Restaurant Guide–Arkansas

Restaurant Guide Main Index


  • Date indicates the most recent update of the restaurants listed
  • Bold indicates my recommendations; others come from what I consider to be good sources (see bottom of page for further explanation)

Altus

Wiederkehr–3324 Swiss Family Dr. (German) Open daily except Sun evening (closes at 8 pm on weekdays). Swiss and Austrian specialties.  Bratwurst, reuben, German potato salad are good.  Stroganoff is disappointing (according to reviewers). (2-3-17)

Benton

Sullivan’s Diner–520 Lillian St. (Thai) Open 10 am to 7 pm (closed Sun & Mon).  If you are interested in a diner with a five-star rating on Yelp that also serves very good Thai food, then this is the place.  For the diner food, catfish is recommended (also the hamburgers).  For the Thai side, pad thai and fried rice are recommended. (3-16-17)

Bentonville

Miss Saigon Pho–310 S. Walton Blvd. (Vietnamese) Open daily 10:30 am to 9:00 pm.  Good pho, but has a menu with a number of other good options. Banh xeo (crepes) is a good choice. Has a very good vegan pho. (2-3-17)

Note: there are a number of interesting looking restaurants with different cuisines in town. Most look very good, but the one that seemed to stand out (3rd St. Eatery) is now closed. I think there are a number of good restaurants in Bentonville, but just not ones that I would call regional specialties, and are the type I like to include on this list.

Conway

Bai Tong–605 Salem Rd. (Thai) Closed Mon (and closed from 3 pm to 4:30 pm).  Good place for pad thai, drunken noodles, tom ka kai soup, or any noodle dish. Reviews are mixed about the curries, but mostly positive–they are sweet so you should order them spicy to offset it. (3-16-17)

De Valls Bluff

Craig’s BBQ–315 Main St. (BBQ) Open Daily.  Real deal, hole in the wall BBQ. Doesn’t just have one specialty, but pulled pork, chicken, etc. are all good. Sides are exceptionally good also (such as the slaw). (2-3-17)

Ms Lena’s Pies–2885 Ark. Hwy. 33 (Bakery).  Pies–fried chocolate pie is especially good, but any pie they have is recommended. Sells pies Wed-Sat from morning to early afternoon, or any time the “Open” sign is posted.  Roadfood says the fried pies (sold only on Sat.) are even better than the regular pies (the best fried pies they’ve ever had). (2-3-17)

Eureka Springs

Bavarian Inn–329 W. Van Buren (Czech) Open daily (dinner only).  Wienerschnitzel is unpounded (don’t recommend).  Czech dumplings, chicken anna mari, goulash, and desserts are good. (1-17-16)

Mei Li Cuisine–3094 E. Van Buren (Thai) Open Daily.  Has Hmong food. (1-17-16)

Oscar’s Cafe–17 White St. (Cafe) Breakfast and lunch only (closed Mon).  It’s hard to put a label on the type of food served, but everyone seems to agree it is good.  Norwegian waffles, BLT, and quiche are recommended. (1-17-16)

Two Dumb Dames Fudge Factory–33 S. Main St. (Candy) Open daily 10 am to 5 pm.  Enjoy fudge fresh off the press and other family recipes (all for the sweet tooth). (2-3-17)

Fayetteville

El Burrito Loco–2155 W. 6th St. (Mexican) Open daily 9 am to 8 pm.  The place to go in NWA for authentic Mexican street food. (1-17-16)

San Lio–300 W. Dickson St. (Chinese) Closed Sun.  Reviews indicate the possibility that there is authentic Chinese food here, but I am not sure.  Dumpling soup and crispy drunken chicken are recommended. (1-17-16)

Thep Thai–1525 S. School Ave. (Thai) Open Daily.  Seems to be the most authentic Thai rest. in NWA which may not mean much, but I would give it a shot.  They say there is no handicapped parking here, so to me this is a sign that there may be other problems with management as well (but the food is good). (1-17-16)

Wes’s BBQ–14 S. University Ave. (BBQ) Closed Sun.  BBQ ribs. (1-17-16)

Fort Smith

Calico County–2401 S. 56th St. (Southern) Open daily (including breakfast).  Southern style home cooking (reviewers say it is like Cracker Barrel but with better food). (2-3-17)

Emmy’s German–200 N. 13th St. (German) Dinner only (closed Sun & Mon).  In business over 40 yrs–good food. Jaeger Schnitzel (pork or veal) is recommended (other schnitzels are also popular). (2-3-17)

