Rabbit Ridge Farms (Bee Branch)
Rabbit Ridge isn’t really a restaurant, although they do provide special dinners as well as breakfast and lunch on different days. Everything takes place at a lovely event hall with a view of the farm. All proteins are grown on their own land.
Deluca’s Pizza (Hot Springs)
I am confident in stating that this is the best pizza in Arkansas. The thin, crisp, slightly burnt crust is delicious on its own or with any of the other fantastic toppings. Those in the know will also rave about Deluca’s cheeseburger.
Oliver’s Bistro (Mountain View)
On a weekend trip to Mountain View last year, I discovered this hidden gem. The Massey Burger is popular, but everything at Oliver’s is popular, especially the house-made sweets.
Café Rue Orleans (Fayetteville)
Get there early for brunch because Café Rue Orleans fills up quickly. The portions are large and the meals are heavy, but it’s brunch, so indulge a little. Thor’s Hammer, a meal including a poached egg, juicy bits of pork, seafood sauce, and a grit fritter, is a must-order.
Taylor’s Steakhouse (Dumas)
Deluca’s is to pizza what Taylor’s is to steak: it’s the best that our great state has to offer. The steak is outstanding, especially the 20-day, dry-aged, bone-in ribeye, which is only available a few times a year.
WunderHaus specializes in European comfort food, with an emphasis on locally produced produce and proteins on the menu. The restaurant has fun with specials, but the WunderBurger and Farmer’s Daughter are must-orders.
The Hive (Bentonville)
For several years, I’ve been going to this posh restaurant inside Bentonville’s 21c Hotel, and the food rarely, if ever, disappoints. Executive Chef Matthew McClure is a multiple James Beard Semifinalist, and while his breakfast, lunch, and brunch offerings are all excellent, dinner is where The Hive really shines. Enjoy the distinctive wood-fired grilled Berkshire Hog Chop.
Green Papaya (Fort Smith)
Green Papaya is a no-frills restaurant that serves traditional Vietnamese cuisine. Although the pho is delicious, my favourite dish is the Beef Chow Fun. When I’m travelling through Fort Smith, I always stop at Green Papaya.
The Whippet (Prattsville)
Stay for the coconut cream pie if you have the fried catfish. The fish is cooked to perfection with a light, mild coating and comes with “The Set Up.” Beans, slaw, hush puppies, and tomato relish are included as sides.
Coursey’s Smoked Meats (St. Joe)
Coursey’s is well-known for its smoked bacon, but it would be a shame to go all that far and not have a pair of smoked turkey and cheddar sandwiches. The generous serving of beef is thinly sliced and sandwiched between two slices of white bread.
Fresh, house-made pasta is what brought me to Bocca, so when the pappardella with braised beef and pig shoulder ragu did not disappoint, I was overjoyed. The 35-day aged filet is recommended for steak enthusiasts.
Wright’s Barbecue (Fayetteville)
Deluca’s is the pizza equivalent of Taylor’s steakhouse and Wright’s barbecue joint. This is without a doubt the greatest BBQ I’ve had in Arkansas. The long lines back up my assertion. Get the bacon burnt ends or the Texas-style brisket. Both will dissolve in your mouth.
Dondie’s White River Princess
Buffets aren’t usually my thing, but there are a few exceptions. One of them is Dondie’s. Go early on a Saturday evening to see the majority of the Des Arc area chowing down on some of the best catfish in the area.
McClard’s Bar-B-Q (Hot Springs)
It’s been a while since my previous visit to McClard’s, but the renowned restaurant is still fresh in my mind. A delicacy like the Half Spread, which consists of one tamale topped with Fritos, chopped meat, cheese, and onion, is memorable.
Mud Street Café (Eureka Springs)
On both Saturday and Sunday of a weekend excursion to Eureka Springs, breakfast is frequently served at Mud Street Café. All of the omelettes are delicious, as are the Veggie Hash Browns.
My Little Pizzeria (Benton)
Finally! In Arkansas, we have authentic New York-style pizza, and it’s only 25 minutes from my house. My Little Pizzeria is small, so seating is limited, but they make up for it with delicious pizza. The trademark pizza is the Lasagna Pizza, but don’t pass up the Margarita Cold, a room-temperature pie with fresh mozzarella, basil, tomatoes, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, ricotta, and garlic.
Jones’ Bar-B-Q Diner (Marianna)
Every Arkansan should make the trip to Marianna at least once in their lives to try Jones’ Bar-B-pork Q’s and slaw sandwich. I guarantee it will be an unforgettable experience. Simply arrive early or risk heading home empty-handed.
The Grapevine Restaurant (Paris)
A visit to Mt. Magazine would be completed without a lunch stop at Paris’s The Grapevine Restaurant. Try not to overeat on the basket of homemade bread and honey. You’ll need some space for the meat loaf.
Saiwok Vietnamese Street Food (Rogers)
Smoked Pork Belly Fries, banh mi sandwiches, rice bowls, and the Saiwok Lava Rock are among the dishes on the restaurant’s unusual menu. The latter is a self-serve option, with bite-sized shrimp or beef, zucchini, sliced mushroom, garlic, butter, and house-made marinades baked over hot lava rock.
Pea Farm Bistro (Cabot)
The menu at Pea Farm Bistro is basic and clear, with a large selection of salads and sandwiches that impress you with the flawless execution of premium ingredients. The Club and Cuban are must-order cocktails. The potato salad is delicious, and the chilli will warm your heart.
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