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)

Alma

Crawpappy’s Cajun Cuisine–1915 US 71 (Cajun) Closed Sun-Tue.  Reviewers say it is really good Cajun food. (5-6-19)

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). (6-2-19)

Benton

Silos Cafe–510 Hwy. 5 N. (Southern) Open Daily.  If you want something fried, they probably have it here. There are some exceptions, though, such as oven cooked chicken. Also has sandwiches (grilled cheese was mentioned in the reviews). (6-2-19)

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. (Takeout only 6-30-20)

Pho Thanh–1204 S. Walton Blvd. (Vietnamese) Open daily 10:30 am to 9:00 pm.  Reviews for the pho are not as good as Miss Saigon, but has other items the reviewers say are good, such as bun bo hue. (Takeout and delivery only 6-30-20)

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 it is hard to tell from reviews that any of them stand out enough that I would recommend them over the others.

Blytheville

Dixie Pig–701 N. 6th St. (BBQ).  Has been serving barbecue since 1923. Known for its “pig sandwich” (chopped pork). (5-24-19)

Conway

Agape Asian Noodles–1700 Altus St. (Chinese) Closed Sun.  Most popular dish seems to be Szechuan beef noodles, but has pho, ramen, and other types of Asian food. (6-2-19)

Katmandu Momo–1018 W. Oak St. (Himalayan) Open daily except Sun lunch.  Has Nepali food. Spicy dishes are said to have the true Asian spice levels. There are many choices here that are not fried (a good change from the local cuisine). (6-2-19)

WunderHaus–900 Locust Ave. (German) Lunch Wed-Fri, dinner Thu-Sat.  Serves good German food according to reviews, but also has added some German/Southern fusion food such as apple strudel bread pudding. (6-2-19)

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). (5-18-19)

Ms Lena’s Pies–2885 Hwy. 33 S. (Bakery).  Pies–fried chocolate pie is especially good, but any pie they have is recommended. Sells pies Thu-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). (5-18-19)

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. (2-18-19)

Mei Li Cuisine–3094 E. Van Buren (Thai) Open Daily.  Has Hmong food (along with a full menu of Americanized Chinese food in order to keep them in business in a small town). (2-18-19)

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. (2-18-19)

Thai House–2059 E. Van Buren (Thai) Closed Sun (and closed from 3 to 4:30 pm).  Most people like the food. Items that don’t get less good reviews are the pad thai and rice. (2-18-19)

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). (2-18-19)

Fayetteville

Farmer’s Table Cafe–1079 S. School Ave. (American) Breakfast & lunch only (closed Mon).  People say the food has good flavor and is fresh. Photos show colorful food that is not the typical fried food of this region. The problem is that so many people want to eat here there is frequently a problem getting in. (Takeout only 6-30-20)

Thep Thai–1525 S. School Ave. (Thai) Open 11 am to 8 pm (closed Tue). 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). (Takeout and delivery only 6-30-20)

Wes’s BBQ–14 S. University Ave. (BBQ) Closed Sun. BBQ ribs. Many recommend the burgers. (Takeout only 6-30-20)

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). (5-6-19)

Pho Vietnam–2214 Rogers Ave. (Vietnamese) Open daily (closed in the evening Tue & Sun). Located in an old gas station, reviewers say it is not fancy but cheap, very good, and totally authentic Pho, lemongrass Bun, banh mi are recommended. Every customer gets a free banana tapioca dessert. (5-6-19)

Ralph’s Pink Flamingo BBQ–2801 Old Greenwood Rd. (BBQ) Lunch Mon-Sat, dinner Fri & Sat.  The BBQ here was the winner of the Kansas City Barbecue Society grand championship. Reviews are mixed, though–some love it and some seem to think they are too successful to keep up the quality that makes award winning BBQ. Brisket, pulled pork, and sausage are supposed to be the best items, but many say they love everything they have tasted. (5-6-19)

Tassanee’s Thai Cuisine–1611 Dodson Ave. (Thai) Closed Sun.  This is the one Thai restaurant that reviewers say you can be sure has authentic food (they also say it is delicious). (5-6-19)

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. (5-6-19)

Hot Springs

McClard’s–505 Albert Pike Rd. (BBQ) Closed Sun & Mon.  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). (Dining room is open 7-25-20)

Phil’s–2900 Central Ave. (Southern) Open 7 am to 6 pm (closes at 2 pm on Sat & Sun).  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). (Dining room is open 7-25-20)

Pho Hoang My–608 E. Grand Ave. (Vietnamese) Closed Tue (and closed from 2:30 to 4:30 pm).  Has a number of different varieties of pho. Vietnamese pork chop is also recommended. Bun (vermicelli bowl) is said to be excellent. (Dining room is open 7-25-20)

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. (Reviewers say they sat on the patio, but I don’t know if dining room is open 7-25-20)

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. (Dining room is open 7-25-20)