Green Papaya–6301 Hwy. 271 S. (Vietnamese) Closed Sun.  Bun Tom Xan noodles, Canh Chua. This is listed based on its popularity with reviewers, but some say it is Americanized. (2-3-17)

Pho DaNa–3802 Towson Ave. (Vietnamese).  Reviews indicate that this is a hole in the wall place that the Vietnamese community frequents. It might be a good place to find food that is not available at other restaurants. (2-3-17)

Pho Vietnam–2214 Rogers Ave. (Vietnamese) Open daily (closed Tue & Sun evening).  Pho, lemongrass Bun. Reviewers say it is totally authentic. (2-3-17)

Thai Chicken Bowl–2100 Rogers Ave. (Thai) Closed Sun.  Curries are highly recommended. Note: this is the number one rated restaurant on Yelp in Ft. Smith. (2-3-17)

Thai Taste–4700 Rogers Ave. (Thai) Open daily 10:30 am to 8:30 pm.  I believe this was the popular restaurant in Roland, OK that has now moved to Ft Smith. Reviewers say to skip the pad thai but get the curries, soups, or pineapple fried rice. Note: I’m not sure about the address–apparently they are moving to a new bldg in Spring 2017 but I don’t know if 4700 Rogers is the old address or the new one. (3-16-17)

Hot Springs

McClard’s–505 Albert Pike Rd. (BBQ).  The most famous and popular BBQ in town.  People like the ribs, tamale spread, and the red sauce. My sources tell me this is among the best BBQ restaurants in the state, but it is for people who like a spicy sauce (this is the only sauce they have). (2-22-17)

Phil’s–2900 Central Ave. (Southern) Breakfast & lunch daily; dinner Mon-Thu.  Recommended items are breakfast special (eggs, sausage & pancakes), chicken & dumplings, patty melt, pork loin, and pie. Some reviewers report that there is a “no sharing” policy which they (and I) find rather strange, but they say the food is worth it (even if you end up leaving some on the plate). (2-22-17)

Pho Hoang My–608 E. Grand Ave. (Vietnamese) Closed Tue.  Has a number of different varieties of pho.  Vietnamese pork chop is also recommended. (2-3-17)

Rolando’s–210 Central Ave. (Cuban) Open Daily.  El Cubano plate is recommended, but also has available a wide variety of Cuban dishes and appetizers.  Also is in a very nice wooded setting with an outdoor patio available. (2-22-27)

Smokin In Style BBQ–2278 Albert Pike Rd. (BBQ) Closed Sun evening & Mon.  Ribs, pulled pork (most people say ribs are the best item).  Homemade banana pudding is also quite good. (2-22-17)

Steinhaus Keller–801 Central Ave. (German) Dinner only (closed Mon).  Excellent food. Diners recommend getting one of the “Chef’s Specials.” (2-22-17)

Taste of India–1204 Central Ave. (Indian) Closed Mon (and closed from 2:30 to 5 pm).  Has better reviews than the Indian food in Little Rock–good vegetarian options here.  Has a lunch buffet, but the menu has a large number of choices. (2-22-17)

Lake Village

JJ’s Lakeside Cafe–1025 Hwy 65 & 82 (American) Dinner only on Fri & Sat.  (I think it’s a buffet).  Breakfast daily except Sun.  Southern cooking, fried chicken is good. (2-3-17)

Rhoda’s Hot Tamales–714 St. Mary St. (American).  Hot tamales that are definitely worth making a special trip to experience. This is a real restaurant (not just a takeout place). Fried chicken and pies are also recommended. (2-3-17)

Lewisville

Burge’s–526 Spruce St. (BBQ) Open daily 10 am to 8 pm.  Famous for its smoked turkey and ham–serves both in its very popular sandwiches, along with hamburgers and other items. (Also has a location in Little Rock). (2-3-17)

Little Rock

Capital Bar & Grill–111 W. Markham St. (American) Open Daily.  Upscale sandwiches & American food.  Cuban sandwich, french onion soup, burger, gumbo, brown sugar pie.  Pulled pork (special on Thursday) is the favorite of some. (3-16-17)

Gus’s Fried Chicken–300 President Clinton Ave. (American) Open Daily.  Fried chicken that takes about 15 min. to cook (to me this is a sign that the chicken is good!).  Some say they like the dark meat (so this is another sign that the chicken is good).  Most say they don’t like the sides unless you get the mac & cheese or one of the other “upgraded” items. (3-16-17)

