father transitioned to food after his friends kept asking him to cook for them. Since then, a few menu items at Jose's have become especially popular.

"Our most popular items would probably be our tacos, next to the burritos and gorditas," said Bribiesca.

Bribiesca said the restaurant serves Hispanic and Mexican food.

"We try to do it as traditional as possible," she said.

What's next

The final part in this three-part series will focus on food from the United States.