Steinhaus Keller–801 Central Ave. (German) Dinner only (closed Sun & Mon).  Said to be excellent food. Diners recommend getting one of the “Chef’s Specials.” (Dining room is open 7-25-20)

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. (I don’t know if dining room is open 7-25-20)

Johnson

Wright’s Barbecue–2212 Main Dr. (BBQ) Open 11 am to 9 pm (closed Sun & Mon).  Very good reviews, especially considering it is not one of the places that runs out of meat shortly after noon. Brisket is said to be especially good, but reviewers like all of the meats. (4-1-19)

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 recommended. (5-24-19)

Rhoda’s Hot Tamales–714 St. Mary St. (American) Closed Sun.  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. (5-24-19)

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). (1-10-20)

Little Rock

Buenos Aires Grill–614 President Clinton Ave. (Argentinian) Closed Sun & Mon.  Said to be authentic. Large variety of items under $15 (this is not just steaks, but many of the steaks are not very expensive either). (Dining room is open 7-25-20)

Capital Bar & Grill–111 W. Markham St. (American) Open Daily.  Upscale sandwiches & American food (specializes in Creole and Southern food). Cuban sandwich, french onion soup, burger, gumbo, brown sugar pie. Pulled pork (special on Thursday) is the favorite of some. (Temporarily closed 7-25-20)

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. (Dining room is open 7-25-20)

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). (Dining room is open 7-25-20)

Mr. Chen’s Authentic Chinese–3901 S. University Ave. (Chinese) Open 11 am to 7 pm (closed Tue).  Basil chicken, steamed dumplings, steamed buns, Taiwanese braised pork, hot pot. (Takeout and delivery only 7-25-20)

The Pantry–11401 N. Rodney Parham Rd. (Czech) Closed Sat lunch & Sun.  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. (Dining room is open 7-25-20)

Three Fold Noodles and Dumpling Co–611 S. Main 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). (Takeout only 7-25-20)

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 in North Little Rock is second). Ribs and chopped beef are the best items here (sliced beef 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. (Dining room is open 7-25-20)

Marianna

Jones Bar-B-Q–219 W. Louisiana St. (BBQ) Lunch only (Yelp says it opens at 7 am) (closed Sun).  In operation for over 100 years, it has barbecue made the old fashioned way (meat is smoked on site, served on plain white bread with thin vinegar-based sauce). Many say this is the best barbecue they have ever eaten. (5-6-19)

Mountain Home

Dusit Thai–920 Hwy 62 E. (Thai) Closed Sun (and closed from 3 to 4 pm).  Good food, but order the spice level higher than you would at a big city restaurant. Flavors seem to be Americanized (sweeter than they should be), but this can be offset by getting dishes such as ones with basil or other ingredients that will have a stronger flavor than the sauce. (2-18-19)

North Little Rock

Lindsey’s BBQ–207 Curtis Sykes Dr. (Southern) Lunch only (open to 8 pm on Fri) (closed Sun).  This is mainly a Southern cooking/ soul food restaurant, but the BBQ is said to be some of the best in the state (some say the sliced brisket is best). A good thing about this place, though, is that you can get real side dishes with it (yams, slaw, cornbread, black eyed peas, etc.). Sometimes has specials such as turkey and dressing, and I think fried chicken is always available. (5-6-19)

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. On Sat & Sun it opens at 9 am, and reviewers say chorizo and eggs are good. (5-6-19)

Rogers

Havana Tropical Grill–203 N. 2nd St. (Cuban) Open daily (closes early Sun-Tue). Authentic Cuban food. Most dishes look fried, but have salads, grilled dishes, etc. (Dining room is open 6-30-20)

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). (Temporarily closed 6-30-20)

Saiwok Vietnamese–2882 W. Walnut St. (Vietnamese) Closed Sun.  Good food with a number of menu choices (including vegetarian). People seem to particularly like the pork belly dishes. (Takeout only 6-30-20)

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. (5-24-19)

Springdale

AQ Chicken House–1207 N. Thompson St. (American) Open Daily. Fried chicken–maybe better than Stroud’s (comparable restaurants in KS and MO). (4-1-19)

Szechuan House–2255 W. Sunset Ave. (Chinese) Open daily 11 am to 10 pm.  Offers both authentic Sichuan food and more Americanized dishes (I think they will be clearly marked and obvious to customers which are which). (4-1-19)

Thai Taste–3138 S. Old Missouri Rd. (Thai) Closed Sun.  I believe this was the popular restaurant in Roland, OK that then moved to Ft Smith. (That restaurant had good curries, soups, and pineapple fried rice but people said skip the pad thai). People in Springdale say they like the soups and curries, but not so much the pad thai. (5-6-19)

 

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)

Arkansas.com (Arkansas BBQ Trail)

Roadfood

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

Yelp (Arkansas)

Zomato (Little Rock)

 

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