Layla’s Market–9501 N. Rodney Parham Rd. (Middle Eastern) Open daily except Sun evening.  Has standard Middle Eastern food from the Syria/ Jordan region.  What makes it stand out, though, is the amount of food you get for your money and the fact that it is all good (everything down to the rice is something diners really enjoy). (3-16-17)

Mr. Chen’s Authentic Chinese–3901 S. University Ave. (Chinese) Open daily to 9 pm.  Basil chicken, steamed dumplings, steamed buns, Taiwanese braised pork, hot pot. (3-16-17)

The Pantry–11401 N. Rodney Parham Rd. (Czech) Dinner until 1 am (Mon-Sat); lunch Mon-Fri.  Owners are Czech, but they also serve German food.  Jager Schnitzel has good recommendations.  My feeling is to get Czech food that is available at few other restaurants. This is the number one rated restaurant in LR on Yelp. (3-16-17)

Three Fold Noodles and Dumpling Co–215 Center St. (Chinese) Open 11 am to 8 pm (closed Sun).  Authentic style Chinese food with a very simple menu–noodles or dumplings. It is served fast food style on plastic plates, but it looks very good and reviews confirm this (noodles get the best reviews). (2-3-17)

Van Lang–3600 S. University Ave. (Korean) Open 11 am to 8:30 pm (closed Sun).  Serves pho and some Chinese dishes, but reviewers say the Korean food is best.  Tamarind soup is especially good. (3-16-17)

Whole Hog Cafe–2516 Cantrell Rd. (BBQ) Open daily 11 am to 8 pm.  I have been told by a local that this is the best BBQ in Little Rock, and maybe the state (Lindsey’s is second). Ribs and chopped beef are the best items here (sliced BBQ is the best item at Lindsey’s). They have several types of sauce, and this is one of the features that makes it a favorite over other restaurants. (2-3-17)

Mountain Home

Dusit Thai–920 Hwy 62 E. (Thai) Closed Sun (and closed from 3 to 4 pm).  Big city quality Thai food, but order the spice level higher than you would at a big city restaurant. (2-3-17)

North Little Rock

Rosalinda–900 W. 35th St. (Honduran) Open daily except Sun evening.  Reviewers say this is some of the best food in the LR area–even the vegetarian dishes are very good.  Plantains are especially recommended. (3-16-17)

Rogers

Havana Tropical Grill–1207 W. Walnut St. (Cuban) Closed Sun evening & Mon.  Authentic Cuban food. (1-17-16)

Monte Ne Inn Chicken–13843 E. Hwy. 94 (Southern) Dinner Tue-Sat; lunch Sun.  This is supposed to be fried chicken that is worth going out of your way to try.  May be comparable to Stroud’s (in MO and KS). (1-17-16)

Searcy

Filipino Restaurant–701 E. Race Ave. (Filipino) Open daily except Sun evening.  A Filipino restaurant that gets very good reviews from locals has to be a winner. Lemon pork is recommended, but I haven’t seen a negative review about any of the items served. (2-3-17)

Springdale

AQ Chicken House–1207 N. Thompson St. (American) Closed Sun.  Fried chicken–maybe better than Stroud’s. (2-3-17)

So Pho Real–909 S. Pleasant St. (Korean) Closed Sun evening & Mon.  Highest rated Asian restaurant in the area. This is actually an “Asian fusion” restaurant, but Korean is their specialty. (2-3-17)

 

Notes About This List:

This is a “master list” of restaurants that I have seen on the Internet or other sources and would like to try, or that I think would be of interest to others.  I do not mean for this to be an exhaustive list of every good place to eat, but it should represent a good sample of the most interesting or unique restaurants, along with a few that best represent an area’s regional cuisine.  My own recommendations are in Bold.

I am not looking to include:

  • Fine dining (unless they are unique because of regional specialties)
  • Low end restaurants that are popular with locals but may not be of much interest to travelers or people in general (everyone will have to use their judgment on this one)

Extra consideration for the following:

  • The food is organic, fresh, healthy, or farm to table
  • The restaurant serves a relatively hard to find type of ethnic food and reviews are good

In addition to the regular guidelines I try to include:

  • The best Asian restaurants in the area even if they are not totally authentic
  • Particularly good Mexican restaurants (this usually means the food is from a particular state in Mexico or it is one of the best examples of a U.S. regional style)

Please feel free to leave your own comments or suggestions.

 

Sources:

About You Magazine (Arkansas Goodies)

Roadfood

Urbanspoon.com (former web site which I used for preliminary research)

Yelp (Arkansas)

Zomato (Little Rock)

 

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