Thankfully, for those who live here in the Natural State, there are restaurants on nearly every corner. You don’t have to go far in Arkansas to find a good meal! What’s especially great is the diversity of restaurants in our wonderful state. If you’re looking for something different from standard American fare, there are restaurants that will cater to whatever taste you have–from Mexico to Morocco, a vast amount of countries are represented in Arkansas eateries. These restaurants are fabulous for when you want to step outside the box and experience new flavors and exotic entrees!
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
15. La Huerta Mexican Restaurant
Fayetteville food lovers say that La Huerta, located on North College Avenue, is an excellent place for Mexican cuisine! The service is highly praised as friendly and fast, and the restaurant's atmosphere makes it a great place to hang out and enjoy a few margaritas with friends!
14. El Parian Mexican Food
If you've ever had the urge to mix your own yummy guacamole dip just the way you like it, you can do just that at El Parian Mexican Food in White Hall! Located at 8420 Dollarway Road, El Parian serves authentic Mexican cuisine and features a great selection of Tex-Mex entrees on the menu as well.
13. Taqueria Navidad
Located in Berryville on North Springfield Street, Taqueria Navidad is one of northern Arkansas's best spots to get great authentic Mexican food! Regular diners say the salsa here is some of the finest they've tasted and the fajitas are a must-try entree. What's also great about Taqueria Navidad is that the price is absolutely right for those eating on a budget!
12. Vivace Mediterranean Cuisine
Located in Bentonville, Vivace Mediterranean Cuisine features excellent Greek cuisine and a menu that will delight diners who are looking for new and unique flavors in their meal! The portions here are large, so you'll be leaving here full. Regular diners here recommen the Meza Platter, a sampler with delicacies such as hummus, falafel, stuffed grape leaves and more!
11. Thai Taste Restaurant
Thai Taste Restaurant in Jacksonville serves up authentic Thai cuisine that keeps diners full, happy and excited to come back for more! Customers have the choice of ordering entrees from the menu or trying the buffet, where Chinese selections are available in addition to the great Thai options offered. Regulars recommend ordering from the menu for the best experience, and the Thai Taste wait staff is lauded as friendly and efficient!
10. Chennai Cafe
Marvelous south Indian entrees are the specialty at Chennai Cafe in Rogers, located at 2850 West Walnut Street. The mutton biriyani comes highly recommended here, as well as the vegetarian thaali. Customers have praised the friendly wait staff as well as the clean and pleasant ambiance of the establishment. This is a wonderful choice for dinner or a night out at an exotic alternative to the many other northwest Arkansas restaurants!
9. Mandalay Asian Cuisine
Located in Farmington, Mandalay Asian Cuisine features some truly excellent Thai entrees and Asian dishes on the menu. The cashew chicken is recommended by diners as well as the chicken teriyaki and Pad Thai. If you're not sure what's good, be sure to ask the staff, as they're very helpful in assisting your selection!
8. Kosmos Greekafe
Excellent Greek cuisine isn't far away from you if you're in northwest Arkansas! Kosmos Greekafe on North College Avenue has just what food lovers want when they're craving a delicious gyro or a huge and tasty Greek salad! Customers are always welcomed warmly at Kosmos, and diners often find themselves coming back for more amazing and authentic Greek fare.
7. Fantastic China
The first thing you'll notice when entering Fantastic China in Little Rock is that the atmosphere is fabulous. Everything is decorated tastefully and the lighting sets your dining surroundings with a soothing, comfortable mood. Then you get the pleasure of choosing from a vast variety of Asian entrees! Fantastic China is great for taking the family out for a meal without breaking the bank, or for a nice sit-down lunch!
6. Layla's Gyros and Pizzeria
Layla's Gyros and Pizzeria has three locations around central Arkansas--two Little Rock restaurants are open and now there's a third in Conway--where you can fill up on amazing and authentic Greek/Mediterranean dishes! Layla's also provides catering for special events and welcomes orders for parties.
5. Taj Mahal Indian Cuisine
Taj Mahal Indian Cuisine in west Little Rock serves an excellent lunch buffet (where the chai tea is free!) and has a nice selection of authentic Indian dishes on the menu that are full of flavor. Diners especially enjoy the wealth of choices for dessert! The atmosphere at Taj Mahal is fun and friendly. You'll enjoy your surroundings as much as you will the delicious food!
4. Las Palmas
With four locations in North Little Rock and Little Rock, Las Palmas offers central Arkansas an outstanding menu full of classic Mexican dishes, amazing appetizers and tasty desserts and drinks well worth your try! Las Palmas has a delicious recipe for white cheese dip that's got to be experienced to be believed, and the chips and guacamole, (which are both always awesome and fresh,) are a great way to start out your lunch or dinner here!
3. Chang Thai & Asia Cuisine
Located in Sherwood, Chang Thai & Asia Cuisine breaks the cycle of the usual Chinese restauraunt and adds a taste of Thailand to the menu with incredibly delicious Pad Thai, as well as other dishes such as panang curry and mango sticky rice. Diners especially appreciate the quick service and polite employees!
2. Taqueria La Tapatia
Hands down, this little gem on 8912 Stagecoach Road in Little Rock is likely the best authentic Mexican food you'll find in Pulaski County. The service is awesome, portions are big, and the menu features entrees that you won't find in the usual Mexican restaurant, whether you're there for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Try the Burrito Tricolor--topped with three sauces in the style of the flag of Mexico--and wash it down with a delicious horchata agua fresca!
1. Star of India
Oh, Star of India, how you are appreciated for your excellent service! Once you step through the door, you're greeted with a smile, a hearty hello, and a glass of delicious mango juice...and that's only the beginning! There's something for everybody on the menu. (Vegetarians will be quite pleased with what's offered!) From spicy to hearty, the entrees are all very authentic Indian recipes. Regulars always have something to recommend, too. I ordered the chicken curry, lentil soup and the onion kulcha for take-out just last night...and what's left over is still awesome the day after! There's a reason why Star of India is a favorite around Little Rock--and it's not just the excellent food. You're treated like royalty whether you dine-in or order-out!
If you haven’t tried these amazing restaurants, they definitely come highly recommended by Arkansans! Now it’s time to hear from the rest of you, Natural State–especially from those in east and southwest Arkansas. Represent your favorites! Where are the best places to get delicious and authentic ethnic dishes? Sound off in the comments about how much you love these restaurants, as well as other great places to eat that take you away from the usual American fare!